Growing pains made news in 2007
Many of the top local stories dealt with
growth related issues
From J-T staff reports
The votes have been counted
and growth related issues dominated the top
10 local news stories for 2007 as
voted by the Journal-Tribune newsroom staff.
While a story about Union
County being the fourth fastest growing county
in the state fell just outside
the top 10, at number 11, the residual
effect of that population surge showed
up in several of the top stories.
To deal with surging student population
the Marysville School District
was forced to put an operating levy before
voters twice in 2007, failing
both times. That story was voted as the top
story of 2007.
To deal with residential growth in the Marysville area and
projected growth in the Jerome Township area the city of
began construction of a large sewer plant. To fund the plant and
improvements city residents were hit with a water rate increase.
story was voted in the second position on the poll.
growth-related issues such as the new bypass around the village of
and the Bayly Pointe Development also secured spots in the
top 10. Crime
issues, local politics and local milestones are also
represented in the top
No. 1 - Marysville levy defeat and subsequent cost cutting
defeated a 4.75-mill, five-year operating levy the Marysville
placed on the August and November ballots, necessitating
the enactment of a
series of cost-cutting measures this school year.
The levy the school board
said was needed because of increased growth in
the school district and
decreased state funding was defeated on the Aug.
7 ballot by an unofficial
tally of 1,042 votes. Three months later,
voters defeated the same operating
levy by an unofficial count of 557 votes.
The second defeat resulted in an
increase in the school district's
pay-to-participate fee from $25 to $50 and
the implementation of
transportation fees for individual activities.
also necessitated the expansion of the radius in which pupils are
from one mile to two miles and the combination of two bus
routes. Other cost
savings measures include the modification of an
agreement between the school
board and the Marysville Education
Association in which the education
association agreed to an increase in
insurance premiums paid, deductible
amounts and employee co-pay.
Still other cuts included a 10-cent increase in
school lunches; the
cancellation of field trips, club trips and ski club
elimination of drug testing for athletes; the elimination of
suspension at Creekview Intermediate School, the middle school and
high school; reduction of building thermostats to 68 degrees
temperature and 63 degrees at night; eliminating a resource officer
the middle school; increasing building use fees; and reducing staff
At their Dec. 18 board meeting, board members
voted to place two
operating levies on the March 4 primary ballot. They are
voter approval of a five-year, 5-mill operating levy which expires
2008 and a new 4.75-mill, five-year operating levy.
The board had the
option of replacing the 5-mill operating levy, which
would have generated
more tax dollars, but chose instead to renew it,
which means it will be
collected at a reduced rate.
No. 2 - Marysville water rate
Marysville City Council and residents spent months in a fierce
2007 over the passage of an ordinance which would increase local
rates by 6 percent over the next two years.
The issue eventually was
sent to an ad hoc committee to settle and later
was approved by council
Ad Hoc Committee member David Burke said at the time the 6
increase should provide funding the city needs to start constructing
reservoir, start planning a water plant and buy more time on
The percentage increase only affects water rates
on the city's overall
utility bill, Burke said. Some residents walked out of
the meeting still
unsure about what the draft legislation meant.
explained that current water bills for an average home are $22.36.
future legislation passes, the rates will go up 6 percent to
$23.70 on July 1
and then increase an additional 6 percent to $25.12 on
Jan. 1, 2008.
residents such as Lloyd Baker were vocal in their criticism over yet
rate increase, after wastewater and trash increases were passed.
March 8 City Council meeting, Baker said members encouraged the
attend the third reading, but then denied them the right to speak.
said he is not sure how many people understand that there are
still years of
rate increases scheduled to hit city wastewater rates,
which were already
approved in 2005.
He said the water rate increase being proposed still does
"this whole issue of credibility and trust" the public has toward
city leaders after years of apparent unmanaged spending, which put
city in this financial situation in the first place.
No. 3 - Union
County Veterans Monument
About 1,500 supporters lined Court Street in
Marysville on Saturday, May
17 to celebrate the unveiling of the Union County
"You humble me," retired Army Maj. Gen. Oscar Decker told
"This makes me feel so good."
The monument honors more than
1,200 U.S. veterans from Union County who
were killed in action, missing in
action or were prisoners of war since
the Revolutionary War.
All the names
are listed on a 35,000 pound stone monument, with a
searchable database of
more than 15,000 Union County Veterans available
to the public for research
at a kiosk. The total project cost was $560,000.
Funding for the monument
took five years to raise through efforts by the
Union County Veterans
Memorial Committee. The monument began as a simple
quest to find a nearly
forgotten World War II board of names, which once
graced the courthouse lawn
before it was lost.
But that search soon turned into a wider scope: To
remember and honor
all Union County veterans.
When 350 people showed up in
the cold and rain for the groundbreaking
ceremony in 2006, Decker said he
knew they had touched on something special.
After the official unveiling,
the crowd applauded and the marching band
played. At that point families were
allowed to begin to find their
relatives among the names engraved in the wall
and brick pavers. Many
kissed their hands and touched the names of family
members who died in
service, from fathers to mothers and children.
(tie) - Plain City Bypass
The long-awaited bypass of U.S. 42 around Plain
City was completed in October.
First suggested in the 1950s following an
Ohio Department of
Transportation study, construction of the bypass finally
began in May
2006. A little more than eight-tenths of a mile long, the
replaces 1.5 miles of U.S. 42 that used to run through downtown
City. The bypass begins on the west edge of the village, at
intersection of U.S. 42 and Main Street. It leads drivers around
village's northwest side, ending just north of the village near
Plain City Mayor Sandy Adkins said it was "exhilarating" to
the new bypass and called the cool, windy afternoon, "a memorable
the history of Plain City," noting that it will be marked in
village's history because it was so long in the making.
Wester, ODOT District 6 deputy director, said the ribbon
cutting was a
"celebration of partnerships and progress."
He said the bypass was,
"constructed to insure safety to the village of
Plain City and built to bring
commerce to this corner of Union and Madison Counties."
Adkins says she
believes the new truck free downtown will encourage new
retail growth and
expansion of current businesses.
Trucks in the downtown caused parking
concerns because many cannot make
the turn from Main Street on to Chillicothe
Street, and vice versa,
without coming onto the sidewalk. The presence of
semi trucks on the
sidewalks also discouraged pedestrian traffic in the
Additionally, curbs and cutouts were destroyed by the weight of
trucks and their trailers. ODOT vehicle counts indicated that before
bypass, more than 12,000 vehicles traveled through Plain City on
average day. Of that number, more than 2,000 of the vehicles are
The final pricetag for the project, which included relocating
widening Route 161 through Plain City and rehabilitating several
roads and streets, was about $4.3 million.
No. 4/5 (tie) - Bayly
A sketch plan surfaced in September, offering the first image of
future plans for the long-rumored Glacier West development
Forest City Land Group's plan showed that Bayly Pointe would be
chosen name for a 2,000-acre upscale development, to be situated
of Marysville, bordering U.S. 33, Harriott Road and U.S. 42. It
rest within both Mill Creek and Jerome townships and Marysville
provide sewer and water services.
Within the entire Bayly Pointe,
there are 2,086 residential units
planned, 262 acres of open space, 17 acres
for school use, 34 acres for
senior care living, 577 of residential acreage
and 330 acres for
commercial and office space.
For years the topic of the
large-scale development came up, but never
moved forward until
Located within this section of Bayly Pointe are 38 acres of
and office space, 456 acres of residential space, a 19-acre senior
facility, five acres set aside for school space and 157 acres of
Also included within the sketches was a rendering of
facility details, such as proposed storm water management
Big Darby and Scioto watershed areas, sanitary tributary
placement of proposed water lines, gravity sewer spots and the
No. 6 - Honda celebrates 25 years
Marysville auto plant, the first Japanese plant to build a car
turned 25 years old in November.
Local dignitaries, Honda officials and Gov.
Ted Strickland gathered on
Court Street in August to celebrate the unveiling
of the 2008 Honda
Accord and the autoplant's 25 years in Union County.
newly redesigned 2008 Honda Accord has been named a finalist for the
American Car of the Year competition.
Akio Hamada, Honda of America president
and chief executive officer,
said the prosperity of the company is
attributable to the community
support and the associates.
"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 at the
ceremony. "That is why I
want to say 'Thank you. Thank you to everyone
who has played a role in our
The plant's 5,300 associates produce over 1,800 vehicles per
440,000 vehicles per year on two lines.
Honda directly employs more
than 15,000 Ohioans. In addition,
approximately 140 Ohio companies supply
parts to Honda. In 2006, Honda's
purchases from these companies totaled $6.4
billion last year.
Since it was built, Honda has invested $3.6 billion in
improvements to the plant, with $60 million in the last couple of
Those innovations include items like extending the line, use of
to hold items in place so associates can work from outside the
without getting in and out as well as robotics that hold the
frame and adjust to the height of the associate working on the
rather than the associate reaching or stooping.
Local, state and
federal government officials say Honda has provided the
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
opportunities for the people not only in Union County
but in central Ohio."
No. 7 - Violent home invasion
residents were shocked when they woke one late October
morning to learn of a
violent home invasion in the quiet subdivision of Mill Valley.
resident of 1452 Meadow Lark Lane called 911 about 11:45 p.m.
"There is someone in my house and they're killing ... they're
my mom," the 10-year old girl told dispatchers. "They're stabbing me
my sister and my mom. I'm scared."
According to police reports, two
Hispanic males entered the home through
an open garage door and were stealing
electronics when the woman of the
house confronted them. The men allegedly
then struck her in the face
with an object from the home. The men then
allegedly went to the second
floor of the home where they attacked the young
The girl's mother was transported by MedFlight to Grant
Hospital in Columbus. She had lacerations on her face and head.
caller and her 12-year old sister were both transported to
Hospital of Union County.
Neighbors were frightened by the
"We were both really surprised it happened in our neighborhood,"
Becky Wever, who was walking with her son and talking to neighbor
Crosby about the break-in. "One of the reasons we moved here was
it was so populated and seemed so safe."
No arrests have been
made. No suspects have been named. Police are
No. 8 - Plane crash kills two
On Wednesday, May 21, a pair
of Florida men died in a plane crash that
occurred in a field off of Weaver
Road in Marysville.
Pilot Evan G. Wood, 68, and passenger Walter L. Buchholz,
73, both of
Punta Gorda, Fla., were pronounced dead at the scene by Union
Coroner Dr. David Applegate. A broken clock inside the airplane told
exact moment of the crash - 8:37 a.m.
The two men were flying in a
2005 RV-7A amateur built aircraft, which
crashed in a cornfield, four tenths
of a mile west of 14373 Weaver Road,
less than a mile southwest of the Union
Eye witness Michelle Phipps, from Plain City, said she was
Weaver Road after dropping her daughter off at a friend's house.
said there was a plane that suddenly went overhead. It caught
attention because there was a trail of dark smoke coming from the
"I slowed down and I pulled into a driveway to see if I could see
again and I couldn't. Then I saw a puff of smoke," Phipps said. "I
thought, 'Oh my god, I think I just saw a plane crash.'"
No. 9/10 -
Over the years the local bar was open, Marysville Police
called to Lee Dog's Locker Room more than 300 times for
In 2007 the bar was finally closed due to drug crimes
committed on the
property and its owner being sentenced to serve six years in
pulling a gun on a man in a dispute at a bar across the
After months of investigating, law enforcement came down on
activity at Lee Dog's Locker Room. The future of the bar fell
jeopardy after hefty drug-related fines and numerous arrests cast
shadow over the business in mid-April.
The Marysville Police Department
had been working with the Ohio
Investigative Unit in an ongoing
investigation. The result was numerous
arrests for drug trafficking. Several
individuals received lengthy
prison sentences following drug
In a rare move, authorities brought felony charges against the
itself. The Union County Grand Jury charged the business with
that could have led up to $60,000 in fines. A five-count
against Lee Dog Inc. was also included among the charges.
business was charged with one fourth-degree felony aggravated
drugs charge; one fifth-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.
"Lee Dog Inc. is
a corporation," Union County Prosecutor Dave Phillips
said. "A corporation is
a legal entity, which can be charged with a crime."
No. 9/10 - Chris
Schmenk elected mayor
At the first of the year, incoming mayor Chris Schmenk
will start her
new position as Marysville's leader.
But what made her
election to Marysville's top spot unique was that she
ran unopposed and
became Marysville's first elected female mayor. She is
also an employee for
In November Schmenk received 3,314 votes in her bid to
mayor Tom Kruse.
Today, Schmenk was sworn into her new role
in a ceremony at Marysville
City Hall, in city council's
"Together, we will preserve today's community as we grow into the
city of tomorrow," Schmenk said. "To do so, I propose that we focus
four specific areas: Quality Growth, Fiscal Responsibility,
Schools and Services for our Seniors.
Other stories receiving
votes but not making the top 10 include Union
County ranking as the fourth
fastest growing county in the state, the
state government campaign
announcements of local politicians Dave Burke
and Tom Kruse, Route 4 in Union
County being named the state's most
dangerous road, the designation of
General Beightler Way as an Ohio
historic site, an escape from the Central
Ohio Youth Center, the case of
a local man's arrest for voyeuristic behavior,
the renaming of South
Park and the re-opening of covered bridges in the
Suspect caught after break-in at county office building
A heavily intoxicated Marysville man was arrested this morning
reportedly breaking into the Union County Recorder's Office.
a.m. Union County Sheriff's deputies responded to 233 W. Sixth
receiving reports of someone breaking glass in the area.
A quick response
reportedly led to deputies arresting Caleb McDaniel,
22, of 755 Milford Ave.,
who was charged with breaking and entering,
along with vandalism for causing
$800 in damage to the window.
McDaniel was arraigned this morning at the
Marysville Municipal Court.
"We got there very quickly," sheriff's office
Sgt. Eric Yoakam said.
Within five minutes, he said, a deputy was at the
investigating the break-in and discovered the broken
Police were also called to assist on the
According to reports, law enforcement searched the building
discovered a man suddenly running down some stairs toward a door,
turned out to be McDaniel.
He was reportedly heavily intoxicated and
covered in mud. He also was
not wearing shoes.
Yoakam explained that
McDaniel told deputies he went to a bar in
Marysville Sunday night with a
friend and ultimately became involved in
a fight with four unknown males. He
could not describe any of the men to officers.
At some point, McDaniel
told investigators that he became separated from
his friend and thought he
was being chased by the unknown men from the fight.
According to sheriff's
reports, he claimed that he ran down West Sixth
Street and hid behind some
bushes at the recorder's office. After an
hour, he allegedly saw some
headlights on the roadway and decided to
throw rocks at passing cars. He then
claimed to have thrown rocks at the
office window, then smashed the excess
glass with his fist and climbed
into the office to escape the men allegedly
McDaniel reportedly sustained injuries to his hands and thighs
broken glass during the break in, which also ripped his
Yoakam pointed out that with local bars normally closing at 2:30
and McDaniel being picked up after 5:30 a.m., several hours
unaccounted for in his story. He also said that if Katche needed
from people chasing him, he could have gone for help at either
sheriff's office next door or the Marysville Police Department down
As police and deputies searched for the break-in suspect, a
man was also
found walking on the sidewalk near the crime scene.
ended up arresting Richard Katche, 19, of Marysville after
discovering he was
wanted on an outstanding warrant issued by Delaware County.
Katche said he
was out walking after an argument and did not know about the
Deputies determined he was just in the wrong place at the wrong
A fresh start for East Pointe
Lowe's submits plan to tear down much of plaza
and build a new store
By RYAN HORNS
A proposed Lowe's Home Improvement
store could breath life back into
Marysville's dying East Pointe
Marysville City Administrator Kathy House reported Friday morning
on Thursday Lowe's submitted a proposal the tear down the
Wal-Mart, along with the majority of the remaining East Pointe
The former Big Bear vacant building would remain.
The plaza is
located on more than 25 acres on the southeast corner of
Delaware Avenue at
Watkins Road. It is zoned Traffic Oriented Commercial
District "TOC" and was
previously developed as a retail center with two
major anchors. Both of which
are currently vacant, as are a number of
the smaller retail spaces.
said the plans were submitted to Marysville's Design Review Board,
for further discussion during its Jan. 9 meeting.
Lowe's has reportedly been
having discussions with Marysville officials
for some time, House said, in
order to come up with a plan to fill the
vacant East Pointe Plaza.
addition of Lowe's will be good news for residents, who have been
criticism over the past few months, regarding the rising number
storefronts in the city.
House said that U.S. Properties had ownership of the
entire East Pointe
Plaza, and agreed to sell the buildings and parking lot to
Because the majority of the buildings are scheduled to be torn down,
future of remaining businesses such as Bath and Body Works will
have to close up shop or move to other vacant Marysville
House said the possibility of the stores relocating to Uptown
would be exciting.
"I would love for them to move Uptown," she
said. "I'll have to talk to
economic development about that."
A call to
Bath and Body Works on Friday did not reveal much information
future plans. The store manager had not heard about the
House stressed that people should not get their hopes up too
"Make sure you say that this is not a done deal," she said.
planner Greg DeLong shared this belief, adding that nothing is set in stone
House said the Marysville Design Review Board still has to give
approval for the development's proposed building sketch plans. She
that Lowe's plan, however, does have comments stating that the
already "meets or exceeds" local zoning and planning
According to the official Lowe's "Project Description," the plan
purchase the southern 12.66 acres of the East Pointe Plaza and
the existing Wal-Mart and adjacent retail spaces. Redevelopment of
site would include the construction of a 139,573-square-foot
improvement store, with a 31,709-square foot-garden center.
development would be served by 545 parking spaces in a landscaped
"The Lowe's building has been designed to meet the
requirements of the city's Design Review Standards. The
worked diligently to create a unique building that has
break up the facades of the structure," the project
"The proposed building exceeds the 40 percent
requirements of stone,
brick or stucco materials. Lowe's has selected earth
tone colors for
the building in tones of beige and tan with accents. The
has been enclosed with black tubular steel broken by brick
topped with caps."
DeLong said everything looks good, with the
exception of some of the
examples of signage. Lowe's submitted plan includes
concepts for four
different signs denoting different sections of the home
as well as for the garden center and lumber yard.
that those signage plans may end up being changed a bit during
DeLong also pointed out Lowe's plans, which show the
possibility of the
former Big Bear and another spot for a 7,000-square-foot
future development. He said half of the large existing parking
proposed to be entirely reworked.
"Lowe's believes the
redevelopment of the southern portion of East
Pointe Plaza will be a catalyst
to the entire center and surrounding
area for additional redevelopment. The
Lowe's development, with
extensive landscaping, upgraded building design and
materials and new
site lighting, will establish a precedent for redevelopment
the area," the project description states.
burglars indicted by grand jury
By MAC CORDELL
A trio of alleged burglars
have been indicted by a Union County Grand Jury.
Terrie Lynn Hawkins, 38,
Jeffrey Alan Hawkins, 27, and Amanda L. Nixon,
all of 259 North Ave., in
Plain City, have each been charged with one
count of burglary and one count
of theft. Each faces as many as six
years in prison if convicted on both
According to court documents, the alleged crimes occurred between
18 and June 27 of this year. The theft is alleged to involve
valued between $500 and $5,000.
All three individuals are scheduled
to be arraigned in Union County
Common Pleas Court on Friday.
Conn, 18, of 19558 Dog Leg Rd., in Marysville, has been
charged with one
count of felonious assault, aggravated assault and
possession of criminal
tools. Conn faces more than a decade in prison if
convicted on all charges
stemming from the Oct. 20, incident.
Also charged with felonious assault
following an unrelated incident is
Richard James Wiles, Jr., 36, of 305
Gordon Rd., in Springfield. Wiles,
if convicted of the March 18, offense,
could face an eight year prison term.
Conn and Wiles are set to be
The grand jury has also indicted:
. Jeremie Scott
Robinson, 22, who court records indicate last living at
533 Amrine Mill Rd.,
in Marysville, or 6919 Marin Rd., in West Salem.
Robinson is charged with one
count of unlawful sexual conduct with a
minor, a felony of the fourth degree.
Court documents indicate that
during February and March of last year,
Robinson had sexual conduct with
a minor between the age of 13 and 15. The
indictment indicates Robinson
knew the individual was a minor or "was
reckless" and should have known.
He is due in court to be arraigned Friday.
If convicted, Robinson faces
18 months in prison.
. Shawn K Ryan, 31, of
240 Caddie Dr., in Marysville. Ryan is charged
with one count of theft and
four counts of forgery, all felonies of the
fifth degree. Prosecutors believe
the theft, which is alleged to involve
checks, and the forgery occurred
between May 7 and July 28 of last year.
Ryan faces as many as five years in a
state penitentiary if convicted.
He is set for arraignment Friday.
Jennifer F. Barnette, 23, whose court listed address is the
Regional Jail in Mechanicsburg. She is charged with one count of
theft of a motor vehicle and unauthorized use of a motor
felonies of the fourth and fifth degrees respectively. Court
allege she had the vehicle, taken Nov. 21 - the day before
for more than 48 hours. If convicted, Barnette faces more than
in prison. She is set for arraignment Friday.
. David John
Schuler, 41, who is currently serving time in the Morrow
Facility. Schuler is charged with aggravated
trafficking in drugs and
possession of drugs after allegedly selling or
offering to sell cocaine Aug.
31. He faces a possible two-year prison
term if convicted. He is due in court
to be arraigned Friday.
. Blair Nicole Talbott, 25, of 929 Chestershire Rd.,
Talbott is charged with one count of possession of cocaine, a
the first degree. She faces a year in prison if convicted on the
stemming from an incident June 26. She is set for arraignment
Murder suspect has history of area
By RYAN HORNS and MAC CORDELL
A man arrested in the fatal
stabbing of a Delaware County man has a long
history of committing crimes in
Donovan L. Britton, 30, of Delaware, was arrested Thursday in
just hours after Mark S. Horn told authorities Britton stabbed
Horn went to a Sunbury area neighbor's house just before 9
Thursday, with what appeared to be a bleeding chest wound. The
called 911. Horn can be heard in the background saying he was
"a guy named Donovan" an "ex-convict."
Horn later died at Ohio
State University Medical Center in Columbus.
Delaware Municipal Court has
charged Britton with one count of murder
for the death of Horn. Britton was
in custody at the Richland County
Jail as of Thursday night.
are still trying to determine when and where the stabbing
took place, along
with how Horn knew Britton and what led to the stabbing.
served more than eight years in prison for separate crimes
committed in Union
In July of 1996, Britton was convicted of aggravated burglary, theft
two counts of receiving stolen property in Union County. He served
years of a possible 13 year sentence.
Upon his release, he was
immediately sentenced to serve 22 months in
prison for aggravated burglary,
three counts of forgery and two counts
each of theft and receiving stolen
property. While Britton could have
served as many as 16 years in prison,
Union County Common Pleas Court
Judge Richard E. Parrott released the man
just five months after he
entered the penitentiary.
According to Union
County Common Pleas Court files, Britton was
convicted of violating his
probation terms on April 30, 2003 after
failing to complete the West Central
Community Based Correctional
Facility program he was ordered to attend as
part of his judicial
release agreement. Parrott ordered him to serve the
remainder of the
Britton was back in front of Parrott
early last year, convicted of a
first-degree felony aggravated burglary, his
third in Union County. He
was sentenced to serve 11 months in prison. While
incarcerated, he was
convicted in Delaware County of forgery and
According to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and
Britton was paroled from North Central Correctional Institution
2 of this year.
Britton was charged with trying to smuggle
marijuana into the Delaware
County Jail after his most recent release from
prison. Those charges
were later dismissed.
CSX officials handle
derailment near Scotts plant
From J-T staff reports
A CSX train derailed
on Scott-Miracle Gro property Thursday afternoon.
Although no injuries were
According to Marysville Fire Department reports, the derailment
occurred at 10:30 a.m. but was not reported to authorities until
p.m. The cause has been listed as operator error.
Fire Department reportedly received notification from the
Department of the derailment near Scotts-Miracle Gro
at Industrial Parkway
and Scottslawn Road. The call was referred to the
Union County Sheriff's
Office for an emergency dispatch.
Upon arrival, fire crews reported that the
Scotts-Miracle Gro company
security "knew of the derailment, but did not know
where or if anyone
was hurt, or if any product was leaking."
It was soon
discovered that the derailed cars were the last two on a
train that was
situated just north of the Scotts facility. The cars were
and were visibly leaning at an angle and were off the
tracks near the Scott's
Calls made to the Scotts-Miracle Gro Company for
Journal-Tribune reporters to gain access to the derailment scene
After fire crews arrived, CSX officials also arrived on
Representatives of the railroad company told fire officials that
train conductor did not complete the switching of the rails which
the derailment. The official also stated that fire
assistance was not necessary.
Fire reports also indicate that
the CSX official was not able to present
any papers regarding the train's
Marysville Fire Department arrived on the scene at 1:21 p.m. and
until 1:59 p.m. when CSX cranes arrived to help get the cars back on
After-holiday shoppers keep clamps on cash
Many of those venturing to area
stores are returning items, using gift
By MAC CORDELL
On a brisk,
sun-soaked day after Christmas, retail parking lots in
But while stores were busy, it may not have been the post-Christmas
many were hoping for.
"I am returning these two," said Susan Smith
walking into a Marysville
department store and pointing to a pair of gifts in
the bottom of a
shopping cart. She then looked at her two daughters, adding
have gift cards they are going to use."
Smith wasn't alone. Many
shoppers, it seemed, were more interested in
spending someone else's' money
than their own. Gift card redemption and
the exchange of unwanted presents
was the order of the day for many shoppers.
A local man, shopping with his
children, said he was "finishing up some
got some gift cards from their grandmother that were burning
a hole in their
pockets," the man added.
He said gift cards were "the main thing" his
children received for
Christmas from relatives.
The post-Christmas season
has become more important with the increasing
popularity of gift cards.
According to the National Retail Federation,
consumers were expected to spend
a total of $26.3 billion in gift cards
this holiday season, up 42 percent
from $18.5 billion in 2005. Gift card
sales are not recorded until shoppers
Local teenagers Shain O'Connors and Joey Hill were also out
spending gift cards at an electronics store. Hill said he didn't
much spending cash before Christmas.
Both said most gift cards they
got were in the $25 range.
"Pretty much, the cards and money is what I got,"
Hill said of holiday haul.
O'Connors said the cards are popular because,
"it lets you get what you really want."
Kurt Smith said his wife does most
of the Christmas shopping, but noted
it was a little lean this year.
focused mainly on the kids this year," he said. "The wife and I may
something bigger after the tax refund."
He said his children like getting the
cards because they can buy what
they want. He added that they like being able
to swipe the cards and
complete the purchase themselves.
Corp. said that the week after Christmas accounts for
about 16 percent of
total holiday sales.
"This is going to be a more important chunk of business
than most people
realize," said Scott Krugman, a spokesman at NRF.
Cohen, chief industry analyst at NPD Group Inc., a market
agreed, noting that when the industry looks at the
holiday results, they need
to include January business.
"When we take a look at the results of this
holiday retail season, it
will be important to remember that the rules have
changed and so should
the way we read the success of the holiday," Cohen
While the day after Christmas is a big day for retailers, some
don't venture into the stores for that very reason. Jess Harmon
Marysville said she had to work at the salon inside one of
department stores or she wouldn't go out at all.
"Usually I don't come
out and do anything the day after Christmas,"
Harmon said. "I just like to
stay home and be lazy."
As Harmon explained that she didn't like post-holiday
shopping, a woman
passing by said, "it wasn't too bad though. Not like I
expected or it has been."
Eric Phillips, economic development director for
Union County said he
has not seen numbers for the local holiday shopping
season and is unsure
of what businesses may do to spur retail spending in
"That's the million dollar question," Phillips said, when asked
how local retailers performed.
"What I have heard is the national
numbers are up from last year,"
Phillips said. "Some people have said they
weren't as good as they could
have been, but nothing is ever as good as it
Mastercard Advisors, a division of the credit card company
includes estimates for spending by check and cash, reported a
percent increase nationally from Thanksgiving to Christmas.
compared with a 6.6 percent gain in the year-ago period. The
holiday figure is at the low end of the group's 3.5 percent to
percent prediction. Excluding gasoline and auto sales, retail
increased just 2.4 percent. Mastercard Advisors' numbers do include
gift card sales.
Phillips said he hoped area residents were more likely to
shop in Union
County, boosting the local businesses.
"I would say since we
have more retail options available, the numbers
are probably better than last
year," Phillips said. "With all of these
options, you would hope people are
shopping in Union County."
Police break down door to arrest woman
From J-T staff reports
Police arrested a young
emotionally disturbed woman who was threatening
to harm her family with a
knife and a screwdriver early this morning.
At 1:41 a.m. officers from the
Marysville Police Department were called
to the 600 block of Allenby Drive
for an incident which led to the
arrest of Crystal A. Tucker, 19, of 682
Allenby Drive for menacing and resisting arrest.
Police reports state that
Tucker suffers from a bipolar mental condition
and was disturbed and
attempting to harm her family members, consisting
of a 23-year-old sister and
two young boys, ages 4 and 2, who had all
barricaded themselves inside a
bathroom and later a bedroom for safety.
When officers arrived they were
reportedly forced to break through the
door, in order to gain entry into the
Upon being confronted by law enforcement, Tucker initially refused
drop the screwdriver upon police order, but eventually gave it
Police later found a knife nearby during their investigation,
Tucker had also allegedly been using to threaten her family.
Growth may stretch safety services
By RYAN HORNS
development Bayly Pointe could bring 2,000 new homes
to Union County, but the
added crime is what could become a burden to
Millcreek and Jerome
The possibility of this has Union County Sheriff Rocky Nelson
some criticism for developers at Forest City Land Group.
initial meetings with Bayly Pointe developers, Nelson said, plans
two separate substation buildings: One for law enforcement
and one for
But he said those plans have since changed. No substations are
anymore, other than the one which already exists for Millcreek
Jerome township Public Service Officers (PSOs).
Forest City Land Group
representative James Martynowski did not return
calls regarding the
Nelson said the worry is that Bayly Pointe will completely depend
current township services, leaving PSOs to deal with the influx of
and medical attention that will come with more than 2,000 new
families moving in.
"There are no plans for a substation, they are
planning to use the
existing one," Nelson said. "How is that fair? It's just
There are villages with populations (the size of Bayly Pointe) and
have their own fire and police stations."
Forest City Land Group
lists "major assumptions" regarding the future
impact of Bayly Pointe on
Union County communities. One of those
assumptions is that township emergency
services levies would continue at
8.7 Mills throughout the next 20
Fortunately, Nelson said, the developer's assumption proved to
correct. The 911 emergency services levy was passed by Union
voters in early November.
Millcreek and Jerome townships both had
tax levies up for vote in
November to fund PSOs in their areas beyond
If those levies failed, Nelson said, it would have been a
predicament for Bayly Pointe.
Nelson said this line of thinking should
be criticized, because
developers were relying solely on the levy to pass in
order to provide
law enforcement and fire protection for Bayly Pointe
residents. He has
called for an increased presence of law enforcement in the
plans, in the form of fire or police stations.
He said it was
important that the levy passed in November, but it means
and Jerome township residents who thought they were
paying taxes for their
own protection will eventually end up paying for
emergencies and medic runs
going to the future Bayly Point.
Even if developers would add a combined fire
and police substation,
Nelson said, Union County residents would be better
off. As it stands
there are no plans.
"They are just figuring that the
existing residents are going to pay for
law enforcement for Bayly Pointe,"
Nelson said. "If I lived down there
I'd be concerned."
Preparing for Patty's battle
A Mill Valley neighborhood rallies when one of
their own is diagnosed
By CORINNE BIX
Patty Stanseski and
Susan Falzarano have a lot in common. They live next
door to one another,
both relocated to Marysville from the state of
Delaware, have kids who are
the same age and share a common enjoyment of
the game Bunco.
lately what they share most in common is a united front along
with many of
their neighbors and friends to kick Stanseski's recent
cancer diagnosis to
Falzarano, 46, and her family moved to Mill Valley North in 2005
Delaware. Stanseski, 49, and her family came to visit their friends
liked it so much they decided to build a house right next door.
of our youngest sons are 13 and in eighth grade at the middle
The two became friends while living on the East Coast in 2002
their sons' friendship. However, Falzarano said it has been since
to Marysville that they have been brought closer together.
end of October, Falzarano was in New York attending her mother's
Upon arriving back in town, she learned that Stanseski had
found a lump in
her left breast.
On Nov. 16, Stanseski was diagnosed with a high-grade
and within two weeks she was at the James Cancer Center in
learning about her upcoming chemotherapy treatment.
the two women even closer is that three weeks after the
death of Falzarano's
mother, Stanseski lost her mother to a sudden heart attack.
her friend never had the chance to tell her mother about
The two women have leaned on each other as they have mourned the
of their mothers and made it a mission to get Stanseski well.
we found out about Patty's treatment, I e-mailed our Bunco group
setting up meals and rides for her to and from chemotherapy,"
"Everyone immediately started pitching in to help."
Stanseski said she
couldn't even begin to describe the gratitude she
feels for her
"I'm so grateful for all they've done," Stanseski said, "For all of
to rally around me like this means so much, it's overwhelming."
Berry, a Bunco member, created a name and motto for the group's
get Stanseski better
"We are Patty's Pit Crew because she's going through a
pit stop in her
life so our job is to get her better and back on the road,"
Candice McKenzie, another member and graphic
designer, created a logo
for the group of women. They each wore pink sweaters
with their logo
stickers to their December Bunco group as a way of showing
Stanseski said she likes the group's nickname and is happy
that she is
surrounded by friends at this difficult time.
She said it's
been helpful to hear all of their stories from their
experiences with friends
and family members who have battled cancer and won.
Neighbors on Kentucky
Circle are also putting out pink ribbons on the
weeks that Stanseski gets
"It was really special to see all those pink ribbons,"
In addition, ACE hardware is donating pink light bulbs to all
on Kentucky Circle, as the neighbors will light them on Jan. 3
celebration of Stanseski's 50th birthday.
Patty's Pit Crew is working
with Supper Thyme USA, a do-it-yourself meal
preparation shop in Dublin, to
earn meals for Stanseski and her family.
"We have a great group of women and
it's so heartwarming to see everyone
come together and help," Falzarano
For more information on Patty's Pit Crew contact Falzarano
New school is named
Marysville facility will be named after Bunsold family
previously owned the property
From J-T staff reports
new intermediate/middle school on Route 4 will be named
after the Bunsold
family which originally owned the 162 acres on which
the school is
Marysville School Board members made the decision this week in
monthly board meeting. Present were numerous members of the
family, including 91-year-old matriarch Lucile Bunsold, a
educator who taught at New California, St. John's School and in
Fairbanks School District.
The 164,000 square-foot intermediate/middle
school is scheduled to open
in August 2008. It will house 450 pupils in each
of two wings.
"We had toyed with the idea of naming one side one thing and
side another," said Marysville School District Superintendent
Zimmerman. "(But) we appreciate all the family has done for
Bill Bunsold told school board members numerous members of his
were or are teachers, including his wife, Marlise, and his
John's wife, Sandy, and two of Lucile's granddaughters, Erin Bunsold
Susan Wilson. Bill and John Bunsold also were teachers, as were an
three uncles and a cousin.
The school district purchased the Bunsold
property last winter from the
Edgar Bunsold trust. The agreed upon purchase
price was $12,000 an acre,
The site features roughly 40
acres of woods, along with a retention pond
about two acres in size. Soccer,
baseball and football fields will be
located outside the middle school
Board members told the assembled Bunsolds that their family had built
"a great legacy."
John Bunsold told the Journal-Tribune this week that the
family was very
pleased with its namesake, especially because it honored
Lucile and Edgar.
Lucile Bunsold's teacher salary went toward the purchase
of the land, he
said, adding that she was very pleased that the school
elected to save the woods on the property.
liked the woods," he said.
Triad eyes foreign language curriculum for
By CORINNE BIX
Triad wants to incorporate foreign language at
the elementary level
based on positive parent feedback.
Kaffenbarger said parent surveys earlier this school
year show that parents
are interested having their children introduced
to foreign language in grades
K-4, however the question remains, what
language to introduce?
were distributed in the fall to gather feedback in particular to
in a pilot Mandarin Chinese program through the Ohio
Department of Education
Although 70 percent of parents were positive about foreign language,
percent were against Mandarin Chinese.
The advantage to the
participating in the ODE program is primarily cost.
responsibilities would include securing a host family and
the visiting teacher along with providing health and
life insurance at a
total cost of $20,000 per year.
Kaffenbarger said the two downsides to the
program are that the district
would have a new teacher each year for the
duration of the three-year
program and the Mandarin teachers are only
permitted to teach three and
a half hours per day, two hours less than
"In order to make the program viable we would need the
to instruct more hours," Kaffenbarger said.
said the district has three options in terms of pursuing a
curriculum at the elementary. The board can either
approve the Mandarin
Chinese program, opt to do nothing or introduce
another foreign language such
as Spanish and absorb the total cost.
The board is expected to make a final
decision in regard to the
2008-2009 school year at the next board
Kaffenbarger also informed board members about a new dual
program that is being made available to high schools within the
High schools partner with colleges and offer the option for
curriculum courses and credit at the high school during regular
Kaffenbarger said cost for student tuition, books and
teachers are may possibly be funded through a grant from
Madison/Champaign county educational service center.
curriculum director, is in the process of gathering
information from area
universities including Ohio Northern University
and The University of Findlay
to work on implementing the program as
early as next school year.
Blackburn, middle school principal, gave a presentation to the
board on the
value-added component on the state's district report card.
defined by the Ohio Revised Code as a scale for
describing the levels of
academic progress in reading and mathematics
relative to a standard year of
academic growth in those subjects.
Hence, the state is tweaking how they
evaluate individual students in
that all students start at different points
on the academic scale
regardless of being in the same grade level.
state wants to give districts credit for "growing" a student even
student might not be at grade level by the end of the
academic year. In
contrast, those students who start out ahead also need
to grow a full
academic year even though that might mean they are
exceeding grade level
The value-added component will be factored in the 2007-2008 annual
The district has implemented several intervention programs
at the critical middle school level to give student extra
that they can exceed academically and perform better on state
The board took time on Thursday evening to say good-bye
Jacqueline Watson on two terms and eight years on the school
Kaffenbarger said Watson was able to see the very best of time and
worst of times that the district had seen.
"I've had a lot of good
people to work with and the chance to work with
a board that's on the right
path," Watson said.
William "Bill" McDaniel, former teacher and athletic
director, will join
the board as its newly elected member in January.
month McDaniel expressed his feelings about winning the board seat.
excited about the new challenge and I will try to do the best job
with this large responsibility and live up to the expectations
of the Triad
community," McDaniel said, "I will always be a Triad
supporter and would like
to thank the voters for their support."
Kaffenbarger said he feels McDaniel
will bring a lot to the position.
"He gave 39 years of quality service to the
district as a teacher,
athletic director and dean of students and I look
forward to him
bringing that same kind of dedication to the school board,"
The board approved the new science books for grades K-8
by the curriculum director. The new science curriculum by
Science/McGraw Hill for grades K-4 will be implemented for the
school year. Grades 6-8 will use a Holt textbook.
series is also used at the high school with the exception
Physiology/Anatomy and Conceptual Physics, which will adopt at
Total Cost for the entire science curriculum is
estimated at no more than $126,000.
The district will also be piloting a
science program by Foss at the fifth grade level only.
The next regularly
scheduled meetings of the Triad Board of Education
will be on Jan. 3
beginning with the annual budget hearing at 7 p.m.,
meeting at 7:15 followed by the regular monthly
meeting at 7:30 p.m. All
meetings will be held in the middle school library.
In other news, the
. Approved Chris Millice as president pro-tem for the Jan.
. Approved Craig Meredith, director of business,
as treasurer designee
pro-tem for the purpose of swearing in newly elected
board of education
member, board president and vice president at the Jan. 3
. Approved Brad Wallace as representative to the
Ohio Hi-Point board of
education for 2008
. Approved a leave of absence
extension for Tina Wells as bus driver for
the remainder of the 2007-2008
. Approved initial partial-year contract for Ryan Thompson as
assistant from Jan. 1 to June 30 for 119 days at a rate of $8 per
. Approved the following supplemental certified personnel: Payton
- weightlifting and Jason Thompson - middle school wrestling
Approved the following classified substitute personnel: Gloria Combs
cafeteria; John Rutherford - buss driver; Karen Rutherford - bus
. Approved contract with Rhonda Miller to provide
development at a cost of $200.
. Approved contracted services
with Barb Butler and Cindy Monnett to
provide services as OGT practice test
graders. Compensation will be at
the tutoring rate of $15 per hour.
Approved Kim Jenkins for the following contracted services as a
parent surrogate to be utilized as needed for foster-placed
disabilities during the 2007-2008 school year. The
compensation will be $.41
per mile for travel and $25 per required meeting.
. Approved district
membership for 2008 with Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA).
a resolution to join the OSBA LAF (Legal Assistance Fund) for
authorizes the treasurer to pay the LAF $250.
. Approved the second reading
of Policy 5517-01 "Bullying and Other
Forms of Aggressive Behavior" as
presented by the superintendent and
required by HB 276.
. Approved second
reading of board policies for adoption, revision or
deletion as presented by
. Approved various fund to fund transfers.
with gratitude the donation of $750 from the Triad Athletic
was raised from selling concessions at the Powder Puff
football game, to the
junior class (2008) for the 2008 junior-senior prom.
. Approved the use of
facilities for the following: high school
auditeria and kitchen on March
14/15 for the purpose of preparing for
and conducting the annual "red carpet
affair." Fee is waived as proceeds
go to support Triad athletics; middle
school and elementary gyms/locker
rooms from Nov. 26- March 9 for the purpose
of intramural basketball
games. Organization is responsible for all custodial
and/or cook fees
for times/dates outside of regular contracted
Hospital campus ready to be smoke free
Memorial Hospital of Union County will officially be a smoke-free
campus as of Jan. 1.
Last December, the hospital announced a year-long
campaign to become
tobacco-free in part to comply with the passage of State
Issue 5 for a smoke-free Ohio.
Before State Issue 5 passed, Memorial was
already smoke-free within the
buildings although patients, visitors and staff
could smoke outside in
designated areas. As of Jan. 1 no smoking will be
permitted on or
immediately around the hospital campus
vice-president of human resources, explained that over the
past year a
committee has been in place to help educate staff, patients
about the tobacco-free initiative and promote healthier lifestyles.
said more than 30 employees have taken part in some kind of the
cessation program of which the hospital subsidized up to $500
"We are very happy we made the decision to be smoke-free and that
are quitting and becoming healthier," Wirtz said.
MHUC is in the
process of compiling feedback from three different
stakeholder groups in
regard to the mission, vision and values of the
hospital, as it is perceived
both internally and externally.
The hospital has met with a group of
employees, a group of physicians
and a group of community members to gather
information as to better
clarify MHUC's overall perception.
dedicated to the mission, vision and values project will
findings to the board in January.
The board approved a capital expenditure
which re-allocated funding
within the 2007 budget to take advantage of
purchasing equipment for the
non-invasive lab at a reduced cost of $168,000,
which is an estimated
savings of $80,000.
The board also approved the
operating budget and capital budget for 2008
as presented by Jeff Ehlers,
chief financial officer.
Ehlers said the hospital and the Gables is
projecting a 2.5 million
dollar profit for 2008. The capital budget is set at
2.5 million for the coming year.
The board approved final changes to the
board of trustees bylaws as
previously discussed at the November
The hospital's legal counsel made revisions based on board
The board adjourned into executive session to discuss the
an employee and a trade secret of a county hospital. No action
The next regular board meeting will be Jan. 24 at 8 p.m.
-Approved the finance and joint conference committee
-Approved the initial appointment of Dr. Lisa Krumm, pediatrics,
of medicine - active provisional
- Approved the conclusion of
provisional status for Dr. Muhannah
Hammash, internal medicine, dept. of
medicine - active and Dr. Christine
Hudak, family medicine, dept. of medicine
- ER and URG
-Approved modification of privileges for OB CORE and General
-Approved the following medical officers for the 2008-2011
Brian Seifferth, president; Dr. Victor Trianfo, vice president; Dr.
Phillips, secretary/treasurer; Dr. Fred Leess, department of
surgery vice chair
-Approved Resolution 12.20.04.05 in regard to the
bidding and purchasing policy
-Completed the annual review of the medical
staff bylaws and appendices
- Reviewed quality plan
- Reviewed customer
Two council members attend final meeting
The new year will mark a change on Marysville City Council, as
members said good-bye during the last meeting of 2007
Council president Ed Pleasant and David Burke expressed
residents and city officials for the time spent representing
wards. In 2008, the empty seats will be filled by Nevin Taylor,
his return to council and by newcomer Deborah Groat.
through a lot," Burke said. "We've seen a lot of difficult
issues . But I
think Marysville is a much better place."
Burke said he is planning to move
on politically to the primary
elections in March, with hopes for the
nomination to the 83rd District
Ohio House of Representatives. Regardless of
the outcome, he said, he
will continue to represent his community.
County has needed its own representative," councilman John Gore
said. "Now we
have our chance."
Pleasant said that when he came to Marysville in 1969 there
was just a
population of 6,000.
"We have seen the growth take place," he
Some of the small town aspects have vanished a bit, Pleasant said,
Marysville remains intact.
"I think we had a very good year," he said.
"I certainly enjoy trying to
affect change. We have some challenges ahead of
us, but I really do feel
the city is headed in the right
Pleasant and Burke were both presented plaques in appreciation of
service to the city.
In other discussions, the first reading was
held on an ordinance to
rezone 18.5 acres, located at 17779 Route 31 at 17255
Mill Road in order
to make way for a Kroger Grocery Store development.
rezoning brought forth many concerned Mill Road residents, when it
discussed at the Dec. 3 Marysville Planning Commission
ultimately passed the rezoning on to council, by a 4-3 vote.
"It was a
close vote," Alan Seymour said, planning commission chairman.
"It was a
He said there was some controversy and some concerned
"So, good luck," he said.
The zoning change would prepare the
land for a "stronger business
environment," he said.
Mill Road residents
said they are worried about lights in their windows,
infrastructure issues, heavy traffic and trying to
keep access to their
Councilman Dan Fogt asked if traffic seemed to be the major concern
he wondered if Mill Road could be widened to prepare for the
Donald Plank, speaking for Casto Development, the company
in charge of
the project, said that the road could indeed be widened.
are looking at that in advance," he said.
Plank said the company is also
looking at ways to keep lighting away
from area homes and will continue to
work with residents as the
development passes into the plan review
In other topics:
. Councilman Mark Reams said that the Marysville
Frozen Nose 4-Miler is
scheduled for Jan. 12 and registration will take place
at 11 a.m. that day.
He added that Parks and Recreation Superintendent
Steve Conley is
looking for volunteers to help with the race. Residents
participate should contact City Hall.
offends judge with request
By MAC CORDELL
A local man's plea for leniency
has offended the local common pleas court judge.
William McWhorter, Jr.,
36, of 842 Regina Ct., Apt. C., pleaded guilty
earlier this month to one
count of theft, a felony of the fifth-degree,
which carries a presumption
that the offender will not go to prison for
the crime. Prosecutors dropped a
breaking and entering charge in
exchange for the guilty plea. McWhorter was
in court Thursday to be
sentenced. He asked the judge to follow an agreement
made between him
and prosecutors that followed that presumption and would
prison, but probation
"It offends me to have him come into this
court and expect to walk out
of here given his past record and his continued
Union County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard E.
The judge said the move offends not only him, but, "would
Parrott sentenced the man to 11 months in
prison, one month short of the
maximum. McWhorter was also ordered to pay a
$2,000 fine and all costs
of prosecution. The judge said McWhorter's criminal
past overcame the
presumption against prison. Parrott reviewed the man's
included convictions for vehicular homicide, aggravated
theft and attempted theft.
"That's before we get to the
misdemeanors and all," Parrott said. "I am
not even going to talk about them.
I don't think I have to."
As the judge read the sentence, McWhorter turned to
a weeping female in
the audience and shrugged his shoulders. Moments later,
he too began to cry.
In light of the judge's decision to vary from the
recommendation, defense attorney Mark Miller asked if his client
have 30 days before he reported to prison.
"No, no, no, no," Parrot
responded. "Today is the day."
Miller asked about the possibility of judicial
release. Parrott said "no
judge in his right mind," would grant judicial
"Unless and until there is some indication he has changed his
on things, he has no chance of getting out, not as long as I am on
As the judge was talking, McWhorter, who stood to address the
down and leaned on the defense table.
"It is time that he faces
up to the fact that it is not acceptable to
continue to do that," Parrott
told the defense attorney.
He added, "it is clear your client still hasn't
learned anything, not one thing."
Earlier in the sentencing hearing,
Miller admitted his client had "a
He reminded the judge
of the legal presumption against the penitentiary
and explained, his client
"made a very, very poor decision that day -
going along with a couple of his
buddies which he no longer associates with."
McWhorter then addressed the
"I just apologize for what I did," he said. "I did the wrong
McWhorter was arrested after law enforcement officials determined
on May 12, 2005, he and two other men, Mark Schaffer and
Spaulding, broke into an unoccupied home in the 900 block of
Woods in Marysville. While in the home, which was under
the three men took a generator, valued at $1,712. The men
sell the generator for $400. The generator was recovered in the
an accomplice. Schaffer and Spaulding have each pleaded guilty
charges associated with the theft.
Assault results in prison time
By MAC CORDELL
A local man has been
sentenced to 12 months of prison for kicking a
Union County Sheriff's
Despite the order, Union County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard
Parrott has informed the defendant he could be out before the new
is even a month old.
Harold Joseph Hall, III, 32, whose court-listed
address is 119 Maplewood
Dr., in Ashley, was sentenced earlier this week to
12 months in prison.
He pleaded guilty in November to one count of assault on
officer, a felony of the fourth degree. He faced as many as 18 months
Parrott ordered the man to spend a year in prison and pay a
The judge says he has reviewed a presentence investigation
"It seems to me...that basically you are going to go in for 30 days
then ask for judicial release," Parrott said.
Hall confirmed that was
the plan. Assistant Union County Prosecutor
Terry Hord said that in exchange
for the guilty plea, the state promised
not to oppose judicial release after
the 30-day stay in prison.
"In looking at everything, assuming you come out
of there with a clear
record at the institution, I am inclined to grant that
judicial release," Parrott said.
Before the sentencing, defense attorney
Wesley Davis said Hall has been
dealing not only with his legal issues, but
also the issues that got him
into legal trouble. Davis said his client has
through the pendency of the case, undergone a drug and
assessment and has begun a domestic violence counseling
"Mr. Hall made a mistake here," Davis said. "He understands the
of what he has done and the seriousness of what he has done, but
opposed to a pattern of behavior, this was a one time bad decision.
is by no means something he has done in the past or plans to do
Hall said he was, "sorry to anybody that was involved in the
Parrott issued his sentence, then chastised the man for
placing him in
"an awkward position," adding that failing to adequately
who assault peace officers is "bad policy" because it does not
act as a deterrent.
"If left alone to my own inclinations, you would serve
a much longer
sentence," Parrott said.
He noted that assaulting a peace
officer breaks down decent society
"No matter what the excuse, it just
shouldn't happen," said the judge.
Parrott warned that if Hall breaks the
rules of his probation even one
time, "you will serve every day."
conviction stemmed from an incident last summer. Sheriff's
called to a Union County address at about 12:58 p.m.,
Friday, Aug. 22, in
response to a domestic violence call. While Deputy
Chad Lee was photographing
Hall's injuries, the defendant, "became
upset, started cussing and yelling at
the deputies," according to the court documents.
Hall continued to curse
and then began threatening to attack the
deputies. At one point, Hall looked
at Lee and threatened to kick him.
"Mr. Hall then attempted to kick Deputy
Lee in the groin," according to
a bill of particulars in the case. "Deputy
Lee tried to avoid the kick
by jumping back, but Hall still kicked Lee's
Outgoing mayor reflects on past four years
"I think it's been a good four years," Tom Kruse said. "We didn't
everything done that we wanted to, but we got a lot done."
Marysville's outgoing mayor prepares to step down, Kruse took time to
on the past four years of leadership.
Kruse said he is proud of the way his
administration tried to prepare
Marysville's infrastructure for the future.
By focusing on the city's
water and sewer systems, along with some of the
annexations that have
taken place, it has contributed to the growth going on
this past year.
The Wastewater Treatment Plant and the future Water Reservoir
are on the
way and combined with the water and sewer master plans, Kruse said
city is prepared.
"Those are the type of things that are going to pay
dividends in the
future," he said.
The mayor said he is also proud of
preparing for the future by renewing
programs to keep the city streets paved
and getting police cruisers
replaced on a rotating basis.
always going to be an issue, Kruse said, adding that his
focus was on being
very aggressive about economic development and being
as efficient as he
"I went into this hoping to improve the quality of life in
Kruse said. "I think I have done that."
His eyes are now set
on a campaign to run for the 26th District of the
Ohio State Senate. He said
he was initially approached to run for the
Senate position by the state
"I don't want to sit down the rest of my life and do
said. "I never actually had the goal of running for the
legislature before. I like local government. I like being close to
people, where you can influence the quality of life of people and see
it in action."
His wife convinced him to keep following his passion for
said. But it is also attractive to be able to stay close to
elected, he could work at the state house in Columbus and come back
Marysville at the end of the day.
First, Kruse said, he wanted to be
sure that he would not be expected to
change his positions on issues
affecting Ohio in order to fit in
politically. Ultimately, he said he was
able to enter into the race on
his own terms.
"I can be who I am and run
for this job," Kruse said. "I don't have to
compromise my principals . I am
what I am."
The running joke is that Kruse will now go door to door in all
counties represented by the 26th Senate District, similar to the
service he conducted which led to his election as Marysville's
He said he does not plan on going door to door this time,
favoring more of a grander plan of attending as many gatherings, held
as many counties, he can.
"As long as I can meet people and explain to
them my positions and what
I stand for," he said.
Kruse also weighed in on
his thoughts about the future of Marysville and
what issues will need to be
addressed over the next four years.
His major concern is the way Marysville's
utilities are dealt with
outside the city. He does not want to see the water
and sewer lines
"exploited to our disadvantage."
"It's going to be the
prime issue the city will face in the next couple
of years," Kruse said.
"There are millions and millions of dollars
sitting out there with
developers. And they can't do anything without
Marysville's water and sewer
He said Marysville is coming close to oversaturation of retail and
city needs to be careful with that.
"We clearly have a lot of
resources here and a lot of opportunity. There
is an abundance of land,"
Preserving the history of Marysville is also important, Kruse
agreed that many cities welcome growth to the point of forgetting
"I think we need to preserve our agricultural
heritage," Kruse said. "We
can have growth and development and still maintain
An important part of that personality, he said is preserving
Uptown District. He thanked city administrator Kathy House for
dedication to this subject.
"If a city doesn't have a downtown that is
vibrant for people to focus
on then it doesn't have an identity," Kruse
Kruse took a few lumps after closing down East Fifth Street at
railroad crossing. But it is not a move that he regrets. He
that it is a mistake for anyone, state or city, to put money
upgrading the crossing. Plans are geared toward reworking the
traffic flow of Marysville's east side. To put money into it now,
mean having to change it all up again later.
At the first of the
year, incoming mayor Chris Schmenk will start her
new position as
Marysville's leader. Kruse said that he has met with her
many times and feels
she will hit the ground running.
He said that Schmenk sat in on all the
internal meetings regarding the
2008 budget. As a result, she was able to
hear what each department needs.
"She is starting with a very good
understanding of the budget," Kruse
said. "She has worked very hard to
educate herself - and we have worked
very hard to accommodate
Performance of "Messiah" will begin Christmas
By KARLYN BYERS
Tonight's production of George Frideric
Handel's "Messiah" will begin
Christmas activities in the Marysville
"Messiah" is Handel's most famous work. It will be performed
Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church.
freewill offering will be taken.
Featured artists will be soprano Erin
Bunsold, mezzo-soprano Susan
Wilson, tenor Benjamin Bunsold, baritone David
Wilson, and Grant
Underwood on the continuo, Caroline Ohnsman on the organ
and Sarah Clark
First performed at Easter, it has become
traditional since Handel's
death in 1759 to perform the oratorio of the
"Messiah" during Advent.
Christmas concerts often feature only the first
section plus the
"Hallelujah Chorus" which is its most famous movement,
information provided by "Messiah" conductor Scott
First English Lutheran Church, 687 London Ave., -- will
Christmas Eve services Monday with a children's program and
According to church pastor, the Rev. Paul Schultz, "Our
activities begin at 4:30 p.m., when children of all ages are
'The Nativity,' an interactive and engaging journey through the
Jesus' birth." He said that the program will last approximately
hour, and concludes, "take this wonderful opportunity to share the
Christmas story with your child!"
In addition, Schultz says that all
are welcome to the evening service
of Holy Communion, which begins at 7:30
p.m., with special pre-service
Christmas music starting at 6:45 p.m. He adds
that this service will be
of the highest liturgical order, and in the
tradition of Christmas
hymns. There will be a short children's time during
worship, so those
attending are encouraged to bring their children with
Schultz advises that all who believe and are baptized are welcome
the Lord's Table for Holy Communion, and indeed, all are welcome
First English Lutheran Church.
Other community Christmas and New
Year's activities include the following:
Christian Assembly, 1003 N. Maple
St. - The choir will present a
Christmas musical during the Sunday 10:30 a.m.
service. There will be no
p.m. worship service Sunday or no youth group or
Sunday school services.
A 7 p.m. Monday a Christmas Eve Communion service
will be held.
First Presbyterian Church, 210 W. Fifth St. - A Christmas Eve
will be held at 7 p.m. Monday and a candlelight service at 11
Marysville First United Methodist Church, 207 S. Court St. -
Eve services will be held at 5:30 p.m. in the Burnside Family
Center for families with smaller children. Featured will
Hands-in-Motion puppets. At 7:30 p.m., a contemporary service will
held in the Burnside Center, followed at 9 p.m. by walk-in Communion
the chapel; at 9:30 p.m. by special Christmas music in the
and at 10 p.m. by a traditional Christmas Eve service in the
Marysville Grace Brethren Church, Navin Elementary School, 16265
Home Road - A Christmas Sunday service will be held Dec. 23 at 10
Sunday school and childcare provided. A Christmas Eve
Service will be held Monday at 6:30 p.m. A courtesy nursery - a
parents and children who need to leave the service - will be
Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, 1033 W. Fifth St. - A
Mass will be held at 4 p.m.; a children's Mass at 6 p.m. and a
Mass at midnight. A Christmas day Mass will be held Tuesday at 10
Trinity Lutheran, 311 E. Sixth St. - A Christmas pageant will
presented Sunday, Dec. 23 during the 9 and 10:30 a.m.
Christmas Eve services will include a family service at 10 a.m.,
birthday party for Jesus at 11 a.m., a traditional service at 7 p.m.,
contemporary service at 9 p.m., and a traditional Christmas Eve
at 11 p.m. A traditional Christmas Day service will be held Tuesday
at 10 a.m.
St. Paul Lutheran Church, 7960 Route 38 - A children's
program will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, with a 10 a.m. Christmas
worship service to be held Tuesday.
Marysville restricts busing
Board also puts renewal, new levy on March
By KARLYN BYERS
In a pre-Christmas meeting that lasted three hours
Marysville School Board members made plans to put two
on the March 4 primary ballot and reduced transportation
routes and stops.
Board members Scott Johnson, Tom Brower, Jeff Mabee,
Bill Hayes and
board president Roy Fraker unanimously voted to place renewal
five-year, 5-mill operating levy which expires in 2008 and a
4.75-mill, five-year operating levy up for voter consideration.
board had the option of replacing the 5-mill operating levy, which
generated more tax dollars, but chose instead to renew it,
which means it
will be collected at a reduced rate. Treasurer Delores
"Dee" Cramer said
Monday night that rate is 4.6 mills for residential
taxpayers and a 4.38-mill
The 4.75-mill operating levy is a duplicate of an operating
defeated by voters in August and November.
"The new dollars are still
essential," Zimmerman said, adding that he
still anticipates 100 to 150 new
pupils within the school district in
the 2008-2009 school year.
the operating levy's most recent defeat in the Nov. 6 general
school district has implemented numerous cost savings
reductions, including increasing pay-to-participate fees
and travel fees,
increasing school lunch prices, and eliminating
positions, athletic drug testing and resource
officers at the middle
Among other cost saving measures is the change in bus routes
enacted Monday night.
Currently pupils living more than a mile away from
the school which they
attend are eligible for busing. Beginning Feb. 4 that
radius will be
expanded to two miles, the state minimum.
By expanding the
radius in which pupils are transported from one mile to
two miles, five fewer
buses will be on the road. This will save between
$45,000 and $50,000 per bus
per year, according to Steve Ader, district
Approximately 800 pupils will be impacted, Zimmerman said.
don't like it," Zimmerman added. "I hate it."
But, he added, by reducing
costs on the services side, reductions on the
academic side can be
Zimmerman also said that beginning Jan. 3, two bus routes will
combined. That will result in a "little longer" ride for some of
pupils affected, he said.
Another cost savings measure adopted by the
board was a modification of
an agreement between the school board and the
Association regarding staff benefits.
the education association agreed to an increase in
insurance premiums paid,
deductible amounts, and employee co-pay, which
he described as
"I can't thank the staff enough," he said.
also honored Hayes, who is retiring after 12 years on the
school board. A
public reception was held in the district board room
prior to the school
board meeting, and Zimmerman presented Hayes, along
with his wife, Lura, who
has served as treasurer of the district's levy
committees, with replica
Zimmerman said Hayes has been "an incredible board
"My biggest and fondest memories of Bill will be is total
especially the planning part," Zimmerman said.
"Bill has been a
partner in saving this community millions, I mean
millions, of dollars," he
"This community has been a great community," Hayes responded. "I've
happy to serve for 12 years."
Plain City plans for housing
By MAC CORDELL
A pair of planned residential developments that would
add nearly 400
homes to the village of Plain City are ready to move
Council president pro-tem Bob Walter, who also sits on the
planning commission, told council Tuesday, that Eagle's
subdivision "is sitting, waiting to move forward as soon as we pass
the zoning code."
"We are just short of that position with Oak Grove,"
Eagle's Landing is an approximately 167 home development planned
newly annexed land at the northwest corner of Plain
Road and Converse-Huff Road. Oak Grove is an approximately
development, to be built in phases over about eight years. It is to
located in the south end of town, west of U.S. 42 near Lovejoy's
Oak Grove may have caught up with Eagle's Landing by the time the
code is passed.
The code has already been presented to the planning
That commission made several changes and passed it along to
council for consideration. Because of village policy, as part
council's adoption process, the code was sent back to planning
zoning to review it and make a recommendation to send it back
Tonight is the planning and zoning commission's public
hearing on the
newly revised zoning code.
The revised zoning code must be
passed before the subdivisions, or any
development in the village, can move
forward. Council has already lifted
its sewer tap moratorium for the village.
The moratorium essentially
halted new development, both commercial and
residential, in Plain City.
The village's planning and zoning commission has
decided to not to lift
its moratorium until council has approved the zoning
Once the revisions are passed, the commission's moratorium
lifted and applications would be reviewed and forwarded to council
The Plain City South Park committee has asked for
from the village council regarding recreation options in
half of the village near the planned developments. Members
meeting several weeks ago seeking direction from council as to
it wanted one centralized park or several smaller parks around the
end. Council said it had envisioned one park, but was open to
possibility of alternatives. Walter asked, "how did the rest of
committee react? Was that well received?"
Kevin Vaugn that is why he
was there to speak to council.
"The majority of the committee, we think that
smaller pocket parks would
be a more viable option," Vaugn said.
"I know that goes against the homework we were given, but can
we go this
direction with smaller parks."
He said smaller parks would promote a
neighborhood feel and encourage
residents to take ownership of the area. He
said it would also be easier
to get donations of small tracts of land. Larger
parks, he said, take
longer to get to and can involve crossing a major road.
He said they
also need more costly additions like parking lots and
"Give us a full concept of what our options are, because I don't
you making g any assumptions about dollars or anything like that,"
Mayor Sandy Adkins.
Vaugn said the group was ready to make a
presentation recommending what
he called "pocket parks."
"I just wanted to
make sure we aren't swinging and missing here," he said.
Walter said a
central south park was still the idea based on what
residents said they
wanted during the comprehensive planning process. He
said parks was just part
of a larger puzzle council was working on to
make the village better.
have really got to look at the village as a whole -where we are now
we are going to be in the future," Walter said.
To answer the committee's
specific question, Walter said, "I don't think
we would flat-out reject an
alternate proposal, but we would like to see
both the primary plan, then an
Wild brawl at fair results in probation
Man set himself on fire; was later
By MAC CORDELL
Despite a drunken fire setting incident and a
brutal beating that
ensued, a carnival worker from the 2007 Union County Fair
will not be
going to prison, at least as long as he stays away from the
Mazin Shamoon, 39, of 713 Smiley Ave., in Cincinnati, pleaded
earlier this fall to one count of aggravated assault, a felony of
the fourth degree.
"I apologize to the county," Shamoon said Monday at his
hearing. "I apologize to this court. I throw myself at the mercy
of the court."
He was sentenced to 36 months of community control and 200
community service. Union County Prosecutor David Phillips said the
has a drug and alcohol problem. Common Pleas Court Judge Richard
Parrott warned Shamoon that any use of alcohol over the next three
would change the sentence from probation to prison.
"I want you to
understand that if you use alcohol, or alcohol is found
in your possession or
in your home, you go to prison for 17 months,"
Parrott warned the man.
understand," Shamoon responded.
The defendant was also ordered to pay $2,957
in restitution to the
victim for hospital bills and $500 to the county for
the court-appointed attorney.
Sentencing came moments after Shamoon
explained to the judge the unusual
set of circumstances surrounding the
crime. He said that he and the
victim are friends and co-workers for a
carnival ride company.
In the morning hours of Wednesday, July 25, the
defendant, the victim
and several others were drinking and having a barbecue.
apparently doused himself with lighter fluid and then lit it.
said this is not the first time the victim has played with matches.
said the victim is now forced to live in a tent as he has twice
down bunk trailers provided by the ride company.
"He is a pretty
wild individual," the defendant told the judge. "I have
seen him do some
pretty wild stuff."
Being his friend, Shamoon said, he decided to extinguish
the blazing victim.
Because of the man's past, "nobody else was going to
help him," Shamoon said.
Once the defendant had extinguished the fire, he
said the victim started
the fight by punching him in the back of the
Defense attorney Michael Streng said his client's decision to put
the fire, "made (the victim) mad and the fight ensued."
Shamoon, "attempted to defend himself, but through the haze
of the evening
and the haze of alcohol, he responded excessively,"
Shamoon hit the victim in
the face and knocked him down. Once the victim
fell, Shamoon continued to
kick and punch the victim.
At 3:45 a.m. sheriff's deputies at the fairgrounds
responded to an
assault call. The victim was taken to the emergency room of
Hospital of Union County, where he was diagnosed with a fractured
bone in his face.
"In this case, Mr. Shamoon understands he overreacted
and he submits to
the court, it just won't happen again," Streng said at the
hearing. Streng said his client has no prior felony convictions,
added, "the hammer of prison hanging over his head," which would
him any additionally needed incentive to stay out of trouble.
presentence investigation Shamoon wrote, "I hate what I've done."
originally indicted on felonious assault, a second-degree
by as many as eight years in prison. The victim
refused to cooperate with
prosecutors who dropped that charge and
reindicted him on the aggravated
"We felt it was appropriate to continue prosecution in light
of the fact
that the victim was injured, police did respond and there was a
bill at the hospital of almost $3,000," said Phillips.
said neither the fight or the felony conviction has changed his
"He is still my friend," Shamoon said.
NU board hears
presentation on 'No Wrong Door'
By CHAD WILLIAMSON
At Monday night's
meeting, the North Union Board of Education learned
about the new "No Wrong
Door" focus of the Union County Council for Families.
coordinator for the council for families, said the
organization's new focus
is to ensure that a family seeking help will be
directed to all appropriate
agencies. Once the needs of the family are
determined any affiliated agency
can direct it to the help it needs.
Rock also spoke specifically to the needs
of Union County children and
families. She said her organization has found
that 40 percent of Union
County children entering kindergarten have had no
time in preschool. She
said this makes school readiness a priority of the
She said poverty also seems to be a pressing need as is alcohol and
The board also heard a report from Becca Smith and Casey Bish,
in the high school's Project Lead the Way program.
brought the board up to date on the various projects students
so far this year. The engineering-based class poses
problems to students and
charges them to solve them.
Smith said the class is very much like a college
course in that students
are faced with a challenge and then set out on their
own to complete the assignment.
In other business, the board:
update on the high school renovation project from
.Learned that Monika Shaffer was named the VFW Teacher of the Year
.Set the board finance committee meeting for Thursday at
.Set the next regular board meeting for Jan. 14 at 7 p.m.
5-0 to approve a resolution authorizing participation in the
Educational Council's Natural Gas Program for a five
.Accepted $500 from Richard Parrott for the Parrott
.Approved revisions and additions to several district
.Voted 5-0 to employ Amy Huber on a one-year limited teaching
for middle school language arts.
.Voted to employ Melanie Hammons
on a one-year limited contract as an
overnight substitute for grades
.Approve lists of certified and non-certified personnel.
to approve a resolution declaring intent to proceed with
election on the
question of a tax in excess of the 10 mill limitation.
.Voted 5-0 to renew
membership in the Ohio School Boards Association for 2008.
board member Kevin Crosthwaite at the president pro tem for
UCSO introduces newest drug dog
It was an animal house at the Jerome Township meeting hall Monday
Union County Sheriff Rocky Nelson introduced the county's newest
drug dog - JT.
The meeting of the Jerome Township Trustees was a fitting
introduce the dog as the trustees actually paid for the dog.
children of Jerome Township were given the opportunity to submit
for the dog.
"We thought the best thing to do was put a committee
together to go
through those entries," Nelson said.
The committee, made up
of Nelson, Rose, Lt. Jeff Frisch, Trustee Ron
Rhodes, and residents Charlotte
and Mike Gibbons, found a favorite among
the entries. Actually they found the
same name three times.
"JT," said Rose. "That pretty much sums it up. That
was pretty much
perfect for the dog."
The three youths, Brandee Floyd,
Melissa Noel and four-year Bryson Darr,
who submitted the name JT were all
honored at the meeting. The three
were each given a Union County Sheriff's
Office K-9 Unit shirt, a gift
certificate to Der Dutchman, a lapel pin from
the sheriff's Office and a
$50 savings bond.
"We didn't count on having
duplicate entries," said Rhodes. "But it was great."
He said the township
received 50 name entries.
"I want to thank you again, publicly, for
supporting the canine
program," Nelson told the trustees.
Nelson said the
canine handlers put as much work into choosing the dog
as they did the
"They took a whole day to interview the dog," Nelson laughed.
clarified, saying, "there was a lot that went into making sure we
the best dog of the group."
He said it seems the correct choice was
made. Nelson said the dog has
been on the road about four weeks. In that
time, JT has been used 60
times, including 40 traffic stops. The 15-month-old
German shepherd has
helped make 17 drug arrests including three
"That doesn't count how many DARE graduations and demonstrations he
already been part of," Nelson said.
Rose said the dog has the perfect
temperament for a working police dog.
"What is great about JT is he loves
kids," Nelson added. "He loves
people, but when it is time to work, he loves
to go to work. He is just great."
Fairbanks looks at change for
By KARLYN BYERS
The mother of a child who will be enrolled in
kindergarten at Fairbanks
Elementary next year spoke to board members Monday
night, asking them to
implement an all-day, every other day kindergarten
Sandie Miller told board members at the regular December meeting
research she has conducted indicates that children transition better
first grade and test scores tend to look better early on
kindergarten pupils spend more time in the classroom.
develop better social skills and teachers don't feel as
pressured in an
all-day environment, she added.
Board president Kevin Green suggested
Fairbanks Elementary Principal
Mark Lotycz look into the matter and report
back to the board.
Board members also participated in a "clicker"
by Fairbanks Elementary teachers Debbie Hegenderfer
and Kim Bailey.
"Clickers" are wireless remotes that allow pupils to click in
response to questions posed by their teachers. A receiver is
into a laptop computer, and pupils aim their clickers at the
which transmits their responses to the computer. Responses are
shown on a Smart Board, or in the case of Monday night's
on a classroom wipe board.
Teachers get immediate feedback
as to what percentage of the class has
the correct answer and also can
pinpoint pupils who might need attention.
"The kids love it because it is
a game," Hegenderfer said, adding that
the clicker system works especially
well with shy pupils who shrink away
from class participation.
is used mainly with third and fourth graders, although
Craycraft said senior citizens participating in a
recent school grandparent
day were "having a great time" using the new
Hagenderfer said she
uses the clicker system probably three times a
week, while Bailey said she
probably uses the system weekly.
In other business, the board:
Jennifer Picklesimer, substitute secretary, substitute
educational aide, and
Joshua Barker, one-year contract as full time custodian.
supplemental contracts for Mitzi Noland, art club advisor, and
science club advisor, for the 2007-2008 school year.
.Approved Morgan Cotter,
winter and spring weightlifting coordinator,
and Chris Luke, middle school
.Approved the Ohio School Board Association membership fee
of $2,953 for
the 2008 calendar year.
.Authorized the compensation of
Joetta Shellabarger and Dolly Wilson,
kindergarten teachers, two days sub
teacher pay for extra parent/teacher
conferences in the evenings of Oct. 3,
Oct. 9, Jan. 22 and Jan. 29.
.Authorized the compensation of Lisa Studenmund,
middle school guidance
teacher, $3,000 for being the school coordinator for
of Date Analysis for Student Learning for the 2007-2008
.Approved an overnight trip for the high school wrestling team
Richmond Heights in order for the team to wrestle in the Dec. 21 and
Richmond Heights Invitational.
.Approved family medical leaves for
Michelle McCartney, elementary
intervention specialist, from No. 19 until her
doctor releases her to
return to work, and Darla Hall-Barrett to begin the
date after her sick
and personal leaves end and until her health permits her
to return to school.
.Directed Craycraft to notify technology coordinator
B.J. Thaman of his
contract expiration at the end of this contract year and a
his re-employment at the March 2008 regular meeting. This is
procedure for administrative positions, Craycraft
.Authorized the immediate termination of Denise Black, full-time
driver, for the inability to maintain proper bus driver
.Approved the resignation of Jennifer Picklesimer, preschool
aide, effective Dec. 21.
.Accepted a $100 donation from Cub
Scout Pack 158 to be used as needed
by Fairbanks Elementary.
non-public pupil transportation reimbursement to Mary Dick of
to Oakstone Academy.
.Appointed Green as president pro tem from Jan. 1 until
the date of the
2008 organizational meeting.
.Set the 2008 organizational
meeting for Jan. 14 at 7:30 p.m.
.Approved a change to the classified salary
schedule. All new personnel
hired Dec. 17 or after for the position of
custodian will be compensated
at the same salary as the "new transportation"
on the current salary schedule.
.Entered into executive session to discuss
personnel. No action was taken.
Snow leads to 68 crashes
Sheriff's department alone received 57 reports of
accidents in Union
By RYAN HORNS and MAC CORDELL
snowplows were a staple of the roads most of the weekend and
it seems the
cold, snowy weather that marked the early part of 2007 will
make its mark on
the end of the year as well.
While regions such as Michigan received 10 to 15
inches of snow, Union
County was not hit as hard.
Sunday at 7 a.m., the
city water department documented 3.5 inches of
snow and .7 inches of melted
snow. Today there was only a trace of
Sheriff's deputies reportedly faced a mountain of calls
relating to 57
crashes over the weekend, public information officer
Chris Skinner said.
Despite the number of crashes, the majority did not
end up with injured
As he heard the information from the deputy patrol office this
Skinner said he knew it was going to be a high number, but was
by the actual figure.
Of the crashes, Skinner said, sheriff's
deputies helped out on 21. Six
of those crashes resulted in injuries.
Marysville Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol was kept busy as
a total of 17 crashes within its Union, Delaware and Marion
area. Union County alone saw six of those crashes.
OSP dispatchers reported
only one crash, but it was a head-on between
two cars. On Saturday at 3:55
p.m. driver Jonathan Shane, 48, of
Richwood, was in a Dodge Dakota headed
westbound on Route 347 at Route
37, near the Delaware County line.
Amanda Mitchell, 27, of Delaware, was in Saturn Ion headed
eastbound on Route
347 when she lost control in the snow, went left of
center into the oncoming
lanes, and struck Shane's vehicle head-on.
Mitchell and her passenger Eric
Newton, 35, of Delaware, were both
injured in the collision and transported
to Grady Memorial Hospital for
care. The reports did not specify whether or
not Shane had been injured.
Marysville Post Commander Rick Zwayer said
fortunately the oncoming snow
storm was predicated early on. His post was
able to prepare ahead of
time by sending out a media notice giving tips for
drivers to carefully
navigate the icy roads. He also made sure plenty of
troopers were on the
roads to help.
"What we usually look at adjusting is
personnel," Zwayer said.
The protocol is to put as many troopers patrolling
the roadway as
possible, he said. But to counteract overtime costs,
numbers are often reduced after the snow
Zwayer said that in addition to emergency calls for crashes over
weekend, dispatchers also deal with a great amount of calls
motorists asking about road conditions.
"That can take up a lot of
time," he said.
Union County Engineer Steve Stolte said that keeping the
went as well as can be expected.
"I guess it went OK," said
Union County Engineer Steve Stolte. "As
always, the wind wrecked havoc out in
the rural areas, but I think the
roads look OK. We had people on and off all
Ohio Department of Transportation spokeswoman Nancy Burton
Stolte's concerns about the wind.
"Our biggest challenge is the
blowing wind," she said. "We can get the
snow off the roads, but especially
in the rural areas like Union County,
the wind puts it back there very
Stolte said that despite the roads being relatively clear, he
motorists to use caution when driving.
"Because of the
temperatures, there is quite a lot of ice and that's not
likely to go away
until we get some sunshine and warmer temperatures,
but if everyone slows
down a bit, everyone will be OK. I know I was out
driving the roads, and you
can go about 45 on almost any road."
Zwayer also hoped to put the word out
that just because the snow storm
is over, it doesn't mean that the roadways
are safe. Melted snow can
"It makes roads just as
treacherous," Zwayer said. "And the temperature
at night can make it
difficult to treat, even with salt.
Burton said ODOT will continue to monitor
the progress of the road crews
through the day and will assess the need to
bring crews in overnight.
Stolte said that the snow storm did not hit county
salt stock piles too hard.
"We have plenty of it right now," he
Stolte also had praise for local snowplow crews. He said the county
17 routes to plow and just 20 drivers.
"That makes for some long
hours," Stolte said. "They always do a great
job. They work a lot of hours,
but I just can't say enough good about
the work they do."
Visual clutter in Union County?
Commissioners, development director discuss
how much retail is too much
By MAC CORDELL
The growing number of retail
establishments was the topic of
conversation for the Union County Board of
"There is definitely some retail issues," said Union County
development director Eric Phillips.
Discussion began surrounding
future plans for the Wirchanski property in
Jerome Township at Post Road and
Route 33 on the east side near Hyland Croy Road.
"This is a primo piece of
land with great visibility," said Phillips.
The problem, Union County
Commissioner Tom McCarthy said, "Dublin's land
use plan and their vision, are
not consistent with what the township
wants and what the land owner wants to
Phillips said property owner John Wirchanski has a plan for the
that includes largely retail uses, which does meet the current
zoning for the land.
"We need retail, but we need office and commercial
more than we need
retail," Phillips said.
Part of the problem, he told the
commissioners, is retail, "creates a lot of traffic."
"With office and
commercial, traffic is heavy during certain times of
the days, but with
retail, it is pretty constant," Phillips said.
The city of Dublin is paying
all $3.5 million of a $42-million
interchange project which is not in Dublin,
but rather in Union County.
McCarthy said that while Jerome Township trustees
are on board, the
retail space does not match the vision of Dublin, which
funding the interchange project should buy them some say in
development of that area.
Since retail expansion would cause
additional, unplanned for, traffic,
road improvements would need to be
"Who foots the bill for that?" wondered McCarthy. "Who is going to
pay for that?"
Phillips also wondered about the appearance as drivers
County, calling the property "our main gateway."
thing you are going to see on 33 is asphalt, asphalt, asphalt
and big box
store, big box store, big box store," said Phillips.
He said retail
development adds "visual clutter."
"I would rather see the landscaping of a
building than the parking lot
and a bunch of cars," Phillips said.
concerning to the commissioners is what Phillips called "the retail
Union County already has the highest percentage of vacant retail
in central Ohio. With retail planned for the Wirchanski property,
Gate, Jerome Village, Bayly Pointe and other locations,
wondered if the county could support that growth.
rooftops does it take to support all this retail?" McCarthy asked.
the million dollar question," Phillips responded. But added,
"soon, we are
going to have too much retail."
Phillips said there is some concern about the
success of retail stores
on West Fifth Street and retail pressure has already
affected stores in
Coleman Crossing. He said many of the stores have been
with their sales" and "have not met their numbers."
added that from an economic development standpoint, the sight
of vacancies in
the Coleman's Crossing area is, "kind of nerve wracking."
Phillips said, many retail facilities will end up empty and
need rezoned or
"Retail's life longevity is not there like office or
Phillips told the commissioners.
He specifically mentioned
the Wirchanski property.
"What's the life of this center?" Phillips asked.
"At some point it is
going to whither away."
He said it would be much
easier to redevelop if there was a single
leaseholder rather than several
"They will get this worked out," McCarthy said. "But it will
interesting to see what happens."
Tom Kruse to seek
By RYAN HORNS
Dozens gathered this morning for Marysville
Mayor Tom Kruse's
announcement that he will be entering the political race
for the state
senate seat in the 26th District.
outgoing mayor, said that he decided to bypass plans
for retirement in order
to be a part of change in Ohio. But in order to
begin, he said he needed to
make sure his family would support him
before embarking on eight or nine
months of a fierce senate run.
Kruse's son, Tom Kruse Jr., said that his
father asked his family and
ultimately took the advice of his wife when she
said "This is who you
are. You need to do this."
Ohio State Senate
Democratic Leader Teresa Fedor of Toledo, was on hand
to speak of Kruse's
commitment to Union County and to the Ohio
Senate needs a leader like Tom Kruse who understands how the
support local government and better meet the needs of citizens
towns, cities and rural areas," Fedor said. "I am thrilled to
have such a
strong candidate with a great track record of service
running to represent
Kruse said that after eight years previously serving as
mayor in the late 1980s and early 1990s, he can recall being
Union County's state senator once.
He said while serving as
mayor again these past four years, the area's
state senator did not visit
until two weeks ago.
"Small towns are the backbone of Ohio," he said.
the rest of Ohio leaders ignoring small towns, the state has lost
industry, and he said small towns have been forging ahead
without help and
have been succeeding. This can be seen in the recent
growth of Marysville and
Union County. Jobs have come in and industry
He said in 2004
there were $48 million in construction jobs going on
locally. That figure
kept going, with another $47 million in 2005 and
$38 million in 2006.
didn't get any help from state legislators," Kruse said.
He said that places
like Marysville and Union County have development
which could "grind to a
halt" because of simple problems such as not
having enough natural gas
provided to residents. After speaking to the
area's state senate officials,
he realized that "they had no idea."
Kruse said that while looking into other
districts he learned that it is
a problem across the whole state.
the Ohio Republican Party has had total control of running the
ship for the
past 16 years, and it still has not come up with a way to
funding for education.
As a result, Kruse said it has put people on fixed
incomes in trouble,
having to pay high property taxes. Everyone is competing
for the same
dollar and "your pockets are empty."
"These are the kind of
things that motivate me," Kruse said. "I am
impressed with the democratic
team we have right now in the senate and I
am impressed with Governor
Strickland. I want to be a part of that team."
Fetter said that the state
of Ohio legislature needs people with experience.
"Kruse has that
experience," she said.
"Change is coming to the Ohio Senate and it will focus
on the small
towns and rural areas that are forgotten and ignored by the
legislature," Kruse said. "I will focus my campaign and service in
Ohio Senate on the issues that matter most to the people of the
District: Economic development, job creation/retention and
Filmmaker interviews North Lewisburg veterans
Charlie Oder of North Lewisburg has a story to tell and Larry
wants to hear it.
Oder, 86, is a World War II veteran and
Cappetto is a documentary
filmmaker who feels the stories of U.S. veterans
need to be told,
especially to today's youth, to convey that freedom isn't
"The heart and soul of what I'm doing with our veterans is to honor
thank them for what they've done for our country," Cappetto
Cappetto hails from Grand Junction, Colo., and has traveled
since 2002 collecting more than 500 interviews of war
His work has been featured on the CBS evening news with Katie
and he has completed six films focused on significant events in U.S.
history including D-day, Iwo Jima, Vietnam and the Korean War.
taking my work into the mainstream of society," Cappetto said.
residents of North Lewisburg became aware of Cappetto's
plight, they made it
their business to bring him to them so that various
local war veterans could
"Unbeknownst to me, the residents of North Lewisburg took it
themselves to pay my expenses," Cappetto said. "I've never had
community raise money to have me come."
Cilla Adams, 26, is one of three
area coordinators who have helped to
bring Cappetto to North Lewisburg.
Adams, along with Jinny Clemons and
Sharon Boyles, have worked to educate and
solicit their community.
Adams said the community has really responded to the
cause by raising
"We started talking to people about
it, and the more we talked about it
the more interested the community
became," Adams said.
While Cappetto is in the area, he will conduct private
five World War II veterans at Cherry Arbors on
He will then give a presentation at Triad High School at 9 a.m.
Friday. Veterans and the public are welcome.
Oder said he doesn't mind
being interviewed for the documentary.
"I can remember practically
everything. I just can't remember all the
specific dates," he said. "I'm glad
I served, but I wouldn't want to do it again."
Oder served on 30 missions
from April 26 through Aug. 1, 1944 with the
eighth air force. He was in the
service for three years and three days.
"Freedom comes at a price, and we
lost a lot of good people," Oder said.
"I think the children should know what
went on and what happened."
Cappetto said statistics show the country is
losing 1,500 World War II
veterans every day.
"I think the older guys can
sense the urgency of the times and the need
to open up," Cappetto said. "They
are an invaluable resource, and in
time there will be no veterans to tell the
In his films, Cappetto uses no narration and no editorial comment.
voice of his work comes completely from the veterans themselves.
stations around the country have broadcast Cappetto's films as he
with individual stations one on one.
"This is really a grassroots project
that I'm taking around the country," he said.
Ironically, Cappetto himself
has never been in combat and felt led to
start the project after he wanted to
know more about his father and
uncle's war experiences in Korea and World War
"There is a lot of good coming out of this project,"
Cappetto said, "I'm
very honored to work with these vets, and they are my
role models and heroes."
Adams said she is glad to have had the
opportunity to help bring
Cappetto to North Lewisburg.
"One of my favorite
quotes talks about those who go into the service are
willing to give up all
their tomorrows so that everyone else can have
today," Adams said. "It's been
a lot of hard work and effort, but every
veteran is well worth it."
more information about Larry Cappetto and his work visit
www.veteranshistory.org or e-mail
Cappetto at email@example.com.
Train still in need of toys
From J-T staff reports
There is a shortage of
toys in the area this year and the Union County
Community Care Train is
hoping to correct that as as soon as possible.
On Thursday Care Train founder
Dave Laslow said that the 2007 charity
auction raised $94,000, but it was
discovered that there is still a
shortage of donated toys for 80 to 90 local
He said that Union County residents have until Dec. 18 to
donate as many
toys as they can for these children at select drop off points,
Ace Hardware, Burger King, Honda of Marysville and Roby Auto
Laslow explained that the charity auction cash donations
divided up between the many local families in need. But the number
toys given to the charity were less than anticipated.
"We are behind on
toys," Laslow said.
He said the Care Train tries not to not buy new toys for
because it uses all the money from the auction to distribute to
"It's not that the community didn't do its job," he
He said the issue with the Care Train is that the more people who
about the charity, the more families are discovered to be in need. As
result, the auction went from helping to make holidays happen for
children, as opposed to 800 the previous year.
Hamburglers enter guilty pleas
Suspects allegedly robbed local
By MAC CORDELL
A pair of the three individuals accused of
robbing a local fast food
restaurant have pleaded guilty.
However, the man
with the gun has been scheduled for trial early next year.
19, and Ashley N. Matson, 22, both of 214 Saddlebrook
Court in Delaware, each
pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of
aggravated robbery and two counts of
kidnapping, all felonies of the
first degree. The pair are accused of robbing
a local McDonald's restaurant.
Matson's defense attorney Cliff Valentine
told the judge he thought a
plea deal had been reached, but several members
of the woman's family
had told him there was no deal. Valentine went right to
the source and
asked the defendant.
"Do you wish to go forward with the
documents we executed withdrawing
your not guilty plea?" Valentine asked the
"Yes sir," she confirmed.
In exchange for the guilty pleas,
prosecutors dropped a pair of charges
- complicity to aggravated robbery and
theft - against each of the defendants.
Prosecutors also agreed to
recommend a three-year prison term for each
of the defendants. Trejo and
Matson both faced as many as 41 years in
prison if they had received the
maximum sentence for all charges they
were indicted on.
Common Pleas Court Judge Richard Parrott said he wanted to
see a presentence
investigation on both defendants.
Trejo is set for a sentencing Jan.
Valentine asked Matson if she wanted to just move forward
"That way you can be transferred to (Ohio
Reformatory for Women) in
Marysville where you will be able to get treatment
for your medical condition today."
She said she would waive the
Parrott told the woman that she had the right to that investigation
that she should not simply waive it because of a medical
Matson said she understood, but wanted to move forward
The defensive attorney said his client was "a young girl who made
"We are hopeful she will be able to make much better
decisions in the future."
He added, "she obviously got involved in a
situation which she shouldn't
have been in with some people she shouldn't
have been with."
The judge sentenced her to three years in prison. She may
judicial release in 180 days.
She was also ordered to pay
restitution; however, the exact amount has
not yet been
Matson, Trejo and another man are accused of robbing the
restaurant on Route 31. Matson was an employee of the restaurant
That evening, she left a rear door open then called Trejo and
man to let them know she had done so. Trejo drove the other man to
restaurant. The codefendant, wearing a dark hood and mask, entered
"Once inside (the other man) brandished a firearm,
demanded money and
removed money from the office of McDonald's manager,"
according to court
documents. "(The other man) then ordered two McDonald's
closets at McDonald's in order to escape."
then left the restaurant, using the open back door.
Trejo was waiting for him
and the pair fled with between $2,500 and
$3,000 from the restaurant.
police began an investigation immediately following the robbery,"
County Prosecutor Dave Phillips. "It was focused (on Matson,
Trejo and the
other man) relatively soon after."
The codefendant has been scheduled for
trial Friday, Feb. 8, 2008.
As part of their sentencing agreements, Matson
and Trejo must, "testify
truthfully regarding all codefendants."
codefendant, who is charged with aggravated robbery, complicity to
robbery, theft and two counts of kidnapping. All charges
except the theft are
first-degree felonies. If convicted on all charges,
the codefendant faces 56
years in prison because each of the charges
carries a specification accusing
him of having the gun during the
Man sentenced for
failing to register as sex offender
By MAC CORDELL
over post-prison requirements has led to another two
years behind bars for a
William Alan Jenks, 36, of 826 Watkins Glen, pleaded guilty
one count of failure to register, a felony of the third
Jenks was apparently released from an Indiana prison in March 2006
placed on parole. As part of that parole, Jenks asked his
officer for permission to leave the state in July and come
Marysville. That permission was granted.
According to Union County
Municipal Court documents, Jenks began
reporting to authorities in Union
County for his parole. However,
according to the charges, Jenks failed to
notify Union County
authorities that he is a convicted sexual offender,
required to register
in the county of his residence for the remainder of his
"There was some confusion, at least in his mind, when he came over
what his reporting requirements were, registration requirements
defense attorney Cliff Valentine told the judge.
Common Pleas Court Judge Richard Parrott ordered a
Valentine said his client would waive that
right because, "he'd like to go
ahead and start serving his time."
Assistant Union County Prosecutor Terry
Hord informed the man that any
timeframe on reporting requirements would be
on hold while the defendant is in prison.
Hord told the judge nothing
happened in Ohio that would result in his
classification as a sexually
orientated offender of any type. He added
that Indiana would not likely need
to reclassify him.
Parrott warned Jenks that his conviction could be a
violation of his Indiana parole.
"This could result in further activity in
Indiana," Parrott said.
According to the Indiana Department of Corrections,
Jenks was ordered to
serve six years in prison following a 1991 conviction in
Indiana, for criminal confinement; eight years in prison for a
conviction on child molestation stemming from a relationship with
15-year-old girl; five years in prison following a 2001 conviction
burglary during which the victim was stabbed; and one year in prison
January 2006 convictions for resisting law enforcement and neglecting
dependent. According to Union County Municipal Court documents, three
Jenk's prior convictions involved class A felonies, Indiana's
serious level of offense.
In October, police were called to a fight
in the area of Route 31, near
U.S. 33. At that time, Jenks was identified as
a victim of the alleged
fight. After police released Jenks, they performed a
records check which revealed his past as a sexual offender
requirement to register.
Marysville Police Department Assistant
Chief Glenn Nicol and Detective
Doug Ropp went to 752 Meadows Drive and found
Jenks. He informed law
enforcement he had been living in Marysville for about
two and a half
months. While Jenks gave police the Watkins Glen address,
enforcement officials believe he was living at the property on
Drive. That property abuts Marysville High School and Middle
properties, though investigators do not believe Jenks targeted
property because of its proximity to the schools.
"We believe it was
simply for convenience to his mother and girlfriend," said Nicol.
offenders in Ohio, and in much of the nation now, are classified
tiers depending on their offense. They must register with the
office in their county of residence several times a year, as
well as with the
sheriff of any county they work or go to school in. The
sheriff's office must
be notified prior to any change of address. Even
if an offender is visiting
another county or state for more than three
consecutive days, they are
required to notify the sheriff in their
county as well as the county they
intend to visit.
A portion of the law in Ohio became effective July 1, and a
not be effective until January 1, 2008.
For a list of sexual
offenders registered in Ohio, go to
nabbed after theft of numerous items from Wal-Mart
From J-T staff
A Dayton couple was arrested today after stealing thousands of
of merchandise from Marysville's Wal-Mart Supercenter.
Police Department reported that Frank D. Emberton, 32, and
Jessica N. Storm,
31, both of Dayton, were arrested and jailed for
felony theft after it was
discovered they had taken $4,300 worth of
clothing, DVDs and electronic
equipment from the store located on
Coleman's Crossing Boulevard.
pair was stopped by an alert Ohio State Patrol trooper on U.S. 33,"
reported. "The items were located in a large tub in the vehicle."
Marysville Post of the OSP reported this morning that the two were
1:03 a.m. as they were heading east on U.S. 33 near U.S. 42
apparently weaving across traffic lanes. Storm was cited for
suspension and failure to stay in marked lanes.
Marysville Assistant Police
Chief Glenn Nicol credited the trooper for
He said that
the suspects reportedly acted suspicious when the trooper
questions, which led him to investigate the car further and
inquire about the
large blue tub of items in the back seat.
"Their stories were not quite
matching up," Nicol said.
The trooper was suspicious of the sheer number of
items in the tub and
decided to detain both people and notify the Marysville
Department, Nicol said. Officers then checked the Wal-Mart
security surveillance cameras which revealed the pair committing
He said the cameras show the pair loading the items into the
the store, then at 12:55 a.m. they left through a fire exit
the southwest corner of the store.
"It's pretty cut and dry,"
Case never makes it to jury
Judge rules in favor of motion that stops trial
at midway point
By MAC CORDELL
The case against a local man never made it
to the jury of nine men and
three women who had spent more than half a day
listening to evidence.
The problem was, the state didn't have enough evidence
against Roger A.
Couch, 40, of 10422 Columbus St., P.O. Box 13, Middleburg.
that, Union County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard E. Parrott
the charges against Couch midway through the trial.
been accused of having possession of a weapon under
disability. Because Couch
has a 1998 felony drug abuse conviction, it is
illegal for him to knowingly
acquire, have, use or posses any firearm.
He was pulled over by Union County
Sheriff's Deputy Chad Lee for
speeding. Couch was arrested for not having a
license. When deputies
searched his vehicle, they found a small .22-caliber
revolver inside a
tackle box in the truck.
During the trial, prosecutors
called Larry LeMaster to testify. LeMaster
said he and Couch had been
traveling together in the truck. He testified
the gun was his, as was the
tackle box. LeMaster said Couch wouldn't
have known the gun was in the
Assistant Union County Prosecutor Terry Hord presented a video
from the dash camera of one of the deputies' cruisers at the scene.
the video, deputies are speaking with the defendant's wife, who
called to take the truck home.
Prosecutors said the wife told deputies
the gun and tackle box belonged
to Couch. However, because prosecutors played
the video through a laptop
computer, positioned on the other side of the
courtroom from the jury,
it was difficult to hear and nearly impossible to
Lee told the jury Couch did not tell him about any weapons in
When the state rested its case against the man, defense
Valentine asked the judge to dismiss the charges.
granted that motion," Parrott explained to the jury. "I took it from
folks because I don't think there is enough evidence."
He said it, "is a
The judge said there was evidence that there was a gun in
"Even so, I don't think there is evidence sufficient
enough that he even
knew the gun was there," Parrott said.
he was pleased the judge recognized the weakness of the state's
"This was the right result," said Valentine after the trial. "This
should have never been tried."
Valentine said he intended to call
LeMaster to testify, but he didn't
need to when the state did it for him. He
said LeMaster told law
enforcement officials the gun was his. He then
reaffirmed that with a
pair of written statements.
"But the prosecutor
refused to do the right thing and dismiss the case."
Prosecutor Dave Phillips said he feels there was enough
evidence to send the
case to the jury. He said it is difficult to prove
what someone actually knew
or should have known.
"Knowledge is always proved by circumstances, because
it is impossible
to look into someone's mind."
Phillips said he feels the
circumstances in the case - the fact that
Couch said he was going fishing,
combined with Couch's fishing license
being in the tackle box and his refusal
to tell deputies who owned the
gun - indicated Couch knew about the
"We were surprised and somewhat disappointed by the court's
Phillips said after the trial. "We felt there was at
circumstantial evidence that he knew the gun was there. We thought
was sufficient evidence to survive a Rule 29 motion."
attorneys almost always make a motion to dismiss, or Rule 29
immediately after the prosecution rests. It is called a Rule 29
because it comes from Ohio rules of criminal procedures, Rule 29
judges to dismiss one or all of the charges, "if the
evidence is insufficient
to sustain a conviction."
While the motion is made in nearly every trial,
Valentine said judges
"rarely grant," motions to dismiss.
qualified that by saying, "I have been on this bench (Common
Pleas) 17 years
and I was in the municipal court 10 years before that.
This is only the
second one I have granted in all that time."
The judge said prosecutors get
to choose what cases go to trial.
Defendants do not have that choice. Rule 29
allows a judge the
opportunity to stop a case, saving time and money for
court, the jury
and most importantly the defendant in a meritless
"It is simply a rule that has been given in the law, which allows
conservation of efforts and money in a case where there is nothing
"A case can be held, in essence, not to be of merit, due to a
evidence on a particular element or elements of that charge," the
Unionville Center Council approves flooding fix
At its regular meeting Tuesday night, Unionville Center Village
approved hiring John Eger and Son Excavating to install a storm
tile at the south end of town that has been plagued with
following heavy rain.
The new tile will be installed in the alley
between Railroad and Cross
streets replacing and extending the current tile
that begins at Fourth
Street. It will run approximately 540 feet toward the
abandoned railroad bed.
The projected cost is $4,869. Work is expected to
The Charles W. Fairbanks Family Festival received an allocation
$1,000 in the budget discussion that continued from last week's
meeting. Final budget approval will be at the first meeting in
Council had an opportunity to see the Union County Chamber of
Salute to Leaders Award received by the Charles W. Fairbanks
Festival in November.
The Pleasant Valley Fire District will
inspect the siren on The Green to
make certain that it is in working order.
There had been reports that
the siren did not sound during weekly
Santa Claus greeted many children from the community prior to
Resident are reminded that an open seat on council remains.
interested should contact mayor Denver Thompson, any council member
attend the Jan. 8 council meeting.
Present at the meeting were mayor
Denver Thompson, clerk-treasurer Tracy
Rausch and council members Ron
Griffith, Mary Lou Morris, Phil Rausch,
Brenda Terry and Peggy
Sheriff's department increases traffic enforcement over
From J-T staff reports
With the holiday season now in full swing,
the Union County Sheriff's
Office set a goal to have no fatalities or injury
crashes caused by
drunk driving during this special time of the
Public Information Officer Chris Skinner said that what is new
this year's enforcement schedule is that it is running throughout
day. He said normally deputies would focus on the late night
after people may be leaving parties or bars for home. But there is
added worry about drivers leaving daytime parties and driving
"We are aware of the growing number of office parties and
of the drivers
who drink and drive after these parties," Sgt. Don Eubanks of
County Sheriff's Office said. "In addition to the impaired driver
will be focusing our enforcement efforts on driving behaviors that
lead to crashes and injury. We will be focusing on speed,
passing, and as always we will have zero tolerance on individuals
wearing their seat belts."
This is the time of year for parties,
Skinner said. When families get
together to celebrate the holidays, and it is
also a time for business
to reward their employees for a year of hard work
and loyal service. He
said some of those parties include alcohol consumption
to some degree
and the sheriff's office wants to remind people that it is
if not deadly, to drink and drive." It is also against the
"Plan ahead for your celebration," Union County Sheriff Rocky
said. "Serve 'mocktails' or other non-alcoholic drinks and if you
going to drink, choose a designated driver that will make sure
in the car is buckled up."
The overtime enforcement operations
are possible due to grants that were
distributed to the Union County
Sheriff's Office from the Ohio
Department of Public Safety and the Governor's
Office of Highway Safety.
Richwood will not try for new money
Council opts to put renewals on
By CHAD WILLIAMSON
Richwood Village Council members scrapped plans
to seek additional money
early in 2008.
At Monday night's regularly
scheduled council meeting members of council
voted unanimously to seek only
renewals of an operating levy and park
levy in March. If approved by voters
the renewals would not result in an
increase in residents' tax
Council had previously decided that the operating levy would be put
as a replacement, meaning the 3.2 mills would be collected based on
current value of homes in the village.
Council has also discussed
allowing a 1-mill park levy to expire and
putting a 1.5-mill park levy before
voters. The additional money would
have potentially been used to rehab the
beach at the Richwood Lake.
But council's plans changed based on recent
action of the North Union
School Board. The board opted to put a 5.5-mill,
levy on the March primary ballot. The money would fund
classrooms, a 700-seat auditorium and a new auxiliary
locker room facility.
Council members said they felt voters
in the area would not be receptive
to so many additional issues seeking
additional tax money.
"I think this (seeking renewals) is better for the
member Von Beal said.
In other business,
.Voted 6-0 to accept $2,230 from the North Union Veterans
project. The money will be held in village coffers for use on
.Heard a concern from an Ottawa Street resident over illegal
snowmobile activity in the area of his home. The resident inquired
constructing a fence in the area and was told village
Larry Baxa would investigate the proposed location.
work sessions for January to go over the village policy manual
.Adopted a temporary budget for 2008 with appropriations
million and revenues of $1.6 million. About $180,000 in village
funds will be used to cover the shortfall.
.Learned that the
Richwood Garden Club and the Progressive Buds garden
club have each recently
donated work on village property.
.Observed the swearing in ceremony of Beal,
councilman Scott Jerew and
mayor Bill Nibert.
ODOT recommends change
for Milford Center
By RYAN HORNS
What does a one traffic light town do
when it could lose its only traffic light?
At Monday night's Milford
Center Council meeting, officials began facing
this dilemma after the Ohio
Department of Transportation recommended the
village replace its traffic
lights at the intersection of Mill and State
streets in favor of a flashing
red light and four stop signs.
As resident Steve Van Dyke said, it's
significant for a town to lose its
only traffic light.
"We don't want to
become less than a one traffic light town," he said.
"I joke with people all
the time that we actually have two traffic
lights. They are just hanging on
the same wire."
Council members ultimately decided to postpone any action on
for the next three months, while they hear opinions from the
County Sheriff's Department and other residents in the
Mayor Bob Mitchell said that the issue came up because the current
is more than 40 years old and needs to be replaced. However, the cost
significant. It could be $5,000 to fix the lights, or only $300 to
for the red flashing light to go up in its place.
Since it is the
village's responsibility to pay for the light, he said,
ODOT recommended the
flashing red light as a less expensive remedy.
Mitchell said the people at
ODOT also thought the change might help the
flow of traffic through town and
prevent backups during rush hour times.
Van Dyke said taking away the
light would give people even less of a
reason to stay in town.
wrong to go with a flashing red light," he said. "There is no
reason to stop
in Milford Center other than for coffee at CJs."
Van Dyke added that once the
village gets rid of the current light, it
would be too costly if they ever
wanted to bring it back. They could
never have one again.
In the long run,
he said, it makes more sense to have it fixed. If the
light has lasted 40
years, one payment would have it working for another
member Chris Boerger said it wouldn't be such a bad idea to get
rid of the
light. He said there has long been a problem with people
speeding through the
town's only intersection. It's become a serious safety issue.
I'm in favor of whatever slows people down," he said.
Union County Sheriff
Rocky Nelson was on hand at the meeting to discuss
Milford Center continuing
its contract for Public Safety Officer
services into 2008. Village council
voted to agree to the extension and
passed the resolution.
traffic light debate, Nelson said, he did not see the
reason for taking away
the light. There has never been a safety issue at
the intersection and a
four-way stop would only create more noise, with
truck drivers having to use
their "jake" brakes.
Sheriff's Corporal Matt Warden added that he has been
serving the county
for 17 years and not once can he recall a crash at the
corner of Mill and State streets.
Nelson suggested the option of placing a
device that displays to drivers
how fast they are going. It usually helps
slow traffic down.
He said other townships and villages have been requesting
and he has been looking for a way to purchase more so that the
can be placed in towns permanently.
Boerger said the speeding
became worse after Milford Center's speed
limit was increased from 25 mph to
35 mph. He would like to see it go back down.
Councilman Jeff Parren said
that the lack of retail business in town may
have caused the speed limit to
get decreased by ODOT. They need to work
on increasing retail in town and
perhaps they could get their 25 mph status back.
prepares new policy on bullying
By CORINNE BIX
The Jonathan Alder School
Board plans to approve a policy on bullying in
January as mandated by the
Ohio Department of Education.
Superintendent Doug Carpenter presented to the
board a first draft of
the policy being considered which is meant to be all
addressing cyber-bullying that could result in "a detriment to a
and orderly school environment."
Steve Votaw, board member, suggested
that some language be changed to
ensure a firmer school stance.
suggested wouldn't be "tolerated" be changed to "strictly
prohibited" in the
example of cyber-bullying.
Carpenter reminded the board that the safe school
hotline is posted in
all the school buildings and in student handbooks. The
anonymous hotline allows anyone to make school officials
aware of any
information that would threaten the safety of the school as a
Alder will finally have "school zones" after petitioning the
Department of Transportation over the past several years.
district has wanted to post "school zone" signs along U.S. 42 where
buildings are located.
Carpenter said he credited recent local media coverage
attention to the problem.
The district met with ODOT during
the recent building of the high school
and was told by the agency that after
conducting routine traffic surveys
there wasn't traffic to warrant a
The district will now have school zone signs posted along U.S. 42
require reduced speed limits from 7:15-8 a.m. and from 2-3 p.m.
4-1 vote, the board agreed to send a letter to the Madison County
Health and the Ohio EPA reiterating concerns with the proposed
mega farm to
be located within 1.3 miles of Monroe Elementary. Linda
Over the last few months, the board has heard presentations for
against construction of the 5,200-acre Oreleton Dairy Project.
letter will not take sides but will let the regulatory state
that the board puts the safety of district students first.
will also be copied to area legislators and the Ohio
Agriculture who have already been contacted by the
district on the
Dr. John Adams reported that phase one of repairs to the roof at
Elementary is almost complete. Phase two will involve checking all
and windows ensuring that they are properly sealed to avoid any
Carpenter said after the meeting that the district has
with its attorneys and a consulting firm to ensure that the
done correctly and that all the work is covered under a
The Monroe Elementary building opened in 2002.
presented a clock to outgoing board member Jim Philips,
commending him on 14
years of service on the school board.
"It's been an easy thing to serve with
this board and these
administrators," Phillips said. "It's always been a
Carpenter said Phillips has been a longtime contributor to the
and his efforts have helped students.
"I've always respected the
way you've done business as a board member,"
board meeting will be Jan. 14 at 7 p.m.
In other news, the
.Accepted the resignations of Sue Palmer as track coach for the
season and Boyd Harbage as assistant football coach.
employment of Josh Yantes, volunteer boys basketball
assistant; Tara Beachy,
PAVE tutor for the remainder of the 2007-2008
school year; Brynn Craney,
fifth grade spelling coach; Beth Kimbleton,
sixth grade spelling coach; Tammy
Stalnaker, declamation coordinator;
Kim Sinkhorn, outdoor education director;
Cheryl Brockman, student
council advisor at Canaan; Janet Johnston, student
council advisor at
Monroe; Chad Palenshus, head track coach.
outdoor education camp staff Tammy Stalnaker, Terri Stahl,
Jerry Smith, Raina
Miller, Suzanne Lintz, Shannon Gavrilescu, Beth
Kimbleton, Cheryl Brockman,
Tom Vargo and Darryl Beachy.
.Approved Sonya Moser, Erin Carr and Jennifer
Stewart as classified substitutes.
.Approved Judith Kathary, Charles
Longworth, Sheryl McNary, Denise
Congleton, Mary Alice Blizzard, Erin Carr
and William White as certified substitutes.
.Approved a request for
maternity leave by Karen Dietry for 12 weeks.
.Approved a request by Marcia
Butler for unpaid leave of absence
beginning Dec. 20 through April
.Approved various in-lieu-of transportation requests.
Alder football team and coaching staff for making
playoffs once again this
year and recognized the All-Ohio selections.
.Commended Paul Brunner and
various band members for their community
service on Dec. 1 for the Christmas
Under the Clock event despite
difficult weather conditions.
Paul Brunner and Anne Gorman for an outstanding
.Commended the JAJHS students and Gorman for their
participation in the
Veterans Day program at Tolles Career and Technical
.Commended Canann middle school students and staff for raising
for the Plain City Christmas baskets.
Plain City completes
By MAC CORDELL
The long awaited revised Plain City zoning code
has finally been
finished and the convoluted acceptance process has
The revised zoning code was presented at Monday night's meeting of
village council. Council president pro-tem Bob Walter said the
process, from concept to completion, has taken him and others
The code has already been presented to the planning
commission made several changes and passed it along to the
for consideration. Because of village policy, council must now
ordinance to formally adopt the code. That adoption process
sending it back to planning and zoning to review it and make
recommendation to send it back to council.
"It is kind of like going
into an empty store and having to take a
number because that's what you're
supposed to do," said Walter. "That's
Mike McCarthy said he will draft the ordinance to
begin the process. The
planning and zoning commission will hold a public
hearing on the new code at
its next meeting, Wednesday, Dec. 19.
Passage of the revised zoning code is
important for development in the
village. Council has already lifted its
sewer tap moratorium for the
village. The moratorium essentially halted new
commercial and residential, in Plain City. The village's
zoning commission has tabled its motion to lift the sewer
Walter said the commission decided not to lift its
moratorium or even
review applications until council has approved zoning code
Once the revisions are passed, the commission's moratorium could
lifted and applications would be reviewed and forwarded to council
Lt. Jim Hill informed the council the village police
department had been
approved for a second phase of a technology grant. Hill
said the grant
was applied for with the understanding the village would need
25-percent match. However, grant administrators evaluated the
application, approving it at the 10 percent match level. The
Department of Justice grant will supply the police department
hardware to increase the internet capabilities in the cruisers.
second-phase grant gave the village $10,000. The first phase of the
also gave the village $10,000 at the 10-percent match level.
$2,000, we have been awarded $20,000 worth of
equipment," Hill told the
He credited Sgt. Tom Jaskiewicz for installing all of the equipment
"It has really been a hands-on project for him that would
have cost us a
lot of money if we would have needed to outsource that," Hill
Councilman Chris Johnston said having an officer with that kind
technical know-how was an asset to the police department and
Council also voiced their approval for a request made by the
County Chamber of Commerce. Mayor Sandra Adkins said she was
by Chamber Executive Director Eric Phillips. She said each
has been asked to increase their dues from $3,100 to $3,500
"I think they just find themselves in a place where they need
funding," said Adkins.
She noted the chamber has recently increased
its level of service to the village.
"They have done a lot for Plain
City," Adkins said. "More so than they
ever have in the past."
he was not opposed to helping the chamber with its financial issues.
have gotten more than we have given, so I am not opposed to paying
additional $400," said Walter.
Care Train raises $94,000
By MAC CORDELL
Mission accomplished is the
message of Union County Community Care Train
founder and president Dave Laslo
"We met our goal," Laslo said of Saturday's charity auction
McAuliffe's Ace Hardware. "All along, we wanted to raise at least
apiece, for each of the families we are helping this season and we
over $94,000 raised by the end of the event. The families will be
care of, so we, the community, did a great job."
Laslo said the Care
Train has 723 families registered for help.
"I think we will probably have
more by the time Christmas is here," Laslo said.
He said the group will
distribute food and toys to the families Dec. 18,
and while the deadline has
passed fo famlies to register for help, "we
won't turn down anyone, as long
as they meet the requirements."
Laslo said there were several last-minute
donations made, giving the
charity more than 150 items to be auctioned off,
including two cars.
"All of it was donated by individuals and businesses in
and the county, which is kind of neat," Laslo said.
president said between 400 and 500 individuals and businesses signed
bid on items. He said the large crowd, at the event and those
listening on television or radio, were captivated by the auction.
people tell me they couldn't stop watching," Laslo said. "It is a
for a great cause."
Those still wanting to help can still donate toys at any
firehouses in Union County or Honda Marysville. Laslo explained all
money raised goes to purchase food for the families. Toy and other
are donated by those who "adopt" the families. Toys donated are added
the purchases of those adopting families.
"It is truly a community
event," Laslo said. "We give what we get. If
the community gives $80,000, we
give away $80,000. If the community
gives $100,000, we give $100,000. Same
with the toys."
He added that toys can be donated until the Dec. 18
Families needing assistance this Christmas, or anytime of
the year, can
contact Community Action at 642-4986.
Last year the group
helped 735 families, which included 1,242 children
and 235 senior citizens.
The nearly-day-long auction raised over
$100,000 last season.
"By no means
am I disappointed by this year," Laslo said.
Last year was special, Laslo
noted. He said with 2006 being the 20th
anniversary of the charity, the
auction was well attended.
"With today's economy and gas prices high, it is
great to get $94,000,"
Laslo said. "I think we are just blessed. We are so
fortunate to live in
our county. The community really came together. I was so
County seeks to improve transit services
From J-T staff
Over the past several months, the Board of Union County Commissioners
collaboration with the Union County Agency Transportation
(UCATS) has been developing a coordinated public transit/human
The plan will ensure that Union County is in
recently-enacted federal legislation that requires projects
through Job Access Reverse Commute (JARC), New Freedoms or
Specialized Transportation Program for Elderly Individuals
Individuals with Disabilities are derived from a locally
coordinated public transit/human services transportation action
The plan, according to legislation, is to represent a
comprehensive strategy for public transportation service delivery
identifies the transportation needs of individuals with
older adults, and individuals with limited income, and lays
strategies for meeting these needs and prioritizes services."
program provides formula funding for projects that assist
and eligible low-income individuals in accessing jobs
employment-related activities. It also supports reverse
transporting those in urban areas to suburban
employment opportunities. The
New Freedom program provides formula
funding for new public transportation
services and service alternatives
beyond those required by the American with
Disabilities Act (ADA),
including transportation to and from employment. The
Transportation Program provides nonprofit agencies and other
organizations funding for vehicles to assist in meeting
transportation needs of the elderly and persons with disabilities.
draft of the coordinated plan is now available for public review
The draft plan describes the plan development process and
inventory of current transportation options available to
residents of Union County along with identification of current
projected gaps and overlaps in transportation services.
importantly, it includes prioritized action strategies to fill the
eliminate the overlaps in transportation service and
functions and provide additional, cost-effective
service to target
populations. Those strategies include:
. building on Union County's strength
in collaboration, communication
and "hands-on" experience with coordinating
agency transportation services.
. continuing supporting UCATS while
exploring other organizational
models to expand general public transportation
options including rural public transit).
. developing a fixed route bus
line through the community that has business support.
. increasing general
public resident awareness of/appreciation for how
to obtain access to Union
. increasing participation/discussion with employers and
officials ? assure they are informed and involved.
defining how to benefit employers.
. investigating connections from rural
areas to Marysville and Dublin.
. developing work-related access to Magnetic
Springs and Richwood
. further exploring options to
connect with transportation providers in
Some of these
plan strategies could be viable as soon as spring of next
additional expansion in the fall.
Plan coordinators see building further plan
participation as one of the
biggest issues they need to address. They are
encouraging all private
companies, public agencies, providers and funders,
especially those in
Marysville and the rest of Union County to join the
They feel this is the best way to assure efficient use of
based on a needs-driven delivery system. Those interested in
participation with the plan are also encouraged to contact the
Group at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling
The public may view the plan at the Union County Commissioners'
the UCATS office at 18000 Route 4, Suite D128, in Marysville, or on
Senior Services website at www.ucseniors.org, available through
Friday, Dec 21.
The draft plan can also be emailed upon request. The
encouraged to review the plan and provide any comments to the
Group at email@example.com, or by calling
Man found guilty in 23 minutes
Richwood resident gets five years for
By MAC CORDELL
Just 23 minutes after the jury retired to
deliberate the fate of Gerald
Keeton, it returned with a verdict -
Keeton Jr., 40, of 109 W. Blackgrove St., in Richwood, was convicted
the jury on one count of felonious assault.
Following the jury's
verdict, assistant Union County Prosecutor Terry
Hord told the judge about
prior conviction for Keeton. Hord said Keeton
served prison time for the 1999
felonious assault charge.
"He has a history," Hord said. "He hasn't been out
Hord explained the 1999 conviction followed an incident at a bar
Keeton broke a beer bottle, then used the jagged broken bottle to
the victim in the throat.
Hord recommended a five or six year
Defense Attorney Cliff Valentine said he felt a two or three
sentence would have been more appropriate.
"Quite honestly, we
believe this was an altercation that could have been
avoided but wasn't
unfortunately," Valentine said.
Keeton thanked the jurors for their time,
then asked the judge for
leniency. He said he is trying to help raise his
"I would be happy to make this right," Keeton said. "I am just
you not to lock me up forever."
The judge said he remembers the
defendant's first felonious assault.
"Here you are, back again, with a beer
bottle," Parrott said.
The judge noted that in addition to the prior
felonious assault, Keeton
is currently charged with his fifth count of
operating a motor vehicle intoxicated.
"That's not to mention your driving
under suspensions and other things," Parrott said.
The judge added he has
signed several civil protection orders against Keeton.
"That tells me you
are a habitual offender," Parrott said.
He added, "this goes back to your old
pattern of drinking and drinking
and drinking and you get ugly when you are
drunk. I am telling you it has to stop."
Parrott said a failure to take
responsibility is another pattern of Keeton's.
"You don't take ownership
of what you do," Parrott said. "You get drunk
and you want everyone to excuse
The judge said when Keeton does get caught, he tries to
Parrott said he was concerned, "somebody's going to get
Parrott ordered the man to spend five years in prison. A
sentence is eight years. Keeton can apply for judicial release in
"Today, you probably don't agree with me," Parrott said. "But
I've probably given you a break you probably don't deserve."
judge said he granted the break, "simply because if you are ever
going to do
anything to rehabilitate yourself, you will do it in five
you will change your ways."
The sentencing came after a day of testimony
where nearly none of the
witnesses could agree on what they say.
victim told the jury that during the early morning hours of Aug. 26,
gone to the Back Alley Tavern in Richwood following a call from
who said she was being harassed. The man said he went to
the bar, dressed in
his pajamas, to pick up the daughter. He said he was
trying to get the
daughter into his car when Keeton hit him in the face
with the bottle. He
said he then tried to defend himself until the fight
was broken up.
man's wife, who went to the bar with her husband to pick up the
offered similar testimony. She added that during the
altercation, she was
sprayed in the face with pepper spray or mace by
The man's doctor also testified. The physician said the man's face
fractured in a manner that was consistent with being hit in the
with a bottle. He said the victim needed a pair of surgeries to
the fractures and that pain would continue for quite some
Former Richwood Police Officer Gene Collins said Keeton called 911.
officer went to Keeton's house.
"He (Keeton) said he didn't want
anything done, he just wanted it
reported," Collins said.
The officer then
to the home of the victim. Collins said the victim had
"a knot" on the left
side of his face and his glasses were broken. He
also testified the victim's
wife had an eye that was clearly irritated.
Collins said he gave the victim
the opportunity to rest and the
defendant, along with the witnesses, to sober
up. He testified that he
asked all of them to come to the police station in
the morning and fill
out reports. The victim and his family did go to the
station to make a
statement. Collins said the defendant did not, nor did most
witnesses with him.
The officer did say the victim did not mention
a beer bottle the night
of the incident, but that he received "conflicting
Several of the defendant's friends and family members testified
the incident. Each of them told a different version of events, but
of them said the victim was the aggressor.
"He (the victim) charged at
him (the defendant) and went like this,"
said the defendant's sister,
standing to make a wild punching motion.
She said the victim actually punched
her brother in the back of the
head. Keeton, she said punched the man, "once
or twice to get him off him."
"He was forced to defend himself with his
fists," the sister told the jury.
A friend of the defendant's testified in
an orange prison jump suit. He
said he didn't see much of the fight, but did
see both men swinging.
Hord let him read from a statement he made earlier. In
the friend wrote he saw the two men arguing.
"Then I saw
(the defendant) take the first swing at the guy," Hord read
The friend said that just meant he didn't know who threw the
The defendant elected to testify, telling the jury he knew
going to be trouble.
"He swung at me immediately when he come up
on me," Keeton said of the victim.
He said he defended himself, punching
the man, "a good three or four
times because he probably hit me that many
The defendant said he never hit the victim with a bottle.
members were not allowed to hear about the man's prior criminal
because trial rules prohibit that.
During closing arguments, Hord said it
didn't really matter if the
fractures were caused by a bottle or a fist. He
also said intoxication
is not a defense.
Military bands to perform
From J-T staff reports
The Union County Community Concerts
Association will present a joint
concert of two National Guard bands, the
122nd Army National Guard unit
from Toledo, and the 555th Air National Guard
Band from Columbus.
This will be a first-time event for the two bands to play
on the same stage.
The concert will be held Sunday at 2 p.m. at the
Marysville High School
auditorium. It is free to the general public. Tickets
distributed, which will allow early seating until 1:45 p.m. After
all people remaining in the auditorium lobby will seated as
For more than 50 years, the Ohio National Guard's 122nd
Army Band has
been a staple of the musical tradition of the United States
Ohio. As one of the largest National Guard bands in the nation,
122nd is able to utilize its resources to play dozens of concerts
year. Citizens, soldiers, and other musicians have agreed that the
Army Band is one of the finest groups of its kind in the
according to a Friday press release announcing the bands'
The History of the Air National Guard Band of the Great Lakes,
known as the "Triple Nickel," dates back to the 1920s. The band
known then as the 148th Infantry Band and was based in downtown
In the early days of World War II, the 148th was combined with
other smaller bands to form the 37th Ohio Division Band. This
served in the Pacific theater during the war.
In the latter part of
1945, the band returned to permanent status at
Fort Hayes in Columbus. When
the Air Force was made a separate service
in 1948, members of the "Old 148th"
sought permission to organize an Air
Force Band in Toledo, and on June 30,
1948, the 555th Air Force Band,
Ohio Air National Guard, was born.
next program in the 2007-2008 season of the Union County Community
Association will be "Quattrocelli" cellists ensemble. Mixing
the serious and
the light, Quattrocelli will appear in the high school
The season will conclude April 16 with "Revolution"
City officials try to squash rumor of
deal with DublinJerome Township
Jerome township businessmen oppose purported sale of city
water and sewer lines
By RYAN HORNS
A rumored hand-shake deal between
Mayor Tom Kruse and the City of Dublin
to sell Marysville's sewer and water
lines south of U.S. 42 became a
topic of debate Thursday night.
came up as part of Marysville City Council's second reading
hearing on three resolutions to adopt the Wastewater Master
Master Plan Update, and Water Master Plan.
Three members of the Industrial
Parkway Business Association spoke
before council, specifically to ask the
City of Marysville to continue
providing water and sewer services to the
Route 33 Corridor in Jerome Township.
Business owner John Wirchanski said
he has a $39 million development
project slated to go on a portion of his
land located in Jerome Township.
"There have been rumors that things might
change," he said. "We enjoy
the relationship we have with Marysville and hope
that it will continue."
Wirchanski said he heard Kruse made a deal to sell
and water lines south of U.S. 42 to The City of
"We're against any such sale," he said.
Wirchanski said that the
business owners deserve better treatment, after
so many years. He called the
sale a "personal vendetta against Jerome Township."
Fellow business owner
Glen Hochstetler said that he hoped Marysville
could continue to provide
water/sewer services to them. He presented
council with a petition signed by
55 business owners in the Jerome Township area.
"We request that you
remain as our service providers," he said.
Kruse said rumors of the sale of
the lines are false.
"I have not agreed to sell water and sewer," he
There are only open discussions going on to look at every
available to do what is best for the city of Marysville, Kruse
"I have no agreements with anyone," he said. "I will evaluate
Ultimately councilman John Gore asked that the three
tabled until June 12. This would give incoming mayor Chris
to decide how to pursue Marysville's future in the Jerome
33 Corridor area.
Kruse said that he is fine with the
resolutions being tabled for the new
mayor. But he stressed that whether it
is Union County Commissioners, or
business owners in Jerome Township, these
are all entities which have
their own priorities toward what is in
Marysville's best interest. He
asked that council keep those priorities in
Gore said he already had issues with the wastewater and water
plan resolutions before this debate came up. He said he previously
questions about the plans, but was never given any answers by the
which completed the study.
Gore said he also heard rumors that Kruse
had made a deal with Dublin
regarding the sewer and water lines.
know if there was a handshake deal with the City of Dublin or
This morning councilman Dave Burke said that there was no official
made between Kruse and Dublin. He said Kruse can not enter into
agreement to sell anything of the city's without it being approved
by Marysville City Council.
"Even if he sold it for $1," Burke said.
"It's impossible without
Jerome Township trustee Bob
Murkle said that the rumor of the sale is
not new and reiterated that he is
not in favor of that possibility.
"We want to keep Union County in Union
County and not annex it," he said.
Murkle said the area is too valuable
economically and that is why Dublin wants it.
In other news
. Council passed an ordinance to implement the city's
. Councilman John Marshall said that the
Marysville Frozen Nose 4-Miler
is scheduled for Jan. 12 and will start at 9
Accident kills one
From J-T staff reports
The Ohio State
Highway Patrol Marysville Post is investigating a fatal
crash which occurred
on Route 4 in Champaign County Thursday afternoon.
At 1:14 p.m. , driver Earl
J. Alexander, 77, of El Paso, Texas, was
killed after he was southbound on
Route 4 in a 1993 Honda Accord and was
struck head-on by a northbound 1998
Dodge Ram pick-up truck driven by
Paul Zizzo, 52, of Woodstock.
investigated and have determined the direction of travel
of the physical evidence in the crash. A witness on
the scene had previously
reported that the Dodge pickup was southbound
on Route 4.
collision, the Honda came to rest in the southbound lane of
Route 4. The
Dodge slid off the east side of Route 4 and stopped along
The right front passenger in the Honda, Diep T. Alexander, 61, also
El Paso, and Zizzo were both seriously injured and taken to Miami
Hospital by medical helicopter.
Mechanicsburg and Pleasant Township
medics responded to the scene.
Alexander was pronounced dead at the
The crash remains under investigation.
OSP commander asks for
driver caution during winter weather
From J-T staff reports
Ohio State Highway Patrol branch had a busy time dealing
Throughout Wednesday's snow storm, troopers on the roadways
13 crashes in Union County.
Dispatchers said there were more
drivers that went off the road that
troopers helped, without official reports
Patrol commander Rick Zwayer said because snow is now a problem
roadways, and more snow is expected, he offered a few tips or
"We've seen a lot of failure to yield (crashes) and a lot of
sliding off the road due to excessive speeds," he said.
asking drivers to slow down on ice, follow vehicles at a
further distance and
to come to a full stop at signals.
Zwayer also said that drivers should
always plan ahead, perhaps leaving
more time to reach destinations so that
they do not feel inclined to
speed. It is also important for drivers to allow
other vehicles room to
change lanes and be wary of their turning signal
Board certifies election results
Plans in motion to split Allen Township
By MAC CORDELL
While the November election is finally complete,
and the presidential
primary nearly three months away, the Union County Board
of Elections is
not taking the holiday season off.
"You hardly have a
chance to breathe from one election, before we are
getting ready for the next
election," said Karla Herron, director of the
Union County Board of
Herron said the board of elections finalized the election earlier
"We now have everything certified," said Herron.
November general election, 32 percent of registered voters
Board of elections official Gary Wallace said the turnout,
"was a little
lower than average," for an off year general election.
The board conducted a
pair of recounts Tuesday, however Union was not
the primary county for either
of the elections. No Union County only
elections required recounts. Following
the recount, both elections were
"exactly the same for Union County," Herron
Franklin and Delaware County recount results, to be combined with
Union County recount, were not available at press time. The
still in doubt involve the Dublin City Council race for the third
large seat and the Delaware /Union Governing Board of Education race
the second of two seats.
In the Dublin Council election, Richard S.
Gerber led Julie Hubler by 10
votes before the recount. In the governing
board of education race,
Robert E. Cape led M. Brad Reynolds by 57 votes
before the recount.
With the presidential election coming March 4, elections
have much to do to prepare. One of the biggest changes will
Allen Township. The township, which in the past has been one
will be split. Residents living east of Bear Swamp and Wilbur Roads
be in Allen Township precinct one. Residents living west of the
Swamp-Wilbur Roads line will be in precinct two. While the
will be split, both will vote in the Allen Township
Herron said splitting the township into two precincts was simply
matter of numbers. The state mandates a precinct have a maximum of
voters. Allen Township currently has 1,467 residents registered to
"Allen Township has grown considerably," Herron said. "We know with
influx coming in for the presidential primary, it will probably put
over 1,500 so we are splitting that."
She said the Allen Township
building will have additional poll workers
and maps in an effort to make the
split as smooth as possible.
"We will have some extra help out there for this
election," Herron said.
She added that all 32,000 voters in Union County
will be getting a little extra help.
The board will be mailing each
registered voter in the county a postcard
during the first part of January.
The card will remind voters of the
primary election date, type, precinct and
Allen Township isn't the only area of the county where
officials expect a rise in registrations.
Herron said during the
last presidential election 5,000 residents
registered to vote. Over the last
four years, she estimated voter
registration has increased by about 20
"We are getting geared up," Herron said. "We are expecting a
coming through for the presidential primary. We are trying to get
as best we can."
One of the preparations the board is making is the
additional voting machines.
Election officials reminded 17
year olds that they might be eligible to
vote in the March election, as long
as they will be 18 by November 4.
Voters under 18 will not be permitted to
vote for issues or central
Herron also wanted to remind
residents of a few dates. Voters may
request and absentee ballot through
March 1. Issues to be included on
the ballot need to be certified at the
Board of Elections office by
Thursday, December 20 and candidates must be
certified at the office by
close of business Friday, January 4.
already have a whole file full of people who have filed for the
She added that just one issue has been filed.
Voters must be
registered for the primary election by Monday, February
4, with absentee
voting beginning February 8.
Care Train auction to be held
From J-T staff reports
The Union County Care Train Committee has
been preparing for this year's
21st auction event, to be held Saturday from 9
a.m. to 3 p.m. at
McAuliffe's Ace Hardware.
As Union County continues to
grow, so does the number of families,
children and senior citizens in need of
help during the holidays.
Community support for the event has once again been
high, according to
organizers. Families are provided food vouchers so that
all members may
have an enjoyable holiday meal. Money raised from the wide
auction items provides this service.
A preview of some of the
items available in this year's auction include
two tickets to Bruce
Springsteen & the E Street Band, tickets to Ohio
State University men's
and women's basketball games, Columbus Blue
Jackets tickets and from the
Kroger Company, 10 tickets and use of a
suite for an OSU hockey game.
Chapman Ford donated a 42-inch LCD television and Nintendo Wii for
enthusiasts. Auction sponsor Marysville Honda and Marysville
donated two Honda generators to be auctioned separately.
Also up on the
auction block are two vehicles, a 1989 Buick LaSabre from
Chevrolet and a 2001 Dodge Ram pickup donated by John
and caterers also have contributed, including food
for 40 from Rick's Grill,
prime rib dinners from the Olde Town Inn,
pizza, wine and holiday wine
glasses from Donatos Pizza and hors
d'oeuvres for 20 from Heflin
Keeping with tradition, the Care Train live Auction will be hosted
Care Train Founder Dave Laslow and longtime supporter Mike
Assisting with the live auction will be community member and
Drop-off places for toys are located at Burger
King, Donatos, Honda
Marysville, McAuliffe Ace Hardware and any Union County
All toys collected throughout this season and food vouchers
distributed to families Dec. 18 from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Dutch Mill
House on Route 31.
The auction will be televised for Time Warner
Cable subscribers, as well
as broadcast on 1270-WUCO radio.
information on the Care Train of Union County and how to hop on
the Web site at www.caretrain.org.
officials object to OPWC decision
By CORRINE BIX
The village of North
Lewisburg council agreed Tuesday night to protest
against the Ohio Public
Works Commission and its decision to not fund
any projects in Champaign
County for 2008.
The OPWC District 11 is siding with fellow counties within
jurisdiction, including Union and Greene, that Champaign has
more state funding than neighboring counties.
Andy Yoder, village
administrator, said that although funding across the
district may be
disproportionate, Champaign is being unfairly penalized
for putting good
projects together that score well and that meet all the
criteria for OPWC
Yoder presented a letter to council that will be shared at the
County Mayors Association meeting Dec. 12. The letter asks the OPWC
reconsider its decision because it will impact promised funding
municipalities in Champaign County in the coming year.
business, council voted unanimously to give 4 percent pay
raises to each of
the seven village employees. The total cost of the
increase was not
immediately available. This is the standard raise
awarded to village
employees each year.
Council also voted to accept the temporary budget as
presented by fiscal
officer, Diane Davis. The total budget is approximately
The village plans on scheduling a work session with the
Champaign County Fire District (NECCFD) the second week of
The NECCFD requested the work session last month. The majority
council members agreed that a proposal would first need to be
as to what would be discussed at the work session before a date
The NECCFD will submit five questions and three will
be discussed during
the work session.
The village will use Community
Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds from
2007 and 2008 to complete the
bridge over Spain's Creek to the multi-use path.
The park rest room
project originally to be funded by CDBG funds will
instead be funded locally.
The rest room project has gone out to bid
three times under the CDBG program
with bids ranging about $40,000.
The village believes that by using local
funding and local contractors,
the rest rooms can be completed at a
significantly lower cost.
Mayor Dick Willis took time to formally bid
farewell to council.
"It's been an honor and pleasure to be your mayor for
the past four
years," Willis said.
Willis has served the village since
1972. Jason Keeran was elected as
the new mayor in November and will
officially take office on Jan. 1. He
will be sworn in Dec. 31 at 1 p.m.
during a special council meeting.
The next regular council meeting will be
Jan. 8 at 7 p.m.
In other news:
.The November village activity report from
the Champaign County
Sheriff's Office was eight traffic citations, two
warnings issued for
traffic violations, 17 incident reports, 13 cases of
assistance given to
citizens, 19 arrests made, five civil and criminal papers
follow-up investigations completed, four instances of juvenile
one civic activity and two auto accident reports taken.
received information from Residential Administration Inc. in
regard to the
purchase and turnover of HUD homes within the village.
County gets first snow of season
By RYAN HORNS and MAC CORDELL
County residents awakened this morning to the first snow of the
several inches blanketing their yards.
But local street crews were
"Everything is going pretty good," Marysville Streets
Tracy said this morning. "We just have to educate all the
how to drive in the snow again."
Roads in the county, "are
getting there," said Union County Assistant
According to the Weather Channel, a severe weather alert snow
has been issued until 4 p.m. today for regional counties,
Union, Logan, Delaware and Franklin.
"The snow will continue
across the region through the morning hours,
tapering off from west to east
during the afternoon. Total snow
accumulations of two to four inches are
expected," the report stated.
The snow advisory indicates some travel
difficulties and the possibility
of snow-covered roads and limited
visibility. Caution should be used
while driving and people should allow
extra time to reach their destinations.
Stauch said road crews hope to
have roads cleared by late afternoon.
"They are hoping to have the snow off
the roads in four or five hours,
so by rush hour, if we have a rush hour
around here, it will be mostly
cleared up, as long as the wind doesn't blow,"
From comments he has heard from drivers coming into the city for
today, Marysville roadways are better off than most right now. He
preparations for the snow fall started Tuesday, as trucks sprayed
salt, or brine, onto city streets throughout the day.
county road crews, with 17 plows, have been on the job since
"They were watching the forecast like everybody else," Stauch
"When we talked to the guys yesterday at quitting time, they were
sure it was going to hit. We told them to go home and get some rest,
be prepared to be called in the middle of the night and sure
that's what happened, so they were ready."
Tracy said that snow
equipment and vehicles remain in working condition.
He said just after 1
a.m. crews started coming in to get started. A
total of nine salt trucks are
on the roadways and three men are
operating pick up trucks for clearing snow.
The workers will keep at it
until about 3:30 p.m. when they should be
replaced by fresh crew members.
"We'll run 16 hours straight if we have
to," Tracy said. "But I think
the snow will let up before then."
note that high winds are expected to hit the area later in the
day, so crews
may be on the lookout for snow drifting back into roadways.
Emergency Management Agency director Randy Riffle said that
to be fine this morning in terms of safety.
"There have been some minor
incidents with cars in ditches," he said.
"But it's actually been pretty
Stauch reminded drivers to be cautious around the snow plow
"Give the snow plows some room and just be careful driving around
Stauch said. "Be aware they are out there doing their job. We will
doing it as quickly as we can. A lot of people want to scoot around
plows, but that is not always the safest idea."
He said drifting is
always a concern, but plows will continue to drive
their routes, salting
trouble spots, until the roads are completely
clear. Stauch acknowledged the
sheriff's office for its help monitoring the roads.
Residents who have
damaged mailboxes as a result of the snow plows are
asked to call the
engineer's office at (937) 645-3018. When the roads
are cleared, county
officials will work on repairing the mailboxes.
"It is something that we do,
but it may take a few days," Stauch warned.
faces new charges
By MAC CORDELL
A Union County man, convicted of killing
his mother, is facing
additional time in prison.
A grand jury recently
indicted Eric A. Jackson, 34, on two counts of
gross sexual imposition and
two counts of pandering sexually oriented
matter involving a minor - all
involving children under the age of 13.
If convicted on all charges, he faces
having 26 years added to his
current sentence. Jackson is currently
incarcerated at Ross Correctional
Institution in Chillicothe. He is serving a
20 year -to-life sentence
for aggravated murder and unlawful possession of a
Jackson went to visit his mother Oct. 15, 2002 while she
was working at
Heartland of Marysville. During the visit, the pair went to
lot and argued. During the argument, Jackson shot his mother in
abdomen with a 12-gauge shotgun. The woman died nine days later.
is not eligible for parole until 2026.
The new charges came out of
the follow-up investigation of the woman's
death. The incidents that led to
the new charges are alleged to have
occurred between July 1, 2001 and the day
before the shooting.
Another man, also a current inmate, is facing an
additional 120 years in
prison. The grand jury has indicted Robert F. Miller,
32. The man is
currently incarcerated at North Central Correctional
Marion, serving nine years for burglary and breaking and
Auglaize County. Miller is now charged with nine counts of rape,
first degree felonies and all involving children under 10 years old.
is also charged with six counts of gross sexual imposition, felonies
the third degree involving children under 12. The offenses are
to have occurred between June 22 and Aug. 12. Miller has already
adjudicated as a sexually violent predator from a prior offense.
M. Barnes, 22, has also previously been ruled a violent sexual
according to court documents. Barnes, currently incarcerated
in the Wilcox
State Prison in Abbeville, Ga., has been indicted by the
Union County Grand
Jury on two counts of rape, both first degree
felonies, two counts of gross
sexual imposition, both felonies of the
third degree, and one count of
disseminating matter harmful to
juveniles, a fourth-degree felony. All of the
charges involve a minor,
under the age of 13. The court documents allege the
between Dec. 1, 2004 and Jan. 22, 2005. If convicted on all
Barnes faces as more than 31 years in prison.
individual, Donald Eugene Paver, has also been indicted on sex
charges. Paver, 57, of 21549 Shirk Ave., in Raymond, has been
two counts of gross sexual imposition, involving a child
under the age of 13.
According to court documents, the crimes are
alleged to have occurred between
May 1, and June 30. He faces as many as
10 years in prison if convicted on
The grand jury also indicted:
. Logan Russell Dillon, 20,
whose court listed address is the Tri-County
Regional Jail in Mechanicsburg.
Dillon is charged with one count of
burglary, a felony of the second degree
and 14 felonies of the
fifth-degree, including five counts of receiving
stolen property, four
counts of theft, two counts of forgery and three counts
identification fraud. According to court documents, the burglary and
incident of receiving stolen property are alleged to have
November 14. The other alleged offenses are reported to have
between May 15, and Oct. 22. If convicted on all charges, Dillon
as many as 29 years in prison.
. Eva Marie White, 42, of 1534
Sandlewood Place in Columbus. The woman
is charged with two counts of
aggravated possession of drugs, two counts
of trafficking in cocaine and one
count of possession of cocaine, all
felonies of the fifth degree. She is also
charged with one count of
aggravated trafficking in drugs, a felony of the
According to the court documents, the offenses are alleged to
occurred Sept. 15 involving Oxycodone, Methadone, Clonazepam,
as well as cocaine. She faces as many as six-and-a-half years in
if convicted on all charges. Law enforcement officials could also
her 1995 Pontiac Sunburst vehicle, which the grand jury alleges was
in the commission of her alleged crimes.
Andrew W. Hollis, 19, of 668
Elizabeth Ave., in Columbus. Hollis is
charged with one count of receiving
stolen property, involving a license
plate theft on Aug. 31. He faces as many
as 12 months in prison.
Unionville Center Council looks at
By AUDREY HALL
The Unionville Center Village Council held a special
night for preliminary discussion on the 2008
Continued discussion and final decisions are expected at the
scheduled meeting Dec. 11.
Increases to the budget include salary
increases for the mayor and
clerk-treasurer that were passed at the September
meeting. In January,
the mayor's salary will increase by $400 to $900 per
clerk-treasurer's salary increase from $1,000 to $1,400 will take
when her term commences April 1.
The clerk-treasurer has been using
her personal cell phone for long
distance phone calls on behalf of the
village. A prepaid long distance
phone card will be purchased for the use of
the clerk-treasurer for
All council members will be
paid at a rate of $30 per meeting beginning
in January. The budget will allow
for up to six special meetings per
year in addition to the scheduled monthly
Utility costs have increased for the village. More money was
to allow for Dayton Power and Light Company increases for
pump and siren and council building accounts.
Funds will be
allocated for village services for snow removal in the
winter, brush pick-up
in the spring and leaf pick-up in the fall.
Decisions at the Dec. 11 meeting
will include a contribution to the
Charles W. Fairbanks Family Festival and
storm sewer improvements in the
flood prone south section of the
Present at the meeting were Mayor Denver Thompson, Clerk-Treasurer
Rausch, and council members Mary Lou Morris, Phil Rausch, Brenda
and Peggy Williamson.
Holidays require fire safety
By RYAN HORNS
Marysville Fire Chief Gary Johnson said that fire
safety during the
holidays is all about common sense and awareness.
time of year you can become really distracted with the holiday
he said. "We don't tend to be as careful as we could be about
Marysville has seen its share of winter fire emergencies, Johnson
from faulty chimneys to candles. A house on Woodview Drive has
exploded twice due to a malfunctioning gas line to the
Johnson said when it comes to the dangers of holiday
residents can see for themselves how fast a pine tree can engulf
in fire by viewing a video clip available at the Marysville
Department Web site at www.marysvilleohio.org. The tree is
erupting in flames after a matter of 15 seconds.
The chief stressed
that residents may also download a "Home Fire
Checklist" on the site, which
they may use to walk around their homes
and look for fire hazards.
State Fire Marshall Michael P. Bell is urging Ohio families to pay
attention to fire safety this holiday season. Since 2000, nine
more than $1.3 million in damages were reported in Ohio as a
result of fires
starting on or around Christmas trees.
Bell said three factors pose an
especially increased fire threat during
the holidays: Decorative lighting,
live Christmas trees and unattended children.
"Just think about what you
are doing and how you are doing it," Johnson said.
For live Christmas
trees, Bell recommends they be as fresh as possible.
Make a cut at the base
of the trunk and place the tree in a sturdy
stand. Locate the trees as far
away from heat sources as possible and water it daily.
State fire safety
tips also suggest residents not connect too many light
sets together and only
install them outside the home if they are
specifically labeled for outside
use. Outdoor lights should be fastened
with hangars, not staples, and should
be placed on a ground fault
interrupter circuit when possible.
comes to candles, Johnson said the idea is to never leave them
not at home. One year a Marysville resident left a candle
burning on a coffee
table and the family dog walked by and knocked the
candle to the floor with
its tail. The house was soon on fire.
For the most part, Johnson said, the
city tends to have most of its
winter fire emergencies in the late evening
and early morning hours..
But the more serious fires have not followed this
"All of our fatal fires in recent memory have occurred during
daytime," he said.
Many of these are caused by households using
kerosene heaters and having
too much clutter or trash on the ground. Other
fires have left
Marysville residents seriously burned when people try to make
the fireplace using combustible liquids like gasoline.
shook his head when recalling a woman who was found driving
around the city
with her children, heating her van with a kerosene heater.
common sense and a matter of awareness," he said.
Holiday safety doesn't just
revolve around pine trees and decorations, Johnson said.
Other points of
safety include keeping a winter emergency kit in the car
with extra batteries
and blankets; keeping the snow away from fire
hydrants, cleaning the furnace
and having a home escape plan.
City sees plans for new Kroger
Would be located in area of Mill
By RYAN HORNS
A potential new Kroger store planned for Mill Valley
drew some debate
during Monday night's meeting of the Marysville Planning
Casto Development requested to rezone a 27.88 acre parcel of
southeast of Mill Road in order to construct a new 90,000
Kroger store. Current zoning for the land does not provide for
building, favoring instead numerous smaller ones.
By way of
comparison, Casto Development representative Donald Plank said
already located on West Fifth Street is about 65,000 square
The rezoning issue opens up a larger discussion of what Kroger
planned for its presence in Marysville. Could a new store mean
closing of the old one, leaving another large vacant building to
the former Big Bear, Wal-Mart, Bob Evans and Heilig Miejers?
media representative Dale Hollandsworth said this morning that
too soon to tell.
"I do not know the answer to that," Hollandsworth said. "We
He stressed the word "potential" for the new
store location and said any
plans revolve around what size of a Kroger store
could be built. He
added that in the case of a Kroger Plus store, the Ohio
Protection Agency would have to be contacted in order to place
possible gas station in that area.
"All of that comes into play," he
said. "Give us another two or three
months and we may be close to knowing
Regardless of the future of the West Fifth Street store, property
near the proposed rezoning area had their issues. One man said if
land is rezoned his bedroom window would look directly into a
24-hour Kroger store.
"I don't want lights coming in my bedroom
window all night," he said.
Mill Road resident Steve Honeycutt said traffic
is already a problem
during rush hour times on Mill Road at Route 31. There
coming from school on those roads and it could become
"I'm looking at this being a very large development," he said.
going to change that whole area."
Honeycutt said the Kroger store
could "absolutely destroy the value of
Seymour explained that any project like this would
have extensive buffering
for nearby property owners.
Developers and commissioners agreed that plans
for rezoning the land
rest heavily upon Marysville's traffic study of the
area already in the works.
Commissioners assured the residents that any
project like this would be
discussed in detail and would still need to go
through the city's design
In other north side development
news, commissioners approved the sketch
plan for what is currently being
called the "Cooks Crossing" development.
Attorney Kathy Cunningham,
representing the Cook family, noted it was
the third time the sketch plan had
come before the commission. The first
was Oct. 1 when the detailed idea was
presented. On Nov. 5 a condensed
and simplified plan was presented.
said they have taken into account the commissioners recommendations,
the plan remains similar to the one proposed on Nov. 5.
Kraus pointed out that that the project only lists two
phases, one regarding
Mill Wood Boulevard and the other being the future
that, who knows (what is planned)," he said.
However, Kraus said he was
"satisfied" with the sketch plan.
Commissioner Pat Soller said his problem
with the lack of phasing
details was that area of town needs "time to react
to traffic and
infrastructure burdens before it can become
Commissioner John Cunningham said there is nothing in city
requiring zoning timeline phases.
"Hopefully the natural marketing
flow would take care of that," he said.
Members of the commission did
have one point that they wanted addressed:
The name "Cooks Crossing." They
requested it needed to be changed, but
did not explain the
Commissioner Don Bergwall said it had to do with the "Crossing"
of the name.
"We never really talked about changing the name,"
representative Gary Schmidt said.
Keeping the name was
not geared toward upsetting anyone, he said.
Bergwall added that the amount
of residential housing in the north end
of the project was considered too
much by some members of the commission.
Schmidt said that he doesn't feel
it is too large for the area.
"I doubt we can come up with a plan that every
person on this board will
approve of," he said.
Bergwall said at first he
was opposed to so much residential use in the
development, but has since
"come around on that" once he learned it
would be geared toward empty-nesters
and young single people. It would
be a unique residential offering for the
city that doesn't exist today.
Despite the passage of the sketch plan, some
residents still had
reservations over the future Cooks Crossing
Marysville attorney Dennis Schulze is representing the Clark
residents, whose neighborhood is partly surrounded by Cooks
Schulze said the neighborhood could be greatly affected. Issues
from traffic, noise, lights, environmental runoff, to utilities need
to be addressed.
Northern property owner to the development Dan Fitzgerald
that not one landowner has come forward at planning commission
to support Cooks Crossing.
Seymour said that the sketch plan
approval is just the beginning.
"This is step one of a very lengthy process,"
Commission members decided perhaps the discussion should turn
preparing for the preliminary plan.
Jerome Twp. seeks expertise
By MAC CORDELL
A resolution from the Jerome Township Zoning
Commission seeking the
completion of the comprehensive plan was unanimously
voted down Monday
by the township's board of trustees.
commission requested the resolution to allow the
Regional Planning Commission to finish the
comprehensive plan started by
Burns, Bertsch and Harris several years ago.
"The level of expertise we
need now is beyond the staff of the LUC,"
said township trustee Ron
Trustees noted that with the Jerome Village and Bayly Pointe plans,
township and its needs have changed significantly since the plan
started. Trustee Andy Thomas said a lot of money was spent
data and public opinion for the comprehensive plan. He said
residents invested their time on a plan committee and even
public meetings and offering their opinions.
"I don't want to
throw all of that hard work and throw out all of those
ideas, but on the
other hand, a lot has changed in four years or so," said
Commissioner Bob Merkle suggested having the LUC complete the
except the land use portion, then accepting the plan, "that way we
brought closure to it and we can still integrate public comments."
said the township could then use the completed plan as a starting
make updates and modifications.
"I think there is a lot there," Merkle said.
"They can incorporate that
into the next level."
He said if the plan had
been completed on schedule, it would almost be
time for an update
"The plan itself is not a valid instrument other than the data,"
Rhodes. "It is just a barely working document at this point."
added that given the new needs of the township, "we need a more
that will do traffic and will look further than just a
Merkle agreed, saying that talks with Marysville and Dublin
"some really significant planning."
The trustees said that while
they appreciate the work done by LUC, they
are not sure the commission is
qualified to handle the planning needs of
the township. Thomas noted that LUC
was attempting to hire a planner.
"I don't know how quickly that is going to
happen," Thomas said, adding
that a new planner would take some time "to come
up to speed."
The trustees agreed to look at an alternative group to complete
"Hopefully they will look at the work and data done already,"
Additionally, fire chief Scott Skeldon reminded the trustees
residents that the Jerome Township Fire Station, and all the
stations in Union County, will serve as toy drop-off points for the
"We are really excited and looking forward to that," Skeldon
He said he is pleased to be working with a program that keeps
donated toys local.
"I think we can stay with the care train and
everything can stay within
the county," the chief said.
confiscates pound of pot
From J-T staff reports
The donation of a new
canine officer to the Union County Sheriff's
Office by Jerome Township has
already begun to pay off.
On Friday at 8:58 p.m. deputies stopped a vehicle
on Route 4 at Wolford
Maskill Road. The canine was called to search the
eventually alerted to a pound of marijuana found inside.
sheriff's office reported that the amount seized was equal to about
No charges have been filed against the driver at this time, as
County Prosecutor's Office continues its investigation.
New warden in charge at reformatory
By RYAN HORNS
The new warden at Ohio
Reformatory for Women may have started her new
role last week, but her
relationship with the city of Marysville began decades ago.
Sheri S. Duffey said the first time she came to Marysville
was during the
1980s as a roadie for the regional rock band Phil Dirt
and the Dozers. The
job was a side path taken after graduating from
college and before planning
to begin a career in law enforcement. Her
intent was always to go into police
"We were in Marysville for a concert," Duffey said. "And
approached me and asked if I ever thought about working in a prison.
went to the interview and got the job."
So in 1988 she began her career
as a corrections officer at ORW and soon
began climbing the ranks from
sergeant to lieutenant, before leaving in
1994 to pursue work in other
"I probably never would have left," Duffey said. "But I wanted
experience in male institutions as well."
Duffey said she
experienced work within the male prison systems in order
to expand her
knowledge of management. During those years away, she
worked her way up the
ladder even further.
Duffey comes to the ORW from Pickaway Correctional
served as deputy warden for four years. She has served in
position during her tenure and holds a bachelor of science
organizational management from Florida's Wilberforce
More recently she discovered that the opportunity presented
come back to Marysville's ORW as it's new warden. It was a role
could not pass up.
Now Duffey hopes to bring the knowledge she has
decades of prison work by trying to expand programs for the
inmates and to teach them new skills to enter back into society
She would like to open current staff and
prisoners' minds and show them
that there can be many paths to the same
"There is not just one way to do something," Duffey said.
be difficult, she added, but she hopes that her new staff
will feel like they
have a new voice and a new ear to communicate with.
Current programs working
with the community could also be expanded, she
said, and she has hopes to
open up training for prisoners in
non-traditional forms of work, normally not
associated with women. In
January prisoners will be able to learn knowledge
in the trade of dry-walling.
"(Women) can do anything," she said, and she
would like ORW training to
Duffey said she looks forward to
meeting area business and political
leaders to get her plans running.
Phil Dirt and the Dozers to being the new warden, she said
been good to her and is glad to give back.
Hospital announces 2007 holiday gifts
Medical staff, board member bonuses
forwarded on to community causes
By CORINNE BIX
Memorial Hospital of Union
County's Board of Trustees formally announced
the nine not-for-profit area
groups to receive a collective $8,000 in
donations from the hospital.
hospital has opted since 2005 to reallocate funds originally
medical staff and board member holiday gifts to instead be
The Union County Family YMCA was given $2,000 to be
used toward the Fit
Kid Program aimed at promoting healthy lifestyles in
youths ages 9-15.
The Union County Care Train received $1,000 towards its
annual drive, as
did Turning Point which will use its $1,000 allocation to
gifts, toys and clothes for needy families.
The Wings Enrichment
Center will use $975 to purchase gifts for those
individuals who participate
in its program. Literacy United was awarded
$800 for educational software and
Union County Big Brothers and Big
Sisters received $725 towards the expansion
of the MOMS program and to
include a pilot program at the Ohio Reformatory
The Union County Personal Needs Pantry and the Richwood Methodist
Personal Needs Pantry each received $500 for their programs, as did
Marysville Special Olympics program.
Chip Hubbs, president/CEO, said
that 16 organizations made requests for
a total of $30,000 in
"All the groups are worthwhile and we wish we could honor all
requests," Hubbs said. "We are trying to spread the help among as
organizations as we can."
The board took time during Thursday night's
monthly meeting to do the
bi-annual review of the board of trustees' bylaws,
which is a state
requirement of county hospitals.
Hubbs pointed out
several sections which he suggested could use some
fine-tuning. For example,
the current bylaws require that five board
members be present to constitute a
Hubbs said that often the board finds itself in transition period.
board agreed that the wording should be changed from five board
to a majority of currently appointed board members.
with the bylaws were in regard to specifics relevant to
finances which are
already covered in polices governing the board's
Hubbs said the hospital's legal counsel will review the
a revised draft will be presented at December's
The board welcomed Shelly Reser as the new director of admissions.
has been with the hospital for four weeks and previously worked
Miami Valley Hospital in the Dayton area. She has 20 years experience
Board members also took time to congratulate fellow member,
Schmenk, on her recent election as mayor of Marysville.
adjourned into executive session to discuss the employment of
an employee. No
action was taken. The next regular board meeting will be
Dec. 20 at 8
In other news, the board:
. Approved the finance and joint conference
. Approved a list of medical staff reappointments.
Approved completed application for Dr. Cheryl Kirkby, pediatrics,
of medicine - active provisional; Dr. Jude Smith, department
of surgery -
active provisional; and Ted Nicol, CRNA, nurse anesthetist,
surgery - allied health provisional.
. Approved conclusion of provisional
status for Dr. Mahmoud Qadoom,
pulmonology, department of medicine - active
. Approved modification of privileges for Regina Massey, CNP and Dr.
. Approved bylaw revision 4.6-2.
. Reviewed monthly
customer service data
North Lewisburg band gets its shot
Get-Ups' will open up for legendary punk group on Dec. 7
North Lewisburg's "The Get-Ups" are not your typical punk band.
angst-ridden musical genre known as punk came to rise in the late
bringing with it a heavy dose of teens rebelling against anything
politics to societal norms.
Oddly enough, the three local musicians have
found a way to rebel
against punk itself.
"We're not the kind of political
punk band that stands for something,"
guitarist and singer Tony Castle joked.
"If it gives you any idea, our
most popular song is called 'Tony's too fat to
For the most part, he said, they write songs just to be funny -
play them fast.
The trio, consisting of brothers Tony
(guitar/vocals) and Kasey Castle
(bass), along with friend Nathan Hackley
(drums), have been performing
under the name The Get-Ups for the past year
and previously did shows
around Ohio under the name "Way Past Gone." After a
few members of that
band left, they decided to reform and go on as a
On Dec. 7 the band will have its biggest show to date, after
the opportunity to open up for the legendary horror-punk outfit
Misfits" at Alrosa Villa. The Misfits are known for writing songs
on horror movie themes. Also on the bill are regional bands
Libel" and "Overated."
Kasey Castle said the largest crowd The
Get-Ups have ever had is about
250 people and the Alrosa Villa is expecting
more than 600 that night.
Growing up in Union County, a decidedly urban
setting, turning to punk
music is not always the norm. Farmers don't often
blast punk music from
their tractors, instead opting for something more akin
to Conway Twitty.
The Castle brothers explained that they often found
their tastes against friends who liked country
"It's nothing against them," Kasey said. "We just don't like
In fact, Hackley said, he didn't particularly like punk
music very much either.
"But he grew to like it," Tony added.
the whole point of The Get-Ups was to have fun in between stints
Customers of area Burger King restaurants may have been served
the Castle brothers, while Hackley works at RadioShack. All three
their jobs leave them plenty of time to pursue as many shows as they
book, in their quest to get more people aware of their music.
of the music, The Get-Ups play a decidedly rapid-fire pace
style of punk,
similar to early forms of the genre. Think "The Ramones"
at twice the
"We pretty much started playing punk because it's easy to play,"
joked. "We're not good enough to do anything else."
But fans of the
band know that they are only being modest, because such
high speed music can
be difficult to master.
"It's just more fun to play fast," Kasey explained.
"I can't sit through
a slow song after three or four minutes."
five years experience under their belts, the young age of
(ranging from 18 to 21 years old) tends to make it tough
trying to break into
the Ohio punk scene.
"We don't get taken seriously at all (by venues)," Kasey
Hackley and the Castle brothers said they are trying to keep at it
push the boundaries, doing more shows out of state, with hopes of a
next summer. They sometimes join up for shows with other local
like "Last Night in Town" or "Lumberjack Death Squad."
will also be releasing their first official album, to be for
sale at the
Alrosa Villa show, dubbed "We should get a Grammy for this."
residents hoping to check out The Get-Ups opening for the
purchase tickets directly through the band by calling
group and examples of its music can be found on the
Internet at www.myspace.com/thegetupspunk.
earns rank of Eagle Scout
From J-T staff reports
Benjamin Karn, a
17-year-old junior at Marysville High School, recently
achieved the rank of
Eagle Scout with Boy Scout Troop 111, chartered to
Jerome United Methodist
Karn's Eagle service project was to build a bridge over a creek
feeds the pond at Harry Wolfe Park in Jerome Township. The bridge
built to conform to the National Design Standard and the Americans
While 21 merit badges are required for the rank of
Eagle, Karn earned
33, including the aviation merit badge when he took the
controls of an
airplane as it flew over Marysville.
experiences included sailing the "William H. Albury," a
70-foot schooner for
a week in the Bahama Islands with 10 other scouts
as the crew in 2005 and
backpacking for 11 days in the rugged mountains
of Cimmaron, N.M., in
Karn also is president of Boy Scout Venture Crew, an Order of the
member, a two-sport varsity athlete and an avid outdoorsman.
hopes to attend the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.,
graduation from high school.
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