Archives

Subscribe Now

Local Archived News December 2007

 

12/31/07

     Growing pains made news in 2007

     Suspect caught after break-in at county office building

12/29/07

     A fresh start for East Pointe

     Alleged burglars indicted by grand jury

12/28/07

     Murder suspect has history of area offenses

     CSX officials handle derailment near Scotts plant

12/27/07

     After-holiday shoppers keep clamps on cash

     Police break down door to arrest woman threatening family

12/26/07

     Growth may stretch safety services

12/24/07

     Preparing for Patty's battle

12/22/07

     New school  is named

     Triad eyes foreign language curriculum for elementary

12/21/07

     Hospital campus ready to be smoke free

     Two council members attend final meeting

     Alleged offender offends judge with request

12/20/07

     Assault results in prison time

     Outgoing mayor reflects on past four years

     Performance of "Messiah" will begin Christmas activities

12/19/07

     Marysville restricts busing

     Plain City plans for housing surge

 12/18/07

     Wild brawl at fair results in probation

     NU board hears presentation on 'No  Wrong Door'

     UCSO introduces newest drug dog

     Fairbanks  looks at change for kindergarten

12/17/07

     Snow leads to 68 crashes

12/15/07

     Visual clutter in Union County?

12/14/07

     Tom Kruse to seek state office

     Filmmaker interviews North Lewisburg veterans

     Care Train still in need of toys

12/13/07

     Hamburglers enter guilty pleas

     Man sentenced for failing to register as sex offender

     Couple nabbed after theft of numerous items from Wal-Mart

12/12/07

     Case never makes it to jury

     Unionville Center Council approves flooding fix

     Sheriff's department increases traffic enforcement over holidays

12/11/07

     Richwood will not try for new money

     ODOT recommends change for Milford Center

     Jonathan Alder prepares new policy on bullying

     Plain City completes zoning code

12/10/07

     Care Train raises $94,000

     County seeks to improve transit services

12/8/07

     Man found guilty in 23 minutes

     Military bands to perform Sunday

12/7/07

     City officials try to squash rumor of deal with DublinJerome Township

     Accident kills one

     OSP commander asks for driver caution during winter weather

12/6/07

     Board certifies election results

     Care Train auction to be held Saturday

     North Lewisburg officials object to OPWC decision

12/5/07

     County gets first snow of season

     Convicted murderer faces new charges

     Unionville  Center Council looks at 2008 budget

     Holidays require fire safety vigilance

12/4/07

     City sees plans for new Kroger

     Jerome Twp. seeks expertise in planning

     UCSO confiscates pound of pot

12/03/07

     New warden in charge at reformatory

 12/1/07

      Hospital announces 2007 holiday gifts

      North Lewisburg band gets its shot

      Karn earns rank of Eagle Scout


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 service
projected growth in the Jerome Township area the city of Marysville
began construction of a large sewer plant. To fund the plant and other
improvements city residents were hit with a water rate increase. That
story was voted in the second position on the poll.
Other growth-related issues such as the new bypass around the village of
Plain City 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 10.
No. 1  - Marysville levy defeat and subsequent cost cutting
Voters defeated a 4.75-mill, five-year operating levy the Marysville
School Board 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.
It also necessitated the expansion of the radius in which pupils are
transported 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 travel; the
elimination of drug testing for athletes; the elimination of in-school
suspension at Creekview Intermediate School, the middle school and the
high school; reduction of building thermostats to 68 degrees daytime
temperature and 63 degrees at night; eliminating a resource officer at
the middle school; increasing building use fees; and reducing staff size
through attrition.
At their Dec. 18 board meeting, board members voted to place two
operating levies on the March 4 primary ballot. They are asking for
voter approval of a five-year, 5-mill operating levy which expires in
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 increase
Marysville City Council and residents spent months in a fierce debate in
2007 over the passage of an ordinance which would increase local water
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 members.
Ad Hoc Committee member David Burke said at the time the 6 percent
increase should provide funding the city needs to start constructing a
reservoir, start planning a water plant and buy more time on other
related projects.
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.
Burke explained that current water bills for an average home are $22.36.
If the 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.
But residents such as Lloyd Baker were vocal in their criticism over yet
another rate increase, after wastewater and trash increases were passed.
At the March 8 City Council meeting, Baker said members encouraged the
public to attend the third reading, but then denied them the right to speak.
Baker 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 not address
"this whole issue of credibility and trust" the public has toward its
city leaders after years of apparent unmanaged spending, which put the
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 Veterans Monument.
"You humble me," retired Army Maj. Gen. Oscar Decker told the crowd.
"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.
No. 4/5 (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 bypass
replaces 1.5 miles of U.S. 42 that used to run through downtown Plain
City. The bypass begins on the west edge of the village, at the
intersection of U.S. 42 and Main Street. It leads drivers around the
village's northwest side, ending just north of the village near Route 736.
 Plain City Mayor Sandy Adkins said it was "exhilarating" to drive on
the new bypass and called the cool, windy afternoon, "a memorable day in
the history of Plain City," noting that it will be marked in the
village's history because it was so long in the making.
Thomas J. 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 downtown.
Additionally, curbs and cutouts were destroyed by the weight of the
trucks and their trailers. ODOT vehicle counts indicated that before the
bypass, more than 12,000 vehicles traveled through Plain City on an
average day. Of that number, more than 2,000 of the vehicles are semi trucks.
The final pricetag for the project, which included relocating U.S. 42,
widening Route 161 through Plain City and rehabilitating several side
roads and streets, was about $4.3 million.
No. 4/5 (tie) - Bayly Pointe
A sketch plan surfaced in September, offering the first image of the
future plans for the long-rumored Glacier West development project.
Forest City Land Group's plan showed that Bayly Pointe would be the
chosen name for a 2,000-acre upscale development, to be situated south
of Marysville, bordering U.S. 33, Harriott Road and U.S. 42. It will
rest within both Mill Creek and Jerome townships and Marysville will
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 2007.
Located within this section of Bayly Pointe are 38 acres of commercial
and office space, 456 acres of residential space, a 19-acre senior care
facility, five acres set aside for school space and 157 acres of open land.
Also included within the sketches was a rendering of bio-rentention
facility details, such as proposed storm water management facilities,
Big Darby and Scioto watershed areas, sanitary tributary areas,
placement of proposed water lines, gravity sewer spots and the proposed
project boundary.
No. 6 - Honda celebrates 25 years
Honda's Marysville auto plant, the first Japanese plant to build a car
in America, 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.
The newly redesigned 2008 Honda Accord has been named a finalist for the
North 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 success."
The plant's 5,300 associates produce over 1,800 vehicles per day,
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 capital
improvements to the plant, with $60 million in the last couple of years.
Those innovations include items like extending the line, use of magnets
to hold items in place so associates can work from outside the car
without getting in and out as well as robotics that hold the vehicle
frame and adjust to the height of the associate working on the vehicle
rather than the associate reaching or stooping.
Local, state and federal government officials say Honda has provided the
same leadership civically that it has industrially.
"Honda has been a great corporate and community partner for 25 years,"
said current county commissioner Gary Lee. "They continue to address the
needs of the community and certainly have added tremendous employment
opportunities for the people not only in Union County but in central Ohio."
No. 7 - Violent home invasion
Marysville residents were shocked when they woke one late October
morning to learn of a violent home invasion in the quiet subdivision of Mill Valley.
A female resident of 1452 Meadow Lark Lane called 911 about 11:45 p.m.
Monday Oct. 29.
"There is someone in my house and they're killing ... they're stabbing
my mom," the 10-year old girl told dispatchers. "They're stabbing me and
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 daughters.
The girl's mother was transported by MedFlight to Grant Memorial
Hospital in Columbus. She had lacerations on her face and head. The
caller and her 12-year old sister were both transported to Memorial
Hospital of Union County.
Neighbors were frightened by the incident.
"We were both really surprised it happened in our neighborhood," said
Becky Wever, who was walking with her son and talking to neighbor Kellie
Crosby about the break-in. "One of the reasons we moved here was because
it was so populated and seemed so safe."
No arrests have been made. No suspects have been named. Police are
continuing their investigation.
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 County
Coroner Dr. David Applegate. A broken clock inside the airplane told the
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 County Airport.
Eye witness Michelle Phipps, from Plain City, said she was driving down
Weaver Road after dropping her daughter off at a friend's house. She
said there was a plane that suddenly went overhead. It caught her
attention because there was a trail of dark smoke coming from the craft.
"I slowed down and I pulled into a driveway to see if I could see him
again and I couldn't. Then I saw a puff of smoke," Phipps said. "I just
thought, 'Oh my god, I think I just saw a plane crash.'"
No. 9/10 - Drug arrests
Over the years the local bar was open, Marysville Police officers were
called to Lee Dog's Locker Room more than 300 times for criminal activity.
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 prison for
pulling a gun on a man in a dispute at a bar across the street.
After months of investigating, law enforcement came down on criminal
activity at Lee Dog's Locker Room. The future of the bar fell into
jeopardy after hefty drug-related fines and numerous arrests cast a
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 convictions.
In a rare move, authorities brought felony charges against the bar
itself. The Union County Grand Jury charged the business with crimes
that could have led up to $60,000 in fines. A five-count indictment
against Lee Dog Inc. was also included among the charges.
The business was charged with one fourth-degree felony aggravated
trafficking in 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 Scotts-Miracle Gro.
In November Schmenk received 3,314 votes in her bid to succeed former
mayor Tom Kruse.
Today, Schmenk was sworn into her new role in a ceremony at Marysville
City Hall, in city council's chambers.
"Together, we will preserve today's community as we grow into the bigger
city of tomorrow," Schmenk said. "To do so, I propose that we focus on
four specific areas: Quality Growth, Fiscal Responsibility, Strong
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 county.

Suspect caught after break-in at county office building
By RYAN HORNS
A heavily intoxicated Marysville man was arrested this morning after
reportedly breaking into the Union County Recorder's Office.
At 5:31 a.m. Union County Sheriff's deputies responded to 233 W. Sixth
St. after 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 recorder's office
investigating the break-in and discovered the broken window. Marysville
Police were also called to assist on the scene.
According to reports, law enforcement searched the building and
discovered a man suddenly running down some stairs toward a door, which
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 chasing him.
McDaniel reportedly sustained injuries to his hands and thighs from the
broken glass during the break in, which also ripped his jeans.
Yoakam pointed out that with local bars normally closing at 2:30 a.m.
and McDaniel being picked up after 5:30 a.m., several hours are
unaccounted for in his story. He also said that if Katche needed help
from people chasing him, he could have gone for help at either the
sheriff's office next door or the Marysville Police Department down the street.
As police and deputies searched for the break-in suspect, a man was also
found walking on the sidewalk near the crime scene.
Deputies 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 break-in.
Deputies determined he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

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 Plaza.
Marysville City Administrator Kathy House reported Friday morning that
on Thursday Lowe's submitted a proposal the tear down the former
Wal-Mart, along with the majority of the remaining East Pointe Plaza.
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.
House said the plans were submitted to Marysville's Design Review Board,
with plans 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.
The addition of Lowe's will be good news for residents, who have been
voicing criticism over the past few months, regarding the rising number
of empty 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 Lowe's.
Because the majority of the buildings are scheduled to be torn down, the
future of remaining businesses such as Bath and Body Works will either
have to close up shop or move to other vacant Marysville storefronts.
House said the possibility of the stores relocating to Uptown Marysville
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
regarding their future plans. The store manager had not heard about the
proposed Lowe's yet.
House stressed that people should not get their hopes up too high.
"Make sure you say that this is not a done deal," she said.
City planner Greg DeLong shared this belief, adding that nothing is set in stone yet.
House said the Marysville Design Review Board still has to give the
approval for the development's proposed building sketch plans. She added
that Lowe's plan, however, does have comments stating that the plan
already "meets or exceeds" local zoning and planning guidelines.
According to the official Lowe's "Project Description," the plan is to
purchase the southern 12.66 acres of the East Pointe Plaza and demolish
the existing Wal-Mart and adjacent retail spaces. Redevelopment of the
site would include the construction of a 139,573-square-foot home
improvement store, with a 31,709-square foot-garden center. The
development would be served by 545 parking spaces in a landscaped lot.
"The Lowe's building has been designed to meet the architectural
requirements of the city's Design Review Standards. The architects have
worked diligently to create a unique building that has features which
break up the facades of the structure," the project description states.
"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 garden center
has been enclosed with black tubular steel broken by brick columns
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 improvement tore
as well as for the garden center and lumber yard.
He said that those signage plans may end up being changed a bit during
the design review process.
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 building for
future development. He said half of the large existing parking lot is
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 standards in
the area," the project description states.

Alleged 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 charges.
According to court documents, the alleged crimes occurred between June
18 and June 27 of this year. The theft is alleged to involve items
valued between $500 and $5,000.
All three individuals are scheduled to be arraigned in Union County
Common Pleas Court on Friday.
Cory Allen 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 arraigned Friday.
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 Tri-County
Regional Jail in Mechanicsburg. She is charged with one count of grand
theft of a motor vehicle and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle,
felonies of the fourth and fifth degrees respectively. Court documents
allege she had the vehicle, taken Nov. 21 - the day before Thanksgiving,
for more than 48 hours. If convicted, Barnette faces more than two years
in prison. She is set for arraignment Friday.
. David John Schuler, 41, who is currently serving time in the Morrow
County Correctional 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., in Columbus.
Talbott is charged with one count of possession of cocaine, a felony of
the first degree. She faces a year in prison if convicted on the charge
stemming from an incident June 26. She is set for arraignment Friday.

Murder suspect has history of area offenses
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 Union County.
Donovan L. Britton, 30, of Delaware, was arrested Thursday in Mansfield
just hours after Mark S. Horn told authorities Britton stabbed him.
Horn went to a Sunbury area neighbor's house just before 9 a.m.
Thursday, with what appeared to be a bleeding chest wound. The neighbor
called 911. Horn can be heard in the background saying he was stabbed by
"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.
Investigators are still trying to determine when and where the stabbing
took place, along with how Horn knew Britton and what led to the stabbing.
Britton has served more than eight years in prison for separate crimes
committed in Union County.
In July of 1996, Britton was convicted of aggravated burglary, theft and
two counts of receiving stolen property in Union County. He served 41/2
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
22-month sentence.
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 theft.
According to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections,
Britton was paroled from North Central Correctional Institution on April
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 reported.
According to Marysville Fire Department reports, the derailment actually
occurred at 10:30 a.m. but was not reported to authorities until after 1
p.m. The cause has been listed as operator error.
The Marysville Fire Department reportedly received notification from the
Marysville Police 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
reportedly empty and were visibly leaning at an angle and were off the
tracks near the Scott's water tower.
Calls made to the Scotts-Miracle Gro Company for Marysville
Journal-Tribune reporters to gain access to the derailment scene were
not answered.
After fire crews arrived, CSX officials also arrived on the scene.
Representatives of the railroad company told fire officials that the
train conductor did not complete the switching of the rails which caused
the derailment. The official also stated that fire department's
assistance was not necessary.
Fire reports also indicate that the CSX official was not able to present
any papers regarding the train's cargo.
Marysville Fire Department arrived on the scene at 1:21 p.m. and stayed
until 1:59 p.m. when CSX cranes arrived to help get the cars back on the track.

After-holiday shoppers keep clamps on cash
Many of those venturing to area stores are returning items, using gift
cards

By MAC CORDELL
On a brisk, sun-soaked day after Christmas, retail parking lots in
Marysville were full.
But while stores were busy, it may not have been the post-Christmas boom
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 "And they
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
Christmas shopping."
"Plus they 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 redeem them.
Local teenagers Shain O'Connors and Joey Hill were also out Wednesday,
spending gift cards at an electronics store. Hill said he didn't have
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.
"We focused mainly on the kids this year," he said. "The wife and I may
do 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.
ShopperTrak RCT 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.
Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at NPD Group Inc., a market
research firm, 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 said.
While the day after Christmas is a big day for retailers, some shoppers
don't venture into the stores for that very reason. Jess Harmon of
Marysville said she had to work at the salon inside one of the
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 Union County.
"That's the million dollar question," Phillips said, when asked about
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 can be."
Mastercard Advisors, a division of the credit card company which
includes estimates for spending by check and cash, reported a 3.6
percent increase nationally from Thanksgiving to Christmas. That
compared with a 6.6 percent gain in the year-ago period. The 2007
holiday figure is at the low end of the group's 3.5 percent to 4.5
percent prediction. Excluding gasoline and auto sales, retail spending
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 threatening family
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 home.
Upon being confronted by law enforcement, Tucker initially refused to
drop the screwdriver upon police order, but eventually gave it up.
Police later found a knife nearby during their investigation, which
Tucker had also allegedly been using to threaten her family.

Growth may stretch safety services

By RYAN HORNS
Future large-scale 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 townships.
The possibility of this has Union County Sheriff Rocky Nelson offering
some criticism for developers at Forest City Land Group.
During initial meetings with Bayly Pointe developers, Nelson said, plans
called for two separate substation buildings: One for law enforcement
and one for medics.
But he said those plans have since changed. No substations are included
anymore, other than the one which already exists for Millcreek and
Jerome township Public Service Officers (PSOs).
Forest City Land Group representative James Martynowski did not return
calls regarding the issue.
Nelson said the worry is that Bayly Pointe will completely depend upon
current township services, leaving PSOs to deal with the influx of crime
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 not right.
There are villages with populations (the size of Bayly Pointe) and they
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 years.
Fortunately, Nelson said, the developer's assumption proved to be
correct. The 911 emergency services levy was passed by Union County
voters in early November.
Millcreek and Jerome townships both had tax levies up for vote in
November to fund PSOs in their areas beyond 2007.
If those levies failed, Nelson said, it would have been a big
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 development
plans, in the form of fire or police stations.
He said it was important that the levy passed in November, but it means
existing Millcreek 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
with cancer

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.
However, 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 the curb.
Falzarano, 46, and her family moved to Mill Valley North in 2005 from
Delaware. Stanseski, 49, and her family came to visit their friends and
liked it so much they decided to build a house right next door.
"Both of our youngest sons are 13 and in eighth grade at the middle
school," Falzarano said.
The two became friends while living on the East Coast in 2002 through
their sons' friendship. However, Falzarano said it has been since moving
to Marysville that they have been brought closer together.
At the end of October, Falzarano was in New York attending her mother's
funeral. 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 invasive carcinoma
and within two weeks she was at the James Cancer Center in Columbus
learning about her upcoming chemotherapy treatment.
What brings 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.
Falzarano said her friend never had the chance to tell her mother about
her cancer diagnosis.
The two women have leaned on each other as they have mourned the death
of their mothers and made it a mission to get Stanseski well.
"After we found out about Patty's treatment, I e-mailed our Bunco group
and began setting up meals and rides for her to and from chemotherapy,"
Falzarano said. "Everyone immediately started pitching in to help."
Stanseski said she couldn't even begin to describe the gratitude she
feels for her friends.
"I'm so grateful for all they've done," Stanseski said, "For all of them
to rally around me like this means so much, it's overwhelming."
Donna Berry, a Bunco member, created a name and motto for the group's
campaign to 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," Falzarano explained.
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 their support.
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 chemo treatments.
"It was really special to see all those pink ribbons," Stanseski said.
In addition, ACE hardware is donating pink light bulbs to all the houses
on Kentucky Circle, as the neighbors will light them on Jan. 3 in
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 said.
For more information on Patty's Pit Crew contact Falzarano at 937-578-8396.

New school  is named
Marysville facility will be named after Bunsold   family which
previously owned the property

From J-T staff reports
Marysville's 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 located.
Marysville School Board members made the decision this week in their
monthly board meeting. Present were numerous members of the Bunsold
family, including 91-year-old matriarch Lucile Bunsold, a retired
educator who taught at New California, St. John's School and in the
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 the other
side another," said Marysville School District Superintendent Larry
Zimmerman. "(But) we appreciate all the family has done for us."
Bill Bunsold told school board members numerous members of his family
were or are teachers, including his wife, Marlise, and his brother
John's wife, Sandy, and two of Lucile's granddaughters, Erin Bunsold and
Susan Wilson. Bill and John Bunsold also were teachers, as were an aunt,
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,
or $1,944,000.
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 wing.
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 district had
elected to save the woods on the property.
"Mother really liked the woods," he said.

Triad eyes foreign language curriculum for elementary
By CORINNE BIX
Triad wants to incorporate foreign language at the elementary level
based on positive parent feedback.
Superintendent Dan 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?
Surveys were distributed in the fall to gather feedback in particular to
taking part in a pilot Mandarin Chinese program through the Ohio
Department of Education (ODE.)
Although 70 percent of parents were positive about foreign language, 58
percent were against Mandarin Chinese.
The advantage to the participating in the ODE program is primarily cost.
The district's responsibilities would include securing a host family and
transportation for 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 district teachers.
"In order to make the program viable we would need the visiting teacher
to instruct more hours," Kaffenbarger said.
Kaffenbarger said the district has three options in terms of pursuing a
foreign language 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 meeting.
Kaffenbarger also informed board members about a new dual enrollment
program that is being made available to high schools within the state.
High schools partner with colleges and offer the option for college
curriculum courses and credit at the high school during regular school hours.
Kaffenbarger said cost for student tuition, books and training for
teachers are may possibly be funded through a grant from the
Madison/Champaign county educational service center.
Brenda Boyd, 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.
Scott Blackburn, middle school principal, gave a presentation to the
board on the value-added component on the state's district report card.
Value-Added is 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.
The state wants to give districts credit for "growing" a student even
though the 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 standards.
The value-added component will be factored in the 2007-2008 annual grade
reports.
The district has implemented several intervention programs in particular
at the critical middle school level to give student extra support so
that they can exceed academically and perform better on state mandated
testing.
The board took time on Thursday evening to say good-bye and congratulate
Jacqueline Watson on two terms and eight years on the school board.
Kaffenbarger said Watson was able to see the very best of time and the
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.
Last month McDaniel expressed his feelings about winning the board seat.
"I am excited about the new challenge and I will try to do the best job
possible 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," Kaffenbarger said.
The board approved the new science books for grades K-8 as recommended
by the curriculum director. The new science curriculum by Macmillan
Science/McGraw Hill for grades K-4 will be implemented for the 2008-2009
school year. Grades 6-8 will use a Holt textbook.
The Holt series is also used at the high school with the exception of
Physiology/Anatomy and Conceptual Physics, which will adopt at Pearson textbook.
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.,
the organizational 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 board:
. Approved Chris Millice as president pro-tem for the Jan. 3
organizational meeting
. 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 organizational meeting.
. 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 school year.
. Approved initial partial-year contract for Ryan Thompson as technology
assistant from Jan. 1 to June 30 for 119 days at a rate of $8 per hour.
. Approved the following supplemental certified personnel: Payton Printz
- weightlifting and Jason Thompson - middle school wrestling
. Approved the following classified substitute personnel: Gloria Combs -
cafeteria; John Rutherford - buss driver; Karen Rutherford - bus driver
. Approved contract with Rhonda Miller to provide professional
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
certified parent surrogate to be utilized as needed for foster-placed
students with 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).
. Approved a resolution to join the OSBA LAF (Legal Assistance Fund) for
2008 and 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 the superintendent.
. Approved various fund to fund transfers.
. Accepted with gratitude the donation of $750 from the Triad Athletic
Boosters, which 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 hours.

Hospital campus ready to be smoke free
By CORINNE BIX
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
Carman Wirtz, vice-president of human resources, explained that over the
past year a committee has been in place to help educate staff, patients
and visitors about the tobacco-free initiative and promote healthier lifestyles.
Wirtz said more than 30 employees have taken part in some kind of the
smoking cessation program of which the hospital subsidized up to $500
per employee.
"We are very happy we made the decision to be smoke-free and that people
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.
A committee dedicated to the mission, vision and values project will
present their 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 meeting.
The hospital's legal counsel made revisions based on board member feedback.
The board adjourned into executive session to discuss the employment of
an employee and a trade secret of a county hospital. No action was taken.
The next regular board meeting will be Jan. 24 at 8 p.m.
In other news:
-Approved the finance and joint conference committee reports
-Approved the initial appointment of Dr. Lisa Krumm, pediatrics, dept.
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 Surgery Core
-Approved the following medical officers for the 2008-2011 term: Dr.
Brian Seifferth, president; Dr. Victor Trianfo, vice president; Dr. John
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 service data.

Two council members attend final meeting
By RYAN HORNS
The new year will mark a change on Marysville City Council, as two
members said good-bye during the last meeting of 2007 Thursday.
Council president Ed Pleasant and David Burke expressed appreciation to
residents and city officials for the time spent representing their city
wards. In 2008, the empty seats will be filled by Nevin Taylor, making
his return to council and by newcomer Deborah Groat.
"We've been 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.
"Union 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 said.
Some of the small town aspects have vanished a bit, Pleasant said, but
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 direction."
Pleasant and Burke were both presented plaques in appreciation of their
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.
The rezoning brought forth many concerned Mill Road residents, when it
was first discussed at the Dec. 3 Marysville Planning Commission
meeting. Members 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 difficult vote."
He said there was some controversy and some concerned residents.
"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,
proper buffering, infrastructure issues, heavy traffic and trying to
keep access to their homes.
Councilman Dan Fogt asked if traffic seemed to be the major concern and
he wondered if Mill Road could be widened to prepare for the Kroger facility.
Donald Plank, speaking for Casto Development, the company in charge of
the project, said that the road could indeed be widened.
"We 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 stage.
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 willing to
participate should contact City Hall.

Alleged offender 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 impose not
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 antisocial behavior,"
Union County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard E. Parrott said.
The judge said the move offends not only him, but, "would offend anyone
with respect."
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 history which
included convictions for vehicular homicide, aggravated trafficking,
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 sentencing
recommendation, defense attorney Mark Miller asked if his client could
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 release.
"Unless and until there is some indication he has changed his position
on things, he has no chance of getting out, not as long as I am on the bench."
As the judge was talking, McWhorter, who stood to address the judge, sat
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
checkered past."
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 judge.
"I just apologize for what I did," he said. "I did the wrong thing."
McWhorter was arrested after law enforcement officials determined that
on May 12, 2005, he and two other men, Mark Schaffer and William
Spaulding, broke into an unoccupied home in the 900 block of Walker
Woods in Marysville. While in the home, which was under construction,
the three men took a generator, valued at $1,712. The men planned to
sell the generator for $400. The generator was recovered in the home of
an accomplice. Schaffer and Spaulding have each pleaded guilty to
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 Deputy.
Despite the order, Union County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard E.
Parrott has informed the defendant he could be out before the new year
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 a peace
officer, a felony of the fourth degree. He faced as many as 18 months in prison.
Parrott ordered the man to spend a year in prison and pay a $2,000 fine.
The judge says he has reviewed a presentence investigation Hall.
"It seems to me...that basically you are going to go in for 30 days and
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 maintained employment
through the pendency of the case, undergone a drug and alcohol
assessment and has begun a domestic violence counseling program.
"Mr. Hall made a mistake here," Davis said. "He understands the nature
of what he has done and the seriousness of what he has done, but as
opposed to a pattern of behavior, this was a one time bad decision. This
is by no means something he has done in the past or plans to do again."
Hall said he was, "sorry to anybody that was involved in the whole night."
Parrott issued his sentence, then chastised the man for placing him in
"an awkward position," adding that failing to adequately punish those
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."
Hall's conviction stemmed from an incident last summer. Sheriff's
deputies were 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 inner thigh."

Outgoing mayor reflects on past four years
By RYAN HORNS
"I think it's been a good four years," Tom Kruse said. "We didn't get
everything done that we wanted to, but we got a lot done."
As Marysville's outgoing mayor prepares to step down, Kruse took time to
reflect 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 the
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.
Finances are 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 could.
"I went into this hoping to improve the quality of life in Marysville,"
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 Democratic Party.
"I don't want to sit down the rest of my life and do nothing," Kruse
said. "I never actually had the goal of running for the state
legislature before. I like local government. I like being close to the
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 politics, he
said. But it is also attractive to be able to stay close to home. If
elected, he could work at the state house in Columbus and come back to
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 eight
counties represented by the 26th Senate District, similar to the foot
service he conducted which led to his election as Marysville's mayor.
He said he does not plan on going door to door this time, instead
favoring more of a grander plan of attending as many gatherings, held in
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 services."
He said Marysville is coming close to oversaturation of retail and the
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," Kruse said.
Preserving the history of Marysville is also important, Kruse said. He
agreed that many cities welcome growth to the point of forgetting their
original personality.
"I think we need to preserve our agricultural heritage," Kruse said. "We
can have growth and development and still maintain that."
An important part of that personality, he said is preserving Marysville'
Uptown District. He thanked city administrator Kathy House for her
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 said.
Kruse took a few lumps after closing down East Fifth Street at the
railroad crossing. But it is not a move that he regrets. He maintains
that it is a mistake for anyone, state or city, to put money into
upgrading the crossing. Plans are geared toward reworking the entire
traffic flow of Marysville's east side. To put money into it now, would
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 that."

Performance of "Messiah" will begin Christmas activities
By KARLYN BYERS
Tonight's production of George Frideric Handel's "Messiah" will begin
Christmas activities in the Marysville community.
"Messiah" is Handel's most famous work. It will be performed today,
Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church. A
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
playing flute.
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, according to
information provided by "Messiah" conductor Scott Underwood.
 First English Lutheran Church, 687 London Ave., -- will highlight
Christmas Eve services Monday with a children's program and special music.
 According to church pastor, the Rev. Paul Schultz, "Our Christmas Eve
activities begin at 4:30 p.m., when children of all ages are welcome to
'The Nativity,' an interactive and engaging journey through the story of
Jesus' birth." He said that the program will last approximately one
hour, and concludes, "take this wonderful opportunity to share the real
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 them.
 Schultz advises that all who believe and are baptized are welcome to
the Lord's Table for Holy Communion, and indeed, all are welcome in
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 service
will be held at 7 p.m. Monday and a candlelight service at 11 p.m.
Marysville First United Methodist Church, 207 S. Court St. - Christmas
Eve services will be held at 5:30 p.m. in the Burnside Family Life
Center for families with smaller children. Featured will be
Hands-in-Motion puppets. At 7:30 p.m., a contemporary service will be
held in the Burnside Center, followed at 9 p.m. by walk-in Communion in
the chapel; at 9:30 p.m. by special Christmas music in the sanctuary;
and at 10 p.m. by a traditional Christmas Eve service in the sanctuary.
Marysville Grace Brethren Church, Navin Elementary School, 16265 County
Home Road - A Christmas Sunday service will be held Dec. 23 at 10 a.m.;
Sunday school and childcare provided. A Christmas Eve Candlelight
Service will be held Monday at 6:30 p.m. A courtesy nursery - a room for
parents and children who need to leave the service - will be available.
Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, 1033 W. Fifth St. - A Christmas Eve
Mass will be held at 4 p.m.; a children's Mass at 6 p.m. and a midnight
Mass at midnight. A Christmas day Mass will be held Tuesday at 10 a.m.
Trinity Lutheran, 311 E. Sixth St. - A Christmas pageant will be
presented Sunday, Dec. 23 during the 9 and 10:30 a.m. services.
Christmas Eve services will include a family service at 10 a.m., a
birthday party for Jesus at 11 a.m., a traditional service at 7 p.m., a
contemporary service at 9 p.m., and a traditional Christmas Eve service
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 Christmas Eve
program will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, with a 10 a.m. Christmas Day
worship service to be held Tuesday.

Marysville restricts busing
Board also puts renewal, new levy on March ballot

By KARLYN BYERS
In a pre-Christmas meeting that lasted three hours Tuesday night,
Marysville School Board members made plans to put two operating levies
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 of a
five-year, 5-mill operating levy which expires in 2008 and a new
4.75-mill, five-year operating levy up for voter consideration.
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. Treasurer Delores
"Dee" Cramer said Monday night that rate is 4.6 mills for residential
taxpayers and a 4.38-mill commercial rate.
The 4.75-mill operating levy is a duplicate of an operating levy
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.
Because of the operating levy's most recent defeat in the Nov. 6 general
election, the school district has implemented numerous cost savings
measures and reductions, including increasing pay-to-participate fees
and travel fees, increasing school lunch prices, and eliminating
in-school suspension positions, athletic drug testing and resource
officers at the middle school.
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
operations manager.
Approximately 800 pupils will be impacted, Zimmerman said.
"I 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 minimized.
Zimmerman also said that beginning Jan. 3, two bus routes will be
combined. That will result in a "little longer" ride for some of the
pupils affected, he said.
Another cost savings measure adopted by the board was a modification of
an agreement between the school board and the Marysville Education
Association regarding staff benefits.
Zimmerman said the education association agreed to an increase in
insurance premiums paid, deductible amounts, and employee co-pay, which
he described as "incredible."
"I can't thank the staff enough," he said.
Board members 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 school bells.
Zimmerman said Hayes has been "an incredible board member."
"My biggest and fondest memories of Bill will be is total support,
especially the planning part," Zimmerman said.
"Bill has been a partner in saving this community millions, I mean
millions, of dollars," he said.
"This community has been a great community," Hayes responded. "I've been
happy to serve for 12 years."

Plain City plans for housing surge
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 forward.
Council president pro-tem Bob Walter, who also sits on the village's
planning commission, told council Tuesday, that Eagle's Landing
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," Walter said.
Eagle's Landing is an approximately 167 home development planned for the
newly annexed land at the northwest corner of Plain City-Georgesville
Road and Converse-Huff Road. Oak Grove is an approximately 220-home
development, to be built in phases over about eight years. It is to be
located in the south end of town, west of U.S. 42 near Lovejoy's Plaza.
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 commission once.
That commission made several changes and passed it along to the full
council for consideration. Because of village policy, as part of
council's adoption process, the code was sent back to planning and
zoning to review it and make a recommendation to send it back to council.
 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 code revisions.
Once the revisions are passed, the commission's moratorium could be
lifted and applications would be reviewed and forwarded to council with recommendations.
The Plain City South Park committee has asked for additional direction
from the village council regarding recreation options in the southern
half of the village near the planned developments. Members attended a
meeting several weeks ago seeking direction from council as to whether
it wanted one centralized park or several smaller parks around the south
end. Council said it had envisioned one park, but was open to the
possibility of alternatives. Walter asked, "how did the rest of the
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.
He added, "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 restrooms.
"Give us a full concept of what our options are, because I don't want
you making g any assumptions about dollars or anything like that," said
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.
"We have really got to look at the village as a whole -where we are now
and where 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 alternate plan."

Wild brawl at fair results in probation

Man set himself on fire; was  later pummeled
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 booze.
Mazin Shamoon, 39, of 713 Smiley Ave., in Cincinnati, pleaded guilty
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 sentencing
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 hours of
community service. Union County Prosecutor David Phillips said the man
has a drug and alcohol problem. Common Pleas Court Judge Richard E.
Parrott warned Shamoon that any use of alcohol over the next three years
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.
"I 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. The victim
apparently doused himself with lighter fluid and then lit it. Shamoon
said this is not the first time the victim has played with matches. He
said the victim is now forced to live in a tent as he has twice burned
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 head.
Defense attorney Michael Streng said his client's decision to put out
the fire, "made (the victim) mad and the fight ensued."
Streng added 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 Memorial
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 sentencing
hearing. Streng said his client has no prior felony convictions, but
added, "the hammer of prison hanging over his head," which would give
him any additionally needed incentive to stay out of trouble.
In a presentence investigation Shamoon wrote, "I hate what I've done."
Shamoon was originally indicted on felonious assault, a second-degree
felony punishable 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 assault charge.
"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 medical
bill at the hospital of almost $3,000," said Phillips.
Shamoon said neither the fight or the felony conviction has changed his
feelings for the victim.
"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.
Brenda Rock, 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 agency.
She said poverty also seems to be a pressing need as is alcohol and drug abuse.
The board also heard a report from Becca Smith and Casey Bish, students
in the high school's Project Lead the Way program.
The pair brought the board up to date on the various projects students
have performed 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:
.Heard an update on the high school renovation project from
superintendent Rick Smith.
.Learned that Monika Shaffer was named the VFW Teacher of the Year for
the district.
.Set the board finance committee meeting for Thursday at 6 p.m.
.Set the next regular board meeting for Jan. 14 at 7 p.m.
.Voted 5-0 to approve a resolution authorizing participation in the
Metropolitan Educational Council's Natural Gas Program for a five year period.
.Accepted $500 from Richard Parrott for the Parrott Scholarship Fund.
.Approved revisions and additions to several district policies.
.Voted 5-0 to employ Amy Huber on a one-year limited teaching contract
for middle school language arts.
.Voted to employ Melanie Hammons on a one-year limited contract as an
overnight substitute for grades 3-5.
.Approve lists of certified and non-certified personnel.
.Voted 5-0 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.
.Appointed board member Kevin Crosthwaite at the president pro tem for
the January organizational meeting.

UCSO introduces newest drug dog
By MAC CORDELL
It was an animal house at the Jerome Township meeting hall Monday as
Union County Sheriff Rocky Nelson introduced the county's newest drug dog - JT.
The meeting of the Jerome Township Trustees was a fitting choice to
introduce the dog as the trustees actually paid for the dog. The
children of Jerome Township were given the opportunity to submit names
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 name.
"They took a whole day to interview the dog," Nelson laughed. He
clarified, saying, "there was a lot that went into making sure we had
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 felonies.
"That doesn't count how many DARE graduations and demonstrations he has
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 kindergarten
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 program.
Sandie Miller told board members at the regular December meeting that
research she has conducted indicates that children transition better to
first grade and test scores tend to look better early on when
kindergarten pupils spend more time in the classroom.
Pupils also 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" demonstration conducted
by Fairbanks Elementary teachers Debbie Hegenderfer and Kim Bailey.
"Clickers" are wireless remotes that allow pupils to click in their
response to questions posed by their teachers. A receiver is plugged
into a laptop computer, and pupils aim their clickers at the receiver
which transmits their responses to the computer. Responses are then
shown on a Smart Board, or in the case of Monday night's demonstration,
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.
The system is used mainly with third and fourth graders, although
superintendent Jim Craycraft said senior citizens participating in a
recent school grandparent day were "having a great time" using the new
system.
 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:
.Approved Jennifer Picklesimer, substitute secretary, substitute
educational aide, and Joshua Barker, one-year contract as full time custodian.
.Approved supplemental contracts for Mitzi Noland, art club advisor, and
Marion Boggs, science club advisor, for the 2007-2008 school year.
.Approved Morgan Cotter, winter and spring weightlifting coordinator,
and Chris Luke, middle school wrestling coach.
.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 the implementation
of Date Analysis for Student Learning for the 2007-2008 year.
.Approved an overnight trip for the high school wrestling team to
Richmond Heights in order for the team to wrestle in the Dec. 21 and 22
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 decision on
his re-employment at the March 2008 regular meeting. This is standard
procedure for administrative positions, Craycraft said.
.Authorized the immediate termination of Denise Black, full-time bus
driver, for the inability to maintain proper bus driver certification.
.Approved the resignation of Jennifer Picklesimer, preschool educational
aide, effective Dec. 21.
.Accepted a $100 donation from Cub Scout Pack 158 to be used as needed
by Fairbanks Elementary.
.Approved non-public pupil transportation reimbursement to Mary Dick of
Robinson Road 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
County

By RYAN HORNS and MAC CORDELL
Crashes and 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
snowfall reported.
Union County 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 drivers.
As he heard the information from the deputy patrol office this morning,
Skinner said he knew it was going to be a high number, but was surprised
by the actual figure.
Of the crashes, Skinner said, sheriff's deputies helped out on 21. Six
of those crashes resulted in injuries.
The Marysville Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol was kept busy as
well, with a total of 17 crashes within its Union, Delaware and Marion
county coverage 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.
Driver 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, patrolling trooper
numbers are often reduced after the snow emergency.
Zwayer said that in addition to emergency calls for crashes over the
weekend, dispatchers also deal with a great amount of calls from
motorists asking about road conditions.
"That can take up a lot of time," he said.
Union County Engineer Steve Stolte said that keeping the roads clear
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 weekend long."
Ohio Department of Transportation spokeswoman Nancy Burton echoed
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 quickly."
Stolte said that despite the roads being relatively clear, he warned
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
often re-freeze.
"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 said.
Stolte also had praise for local snowplow crews. He said the county has
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 Commissioners.
"There is definitely some retail issues," said Union County economic
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 see."
Phillips said property owner John Wirchanski has a plan for the property
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 expects that
funding the interchange project should buy them some say in the
development of that area.
Since retail expansion would cause additional, unplanned for, traffic,
road improvements would need to be made.
"Who foots the bill for that?" wondered McCarthy. "Who is going to pay for that?"
Phillips also wondered about the appearance as drivers enter Union
County, calling the property "our main gateway."
"The only 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.
Just as concerning to the commissioners is what Phillips called "the retail explosion."
Union County already has the highest percentage of vacant retail stores
in central Ohio. With retail planned for the Wirchanski property, City
Gate, Jerome Village, Bayly Pointe and other locations, commissioners
wondered if the county could support that growth.
"How many rooftops does it take to support all this retail?" McCarthy asked.
"That's 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 "disappointed
with their sales" and "have not met their numbers."
Phillips added that from an economic development standpoint, the sight
of vacancies in the Coleman's Crossing area is, "kind of nerve wracking."
In general, Phillips said, many retail facilities will end up empty and
need rezoned or redeveloped.
"Retail's life longevity is not there like office or commercial,"
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 retailers.
"They will get this worked out," McCarthy said. "But it will be
interesting to see what happens."

Tom Kruse to seek state office
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.
Kruse, Marysville's 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
Democratic Party.
"The Ohio Senate needs a leader like Tom Kruse who understands how the
state can support local government and better meet the needs of citizens
in small 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 this district."
Kruse said that after eight years previously serving as Marysville's
mayor in the late 1980s and early 1990s, he can recall being visited by
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.
As the rest of Ohio leaders ignoring small towns, the state has lost
jobs and 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
has expanded.
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.
"We 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.
He said 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
adequately control 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 state
legislature," Kruse said. "I will focus my campaign and service in the
Ohio Senate on the issues that matter most to the people of the 26th
District: Economic development, job creation/retention and education."

Filmmaker interviews North Lewisburg veterans
By CORINNE BIX
Charlie Oder of North Lewisburg has a story to tell and Larry Cappetto
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 free.
"The heart and soul of what I'm doing with our veterans is to honor and
thank them for what they've done for our country," Cappetto said.
Cappetto hails from Grand Junction, Colo., and has traveled extensively
since 2002 collecting more than 500 interviews of war veterans.
His work has been featured on the CBS evening news with Katie Couric,
and he has completed six films focused on significant events in U.S. war
history including D-day, Iwo Jima, Vietnam and the Korean War.
"I'm taking my work into the mainstream of society," Cappetto said.
When several 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 be interviewed.
"Unbeknownst to me, the residents of North Lewisburg took it upon
themselves to pay my expenses," Cappetto said. "I've never had a
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
approximately $2,700.
"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 interviews with
five World War II veterans at Cherry Arbors on Thursday.
He will then give a presentation at Triad High School at 9 a.m. on
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 story."
In his films, Cappetto uses no narration and no editorial comment. The
voice of his work comes completely from the veterans themselves.
PBS stations around the country have broadcast Cappetto's films as he
has worked 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 II respectively.
"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."
For more information about Larry Cappetto and his work visit
www.veteranshistory.org or e-mail Cappetto at larry@veteranshistory.org.

Care 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 needy children.
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, such as
Ace Hardware, Burger King, Honda of Marysville and Roby Auto Group locations.
Laslow explained that the charity auction cash donations are always
divided up between the many local families in need. But the number of
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 children,
because it uses all the money from the auction to distribute to needy families.
"It's not that the community didn't do its job," he said.
He said the issue with the Care Train is that the more people who know
about the charity, the more families are discovered to be in need. As a
result, the auction went from helping to make holidays happen for 900
children, as opposed to 800 the previous year.

Hamburglers enter guilty pleas
Suspects allegedly robbed local McDonald's

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.
Nicolas Trejo, 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 woman.
"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.
Union County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard Parrott said he wanted to
see a presentence investigation on both defendants.
Trejo is set for a sentencing Jan. 10.
Valentine asked Matson if she wanted to just move forward with
sentencing immediately.
"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 PSI.
Parrott told the woman that she had the right to that investigation and
that she should not simply waive it because of a medical condition.
Matson said she understood, but wanted to move forward anyway.
The defensive attorney said his client was "a young girl who made some
poor decisions."
"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 apply for
judicial release in 180 days.
She was also ordered to pay restitution; however, the exact amount has
not yet been calculated.
Matson, Trejo and another man are accused of robbing the McDonald's
restaurant on Route 31. Matson was an employee of the restaurant Feb. 4.
That evening, she left a rear door open then called Trejo and another
man to let them know she had done so. Trejo drove the other man to the
restaurant. The codefendant, wearing a dark hood and mask, entered the
unlocked door.
"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 employees into
closets at McDonald's in order to escape."
The codefendant 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.
The police began an investigation immediately following the robbery,"
said Union 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."
That codefendant, who is charged with aggravated robbery, complicity to
aggravated 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
alleged robbery.

Man sentenced for failing to register as sex offender
By MAC CORDELL
Professed confusion over post-prison requirements has led to another two
years behind bars for a Marysville man
William Alan Jenks, 36, of 826 Watkins Glen, pleaded guilty Wednesday to
one count of failure to register, a felony of the third degree.
Jenks was apparently released from an Indiana prison in March 2006 and
placed on parole. As part of that parole, Jenks asked his supervising
officer for permission to leave the state in July and come to
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 life.
"There was some confusion, at least in his mind, when he came over here
what his reporting requirements were, registration requirements were,"
defense attorney Cliff Valentine told the judge.
Union County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard Parrott ordered a
presentence investigation. 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 Howard County,
Indiana, for criminal confinement; eight years in prison for a 1997
conviction on child molestation stemming from a relationship with a
15-year-old girl; five years in prison following a 2001 conviction for
burglary during which the victim was stabbed; and one year in prison for
January 2006 convictions for resisting law enforcement and neglecting a
dependent. According to Union County Municipal Court documents, three of
Jenk's prior convictions involved class A felonies, Indiana's most
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 routine criminal
records check which revealed his past as a sexual offender and his
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, law
enforcement officials believe he was living at the property on Meadows
Drive. That property abuts Marysville High School and Middle School
properties, though investigators do not believe Jenks targeted that
property because of its proximity to the schools.
"We believe it was simply for convenience to his mother and girlfriend," said Nicol.
Sex offenders in Ohio, and in much of the nation now, are classified
into three tiers depending on their offense. They must register with the
sheriff's 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 portion will
not be effective until January 1, 2008.
For a list of sexual offenders registered in Ohio, go to
www.esorn.ag.state.oh.us.

Couple nabbed after theft of numerous items from Wal-Mart
From J-T staff reports
A Dayton couple was arrested today after stealing thousands of dollars
of merchandise from Marysville's Wal-Mart Supercenter.
Marysville 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.
"The pair was stopped by an alert Ohio State Patrol trooper on U.S. 33,"
police reported. "The items were located in a large tub in the vehicle."
The Marysville Post of the OSP reported this morning that the two were
stopped at 1:03 a.m. as they were heading east on U.S. 33 near U.S. 42
and were apparently weaving across traffic lanes. Storm was cited for
driving under suspension and failure to stay in marked lanes.
Marysville Assistant Police Chief Glenn Nicol credited the trooper for
his investigation.
He said that the suspects reportedly acted suspicious when the trooper
asked them 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 Police
Department, Nicol said. Officers then checked the Wal-Mart store
security surveillance cameras which revealed the pair committing the theft.
He said the cameras show the pair loading the items into the tub inside
the store, then at 12:55 a.m. they left through a fire exit located at
the southwest corner of the store.
"It's pretty cut and dry," Nicol said.

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. Recognizing
that, Union County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard E. Parrott dismissed
the charges against Couch midway through the trial.
Couch had 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 box.
Assistant Union County Prosecutor Terry Hord presented a video taken
from the dash camera of one of the deputies' cruisers at the scene. In
the video, deputies are speaking with the defendant's wife, who was
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 understand.
Lee told the jury Couch did not tell him about any weapons in the vehicle.
When the state rested its case against the man, defense attorney Cliff
Valentine asked the judge to dismiss the charges.
"I granted that motion," Parrott explained to the jury. "I took it from
you folks because I don't think there is enough evidence."
He said it, "is a tough call."
The judge said there was evidence that there was a gun in Couch's vehicle.
"Even so, I don't think there is evidence sufficient enough that he even
knew the gun was there," Parrott said.
Valentine said he was pleased the judge recognized the weakness of the state's case.
"This was the right result," said Valentine after the trial. "This case
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."
Union County 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 gun.
"We were surprised and somewhat disappointed by the court's ruling,"
Phillips said after the trial. "We felt there was at least
circumstantial evidence that he knew the gun was there. We thought there
was sufficient evidence to survive a Rule 29 motion."
Defense attorneys almost always make a motion to dismiss, or Rule 29
motion, immediately after the prosecution rests. It is called a Rule 29
motion, because it comes from Ohio rules of criminal procedures, Rule 29
which allows 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.
Parrott 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 trial.
"It is simply a rule that has been given in the law, which allows for
conservation of efforts and money in a case where there is nothing to defend."
"A case can be held, in essence, not to be of merit, due to a lack of
evidence on a particular element or elements of that charge," the judge said.

Unionville Center Council approves flooding fix
By AUDREY HALL
At its regular meeting Tuesday night, Unionville Center Village Council
approved hiring John Eger and Son Excavating to install a storm sewer
tile at the south end of town that has been plagued with flooding
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 begin soon.
The Charles W. Fairbanks Family Festival received an allocation of
$1,000 in the budget discussion that continued from last week's special
meeting. Final budget approval will be at the first meeting in January.
Council had an opportunity to see the Union County Chamber of Commerce
Salute to Leaders Award received by the Charles W. Fairbanks Family
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 tests.
Santa Claus greeted many children from the community prior to the meeting.
Resident are reminded that an open seat on council remains. Anyone
interested should contact mayor Denver Thompson, any council member or
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 Williamson.

Sheriff's department increases traffic enforcement over holidays
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 year.
Public Information Officer Chris Skinner said that what is new about
this year's enforcement schedule is that it is running throughout the
day. He said normally deputies would focus on the late night hours,
after people may be leaving parties or bars for home. But there is the
added worry about drivers leaving daytime parties and driving while impaired.
"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 the Union
County Sheriff's Office said. "In addition to the impaired driver we
will be focusing our enforcement efforts on driving behaviors that often
lead to crashes and injury. We will be focusing on speed, improper
passing, and as always we will have zero tolerance on individuals not
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 "dangerous,
if not deadly, to drink and drive." It is also against the law.
"Plan ahead for your celebration," Union County Sheriff Rocky Nelson
said. "Serve 'mocktails' or other non-alcoholic drinks and if you are
going to drink, choose a designated driver that will make sure everyone
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 ballot

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 bills.
Council had previously decided that the operating levy would be put on
as a replacement, meaning the 3.2 mills would be collected based on the
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, permanent improvement
levy on the March primary ballot. The money would fund five additional
classrooms, a 700-seat auditorium and a new auxiliary gymnasium and
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 village," council
member Von Beal said.
In other business, council:
.Voted 6-0 to accept $2,230 from the North Union Veterans Memorial
project. The money will be held in village coffers for use on the monument.
.Heard a concern from an Ottawa Street resident over illegal parking in
snowmobile activity in the area of his home. The resident inquired about
constructing a fence in the area and was told village administrator
Larry Baxa would investigate the proposed location.
.Set work sessions for January to go over the village policy manual and ordinances.
.Adopted a temporary budget for 2008  with appropriations of $1.8
million and revenues of $1.6 million. About $180,000 in village surplus
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 the issue
for the next three months, while they hear opinions from the Union
County Sheriff's Department and other residents in the village.
Mayor Bob Mitchell said that the issue came up because the current light
is more than 40 years old and needs to be replaced. However, the cost is
significant. It could be $5,000 to fix the lights, or only $300 to pay
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.
"You'd be 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
40 years.
Council 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.
"Personally 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.
Regarding the 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 the devices
and he has been looking for a way to purchase more so that the devices
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.

Jonathan Alder 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 inclusive by
addressing cyber-bullying that could result in "a detriment to a safe
and orderly school environment."
Steve Votaw, board member, suggested that some language be changed to
ensure a firmer school stance.
Votaw 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 Alder dedicated
anonymous hotline allows anyone to make school officials aware of any
information that would threaten the safety of the school as a whole.
Alder will finally have "school zones" after petitioning the Ohio
Department of Transportation over the past several years.
The district has wanted to post "school zone" signs along U.S. 42 where
four JA buildings are located.
Carpenter said he credited recent local media coverage for bringing
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 sign.
The district will now have school zone signs posted along U.S. 42 which
require reduced speed limits from 7:15-8 a.m. and from 2-3 p.m.
In a 4-1 vote, the board agreed to send a letter to the Madison County
Board of Health and the Ohio EPA reiterating concerns with the proposed
mega farm to be located within 1.3 miles of Monroe Elementary. Linda
Beachy voted no.
Over the last few months, the board has heard presentations for and
against construction of the 5,200-acre Oreleton Dairy Project.
The letter will not take sides but will let the regulatory state
agencies know that the board puts the safety of district students first.
The letter will also be copied to area legislators and the Ohio
Department of Agriculture who have already been contacted by the
district on the matter.
Dr. John Adams reported that phase one of repairs to the roof at Monroe
Elementary is almost complete. Phase two will involve checking all doors
and windows ensuring that they are properly sealed to avoid any future leaks.
Carpenter said after the meeting that the district has worked closely
with its attorneys and a consulting firm to ensure that the repairs are
done correctly and that all the work is covered under a warranty.
The Monroe Elementary building opened in 2002.
The board 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 pleasure."
Carpenter said Phillips has been a longtime contributor to the district
and his efforts have helped students.
"I've always respected the way you've done business as a board member,"
Carpenter said.
The next board meeting will be Jan. 14 at 7 p.m.
In other news, the board:
.Accepted the resignations of Sue Palmer as track coach for the 2008
season and Boyd Harbage as assistant football coach.
.Approved 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.
.Approved as 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 4.
.Approved various in-lieu-of transportation requests.
.Commended the 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.
.Commended Paul Brunner and Anne Gorman for an outstanding Christmas concert.
.Commended the JAJHS students and Gorman for their participation in the
Veterans Day program at Tolles Career and Technical Center.
.Commended Canann middle school students and staff for raising $1,132
for the Plain City Christmas baskets.

Plain City completes zoning code
By MAC CORDELL
The long awaited revised Plain City zoning code has finally been
finished and the convoluted acceptance process has begun.
The revised zoning code was presented at Monday night's meeting of the
village council. Council president pro-tem Bob Walter said the revision
process, from concept to completion, has taken him and others several years.
The code has already been presented to the planning commission. That
commission made several changes and passed it along to the full council
for consideration. Because of village policy, council must now pass an
ordinance to formally adopt the code. That adoption process includes
sending it back to planning and zoning to review it and make a
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
the procedure."
Village solicitor 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 development, both
commercial and residential, in Plain City. The village's planning and
zoning commission has tabled its motion to lift the sewer tap moratorium.
Walter said the commission decided not to lift its moratorium or even
review applications until council has approved zoning code revisions.
Once the revisions are passed, the commission's moratorium could be
lifted and applications would be reviewed and forwarded to council with
recommendations.
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 a
25-percent match. However, grant administrators evaluated the village's
application, approving it at the 10 percent match level. The federal
Department of Justice grant will supply the police department with
hardware to increase the internet capabilities in the cruisers.
The second-phase grant gave the village $10,000. The first phase of the
grant also gave the village $10,000 at the 10-percent match level.
"Basically, for $2,000, we have been awarded $20,000 worth of
equipment," Hill told the council.
He credited Sgt. Tom Jaskiewicz for installing all of the equipment and software.
"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 said.
Councilman Chris Johnston said having an officer with that kind of
technical know-how was an asset to the police department and the village.
Council also voiced their approval for a request made by the Union
County Chamber of Commerce. Mayor Sandra Adkins said she was approached
by Chamber Executive Director Eric Phillips. She said each municipality
has been asked to increase their dues from $3,100 to $3,500 annually.
"I think they just find themselves in a place where they need more
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."
Walter said he was not opposed to helping the chamber with its financial issues.
"We have gotten more than we have given, so I am not opposed to paying
an 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 this morning.
"We met our goal," Laslo said of Saturday's charity auction at
McAuliffe's Ace Hardware. "All along, we wanted to raise at least $125
apiece, for each of the families we are helping this season and we had
over $94,000 raised by the end of the event. The families will be taken
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 the community
and the county, which is kind of neat," Laslo said.
The president said between 400 and 500 individuals and businesses signed
up to bid on items. He said the large crowd, at the event and those
watching and listening on television or radio, were captivated by the auction.
"I had people tell me they couldn't stop watching," Laslo said. "It is a
fun time for a great cause."
Those still wanting to help can still donate toys at any of the
firehouses in Union County or Honda Marysville. Laslo explained all the
money raised goes to purchase food for the families. Toy and other items
are donated by those who "adopt" the families. Toys donated are added to
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 distribution day.
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 happy."

County seeks to improve transit services
From J-T staff reports
Over the past several months, the Board of Union County Commissioners in
collaboration with the Union County Agency Transportation Service
(UCATS) has been developing a coordinated public transit/human services
transportation plan.
The plan will ensure that Union County is in compliance with
recently-enacted federal legislation that requires projects funded
through Job Access Reverse Commute (JARC), New Freedoms or Ohio
Specialized Transportation Program for Elderly Individuals and
Individuals with Disabilities are derived from a locally developed,
coordinated public transit/human services transportation action plan.
The plan, according to legislation, is to represent a "unified,
comprehensive strategy for public transportation service delivery that
identifies the transportation needs of individuals with disabilities,
older adults, and individuals with limited income, and lays out
strategies for meeting these needs and prioritizes services."
The JARC program provides formula funding for projects that assist
welfare recipients and eligible low-income individuals in accessing jobs
and other employment-related activities. It also supports reverse
commute projects 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 Ohio Specialized
Transportation Program provides nonprofit agencies and other eligible
organizations funding for vehicles to assist in meeting the
transportation needs of the elderly and persons with disabilities.
 A draft of the coordinated plan is now available for public review and comment.
The draft plan describes the plan development process and provides an
inventory of current transportation options available to disadvantaged
residents of Union County along with identification of current and
projected gaps and overlaps in transportation services.
More importantly, it includes prioritized action strategies to fill the
gaps, eliminate the overlaps in transportation service and
transportation support 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 County services.
. increasing participation/discussion with employers and locally elected
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
manufacturing plants.
. further exploring options to connect with transportation providers in
adjacent counties.
Some of these plan strategies could be viable as soon as spring of next
year with 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 planning process.
They feel this is the best way to assure efficient use of resources
based on a needs-driven delivery system. Those interested in further
participation with the plan are also encouraged to contact the Lakatos
Group at clakatos@ix.netcom.com, or by calling 937-435-7771.
The public may view the plan at the Union County Commissioners' Office,
the UCATS office at 18000 Route 4, Suite D128, in Marysville, or on the
Senior Services website at www.ucseniors.org, available through Friday, Dec 21.
The draft plan can also be emailed upon request. The public is
encouraged to review the plan and provide any comments to the Lakatos
Group at clakatos@ix.netcom.com, or by calling 937-435-7771.

Man found guilty in 23 minutes

Richwood resident gets five years for  felonious assault
By MAC CORDELL
Just 23 minutes after the jury retired to deliberate the fate of Gerald
Keeton, it returned with a verdict - guilty.
Keeton Jr., 40, of 109 W. Blackgrove St., in Richwood, was convicted by
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 that long."
Hord explained the 1999 conviction followed an incident at a bar when
Keeton broke a beer bottle, then used the jagged broken bottle to stab
the victim in the throat.
Hord recommended a five or six year sentence.
Defense Attorney Cliff Valentine said he felt a two or three year
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 children.
"I would be happy to make this right," Keeton said. "I am just asking
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 you."
The judge said when Keeton does get caught, he tries to "fool everybody."
Parrott said he was concerned, "somebody's going to get killed someday."
Parrott ordered the man to spend five years in prison. A maximum
sentence is eight years. Keeton can apply for judicial release in four years.
"Today, you probably don't agree with me," Parrott said. "But I think
I've probably given you a break you probably don't deserve."
The 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
years. Hopefully 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.
The victim told the jury that during the early morning hours of Aug. 26,
he had gone to the Back Alley Tavern in Richwood following a call from
his daughter, 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.
The man's wife, who went to the bar with her husband to pick up the
daughter, offered similar testimony. She added that during the
altercation, she was sprayed in the face with pepper spray or mace by
the defendant's sister.
The man's doctor also testified. The physician said the man's face was
fractured in a manner that was consistent with being hit in the face
with a bottle. He said the victim needed a pair of surgeries to repair
the fractures and that pain would continue for quite some time.
Former Richwood Police Officer Gene Collins said Keeton called 911. The
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 of the
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 reports."
Several of the defendant's friends and family members testified about
the incident. Each of them told a different version of events, but all
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 statement,
the friend wrote he saw the two men arguing.
"Then I saw (the defendant) take the first swing at the guy," Hord read
from the statement.
The friend said that just meant he didn't know who threw the first punch.
The defendant elected to testify, telling the jury he knew there was
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 times."
The defendant said he never hit the victim with a bottle.
Jury members were not allowed to hear about the man's prior criminal
history 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 Sunday
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 have been
distributed, which will allow early seating until 1:45 p.m. After that,
all people remaining in the auditorium lobby will seated as seating allows.
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 military in
Ohio. As one of the largest National Guard bands in the nation, the
122nd is able to utilize its resources to play dozens of concerts each
year. Citizens, soldiers, and other musicians have agreed that the 122nd
Army Band is one of the finest groups of its kind in the nation,
according to a Friday press release announcing the bands' appearance.
The History of the Air National Guard Band of the Great Lakes, formerly
known as the "Triple Nickel," dates back to the 1920s. The band was
known then as the 148th Infantry Band and was based in downtown Toledo.
In the early days of World War II, the 148th was combined with several
other smaller bands to form the 37th Ohio Division Band. This band
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.
The next program in the 2007-2008 season of the Union County Community
Concerts Association will be "Quattrocelli" cellists ensemble. Mixing
the serious and the light, Quattrocelli will appear in the high school
auditorium March 31.
The season will conclude April 16 with "Revolution" Beatles impersonators.

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.
The issue came up as part of Marysville City Council's second reading
and public hearing on three resolutions to adopt the Wastewater Master
Plan, Wastewater 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 Marysville's sewer
and water lines south of U.S. 42 to The City of Dublin.
"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 said.
There are only open discussions going on to look at every option
available to do what is best for the city of  Marysville, Kruse said.
"I have no agreements with anyone," he said. "I will evaluate all options."
Ultimately councilman John Gore asked that the three resolutions be
tabled until June 12. This would give incoming mayor Chris Schmenk time
to decide how to pursue Marysville's future in the Jerome Township/U.S.
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 mind.
Gore said he already had issues with the wastewater and water master
plan resolutions before this debate came up. He said he previously had
questions about the plans, but was never given any answers by the firm
which completed the study.
Gore said he also heard rumors that Kruse had made a deal with Dublin
regarding the sewer and water lines.
"I don't know if there was a handshake deal with the City of Dublin or
not," he said.
This morning councilman Dave Burke said that there was no official deal
made between Kruse and Dublin. He said Kruse can not enter into an
agreement to sell anything of the city's without it being approved first
by Marysville City Council.
"Even if he sold it for $1," Burke said. "It's impossible without
council's approval."
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 discussed:
. Council passed an ordinance to implement the city's Sidewalk
Replacement Program.
. Councilman John Marshall said that the Marysville Frozen Nose 4-Miler
is scheduled for Jan. 12 and will start at 9 a.m.

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.
Troopers investigated and have determined the direction of travel
through inspection of the physical evidence in the crash. A witness on
the scene had previously reported that the Dodge pickup was southbound
on Route 4.
After the 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 roadside.
The right front passenger in the Honda, Diep T. Alexander, 61, also of
El Paso, and Zizzo were both seriously injured and taken to Miami Valley
Hospital by medical helicopter.
Mechanicsburg and Pleasant Township medics responded to the scene.
Alexander was pronounced dead at the scene.
The crash remains under investigation.

OSP commander asks for driver caution during winter weather
From J-T staff reports
Marysville's Ohio State Highway Patrol branch had a busy time dealing
with snow-related crashes Thursday.
Throughout Wednesday's snow storm, troopers on the roadways responded to
13 crashes in Union County.
Dispatchers said there were more drivers that went off the road that
troopers helped, without official reports being made.
Patrol commander Rick Zwayer said because snow is now a problem on
roadways, and more snow is expected, he offered a few tips or drivers.
"We've seen a  lot of failure to yield (crashes) and a lot of people
sliding off the road due to excessive speeds," he said.
Zwayer is 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 lights.

Board certifies election results

Plans in motion to split Allen Township precinc
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 Elections.
Herron said the board of elections finalized the election earlier this week.
"We now have everything certified," said Herron.
For the November general election, 32 percent of registered voters
participated. 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 reported.
Franklin and Delaware County recount results, to be combined with the
Union County recount, were not available at press time. The elections
still in doubt involve the Dublin City Council race for the third at
large seat and the Delaware /Union Governing Board of Education race for
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 board officials
have much to do to prepare. One of the biggest changes will come in
Allen Township. The township, which in the past has been one precinct,
will be split. Residents living east of Bear Swamp and Wilbur Roads will
be in Allen Township precinct one. Residents living west of the Bear
Swamp-Wilbur Roads line will be in precinct two. While the precincts
will be split, both will vote in the Allen Township building.
Herron said splitting the township into two precincts was simply a
matter of numbers. The state mandates a precinct have a maximum of 1,500
voters. Allen Township currently has 1,467 residents registered to vote.
"Allen Township has grown considerably," Herron said. "We know with an
influx coming in for the presidential primary, it will probably put us
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 polling location.
Allen Township isn't the only area of the county where election
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 percent.
"We are getting geared up," Herron said. "We are expecting a flood
coming through for the presidential primary. We are trying to get ready
as best we can."
One of the preparations the board is making is the purchase of
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
committee members.
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.
"We already have a whole file full of people who have filed for the
election," Herron said.
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 Saturday
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 array of
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.
Bob Chapman Ford donated a 42-inch LCD television and Nintendo Wii for
game enthusiasts. Auction sponsor Marysville Honda and Marysville
Powersports have donated two Honda generators to be auctioned separately.
Also up on the auction block are two vehicles, a 1989 Buick LaSabre from
Steve Mills Chevrolet and a 2001 Dodge Ram pickup donated by John
Hinderer. Restaurants 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 Caterers.
 Keeping with tradition, the Care Train live Auction will be hosted by
Care Train Founder Dave Laslow and longtime supporter Mike Ramsey.
Assisting with the live auction will be community member and auctioneer
Danny Westlake.
Drop-off places for toys are located at Burger King, Donatos, Honda
Marysville, McAuliffe Ace Hardware and any Union County Fire Station.
All toys collected throughout this season and food vouchers will de
distributed to families Dec. 18 from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Dutch Mill Green
House on Route 31.
The auction will be televised for Time Warner Cable subscribers, as well
as broadcast on 1270-WUCO radio.
For more information on the Care Train of Union County and how to hop on
board, visit the Web site at www.caretrain.org.

North Lewisburg 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 its
jurisdiction, including Union and Greene, that Champaign has received
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 funding.
Yoder presented a letter to council that will be shared at the Champaign
County Mayors Association meeting Dec. 12. The letter asks the OPWC to
reconsider its decision because it will impact promised funding for
municipalities in Champaign County in the coming year.
In other 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 $1.5 million.
The village plans on scheduling a work session with the Northeast
Champaign County Fire District (NECCFD) the second week of January.
The NECCFD requested the work session last month. The majority of
council members agreed that a proposal would first need to be submitted
as to what would be discussed at the work session before a date could be
scheduled.
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 served, 50
follow-up investigations completed, four instances of juvenile contact,
one civic activity and two auto accident reports taken.
.Council 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
Union County residents awakened this morning to the first snow of the
year, with several inches blanketing their yards.
But local street crews were prepared.
"Everything is going pretty good," Marysville Streets Superintendent Joe
Tracy said this morning. "We just have to educate all the motorists on
how to drive in the snow again."
Roads in the county, "are getting there," said Union County Assistant
Engineer Jeff Stauch.
According to the Weather Channel, a severe weather alert snow advisory
has been issued until 4 p.m. today for regional counties, including
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," Stauch said.
From comments he has heard from drivers coming into the city for work
today, Marysville roadways are better off than most right now. He said
preparations for the snow fall started Tuesday, as trucks sprayed liquid
salt, or brine, onto city streets throughout the day.
Stauch said county road crews, with 17 plows, have been on the job since
about 3 a.m.
"They were watching the forecast like everybody else," Stauch said.
"When we talked to the guys yesterday at quitting time, they were pretty
sure it was going to hit. We told them to go home and get some rest, but
be prepared to be called in the middle of the night and sure enough
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."
He did 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.
Union County Emergency Management Agency director Randy Riffle said that
conditions seem 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 quiet."
Stauch reminded drivers to be cautious around the snow plow drivers.
"Give the snow plows some room and just be careful driving around them,"
Stauch said. "Be aware they are out there doing their job. We will be
doing it as quickly as we can. A lot of people want to scoot around the
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.

Convicted murderer 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 dangerous ordinance.
Jackson went to visit his mother Oct. 15, 2002 while she was working at
Heartland of Marysville. During the visit, the pair went to the parking
lot and argued. During the argument, Jackson shot his mother in the
abdomen with a 12-gauge shotgun. The woman died nine days later. Jackson
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 Institution in
Marion, serving nine years for burglary and breaking and entering in
Auglaize County. Miller is now charged with nine counts of rape, all
first degree felonies and all involving children under 10 years old. He
is also charged with six counts of gross sexual imposition, felonies of
the third degree involving children under 12. The offenses are alleged
to have occurred between June 22 and Aug. 12. Miller has already been
adjudicated as a sexually violent predator from a prior offense.
Alex M. Barnes, 22, has also previously been ruled a violent sexual
predator, 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 crimes occurred
between Dec. 1, 2004 and Jan. 22, 2005. If convicted on all charges,
Barnes faces as more than 31 years in prison.
A fourth individual, Donald Eugene Paver, has also been indicted on sex
related charges. Paver, 57, of 21549 Shirk Ave., in Raymond, has been
charged with 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 both counts.
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 of
identification fraud. According to court documents, the burglary and one
incident of receiving stolen property are alleged to have occurred
November 14. The other alleged offenses are reported to have occurred
between May 15, and Oct. 22. If convicted on all charges, Dillon faces
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 fourth degree.
According to the court documents, the offenses are alleged to have
occurred Sept. 15 involving Oxycodone, Methadone, Clonazepam, Alprazolam
as well as cocaine. She faces as many as six-and-a-half years in prison
if convicted on all charges. Law enforcement officials could also seize
her 1995 Pontiac Sunburst vehicle, which the grand jury alleges was used
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 2008 budget
By AUDREY HALL
The Unionville Center Village Council held a special meeting Tuesday
night for preliminary discussion on the 2008 budget.
Continued discussion and final decisions are expected at the regular
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 year. The
clerk-treasurer's salary increase from $1,000 to $1,400 will take place
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
official business.
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 meetings.
Utility costs have increased for the village.  More money was earmarked
to allow for Dayton Power and Light Company increases for streetlights,
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 village.
Present at the meeting were Mayor Denver Thompson, Clerk-Treasurer Tracy
Rausch, and council members Mary Lou Morris, Phil Rausch, Brenda Terry
and Peggy Williamson.

Holidays require fire safety vigilance
By RYAN HORNS
Marysville Fire Chief Gary Johnson said that fire safety during the
holidays is all about common sense and awareness.
"This time of year you can become really distracted with the holiday
activities," he said. "We don't tend to be as careful as we could be about things."
Marysville has seen its share of winter fire emergencies, Johnson said,
from faulty chimneys to candles. A house on Woodview Drive has even
exploded twice due to a malfunctioning gas line to the chimney.
Johnson said when it comes to the dangers of holiday decorations,
residents can see for themselves how fast a pine tree can engulf a room
in fire by viewing a video clip available at the Marysville Fire
Department Web site at www.marysvilleohio.org. The tree is shown
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.
Ohio State Fire Marshall Michael P. Bell is urging Ohio families to pay
close attention to fire safety this holiday season. Since 2000, nine
deaths and 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.
When it comes to candles, Johnson said the idea is to never leave them
burning when 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 trend.
"All of our fatal fires in recent memory have occurred during the
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 fires in
the fireplace using combustible liquids like gasoline.
Johnson shook his head when recalling a woman who was found driving
around the city with her children, heating her van with a kerosene heater.
"It's about 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 Valley

By RYAN HORNS
A potential new Kroger store planned for Mill Valley drew some debate
during Monday night's meeting of the Marysville Planning Commission.
Casto Development requested to rezone a 27.88 acre parcel of land
southeast of Mill Road in order to construct a new 90,000 square-foot
Kroger store. Current zoning for the land does not provide for one large
building, favoring instead numerous smaller ones.
By way of comparison, Casto Development representative Donald Plank said
the Kroger already located on West Fifth Street is about 65,000 square
feet in size.
The rezoning issue opens up a larger discussion of what Kroger has
planned for its presence in Marysville. Could a new store mean the
closing of the old one, leaving another large vacant building to join
the former Big Bear, Wal-Mart, Bob Evans and Heilig Miejers?
Kroger media representative Dale Hollandsworth said this morning that
details are too soon to tell.
"I do not know the answer to that," Hollandsworth said. "We are probably
very premature."
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 Environmental
Protection Agency would have to be contacted in order to place a
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 that."
Regardless of the future of the West Fifth Street store, property owners
near the proposed rezoning area had their issues. One man said if the
land is rezoned his bedroom window would look directly into a potential
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 are children
coming from school on those roads and it could become dangerous.
"I'm looking at this being a very large development," he said. "It's
going to change that whole area."
Honeycutt said the Kroger store could "absolutely destroy the value of
my property."
Commissioner Allen 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
review board.
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.
She said they have taken into account the commissioners recommendations,
although the plan remains similar to the one proposed on Nov. 5.
Commissioner Ken Kraus pointed out that that the project only lists two
phases, one regarding Mill Wood Boulevard and the other being the future
Miejer store.
"After 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 overwhelming."
Commissioner John Cunningham said there is nothing in city code
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 reason.
Commissioner Don Bergwall said it had to do with the "Crossing" aspect
of the name.
"We never really talked about changing the name," Cooks development
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 development.
Marysville attorney Dennis Schulze is representing the Clark Addition
residents, whose neighborhood is partly surrounded by Cooks Crossing.
Schulze said the neighborhood could be greatly affected. Issues ranging
from traffic, noise, lights, environmental runoff, to utilities need to be addressed.
Northern property owner to the development Dan Fitzgerald pointed out
that not one landowner has come forward at planning commission meetings
to support Cooks Crossing.
Seymour said that the sketch plan approval is just the beginning.
"This is step one of a very lengthy process," Seymour said.
Commission members decided perhaps the discussion should turn toward
preparing for the preliminary plan.

Jerome Twp. seeks expertise in planning
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.
The zoning commission requested the resolution to allow the
Logan-Union-Champaign 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 Rhodes.
Trustees noted that with the Jerome Village and Bayly Pointe plans, the
township and its needs have changed significantly since the plan was
started. Trustee Andy Thomas said a lot of money was spent gathering
data and public opinion for the comprehensive plan. He said many
residents invested their time on a plan committee and even attending
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 Thomas.
Commissioner Bob Merkle suggested having the LUC complete the plan
except the land use portion, then accepting the plan, "that way we have
brought closure to it and we can still integrate public comments."
He said the township could then use the completed plan as a starting
point and 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 anyway.
"The plan itself is not a valid instrument other than the data," said
Rhodes. "It is just a barely working document at this point."
He added that given the new needs of the township, "we need a more
in-depth plan that will do traffic and will look further than just a
comprehensive plan."
Merkle agreed, saying that talks with Marysville and Dublin require
"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 the plan.
"Hopefully they will look at the work and data done already," Merkle said.
Additionally, fire chief Scott Skeldon reminded the trustees and
residents that the Jerome Township Fire Station, and all the fire
stations in Union County, will serve as toy drop-off points for the Care Train.
"We are really excited and looking forward to that," Skeldon said.
He said he is pleased to be working with a program that keeps the
donated toys local.
"I think we can stay with the care train and everything can stay within
the county," the chief said.

UCSO 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 vehicle, and
eventually alerted to a pound of marijuana found inside.
The sheriff's office reported that the amount seized was equal to about
$1,100 in street sales.
No charges have been filed against the driver at this time, as the Union
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.
Oddly enough, 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 work.
"We were in Marysville for a concert," Duffey said. "And someone
approached me and asked if I ever thought about working in a prison. I
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 institutions.
"I probably never would have left," Duffey said. "But I wanted to gain
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 Institution, having
served as deputy warden for four years. She has served in every security
position during her tenure and holds a bachelor of science degree in
organizational management from Florida's Wilberforce University.
More recently she discovered that the opportunity presented itself to
come back to Marysville's ORW as it's new warden. It was a role she
could not pass up.
Now Duffey hopes to bring the knowledge she has gained throughout
decades of prison work by trying to expand programs for the female
inmates and to teach them new skills to enter back into society as
productive citizens.
She would like to open current staff and prisoners' minds and show them
that there can be many paths to the same goal.
"There is not just one way to do something," Duffey said.
Change can 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
reflect that.
Duffey said she looks forward to meeting area business and political
leaders to get her plans running.
From Phil Dirt and the Dozers to being the new warden, she said
Marysville has 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.
The hospital has opted since 2005 to reallocate funds originally
budgeted for medical staff and board member holiday gifts to instead be
donated to community organizations.
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 purchase
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 for Women.
The Union County Personal Needs Pantry and the Richwood Methodist Church
Personal Needs Pantry each received $500 for their programs, as did the
Marysville Special Olympics program.
Chip Hubbs, president/CEO, said that 16 organizations made requests for
a total of $30,000 in funding.
"All the groups are worthwhile and we wish we could honor all the
requests," Hubbs said. "We are trying to spread the help among as many
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 quorum.
Hubbs said that often the board finds itself in transition period. The
board agreed that the wording should be changed from five board members
to a majority of currently appointed board members.
Other concerns with the bylaws were in regard to specifics relevant to
finances which are already covered in polices governing the board's
financial subcommittee.
Hubbs said the hospital's legal counsel will review the suggestions and
a revised draft will be presented at December's meeting.
The board welcomed Shelly Reser as the new director of admissions. Reser
has been with the hospital for four weeks and previously worked for
Miami Valley Hospital in the Dayton area. She has 20 years experience in healthcare.
Board members also took time to congratulate fellow member, Chris
Schmenk, on her recent election as mayor of Marysville.
The board 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 p.m.
In other news, the board:
. Approved the finance and joint conference committee reports.
. Approved a list of medical staff reappointments.
. Approved completed application for Dr. Cheryl Kirkby, pediatrics,
department of medicine - active provisional; Dr. Jude Smith, department
of surgery - active provisional; and Ted Nicol, CRNA, nurse anesthetist,
department of surgery - allied health provisional.
. Approved conclusion of provisional status for Dr. Mahmoud Qadoom,
pulmonology, department of medicine - active status.
. Approved modification of privileges for Regina Massey, CNP and Dr. Amy
Mestemaker.
. Approved bylaw revision 4.6-2.
. Reviewed monthly customer service data

North Lewisburg band gets its shot
'The Get-Ups' will open up for  legendary punk group on Dec. 7
By RYAN HORNS
North Lewisburg's "The Get-Ups" are not your typical punk band.
The angst-ridden musical genre known as punk came to rise in the late
1970s, bringing with it a heavy dose of teens rebelling against anything
from 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 skateboard.'"
For the most part, he said, they write songs just to be funny - and they
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 trio.
On Dec. 7 the band will have its biggest show to date, after snagging
the opportunity to open up for the legendary horror-punk outfit "The
Misfits" at Alrosa Villa. The Misfits are known for writing songs based
on horror movie themes. Also on the bill are regional bands "Seditious
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 themselves defending
their tastes against friends who liked country music.
"It's nothing against them," Kasey said. "We just don't like country music."
In fact, Hackley said, he didn't particularly like punk music very much either.
"But he grew to like it," Tony added.
He said the whole point of The Get-Ups was to have fun in between stints
working jobs in Marysville.
Customers of area Burger King restaurants may have been served food by
the Castle brothers, while Hackley works at RadioShack. All three said
their jobs leave them plenty of time to pursue as many shows as they can
book, in their quest to get more people aware of their music.
Speaking 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 speed.
"We pretty much started playing punk because it's easy to play," Tony
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."
With almost five years experience under their belts, the young age of
The Get-Ups (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 said.
Hackley and the Castle brothers said they are trying to keep at it and
push the boundaries, doing more shows out of state, with hopes of a tour
next summer. They sometimes join up for shows with other local bands
like "Last Night in Town" or "Lumberjack Death Squad."
The Get-Ups 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."
Marysville residents hoping to check out The Get-Ups opening for the
Misfits can purchase tickets directly through the band by calling
(937)508-8095. The group and examples of its music can be found on the
Internet at www.myspace.com/thegetupspunk.

Karn 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 Church.
Karn's Eagle service project was to build a bridge over a creek that
feeds the pond at Harry Wolfe Park in Jerome Township. The bridge was
built to conform to the National Design Standard and the Americans with
Disabilities Act.
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.
Other memorable 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 2006.
Karn also is president of Boy Scout Venture Crew, an Order of the Arrow
member, a two-sport varsity athlete and an avid outdoorsman.
He hopes to attend the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.,
upon graduation from high school.

 

Marysville Journal Tribune
copyright©2007
All rights reserved