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Local Archived News January 2007

 

1/31/07

     Area National Guard recruiting strong

     United Way sets 2007 funding levels

1/30/07

     School officials excited over low bids

1/29/07

     New pastor in place at St. John's

1/27/07

     Milford Center man takes his talent from the dirt track to the television screen

1/26/07

     Committee set to explore water rates

     Attention over park re-naming caught some off guard

     Blending growth with heritage is focus of meeting

1/25/07

     Matches made in heaven

     Unionville Center flood mystery may be solved

1/24/07

     County plans for scenic byway

     Pianist captivates area crowd

1/23/07

     Mayor to schools: Change may be ahead

     Richwood Council discusses park surveillance

1/22/07

     Couple in it for the long run 

     Pianist to be featured at Community Concert

1/20/07

     Farm Bureau has new official

     Hugs to be  prescribed at MHUC

1/19/07

     Sex offender found guilty on retrial for alleged offense

1/18/07

     Promoting Union County

     Preparing for the ash borer

     Unionville Center officials  discuss flooding

1/17/07

     Jerome Township zoning to evolve

     Committee suggests name change for park

1/16/07

     Teen trapped by high water

     Second school district snuffs tobacco

1/15/07

     Marysville woman killed in crash

     Sprinkler system saves business

     Library renovating to serve growing area

1/13/07

     Marysville School District  names 'Good Apples'

     N. Lewisburg man killed in crash

1/12/07

     Committee will study water issue

1/11/07

     Show choir to perform at Grand Ol' Opr

     JA board approached about prom issue

     Worker pinned between trucks

1/10/07

     From Carney's  to the county 

     City to fix traffic light problem

     Funds available for home repairs

1/9/07

     Richwood Council  discusses crime in  the village

     Marysville board renews contract with treasurer

     Details of numerous Monday crashes released

     Griffith re-elected as Unionville Center council president

1/8/07

     Icy roads lead to crashes

1/6/07

     Weiskircher to leave MHS

1/5/07

     Tips offered for stranded motorists

1/4/07

     Race is unique city event

1/3/07

      Layout of new N.U. school released

      Vote for N.L. council president ends in tie

 1/2/07

      Hospital marks 25th anniversary of meals program


Area National Guard recruiting strong
Despite war,  numbers are up
By EMILY MASTERS
An on-going war in Iraq hasn't hurt Ohio National Guard recruiting numbers.
In fact, according to figures provided by the 585th Military Police
Company, based in Delaware, numbers are up this year and are expected to
exceed recruitment goals.
"We are coming off a record year," said Staff Sgt. Toby Norman, of
Dublin, who serves at the Delaware Armory. "Ohio is number one in the
nation when it comes to recruiting."
Last fiscal year, the National Guard Bureau set a goal for the Ohio Army
National Guard to reach a strength of 10,525 soldiers, but members
exceeded the expectations and ended the year with 10,850 soldiers,
according to Norman.
"We are pleased with the recruits here in Union County," he said. "We
have three from Fairbanks, three from Marysville, and one from North Union."
Fairbanks recruits include Pfc. Jeff Lucas; Pfc. Brian Legg; and Pvt.
Samuel Stapp. From Marysville recruits are: Pfc. Jolie Anderson; Pfc.
Chris Bringle; and Pfc. Kyle Ware. North Union's recruit is Pfc. Kyle Holbrook.
"They're ready to get going, very high speed individuals, ready to take
on anything that comes at them," said Spc. John Prenger, 585th Military
Police Company. "They're just the type of people we're looking for."
The new soldiers will start with basic training and move on to advanced
individual training. Once those are completed, they will serve one
weekend per month at the Delaware Armory.
As part of the military police duties, soldiers learn  patrolling,
convoy security, arresting, riot control, take downs, house invasions,
and handling prisoner of war situations. According to Norman and
Prenger, soldiers are notified well in advance if they will be deployed.
Norman said he hasn't heard of any deployment plans for the 585th Guard.
The National Guard offers a $20,000 enlisting bonus, a full scholarship
to any accredited university in Ohio, and $300 per month for living
expenses. Soldiers are also paid for all training they receive.
"Despite the benefits, which are great, we do stress why we're here,"
Prenger said. "We are soldiers first and we don't beat around the bush
about that when recruiting."
Prenger said a typical commitment for the National Guard is six years,
followed by two years of inactive service.
"Once a month, you get to see your friends, your best friends," he said.
"They bring their civilian skills to the guard and the networking
opportunities are endless."
Norman said the 585th guard still meets at the Delaware Armory but plans
are to eventually move to the Marysville Armory, which will be located
behind the Union County YMCA. Groundbreaking is scheduled for April.
Additional information about the National Guard may be obtained by
calling (614) 440-5323 or visiting www.1800goguard.com.

United Way sets 2007 funding levels
Record giving equals high allocations
From J-T staff reports:
 The United Way of Union County allocated more than $543,000 to member
agencies at January's board meeting, with an additional $24,000
earmarked for out-of-county United Way's and other programs.
The 2007 allocations follow a record-setting campaign in which United
Way is projecting to surpass its $750,000 campaign goal by about
$20,000. Donors invested $716,628 in the community via United Way of
Union County last year.
The American Red Cross Union County Chapter will receive the most United
Way funds, $100,000 for providing emergency services, blood mobiles, and
safety trainings. The Salvation Army will receive the greatest increase,
from $19,253 to $32,000, as it starts a new direct housing program to
assist homeless families, complementing a homeless prevention program it
already operates in the county.
Seventeen of United Way's 24 agencies will receive increased funding
over last year. Fourteen will receive what they requested in support.
"There is no rubber stamping of agency requests," said Brian O'Kane,
volunteer President of the United Way of Union County. "Every agency is
evaluated on an individual basis and there is discussion on each
agency's allocation."
An all-volunteer, 16-member budget & admissions committee spent more
than five months on the process.  Volunteers weighed the impact made by
each member agency against the requests made by those organizations, the
pool of available funds, and overall community needs. Extensive
research, lively debate, and much consideration is given before funding
recommendations become final.
"How effective are the programs?" O'Kane said of the questions asked by
committee members. "Where are the dollars being spent in the programs?
"How are the programs being evaluated?" "How many people are being served?"
"Some agencies rarely ask for additional funds and I regret it in the
years we can't meet their requests," said Kathy Klug, a seven-year
veteran of the committee. "Other agencies seem to add 10 percent each
year and hope for extra money, just on the chance they might get it.
Other agencies develop new programming and show a need for money to
'activate' those programs. Those issues seem to be what we committee
members evaluate each year."
Even though United Way is projecting to surpass its $750,000 campaign
goal, agency requests exceeded the dollars available for allocation by
more than $63,000.  United Way raises funds for its own programming and
operating budget in addition to member agencies' requests.  United Way
must also honor designations that donors make to United Ways in other
communities, and account 5 percent of campaign totals for pledge loss.
"There will always be more need in our community than United Way and its
agencies can address," said Barb Nicol, a 10-year committee veteran.
"That is true of every community. I think United Way donors expect that
we will make the difficult decisions as they arise. All of this requires
that we prioritize the requests to the United Way. We want to fund
efficient, effective programs that address critical community needs. The
United Way Board of Trustees gives careful thought to setting the
campaign goal every year and the current circumstances will create
vigorous debate on what the goal should be next year."
Volunteers say that deciding how to split more than half a million
dollars among the member agencies requires both a literal and proverbial
give-and-take. Committee members are asked to be as objective as
possible and those with connections to particular agencies abstain from
voting on funding for those agencies.
"The committee was larger than in the recent past and members brought a
broader range of perspectives on community needs and agency programs,"
said Nicol. "Examining issues and programs from different perspectives
helped me rethink financial responsibilities and service gaps."
"I am happy with the results," Klug said. "They are all not quite what I
would have picked. But the reasons for support or non-support by other
B&A committee members made sense. We compromised."
Any United Way donor is eligible to participate on the B&A Committee and
can sign up by contacting United Way.
"If you want to understand what happens in Union County, this is a great
committee to be on," O'Kane said. "I was just shocked by the amount of
need that is not visible to the average person. I had a lack of
understanding about the lives of other people in our community. These
are my neighbors.  And I was much more naïve than I thought I was."

School officials excited over low bids

By KARLYN BYERS
Bid openings for Marysville School District's new intermediate/middle
school turned out to be a happy affair.
"We were very excited about how this turned out and the numbers came in
wonderful," said Emily Wieringa of Thomas & Marker.
All bids came in under estimate, said Andrew Maletz of Steed Hammond
Paul Inc. There was a good number of bids submitted and a significant
amount of interest expressed by contractors who did not submit bids but
who attended the bid opening.
"It's good to have a two-hour bid opening," said Superintendent Larry
Zimmerman. "That is a good problem."
Board members awarded contracts to three successful bidders during a
special school board meeting Monday night at the district administrative building.
Awarded the general trades and masonry contracts was Peterson
Construction Company of Wapakoneta, in the amount of $10.5 million. That
bid was $1.1 million under estimate, according to Wieringa.
Another Wapakoneta company, Nagel Electric Inc., was awarded the
electrical contract. That company's winning bid was $2,265,500, which
was $454,000 under estimate.
The successful bidder for fire suppression, plumbing and HVAC was Vaughn
Industries LLC of Carey at $4,190,000. That bid also came under estimate
to the tune of $372,000.
"I am excited to get started and have something to talk about except
earth work," Wieringa told the board members.
Maletz briefed board members on the 100,000-square-foot high school addition.
"Overall, we're getting very close to nailing down final designs on the building," he said.
The new media center will be "a pretty significant departure from the
current library," Maletz said.
It will be situated off a wide hallway that will feature architectural
details from the demolished Seventh Street School, he added. The hallway
will grant access to the school's administrative offices.
The new field house, which will be the size equivalent of three
gymnasiums, will feature sound absorption boards because a planned
drywall interior will not be as soundproof as other surfaces, Maletz said.
But board president Roy Fraker and vice president Jeff Mabee questioned
the use of drywall. They said "dings" could easily be made in the walls
by baseball pitchers practicing indoors.
Maletz said plans included abuse resistant drywall, but perhaps that
could be upgraded to impact resistant. He thanked the board members for
expressing their concerns.
In other business, board members:
.Approved an out-of-state field trip to San Diego, for Marysville High
School students enrolled in the Ohio Hi-Point's Teacher Academy
Satellite Program. They will be attending a conference from Feb. 15-19.
.Approved show choir parent volunteers Suzie Clarridge, Becky Charles,
Melissa Cunningham, Cheryl Groehl, Shawnee Vetanovetz, Heather Harrison,
Karen Rogers, Kim Pettit, Tim Preston, Mike and Pam Hoying, Cheri
Rausch, Molly Decker, Brenda Zimmerman and Larry Zimmerman.
.Entered into executive session to discuss personnel. No action was
scheduled to be taken.
Proposed minimum  wage hike divides businesses

New pastor in place at St. John's

By KARLYN BYERS
Stepping into the Rev. John Fair's office at St. John's Lutheran Church,
everything seems fairly ordinary. Well, except for the deer's head
mounted on the wall or maybe the guitar resting in a corner near the desk.
It's a serious business saving souls, and it can be stressful. So Pastor
Fair likes to remind his congregants to lighten up.
People should encourage one another, he said, make one another look good
and have fun.
An acoustical guitarist who professes a preference for the Beatles and
Led-Zeppelin, Fair has adapted the popular children's song "Jesus Loves
Me" to be sung to the tune of "Mr. Bojangles."
He has been playing guitar since his early high school days in the late
1960s, and grew up with music in the house. His father played "all
kinds" of instruments by ear, Fair said, a musical ability he has inherited.
But Mr. Fair the elder preferred country music, something his son
initially eschewed, although Pastor Fair now admits to a liking of
vintage Garth Brooks.
He was born in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, and came to the United
States to attend Concordia College in Ann Arbor, Mich. He transferred to
Concordia Teacher's College in River Forest, Ill., in 1975 and graduated
from Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Ind.
His first church assignment was Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna,
Mo., where he served for seven years. Other assignments have included
St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Aurora, Ill., and Holy Cross Lutheran
Church in Fort Wayne, Ind.
On June 13, Pastor Fair, 52, will celebrate 25 years in the ministry.
Marysville will be a change of pace for Pastor Fair and his family. Fort
Wayne, at about 125,000 people, is about five times larger than
Marysville, Pastor Fair said. It is the second largest city in Indiana,
behind Indianapolis.
"The big city is so busy," Pastor Fair said with emphasis on the last
word. "People think that they are the ones in control. God gets lost in
the shuffle."
But Fort Wayne also is known as the "City of Churches," Pastor Fair
said, housing 35 Lutheran churches alone. As of May 2006, according to a
Fort Wayne, Ind., Web site, three national Christian congregations were
headquartered in Fort Wayne - the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship
Association, Missionary Church Inc. and the Fellowship of Evangelical
Churches (formerly the Evangelical Mennonite Church).
Pastor Fair and his wife, Chris, have been married since 1978. They met
while serving on a traveling music team and are the parents of Elizabeth
(Tony) Ternet and Rachel of Fort Wayne, and Michael, a sophomore at
Marysville High School. The Fairs recently settled into a home in the
Green Pastures development.
Mrs. Fair, a pianist and organist, is a certified elementary teacher and
director of parish music. She becomes one of five organists who attend
St. John's, a blessing that is almost unparalleled in most churches.
Fair said the organist abundance will help the church avoid
"vulnerability" should an organist experience illness or a family
emergency. It also could offer relief to other churches that find
themselves temporarily without an organist.
This past summer Mrs. Fair had the opportunity to play the pipe organ at
The Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, Calif., while she and Pastor Fair
were attending a Missouri Synod Pastoral Leadership Seminar.
"She really enjoyed that and they enjoyed listening to her play," said
her proud husband.
Pastor Fair encourages his congregation to be caring and supportive of
one another. It's a concept that he fine-tuned as an associate pastor in
Aurora, when he developed a "care ministry" and when he became pastor of
care at Holy Cross.
"The congregation doesn't care how much you know until they know how
much you care," he said.
The care ministry addresses gaps that occur within the church and
complements what the pastor is doing. The pastor can become distracted
at times, Fair said, with  hospital visits, the dying, funerals, hospice
situations and church business. But through a care ministry, the laity
can step forth, extend a loving hand, and make observations and
recommendations to those in charge.
It can be as simple as delivering homemade chicken soup to someone ill,
making a phone call to someone who has been absent from church or
visiting a shut-in and taking mental notes of the person's condition and
the condition of their dwelling.
"We are our brother's keeper," Pastor Fair said. "Cain might not have
liked it but he was his brother's keeper."
Not only does he make reference to the tragic story of brothers Cain and
Abel found in the Old Testament book of Genesis, but Pastor Fair also
speaks of a literal devil.
"The devil hates a happy family, whether it's nuclear or the church
family and he wants to destroy the head (of the family)," he said. "He
is a real presence and he's to be cast out in the name of Jesus."
Pastor Fair added that the devil, although subtle, is determined. He's
not a declawed pussy cat that should be welcomed into the home, but "a
roaring lion seeking someone to devour."
This and other life lessons he hopes to impart to his congregation and
the young souls attending St. John's School.  He can be seen eating
lunch with the school's pupils in the cafeteria, wandering around in the
classrooms and attending chapel. Occasionally, he even plays the roaming
minstrel, walking the hallways and singing songs.
"I want to be accessible," he said, adding that he doesn't want to be
referred to as aloof, distant or unapproachable.
"With my care ministry background, that is not me."

Milford Center man takes his talent from the dirt track to the
television screen

By CORINNE BIX
Jon Henry likes to drive fast and that might be his ticket to an exciting future.
Henry, 20, is one of 16 chosen to participate in Spike TV's reality show
"Reality Racing ? The Rookie Challenge."
The reality show will begin filming in February and air this spring.
Henry was one of 15,000 applicants.
If he wins, he could go home with as much as $750,000 and a
professional racing contract.
"I've been racing go-carts since I was 11," Henry, of Milford Center said.
He grew up around the sport since both his father and grandfather raced
open wheel dirt cars.
"All of my experience comes from a dirt track," he said.
Henry worked his way up the go-cart ladder and currently drives what's
called a United Midwestern Promoters (UMP) dirt modified open wheel.
He has raced at the Eldora track in Rossburg and Limaland in Lima.
His race schedule runs from March to September and he participates in at
least one if not two races every weekend.
The average open wheel race takes approximately 20 minutes with speeds
of up to 110 miles per hour.
During the off season, Henry works and attends ITT Tech in Hilliard
where he is working on an associate's degree in drafting and graphic design.
Henry applied for the show in spring of 2006. He was called back to
audition in December.
The judges encouraged those auditioning to "show their talents." Henry
said a lot of people took the audition to be a basic job interview,
whereas he wanted to grab the judges attention.
"I dressed up like a cowboy," Henry said.
With the help of his step-dad, the two came up with an audition that
would keep the judges entertained.
Henry said he included a makeshift puppet show and tried to play the
guitar before revealing to the judges that the reason he was just
mediocre at puppetry and music was because he was truly "meant to be a
race car driver."
Henry said his entire family is very supportive of his goal to become a
professional driver. In fact it was his grandmother living in Florida
who saw a commercial for the reality show and made her grandson aware.
"My dream is to get all the way to the top," Henry said.
The reality show will focus on stock car racing, familiar to many as
NASCAR. Henry said he doesn't have a lot of information as to what the
format of the show will be or what he will be expected to do.
"If I had to guess I would anticipate a possible 100 lap race," he said.
This will be a switch from the shorter tracks and races that he has
become accustomed to.
The show has participants ranging in age from 18 to 49 years old.
Henry hopes to gain national exposure from the show and prove to the
racing world that he has what it takes to race in the big leagues.
He looks to racing idols Greg Biffle and J.J. Yeley for motivation.
Henry likes Biffle's patient yet when necessary aggressive approach to
driving. He looks to Yeley as a fellow driver who raced at Eldora and
now drives on the Nextel circuit.
Henry said he very rarely thinks about the dangers of racing.
"I'm more concerned with where I will place in the end as opposed to the
possible risks," he said. "Sometimes you just have to race hard and lay
it all out there."

Committee set to explore water rates
By RYAN HORNS
A meeting date has been set for a committee to discuss the future of
Marysville water rates.
At the Thursday night city council meeting, member David Burke announced
the ad hoc committee would meet Feb. 7 at 7:30 p.m. in council chambers
in City Hall, 125 E. Sixth St.
Burke said he hopes to have the presence of Malcolm Pirnie engineers as
well as city bond underwriters at the meeting in order to help create a
"meeting of the minds" and resolve the issue.
In December, council voted down the legislation which would have raised
city water rates over the next two years. The funding generated from the
hike would have constructed a new reservoir to be located south of
Barker Road in Paris Township. In 2004 the engineering group Malcolm
Pirnie created a Water Master Plan at the cost of $260,000 to the city.
Out of all the options that plan presented, city leaders agreed that
increasing water rates 5 percent the first year, then another 8 percent
the two remaining years was the best route.
 Council President Ed Pleasant explained that no council members were
ever opposed to the future reservoir plans. What they were opposed to
were issues such as the hike amount and its potential effect on residents.
Pleasant said the ad hoc committee plans to work fast on the future of
water rates. He has set a 60-day time limit on resolving the issue.
"We'd like to make sure that we have as much resident participation and
involvement," he said, "and so this will be the start of that."
Pleasant said the committee will look at alternative amounts for the
rate increase, where the money will come from and how long a possible
increase should last. The overall focus is to keep costs minimal for citizens.
"I'm sure our committee will do everything we can to investigate the
water issues," councilman Dan Fogt said.
To go along with council's action against water rate hikes for current
residents, two ordinances passed Thursday night.
An ordinance permitting the annual indexing of the sewer tap connection
fees and another to permit the indexing of the water system capacity
charges were both approved after three readings. The legislation ensures
that both fees charged to new developments will keep up to date with
inflation on an automatic annual basis.
Pleasant explained that both ordinances relate to council's focus of
making "growth pay for growth" and offset what the city contributes into
new developments.
In other discussions:
Councilman Mark Reams reported that 85 participants took part in
Saturday's fifth annual "Frozen Nose 4-Miler" race held on the Jim
Simmons Trail and surrounding areas.
Reams, who has run the race since its inception, said he was unable to
take part this year due to a sprained ankle that happened in the week
before the race.
He said that the Frozen Nose 4-Miler has seen an annual increase in
runners since it started, but last week's numbers were significantly
higher, showing the race is gaining in popularity.

Attention over park re-naming caught some off guard
Council hears first reading on changing South Park to Greenwood Park
By RYAN HORNS
The city of Marysville received national attention and calls from TV
stations last week over plans to re-name the local park that shares its
name with a controversial cartoon show.
At Thursday night's city council meeting the first reading was passed on
a resolution to officially give a name to the local park that has become
known as South Park over the years due to its location on the south side of town.
"The Parks and Recreation Commission met Jan. 16 to discuss the naming
of city-owned parkland located along London Avenue within the Greenwood
Colony subdivision," the legislation states. "The city desires to
develop the park with more amenities and it is the recommendation of the
Parks and Recreation Commission to name this property Greenwood Park."
"I would say that's a good name for the park," councilman Dan Fogt said.
"I agree with their decision, since it's located right there near Greenwood Colony."
Council President Edward Pleasant said this morning that he was unaware
of the national stink raised by the issue.
"We hadn't heard about that," he said. "We are reacting to (Marysville's
Parks and Recreation Commission's) recommendation to name the park."
Articles run across the country included a link to the Marysville
Journal-Tribune Web-site, which then saw a 30 percent increase of visitors.
This morning councilman Mark Reams admitted some members had heard of
the national attention over South Park.
"I heard that there was a lot of interest in the story. I thought it was
kind of funny, because none of these people really knew what was going
on," Reams said. "Actually most people in Marysville probably don't
understand the history either.
"We are not re-naming the park. It never had a name to begin with and we
are just now giving it a name. It has only been an undeveloped piece of
city property, planned for a park, until now. We had a master plan
developed for this property, to show how it would be used as a park.
Until it had a name, it was only referenced by its location. It was
planned to be a park on the south side of Marysville, so it was
referenced as South Park until it had a name."
Reams also referenced a little known Marysville park that shares a name
with another famous location. Located in the central part of Marysville
is Central Park, which he said is adjacent to the Public Service Center.
"There was a long-term plan developed to turn that into a park as well,
and even though it has no name, it has been referenced as Central Park
ever since, just because of its location," Reams said. "Perhaps we'll
get a bunch of letters from people in New York when we 're-name' that
park as well."
Council member Leah Sellers shared in the amusement over the South Park debate.
"Prior to the Parks and Rec meeting, I didn't associate South Park with
the cartoon. I simply thought it was a geographic reference, albeit now
somewhat inaccurate," Seller said, then joked, "I don't have a problem
with re-naming the park to Greenwood Park, assuming members of the local
Lee Greenwood fan club are okay with it."

Blending growth with heritage is focus of meeting
By EMILY MASTERS
A growing county with strong agricultural roots can exist and continue
to develop. That was a leading discussion topic at Thursday night's Land
Heritage Trust of Union County meeting held at the Agricultural Services Center.
Members listened to presentations by Jenny Snapp, Regional Planning
Commission director and Joe Clase, Business and Economic Development
director, Union County Chamber of Commerce.
Snapp explained the importance of agriculture in the county and cited
some statistics. According to her presentation, there are 1,000 farms in
the county, and the average farm is 241 acres.
She also mentioned the wide range of agricultural business categories in
the county including, grain marketing, fertilizer and chemical sales,
livestock feed sales, nurseries, orchards and wineries, equipment sales,
and large production operations like Day Lay egg farm and HAPI-O,
Honda's soybean processing plant.
Clase discussed the current programs supporting agricultural development
in the county. Part of that, he said, is agricultural recruitment
through cold calls and mailings.
"Between 1,000 and 2,000 cards have been mailed out to businesses that
may want to expand," he said. "We're  hopeful, they'll choose Union
County as a place to do it."
Clase also mentioned the importance of retention for existing
agricultural businesses, and for those looking to start a business, he
said there is support.
"We always have empty store fronts uptown, and there are programs to
support incubators, in this case for agricultural development," he said.
Clase suggested that those interested in starting an agricultural
business should contact the small business development center through
the chamber of commerce.
Both Clase and Snapp said support of local farm markets is key.
"The Uptown Revitalization Team is looking at ways to compliment the
existing farmers market, uptown," Clase said.
After the presentations, members briefly discussed the Agricultural
Security Area program. Chairman Peggy Hall explained the tax benefits
associated with the program if capital improvements are made on the
property. Members agreed they should start considering farms that may benefit.
The Land Heritage Trust of Union County, consisting of 18 members, was
incorporated as a nonprofit land trust in 2004 and got its start from a
grant by the Union County Farm Bureau.

Matches made in heaven

Local Big Brothers Big Sisters group celebrates National Mentoring Month
By EMILY MASTERS
If you haven't said thank you recently to a mentor, today is the day to
do it. Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) has designated Jan. 25 as "Thank
Your Mentor Day."
According to Marian Jacques, local program manager, nearly 50 mentors
are matched with children and teens each year, in the community-based
program of BBBS of Union County.
"A great match that comes to mind is Shawnda and Tina, they were just
one of those matches meant to be," Jacques said.
Shawnda Vega, 25, of Hilliard, graduated from Fairbanks High School in
1999 and Ohio University in 2003. It was shortly after college she
decided to get involved with BBBS.
"I had a girlfriend in college who was involved, and I always thought it
would be neat to mentor a young person who needed a big sister in her
life," she said.
Vega met her "little" Tina Pyles, 16, of Milford Center for the first
time three years ago at Bob Evans.
"The first meeting was a little awkward. Tina didn't talk much, and she
didn't eat, at all. I must have asked her a hundred questions at our
first meeting," laughed Vega.
Pyles says she remembers that first meeting, as well.
"I was so nervous," she said. "I didn't think she liked me and I didn't
know what her standards were. Mainly, I just didn't know if she'd come back."
According to both Pyles and Vega, their relationship has come a long way.
"We have a blast together now, we're so close, and I can tell her
anything," said Pyles.
The two meet frequently to shop, see movies, or go out to eat.
"Eating seems to be what we do most," said Vega. "We usually meet out
for Chinese food and then talk awhile."
Vega says she tries to focus on talking with Pyles about the future.
"I try to let her know that the problems she faces now won't be
meaningful to her after high school," she said. "I also try to stress
the importance of good grades."
"She helps me set goals for myself, and she cares about my future," said
Pyles. "She does so much more than the program asks her to and if I
could put her picture up on a billboard to say thank you, I'd do it in a
heartbeat, because she deserves it."
According to Jacques, children and teens are referred to BBBS by
parents, schools and various social service agencies. She says
currently, there are 35 kids on the waiting list to receive a match.
"I really don't like having a waiting list, at all," she said. "Each day
that passes these kids are missing out on the opportunity to have a
positive influence in their life through Big Brothers Big Sisters."
Jacques said the process of becoming a volunteer is easy. An interview
is arranged and all of the volunteer opportunities are explained at that time.
"We do criminal background checks, and we also obtain references," she said.
Jacques recommends that "bigs" and "littles" meet twice per month, and
she emphasizes low cost activities. BBBS offers group activities
throughout the year, as well.
"We like to do an activity at the library, a swim party at the YMCA, a
fall party, holiday party and a picnic," she said.

Unionville Center flood mystery may be solved
By EMILY MASTERS
A pipe clogged with tree roots is the likely source of recent flooding
in Unionville Center. That was the focus of discussion at Wednesday
night's special village council meeting.
Council members credited John Eger, of Eger & Son Excavating for finding
the clogged pipe that was backing up water and flooding Fourth Street
and the alley between Cross and Railroad streets. Eger unclogged the
pipe, and the tile was re-routed, according to Mayor Denver Thompson.
Council members apologized to Charles Walk, a 70-year resident of
Railroad Street, for his name being listed in an article published in
the Marysville Journal-Tribune. Walk owns a pond that is less than a
quarter of a mile away from the flood area.
Walk stated at the meeting that his pond "is not the problem." He
described the elevation of his property to council and said that his
field sits higher than his lawn, and his lawn sits higher than his pond;
therefore, "it's the field that floods the pond," he said.
After an evaluation of the pond by Eger and Bob Scheiderer, Union County
Soil and Water Conservation District, council members stated that they
were satisfied that Walk's pond was not the cause of the flooding.
Union County Engineer, Steve Stolte and Assistant County Engineer, Jeff
Stauch suggested a grant, that if approved, would supply funding to
alleviate all future flooding in the village. The Community Development
Block Grant is available to villages or towns where half of the
households have low to moderate incomes. The village would have to
determine what its average income is in order to be eligible for the
dollars. In order to do that, he suggested council members attend an
April public hearing with the Union County Commissioners.
"Not a lot of areas in the county are eligible for the CDBG," he said.
"It's the commissioners who decide what projects they will pursue."
The village is still utilizing100-year-old clay tile, according to Scheiderer.
Council members said the village has received grants in the past;
however, the last time they applied for storm-sewer funding, they were denied.
Members said they would plan to attend the April meeting with the commissioners.

County plans for scenic byway

By EMILY MASTERS
Union County's road map could get an addition if a designed byway is
approved by the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT).
The Big Darby Plains Scenic Byway was submitted to ODOT late last year
by the Union County Convention and Visitors Bureau and is up for
approval this year, according to Steve Stolte, Union County Engineer.
Stolte came up with the idea for a byway in 1998 as a way to promote
travel and tourism in the county, but the plan was put on hold, Stolte
said, due to the Big Darby Refuge issue.
"We don't have an Old Man's Cave or a Hocking Hills, but we do have the
Big Darby Creek which is recognized as one of the last great places on
earth by The Nature Conservancy," Stolte said.
According to Stolte, the byway would allow travelers an opportunity to
get out of their vehicles and view the Big Darby Creek, which runs
parallel to the byway.
"The byway is intended for passive tourism, it's meant for people who
aren't in such a hurry to get from point A to point B," Stolte said.
The byway through Union County is an alternative to U.S. 33 on existing
roads. Drivers traveling from Franklin County to Logan County could pick
up the byway at U.S. 33 and Route 161. The byway route includes:  Route
161, Middleburg-Plain City Road, Inskeep Cratty Road, West Darby Road,
Stokes Road, and Route 739.
According to Christy Clark, Union County Public Relations and Tourism
Director, there are several byway spurs along the route that include
historic sites.
"A byway is neat, because it tells a story, and in this case, it's the
story of Union County," said Clark.
Four of the historic stops are covered bridges in the county. Others
according to Clark, include the first Union County Courthouse, two
nature preserves, the Plain City Hardware Store, some churches, parks,
century farms, and cemeteries.
Stolte says there are no other byways in the county. One of the closest,
he says, is along State Route 315, in Columbus, which follows the
Olentangy River where old Indian trails remain. There are a total of 23
scenic byways in the state, according to Clark.
Clark says that if the byway is approved, there will likely be an
opportunity for the county to receive some federal dollars which could
be used to purchase signs along the byway. According to Stolte, no road
improvements are necessary for the byway to become a reality.
"There may be places we'll want to create pull-offs, for better viewing,
but that's about it," he said.
A committee made up of residents living near or along the byway has met
several times, said Stolte, and they have been supportive of the
project. Three public meetings were also held in Allen Township, Milford
Center, and Plain City to inform community members of plans.
The Union County Convention and Visitors Bureau hopes to get approval
from ODOT in March. Clark said, "If we get the approval, we plan to hold
a lunch-time celebration and ribbon cutting, likely at one of the
covered bridge sites."
The ceremony is tentatively scheduled for June 21.

Pianist captivates area crowd
Review
Editor's note: Kay Liggett of the Union County Community Concerts
Association offered the following review of Tuesday night's piano
performance by Alpin Hong.

----
Tuesday's piano concert was an extraordinarily memorable event by an
amazingly talented, handsome and articulate young musician. The audience
was in awe of Alpin Hong's poised stage presence, his unbelievable
talent, virtuosity, dynamic style and interpretations of music - most of
which was well known - and all from memory.
What a wide range of skill and expertise Hong exhibited! He left us
gasping with his superb energy, and he and the piano were one.
Rachmaninov, Straus, Bach, Liszt, Stravinsky, Mendelssohn, Debussy and
Brahms, all the music we have in piano benches that we and our piano
teachers struggled with. He made it all come to life with intensity,
vigor and tremendous rhythmic energy.
Hong is marvelously creative and innovative with fascinating style. The
Straus Intermezzo was played poignantly and eloquently. He tackled Bach,
a difficult fingering masterpiece of music, with unbelievable skill.
Hong's rendition of Liszt's "Benediction of God" was spiritual and
magnificent. (Liszt was one of the earliest musicians who performed all
of his concerts from total memory.)
Hong's encore was Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue," which Hong contends is
"the greatest piece every written for piano." It was exquisite and breathtaking!
He took center stage and thrilled the audience with his unbelievable
dynamic style. We were mesmerized by his exceptional talent, wide range
of music and passion for it - from classic stuff to do-whoppers.
Certainly we are enriched to have had him in concert here in Marysville.
The concert ended with a standing ovation - of course!

Mayor to schools: Change may be ahead

By KARLYN BYERS
Mayor Tom Kruse spoke to the Marysville School Board Monday night,
saying he wanted board members to be aware of the ramifications of the
recently defeated city ordinance to raise water rates.
"I'm not here tonight to ask you to do anything," Kruse said. "What I'm
here to do is explain what has happened and how it affects the city
finances and how it affects the school system if it is not resolved."
The defeated water rate increase would have raised city water rates over
the next two years. Revenue would have funded a new water reservoir
north of the city off of Raymond Road.
Kruse said the Dec. 21 defeat of the proposed rate increase by a 4-3
vote could affect the schools in two ways. First, it could stunt
development within the city, and secondly, Kruse said, it could affect
TIF school compensation agreements the school district has with the city.
Kruse said it has been suggested that needed revenue could instead be
generated through an increase in the income tax, but that is "a bad
decision in my opinion. If we start subsidizing out of the general
revenue fund, what's going to happen when we need to pave streets?"
Water consumers not in the city limits do not pay income tax, so they do
not pay into the general fund, Kruse said. The city supplies water to
consumers clear to Route 161 south of the city.
"If it's based on water rates, they would pay for water they use," he said.
School board member Scott Johnson asked about the city's water rates.
"It's going to put us in the upper end of what communities in Central
Ohio pay, but it's very difficult to compare apples to apples, namely
because other cities have owned their water facilities for many years," Kruse said.
The city of Marysville purchased its water treatment system from the
Ohio Water Service in 1991, according to Journal-Tribune archives.
"Columbus is low because of Budweiser which is a huge consumer of (its)
water system," Kruse said.
He added that if the community could add a consumer such as an ethanol
plant which would use "a million gallons a day," Marysville's rates could benefit.
Council members John Gore, Dan Fogt, Edward Pleasant and Leah Sellers
voted against the increase in December, while members David Burke and
Mark Reams voted for the ordinance. Kruse said he did not know what
motivated those who defeated the ordinance. But, he added, two are up
for re-election this year.
In other action, the board also accepted the retirement resignations of
high school principal Gregory Hanson and teacher and varsity football
coach Richard Weiskircher.
Hanson's resignation is effective July 31. Weiskircher's is effective at
the completion of the 2006-2007 contract year.
"Both of (them) are very important (members) of the house," said
Superintendent Larry Zimmerman. "We owe them the best and they have done
a very good job for us through the years."
The board also honored Ed Burdett as December Employee of the Month.
Burdett, Mill Valley Elementary custodian, has been a "tremendous
employee for many years and one of the most friendly people I've ever
met in my life," Zimmerman said. "He really is what we are about."
Burdett "always goes beyond what is expected" and is "so patient and
kind to students and staff alike," according to the Employee of the
Month Resolution.

Richwood Council discusses park surveillance
By CHAD WILLIAMSON
A surveillance camera is useless without someone to check the video.
That was the opinion of at least one Richwood Council member when it
came to discussion of cameras at the village park.
The park is a constant target of vandalism. Benches have been thrown
into the lake, trees have been damaged and, it was noted at the council
meeting, the women's restroom had to be repainted three times last year
due to vandals.
To combat the problem the village installed surveillance cameras in the
park several years ago. The new tool did little to deter or help
apprehend criminals, before it was destroyed by a storm this summer.
With insurance money sitting in village coffers, the council must now
decide if it wants to replace the cameras.
The quality of images appears to be one shortfall of the old system. At
previous council meetings it has been said that it recognizing
individuals on the tapes is difficult.
Council member George Showalter said that he has met with a consultant
to discuss upgrading the system. He said there are cameras available
that would provide a better quality of image and the number of cameras
could be increased from two to four to provide better coverage.
But councilman Scott Jerew felt purchasing new cameras is useless if the
village police department won't review the tapes. At previous meetings
he has noted that a particular incident of vandalism occurred while the
cameras were still in operation but the police department never reviewed
the footage.
Officers reported to council members that they did not have time to
review several hours of footage in hopes of catching a glimpse of a
suspect. When Jerew said that he had found a private citizens who had
offered to watch all of the footage, an issue was raised regarding the
legality of such a move.
When asked for a legal opinion on the matter, village solicitor Victoria
Stone Moledor said the vandalism at the park is an ongoing problem that
needs attention, noting that some of the incidents would qualify as
felonies. She also noted that the quality of the images recorded would
need to be clear enough to allow investigators to identify suspects.
She also noted that there may be a way to set up a system whereby a
private citizen reviews the tapes and provides information to the police department.
Council failed to act on the issue of purchasing new cameras and will
address the issue at a later council meeting.
In other business, council:
.Passed a resolution of support for the Woda Group to pursue government
funding for an acquisition and rehabilitation of the Richwood
Apartments. The group sought similar dollars last year but was not
successful in the lottery-style system of funding. The $3-3.5 million
project would rehab the facility and increase the size of some of the apartments.
.Heard a complaint from a Franklin Street business owner over nearby
apartment resident parking in the spaces in front of his business during working hours.
.Chose to deny a request of a property owner over a disputed water bill.
.Discussed a $477,000 project that would improve water lines in the area
of Beatty Avenue and Blagrove and Ottawa streets. Roughly half of the
project could be covered by grants, leaving the village to fund the
rest. Council was informed that a lingering engineering loan of $42,000
must be paid down, siphoning some money that would be available for the
project. Council decided to pursue the grants for the project, but delay
final determination on whether or not to move forward.

Couple in it for the long run
Marathon training means long hours on the road

By CORINNE BIX
Jen and Chris Martin celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary in a very unique way.
The Marysville residents traveled to Germany and together completed the
Berlin Marathon last September.
Chris, 37, has been running competitively for the past two years and the
Berlin Marathon was his second of three that he has completed.
Jen, 36, has spent most of her life running. She competed in track and
cross-country beginning in junior high and began running competitively
as an adult in 2005.
"Our hometown has a 5K every year in July and we have managed to do that
for about the past six years," Jen explained.
For the Martins the change from casual running to competitive running
came after Chris traded in a tobacco habit for a serious running habit in 2002.
Chris explained that after smoking for 14 years the act of running
helped him learn how to really breathe again.
Jen said she runs for exercise. Her mom, step-dad and sister have all
run marathons so after Chris joined the club, she thought it was time to
give it a try.
The couple feels when they are training for a race it shows their
children the value of setting a goal and preparing to make that goal a reality.
The children, Grant, 8, and Olivia, 6, enjoy making signs and cheering
their parents on during a race.
"They are very supportive," Chris said.
Oftentimes during training the kids will ride bikes alongside mom and
dad so that the family can spend the time exercising together.
When preparing for a marathon the couple uses a four-month training
schedule. However, they both agree the key to training is preparing the mind.
"Chris mentally prepares by telling himself that if he can run 22 miles
in training they can do 26 miles in the race," Jen explained, "I
mentally prepare in small steps throughout training, each increase in
mileage gives me confidence and that becomes my motivation on race day."
Chris's best marathon time to date was the Columbus Marathon October
2005. He completed it in 3:33:45 and Jen completed the Berlin marathon in 4:05.
Chris's company, Henkel, located in Delaware, paid for the couple to
travel overseas and participate in the event.
Henkel, a chemical company based in Germany, promotes fitness among its
employees. There were approximately 250 worldwide Henkel representatives
who participated in the Berlin marathon.
Jen and Chris still have more they hope to accomplish. They would both
like to participate in the Columbus Marathon this fall. Jen hopes to
break the four-hour mark and ultimately qualify for the Boston Marathon.
The couple encourages anyone thinking about starting a running program
or making the jump from casual to competitive running to focus on
preparing their minds before grabbing their running shoes.
"After Chris ran his first marathon, the seed was planted for me," Jen
said, "Once I had the desire, I was ready to make the commitment and I
knew it was time."
The couple recommends slow but steady increases in mileage. Jen said
this helped her mentally and her body just seemed to come along for the ride.
"It was not easy, it was not painless, and many days it was not fun, but
when I finished the feeling of accomplishment was worth all the pain and
hard work that I put into it," Jen said.

Pianist to be featured at Community Concert
From J-T staff reports:
Pianist and performer Alpin Hong will perform Tuesday at Marysville High
School. His appearance is sponsored by the Union County Community
Concerts Association.
The 7:30 p.m. concert will be held in the high school auditorium. Hong
will perform from among his favorite pieces, including Chromatic
Fantasia and Fugue in D minor by J.S. Bach, Piano Sonata No. 11 in A
major by W.A. Mozart, Felix Mendelssohn's Rondo Capriccioso in E major,"
and George Gershwin's "Three Preludes for Piano."
A native of Los Angeles, Hong made his orchestral debut with the
Kalamazoo Symphony at age 10. Teen appearances included the 1989
Stravinsky Piano Competition, 1993 SYMF Competition and the 1994 Los
Angeles Spotlight Awards Competition. He has since developed an
international career, recently performing with the Korean Broadcast
Symphony (KBS), as well as at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los
Angeles, and at New York's Alice Tully and Avery Fisher Halls.
In October 2004, Hong released his solo debut CD (MSR Classics),
featuring works of Brahms, Debussy, Scarlatti and Stravinsky, all
standards of his recital repertoire.
The Atlanta Audio Society Journal hailed the debut recording as
"stunning," and went on to say, "While young keyboard artists are apt to
make a name for themselves with a killer technical prowess, Alpin Hong's
Brahms shows us that, at the highest level, technique and the inmost
understanding of the emotion in a work of music, what we are pleased to
call 'feeling,' are really inseparable."
Hong was first prize winner at the 2001 Concert Artists Guild
International Competition, and the first pianist in eight years to win
CAG's highest honor. His subsequent New York recital debut on the CAG
series in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall garnered praise from the
"New York Times," which cited his performance for its "crystalline
energy," "clear and persuasive ideas" and "remarkable breadth and coloration."
Hong's 2004-05 concert itinerary spanned the continental United States,
with recital and orchestral engagements in more than 100 cities in more
than 35 states, as well as performances in Asia. Recent performance
highlights include a recital at New York's Weill Recital Hall at
Carnegie Hall, Rockhotel Pianofest and Merkin Concert Hall 50th
Anniversary Celebration, Los Angeles, Wilshire Ebell Theatre and Royce
Hall at UCLA, Seoul's Hoam Arts Center, Purdue University Convocations
in Lafayette, Ind., the Frick Arts Centre in Pittsburgh, Kansas City
Friends of Chamber Music, the Chamber Music Society of Little Rock,
Market Square Concerts and the Asociacion Nacional de Conciertos in
Panama, as well as concerto performances with Orchestra X, the Greeley
Philharmonic and the Indian River Symphony.
His festival appearances include the Music Academy of the West, Aspen
and Bowdoin Summer Music Festivals.
He is a graduate of the Juilliard School, where he studied with Jerome
Lowenthal.  He was invited to participate in the inaugural 1990
Soviet-American Piano Institute in Moscow, and he has also performed at
master classes with André Watts, Emanuel Ax and Daniel Pollack.
Hong currently resides in New York City, and his non-musical interests
include martial arts, snowboarding and skateboarding.
The next performance in the 2006-2007 Union County Concert Series will
be harpists Bronn and Katherine Journey. They are scheduled to appear
Feb. 21 the high school auditorium.

Farm Bureau has new official

By EMILY MASTERS
Farmers in Union County will see a new face at the Union County
Agricultural Services Center.
Tim Street, 28, of the Richwood area, has been named the Union,
Franklin, and Delaware County Organization Director (OD).
"I'm looking forward to this opportunity to get to know a new set of
Farm Bureau members," Street said.
Street started with the organization almost six years ago, serving as OD
in Pickaway, Ross, Fairfield and Hocking counties. He was then offered
the OD job in Franklin and Delaware counties, and most recently, Union
County was added to his responsibilities. He replaces former Union
County OD, Alex Beard.
 "The opportunity to work with a new board, implementing new programming
and continuing to build on existing programs is really exciting," Street said.
Street, originally from Prospect, is still involved with his uncle's
grain farming operation. Street also owns a straw business. He graduated
from River Valley High School in 1996 and the Ohio State University in
2001, where he majored in agronomy. He and his wife, Amanda Isler
Street, attend Salem Evangelical Church in Marion and are expecting
their first child in June.
Street says he's looking forward to two upcoming Farm Bureau events.
"Our membership kick-off is coming up next month and our farmer's share
breakfast is the following month," he said.
The membership kick-off is tentatively scheduled for Feb. 8 at the Union
County Agricultural Services Center, and the farmer's share breakfast is
set for March 31 at Marysville High School.
According to Street, Union County presently has more than 1,500 members,
and more than 800 of those are farmers or are involved in some type of
agricultural business.
"I enjoy the grassroots aspect of the Farm Bureau, and being an OD
allows me to provide the voice of agriculture for Union County, it's a

Hugs to be  prescribed at MHUC
From J-T staff reports:
Heartland of Marysville will celebrate National Hug Day Sunday by
visiting Memorial Hospital of Union County to give patients a good dose
of hugging.
With "Care Bear," the Circle of Care mascot, everyone from medical
personnel to patients will receive a hug.
"The 'Care Bear' breaks the ice. Most people would be a bit apprehensive
to give a stranger a hug, but with the bear, we can reach out and touch
patients and caregivers," said Cathy Oetker, director of admissions and
marketing for Heartland. "This is something that we try to bring to life
everyday at Heartland."
Heartland and its parent company HCR ManorCare have a close relationship
with Greg Risberg, the self-proclaimed "King of Hugs" and frequent guest
lecturer at HCR corporate wide. Risberg prescribes that everyone should
get at least four hugs a day.
"Touch is part of the natural bonding process between parents and
children, but as we grow up we become afraid that our touch may be
misinterpreted," Risberg said. "There is appropriate touch, and as
adults we need to break down our barriers and develop more nurturing,
comforting and healing relationships."
Heartland is a 100-bed nursing and rehabilitation center located next to
Memorial Hospital. Additional information may be obtained by calling
644-8836.

Sex offender found guilty on retrial for alleged offense
By RYAN HORNS
The Union County Common Pleas Court jury handed out a two-year prison
sentence in the second trial for a man charged with failing to register
as a sexual offender.
The jury deliberated for more than five hours before reaching its decision.
Richard Sommerfield, 45, was convicted for living at the home of his
then-fiancee, Linda Allen, in the 700 block of Quail Hollow Drive
between June 2004 and January 2005. The timeline in question coincided
with when Sommerfield was reportedly recuperating at Allen's home, after
breaking his back in four places. The injury occurred in June 2004 when
he fell from a ladder while renovating a home in Dayton in his line of employment.
Failing to register as a sexual offender is a third-degree felony.
Sommerfield faced up to five years in prison, which would have added to
the 18 years he had previously spent in jail for committing a series of
rapes and robberies in Columbus when he was 17-years old. He was
ultimately tried as an adult at the time.
During sentencing Thursday, Union County Common Pleas Court Judge
Richard Parrott said Sommerfield knew he wasn't allowed to stay for more
than five consecutive days in another county and he knew he couldn't
live within 1,000 feet of a school - as Allen's home is. He violated
both of those terms.
"I want you to know that in my mind you were playing games with the
system," Parrott told Sommerfield during sentencing. "You knew you were
playing games with fire - and you got burned."
Sommerfield took the verdict calmly, as did his wife and family in the courtroom.
During the trial Quail Hollow Drive neighbors and a neighbor near
Sommerfield's main home in Delaware County on Dublin Road all testified
he had been at Allen's home, or was gone from his Delaware address
throughout the summer of 2004 through January 2005.
In April 2005 the trial first came before the Union County Common Pleas
Court. In that trial the jury deliberated for more than eight hours and
could not reach an unanimous decision. The trial had to be rescheduled
because of the hung jury status.
Phillips explained that Sommerfield then filed a motion to have the
Sexual Offender Registration Law declared unconstitutional, which
Parrott allowed.
"We appealed that decision to the Third District Court of Appeals,"
Phillips said. "The Third District reversed Judge Parrott's ruling and
remanded the case. Sommerfield tried to get the case into the Ohio
Supreme Court. We opposed jurisdiction and the Supreme Court refused to
accept it. The case was then remanded back for a new trial which began Tuesday."
Phillips told the court to consider that Sommerfield has a history of
violent crime, including two counts of rape, three counts of aggravated
robbery, parole violations, criminal trespassing, possessing criminal
tools and breaking and entering charges.
Sommerfield's attorney Mike Streng explained that those crimes happened
when his client was a teenager.
"Mr. Sommerfield had a rough patch when he was younger," Streng said.
He said the crimes committed in Sommerfield's youth were due to dealing
with the stress of a family member dying.
"If there is any hope for someone to become rehabilitated," Streng said.
"Mr. Sommerfield is that example."
He said that his client served his time in prison and has since proven
his abilities to live within the laws, earned two degrees from college
and has started a family.
"I hope his efforts don't go in vain for unintentionally violating the
laws," Streng said.
"The law itself is very poorly drafted," Parrott said. "It's very
difficult. This jury doesn't know what went on before. Another jury had
difficulty with this case. The legislation needs to be cleaned up and
clearly defined so there is no question when someone violates the law."
Phillips said that he plans to talk to state legislators about trying to
get sexual offender registration laws better defined for jurors.

Promoting Union County
New logo and marketing strategy is released

By EMILY MASTERS
Union County has a new identity.
 A presentation unveiling the new logo and marketing strategy was given
Wednesday night at the Union County Services Center by Eric Phillips,
Union County Chamber of Commerce CEO. The new tools are designed to
attract businesses and tourists to the county.
"We need a better image and we need to promote ourselves," Phillips said.
Over the past year, Team Union County, a committee of the Community
Improvement Corporation, has been working on the project and it is now
prepared to implement the strategy in 2007. The team, comprised of 13
community members, business owners and business leaders, worked with
Peebles Creative Group Inc., based in Columbus, to come up with an
identity for Union County.
The group found that Union County is driven by the belief that the best
communities combine a unique identity with quality amenities and
infrastructure. For Union County that identity arises from an
agricultural heritage. Team Union County states that it is "committed to
encouraging and managing growth in a manner consistent with that identity."
Based on input given by long-time residents, new residents, and small
and large business owners, it was determined that healthy growth is
important to the community. Despite the desire for growth and change,
one description for the county kept surfacing ? an American Original.
Team Union County determined the highest priority target market, for the
short term, includes businesses of 150 employees or smaller. According
to a packet of information provided at the meeting, the group determined
that targeting these smaller businesses is "keeping with the need to add
amenities and diversify."
Phillips said Union County needs to create its own identity to compete
with a growing urban landscape in central Ohio.
"We have an identity crisis to Columbus," Phillips said. "Sure we have
Honda and Scotts, but we as a community are not on the radar.
The new logo and tagline "Where pride resides," once approved by the
Union County Chamber of Commerce board, will appear on chamber
brochures, letterhead and on advertisements aimed at attracting
businesses to the county.
"We have 24,500 in our workforce here in Union County, 12,000 of those
are in manufacturing and 90 percent of those are in automanufacturing,"
Phillips said. "We are blessed to have fantastic schools and we have a
great park system.
"We need to take advantage of all of those amenities."

Preparing for the ash borer
With bug present in adjacent counties, group seeks to inform public
By KARLYN BYERS
Members of Ohio's Emerald Ash Borer Task Force are making sure Union
County residents are aware of a little bug with a big appetite.
Task Force members are inviting county residents to the Union County
Agricultural Center, 18000 Route 4, to one of two informational
workshops about the emerald ash borer (EAB). The first, for members of
the green and forest industries, will be held Jan. 31 from 2 to 4 p.m.
Those planning to attend must pre-register at (888) OHIO-EAB to help
ensure adequate material and supplies are available.
The second workshop, also to be held Jan. 31, will be from 7 to 9 p.m.
It is for the general public.
At each, experts will provide information about the invasive insect,
backyard detection methods, quarantines and local wood lot and landscape
management options, including tree varieties suitable for replacing
dying ash species.
The emerald ash borer (EAB) is an exotic, wood-boring insect that
infests and kills native North American ash trees, including green,
white, black and blue ash, according to an Ohio State University fact sheet.
Just like the chestnut blight and Dutch elm disease before it, EAB is
capable of eliminating an entire tree species from forests and cities,
the fact sheet states.
EAB has attacked millions of ash trees in southern Michigan and Northern
Ohio and is rapidly spreading throughout the state. It has been
identified in 26 counties, according to the Task Force, including
neighboring Delaware, Franklin, Hardin, Logan and Marion counties. So
far, no detection has been made in Union, Madison or Champaign counties,
said John Hixson, Union County Ohio State University Extension agent,
and George McVey, Master Gardener coordinator and
Union County Extension assistant.
McVey was tagging ash trees at Memorial Hospital of Union
County Tuesday, trying to inform the public about the ash borer with
information imprinted on bright yellow flags.
"We're trying to be proactive because (the EAB) is spreading very
quickly," Hixon said.
All trees infested with EAB typically die within five years. Adult
females ash borers produce about 50 to 100 eggs, depositing them
individually on the bark surface or within cracks and crevices of an ash
tree. The eggs hatch and the larvae tunnel into the tree where they
excavate distinctive "S-shaped" pathways just under the bark. When they
emerge as adults, they leave behind "D-shaped" exit holes in the bark
about one-eighth inch wide.
But it's what occurs underneath the bark that causes the tree's slow
death, Hixon said. The hungry larvae chew on the tree's pulp, damaging
its water and nutrient transporting system.
That would spell trouble for Union County's forested areas, parks and
landscapes. Kathy Smith, Ohio State University Woodlands Stewards
Program, estimates 15 to 20 percent of Union County's trees are ash.

Unionville Center officials  discuss flooding
By AUDREY HALL
Flooding problems south of Fourth Street were the focus of a special
meeting of the Unionville Center Village Council Wednesday evening.
Residents have been plagued with water problems during the rainy weather
of the past few months. Steady rain over the past weekend compounded the
problem and the meeting was called to determine if the water situation
is a village problem.
Affected residents Larry Burchett, Wanda Daum, Chris Geuy and Dwayne
Walk have been forced to pump water from under their homes. Daum said
the water level has gone down but Wednesday she still had nine inches
under her home.  All agreed that high water has been a problem for the
past three to five years.
Two years ago the village installed a 12-inch tile from Cross Street to
Railroad Street to alleviate flooding on Cross Street near the corner of
Fourth Street and the Darby Township parking lot. The new tile was
rerouted along Fourth Street to a drain near Railroad Street.
Council member Ron Griffith said the tile was only rerouted and no
additional drainage area was added. This was verified by John Eger of
Eger & Son Excavating who installed the tile. No one north of Fourth
Street is reportedly experiencing high water.
The problem area is said to be south of Fourth Street. Bob Scheiderer,
ditch maintenance supervisor with the Union County Soil and Water
Conservation District, explained that the village is experiencing the
effects of failure of 100-year-old clay tile.
The intersection of Fourth and Railroad streets is also the intersection
of three watersheds and three separate tile systems. Scheiderer
speculated that the pond owned by Charles and Judy Walk at the corner of
Fourth Street and Unionville Road is backing up and putting pressure on
the tile. The pond is in Darby Township at the village corporation limit line.
Scheiderer also explained that there are two problems, the interruption
of surface water flow mainly caused by the pond and subsurface water
probably caused by degrading or blocked clay tile. There are 175 acres
of farmland that drain toward the pond which has an overflow pipe that
directs water to a ditch that eventually flows through Select Sires
property to the Big Darby.
There are approximately 200 acres of farm land on the south side of
Route 161 that drain through Unionville Center adding pressure to the
old clay tiles.
According to Scheiderer, current specifications for installing a pond
require an emergency spillway. The height of adjacent property
determines the height of the spillway.
The principle outlet pipe must be a minimum of one foot below the
spillway. An emergency spillway opens an edge of a pond. The open edge
can either have grass, stone or rip rap, which is course, angular rock
used to stabilize a shore, for the drainage area.
Water appears to be spilling over the low end of the pond toward the
town rather than at the back of the pond where it would naturally drain
to the tile through Select Sires property.  Eger offered to check the
elevations at the pond on Thursday.
Walk suggested that the village apply for a grant to pay for a spillway.
It is uncertain if a grant available to a government body could be used
for a pond on private property.
To alleviate the subsurface water problem, council voted to hire Eger &
Son Excavating to excavate the 12-inch tile that he installed two years
ago on the north side of Fourth Street.  The new tile was installed
under an old clay tile coming from the south side of Fourth Street near
the alley. He will attach the old tile to the new tile and leave it
exposed for observation.
Council will begin exploring the possibility of grant funds to pay for a
comprehensive solution.
Another special meeting was tentatively scheduled for Jan. 23 at 6:30
p.m. to evaluate the results of the emergency tile work. The confirmed
date will be advertised in the "Marysville Journal-Tribune."

Jerome Township zoning to evolve

By EMILY MASTERS
A developing Jerome Township brings with it many on-going zoning considerations.
That was the focus of Tuesday night's regular trustee meeting. The
meetings are usually held on Mondays, twice a month; however due to the
Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, the meeting was moved to Tuesday.
The trustees scheduled two public hearings that will take care of
business regarding changes in the current zoning book. The law requires
the trustees to hold public hearings on rezoning, because it is a
legislative action. The public hearings will take place consecutively
Feb. 5 at 7 p.m. just before the next regular meeting which begins at 7:30 p.m.
The first public hearing will be held following a recommendation from
the Jerome Township Zoning Commission to approve a new zoning map. The
map has been a work in progress for the past year due to growth in the
area. The second public hearing deals with voting requirements by the
trustees and how many votes are needed in certain instances.
Recommendations from the township zoning board regarding actual property
will be announced in the next 60 days. Hearings will likely be scheduled
for three developing township areas which include Jerome Village, Sugar
Run and Halls Corners.
Jerome Village at Brock Road and U.S. 42 consists of 1,350 acres that
will soon be developed to include commercial, recreational and
residential units. It is considered a Planned Unit Development (PUD).
Sugar Run, at the corner of Taylor Road and Industrial Parkway, is a
planned residential development of 167 acres, and Halls Corner located
at Hyland Croy and Post roads is a 54.4 acre planned development for
commercial use.
"We see this area as prime," trustee Ron Rhodes said. "It will develop.
We just want to see that it's developed in the correct manner."
The trustees re-appointed Tracy Guerin, of 10240 Mitchell-Dewitt Road,
to the zoning comission for another five-year term. The zoning comission
consists of five members and two alternates who meet twice a month.
Trustee Andy Thomas made a recommendation that the township trade in
three of its lawnmowers and purchase three new ones. The recommendation
was made based on negotiating with John Deere Equipment in London. The
cost to the township for the new mowers after the trade-in will be
$6,100. The trustees approved the resolution. The mowers are used mainly
for the upkeep of the township's cemetaries, for the three parks, and the firehouse.
The trustees briefly discussed the Ryan Park Eagle Scout project. The
local scouts are making improvements to the park such as painting and
fixing up old posts.
"We're trying to put some focus back in the community," Thomas said. "We
feel that supporting the local scouting program as trustees is a good
thing to get involved with."

Committee suggests name change for park
By RYAN HORNS
A name change may be coming for Marysville's South Park.
Parks and Recreation Commission members met Tuesday night to rename the
controversial city park, which has had problems with flooding as well as
inadvertently sharing a name with a television cartoon show. In the end,
members decided to change the name to Greenwood Park and will recommend
that Marysville City Council make it official.
"My understanding is that the name South Park just evolved because of
the location, then the cartoon became popular, making the adopted name
inappropriate," city administrator Kathy House said this morning.
Parks and Recreation Superintendent Steve Conley explained that the park
was never officially named South Park, it just took on the title.
"We wanted to get away from (the name) South Park," Parks and Recreation
member Deborah Groat said.
"Far away from South Park," member Cathy Dwertman added.
The commission has not met since June for lack of agenda items because
of the winter weather. During the interim, members decided to think up
possible new names for the park and hopefully come up with a new name at
the next meeting.
Member Rowland Seymour suggested several new names, from Greenwood Park,
Collingwood Park, Oak Knoll Park to Prairie Park. He said all of them
related to roads, which connect to the park.
"Are any of these names significant in terms of honoring people?" Groat asked.
She wondered if the streets were named after actual people in
Marysville's history.
Seymour said that he didn't know and that developer Lee Simpson had
named all the Collingwood area street names. He did add that the city is
going to be planting some 60 trees within the park, which makes him lean
toward one name in particular.
"It's going to be green," he joked, referring to the name Greenwood Colony.
Groat suggested they put Greenwood Park up for a vote and members
unanimously decided upon Greenwood Park.
"I'll still call it South Park for awhile," chairman Russ Jones said.
Before the vote he joked that the commission could name it Water Park.
"Tonight it's a flooded park," Seymour said.
"It was a week ago too," member John Howard said.
Regarding tile work the city had scheduled to complete, House explained
that the Stormwater Division did some preliminary work about a month ago
to improve the drainage.
"They intend to install a new, larger tile this winter," House said.
"We've been waiting for the ground to freeze so they can complete the job."
The commission discussion switched to heavy flooding within Union County
and the city's successful rescue of a 13-year-old male who was
surrounded by floodwater on Jim Simmons Trail Monday.
Groat suggested that for the next meeting they discuss the possibility
of making it a policy to close down city parks if they become flooded.
Perhaps if the park had been closed for the recent flood, then there
could be no complaints filed with the city if a similar emergency
arises, Groat said. She stressed that no complaints had been filed from
the stranded boy's family.
"If we had a policy to close the park," she said. "Liability issues
would be better served."
Members agreed to discuss the matter further at the next meeting.
In other topics discussed:
. Howard said he has noticed that two large trees, perhaps hundreds of
years old, had recently been cut down in Legion Park.
"I don't know why they were cut down," he said. "The wood looked fine.
why are we cutting down old trees?"
Howard said he had received messages from some neighbors to the park
about the trees being gone.
Conley explained that it is possible the trees were diseased, but he
will need to check for sure with Lane Stillings, Superintendent of
Buildings and Grounds.
.Member John Marshall reminded everyone that the Frozen Nose 4-Miler is
scheduled for Saturday at 1 p.m. Registration is at noon and more
information can be found online at
www.alliancerunning.com/frozen4miler.htm

Teen trapped by high water
Uses one of park's emergency call boxes to summon rescuers

By RYAN HORNS
A Marysville woman's quest for placing emergency call boxes on the Jim
Simmons trail may have directly led to the deliverance of a teenager in
a high water rescue Monday.
At approximately 12:05 p.m. Marysville Police received a call for help
from a 13-year-old Marysville male trapped by high water at an emergency
call box located on the walking trail within Mill Creek Park. Both
police and Marysville Fire Department crews responded to the area, where
the male was located a few hundred feet behind Marysville High School
and soccer fields.
Police reported that officers were able to move within 100 feet of the
victim and keep him under surveillance while the fire department
responded with a rescue boat at 12:31 p.m. Obscured from view from the
roadway, police reported it was unknown how long the male had been
stranded or what shape he was in.
By 12:50 p.m., a Marysville fireman emerged from the Jim Simmons trail
with the teenager draped across his shoulder, walking him through the
flood water to the medic truck located nearby. The victim sat shivering
in the back of the truck, drenched in water and only wearing shorts and
a shirt with no coat. He was transported to Memorial Hospital of Union
County for care.
In 2005 a Marysville woman spearheaded an effort to get the call boxes
installed on Jim Simmons Trail after she was out jogging one day and
felt unsafe. She went before Marysville City Council and said that
anything could happen out there. The trail opens up miles of space where
a woman out jogging alone could be in potential danger from anyone
looking to cause trouble.
Marysville Streets Department official Lane Stillings said that in the
spring of 2005 the emergency call boxes finally became a reality after
donations made it possible to install them on the Jim Simmons Trail. He
said the devises run on solar power.
On the scene of the rescue Monday, rain was still falling in Marysville,
as it had all weekend long. Flood watches and warnings were being
reported across the state. At Swartzkopf Park, Mill Creek had swollen to
high levels, spilling into the playground and horseshoe areas.
Emergency crews said they were glad they were able to keep the teenage
victim safe. A dispatcher spoke to the male on the call box phone until
the inflatable boat was used to pick him up and take him to safety.
"The caller stated that he was surrounded by high water," police reports
state. "He was on dry ground at the phone box, but was fearful of the
rising water."
Marysville Police Chief Floyd Golden said the call boxes have been used
before and he hopes they can expand the service. Last year when a man's
body was found after committing suicide on the trail, the call box was
used to report the location.
"We've had some occasional people playing around with it," Golden said,
in regards to false alarms. "But (the call boxes) are another great
safeguard to get people help right away."
"I think the big message here is that when you have flooding and high
water, be aware of your surroundings," Marysville Fire Chief Gary
Johnson said.
He said that his department has had several water rescues over the years
and they can be dangerous because a person's body temperature drops 20
times faster in water than it does in the air. It can lead to
hypothermia and can be life threatening, perhaps leading to drowning. He
said flood waters may appear to be moving fast, but the water is going
faster than it seems.
Johnson said the call box came in handy for the safe rescue of the teenager.
"I'd like to see more of them, personally," he said. "But they can be expensive."

Second school district snuffs tobacco
By KARLYN BYERS
Effective Feb. 1, the Fairbanks School District will become tobacco free.
Board members unanimously voted Monday night during the regular board
meeting to approve changes in its tobacco use policy to prohibit the use
of any tobacco product, including smokeless tobacco, in school stadiums,
outdoor areas on school property, and in school buildings and vehicles
owned, leased or contracted by the school district.
Violators will be directed to stop tobacco use while on school property,
directed to leave the school property immediately and/or be subject to
possible fines and/or arrest as per the Ohio Revised Code.
Fairbanks becomes the second public school district in Union County to
prohibit all tobacco use. Marysville School Board members unanimously
passed a policy amendment during their Dec. 18 meeting that prohibited
the use of all tobacco products on school premises. It went into affect Jan. 1.
In a five-minute organization meeting which preceded Monday's regular
board meeting, members selected Kevin Green as board president and Star
Simpson as vice president.
Green has headed the Fairbanks School Board since 2000. This will be
Simpson's second year as board vice president.
Board meetings will continue to be held the third Monday of each month
at 7:30 p.m., board members decided. They also set board compensation at
$125 per meeting and authorized superintendent Jim Craycraft to employ
temporary personnel as needed for emergency situations and to serve as
purchasing agent for the school district.
In other business, the board:
.Voted to notify Pat Lucas, middle school principal, of her upcoming
contract expiration as required by the Ohio Revised Code. Craycraft said
he had spoken to Lucas who is completing a Fulbright Administrator
Exchange Program in Newton Abbot, England.
.Accepted the retirement of Jane Reed, elementary secretary.
.Approved athletic contracts for Mark Mehl, eighth grade softball coach;
Bret Rothfuss, seventh grade softball coach; John Schwendenman,
volunteer middle school baseball coach; Matt Humphrey, middle school
boys track coach; and Kevin Kilfian, volunteer assistant girls basketball coach.
.Approved girls soccer as a varsity sport beginning with the 2007-2008
school year. More than 15 soccer players and parents crowded into the
small board room, eagerly waiting for board approval.
.Voted to pay the Union County Sheriff's Office $12,000 to assist in the
financial support of the Student Resource Officer program.
.Approved the December financial reports and amendments to
appropriations. Earlier, the board also authorized the treasurer to
secure advances from the county auditor when funds were available, to
invest interim, active and non-active funds at the most productive rate,
and to pay all bills.
.Heard a presentation from Lyndy Agner, building aide at Fairbanks
Elementary School, and Darla Hall-Barrett, elementary guidance
counselor, about choosing healthy foods and bully prevention respectively.
.Accepted the resignation of Brenda Ward as sixth grade team leader.
.Approved a trip to Clyde, so the wrestling team could compete in a tournament.
.Referred the purchase of a new scoreboard on the baseball field and
weight room equipment to the district finance committee for recommendations.
.Entered into executive session for the evaluation of Craycraft and
treasurer Aaron Johnson. No action was taken.

Marysville woman killed in crash

From J-T staff reports:
A Marysville woman was killed in a two-car crash in Paris Township Saturday.
Amanda R. Sacco, 26, was reported pronounced dead at the scene by Union
County Coroner Dr. David Applegate at 4:15 a.m.
The Ohio State High Patrol Marysville Post is currently investigating
the crash, which occurred on Route 4 north of Wolford Maskill Road.
According to reports, just after 4 a.m. Sacco was driving southbound on
Route 4 in a 1994 Honda Civic hatchback when she went left of center for
unknown reasons and struck another vehicle head on.
Gary E. Feller, 39, of Cortland, was driving northbound on Route 4 in a
1995 Ford F-350 pickup truck when he was struck.
After the collision, both vehicles reportedly went off the west side of the roadway.
Feller was reportedly injured in the crash and transported to Memorial
Hospital of Union County by Liberty Township medics.
OSP reported that the Union County Sheriff's Office and Marysville
Police Department assisted at the scene.
OSP reported that this is the second fatal crash in Union County this year.

Sprinkler system saves business
Fire at Franke's Wood Products  is controlled quickly
From J-T staff reports:
A sprinkler system saved a local wood products business after a fire
erupted in its warehouse early Saturday.
Marysville Fire Department responded to a 2:50 a.m. fire alarm at
Franke's Wood Products at 825 Collins Ave. A sprinkler system had
activated inside and the business is back in operation today. No
injuries were reported from the incident.
This morning fire officials reported that when crews arrived there was
heavy smoke inside the warehouse because the sprinkler system had doused
the majority of the flames. Damage to the business was not expected to be serious.
"There was minimal loss. We lost a couple pieces of equipment," Chris
Franke, owner of the family run business, said. "The sprinkler system did its job."
He said the fire originated from a saw in the warehouse, which ignited
sawdust. The Franke family spent the majority of Saturday and Sunday
cleaning up the water and smoke damage.
"It's been a long weekend," Franke said.
He said the Marysville Fire Department responded quickly and helped
prevent any further damage. Crews were called back again at 8:52 a.m.
when flames shot out of an area during cleanup. Allen Township crews
also responded with Marysville.
"We're back up in operation today," Franke said. "The outpouring of help
within the community has been great."
Franke's Wood Products has been in operation since 1968, he said. When
running a wood products business "a fire is always in the back of your mind."
He said if a fire erupts it teaches everyone about how to change
operations to correct the problem and prevent it from happening in the future.

Library renovating to serve growing area
By EMILY MASTERS
Construction at the Marysville Public Library will begin mid-January to
finish the lower level that has sat empty and underutilized since the
library was built at the South Plum Street location in 1988. Nine
thousand of the 13,000 square-foot space will finally be operational to
accommodate growing patrons.
"The goal is to better serve a growing community. We're one of the
fastest growing counties in the state. Five years ago, we had around
7,000 borrowers, that number now is up to more than 20,000 borrowers,"
said Ryan McDonnell, director.
Nearly 1,000 people visit the library everyday, and about 1,000 items
are checked out daily.
The project with a budget of $462,069 is being funded with state money.
The library receives almost half of its funding from the state of Ohio's
Library and Local Government Support Fund (LLGSF) and half from local
property taxes. The remaining funds come from fines and fees, donations,
and local and federal grants.
"The state money arrives on a monthly basis. We have been saving for
this project for awhile now," said McDonnell. Planning for the
renovations has been in the works for the past two years.
Improvements to the lower level and first floor will be completed in
phases. Library patrons can expect the lower level to include: a new
audio visual department, a second public meeting room, administrative
offices, and additional public computer work areas.
"The current 16 public work stations are always being utilized and
oftentimes there's a wait to get on a computer; soon we'll have 30 work
stations to better accommodate people. It's a popular area in the
library," McDonnell said.
Renovations to the first floor will include: a new early learning and
storytime room, an updated circulation desk, youth and adult reference
desks, an updated local history and genealogy area, more room for books
and materials, a small cafe and vending area, and updated paint and
carpeting throughout the library. There also will be updated signage on both floors.
For the exterior of the library, six additional parking spaces will be
added, as well as some drive-up book drops.
Throughout the renovation, the library will remain open. The only areas
that will be closed are the meeting room and book sale room.
"We do realize there will be some increased noise, but in the long term,
the project will reduce the noise," McDonnell said.
The completion date is set for mid-June.

Marysville School District  names 'Good Apples'

The Marysville School District presented its annual "Good Apple" awards
Friday night between the high school boys junior varsity and varsity basketball games.
Each year the district recognizes citizens who have been particularly
generous with their time or resources. The recipients are selected from
individuals nominated by each school's staff members.
The following people received awards Friday night.
East
The 2006-2007 Good Apple Award Winner Recipient for East Elementary is
Carla Spaulding-Porschet.
Porschet is married to Michael and is mother of two students at East,
Brian and Brandon. She is a senior project analyst for OCLC and has
donated her time and efforts at East for the past three years.
Porschet is currently the PTO President. Initiatives and activities
include the PTO Web site, Buckeye Bash, Winter Carnival, Watch Dogs,
conference meals for staff and many other things.
Edgewood
Karla Ezerins has been a dedicated volunteer at Edgewood for the past
five years, since her son Gregory Laurenson entered kindergarten. She
has worked for the annual PTO candy fundraisers which has involved many
hours of organization and communication among the Edgewood families.
 She consistently supports Edgewood students and staff.
Mill Valley
Mill Valley's three Good Apple recipients, Sherry King, Ann Langlois and
Wendy Loos, have a total of more than 20 years of volunteer service in
Marysville Schools.
King, her husband, Jim, and children, Ashlyn and Marshal, have lived in
the Marysville area for nine years. Ashlyn is a sixth grade student at
Creekview and Marshal is in the fourth grade at Mill Valley. King has
been a faithful volunteer for the past seven years. She has helped in
each child's classroom every week since they started kindergarten and
has fond memories of many classroom activities, including cookie making,
pumpkin carving, feast days, Camp Skeeter, candy bar voting, trade days
and field days, field trips and classroom parties.
She helps teachers in a variety of ways, even making copies as needed
and popping popcorn. She also helps students with math facts, counting
money, telling time and learning sight words.
Langlois has been a familiar face in the school the past six  years. She
and her husband, Curt, have lived in the Marysville area seven years and
have four children, Bryan, 13, Danielle, 11, and Kristin and Nicholas,
10. They currently attend Marysville Middle School, Creekview
Intermediate and Mill Valley Elementary.
She is the creator and coordinator of Family Science Nights which have
become a yearly tradition at Mill Valley. She also has presented a
"Taste of Science" at lunch, served as PTO co-president, Scarecrow Night
volunteer and coordinator and a classroom volunteer and room parent. She
is a Destination Imagination parent volunteer and team manager, the Box
Top and Labels for Education coordinator, and has served as the Staff
Appreciation Week coordinator. Langlois has helped with many other Mill
Valley activities, including the art fundraiser, book fair, movie night,
author's lunch, Safety Town and field trips.
Loos and her family have lived in the Marysville area for seven years
and she has volunteered her time and talents at Mill Valley for the same
length of time. Her family includes her husband, Jeff, and daughters,
Rachel and Megan. Rachel is in the sixth grade at Creekview and Megan is
a fourth grade student at Mill Valley.
For six years Loos has been a weekly classroom volunteer.  For the past
three years she also has served as PTO fundraiser chairperson, raising
thousands of dollars to provide equipment and books for the staff and
students. She also has worked with students as an Ohio Reads weekly
reading mentor and tutor for three years.
Other PTO and school activities the past seven years include book fairs,
scarecrow nights, holiday Christmas shops and Teacher Appreciation
Weeks. She has consistently given her time to help as a field trip
chaperone and room parent.
Navin
Navin's Good Apple recipient is Robynn Jasper. She has served in several
PTO leadership capacities and been involved in all aspects of the
school, including leading fund-raising activities, supporting teacher
appreciation, and giving her time for SuperGames and book fairs. She
also organized The Buckeye Bash.
Raymond
Raymond Elementary recognizes Loni Gordon and Karen Ogan as its "Good
Apple" award recipients. Both can be found helping out at all special
events, from Breakfast with a Friend and Fall Festival to the Fun Fest
and Field Day activities in the spring.
Both ladies have served the PTO; Gordon in the past as treasurer and
Ogan as president for the past two years.
Creekview
 Krista Perry is the nominee from Creekview Intermediate School. She is
the mother of five children, Nathan (sixth Grade), Danielle (fourth
grade), Amy (second grade), Stephanie (kindergarten), and Megan (3 years old).
This Perry's second year as the CIS-PTO president along with assisting
and coordinating many different activities and school initiatives,
including the Muffins with Mom and Doughnuts with Dad Mornings, the
author visits, coordinating the teachers' conference meals, Technology
Initiatives: Smart Boards and the CPS Systems (Student Response Boards)
and the new Creekview sign for announcements.
Marysville Middle School
Gary Murdock is the recipient of the Marysville Middle School Good Apple award.
Murdock initiated (in 2005-2006) the formation of the Fellowship Of
Christian Athletes. He also served as a judge for the middle school
science fair for the past three years and has assisted with the
donations of a Savings Bond for science fair winners.
He also volunteered his time as a mentor in the CCS class job shadowing
experience and has welcomed several eighth grade students to follow him
at his business for the classroom requirement.
Since 2001, he has served as an assistant football coach at the middle
school and teaches not only football skills but also life skills.
Anytime he has been asked to assist with middle school activities, he
does not hesitate to help and remained with middle school programs long
after his children have moved on.
His wife Linda is a special education teacher at Navin Elementary. His
daughter Jessica attends Wilmington College; son Kyle is a senior and a
three-sport athlete at the high school and a daughter, Rachael is in
fourth grade. Murdock is president of the Ohio Valley Automobile
Association Authority located in Hilliard.
Marysville High School
Tom and Amy McCarthy have contributed to the FCCLA Christmas party for
needy children, often buying stuffed animals each year for the 24
children attending. Tom McCarthy also has also been on the Family &
Consumer Science District Advisory Board for a number of years and has
been a guest speaker in accounting classes the past several years.
The McCarthys also worked at Diamond Club, the baseball parents group,
and bingo to raise money for baseball. They also helped with prom in
2001, and Amy McCarthy chaired the decorating committee.
They were very active with the French exchange program and volunteered
to host a French student. Amy was very active with helping to put on
social events for the French students and their host families and helped
with the tailgate party which introduced the French to American
football. She helped with the progressive dinner which taught the
students about various American holidays and she helped with the French farewell party.
They hosted two years sent their kids two years, always worked on extra
projects, always helped when needed and volunteered for everything.
Kimm Godfrey has been a "count on" person for several semesters, helping
with mock interviews in the life management classes.
She rearranges her schedule as Fifth Third bank manager to accommodate
the school's schedule to do the interviews. She helps students learn
what it takes to get a job in today's business world. She has led
numerous field trips at the bank for the Smart Food/Smart Money classes
for more than five years and talked with the students about financial
preparation for life. Godfrey also is on the Family & Consumer Science
District Advisory Board.

N. Lewisburg man killed in crash
The Marysville Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating a
single vehicle fatal crash that occurred on Route 559 outside of Union
County Friday afternoon.
The crash occurred at 2:19 p.m. two miles south of North Lewisburg.
According OSP reports, a 1995 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme driven by
Andrew K. Hayes, 23, of North Lewisburg, was southbound on Route 559
when it went off the west side of the road, overcorrected and came back
across to the east side where the driver lost control of the vehicle.
The car struck a utility pole before coming to rest.
Hayes, who was not wearing a seat belt, was pronounced dead at the scene.
The crash remains under investigation.

Committee will study water issue
By RYAN HORNS
Marysville City Council announced Thursday night that plans are underway
to address the issue of water rates and the future reservoir for the city.
With the New Year comes the reorganization of city council leaders and
Edward Pleasant became the new council president, replacing John Gore.
Councilman David Burke was appointed as vice president.
Pleasant said that at the next regular council meeting on Jan. 25,
council would create an ad hoc committee to review the water rate and
reservoir issues.
"We're at a standstill right now," Mayor Tom Kruse said.
He pointed out that representatives from Jerome Township came to the
meeting to ask the city to sign documents for a non-annexation agreement
with Marysville. Without a set plan for building the reservoir and no
water rate increase in place, he does not know how he can sign the
papers. The only thing Marysville brings to the table are water and
sewer services. Without that they have nothing to offer.
City administrator Kathy House explained this morning that Jerome
Township and Marysville have been involved in discussions on how both
entities can work together in the development of areas from Marysville's
corporate limit to U.S. 42 without requiring annexation. Jerome Township
representatives brought two possible contracts for consulting firms to
the meeting. They need to signature of Kruse before they can go forward.
"I find it very difficult to commit to expenditures when I don't know if
we will even have a relationship," Kruse said, regarding Jerome Township.
House said that those contracts will have to remain on hold until plans
can be made for the water rates and the reservoir construction. Until
then the city must focus on reserving capacity for water and sewer tap
ins already approved.
Councilman John Marshall said he was upset that council voted down the
water rate increase at the Dec. 21 meting. As reported, he was out of
town on business and could not attend. He does not know why council did
not stick to the Water Master Plan.
"As you can tell, I'm a little bent," he said.
He regretted that he is "guilty by association" for the water rates hike
vote because he is a member of city council. Until there is an adequate
plan in place for the rates and the reservoir he feels the city should
not be collecting money from the residents for a reservoir they
currently do not have plans to construct.
"I think maybe we ought to take pause and see where we are," Kruse said.
"We're in a very serious predicament at this point."
Pleasant said that at the next council meeting they would begin
addressing those concerns.
After the meeting, council member Leah Sellers reported in an e-mail
that she had been asked by a developer why she voted against the rate
increase. She reiterated that aside from expecting residents to pay such
high water rates, Marysville needs a business plan for its water utility.
"Although the Water Plan does raise water tap fees, ultimately to
allocate the capital improvements to the new users, it does not provide
a business plan for how and when the utility debt will be paid down. Nor
does it guarantee that our existing customers will be relieved of their
high water bills once the new growth is on line. I believe we should
have such business plan and guarantee in place before we ask our current
residents to finance new growth," Sellers wrote.
She said there is also an issue with land planning that needs to be addressed.
"Raising water rates will allow the city to obtain debt that will permit
'boom' growth. However, we have no clear cut plan for how that growth
will look and how Marysville and Union County can support the various
needs of such growth other than water and sewer services," Sellers wrote.
Marysville needs to be creative with its financing and resolve this
quickly, she said.
In other business discussed:
. The public hearings were held on legislation to permit the annual
indexing of the water system capacity charges and the sewer tap
connection fees.
Burke explained that indexing the fees will "keep taps current so that
growth pays for growth." The prices for new development will stay with
inflation and change automatically every year.
. Economic development director Eric Phillips addressed the first
reading of a resolution to adopt the Uptown Marysville Revitalization Plan.
He said some 30 businesses and 200 customers were interviewed for the
plan, which includes a market analysis and 130 recommendations to
improving the downtown area.
"This is our guidebook for the future," Phillips said. "We hope that
council approves this plan."
. Phillips presented Kruse with a framed copy of the Ohio Magazine
article naming Marysville one of Ohio's best hometowns. He said there
will be an official ceremony with Ohio Magazine to be held Feb. 2 at
1:30 p.m. at Creekview Elementary School. It is expected to be an event
and the public is encouraged to attend.
. John Cunningham reported that the sign variance request for the strip
mall development going in at the Mill Valley entrance was voted down at
the Monday Board of Zoning Appeals meeting. The variance would have
allowed a much larger business sign to go up than what code allows.
He also explained the first reading of an ordinance to amend Section
1143.18, Signs, within TOC and SD-1 zoning districts in the Marysville
Planning and Zoning Code. The changes would specifically address size
limits for shopping centers. The idea was to look at other communities
and find something that falls within the middle, allowing a maximum
height of 25 feet.
Councilman Dan Fogt said he would be in favor of being even stricter
toward sign sizes.
Cunningham said the Board of Zoning Appeals could be willing to sit down
with council and discuss their combined goals for signs.
. The first reading was held on the ordinance approving the final
development plan for The Oaks Planned Unit Development (PUD).
According to the plan, The Oaks is a 64.83-acre development to be
located west of Route 736 and east of Route 38. It will include a
section for future condominiums and one for private home lots.
. The first readings were held on two pieces of legislation to approve
$189,400 in order to purchase and demolish the property at 669 Milford
Ave. (former location of the Country Skillet restaurant). The purpose of
the demolition would be for "traffic engineering."
. Councilman Mark Reams reported that residents wishing to take part in
the Frozen Nose 4-Miler may call 642-0116 or e-mail city parks
superintendent Steve Conley at sconley@marysvilleohio.org.

Show choir to perform at Grand Ol' Opr

Will also kick off concert season Saturday
By EMILY MASTERS
The Marysville High School show choir, Swingers Unlimited, has been
invited to perform at the renowned Showchoir Nationals competition at
the Grand Ol' Opry in Nashville on March 16.
Swingers Unlimited will be the only show choir representing Ohio.
"This is a tremendous opportunity and a huge honor for the students and
city of Marysville," said Jeremy Alfera, director.
Swingers Unlimited is coming off a successful 2006 season having
received four Grand Championship titles. Marysville also earned Best
Vocals, Best Choreography, Best Instrumental Combo, and Best Show Design.
A new season for Swingers Unlimited and Mini Swingers, the seventh and
eighth grade show choir, will kick off Saturday at the high school.
"We are entering a new competition season with such a positive feeling
from last year. The performers now know what it takes to rehearse and
perform at the grand champion level and we have tremendous support from
our school teachers and community members," said Katie Paulson, co-director.
The competition will include performances by 17 schools from Ohio,
Illinois, Indiana, and West Virginia.  The public is invited to attend
the all-day competition which runs from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.  The schools
with the top six scores will advance to the evening finals which begin at 7 p.m.
Mini Swingers will perform at 5:30 p.m., and Swingers Unlimited will end
the competition with a 10 p.m. performance.
"We are excited to host a competition that begins the season for most
show choirs throughout the Midwest," said Michael Robertson, Marysville
Middle School vocal music teacher who also conducts Swingers Unlimited
instrumental combo and Mini Swingers. "Not only can we showcase our
talent here in Marysville, but the community also has an opportunity to
see many other show choirs," said Robertson.
This season, Swingers Unlimited will travel to competitions in Piqua,
Ashville, Twinsburg, Fairfield, and Ellettsville, Ind. Mini Swingers
will also compete this season. They will travel to South Dearborne High
School in Aurora, Ind. and will also join the Swingers Unlimited at the
Fairfield Crystal Classic in March.
Saturday's competition will also serve as a fundraiser for the Nashville
trip. For more information or to become a show choir sponsor, those
interested may contact Katie Paulson at 642-0010 ex.1116

JA board approached about prom issue
By CORINNE BIX
The Jonathan Alder school board met with only three of five members
present on Wednesday night.
Steve Votaw, John Adams and James Phillips voted unanimously to elect
absent members Tom Bichsel and Linda Beachy as board president and
vice-president respectively.
Superintendent Doug Carpenter was also absent along with the building principals.
The issue of providing bus transportation for students traveling from
the prom to after-prom festivities on April 14 was addressed.
Heidi Kellett, parent and Jonathan Alder high school PTO representative,
appealed to the board Wednesday night in regard to releasing funds to
provide bus transportation for students from the prom to the after prom.
"In the process of creating a safe environment we need help with the
transportation," Kellett said.
Votaw said it was a dilemma for the board to create a precedent by
allowing the request after field trips were cut from the school year
budget earlier this year.
The levels one cuts were approved in September after three-failed levy
attempts the most recent in August. On a fourth attempt, district voters
passed a 0.75 earned income tax levy for the schools in November.
The internal cuts eliminated more than $300,000 from the 2006-2007
budget and included freezing the operating budget by not purchasing
textbooks, miscellaneous supplies and eliminating field trips.
Carpenter explained after the earned income tax levy passed in November
that the cuts would not be reinstated with the exception of some
programs that are directly beneficial to students.
The district has reinstated the sixth grade camp field trip and the
senior class field trip.
Kellett explained later by phone, that in the past both the prom and
after prom are held off site at two separate locations. Students who
would then choose to participate in the after prom would meet at the
high school and were bused to the after prom location.
The after prom committee has raised approximately $3,500 to cover costs
for the event. The cost of renting a private bus would be approximately
$1,500, which would not be covered by the original budget. One bus would
only accommodate 57 students and the committee estimates that 75
students will be in need of transportation.
Votaw said that perhaps the after prom should be held at the high school.
The after prom parent committee did consider hiring a group to come into
the high school and put on a "casino night" however many parents
objected to any promotion of gambling even in a pretend setting.
"If we look at putting it back at the high school we definitely will
need a lot of help," Kellett said.
It was suggested that Young Life and Camp Mary Orton be contacted as
possible resources for planning after prom activities at the high school.
"I respect Doug Carpenter's decision and the school board's decision to
stick with the cuts," Kellett said.
The board approved a 5-year contract with the Jonathan Alder Education
Association to include a 2 percent raise for teachers and classified
staff and a 1.5 percent raise for administrators as recommended by the
superintendent.
The contract with the JAEA officially expired in September. Carpenter
explained last fall that both the board and the teacher's association
had agreed to delay negotiations in light of the November levy issue.
The board approved to increase the substitute pay of custodians to
$10.50 per hour from $9 an hour to be consistent with what is paid to
temporary employment companies for services.
The board received information on the Ohio Department of Education's
McKinney-Vento Homeless Children and Youth Program, which ensures that
all homeless children and youth have equal access to the same free and
appropriate public education as those that are not homeless.
Elizabeth Beach, director of teaching and learning and district liaison
for homeless students, explained that the homeless encompasses a larger
scope of people including those living in temporary housing or with relatives.
Currently, the district doesn't have any homeless students.
The need for such a program became apparent after many students were
displaced from their homes during Hurricane Katrina.
Formal approval of the policy will be considered within the next several months.
The next regular board meeting will be Feb. 12 at 7 p.m.
In other action, the board:
.Approved acceptance of tax rates and estimated income from the Madison
County Auditor for the 2007 calendar year
.Approved the December financial report
.Authorized the treasurer to pay bills, request for advances in tax
settlements, and invest funds
.Designated the superintendent to approve purpose statements for student
activity accounts and act as purchasing agent for the school district
.Approved the second Monday of each month at 7 p.m. for the regular
school board meeting with the exception of April 16 and Nov.19 (third Mondays)
.Approved compensation of board members at the previously established
rate of $80, not to exceed 13 meetings, including all county board
meeting, if attended
.Approved the resignations for five year leaves of absences for Sue
Burgett, librarian and Louise Johnston, teacher - both for disability/retirement
.Approved the employment of the following: Peter Lotter - bus driver;
Tom Heineman ? substitute bus driver effective Dec. 18; Christa Keim - substitute teacher
.Notified of the consideration of Marcia Butler as a retiree per retire/rehire policy
.Asked to review the three year surveys as completed by district parents
.Approved in-lieu of transportation requests for Benjamin and Clair Grywalski

Worker pinned between trucks
From J-T staff reports:
A Dayton Power and Light employee is expected to live after he was
pinned between two trucks Wednesday afternoon.
According to Marysville Police reports, DP&L employee Jay Smith, 27, of
West Liberty was seriously injured after he was pinned between two DP&L
trucks on Corbell Drive at Professional Parkway.
Reports show that at 12:53 p.m. a currently unnamed DP&L truck driver
was backing up at a work site and did not see Smith nor another DP&L
truck behind the vehicle. As the driver backed up, Smith was pinned
between the two trucks.
Marysville police reported this morning that a MedFlight helicopter
transported Smith to a Columbus hospital for care.
As of 4 p.m. Wednesday Smith's condition was listed with a possible
broken hip and he had suffered no life-threatening injuries.
A full report on the injury crash was unavailable this morning, although
it is expected to be completed today or Friday morning.
A call placed to DP&L regarding the crash was not returned this morning.

From Carney's  to the county
Planning  begins for uptown building

By EMILY MASTERS
The new year brings a new look and a new purpose for a prominent
downtown Marysville building.
Once known as Carney's, a variety store, at the corner of Sixth and Main
streets, the 22,000 square foot building is now owned by the county. It
was purchased for $444,000 in December of 2005 after sitting empty a few years.
The Union County Commissioners have some ideas on how the building will
be utilized this year.
"We looked at how the county is growing and how the court systems are
pressed for space. One idea we have for the building is permanent record
storage," Union County Commissioner Gary Lee said. "It really needs to be addressed."
Lee also said there is a possibilities of space at the building being
used for the Union County coroner, sheriff's detective bureau and probate court.
"A small conference room that could be available for public use is also
a consideration," Lee said.
The commissioners are currently working with an architect to develop a
plan for utilizing both floors of the building.
"The building, structurally, is in excellent condition, however, it will
need some new windows, heating and cooling improvements and a passenger elevator,"
Lee said. The commissioners' goal is to have the building in operation
by the end of 2007.
"The building will have a better appearance if it's not sitting empty,"
Lee said. "We'll make sure the appearance fits Marysville's retail
appearance."
The new function for the building will add to the locations long retail
history in the uptown area.
George Carney moved his family to Marysville in 1940 and bought out the
former Carter's 5 and 10 on Main Street. In 1963 Carney opened Carney's
Variety Store. Upon his retirement in 1969, his son Jim took over the
business. Carney's Variety Store sold items ranging from school
supplies, curtains, records, and shelf brackets and was well known for
its large candy counter.
According to Journal-Tribune files, on April 4, 1974 a fire destroyed
the entire interior of the store causing $350,000 damage. Jim Carney
rebuilt his business and operated it until the early '80s. The building
then became home to two furniture stores, Gilberg's in 1987 and
Heilig-Meyers in 1999.

City to fix traffic light problem
By RYAN HORNS
Drivers traveling Maple and Fifth streets have had a few questions about
the unexpected four-way stop that popped up at the intersection.
According to Marysville streets superintendent Joe Tracy, city officials
hope that within two or three weeks the four-way stop will go back to
the light system previously in place.
"We've received a few calls from concerned residents who were worried it
was going to stay that way," Tracy said.
He explained that four or five weeks ago the traffic controller device
within the intersection stop light started to go bad. The street
department tried to keep the controller going as long as possible by
making repairs, but a few days later it would break again.
"The traffic controller was worn out and old," Tracy said. "Finally we
just decided to order a new one."
He said the street department decided to tackle another problem while
the light was out of service. The traffic light stress poles at the
intersection have been sagging over time making the lights hang too low.
Because of this, the lights have already been struck three or four times
over the past couple of years by passing semi trucks. The city is going
to fix the problem at a cost of $14,000 to $15,000.
Tracy said local company Applied Electric is scheduled to pour the
concrete for the base of the poles next week.
Regarding the traffic control devices, he said, the street department is
still waiting for the parts they ordered to arrive. He said similar
parts for lights on Delaware Avenue have been on order for as long as two months.
"Hopefully we will have everything up and running within the next two or
three weeks," Tracy said.
Marysville Police Chief Floyd Golden said the city thought about
converting the intersection to flashing lights until the lights are
fixed, but it wasn't going to work. The problem was that congestion
might become an issue during after work traffic flows.
"We decided a four-way stop would be the most efficient for everyone
involved," Golden said.
Traffic reports at the department indicate that only one accident has
been documented at the intersection since the light controller broke and
that occurred on Dec. 22 as a hit skip. It occurred the same day the
flashing lights were switched to the four-way stop. Since then no
crashes have been reported.

Funds available for home repairs
From J-T staff reports:
The Community Action Organization of Delaware, Madison, and Union
Counties (CAODMU) is announcing the continuation of funding on two home
repair programs. Both of these programs will be funded for calendar year
2007. Applications are now being accepted at the local Community Action office.
The Ohio Housing Trust Fund grant offers minor home repair and
modification services to individuals who meet the eligibility criteria
of the low- and moderate-income guidelines. Necessary services will be
provided to individuals and households with an income at or below 35
percent of the area median income residing in Delaware, Madison and Union counties.
From funds provided under Title III/SBG of the Central Ohio Area Agency
on Aging, necessary home modification and maintenance services will be
provided to senior individuals and households meeting eligibility
guidelines. This program is designed to significantly improve the living
environments of these families and individuals by insuring the health,
safety, and accessibility of their homes. Repairs to correct health and
safety code violations, heating, electrical systems, roofs, air
conditioning, flooring and plumbing are essential to make older
homeowner's home habitable, said a recent press release announcing the fund availability.
For additional information, contact the Union County office, 169 Grove
St., at 642-4986. In Plain City, come to the library at 305 W. Main on
the first Thursday of the month between 10 a.m. and noon, or visit the
Richwood Civic Center, 235 Grove St., on the third Wednesday between 11
a.m. and 1 p.m.

Richwood Council  discusses crime in  the village

By CHAD WILLIAMSON
What will it take to curtail the vandalism and other crimes in the
village of Richwood?
That was a question posed to council members at Monday's
regularly scheduled meeting.
Council member George Showalter noted during his report that the
Christmas light display at the Richwood Park was hit with vandalism.
Showalter said the lights were disconnected on one evening and then the
following evening the timers for the lights were stolen.
The lights have also been vandalized in previous years, a pattern all
too common at the park where benches, picnic tables and restrooms are
the target of vandals.
Village resident Mike Williams noted other infractions that seem to be
on the rise as well. He noted an increase in speeding and said his
neighbors has had three dogs either stolen or killed.
He questioned exactly what value the village is getting from its police department.
"Where is our money going?" Williams said.
Council member Peg Wiley said the village only staffs one police officer
per shift in the evening hours. With the proliferation of cell phones,
it is not difficult for criminals to report to each other the location
of the villages sole officer.
Council member Von Beal said the issue boils down to the fact that
people no longer respect authority.
In other business, council:
. Voted Wiley as council president. Wiley and Showalter, the 2006
president, were nominated for the post. Written ballots were collected
and Wiley won with three votes to Showalter's two. Council member Wade
McCalf was absent from the meeting.
.Held third reading on ordinances establishing the village building
regulations and authorizing the Union County Building Department to
enforce the codes.
.Heard a concern from the owner of property on Forest Lane over a high
water bill. The issue will be addressed at the utility committee meeting on Jan. 17.
.Learned that the traffic controller at the corner of Norris and
Blagrove streets will need to be repaired. The job could cost nearly $4,000.
.Learned that the new police cruiser will be put into service this
month. Council also learned that the Union County Commissioners and
Union County Sheriff donated a 2001 cruiser to the village.
.Held an executive session to discuss pending litigation.

Marysville board renews contract with treasurer
By KARLYN BYERS
Marysville Board of Education members renewed the contract of treasurer
Delores "Dee" Cramer by a 4-0 vote Monday night during their
reorganization meeting. Board member John Brower was absent.
Cramer, who has 27 years of experience as treasurer, has been at
Marysville for six years. She received the praises of board member Bill Hayes.
"Thank you very much for an excellent job," he said. "You have done a
super job for this district."
"I have enjoyed it," Cramer replied.
 Her new contract renewal extends her employment through 2011. However,
the Marysville resident said this likely will be her last contract
renewal with the school district.
"I have my retirement plans. I have been saying that I want to get a
life," Cramer said Monday night.
Contacted this morning, she said, "I'm not turning in my resignation but
as of last night that is my intention. I really care about this district
and I will not go to the last month and say 'oh by the way I retire.'"
Cramer will be paid a salary of $98,624.
Board members also re-elected Roy Fraker as board president and elected
Jeff Mabee as vice president by a 4-0 margin.
Fraker is in his second term as board member. This will be the third
time he has served as board president. Mabee just completed his freshman
year as a board member.
In other business, the board:
.Agreed by a 4-0 margin to continue holding regular board meetings on
the fourth Monday of each month at 7 p.m. and to continue board
compensation at $125 a meeting for a maximum of 12 meetings.
.Set the board service fund - which pays for board training, travel and
lodging at the annual Ohio School Boards Association Capitol Conference,
supplies for off-site board meetings, etc. - at $7,500, a figure that
has been consistent for many years. "We've never gotten close to
(spending all) of it," Cramer said.
.Appointed board members to the following standing committees and other
assignments - Fraker, OSBA Legislative Liaison, superintendent's
advisory council, athletic/extra-curricular council, finance/audit
committee and tax abatement committee; Brower, OSBA Legislative Liaison,
finance/audit committee and tax abatement committee; Scott Johnson, Ohio
Hi-Point Career Center Representative and technology committee; Hayes,
acting secretary in treasurer's absence and negotiations committee; and
Mabee, business advisory council, facilities planning committee and
district goal review committee.
.Bonded the district treasurer for $50,000 and authorized her to sign
completed resolutions amending Valic Retirements Plans for all qualified employees.
.Designated the "Journal-Tribune" as the official newspaper for meeting notifications.
.Adjourned into executive session for the discussion of personnel. No action was taken.

Details of numerous Monday crashes released
By RYAN HORNS
Icy roads and wind were to blame for a two-car accident that caused the
death of a Woodstock man Monday.
The Marysville Ohio State Highway Patrol Post reported that James R.
Dunn, 62, was pronounced dead at the scene by Union County Coroner Dr.
David Applegate. The crash remains under investigation.
 Reports state that Monday at 7:20 a.m. Dunn was northbound on Route 31
when his 1999 Toyota Tacoma pick-up truck spun out of control into the
southbound lane and was struck in the passenger side by driver Megan E.
Gillespie, 23, of Richwood, in her 2001 Dodge 2500 pickup.
Gillespie's truck reportedly came to rest off the east side of Route 31
and Dunn's Tacoma stopped off the west side of the road. Gillespie was
transported to Memorial Hospital of Union County by Richwood medics.
The Union County Sheriff's Office reportedly assisted OSP troopers at
the crash scene.
OSP reported that the crash is the first fatal crash in Union County this year.
The Union County Sheriff's Office reported that its deputies responded
to nine crashes caused by Monday morning icy road conditions. Several of
those crashes resulted in injuries.
Jacob Daniel Bradley, 22, of Bellefontaine was injured after he was
headed north on Route 739 Monday at 8:23 a.m. and lost control on the
icy road near Davis Road. He went off the left side of the roadway and
struck a utility pole. The electrical lines on the pole reportedly were
knocked down by the collision and landed on Bradley's car. Emergency
crews were forced to wait until utility workers were able to shut off
power to the lines so they could remove Bradley from the vehicle. He was
then transported from the scene by medical helicopter to an unlisted
hospital for care. Initial reports on his condition allegedly hinted at
possible life-threatening injuries, but later reports indicate Bradley is recovering.
Reports also indicated that a car went off the road into a cemetery
Monday morning. According to reports, Lenore M. Rockfield, 62, of West
Mansfield was southbound on Raymond Road when she lost control on the
icy road and went off the left side of the roadway into the Old Union
Church of Christ Cemetery. She reportedly did not strike any tombstones.
Rockfield was injured in the crash and was transported from the scene by
Richwood medics to Memorial Hospital of Union County.
In the same location shortly after the crash, another driver went off
the road. Erin M. Engle, 22, of West Mansfield was headed south on
Raymond Road when she lost control on the ice and went off the right
side of the road. Engle's vehicle struck a fence and she was injured and
transported by Marysville medics to Memorial Hospital of Union County.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol reportedly responded to five crashes
caused by icy conditions. Aside from the fatal crash, the remaining
accidents did not result in injuries.
Marysville Police officers responded to four crashes, which Assistant
Chief Glenn Nicol said occurred in the overpass bridges on U.S. 33 at
Route 31 and at Route 4. None of the crashes resulted in injuries.
A crash which allegedly injured a Fairbanks High School staff member has
not been located. This morning sheriff's deputies, OSP troopers and
Marysville Police did not have documentation of such a crash, despite
radio scanner reports that the incident occurred.

Griffith re-elected as Unionville Center council president
By AUDREY HALL
With an eye on the clock, the Unionville Center Village Council
completed its agenda Monday night in plenty of time for all present to
return home to watch the Ohio State University football game.
Ron Griffith was re-elected council president and Phil Rausch was
re-elected as representative to the Pleasant Valley Fire District.
Residents Wanda Daumn and Chris Geuy expressed  concerns to council
about water problems on their block of Railroad Street. With recent
heavy rains, there is standing water in the field behind their
properties that is affecting their septic systems. Council discussed
possible solutions and will investigate further.
Deputy Matt Warden reported that the Union County Sheriff's Department
is getting clarification from the county prosecutor regarding the
requirement of seat belts in golf carts. Council again tabled the
decision on permitting the use of golf carts in the village until there
is a definitive guideline from the county.
Warden also emphasized that the curfew for children under the age of 18
years is being enforced by the sheriff's department. The curfew is 11
p.m. on weeknights and midnight on weekends.
Council will accept sealed estimates for brush pickup and mowing the
green and council lot at its March 12 meeting.  All estimates must
include proof of insurance.
In the fire district report, Rausch said that the purchase of a new
pumper truck is being considered. The current pumper will become the
backup if a purchase is approved.
Council members present were mayor Denver Thompson, clerk-treasurer
Tracy Rausch, Griffith, Mary Lou Morris, Rausch, Brenda Terry and Peggy Williamson.
The next regular meeting will be Monday, Feb. 12 at 6:30 p.m.

Icy roads lead to crashes
At least one fatal accident reported

From J-T staff reports:
Winter weather took the life of a driver this morning after slick roads
caused numerous traffic accidents across Union County, including at
least one fatal accident.
County law enforcement personnel were investigating a fatal crash on
Route 31 at Sommersville Road, which occurred just after 7:30 a.m.
Details on the victim and the crash were not available before press
time. County law enforcement were still on the scene investigating and
dealing with traffic.
Just after 10 a.m. this morning another serious crash was reported on
U.S. 36. Details were unavailable before press time.
Throughout the county, Marysville Ohio State Highway Patrol and Union
County Sheriff's deputies were reportedly busy dealing with numerous
other injury accidents, many of which reportedly occurred within minutes
of one another as drivers negotiated icy roads.
"The bulk of our crashes this morning were on Route 31," Union County
Sheriff's Public Information Officer Chris Skinner said.
Skinner said one crash was reported just before 7:30 a.m. on Route 739
at Raymond Road which reportedly caused several injuries. Another crash
on Route 31 had been reported about 9 a.m., Skinner said.
According to the  radio scanner discussions, a MedFlight helicopter was
enroute to transport victims of one of those crashes. It was later
reported that MedFlight was unable to take off and respond to the crash
due to weather conditions.
Marysville Police Department reportedly responded to two crashes on the
overpass at Route 4 at U.S. 33 and another on Route 31 at the U.S. 33 overpass.
On Route 38 law enforcement crews responded to a reported crash at the
Union Township line in a crash which reportedly injured a Fairbanks High
School staff member.
Details on all the crashes this morning, including the fatal crash at
Sommersville Road, will be available Tuesday pending finished reports by
area law enforcement.

Weiskircher to leave MHS
Will step down after 19 years as grid coach

By TIM MILLER
There will soon be a changing of the guard within the Marysville High
School football program.
The Journal-Tribune learned late Friday morning that Rich Weiskircher,
MHS' head coach for the past 19 years, will retire as a teacher and
coach at the end of the current school year.
Weiskircher confirmed his plans during a telephone interview with the newspaper.
"I've coached for 34 years and I think it's time to try something else,"
he said. "I want to be able to do some other things, like travel, while I'm still able to."
Weiskircher came to Marysville in 1988 after a successful three-year
stint as the head coach of Buckeye North High School.
Weiskircher immediately upgraded the Monarch program, guiding them to
five state playoff berths. His overall won-loss record is 150-73.
He said his best memories as a coach evolve around the period from 1999-2001.
The Monarchs earned three consecutive post-season berths and advanced to
the state semifinals in 2000.
His son Kyle was part of that era as a Monarch quarterback.
"Being able to coach my son was among the highlights of my career,"
Weiskircher said. "Kyle being involved with me in the program was very special."
Weiskircher had praise for all the athletes who wore the Red and Blue of
MHS during his tenure here.
"All of the kids who played here were fantastic," he said. "They worked
hard and did everything I ever asked of them. They're blue collar kids
and they responded to what we tried to do (as a program)."
Weiskircher, a native of Martin's Ferry, brought a strong football
background to the Monarch position.
Prior to coaching at Buckeye North, he was an assistant coach for 11
years in Martin's Ferry.
He played four years of college football at West Virginia under
legendary and current Florida State coach Bobby Bowden.
Although football has played a major role in his life, Weiskircher said
he wants to do some traveling in his free time.
"I'd like to go out west ... I've never been there and maybe up to New
England," he said.
"These are things I've never been able to do while coaching,"
Weiskircher said. "There is a lot of time involved in being a head coach
as football is a 12-month a year program."
While he is stepping away from the Monarch gridiron, Weiskircher did not
rule out a return to coaching at a later time.
"I may go back to coaching somewhere, some day," he said. "We (he and
wife Nancy) have a home in Bonita Springs, Florida (south of Fort Myers)
and I've often wondered what it would be like to coach down there."

Tips offered for stranded motorists
By RYAN HORNS
While winter weather has not brought the extreme conditions Ohio is used
to, the danger of drivers being stranded out in the cold is still a reality.
Already this winter a Marysville man lost his life when his car became
disabled and he was struck by a car while trying to walk down U.S. 33 for help.
Assistant Chief Glenn Nicol of the Marysville Police Department said
stranded drivers are safest inside their cars.
"If you have to walk stay as far off the road as possible and walk
against the traffic so they can see you coming," he said.
He said the affordability of cell phones is something people should look
into. Calling for help inside a stranded car and then sitting tight
while help arrives is the best option.
"Cell phones are your biggest safety tool," Nicol said.
If a driver knows they will be headed into a remote location, he said to
make sure someone else knows what the travel itinerary will be before
they leave. If the car breaks down anywhere on the trip, that person can
be reached to help authorities determine where to start looking in case
of an emergency.
Union County Emergency Management Agency Director Randy Riffle recently
provided a safety release on how residents can prepare their vehicles in
case they end up stranded on the road.
"Every home, school and business should have a written plan for any
possible emergency and know what to do, where to meet and where to go in
the event of power outages, ice storms, flooding, fires or tornadoes,"
Riffle wrote. "Everyone should know the difference between storm watches
and warnings; prepare and practice drills that require sheltering in
place and evacuation."
The EMA suggests creating winter emergency kits for the home or for the
car, which include warm clothing, blankets, flashlights, batteries,
coats, hats, gloves, a battery-operated radio, first aid kit and enough
non-perishable food and water to sustain each family member for at least
three days. Vehicles should also have at least a half-tank of fuel.
Riffle also stipulated that it is not always possible to fit all this
gear into a standard two door car. The idea is to include another piece
of luggage inside a car, when planning on a long-distance trip.
"Vehicle emergency preparedness kits are not intended for everyday use," he wrote.
The Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness suggests storing
preparedness kit items in a large plastic tub and a lid that secures,
containing: At least two blankets or a sleeping bag; Flashlight
(preferably water and shock-proof) and spare batteries; extra clothing -
particularly, hats, boots and mittens/gloves; bottled water and
nonperishable high-energy foods (granola bars, raisins, nuts, hard
candies, peanut butter or cheese crackers); emergency flares; jumper
cables; spare tire/tire iron/jack; first-aid kit and necessary
bandages/medications; sand or non-clumping cat litter for tire traction
if vehicle gets stuck on ice or in snow; a cell phone and extra cell
phone battery or charger; coin change for pay phone use; tow rope or
chain; brightly colored cloth to use as a signal.
But for those local people just driving to Columbus, there are still
ways of staying safe. The EMA advises everyone to have their vehicles
winterized before the cold season kicks in. Get a tune-up to save wear
and tear on the car battery. If driving with all-season tires, ensure
that they are properly inflated and have the tires rotated annually.
Other vehicle care tips include: Check the radiator coolant level and
check the sturdiness of hoses and belts; refer to the vehicle's manual
to see if a lighter grade motor oil is recommended for winter driving;
check and replace all burned out headlights, tail lights and turn
signals; check tires' tread - minimum tread is 1/16-inch for adequate
traction; ensure the vehicle's brakes are in proper working order; keep
spare window washer fluid in the trunk and ensure the wiper blades are
in good condition; and keep the exhaust pipe clear of snow. Poisonous
gases filter into your vehicle if the pipe is clogged.

Race is unique city event

By RYAN HORNS
Over the past five years a Marysville jogging event held in the middle
of winter has become something unique to the city.
This year marks the fifth anniversary of the Frozen Nose 4-Miler, a
Marysville foot race scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 20, started by
Marysville Parks and Recreation Superintendent Steve Conley with
councilman and avid jogger Mark Reams.
"There were numerous races in central Ohio, but none during January,"
Reams said. "We decided it would be fun to have a January race and even
have a little fun with the name."
He said the original thought was to make it the "Frozen Nose 5-Miler,"
but the race director they worked with for the first year suggested that
more people would be inclined to run a shorter race so the Frozen Nose
4-Miler was born. The idea was to run it mostly on the Jim Simmons
Trail, with the funds generated from the race being used to make
improvements to the trail itself.
Reams said the race has since become more about embracing the unique and
slightly ironic aspect of holding a race in the middle of the winter.
"Most races have things like bagels or bananas (for runners to eat)
after the race. During the first race, we had ordered bagels, but there
was a mix-up and we ended up with a bunch of donuts instead. We also had
a large amount of pizza that had been donated for the volunteers, but it
was much more than the volunteers could eat. The runners helped finish
off the pizza," Reams said. "We tried to 'fix' the food problem the next
year by ensuring we got bagels. However, we eventually decided it was
something that set the race apart from others. So we have gone back to
our roots. After the race, we now have donuts, pizza and have added hot
chocolate. It is the Frozen Nose after all."
Reams has run the race each year it has existed, often promoting the
event during Marysville City Council meetings. Despite including the Jim
Simmons Trail every year, the race has yet to have the same route twice.
"We changed the course after the first year," he said, "but the course
has been re-routed due to sections that flooded then froze a couple of
times as well. Our plan this year is to run the same course as last
year, but that could change depending on the conditions."
John Sellers and his wife Delores also try to take part in the race every year.
"We really support the trail," John said. "It's really a nice thing to
do in the dead of winter."
He said they both enjoy the Frozen Nose 4-Miler because it gives all the
local runners a chance to see each other during the winter months when
most races usually are not held. He said the race is great for the
community and he enjoys how the local police support it by helping with
traffic along Maple Street.
But the reason most runners take part, John said, is because of a shared
love for the Jim Simmons Trail. It is where most runners do their
exercising. He said after the race they all get together at the nearby
Union County Services building on Maple Street, to enjoy the food and catch up.
John said temperatures have gotten down as low as 15 degrees one year,
but it never seems to be a deterrent for anyone wanting to join in.
"Everyone just bundles up and goes," he said. "It hasn't been too bad."
"We have averaged about 60 runners each year," Conley said. "That is a
pretty good number considering the weather during January."
"Over time, I think the focus has been more on the recreational aspect
of having an event during the winter months," Reams said. "I think this
race has done a good job of attracting runners from Central Ohio who
like to run year-round, but it also attracts a lot of Marysville runners."

Layout of new N.U. school released
Preliminary design works around water well easements

By CHAD WILLIAMSON
North Union School Board members got their first glimpse of preliminary
plans for a new middle school Tuesday night.
But while the new facility is a breath of fresh air for a district which
has suffered with an aging middle school, the location appears to be
handcuffing school officials and administrators.
The new school will be built just north of the district's elementary
school and adjacent to the high school. It is bordered on two sides by
roads and on the other two sides by schools, but the big hindrance is
based on something under the ground.
Two Richwood Village owned water wells are located between the high
school and the middle school site. Those wells are each surrounded by
300 foot easements.
Nothing permanent can be built inside the easements because the village
has the right to perform work on the wells within the easements. This
means if a portion of the school was built inside this boundary, the
village would have the right to tear into the facility if it needed to
work on the well.
The land above the easements can be used as practice fields or for
outdoor gym classes.
These easements put a bulge into the usable space in the architect's plans.
Space constraints placed on the building forced the elimination of a
performance stage in the plans, but it is believed that the close
proximity to the elementary school would allow middle schoolers to use
that building's stage.
There was also no available space for weightlifting equipment but it is
hoped that the students can use those found in the NUAC multipurpose facility.
But despite the limitations, the designers of MKC Architects were able
to design a  facility which will house 400 to 415 students. The facility
is slated to open for the 2009-2010 school year.
The preliminary plans include a music room, large science classrooms,
three special education rooms, a gym that may seat up to 500 and a room
for the middle school popular Project Lead the Way engineering course.
Locally funded upgrades could include an 11th traditional classroom and
a larger gymnasium.
The design also allows for expansion to house up to 100 additional students.
The one issue of debate is over what type of climate control to use in
the building. While some board members wanted geothermal energy included
in plans, others have reservations about the relatively new technology.
Board member Bryan Bumgarner wondered if the geothermal technology has
proven its reliability. He said the district could find itself 10 years
from now wishing it had chosen another system.
Board member Kevin Crosthwaite agreed, also noting that the district
would need personnel trained to service geothermal technology. He said
the district would find itself "maintaining two dis-similar systems."
It was also noted that while geothermal energy is a more cost effective
energy source and requires less building space to house, it was not
without other drawbacks. Bumgarner noted that heat pumps used in the
system are said to wear out relatively quickly and the cost of the
system, $400,000, is a more pricey alternative.
Todd Wrobelski of MKC said he could provide a specialist in geothermal
energy to discuss the pros and cons of the system with board members.
The board also got its first look at plans for the renovation of the
current high school. While some of the work could begin this summer,
much of the renovation will have to be performed while students are
occupying the building, forcing a longer timeline.
To provide enough room to continue classes while the work is performed,
the board approved the purchase of two, three- room modular units to be
placed on the high school grounds. The cost of the units is $169,680.
Dave Zeller of MKC said bids for the first portion of the work,
including new windows and doors, asbestos removal and exterior work,
could be sought in March. Bids for the rest of the work, including, air
conditioning, ceiling work, lighting, piping and electrical upgrades,
would be sought at a later date.
Some of the highlights of the renovation include creating a new main
entrance which would lead all visitors into the main office. The would
allow all visitors to be met by staff members for better security at the school.
Other improvements include a dedicated special education classroom, a
600-foot addition to the music room and a renovation of the courtyard to
make it an outdoor classroom space.

Vote for N.L. council president ends in tie
By CORINNE BIX
An attempt to elect a new council president ended in a tie Tuesday
night, when North Lewisburg Village Council members cast their ballots.
Council members submitted closed ballots after Steve Wilson and Jason
Keeran were each nominated for the post. Wilson and Keeran received
three votes each.
Wilson has served as council president since August 2004.
It was suggested that legal counsel be consulted before attempting to settle the tie.
Mayor Dick Willis said this was the first time he remembered a tie vote
in the last 30 years.
Council voted to table the third reading of an ordinance regarding water
and sewer rate changes proposed within the next several months.
Council members agreed that section 2 should be removed from the
ordinance which specifies a proposed 3 percent utility rate increase.
Council passed similar rate increases in 2004 and 2005 as part of a
long-term plan to increase funding for the wastewater treatment plant
and to retire the debt.
In January 2006 council tabled the motion given the forthcoming change
from a flat rate for water and sewer to water meters.
Council members agreed Monday night that until the water meter system is
fully functional for several months a proposed utility rate increase
should be put on the back burner.
Barry First, village administrator, reported that all but a few water
meters are installed.
Village residents should start to see preview bills based on their usage
within the next few months before the actual rates take effect.
Residents will receive approximately two months of preview bills before
they will be charged based on usage.
The wastewater treatment plant project is temporarily stalled as the
contractors wait to receive some substantial equipment to finish the
job. The equipment should arrive within the next week.
The multi-use path is 90 percent complete said Mayor Willis.
First said that all but the covered bridge portion is finished. The
covered bridge needs a final coat of paint and some pavement repairs.
The village will also be doing some seeding and mulching along the path.
First said he is in the process of collecting support letters to submit
with the village's application for the FEMA hazard mitigation grant to
be turned in next month.
In December council passed a resolution which requests an amendment be
made to the county all hazard mitigation plan. The amendment requested
that a shelter or emergency operation center be considered for North
Lewisburg in the case of a weather related or homeland security emergency.
First explained that the amendment request would be the first step
towards applying for grant money for a multi-purpose building which
would serve as a emergency operation center for residents in northeast
Champaign county.
First has collected letters from the Logan/Union/Champaign Regional
Planning Commission, the Champaign County Mayor's Association and the
Champaign County Sheriffs. He is awaiting letters from Rush Township and
the Champaign County Red Cross. Letters have also been requested from
the Union County Chamber of Commerce, Wayne Township, Allen Township and
Zane Township.
Mayor Dick Willis gave the state of the village address. He began by
remembering former fiscal officer, Patty Woodruff and former councilman,
Dwight Thompson, for their many years of service to the village. Both
Woodruff and Thompson died in 2006.
Willis ran through the ordinances and resolutions presented before
council in 2006 and highlighted the year's events. He also named issues
that need to be addressed in 2007, including the overall completion of
the wastewater treatment plant and all of its many components, continued
street resurfacing and work with the fire board on its purchase of the
municipal building.
The next regular council meeting will be Feb. 6 at 7 p.m.
In other action, the council:
.Heard the monthly activity report for the village of North Lewisburg
for the month of December 2006: Eight traffic citations issued; six
warnings issued for traffic violations; nine incident reports; 19 cases
of assistance given to citizens; three arrests made; one civil and
criminal paper served; 14 follow-up investigations completed; four
instances of juvenile contact; two civic activities completed and one
auto accident report taken.
.Approved the final appropriations for 2006.
.Approved the removal of two nominal warrants from the outstanding list
generated during former fiscal officer, Patty Woodruff's term in office.
The total amount for both court related warrants was $6.65.


Hospital marks 25th anniversary of meals program
From J-T staff reports:
This week will mark the 25th anniversary of Memorial Hospital of Union
County's Meals Program.
After a busy 2006 with more than 75,000 meals served and delivered, the
hospital is pausing to honor those served in its long history as well as
the hundreds of volunteers who have helped to keep it going.
The Meals Program was started when Kenneth Evans, a member of the
Central Ohio Council on Aging, approached Carol Derring, director of
Food and Nutrition Services at Memorial Hospital, asking if the facility
was willing to take over the mobile meals program from Community Action.
After an adjustment to the kitchen routine at the community hospital, it
was ready to assume the responsibility and on Jan. 4, 1982, Memorial
Hospital began its home delivered meals program for the elderly of the region.
That first day it served 44 clients on three delivery routes, serviced by 28 volunteers.
Evans returned to Memorial Hospital again in October of 1984, this time
requesting that the hospital take on the congregate meal program which
was in place at Richwood and at First United Methodist Church in
Marysville. The hospital answered the call and Community Meals began
Jan. 2, 1985, with two meal site locations and 93 clients.
Six months later and facing a growing need, Derring hired a director to
administer and further develop the program. Lois Blue was tapped to lead
the effort. After 24 years of dedicated service to the seniors of Union
County and growing the program to more than four times its original
size, Blue retired on Sept. 30.
Now, 25 years later, the Memorial Meals program delivers hot meals to
216 clients on 11 driver routes through Mobile Meals. Two more routes
deliver the nutritious Community Meals serving over 1,000 participants
at four meal sites in Marysville, Plain City and Richwood. The Memorial
Hospital program is one of the few remaining hospital-based meals
program in the state of Ohio.
"Perhaps one of the most important pieces of the Memorial Meals puzzle
is our team of over 130 volunteer drivers," Beth Reschke, the current
Memorial Meals Coordinator, said. "They work in teams of two, hand
delivering all of these meals to our clients with a friendly smile.
Beyond delivering a hot, nutritious meal, the volunteers are able to
check in with each person we serve and provide assurance that someone is
watching out for them."
In celebration of its silver anniversary, the administration of the
Memorial Meals Program and Memorial Hospital of Union County will host
an open house celebration on Thursday from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. in the
hospital's Café dining room. The community is welcome to attend for cake
and punch.

 

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