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Local Archived News July 2007

 

7/31/07

     Fair attendance expected to be record

     Groat plans to run for seat on Marysville City Council

7/30/07

     Ride for Kids raises $81,233

     Dozens arrested  at party for  underage drinking

     Abel Five to bring Cincinnati sound to Balloon Festival

7/28/07

     PUCO,  CSX officials  visit rail crossing

     Honda unsure of cost of legislation

7/27/07

     County, hospital to explore going private

     Council reportCustom

     Custom Honda a showstopper

7/26/07

     Guilty verdict reached in gun case

     Seniors honored at Union County Fair

     Foreclosure granted on former GI Plasteks plant

     One pleads guilty, one sentenced in related drug cases

7/25/07

     County may try to entice Don Scott Airfield

     Allegedly abusive inmate given 11 months

     Tri-County Jail to host open house

7/24/07

     Marysville may hold athletes to code even  in summer

     Man sentenced for break-ins

     Fairbanks gives treasurer a pay bump

     Richwood Council looks at village's long-term needs

7/23/07

     City certified to designate historic areas

     All Ohio Balloon Festival to continue rich history

     Ripley's Believe it or Not exhibit coming to local library

7/21/07

     Student, teacher affair results in lawsuit

     Former Heilig Meyers building will have a new, historic look
          Front of building will have the look of a structure from the 1930s

     Big Darby Watershed goes online

7/20/07

     WUCO moving studio, offices

     Triad hires elementary principal

     City gears up for Honda HomeComing

7/19/07

     Another $800,000 secured  for sewer plant

     Union County Fair begins Monday

7/18/07

     County on  solid ground financially

     City announces summer paving plan

     MHS grad named Pepsi's Gimme the Mike winner

7/17/07

     Man caught after breaking into home

     Armory to be community partner

     Honest answer costs man nine months

     NU board hears report card data

7/16/07

     A wish on wheels

7/14/07

     A port-less  port authority?

     Promoting the arts

7/13/07

     Glacier West pushing forward

     Audit finds issues on county books

     Taylor to run for city council seat

7/12/07

     Speeding: Perception versus reality

     Jury returns guilty verdict  on sex, corruption charges

     Fairbanks awards building contracts

     Day in the Park is Saturday

7/11/07

     Plans for new fire station at a standstill

     Plain City officials keeping an eye on  street issues

     Six apply for clerk-treasurer position in Unionville Center

7/10/07

     It may be hard to overlook Plain City's Bicentennial Park

     Richwood won't go easy on  past due utility accounts

     JA will allow schools to be used as voting precincts

7/9/07

     County finalizes grant requests

7/7/07

     P.C. prepares for steam threshers show

7/6/07

     Inmate phone card plan put on hold

     Sheriff's K9 dog euthanized

7/5/07

     Wind  farms  not planned

     N. Lewisburg to celebrate opening of path

7/3/07

     Hospital looks at going private

 7/2/07

     Sewer project moves ahead


Fair attendance expected to be record
By MAC CORDELL
Mild weather and high gas prices are being credited for record high
attendance at this year's Union County Fair.
"I thought the fair went really well," said Kay Griffith, marketing
director for the fair.
Griffith said attendance through Friday was up 16 percent. Numbers for
the weekend have not been tabulated yet, but Griffith expects they will
be high also.
"We were absolutely packed Friday, Saturday and Sunday," she said.
Griffith expressed gratitude to the community for its support.
"By the numbers, I would say people were staying close to home and
coming to the fair, with the price of gas and the wonderful weather," Griffith said.
She said she believes the increased attendance resulted in increased gate receipts.
"I would assume we are up money," Griffith said. "Because of the rise in
attendance numbers, it seems the money would be up as well."
Christy Leeds, Ohio State University Extension office 4-H educator for
Union County, said Junior Fair events were a success. Many 4-H classes
saw increased participation. Leeds specifically mentioned the special
interest categories, along with the goat department and the dairy feeder
department as those growing. She said the self-determined class of the
special interest division is gaining popularity.
"It really offers a lot of flexibility to the kids," Leeds said.
She said special interest projects are attractive to the 4-H
participants who do not live on traditional farms.
"You do have a lot of different kind of kids who participate in 4-H,"
Leeds said. "Special interest is great for the kids that don't have 10
acres to raise an animal, but have plenty of room for these types of projects."
She added that a lot of the participants who show livestock had
"companion projects" in the special interest division.
"At our fair, kids tend to be involved in multiple areas," Leeds said.
The livestock divisions continue to draw support from the community, Leeds noted.
"Livestock shows were packed with people," Griffith said.
She said the senior citizen's day and the veteran's day were both successful
Griffith said the fair board will look at some new entertainment options
for a pair of evenings.
"Those two nights have not been decided yet," Griffith said.
She said entertainment options will be reviewed at the fair convention in January.
One entertainment option that will not be left out next year is the Teen
Idol competition, which fair organizers called, "a big success."
Kylie Ross beat 19 other competitors to take this year's top honors and $300 cash.
"It is in the works to step up the prizes and things for next year
because it was such a success," Griffith said.
She said there were a few problems at the fair, but said that is to be
expected at any fair. One problem the fair board is looking to rectify is parking.
"The major problem we have at the fair is the parking," Griffith said.
"We are going to try to address that over the winter months, especially
in the livestock area."
Leeds said she does not expect any major changes in next year's junior fair.

Groat plans to run for seat on Marysville City Council
From J-T staff reports:
For the past several years resident Deborah Groat has been working on
local boards and commissions, but now she has her eyes on Marysville City Council.
Groat recently announced she will be running for Marysville City
Council's Ward 3 position currently held by councilman David Burke. The
spot will be open for election because Burke does not plan to run again.
Instead he plans to run for state representative.
Groat said that in 2001 she first decided to get involved in Marysville
government. She started off by attending city council meetings to learn
more about the process and the issues the city faces.
From there she has served as commissioner of the Marysville Parks and
Recreation Committee, a role she has held since 2003; and served as a
member of Marysville's ad hoc subcommittee in the spring of 2003 to
study the financial needs of the city. She also currently serves on the
city's Utility Claims Board, which she has been involved with since 2004.
A teacher at Marysville High School since 1976, Groat has also served on
the superintendent's committee to select the high school principal,
1988-89; the weighted grades investigation committee, 1989-90; the
principal's in-service and advisory committees throughout the 1990s; and many more.
"I have no personal axe to grind," Groat offered as explanation for
wanting to be on council. "Marysville is on the cusp of becoming a
larger city . we need quality personnel on every level."
With growth inevitable, Groat said she would like to make sure
Marysville stays competitive with other communities. It needs to attract
professionals and city staff members that can bring Marysville into the
future with grace.
In addition, she said, Marysville's police and fire department are both
understaffed and work in outdated buildings. That will need attention in
order for them to effectively do their jobs.
"I'm a proud wife of a Marysville Police officer and I'm not going to
hide that," Groat said.
But her concerns do not end there. She worries about the city's debt load.
Back in 2003, Groat said the Marysville ad hoc committee she was
involved with "foresaw financial difficulties. It was the elephant in the living room."
"If my home were in the same financial difficulty that the city is in
I'd be getting a second job," Groat said. "We have to start addressing
our long term financial goals."
Another issue is communication between council and the public, she said.
With such a history in education, she hopes to use her skills to fully
understand issues affecting the city, then explain those to the public
in clear and concise ways.
Groat graduated from Huntington East High School in 1972 as
valedictorian and graduated in 1976 from Marshall University - Summa Cum
Laude with a degree in education, focused on English, Latin and
mathematics. She received a masters degree in education from Wright
State University in 1994 and has continued to work in post-masters
courses to this day.
Groat has been married the past 28 years to police officer Jeffrey Groat
Sr., and they have three children.

Ride for Kids raises $81,233

From J-T staff reports
Nearly 300 Honda motorcycles filled the roads of Union County on
Saturday for a very good cause.
Honda HomeComing's Ride for Kids raised $81,233 to benefit the Pediatric
Brain Tumor Foundation as 298 bikes participated in the event.
Associates from Honda of America Mfg., Inc. and Honda Research and
Development Ohio Center raised $21,970. That money was matched 50 cents
on the dollar by Honda, bringing the total raised by the company and
associates to $32,955.
This year's $81,233 is a decrease from last year's Ride for Kids, which
raised more than $104,000 for PBTF.
Organizers had hoped to top last year's numbers, but recognized some
outside factors play a role.
"One reason for the decrease is there are other ride for kids events in
Ohio now," said Ron Lietzke, Honda spokesman, specifically referencing a
ride near Cleveland.
"People used to come down and participate here, but they have their own
mow that they participate in."
Lietzke said he did not know what effect the weather may have had on
event participation.
Following a scenic route through Union, Champaign and Logan counties,
riders returned to the Marysville Motorcycle Plant for a "Celebration of
Life" ceremony. The celebration featured brain tumor survivors and
family members sharing personal insights.

Dozens arrested  at party for  underage drinking
Dozens of juveniles were charged after Union County Sheriff's deputies
discovered a party going on in a field over the weekend.
On Sunday at 12:59 a.m., deputies reportedly received a call about
suspicious activity in the area of the 21000 block of Liberty West Road.
The caller told officers that there were cars driving up and down the
roadway and heading back to a field.
Once deputies arrived on the scene, they found a large party going on,
involving up to 30 people.
As a result of the discovery, underage drinking charges are pending
against four juvenile females and a juvenile male. Numerous adults were
charged with underage drinking as well, including Jesse Smith, 19, of
Hilliard; Austin Simpson, 20, of Columbus; Laura Stayton, 18, of
Hilliard; Travis Cressonie, 20, of Columbus; Thomas Clime III, 19, of
Hilliard; Spencer Brusk, 20, of Grove City; Derek Glick, 20, of
Hilliard; Natalie Husch, 19, of Galloway; Joshua Guyton, 20, of
Galloway; Corey McClurkin, 19, of Hilliard; Matthew Eder, 20, of
Columbus; Matthew Anderson, 19, of Hilliard; Zachary Pike, 19, of
Hilliard; Jeffrey Estep II, 18, of Grove City; Katie Karnes, 18, of
Hilliard; Ryan Brown, 19, of Columbus; and Amanda Gruett, 19, of Hilliard.
Deputies reported this morning that property owner Richard Garwood, 21,
of 205 E. 11th St. was also charged with allowing juveniles to consume
alcohol illegally on his property.
Union County Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer Chris Skinner
said that the charges against Garwood have been referred to county and
city prosecutors. He said they will determine if Garwood will face one
general charge for allowing the drinking to occur, or will face
individual charges for each separate juvenile.

Abel Five to bring Cincinnati sound to Balloon Festival
By CORINNE BIX
Cincinnati based band Abel Five is ready and able to move from a cover
band to an all-original project within the next calendar year.
They will be the featured band on Friday, Aug. 17, at the All Ohio
Balloon Festival from 6-10 p.m.
"We are very excited about the Balloon Fest," Joe Leonard, drummer,
said.
The band formed two years ago after Leonard went to hear the Rick
Douglas Band, an acoustic duo in the Cincinnati area.
It turned out in addition to music, Leonard, Rick Hamilton and Doug
Blackburn all shared a common career, mortgage brokering.
The three men started a trio band with Leonard on drums, Hamilton on
guitar and Blackburn as lead vocals.
Before long, Kris Bredwell, bass and Kevin Lambert, keys, joined the
group and Abel Five became a staple band at the Mt. Lookout Tavern in
Cincinnati, not to mention other venues around the Tri-State area.
Leonard said the group's name came from the name of a space monkey who
died five days after her first mission in space in 1959.
The monkey has become a symbol for the band and appears on its
promotional materials.
At this point the band averages about two shows a month making sure to
take time for the young families of the band members.
Leonard said the band's number one influence would be O.A.R. (Of a
Revolution) a band which began at Ohio State Univerisity.
He said the song that seems to get the most response from the crowd is
the band's rendition of OAR's "Crazy Game of Poker."
Leonard said the band classifies itself as a mainstream pop/rock band
and compares its sound to the likes of Coldplay, The Fray and the Dave
Matthews Band.
Currently the band is moving towards creating a business plan and
putting together an all-original album.
For more information about Abel Five, those interested may visit its
website at www.abelfive.com.

PUCO,  CSX officials  visit rail crossing
Design phase will begin for E. Fifth St. project

By RYAN HORNS
At Thursday night's Marysville City Council meeting resident and
business owner Harold Green asked for an update on the East Fifth Street
railroad crossing.
The roadway was closed last year by Mayor Tom Kruse, who felt the
crossing was too dangerous.
City Administrator Kathy House said that PUCO and CSX officials came to
the city last week to do a site visit.
"They looked at where the gates and the lights would go," House said.
Another observation was that the roadway will need to be widened at the
railroad crossing from 19 feet to 24 feet, she said. With the amount of
traffic expected to use the road, it will eventually need to be wide
enough to support it.
House said the PUCO and CSX officials plan to go back with the
information they gathered to use toward "design purposes."
"We have no idea when we will hear from them next," she said. "In fact,
their visit last week was a surprise."
Council members then discussed how long it would take before
work would begin.
House said that a letter from PUCO to CSX asked them to hurry things
along. CSX was given 90 days to respond in April.
Councilman Dan Fogt said that CSX has delayed the project significantly,
along with other projects around the state. So it is not something only
Marysville has had to deal with.
"The legal department has been very, very slow to respond," he said.
He said the East Fifth Street crossing project should have been resolved
by November.
"Instead it is probably going to be dragged out until March or April," Fogt said.
Council member John Gore pointed out that despite their disappointment
with the time it is taking, without PUCO getting involved they "would be
left with nothing."
Council president Ed Pleasant explained to Green that because of PUCO's
involvement the cost for upgrading the crossing has been divided between
the city, PUCO, and CSX. It will mean a lower price tag for the city.
He assured Green that council will keep updated on the issue.
"It is on our radar," Pleasant said.

Honda unsure of cost of legislation
By MAC CORDELL
A farm subsidies bill passed Friday in House of Representatives is
causing some concern for local businesses.
The bill imposes new taxes on certain multinational companies with U.S.
subsidiaries. The tax would raise about $4 billion to help fund an
increase in food stamp and other nutrition programs as part of the
subsidies bill. Republicans opposed the bill funding offset because it
was introduced at the last minute and could not be studied. They said
the increased tax would hurt businesses and cost jobs in America.
On the floor of the House, Congresswoman Deborah Pryce, who represents
Union County, expressed her displeasure with the way the farm bill
funding offset was introduced. After its passage, she said it was
impossible to know what type of impact it might have on local companies
like Honda and Nestles.
"I don't know yet, and I am not sure Honda has even been able to
calculate its impact," Pryce wrote in an e-mail Friday after the bill
passed. "That is in part why so many of us cried foul when the tax hike
on subsidiaries was announced. Typically, these impacts are assessed
during committee markups and hearings and review. Unfortunately, this
process was completely circumvented, and 48 hours after House Democrats
announced their $7.5 billion tax hike, we were forced to vote on it."
Ed Miller, Honda spokesman, said the company had not yet determined what
financial impact, if any, the offset may have on the company. He said
company officials had been meeting throughout the day to try to asses
the potential ramifications.
The bill, which passed 231-191, devotes more money to conservation,
renewable energy, nutrition and specialty crop programs than in the
past, but leaves in place - and in some cases increases - subsidies to
producers of major crops such as corn and soybeans. Many in the house
fought against leaving those subsidies in place because farmers are
receiving record high prices on those crops.
The legislation bans subsidies to farmers whose income averages more
than $1 million a year, down from the current limit of $2.5 million. It
also would stop farmers from collecting payments for multiple farm
businesses. Still, it includes about $42 billion in assistance to farmers.
Farm subsidies bills have, in the past, received almost unilateral
support from lawmakers. This measure seemed destined to do the same
until democrats added the 11th hour funding offset addition to the bill.
Democrats said they were closing a loophole and cracking down on foreign
tax-dodgers, while Republicans called it a massive tax hike that would
affect manufacturers that provide millions of jobs in their districts.
Republicans said the bills financing offset is a violation of U.S. foreign treaties.
Honda North America Inc. and Nestle USA, Inc. are both part the
Organization for International Investing, a business association
representing U.S. subsidiaries of companies headquartered abroad. That
organization wrote a letter to lawmakers Thursday expressing their
disapproval with the farm bill and the tax increase.
"U.S. subsidiaries of companies based abroad play an important role in
the growth and vitality of the U.S. economy. They provide high-paying
jobs for five million Americans and account for almost one-fifth of all
U.S. exports.  A discriminatory and significant tax increase sends a
hostile signal to international investors and will certainly dissuade
these companies from choosing the United States as a location for job
creating investment."
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce also expressed its concerns about the bill
and potential problems it could create..
"This type of protectionist legislation, which would raise taxes on
foreign corporations that invest and create jobs in the U.S., would
discourage foreign investment in the U.S., override long-standing tax
treaties, damage U.S. relationships with major trading partners and
could prompt retaliation by foreign governments against U.S. companies
operating abroad, further aggravating already jittery financial
markets," wrote R. Bruce Josten, executive vice-president for government
affairs of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in a letter to legislators. "At
a time when governments around the world are enhancing their companies'
competitiveness by cutting corporate taxes, this proposal creates an
even more hostile tax environment in the U.S. and sends precisely the
wrong message to those wanting to invest here."
Pryce said the impact on local jobs will not be know for some time, but
said the offset is bad policy.
"Regardless, the tax is punitive, anti-competitive, and a job killer,"
Pryce said. "Honda is an absolutely essential component of the economies
of Marysville and Ohio, and to sock them with this tax hike will hurt
Honda and hurt Ohio."

County, hospital to explore going private
By CORINNE BIX
The Memorial Hospital of Union County board of trustees and the Union
County commissioners agree that it's time to explore the possibility of
the hospital becoming a private nonprofit charitable organization.
Tom McCarthy, county commissioner, presented to the MHUC board of
trustees a revised draft requesting proposals from interested
organizations to evaluate the financial and legal aspects and the cost,
benefits and organization of a possible change in the hospital's legal structure.
Currently, MHUC is a public county-owned hospital and has been since it
was initially started more than 50 years ago.
Chip Hubbs, MHUC CEO/President, said this morning that while the
hospital is a government entity as a county hospital, it is financially
self-sufficient and receives no taxpayer support.
If the hospital became a private nonprofit charitable organization or
501 ( c ) ( 3), legally the hospital would be structured similar to the
Union County Family YMCA or United Way of Union County.
"This is a joint venture and the board along with the three
commissioners need to all be actively involved in the process," McCarthy said.
McCarthy said it was important that throughout the whole process the
community be involved.
Carman Wirtz, VP of human resources, MHUC, suggested that language be
added to the proposal that would update and educate employees and
solicit employee feedback.
Hubbs agreed that a similar item be included to address the involvement
of medical staff.
It was the consensus by all that only changes that would be good for the
employees would be good to the hospital as a whole.
McCarthy estimated that the entire decision making process would take
anywhere from 12 to 18 months to complete.
He added that this would be one of the most important decisions made by
the commissioners and the board of trustees on behalf of the county over
the last 100 years.
"This is talking about what the very essence of the hospital will be,"
McCarthy said. "The hospital is a part of the fabric of what Marysville
is all about."
Board members Chris Schmenk and Rick Shortell, along with Hubbs, will
serve as the hospital's representation on the selection committee to
choose a firm that will explore all the issues involved with possibly
moving from public to private.
The selection committee will also include all three county commissioners.
Cost to hire the independent firm has yet to be released and will either
be paid for by the county or the cost will be shared between the two entities.
The proposal clearly states that the commissioners and the trustees have
no interest in selling the hospital to a third party and all governance
and authority will remain local to maintain MHUC's identity and strong
ties to the community.
Chris Schmenk said the board is working on behalf of the hospital to
remain competitive in a growing health care industry.
"We want to open this door to further this positive trend and preserve
all the good things," Schmenk said.
The final draft of the proposal request is scheduled to be sent out next
week. The deadline for submitting proposals will be Aug. 30.
The next regular board of trustees meeting will be Aug. 23 at 8 p.m.
In other news, the board:
.Appointed Dr. Matt Hazelbaker as department of surgery chair to replace
Dr. Michael Conrad who retired last month.
.Introduced Tori Palivoda, RN, as new director of resident care at the
Gables. Palivoda has 22 years experience, 11 with The Gables/Union Manor.
.Approved the following finance and joint conference committee reports.
.Received information from customer service data.
.Approved the initial appointment of Dr. Brian Dorner, plastic surgery,
department of surgery, courtesy provisional; Dr. Leslie Laufman,
hem/oncology, dept. of medicine, courtesy provisional; Dr. Husain
Rasheed, hem/oncology, dept. of medicine, courtesy provisional; and Dr.
Steven Tornik, family medicine, dept. of medicine, active provisional.
.Approved the conclusion of provisional status for Dr. Neil Niemi,
OB/GYN, dept. of surgery, active provisional; Dr. Justin Krueger,
internal medicine/pediatrics, dept. of medicine, active provisional; Dr.
John Tzagournis, gastroenterology, dept. of medicine, consulting provisional status.

Council report
City to annex Cook property off Route 4

By RYAN HORNS
With the Glacier West development expected to move forward in the area,
plans for another large development in Marysville have surfaced.
At Thursday night's Marysville City Council meeting the first reading
was held on an ordinance to annex a total of 171.531 acres in Paris
Township to the city, currently owned by resident David E. Cook.
The proposed site is located in the area of Route 4 at County Home Road
and Scott Farms Boulevard. A petition was filed with the Union County
Commissioners, who granted the annexation.
According to the Conceptual Land Use Plan for the Cook Property, the
development will open the door for a large retail site, a neighborhood
retail center, and a large multi-family residential area to be situated
along Millwood Boulevard. In addition there are office lots to be
located across from the pond, and three smaller retail/office sections
to be located along Route 4. A larger freeway orientated office and
retail section will go up at U.S. 33.
Details on businesses expected to go into the future development were
not discussed. The second reading and public hearing will take place at
the Aug. 9 city council meeting.
With even more expansion set for Marysville, the topic of how fire and
police will be able to respond to emergencies has been coming up more
frequently. Some council members and administrators said the time has
come to ask residents to raise the income tax level.
John Marshall held a presentation on the need to expand the Marysville
Fire Department to meet the needs for the growing city. The purpose of
the presentation was to show the current status of the fire department,
progress being made, review the need for a new fire station, review
proposed station locations and the rationale behind them, review the
staffing and funding necessary to operate two stations and to discuss
council's commitment to move forward on it.
Marshall explained that the current fire station was built back in the
horse and buggy days. Sections of that original building are still in
use and have remained relatively unchanged.
"There have probably been some updates in technology since then,"
Marshall joked.
With a city radius of more than 14 1/2 square miles and a mutual aid
area of up to 86, he said that cities equal in size to Marysville
normally have two or three fire stations. But firefighters have to
contend with a railroad cutting through town, bringing up to 20 trains a
day, which tie up traffic and slow their response times. He said that
the main problem right now is a lack of staff at the fire department.
Fire Chief Gary Johnson told council that last week people were caught
in a stuck elevator at City Hall, but all the firefighters were already
on call somewhere else. He said it didn't look good that dispatchers had
to call for mutual aid from another township, just to respond to an
emergency located right across the street from the fire department. It
is a reality that firemen have depend on mutual aid more and more, even
for routine calls.
Marshall said that in May last year an odor of smoke was reported at 64
Sumac Drive. But all the firemen, expect one, were already tied up on
medic runs. A single firemen went to the house with a vehicle only
equipped to put out grass fires, and discovered a working fire. Once he
put the call in for a full alarm fire, the first help that arrived was
that of mutual aid - 15 minutes later.
Marshall said the proposed plan is for the station to add nine
additional full-time firefighters, replace the old station with a new
one at a site on the ORW property, eventually add a second fire station
to better address future needs. Even with all the changes the department
would still have to rely on mutual aid, but to a much lesser extent.
He said the current status is that architects Kellam Associates Inc.
will provide a proposal for the design of the new fire station and
funding for that has already been included in the city budget. They
would like to proceed on plans to choose the ORW site as the primary location.
Visually it may look like the station would be further away from key
response areas in the city, but putting the station at the ORW site will
provide access to highways. It will allow firefighters to bypass
railroads and have a faster route to all areas of the city.
Councilman John Gore said that he completely agrees that the city needs
to update its fire and police stations. But he said they have to ask
themselves how they plan to pay for it. Between the future wastewater
treatment plant project, the reservoir and the new water plant the city
has accrued $180 million in debt.
"We cannot continue to run this city on a 1 percent income tax," he said.
Both he and city administrator Kathy House explained that Marysville is
one of the largest communities in the state still operating on a 1
percent income tax. House said there are very few communities that offer
as many services with such little funding in the entire state.
"I think the time has come," Gore said. "This is what we got to do - let
the voters decide."
He recommended that the city hold a public meeting to discuss whether or
not residents would support raising the income tax to help create more
funding for fire and police expansion.

Custom Honda a showstopper
By MAC CORDELL
The scene was typical, a large group of Honda enthusiasts - a cross
section of America - stood admiring a Honda.
"Wow," said a rider from Sharon, Pennsylvania.
Peter Jutz, of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin added, "It's really cool."
The "it" Jutz is speaking of is what makes the scene atypical. The it is
a one-of-a-kind, associate-designed, factory custom-painted 2007 Honda
VTX1300. It is a Pearl Hot-Rod Yellow with a black tribal design
starting on the tank and moving all the way down. The 1300 cc, V-Twin
motorcycle will be raffled off and given away at Saturday's closing banquet.
The design is the brain-child of Honda Motorcycle Plant Associate Tim
Cattell, both literally and figuratively. Each year Honda gives away a
motorcycle at Honda HomeComing. Two years ago, Cattell approached Jan
Gansheimer, senior manager of manufacturing at the motorcycle plant,
about the possibility of giving away a custom-designed bike.
Earlier this summer, plant associates learned they would be designing
and building the bike to be given away.
"We wanted to make the connection between our associates and the
customers even more personal this year," said Gansheimer in a release.
"This bike that was designed and custom-painted by our associates is a
great way to demonstrate the creativity and skills that we have here. In
fact, our associates build every bike here for one special customer."
But who would get it started? That would be up to the associates to decide.
Each associate was given the opportunity to design his or her own paint scheme.
It didn't take much convincing to get Cattell to enter his design.
"I wanted to do it," Cattell said. "Basically I have already done what I
want to mine."
The very-proud father of three has customized his own bike using a Nova
blue paint job with black flames outlined in baby blue. He has added
hundreds of LED lights.
What led Cattell to customize his own bike is the same thing that led
him to the Honda paint shop. The Springfield native joined Honda 21
years ago, in the weld division at the automobile plant. He transferred
to the motorcycle plant about 15 years ago. After moving up the ladder,
he decided to make another transfer, this time within the motorcycle plant.
"I wanted to learn to do something else," Cattell said. "I wanted to
learn to paint."
He has become a sort-of jack of all trades in the paint shop and enjoys
the art of it.
He said the design is just part of the thrill of motorcycles.
"Its fun to just try to make it your own," he said. "You're just looking
for something different. You have designs in your head that you know you like."
Cattell submitted his design. It was placed with all the other designs
and presented to the associates who voted on their favorites.
Once voting was over, Cattell learned that it would be his honor to
design the give-away bike he proposed two years earlier.
The task of making his design a reality was more challenging than
Cattell had anticipated. With just two weeks to get the bike completed,
he said the associates really stepped up.
"It really was a lot of work, by a lot of people. You can come up with a
great idea, but if you don't have the people to do it, you can't finish
it," Cattell said. "Basically that goes with our philosophy here - team
effort. That's what it took here. It was a team effort to finish what I had started."
That team included a core group of customizes with specific talents as
well as over 550 other associates who worked on the bike through its production.
He said he was proud when he saw the bike in real life.
"It looks even better off the paper than on," Cattell said. "It was
awesome to watch the design come together."
Some might think the hard work and personal nature of the bike might
make it hard to give away Saturday. Not for Cattell. He will be the one
to pull the lucky-winner's name.
"I'll actually be happy to take it and give it away to someone," Cattell said.
He added that he will know "by the look in their eye" if the winner will
take as much pride in the bike as he does.
"I want the winner to really take ownership of the bike," Cattell said.
"I want them to say 'This is my bike now and it was built for me.'"
Even after his baby is gone, Cattell said he will have the memories.
"I think this will be another accomplishment I have had the opportunity
to achieve here," Cattell said. "I have had a lot of opportunities here
that Honda has given me."
He mentioned specifically the chance to learn about computers and to
have an idea patented. Cattell added though that the custom-designed
bike would be "something I'll share with my kids and grandkids."
HomeComing guests can register free for the bike from 7:30 a.m. to 5
p.m. today and from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow. The drawing is at 5
p.m. Saturday and the winner must be present to win.
HomeComing admission is free and the public is invited to participate in
the events at the motorcycle plant. Motorcycle riders enter Gate A to
park at the event. Guests in cars enter Gate B for parking and take a
shuttle to the events.

Guilty verdict reached in gun case

By RYAN HORNS
"I got nothing to hide," Lee Alderson said Wednesday, when he took the
stand in his defense at the Union County Common Pleas Court.
But later that day, the owner of Marysville's Lee Dog's Locker Room was
found guilty for allegedly pulling a gun on a man inside Stephen's
Lounge during an argument. After two and a half hours of deliberation,
the jury came back with double guilty verdicts against Alderson, 38, of Richwood.
He faced one fifth-degree felony illegal possession of a firearm in a
liquor permit premises charge and one third-degree felony carrying a
concealed weapon charge.
Union County Prosecutor David Phillips said that Alderson could serve
anywhere from six to 12 months in prison for the fifth-degree felony
charge and up to four years for the third-degree felony. If the charges
are combined, Alderson could be in prison for up to five years, with
more than $12,500 in fines.
Common Pleas Court Judge Richard Parrott said he was going to sentence
Alderson at a later date. He said he would first like to organize a
pre-sentence investigation.
Phillips brought numerous witnesses to the stand who testified that they
saw Alderson pull a small silver hand gun out of his pocket and hold it
up to the neck of Danny Snyder.
On April 2 Alderson allegedly had been arguing with Snyder over a woman
named Ricia Hay, with whom Alderson used to be in a relationship. The
argument led to a short fight in the rear of Stephen's Lounge, during
which Alderson and Snyder reportedly exchanged punches. Later that
night, Alderson allegedly left his own bar, walked across the street and
went into Stephen's Lounge. The two then became involved in another argument.
"He got ready to leave. He started to go to the door, when he turned
around and took out a small caliber hand gun and held it up to my head,"
said Snyder. "He said if I ever talked to (Hay) again he'd kill me. I
told him to get that out of my face."
Stephen's Lounge bartender Judith Bowland reportedly began yelling
"Don't shoot" and to "Put the gun away." So Alderson left the bar and
went back to his own establishment. Bowland then called the police.
Numerous witnesses testified that they saw the gun. Bowland said that
she saw Alderson put the silver handgun to Snyder's neck. Bar patron
Bobbi Hevelin, who did not know either man involved, said she was inside
Stephen's Lounge with her husband when a man held a silver hand gun to
another man's neck. Former Locker Room bartender Sheila Wyatt said
Alderson showed her a silver hand gun and said "Looky here," just before
heading over to Stephen's Lounge.
"If I was ever asked about it," Wyatt said, "he said he wanted me to say
that he had keys in his hand or something."
Hay testified that when Alderson returned to the Locker Room, he
admitted to pulling the weapon.
"He said that he put a gun underneath Danny's chin and told him never to
talk to me again," Hay said.
Snyder said that he was not interested in pursuing charges against
Alderson for pulling the gun out, or the fight before that. He said
Alderson had punched him numerous times before and the two always got
over it and went back to being cordial.
Throughout the trial, Alderson maintained his innocence. He said there
was never a gun, he never held anything up to Snyder's neck and that
during the fight earlier in the evening Snyder was the one who punched him.
"I was at (my) bar all evening," Alderson said. "I just left that one
time to tell Snyder that he wasn't welcome in my bar anymore . I didn't
put nothing up to his throat."
Defense attorney J. C. Ratliff said that perhaps people in the bar
mistook Alderson's silver cell phone for a hand gun. He brought up
several witnesses who were playing pool with Alderson, just before the
league matches began at 7 p.m. They all testified that Alderson was in
his normal cheerful mood and did not remember him leaving the bar.

Seniors honored at Union County Fair
By EMILY MASTERS
After answering numerous questions on the pavilion stage, in front of
their peers, two Milcrest Nursing Home residents, won royal honors
Wednesday at the Union County Fair.
John Sandusky, a veteran formerly from Richwood, was crowned "King for
the day" and Ruby Thomas, formerly from Plain City won "Queen for the day."
Both ended up at the fair after a nomination and survey process.
"Last year we decided to honor residents who don't have the opportunity
to get out much," said Kristi Eads, admission & discharge coordinator
for The Gables. "It gives a lot of these people a chance to get out,
socialize, think back about childhood memories, and of course eat junk food."
Queen Ruby said she enjoys coming out to the fair.
"It's a great time," she said.
Ruby won her title by warming the hearts of the judges when she was
asked the question "if you could do one thing, what would it be?"
Ruby responded, "I want to learn to walk again."
Judge Sharon McFarlane, adult protective services, was touched by her answer.
"It just gave me goose bumps," she said.
Other judges included Mindy Stice, Union County Health Department and
Sandy Boyd, U-CATS.
Ruby suffered five strokes and was told she would never walk again.
She also has lost mobility of her left arm, but she says she does
exercises everyday at Milcrest to help strengthen it.
A fair highlight for Ruby was shopping at one of the vendor stands for jewelry.
"She's our jewelry queen," said Sandy Baker, Milcrest social services.
"I got me a bracelet here at the fair," said Ruby. "I love it, and Bingo!"
According to Eads, approximately 350 seniors came out to play bingo at
the fair while cheering on the royal court.
They got in free of charge, enjoyed a picnic lunch, lemon shake-ups, and
plenty of bingo time.
Cash prizes, donated by local nursing facilities and businesses were
awarded to bingo winners.
Residents from The Gables, Heartland of Marysville, Carriage Court, and
Milcrest were invited to the fair as well as all senior citizens of Union County.
"The weather made it a perfect day for everyone to come out to the fair," said Eads.

Foreclosure granted on former GI Plasteks plant
From J-T staff reports
Former GI Plasteks employees aren't the only ones finding it difficult
to get answers after the company laid them off and vanished to the east coast.
Monday afternoon the Union County Common Pleas Court granted default on
a foreclosure case against former Marysville-based GI Plasteks in the
amount of $71,857.75, for delinquent real estate taxes, including all
penalties and interest due and all court costs and sheriff's fees incurred.
According to court files, G.I. Plastek, after being served with the
complaint, failed to answer and failed to appear in court.
"(GI Plasteks) did not answer after 28 days," the default judgment
states, "as they have failed to answer the Plaintiff's complaint or
otherwise enter an appearance."
In the winter of 2006 GI Plasteks, located at 692 Clymer Road, gave its
employees 30 minutes to gather their things and go. The company laid off
its workers and then moved its offices out of the city in favor of the
east coast. Despite claims of bankruptcy, the company then opened
another building.
The owners offered no word on it's Marysville worker's vacation buyouts
that were owed or how employees with medical issues would get their
health care. Many of those employees tried in vein to get in touch with
their GI Plasteks bosses, with no response.
But former employees aren't the only ones having a hard time of it.
On Feb. 23, Assistant Union County Prosecutor Rick Rodger, filed a
complaint through the Union County Common Pleas Court for the
foreclosure on the roughly 4 acres of property where the GI Plasteks
plant stands, due to delinquent real estate taxes.
Rodger said that following judgment being granted, the real estate
property will now be sold at a future Union County Sheriff's auction. He
said the minimum bid would be at least $71,857.75, plus all court costs
and sheriff's fees.

One pleads guilty, one sentenced in related drug cases
By MAC CORDELL
A pair of those indicted as part of an organized crime operation working
out of Lee Dog's Saloon in Marysville were in court Monday, one to learn
his sentence, the other to plead guilty.
Dennis G. Smith, 33, whose only listed address is the Tri-County
Regional Address in Mechanicsburg, and Ricia Hay, also known as Ricia
Cain or Ricia Marrs, of 141 Hemlock Dr., Marysville, were both in the
Union County Court of Common Pleas.
Hay was set for a scheduling conference Monday, but instead entered
guilty pleas to trafficking in cocaine, a fourth-degree felony, and
engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, a felony of the first degree.
She faces as many as 111/2 years in prison and $25,000 in fines.
Union County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard Parrott ordered a
presentence investigation. Hay is set to be sentenced Aug. 16.
According to court documents, between July 29, 2006, and Feb. 11, 2007,
Hay participated in, directly or indirectly, a pattern of illegal
behavior. The documents also indicate that on Sept. 9, 2006, Hay sold or
offered to sell cocaine to an undercover Marysville Police Officer,
while in the vicinity of a school.
While Hay won't know her fate for several weeks, Smith learned Monday
that he will spend the next five years in a state penitentiary.
Smith pleaded guilty in June to five counts of trafficking in cocaine
and one count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity. The engaging
in a pattern of corrupt activity charge is a felony of the first degree.
Of the trafficking charges, one is a second-degree felony, one is a
third-degree felony and three are felonies of the fourth degree. The
charges were enhanced because the offense occurred in the vicinity of a
school. In exchange for Smith's guilty plea, prosecutors dismissed a
fourth-degree felony charge of trafficking in cocaine.
According to court documents, on six occasions between Sept. 9, 2006 and
Feb. 11, 2007, Smith sold a total of 30.66 grams of cocaine to an
undercover agent working with the Marysville Police Department.
The five-year sentence was part of an agreed upon sentence. Smith could
have been sentenced to 27.5 years in prison along with a fine of
$65,000. As a part of that sentence, Smith agreed to take the stand
against his codefendants.
"This defendant is expected to testify in any trial coming out of the
Lee Dog's investigation," said Union County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Terry Hord.
Defense attorney Perry Parsons said his client is ready to take
responsibility for his actions.
"Mr. Smith acknowledges he should not have been involved with this
activity," Parsons told the judge.
Parsons added that Smith, "has cooperated with prosecutors, answered any
questions and is prepared to testify, if that is what is necessary."
Joshua S. Bradley and Lee A. Alderson were also indicted as a result of
law enforcement's investigation,
Bradley, whose court listed address is the Delaware County Jail, is
charged with one count of fourth degree felony trafficking in cocaine
and one count of a first-degree felony engaging in a pattern of corrupt
activity. He is set for jury trial Aug. 1.
Alderson, 37, of 18205 Harmon Patrick Road, Richwood, is charged with
aggravated trafficking in drugs, a felony of the fourth degree,
trafficking in drugs, a felony of the fifth degree, two counts of
fifth-degree felony permitting drug abuse and one count of a
first-degree felony engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, a
first-degree felony. A story about Alderson regarding an unrelated
charges appears at the top of Page 1.
The indictments came down in May as law enforcement officials concluded
a undercover investigation into the bar at 109 N. Main St.

County may try to entice Don Scott Airfield

By MAC CORDELL
Union County officials want to begin talks with the Don Scott Airfield
in Columbus about a possible relocation.
Union County Economic Development Director Eric Phillips told county
commissioners Monday that he would contact officials at the Don Scott
Airfield in northern Columbus. Jane Brautigam, city manager for Dublin,
told the commissioners that Don Scott airfield, which is owned by the
Ohio State University, was now surrounded by development and
had become landlocked.
"Just don't get in the situation they are in," Brautigam told the
commissioners regarding the Union County Airport.
She added that surrounding communities are voicing opposition to
expansion and even to the current level of activity at the Don Scott Airfield.
Overuse of that airstrip could be fortunate for Union County airport,
the commissioners said. They said Union County Airport could offer an
attractive alternative for those corporate jets not wanting to use Don Scott.
Brautigam said 15 minutes is about the maximum corporate travelers want
to drive from the airport to their destination. She said U.S. 33 offers
great connectivity from Marysville to Columbus.
"I think Union County can really provide a great service," Brautigam said.
Discussions with the commissioners began surrounding the Union County
Airport and its possible expansion or relocation. Following Brautigam's
words of advice, the conversation shifted slightly and ultimately ended
with Phillips' decision to contact Don Scott officials about the
possibility of moving the airfield from its current landlocked position
to Union County. Also to be included in the discussions is the
possibility of Don Scott lightening its load by transferring some jets
and flights to Union County's airport.
Phillips said discussions regarding the expansion or relocation of Union
County's airport have been ongoing for some time.
Commissioner Tom McCarthy said the airport will soon be out of land to expand.
"There is a problem in extending the runways," McCarthy said.
The longest runway at the Union County Airport is 4,200 feet long. For
larger jets to land, runways need to be at least 6,000 feet. McCarthy
said development around the airport, along with surrounding roads make
adding the 1,800 feet difficult.
Phillips said Scotts has shown interest in using the airport, if it can
be made to accommodate larger jets.
"There has been interest shown by Honda as well," said Phillips.
The commissioners noted that in addition to runway length, those
considering housing jets at the airport consider technology, amenities,
hangar size and lease rates.
McCarthy said the Union County Airport does not currently have the
mechanic facilities or the infrastructure to make it a viable option for
many corporate jets.
"The operation of the airport and the things that allow you to make a
living are not there," McCarthy said.
He did say the airport was in the process of borrowing money to add
additional hangar space.
"You have to think about 20 years down the line and what is going to be
needed then," Brautigam said.
As future needs are considered, she said now, "may be the time to make
that move."
Phillips said any relocation site would need easy access to 33 but be
far enough away from development that it won't be surrounded in 20 years.
McCarthy said making a move is not that easy. He said there was a study
done in the past and a major push six or seven years ago to have the
airport relocated.
"It is not for a lack of study or a lack of effort," McCarthy said of
the county's inability to move the airport.
He said those looking to facilitate the move, "have all walked away
saying it just can't be done."
"It is not that easy to site a new airport," McCarthy said. "Everyone
gets excited except the people right next door."

Allegedly abusive inmate given 11 months
By MAC CORDELL
An East Liberty man will spend nearly a year in prison following a
second conviction of harassment by an inmate.
Billy J. Salmons. 27, of 3293 S. Main St., East Liberty, was sentenced
to 11 months in prison Monday. In June he pleaded guilty to one count of
harassment by an inmate, a felony of the fifth-degree.
According to court documents, Salmons was arrested by Marysville police
on the night of Jan. 4. He was charged with failure to maintain physical
control of a motor vehicle.
"Salmons was mildly resistive at the scene, refusing to get into the
patrol car," according to court documents.
Salmons began to harass the arresting officer, becoming vulgar and
verbally abusive.
"Once at the station he was placed inside the holding cell and cuffed,
he continued to scream and yell,' according to court documents. "He was
repeatedly told to calm down but continued. Salmons threatened and
provoked the officer."
While cuffed and in a cell, Salmons continued to verbally berate the
officer. He threatened to track the officer down off duty and attack him.
"Salmons continued on in this manner for several minutes, threatening
the officer, calling him names and being belligerent," according to
court documents. "When this manner of conduct failed to get a reaction
from the officer, Billy J. Salmons leaned into the officer and spit in his face."
Salmons was indicted in May and pleaded guilty June 27.
Union County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard E. Parrott asked the man
what happened.
"It was a mistake," Salmons said. "I am just trying to get over this and move on."
The judge asked for specifics about the incident.
The defendant said he went out drinking and got arrested.
"I just said a lot of things I shouldn't have said," Salmons told the
judge. He said he also called the officer names.
"Really?" Parrot asked. "That was it?"
"I also spit on him," Salmons admitted.
The judge said he knew that but wanted to see if the defendant remembered it.
The judge then asked if this behavior was a first for Salmons. Salmons
said he had been convicted once before of harassment by an inmate. He
said he was sentenced to complete an alcohol treatment program at the
West Central Community Based Correctional Facility.
"I have done really good, I just had another bad time," Salmons told the judge.
The defendant said since his time at West Central he has become employed
and is coaching several youth sports.
Parrott asked Salmons if he thought that gave him "a free pass" to
behave that way.
The defendant said it did not and again blamed his actions on alcohol.
"I did way too much that night," Salmons said.
Prosecutors and the defendant agreed on a 10-month prison sentence, with
a possibility of judicial release in 45 days.
Parrott sentenced the man to 11 months in prison, one month short of the
maximum sentence. He made no mention of judicial release.
The judge then issued a warning to Salmons.
"You come back here with any kind of violation -any kind - you are going
to do the whole sentence and I mean it," Parrott said. "Enough of this horsing around."
"He has made great strides in his life where he is working regularly and
providing for his family," said defense attorney Cliff Valentine.

Tri-County Jail to host open house
By MAC CORDELL
A lot of otherwise normal people could be giving up part of their
weekend to spend time in the Tri-County Regional Jail in Mechanicsburg.
The jail, 4099 State Route 559, will host an open house Saturday from
11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
"Grand juries in Ohio are required to tour the jail," said Robert
Beightler, executive director of the jail. "I am always interested in
the reactions we get. Their perception of what the jail looks like comes
from T.V. Those perceptions aren't really true. I find people have a lot
of interesting questions and they leave here with a lot different perception.
"Since we are funded by the public, we feel letting the public come and
see the jail would allow them to draw their own conclusions."
Union County Commissioner Gary Lee and Sheriff Rocky Nelson were both
very supportive of the idea at the last jail board meeting.
Nelson said he feels the public has a right to see the jail, because it
is operated with public funds.
The jail was available for tours prior to its opening six years ago, but
has not been open to the public since.
Beightler said he does not expect any problems between visitors and inmates.
"I have worked in this field for 30 years," Beightler said. "We have
taken tours of the prisons in the past. Given that, we have not had a
lot of problems with inmates or visitors.
"I think those that don't want to be seen will go to their little areas
alone and others will probably be looking back as the visitors are
looking at them."
The jail open house will follow certain guidelines, including:
. visitors must be 16 years of age or older. Visitors under 18 must be
accompanied by an adult;
. visitors must have a picture ID;
. visitors must leave personal items in their vehicles or lockers. Only
picture ID & car keys will be permitted;
. visitors must pass through a metal detector. In addition visitors must
be aware they are subject to search;
. persons currently on probation or parole will not be permitted to tour;
. visitors must dress appropriately.
Those with a relative currently serving time at the jail will not be
allowed to tour the facility.
At its last meeting, the jail board members discussed allowing those
under 21 years old tour the jail.
"Some day, they are going to be an adult," Lee said. "It might give them
something to think about."
Beightler said additional security measures will be increased.
The jail will also be spiffed up.
"Obviously, we keep the cleanliness of the jail at inspection level,
most of the time, but anytime you have people coming you want to make
sure everything looks nice and make a good impression," Beightler said.
The executive director said open houses also serve another, more
administrative, function.
"One of the things I find is that this is an excellent way to recruit
new employees," Beightler said.
He said seeing the operation helps recruit potential future employees
"It can be difficult to recruit employees because people don't really
have an idea what we do here," Beightler said.
"I think the open house kind of eases their mind that 'yes I can do this.'"
Beightler said he does not know how many visitors to expect, but thinks
the public's interest in jails will draw people.
"Jails, historically, are a curiosity," Beightler said. "I think if
someone has never been arrested, never been to jail, they would have a
curiosity to see what it looks like, a curiosity to see what goes on in the jail."
He added, "We are here to serve the public. By opening the doors and
letting the people see the place, they will see we are completing our
mission and serving the people of Union, Madison and Champaign County."


Marysville may hold athletes to code even  in summer

By KARLYN BYERS
Athletic director Cal Adams addressed the Marysville School Board Monday
night, talking about the high school's new athletic code.
Adams said if school board members approve the code changes at their
August meeting, the athletic code will regulate student athletes' behavior year-round.
The current code governs student behavior during the academic year.
Adams said of the 30 Ohio Capital Conference schools in Marysville's
division, only Marysville and one other school do not regulate athletes'
behavior year round.
"We don't want these kids to do alcohol and drugs at any time of the year," he said.
Adams added that coaches and school administrators want to keep students
on the "straight and narrow."
Adams also talked about the revised athletic handbook which will be
distributed to high school coaches.
"I don't think (it contains) anything really controversial, just
bringing the policies up to date," he said.
Board members also heard from Ruscilli Construction Manager Adam Drexel
about Northwood Elementary, which will open in August, and the 100,000
square-foot high school addition.
Temporary occupancy has been granted at Northwood, Drexel said, and
furnishings are being moved in. But grass planting will be held off
until fall because of the dry weather.
Marysville has scheduled an Aug. 5 dedication ceremony at Northwood,
which is located in the Mill Valley subdivision. It will be held from 2 to 5 p.m.
The dry summer has been ideal for the high school construction project,
Drexel said, although dust has been somewhat of a problem. Crews are
wetting the ground down to minimize the situation.
In other action, the board:
.Approved a resolution to extend the suspension of head mechanic Robert
Fraker without pay through Aug. 27. At their June 25 board meeting,
board members unanimously voted to suspend Fraker without pay until
Monday, July 23. The extended suspension will go into effect today.
.Employed Sarah Hutson, teacher; L. Cheryl Sheehan, speech/language
pathologist; Susan Gase, special education aide; Tina LaRoche, guidance
assistant; Amanda Boerger, special education aide; Kenny Overfield,
maintenance; Gary Miller, teacher; Hollie Moots, computer consultant;
Gregg Stubbs, title grants coordinator; Danielle Caldwell and Joanna
Wasilewski, teachers.
.Accepted the resignation of Shelly Maag, teacher; Aaron Cook, middle
school athletic director and teacher; Danielle Porhaska, speech/language
pathologist; Fred Bruney, teacher; Amy McCarthy, health care consultant;
Diane Tackett,  bus driver; and Amanda Alice, teacher.
.Accepted, with appreciation, a monetary donation from the Diamond Club
to be used to hire three additional baseball coaches for the 2008 season.
.Awarded supplemental contracts for the 2007-2008 school year to Scott
Forney, middle school athletic director; Chris Shirer, high school
softball; Dale Corbin and Jim Lockwood, high school assistant softball;
Jessica Knox, freshman softball; John Merriman, boys had tennis; Brian
Ash, boys assistant tennis; Kevin and Chris Terzis, high school
assistant boys track; James Cooper, high school head boys track; Tom
Borawski, high school assistant girls track; Ed Starling, high school
head baseball; Chris Hoehn, Kevin Brandfass and Brock Walden, high
school assistant baseball (the latter paid by donation); Lori Clark,
high school girls track; Ryan Sawmiller and Steve Wilcox, freshman
baseball (both financed by donation); Sara Shaffer, high school
assistant girls soccer; Nick Bowshier, high school assistant boys
soccer; Mary Ann Corbin, high school store coordinator; Christine Todd,
high school special education department chair; and Neal Shaffer, high
school assistant girls soccer.
.Awarded extended time, effective with the 2007-2008 school year, to Kim
Allen, teacher on special assignment; Scott Forney, middle school
athletic director; and Tammy Cooper, Work Transition Program coordinator.
.Approved a National Board Certification supplement contract to Mary
Davis, Karen Hyland, Teri Leitwein, Carol Lentz, Laurie Levy, Carla
Steele and Judy Van Duzen.
.Approved Melissa Hughes and Peter Kain as Tier I school mentors and
Carol Isaacs, Laura Falk and Christine Todd as Tier II mentors.
.Extended the consulting contract of Michael Biggs, McKenzie Investments
and Consulting LLC, for bus routing.
.Accepted Robert Rusiska, David Boggs, Keitha Dugan, Katie Esthus, Linda
Lybarger, Daryl Miller, Suzanne Olson, Susan Hatch Miller, Paul Powers,
Monica Carmean and Julie Adams as certified substitutes/home instructors
and Catherine Bice as a classified substitute.
.Granted payments in lieu of transportation for Katelyn and Madison
Morgan, Aaron T. Conn, Clark and Andrew D. Sabula, Paige Warnock, Laura,
Amanda and Matthew Fuson and Frances and Keith Boggs.
.Contracted with Memorial Hospital of Union County to provide athletic
trainer services.
.Recognized Aaron Rossi, Richard Knisley, Gary Miller and Larry Fox,
high school football, Randy Ianni, Gloyd Ayers and J.R. Rausch, high
school basketball, and John Carl, FFA, as district volunteers.

Man sentenced for break-ins
Changes mind after pleading, but judge holds him  to five-year term
By MAC CORDELL
A Marysville man will spend the next five years in prison after pleading
guilty to a series of Union County business break-ins.
Jonathan M. Vandall, 21, of 1424 Westbrook Drive, was sentenced Monday
to 60 months in prison - 10 months each for six counts of fifth-degree
felony breaking and entering, to be served consecutively. He was also
sentenced to another 27 months for another count of breaking and
entering and one count of vandalism. That sentence is to be served
concurrently with the 60 month sentence.
Despite the term being an agreed upon sentence between the defendant and
prosecutors, Vandall said he did not want to serve the five-year sentence.
"I would like to not go to prison for the five years," Vandall told
Union County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard E. Parrott.
The defendant explained that he had a job offer, making $10 per hour,
and had a safe place to live.
"If I could get out relatively soon," Vandall said.
He requested that instead of being forced to honor the sentence he
agreed to, he wanted to be sent to the West Central Community Based
Correctional Facility where he hoped to receive assistance for his drug addiction.
"I did a lot of that because of drugs," Vandall told the judge.
Defense attorney Cliff Valentine said his client's actions were the
result of bad choices, brought on by his substance abuse.
"Mr. Vandall is obviously a young man, making some poor decisions," Valentine said.
He reiterated his client's desire for drug rehabilitation.
"He is hoping to get some assistance for that problem through the
department of corrections," Valentine told the judge.
Despite the defendant's wishes, Parrott sentences the man to 60 months
in prison. He called the term, "just exactly what you agreed to."
The judge also ordered Vandall to pay restitution in the amount of
$25,600.31, plus court costs.
Vandall was indicted in March. He admitted to investigators that he,
with the assistance of another, broke into at least seven Union County
businesses - six in Marysville and one in the village of Broadway - on
at least eight occasions between September 22, 2005, and February 28, 2007.
Most of the break-ins involved businesses broken into during the night.
One of the charges involved an incident where Vandall and his partner
hid in a store on Christmas Eve 2006 until the store was closed. The
pair then turned off the security system, took items, then broke out of the store.
The final break-in was unsuccessful as a neighbor of the business in
Broadway heard the would-be cash and cigarette thieves breaking glass.
The neighbor yelled at the pair and scared them off.
Vandall pleaded guilty to the charges in June. In exchange for the
guilty plea, prosecutors dropped one breaking and entering charge, one
complicity to breaking and entering charge and one charge of possession
of criminal tools, all felonies of the fifth degree. If found guilty on
all charges, Vandall could have been sentenced to a total of
11-and-a-half years in prison.
Following the sentencing hearing, Vandall asked how quickly he would be
eligible for early release. Parrott explained that he could make an
application to be released in four years.

Fairbanks gives treasurer a pay bump
By MAC CORDELL
Fairbanks Local School District Board of Education accepted the
resignation Monday of district treasurer Aaron Johnson.
The resignation, however, was short-lived as the district, in the same
motion that accepted his resignation, rehired Johnson to a three-year
contract. Johnson's resignation was simply a procedural formality so the
district could sign him to a new contract.
"The board wanted to bring him up competitive to other districts in the
area," Superintendent Jim Craycraft said.
Under his current contract, Johnson makes $60,770 per year. The new
contract, which takes effect Aug. 1, calls for Johnson to receive a
9-percent raise. That will bring his salary to an estimated $66,240 per
year. Next year, Johnson's salary will increase to $72,200 per year.
Salary for his third year will be negotiated in the future. Craycraft
said district officials polled eight comparable districts and determined
about $72,000 per year to be a "middle of the pack" salary for the
2006-2007 school year.
The school board also approved the updated athletic handbook, which will
be effective for the 2007-2008 school year.
Craycraft said it was clear the athletic director put considerable work
into the project. He told board members the updates clarifies a lot of
issues, including academic eligibility for student-athletes.
"As I look at it, he has done a lot of work clearing things up and
giving guidance for our coaches and parents," Craycraft said.
Parent Steve DeRoads asked the board if it had made any plans for
practice fields for the football team.
He said the football team is practicing on the lawn in front of the
school. That field has not been watered regularly, DeRoads said.
Craycraft said that lawn is in the watering rotation.
DeRoads said the grass is brittle and will break soon.
"It's soon to be in bad condition," DeRoads said.
"The grass isn't going to hold up and it is going to get pretty dirt like."
DeRoads said he spoke with Craycraft about the issues.
"Mr. Craycraft said we need to be patient and I agree," DeRoads said.
He said he understands it is a problem that comes with growth, but said
he has a solution.
"We need to spend some money and get the football team a little better
practice facility for them, since they do bring in a little money for
us, I feel," DeRoads said.
Craycraft said the football team has held workouts on the front lawn and
coaches registered no complaints.
"They know, if they need a fence built along the road, we will build a
fence," Craycraft said. "We will move them somewhere, or trade with the
band. They just need to let us know."
The superintendent said plans for the new school facilities include a
practice field for the football team. That practice field should be
ready for the 2008 football season.
The school board approved a new cell phone policy for district
administrators. The new policy provides a stipend for select
administrative personnel, including the superintendent ($600 per year)
the treasurer ($600), the high school principal ($600), the middle
school principal ($600), the elementary school principal ($600), the
district technology coordinator ($600), the athletic director ($500) and
the transportation coordinator ($500).
The curriculum director will also receive a cell phone stipend, however
that amount has not been determined

Richwood Council looks at village's long-term needs
By CHAD WILLIAMSON
The most interesting topic to be addressed at Monday's Richwood Village
Council meeting drew almost no discussion.
Village administrator Larry Baxa passed out a list of capital
improvement needs compiled recently during a meeting of village
officials. The list will be used to help the officials develop a five-
to 10-year plan for the village.
Although many items on the list have little or no chance of
materializing, all were listed. Councilman Von Beal said the next step
is to prioritize the items on the list.
Some items included on the list were:
.Municipal building - with the police building deteriorating the village
may have to combine village offices and the police department into a
single new building.
.Streets - annual funds should be set aside for a repaving program.
Repairing and replacing curbs should be a priority and a street sweeper
with a vacuum is needed.
.Village garage expansion - would allow inside storage or village
vehicles and equipment.
.Sidewalks - repair/replacement may become a legislative issue in the future.
.Sewers - line maintenance and rehabilitation is needed. A new truck
allowing crews to jet, root cut and video the lines as needed.
.Water line extensions - will allow the village to loop lines and increase pressure.
.Public works vehicles - the village needs a replacement schedule for
village vehicles.
.Water plant update - the water plant needs a standby generator and the
existing power distribution panel needs replaced.
.Miscellaneous - Replace or reconstruct dry well at Richwood Lake for
use by the fire department. Reconstruct Marriott and West Bomford
streets. Look into annexation around the village. Construct a permanent
drain line for the Richwood Lake to maintain a set level to prevent
flooding and erosion. Consider purchasing middle school property to
house village administration, police department and park area. Clean out
Ash Run. Consider future of Town Hall.
In other business, council:
.Approved resurfacing of Fulton and Clinton streets.
.Learned that plans to flush the village hydrants  were delayed due to
problems with water tower.
.Voted to grant a three-day extension on a water bill.
.Heard a complaint from a Herbert Street resident about the new parking ordinances.
.Learned that the village has been putting a chemical in catch basins to
control mosquito reproduction.
.Heard from police chief Monte Asher that the bicycle officers have
begun patrolling village streets. Asher also reported that a youth was
caught vandalizing the Richwood Park and was placed in the Juvenile Detention Center.
.Heard from financial officer Don Jolliff that Ohio Public Works is
requesting repayment of a $47,000 loan, used to investigate inflow and
infiltration, by 2010. Jolliff said the village will need to set aside
$16,000 per year to make payments.
.Learned from councilman George Showalter that a representative from an
animal refuge will bring two Bengal tigers to Park Day on Aug. 5. The
animals will be caged and individuals will not be allowed to approach the animals.
.Discussed the agreement between the village and Memorial Hospital of
Union County for the village administration building. The hospital owns
the property and had previously discussed giving it to the village in
exchange for a right-of-way agreement to allow the hospital to advertise
in the area of the industrial park.

City certified to designate historic areas

By RYAN HORNS
Securing and protecting Marysville's historic past may get a little
easier from now on.
City Planner Greg DeLong said Marysville has recently been certified by
the State of Ohio under the Certified Local Government (CLG) program. He
said it could help facilitate the designation of local historical areas
and expand the registration of those sites to residential areas.
"I was excited to see we were approved already," DeLong said at a
Marysville City Council meeting earlier this month.
DeLong had recently been working with Union County Director of Business
Development, Joe Clase, on the preliminary submission. They soon learned
the process of getting certified moved faster than they expected. At the
council meeting the first reading was held on an ordinance to expand the
historic focus of the city to also include residential areas.
"This allows us to apply for grant funds?" councilman Mark Reams asked.
DeLong said that was correct; Marysville will be included as one of 45
cities which have been certified to be eligible for grant funds in the
state. He stressed that the grants are not large ones, limited between
$7,000 to $16,000, out of $80,000 in funding made available from the
National Park Service. But the grants will make it easier to erect
historical markers for such locations as original Scotts Company
buildings and other sites found across the city.
DeLong said the grants are awarded on a 60/40 matching basis, explaining
that it may constitute up to 60 percent of the project cost, with the
city having to provide the remaining 40 percent through any combination
of cash, in-kind and donated services and materials.
"The CLG program recognizes that local efforts need support and that
communities can benefit from working with the state and federal partners
who share the same goal," the Ohio Historical Society release stated.
The historical group continued that the CLG allows certain cities to
become eligible for grant money to identify historic, architectural and
archeological resources through surveys, nominate eligible properties
and districts to the National Register of Historic Places, further
community education on historic preservation and preserve and
rehabilitate historic properties.
DeLong said that being certified allows a city such as Marysville to
help provide workshops for property owners or technical training for
community officials, publish historical site inventories, design
guidelines, and make walking tour brochures.
The program requirements met by Marysville includes:
. Having a qualified commission of at least five people who designate
historic properties and review proposed changes to the historic environment.
. An ordinance designed to protect historic resources and offer guidance
to those wishing to make changes to historic buildings, sites, and districts.
. A procedure for identifying historic properties by which they can be
surveyed and recorded, designated locally and nominated to the National
Register of Historic Places
. A public participation program which invites and encourages citizens
to participate in the community's historic preservation program.

All Ohio Balloon Festival to continue rich history
Editor's note: This is the first of a three-part series about the All
Ohio Balloon Festival. Additional stories will run on the next two Mondays.

By CORINNE BIX
Mark you calendars for Friday, Aug. 17 and Saturday, Aug. 18 for the All
Ohio Balloon Festival, a Marysville tradition since 1974.
The Balloon Festival returns this year to the Union County Airport with
a full slate of activities planned for both Friday and Saturday evening.
Gates open each day at 5 p.m. and festivities kick-off at 6 p.m. with a
balloon launch.
"This year we are having 21 balloonists and the purple people eater
balloon is back," Marie Woodford, balloon festival committee member, said.
There will be several balloon launches over the weekend including one
each evening at 6 p.m.
The family friendly event will feature "Kid City" which will include two
jump houses, a bubble machine and oversized kites.
The event will also offer lots of food, beer and great entertainment.
"All the food is reasonably priced so that you can bring the whole
family," Woodford said.
There will be everything from pulled pork by Rick's Grill, fish by
Barry's Perch and More, BBQ and even a baked potato bar.
For those who have a sweet tooth there will be cheesecake on a stick,
funnel cakes and kettle corn.
Friday night's live entertainment will feature the band "Abel Five" from
Cincinnati and Saturday night Central Ohio staple "The Danger Brothers"
will be rocking the main stage.
Everyone is encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets so that they
can comfortably enjoy the music and the balloon glow, which is scheduled
for 8:30 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday evenings.
During the "glow" 10 to 12 balloons will be tethered to the ground while
firing their propane burners, which creates a beautiful lighted effect,
Woodford said.
"The goal is to make this a fun family event that creates memories and
give local residents a sense of community," she added.
"Part of the net proceeds go to the United Way of Union County," she
said, "We also encourage folks to do business with sponsors of the event
because it takes everyone to make it such a success."
Dave Bezusko, Campaign and Public Relations Director for the United Way
of Union County, said the group is excited to participate in the event
for a second year.
Bezusko and a group of 15 to 20 volunteers will help direct traffic and
park cars for the two evening event.
"We are glad the Balloon Festival Committee chose the United Way to be
the recipient of the charitable donations," he said, "It helps to kick
off our annual fundraising campaign along with bringing awareness to the organization."
Last year, the United Way received $1,340 in donations from the Balloon
Festival. Union Rural Electric also returns as a major sponsor.
Bezusko said that in addition to being a great fund-raiser the group found that by
working together to coordinate parking ultimately created a positive
interaction between board members and volunteers.
"It actually ended up being a team building exercise that we hadn't even
planned," Bezusko said.
Woodford said the success of last year's Balloon Festival has allowed
the committee to expand the event this year.
Planning for this year's event began more than a year ago and any money
garnered from the weekend's festivities are put back into funding the
next year's Balloon Festival.
"It's a huge task," Woodford said, "However it's all worth it to bring
the community together to keep what Jack Scott started over thirty year
ago alive and growing in Marysville."
Bezusko said the more events that bring your community together then the
stronger your community will be.
Weekend passes for the All Ohio Balloon Festival are $5 and children 12
and under are free. Parking is free and a valid ID is required to buy alcohol.
More information is available at www.allohioballoonfest.com.

Ripley's Believe it or Not exhibit coming to local library
From J-T staff reports
Tim O'Brien, VP Communications for Ripley Entertainment Inc., the owners
of the former television show "Believe It or Not!" brand, will present a
bevy of oddities, stories, and film clips when he visits Marysville's Public Library.
O'Brien said that he will be in Marysville on Wednesday. In addition,
his plans are to bring the show to a total of four libraries in Central
Ohio, today through Wednesday.
He will visit:
. Fairfield County District Library on today at 7 p.m.
. Pickaway County District Public Library on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
. London Public Library on Wednesday at 2 p.m.
. Marysville Public Library on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
"Most people are aware of Ripley's Believe It or Not! because of the
successful television shows, the Believe It or Not! books that we all
grew up with, and the cartoon strip that has been running since 1918,"
O'Brien said. "However, few in this part of the country have had the
opportunity to see Ripley's iconic exhibit item, a genuine Jivaro Indian
shrunken head, up close and personal. Here's their chance!"
O'Brien said he will discuss how the company acquires items, how they
find bizarre acts and people to feature in their books and TV shows, and
he'll show several film clips that were shot by Ripley himself during
one of his globe-trotting journeys!
 A limited number of Ripley's two newest books, Ripley's Believe It or
Not! The Remarkable Revealed, and Ripley's Believe It or Not! Amusement
Park Oddities & Trivia, will be available for purchase with a portion of
the proceeds going to the library.
Ripley Entertainment, Inc. (www.ripleys.com) is a leading global
attractions company with annual attendance of more than 13 million
guests. In addition to its 60-plus attractions in 11 countries,
including 29 Believe It or Not! Odditoriums, the Orlando-based company
has publishing and broadcast divisions that oversee projects including
the global syndicated Believe it or Not! television show, best selling
books, and the world's oldest continuously run comic strip, Ripley's
"Believe It or Not!" Ripley Entertainment is a Jim Pattison Company, the
third-largest privately held company in Canada.

Student, teacher affair results in lawsuit

By MAC CORDELL
A former Jonathan Alder student is seeking more than $50,000 after the
woman charged with his education engaged in sex with him.
William H. Troutman, now a 20-year-old inmate at North Central
Correctional Institution, has filed suit in the Madison County Court of
Common Pleas against the Jonathan Alder Board of Education, the Jonathan
Alder Local School District, Jonathan Alder's special education program
and former Alder tutor Angela Angus-Koppes. The suit also lists 10 John
Does, who may or may not be named later.
Troutman's suit lists five counts, including negligent supervision,
negligent retention, wrongful disclosure of confidential information,
invasion of privacy - public disclosure of private facts, intentional
infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional
distress, assault and battery - childhood sexual abuse, assault and
battery -sexual conduct by mental health professional and negligence.
Angus-Koppes pleaded guilty in April to two counts of attempted sexual
battery, both felonies of the fourth degree. The charges stemmed from
the 2004-2005 school year. Troutman had been kicked out of Jonathan
Alder High School because of his behavior. Angus-Koppes was hired by the
district to tutor Troutman. The tutoring sessions were to be held in the
Plain City public library, but at some point the sessions were moved to
Angus-Koppes' home, with the permission of the district. During the
year, the relationship turned sexual. Angus-Koppes also purchased drugs,
alcohol and other gifts for the boy and his friends.
In September 2005, Troutman's mother contacted law enforcement officials
and in May of 2006 she was indicted on two counts of sexual battery,
both third-degree felonies. In exchange for her guilty plea in April,
the charges were reduced.
Also in September of 2005, according to the lawsuit, the Jonathan Alder
School District released a newsletter.
"The newsletter revealed a 'personal relationship' between defendant
Angus-Koppes and plaintiff and described plaintiff as a '17-year old
student' who 'had been (and continues to be) in trouble with the legal system.'"
The lawsuit claims the newsletter was released "in an effort to deflect responsibility."
Troutman's suit alleges that the district "had a duty to supervise and
monitor," Angus-Koppes "to ensure the well being and safety of students."
It also alleges that the district had knowledge or should have had
knowledge of Angus-Koppes' behavior with the student.
As a result of Angus-Koppes' actions and the district failing to
supervise or terminate her, Troutman "was prevented from receiving an
education and appropriate social services as promised by defendants and
suffered great pain of body and mind."
Troutman's suit, filed by attorney Kort W. Gatterdam, also alleges the
district's disclosure of information in the newsletter "was prohibited
by law," because the victim was a juvenile.
The lawsuit says the information was "embarrassing."
"The publication of such information was not a legitimate concern to the
public and was done by defendants to deflect responsibility for their
own failures, including but not limited to: hiring and retaining
defendant Angus-Koppes; permitting defendant Angus-Koppes to tutor and
provide mental health services to plaintiff in her home; failing to
properly supervise and monitor the special education program, which
thereby allowed defendant Angus-Koppes to have sexual relations with
plaintiff to provide alcohol and illegal drugs to plaintiff and to
improperly and incompetently tutor plaintiff and provide him with mental
health services."
Troutman claims he, "suffered mental anguish, emotional distress, grief,
or loss of enjoyment of life," because of the actions of Angus-Koppes
and the district.
The suit seeks "a sum in excess of $25,000 for compensatory damages,
punitive damages, attorney fees, costs and any other relief allowed by
law," from both Angus-Koppes and the district and its representatives.
Officials from Jonathan Alder could not be reached for comment.
Angus-Koppes is currently serving a six-month sentence in the Ohio
Reformatory for Women in Marysville. She is set to be released Oct. 28,
of this year.
Troutman is in North Central Correctional Institution, serving a five
year sentence for aggravated robbery in Union County. He is expected to
be released in October 2010

Former Heilig Meyers building will have a new, historic look
Front of building will have the look of a structure from the 1930s

By RYAN HORNS
Big changes could be ahead for a decidedly 1970s-era downtown Marysville building.
After the Union County Commissioners purchased the former Heilig Meyers,
located at 128 S. Main St., they spoke of renovating the building for office use.
However, information out of the June and July Design Review Board
meetings shows that the commissioners have more in mind than simply
making room for office space. The building will reportedly receive a
compete indoor and outdoor overhaul.
Design Review Board member Alan Seymour said the location is expected to
get a significant change in architectural style and layout.
"It will be first class and very much in keeping with our historic
uptown buildings," Seymour said. "The new look is about 1930's
architecture. A great choice in era selection."
On June 13, the Marysville Design Review Board approved a certificate of
appropriateness in the Historic Uptown area for the architecture firm
Meacham & Apel Architects to modify the exterior of the building.
Seymour said the firm is the same company the county has used in
previous renovations.
Union County Commissioner Gary Lee said the plans couldn't be going
better. He said the commissioners had definite ideas in mind when the
property was purchased and they are glad that blueprints have been
received well by the Marysville Design Review Board members.
"We are extremely pleased with the front of the building," Lee said. "We
asked the architects to draw the design for the outside of the building
so it looks like it was, and belongs, in uptown Marysville."
Lee also explained what services will be included in the new county
building, once construction is competed.
He said there will be rooms for permanent record storage, room for the
expansion of the Union County Juvenile Probate Court, the Union County
Sheriff's Office detective bureau, the Union County Coroner's Office
will be moved there permanently.
Lee said there will be space in the front of the building for a start up
professional business, such as an engineering or architectural firm. The
hope is to encourage more professional businesses to look at locating in
downtown Marysville.
The next phase for the project will be to approve the final design plans
this month and then open up bids for the project sometime in September, he said.
Lee stressed that the renovation plans on the outside will not take long
to do and could be completed between October and early November. By
December the commissioners hope to have work begin inside the building -
work which is expected to take longer to complete.
According to the June 13 Marysville Design Review Board meeting minutes,
the architects said the current building is "very contemporary" and
needs work. The other buildings and offices on Marysville's Main Street
have nice flow of windows and they have tried to repeat that in their
designs. They want to upgrade and move the entrance to the center of the
building, preserve the existing canopy, have a stone lower level on the
outside walls, that will wrap around the structure to the East Sixth Street side.
Architects explained that there are two versions of the plans for the
East Sixth Street side. One includes false windows to break up the large
expanse of concrete. The other includes half the false windows planned,
but leaves room for a possible mural, similar to artwork found in
downtown Bucyrus.
Lee said the county has been discussing the option of the mural with the
Uptown Renewal Team.

Big Darby Watershed goes online
From J-T staff reports
Residents and landowners in the Big Darby Watershed have a new option
for getting information regarding plans for the waterways and surrounding land.
The Big Darby Creek Watershed Project has created a Web site,
www.darbywatershed.com, to help relay information about the group and
its projects to those who have an interest in the preservation of water
quality within the Darby Creek Watershed.
Local officials say this is a must visit Web site for any resident or
landowner in the Darby Creek watershed.
"This is valuable information," said Katherine Skalak, Darby Watershed
coordinator for the Darby Joint Board of Soil and Water Conservation
District Supervisors. "If you have a problem in the watershed, you can
go to this Web site and anything you need is all there. This site is all
inclusive. There are a lot of Web sites out there that deal with the
Darby, but this one is geared to the people, not just to researchers.
This one lets people know how to get involved and be active in the
community-based watershed planning process."
The board was formed in 2000 to create and implement a community-based
watershed plan that will maintain and enhance the water quality of Big
and Little Darby creeks and their tributaries. The plan is to be the
compilation of the ideas of local residents and land owners. Like a land
use plan, the watershed plan would be a guide, but would not be binding.
Skalak said the board is hoping to get local approval, then state
approval for the plan.
The board also addresses water quality in the Big Darby Creek Watershed.
In addition to the Joint Board, there is a planning team that also works
on this project. The planning team consists of interested volunteer
landowners who review the subwatershed plans prior to Joint Board approval.
Skalak said the board received a $2,500 grant to help with the public's
awareness of the project and the need for the public's input.
"After having a number of meetings, we didn't have the turnout that we
would like," Skalak said.
Members of the planning group discussed how to more effectively
communicate with the public. Skalak said an older gentleman, who does
not own a computer, suggested the use of the Internet.
"He said 'we need a Web page,'" Skalak said. "I thought good, we are in
the 21st Century now. I thought if someone like that is willing to go to
the library to look this up, I think everybody would be willing to."
Skalak said the Web site offers, "a more convenient way to get these
plans out there."
The Web site contains information about the Darby Watershed, including
the downloadable watershed inventory, watershed plans. It includes
information on various United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
conservation programs as well as Darby Watershed Low Interest Loan
program which offers landowners below-market interest rate loans for
agricultural equipment and practices that improve water quality of local streams.
The Web site also contains historical testing data from the Ohio
Environmental Protection Agency and pictures at various locations in
each subwatershed are also featured on the site.
Web site views will have the opportunity to participate in the public
input process. The site has an electronic version of the landowner
survey handed out at the public meetings. It also has an area for public
comments about the potential plans.
"Anybody can make a contact and I will get back to them," Skalak said.
Skalak, who created the Web site, said it was designed with a mind to
the fact that 74 percent of the land in the Darby watershed is
agricultural and another 22 percent is wooded.
"Most of the people interested in the Web site will be farmers, based on
land use," Skalak said.
Cities and villages in watershed include Marysville, Milford Center,
Plain City, North Lewisburg, Woodstock, Mechanicsburg, West Jefferson, Darbydale,

WUCO moving studio, offices
Tower will remain but operations  will relocate to Columbus

From J-T staff reports
The office and studio of St. Gabriel Catholic Radio will reportedly be
moving out of it's current location in downtown Marysville.
According to a press release, the Catholic-based local radio station
will "relocate from Marysville to Columbus to position for its future,
which will feature expanded broadcast coverage throughout much of the state of Ohio."
The relocation is expected to take place Monday and should be completed
before Aug. 1, the realease reported.
WUCO's broadcast towers will remain near the city and weekly
broadcasting of Saturday masses from Marysville's Our Lady of Lourdes
parish will continue. On-air identification will continue to identify
the station as broadcasting from Marysville and North-Central Ohio.
"Being a nonprofit station, we need to recruit and utilize a volunteer
network of Catholics to come in and help us in our efforts. The
Marysville office location has limited parking and the space is not well
configured for our current needs," WUCO executive director Linda O'Horo
said. "Much of our volunteer base is in the Columbus area, so it will
also be easier to get people to come in to help us. We also got a good
deal on the rental rate for the new space, so we will be able to operate
more efficiently and cost-effectively."
O'Horo said that the exact location for the projected expansion coverage
area will be determined in the coming weeks, but the area should cover
all of Central and North-Central Ohio.
Efforts are now underway to raise money for the expansion, she said.
"We are working to make Catholic radio a reality throughout much of the
state," WUCO station manager Mike Barone said. "Just as Our Lord Jesus
was born of Mary, The Blessed Virgin, so we like to think of The Word of
God going forth from Marysville. We look forward to continuing our
mission while servicing the greater Columbus Catholic community."
The new address for St. Gabriel Radio WUCO 1270 AM will be 1585 Bethel
Road, Suite 101-LL in Columbus.

Triad hires elementary principal
By CORINNE BIX
The Triad Local School Board unanimously selected Lee Claypool to take
over for outgoing principal and newly appointed district treasurer Craig
Meredith Wednesday night.
Claypool has worked for the district for 15 years as the vocal music
teacher and choir director for grades five through 12.
"The board has been extremely supportive," she said.
She said she is looking forward to getting to know the elementary staff.
She was awarded a two-year contract and her salary will be $60,000 annually.
The board also hired Paul Waibel as the new vocal music teacher and
choir director for the upcoming school year.
Claypool said she is ecstatic that Waibel was hired to replace her.
"His philosophy about music education and his demeanor with the students
is impeccable," she said.
Superintendent Dan Kaffenbarger reported on the moisture in the high
school lobby. He said tests have come back extremely high.
The district has researched the problem with the concrete and tile
cracking in the high school for the last several years. The original
concrete and tile were laid incorrectly and were repaired in 2003 after
the building had been opened. The lobby is 3,500 square feet.
The district waited until summer - traditionally the driest season of
the year - to test the moisture levels, which registered between eight
and 10 points above normal.
Kaffenbarger presented the board with three flooring options ranging in
price from $31,000 to $53,000. This cost would not include the initial
demolition cost to tear the floor down to the concrete, correct the
moisture problem and seal the floor. The estimated cost for the tear
down and repair is between $5,000 and $7,000.
Kaffenbarger said the problem has to be fixed before school starts in
late August. The district may have to get approval from the Ohio
Department of Education to classify the project as that of "urgent
necessity" so that the bid process can be eliminated.
Kaffenbarger also updated the board on the Virtual Learning Academy
(VLA) to be implemented in the 2007-2008 school year.
VLA will offer on-line courses and teacher support for  students who may
have dropped out before completing  requirements for graduation.
The program is currently being offered as a summer school alternative
and 28 students have enrolled in a variety of courses.
Kaffenbarger reported that those interested in the VLA program should
contact Patrick Johnson at the district's central office.
The next regular board meeting will be Aug. 16 at 7 p.m. in the modular board room.
In other business, the board:
.Approved an initial one-year contract to Sue Reeves as intervention specialist.
.Approved certified supplemental positions for Kyle Huffman and John
Sharritts, teacher mentors; Becky Crieighton, Mike Henson, Patrick
Johnson, Doug Kitchen and Pat Graham, high school department chairs; and
Nancy Dunham, high school yearbook.
.Approved classified supplemental positions for Mandy Alexander, middle
school cheerleading football, and Darcy Watkins, seventh grade volleyball.
.Approved a contract adjustment for Harry Alltop (technology),
increasing compensation to $169.36 a day for 248 days.
.Approved Ryan Thompson as summer technology help with compensation set
at $8 per hour.
.Approved Doug Miller and Sue Reeves for corrective reading training on
Aug. 17 at the rate of $100 per day.
.Approved certified personnel Patrick Johnson, Jason Malone and Julie
Jenkins for professional development training for the new social studies
program on July 31 at a rate of $100 per day.
.Approved virtual learning academy teachers Norma Bottom, Patrick
Johnson, Katherine Manley, Jan Ferryman, Doug Kitchen and Janet
Schlabach at a rate of $150 per student.
.Approved records retention meeting and disposal of historical records
for fiscal year 2007.
.Approved a resolution for permanent appropriations and estimated resources.
.Approved facility use for PeeWee football and cheerleading program
(high school football, filed house and concession stand) on Sept. 1,
Sept. 15, and one day yet to be determined for the purpose of playing
football games (organization to be responsible for extra custodial work
needed); Triad football program to use the high school gym, weight room,
lobby and locker rooms from July 22 through July 29 for the purpose of
football camp (fee waived by the athletic director).

City gears up for Honda HomeComing
By MAC CORDELL
The indelible roar of thousands of Honda motorcycles is growing ever closer.
Honda HomeComing 2007 is on its way, and this year, visitors will get a
little more flavor of Marysville than in years past.
"We have greatly expanded the activities we host in Marysville," said
Union County Chamber of Commerce Public Relations and Tourism Director
Christy J. Clark.
She said the larger role puts increased responsibilities on the
residents of Marysville.
"We really want to try to give these visitors that hometown feel," Clark
said. "We need to welcome these visitors. We have a wonderful community.
Everyone is really friendly here. We need to continue to be friendly. To
help visitors with directions and recommending places to shop and to eat
when they ask. I think it is a big thing just for our community to say
'hello' to these people."
Jan Gansheimer, senior manager for the motorcycle plant, said the
community's history of taking ownership of the event has lead to the
increased role in the event's production.
"I think in the past the local communities have stepped up and made it
their own," Gansheimer said. "Our focus at Honda is on the associates
and the consumers who buy our products. The communities can focus on
showing the great points of the city to the visitors."
Clark said the community's increased involvement is intentional.
"What they want to do is get the communities involved because they want
the communities to reap a little more of the benefits," Clark said.
"We are really happy Honda is giving us the opportunity to expand our role."
Clark did urge patience from the residents. She said traffic will be
tighter and lines to get in to restaurants and out of other businesses will be longer.
"But that is good," Clark said. "That is money that is coming in to our
economy. That helps our restaurants and businesses."
Last year, Clark said the Honda HomeComing brought a conservatively
estimated $176,464 into Marysville from outside visitors.
"That is a considerable amount of money," Clark said.
She added that many community nonprofit organizations such as the Red
Cross and the United Way benefit from the visitors.
"We have had an influx of community groups taking advantage of the
HomeComing and I think that makes it even more of a community event."
A national charity that receives a boost from HomeComing is the
Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. Last year the HomeComing's Ride for
Kids raised more than $104,000 for PBTF.
"This year we are hoping to beat that," Gansheimer said "If the weather
cooperates, we should have lots of participation."
Beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, hundreds of riders will travel a scenic
route through Union, Champaign and Logan counties before returning to
the Marysville Motorcycle Plant for a "Celebration of Life" ceremony.
The celebration features brain tumor survivors and family members
sharing personal insights. Top fundraisers will also be recognized.
While some charities and merchants see increased dollars, some
businesses do not. Rorie Dingey, owner of Fifth Street Deli, said she
will lose about $1,000 worth of business over the course of the HomeComing.
"We are very busy on Saturday," Dingey said. "We do a lot of business
Saturday. During the week it (HomeComing) takes away from our business.
No one can park and there are food vendors right there."
Despite that, Dingey said she enjoys the event.
"I like it a lot," Dingey said. "I really only lose about three days
worth of business, but it is exciting. You get to meet a lot of new
people. The hub-bub of Saturday makes it worthwhile to me."
She added that while she does not make money she knows the HomeComing is
a boom for the community's economy.
How much of a boom depends on Mother Nature. Clark said the city will
see between 5,000 and 10,000 additional people for the HomeComing.
"It depends on the weather," Clark said. "It really is weather dependent."
In addition to the increased focus on community, this year's HomeComing
will be more family friendly.
"We added so much more to the kids' area this year," Clark said.
Events at the Kidz Korner, from 5-8:30 p.m. Friday at Main and Fifth
streets, include a climbing wall, games, characters, a bouncy house, a
reptile show and other activities. The Wheelie Wizard will be performing
creative motorcycle stunts on the square. Lighthouse Bookstore will host
family events throughout the day Saturday. Families may also want to
participate in the cornhole tournament, the Ride for Kids or one of the
many parties and socials being held throughout the weekend.
The true motorcycle enthusiast will also have plenty to do.
Guided and self-guided tours of the motorcycle plant will be available
all weekend.
"That is the number one reason people give for coming to HomeComing is
the tour," said Gansheimer said.
She added that while visitors enjoy them, the tours mean as much, if not
more, to the associates.
"For Honda, the benefit of HomeComing is getting the customers and
associates together," Gansheimer said. "It is inspirational for our
associates to get to meet the people who buy the products they make."
"We enjoy it a great deal," she added.
Little Tony's will host a custom bike show where participants can
compete in several categories for more than $1,000 in prizes.
As this is the last year of production motorcycle model, the county will
present a tribute to the Shadow from 10 a.m. through 5 p.m. Thursday and
Friday at the Union County Service Center.
As in years past the Honda plant will host motorcycle safety and
education seminars and demonstrations. Those looking to buy a new bike
will be able to test drive several models.
All this entertainment does not come without at least some cost to the
communities. Clark said those costs are not so much physical costs as
the cost of labor.
"The big cost is when you have the sheriff's office help out, the police
department help out, the fire department," Clark said. "They have to be
on call continually because you have this large influx of people."
Clark said the visiting motorcyclists appreciate the efforts of the
community. That, she said, is what the light parade, Friday at 9 p.m., is about.
"They want to put the light parade on for us, to show us their
appreciation," Clark said.
 Clark reiterated that she hopes the community will reciprocate that appreciation
"We really want people to show our pride," Clark said.


Another $800,000 secured  for sewer plant

By RYAN HORNS
Congresswoman Deborah Pryce confirmed Wednesday that her office has
secured $800,000 to go toward Marysville's future wastewater plant project.
According to Pryce's office, the funding was included within the Fiscal
Year 2008 Energy and Water Appropriations bill. Pryce had previously
obtained $1 million for the same project in the FY2006 bill.
Marysville City Administrator Kathy House and mayor Tom Kruse were
unavailable for comment Wednesday. House later said she had not heard
the funding had come through yet and planned to verify the announcement
through Pryce's office.
During the July 12 Marysville City Council meeting, councilman John Gore
announced that Pryce may have been able to secure funding. He said he
was waiting to hear confirmation this week.
On Tuesday the Energy and Water Appropriations bill, H.R. 2641, passed
through the House by a vote of 312-112.
"I truly appreciate what congresswoman Pryce has been able to do for
Marysville and Union County," Gore said. "Hopefully we will be able to
continue working together with her toward bigger and better things."
Pryce's office reported that funding levels in the appropriations
measure will be finalized after a conference agreement is reached with
the Senate and the bill is signed by the President Goerge W. Bush.
"This water project is enormously important to the economic and
commercial futures of Marysville and Union County, yet it is difficult
for local governments to bear the incredible costs of it alone," Pryce
said. "I am elated that the federal government will continue to play a
meaningful role in helping to meet the community's needs. Once
operational, the wastewater facility should accommodate the community's
expected growth in coming years and I am grateful that House
appropriators agreed with the high priority I placed on this project."
Pryce said that the continued growth of Marysville has put significant
strains on its aging wastewater facility, becoming particularly evident
during heavy rains. The facility was designed to accommodate a daily
flow of 4 million gallons of water per day (MGD). But during significant
rains the facility has been inundated with up to 20 MGD. The expanded
$79 million Marysville Water Reclamation Facility is expected to begin
operations in late 2008.
Gore said the funding Pryce has been able to secure for the city will
have an effect on the wastewater project, although it would not affect
the project's timeline.
"We're going to keep going forward as is," he said. "But it does assist
the process along. Every little bit helps."

Union County Fair begins Monday
By MAC CORDELL
The tents are up, the grass is mowed, the trees trimmed, the driveway
has been chipped and sealed. Final preparations are being completed for
the 161st annual Union County Fair, which runs from Monday through July 29.
"We are headed to the starting line," said Kay Griffith, marketing
director for the Union County Fair.
She is not the only one excited.
"It is the best fair around in the state of Ohio," Griffith said. "It is
just a very nice, family-oriented fair."
"You can come out, see your neighbors and friends. People can go from a
swine show, to a dairy show, to a nutrition judging, to a style show,
and it is all right there. The fair is neat and organized. I would think
anyone who enjoys fairs would want to come out at least one day."
Griffith said the fair will be filled with traditional favorites -
rides, vendors and "plenty of food."
But she stressed it is the support from the community that makes the
Union County Fair so outstanding.
"We have wonderful support from the community - just outstanding support
from the community," Griffith said. "The parents are very good to
volunteer to help. They are just wonderful."
Fair week always features motorcycles prominently. This year they will
be invading even events on the fairgrounds. The fair will feature a pair
of motorcycle shows - the Team Extreme jump-off and the 2007 Ohio County
Fairs Motocross Championship.
There will be two shows for the jump-off, 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday. The motocross will be held July 29 with practice beginning at
4 p.m. and races starting at 5:30. Practice is open to fairgoers.
Last year was a first for the jump-off at the fair. The motocross has
been absent from the fair for several years, but fair officials decided
to bring it back based on its popularity.
"A lot of people are looking forward to that because they really enjoyed
it," Griffith said.
Another favorite at the fair is the parade, to be held at 5 p.m. Monday.
"We have always had great participation in our fair parade," Griffith said.
She is hoping that continues as parade participants do not need to register.
"Just show up. We are looking for people to participate in the parade,"
Griffith said. "We are looking for anybody. We have bands, dance groups,
4-H groups, lots of horses, lots of churches do floats, lots of ball
teams, the sheriff's office, the fire departments."
Line-up for the parade will begin at 4:30 p.m. at the Sixth Street
county parking lot.
All parade participants receive a ribbon. The ribbon grants them
admittance to the fair Monday night.
A new favorite is the teen idol contest. This is the first year for the
karaoke-style competition, but fair director Gene Kirby said there has
been a lot of excitement.
"We just thought, 'Lets do it,'" Kirby said. "It seems to be very
popular now with everyone, so we thought 'Why not here?'"
Adding to the excitement is a $300 cash prize for the winner.
Participants must be between 13 and 19 years old, live in Union County,
have parental permission and bring their own accompaniment (live or
recorded). The competition will be held at 5 p.m., July 29 in the
pavilion, but participants must register before the close of the fair
Monday. Entry forms may be picked up at the fair board office.
Kirby said contest hopefuls have a little time left to register and is
he is expecting a rush on Monday evening.
"We really don't know what to expect, because this is our first year,'
Kirby said. "We know there are a lot of teenagers who want to perform,
that just haven't signed up yet."
Those who are not into the Teen Idol competition or the motorcycles will
still have plenty to entertain them. Grandstand events include harness
racing Monday, truck and tractor pulls on Tuesday and Friday, bull
riding Thursday and a demolition derby on Saturday.
"We seem to fill the grandstand with these type of events," Griffith
said. "We don't usually do as well when we bring in bands or bigger singers."
As always, the fair will offer dozens of open class judging for items
ranging from fruits and vegetables to hand sewn items to baked and
canned goods to drawing and photography to flowers and decorating.
Griffith said entries in the open classes are down, but she is expecting
an influx of them by the weekend. All participants must be entered and
on the grounds by Saturday.
She said junior fair board entries are, "up beyond all expectations."
There has been a change in the judging.
Judging will begin Sunday, Griffith said, because, "We just didn't have
enough room to put all of the non livestock judging so we are going to
have two days of that."
Additional information and event schedules are available at
www.ohiounioncountyfair.org.

County on  solid ground financially

By MAC CORDELL
Union County is looking pretty good financially, the county board of
commissioners learned recently.
Bob Fry, an independent contractor hired by the commissioners to
evaluate the county's financial position, offered his evaluation of the
county's financial position through the first half of the year Monday.
"All in all, it is a very good picture," Fry told the commissioners.
Fry said revenue, through the first two quarters of 2007 ($9,176,881),
is at 49 percent of his projections for the entire year ($18,905,000).
He said grants are down as is revenue from property transfers.
"Everything else is running right on schedule," Fry said.
He added that in the past, grant revenue has been higher in the second
half of the year than the first.
Union County Commissioner Charles Hall noted that declining revenue from
grants is a trend in recent years.
Fry said the decrease in property transfer revenues, "is really telling
about home buying."
The slow home buying could signal lower property valuations from the
auditor's office.
The commissioners noted that income from sales tax has not increased the
way they hoped it would, given the new retail options in the county.
On the appropriations side, Fry expressed slight concern.
"We are spending a little more than we are taking in," he said.
The consultant explained that some expenses have exceeded expectations,
based on a pro-rated year, but will be correct at the end of the year.
"More than a few items have reached 100 percent," he said.
"The one time expenses are already paid," he added, specifying insurance
and a lot of grant dollars.
As a whole, Fry was pleased.
"We are right on target which is certainly nice to say," Fry said.
The consultant said that if trends continue, revenue should exceed
spending for 2007.
"You should end up about $18 million, which will give you a surplus
again, probably of about a half million," Fry said.
He said the county had an approximately $500,000 surplus in 2006.
"I am not sure there are many counties in the state talking about
surpluses," Fry said, reiterating that the county has "a wonderful
picture," financially.
Hall said the commissioners are, "cautiously optimistic."
"We are in better shape than a lot of counties," said Hall. "At the same
time, we are somewhat concerned because costs are growing faster than
what the income is growing."
He credited office holders in the county with being fiscally responsible.
"We have encouraged our office holders to do their best to hold the line
on their expense and they have done an excellent, excellent job," Hall said.
Union County Commissioner Tom McCarthy said there are areas the county
needs to examine funding.
"We have not funded the seniors at a level we probably ought to,"
McCarthy said. "We have stepped it up, but when do you say, we need to
ask for a special tax?"
He also stressed that the county needs to increase funding for troubled families.
The commissioners told Fry they want to begin working on the 2008 budget
in August. They asked him to begin preparing for that process.
"It is so hard to get a feel for where '08 is at," Fry told the commissioners.
"But that is where we are at," Hall said. "We have to or we won't get it done."
Fry said he needed at least numbers through the third quarter before he
could begin to make projections for next year.

City announces summer paving plan
From J-T staff reports
Summer brings nice weather, no school for the kids and ultimately the
smell of hot asphalt in the sun.
The city of Marysville announced Monday the 2007 Repaving Program will
begin Thursday by paving contractor The Shelly Company. The workers will
begin with milling work, which removes the top layers of pavement to
prepare for the paving.
"Traffic will be maintained as all work is being completed," city
administrator Kathy House said. "There will be public release updates as
work progresses."
House also included a list of streets which are scheduled to be repaved.
In consideration of upcoming city events such as Honda Homecoming, House
said that Delaware Avenue and the Uptown public parking lots will not be
worked on until after the events are over.
Roads to receive work are (listed in no particular order):
. Boerger Road (all except 750 feet closest to London Avenue)
. McAuliffe Place
. Milford Avenue (Stocksdale to Ninth Street)
. Charles Lane (east end)
. Scottslawn Road (city limit to the railroad crossing)
. Chestnut and Weaver (Tenth Street south to new pavement)
. Delaware Avenue (Five Points to Coleman's Crossing)
. Mill Road (Route 31 to pavement change)
. South Walnut Street
. Stocksdale Drive (Milford Avenue to pavement change)
. Park, Parkway and Grand (concrete sections removed and converted to
asphalt)
. Plum Street (Eighth Street through Ninth Street intersection)
. Three public parking lots Uptown
. Sanitation Facility parking lot
House explained that three additional roads set to receive paving have
been set aside, contingent on funding. Those roads include:
. Prairie Drive (Collingwood to Woodline)
. Plum Street (Main to Eighth Street)
. Poplar Street

MHS grad named Pepsi's Gimme the Mike winner
From J-T staff reports:
Aashley Morgan, 18, a recent Marysville High School graduate, was named
the winner of Pepsi's Gimme the Mike Columbus Season 4 Tuesday night.
Morgan auditioned for the show in April at the Buckeye Hall of Fame Café
and was picked as one of 20 contestants and three alternates to appear
on the show.
During her preliminary show, which aired July 10, she wowed the judges
with her rendition of Christina Aguilera's "Mercy On Me." After her win,
Morgan was set to appear as one of five finalists and one wildcard on
the finale show Tuesday.
Friends and family attended the event, as Morgan sang "Home" by Marc
Broussard to capture the title. The competition was strong, Morgan said,
and the event nerve-racking - Morgan won by a mere point with a score of
39 out of 40 points.
Her $18,000 prize pack included an i-Pod Nano, $2,500, and central Ohio
event tickets from Pepsi, a $600 sofa from Sofa Express, a recording
contract from Marko Records, $250 worth of services and Paul Mitchell
products from the Ohio Academy of Paul Mitchell Partner School, and a
two-year lease on a 2007 Ford Fusion from Ricart Automotive.
"I feel incredibly blessed to have won this competition and have so much
love and support from my friends, family and community," Morgan said in
an e-mail message to the Journal-Tribune this morning. "This was such an
awesome experience and I'm super excited about the new car."
Morgan won the Delaware County Divas and Dudes contest as a MHS
sophomore and competed this spring in the WCOL-92.3 radio Senior Idol contest.
She plans to attend Belmont University in the fall and major in
commercial music with an emphasis in vocal performance.
The finale show will air again on ABC 6 Saturday night at 11:30 p.m.
Those interested also may check the Gimme the Mike Web site at
www.wsyx6.com and clicking on the link.

Man caught after breaking into home

From J-T staff reports:
A Marysville man is behind bars today after allegedly attempting to
break into a local home.
Joseph A. Miller, 36, of 140 Hemlock Drive, was arrested about 2:55 a.m.
today. He is charged with one count of aggravated burglary, a felony of
the first degree, and two counts of theft, felonies of the fourth
degree. If convicted, Miller faces as many as 13 years in prison.
Marysville Police Chief Floyd Golden said the man allegedly broke a
window in the rear of a home in the 200 block of West Third Street. An
occupant of the home heard the man and went to the front of the house to
call for help. While the resident was on the phone with law enforcement
officials, Miller allegedly came through the front door.
"He almost knocked her (the occupant) over when he came in," Golden said.
"He pushed a couple of people who tried to subdue him," the chief added.
After a brief scuffle, Miller allegedly grabbed medication, including at
least two prescription medicines, from a drawer and ran from the home.
"Whether the man knew where the medicines were or not, I do not know,"
Golden said.
Marysville Police Sgt. Terry Basinger arrived at the scene first.
Neighbors told the officer it was Miller who broke into the home. They
pointed Miller out to the officer.
"He was ordered to stop repeatedly," Golden said.
Basinger eventually caught the man after a short chase on foot. The
officer held Miller to the ground until back-up arrived to assist him.
Medications taken from the home were found in Miller's pocket. They were
sent to a crime lab for confirmation.
The report does not indicate that Miller was armed. It is unknown if the
victim's knew the suspect.
The matter remains under investigation.

Armory to be community partner
Ground broken for $8.2 million facility

By RYAN HORNS
"Today, this is about coming back to the community," Maj. Gen. Gregory
L. Wyat said to the crowd gathered behind the YMCA building at 1150 Charles Lane.
This morning the Ohio National Guard and area officials celebrated the
official groundbreaking for the future Ohio National Guard Armory in Marysville.
Wyat said that in 1910 the Ohio National Guard was located in downtown
Marysville, in what is currently known as the Victory Center.
"In the early 1900s the National Guard was the center of the community,"
he said. "It was where people would come for dances and to see basketball games."
Union County Commissioner Gary Lee said he remembered those days fondly.
He also recalled that when the Ohio National Guard Armory finally left
Marysville "my heart sank." He said that is why working with state, city
and federal officials in building the new Ohio National Guard Armory has
been "a very rewarding experience."
Union County YMCA Executive Director Suzy Zumwalde said the new $8.2
million facility will encompass nearly 41,000 square feet situated on
about 20 acres and will replace aging guard facilities in both Delaware and Bellefontaine.
She said that the center will accommodate more than 200 soldiers from
two Ohio Army National Guard units - the 585th Military Police Company
and Battery C, 1st Battalion, 174th Air Defense Artillery Regiment - and
will share space with the YMCA located adjacent to the property.
The space will include an assembly hall large enough to accommodate
basketball and volleyball activities, Zumwalde said, as well as
classrooms suitable for a variety of instructional and recreational
activities. The two facilities will be linked by an enclosed corridor to
facilitate easy access to anyone using the spaces.
The Ohio Adjutant General's Department reported that the training and
community center was funded by the federal government, the State of Ohio
and the Union County Family YMCA. The land was purchased by the State of
Ohio, with assistance from the Union County Commissioners. The new
combined training and community centers are part of an Ohio National
Guard initiative to better integrate into the local communities.
Economic Development Director Eric Phillips said having the county, city
and state working together on bringing the Armory to the city really
helped make it a true community goal.
Phillips said that about late 2001 into 2002 the possibility of the
Armory first came up. At that time he went up to Minnesota with other
former Marysville officials in order to check out National Guard
facilities there. By the time they returned they knew it was something
essential for the city.
"It really was an eye awakening experience," Phillips said. "We wanted
one of those in Marysville . It was something we really had to compete for."
He said plans went into affect locally to make Marysville more
attractive to the Ohio National Guard after it announced it was looking
at both Marysville and Delaware to construct new facilities. Phillips
said The Union County Commissioners even went so far as to help buy the
land to make it a reality. Part of the conditions for the Armory also
included having a road connect Delaware Avenue to East Fifth Street.
"It set the stage for the Coleman's Crossing Development," Phillips said.
The Armory, he said, was the key in the progression of new business and
growth which has revitalized Marysville's east side.
"We're glad to have the guard back in the community," Phillips said.

Honest answer costs man nine months
By MAC CORDELL
An admission of marijuana use is going to cost a Union County man
another nine months in prison.
Nicholas P. Martinez, 29, whose court listed address is the Tri-County
Regional Jail in Mechanicsburg, was sentenced Monday to serve nine
months in the penitentiary. That time is the remainder of a commuted
sentence initially imposed by Union County Court of Common Pleas Court
Judge Richard E. Parrott in December.
Martinez was indicted in November of 2006, charged with four counts of
nonsupport of dependents, all felonies of the fifth degree. According to
court documents, on four separate occasions between June of 2003 and
November of 2006, Martinez failed to pay child support for 26 of 104
consecutive weeks, accumulating arrearages totaling $10,566.51.
At his arraignment in December, Martinez declined counsel and pleaded
guilty to all four counts. He was sentenced to 11 months in prison on
each count, to be served concurrently. On Feb. 2, of this year, Martinez
was granted judicial release and placed on post release control. He was
ordered to pay $299.84 per month towards his late child support
payments. As part of his post release control, he was to perform
community service, make regular reports to his parole officer and have
no contact with drugs or alcohol.
Martinez has made all his support and arrearage payments.
Earlier this year, Franklin County parole authorities visited Martinez's
home in that county. They reported that Martinez was not present, but
the home smelled of marijuana and there was an open bottle of alcohol.
Union County officials brought Martinez in to speak with him. While he
had never failed a drug test on parole, the defendant was told there was
zero tolerance for drugs or alcohol.
At a later meeting, Martinez's parole officer said the defendant was
going to be tested for drugs. He asked Martinez if he would test dirty.
Martinez said he thought he would test clean, but admitted that he had
taken a drag from a marijuana joint.
The test came back clean, but Dave Siebeneck of Union County Adult
Parole Office notified the court that Martinez had violated the terms
and conditions of his supervision.
The allegation also included information that Martinez was not
completing his community service as required.
Defense attorney Perry Parsons told the judge Monday that his client
owns a concrete business. Since his work is seasonal, Martinez completed
65.25 hours of community service the first month he was released.
Parsons said Martinez had talked to a community service coordinator who
said Martinez could wait to complete the remainder of the work until his
business slowed down.
"I think you are yanking my chain," Parrott told the man.
Parrott could not confirm the man's story because the woman the
defendant spoke to was on vacation.
"Every question he (his parole officer) has ever asked me, I have
answered honestly," Martinez said. "In this case, it has come back to bite me."
Martinez reiterated that he has never failed a drug test and that the
man responsible for alcohol and drugs in his home had been kicked out.
"We have made changes to the way we live," Martinez said. "I am trying
to follow these rules."
Chief Assistant Union County Prosecutor Terry Horrid said Martinez is
making child support payments. Hord said he is reluctant to recommend
incarceration for someone who is making their payments, because they
often cannot continue to support their children from behind bars.
Parrott said he understood that, but also had to enforce the
zero-tolerance policy imposed by the parole office.
"We are past zero at this point," Parrott told the defendant.
Parrott refused to approve any type of early release program for the defendant.
If he had served his entire 11 month sentence when it was imposed,
Martinez would have been scheduled for release Nov. 4, 2007. Now he will
not be eligible for release until April of 2008

NU board hears report card data
By CHAD WILLIAMSON
The North Union School Board heard an update on local report card data Monday night.
Superintendent Richard Smith said the data remains raw and incomplete
but some trends are emerging. He said the data helps show if students
are progressing at a consistent level.
Smith reported that it appears students are showing a consistent
improvement in math and reading skills, but science skills appear to be lagging.
Smith looked at other area schools to see if the science issue is
consistent among other districts. He said Marysville and Elgin appear to
have similar issues, but Fairbanks and Pleasant are turning in solid scores.
"I want to know 'what did they do,'" Smith said.
Smith said the shortcoming in science is understandable as the district
has put extra attention on math, reading and writing. Smith said science
and social studies will now require a focus.
The board also voted unanimously to hire a dean of students at the
middle school who may eventually help the district look at trend data
like the report card information.
Michael McDonough comes from Delaware and has two masters degrees. Smith
said he has experience in compiling and assessing data about student performance.
Bryan Bumgarner asked what exactly the position of dean of students
does. Smith said currently that McDonough will teach two to three
classes per day and will also handle discipline issues.
However, in the coming years Smith sees the position changing. He said
the job will likely take on more responsibilities regarding data
interpretation so that the district may better focus its resources.
The board voted 5-0 to hire McDonough as dean of students. He was also
approved as middle school athletic supervisor.
In other business, the board:
.Voted 5-0 to transfer $500,000 from the general fund to the permanent
improvement fund.
.Approved several additions and revisions to board policy.
.Voted 5-0 to contract with MKC Associates for possible additional
building design services at a fee not to exceed $10,000.
.Approved the contract documents for the high school technology package.
.Approved a memorandum of understanding with the North Union Education
Association regarding a concession on the years of experience granted to
the position of speech therapist.
.Approved revisions to the employee handbook.
.Voted to approve a revised Parent-Student Handbook.
.Accepted the resignation of Linda Carrel. She is resigning as
elementary school secretary after 23 years of service to the district.
.Accepted the resignation of Charles Bleakmore from his supplemental
contract as assistant varsity football coach.
.Set compensation for district administrators.
.Voted 5-0 to employ Denise Castle on a one-year limited teaching
contract as a fourth grade teacher.
.Voted 5-0 to employ Kathleen Walker on a one-year limited teaching
contract as a district speech-language therapist.
.Voted 5-0 to employ Ashley Wolf on a one-year limited contract as a
substitute for grades 3-5.
.Voted 5-0 to approve Cynthia Grove on a one-year limited contract as a
substitute for grades K-2.
.Approved Matt Burggraf, JV boys basketball coach, Pam Ensign, Title 1
coordinator, and  Bruce Hoover, drug-free schools director, to one-year
limited expiring supplemental contracts.
.Voted 5-0 to employ Lynette Gibson on a one-year limited teaching
contract as special education teacher.

A wish on wheels
Local girl's  Make-a-Wish request is for a golf cart

By CORINNE BIX
If you happen to see a Monarch decorated golf cart around town you can
bet that 10-year-old Briana LaCella is behind the wheel.
LaCella, diagnosed in 2005 with cancer, was just granted her wish for a
custom golf cart from the Make-a-Wish Foundation of Central Ohio.
The golf cart came at a great time because the LaCella family has cause
to celebrate, as Briana will end two years of chemotherapy on Aug. 10.
Briana first made her request in March. The Make-a-Wish foundation
grants the wishes of children ages 2 1/2-18 with life-threatening
medical conditions.
The organization's purpose is to enrich the human experience with hope,
strength and joy.
"The foundation's goal is to provide each child and his or her family
with a wonderful experience ? a bright oasis of happiness and normalcy
in the midst of a difficult time," explains the Make-A-Wish Foundation
of Central Ohio's information sheet.
Briana's mom, Lori, said that Briana began wanting a golf cart last summer.
The LaCella family had traveled to a kids with cancer camp in Morrow
County where campers and their families had access to golf carts to get
around the campgrounds.
The seed was planted and Briana's wish evolved from there.
The golf cart arrived on July 7 from Minnesota and within five days,
Briana has gone through her first tank of gas.
The cart is decorated blue and white and features Monarch paw prints and
Briana's name on the front.
"She absolutely loves it and drives it non-stop," Lori said.
The cost of the golf cart is estimated between $8,000-$10,000, Lori
said. Part of the cost of the cart was donated by BCT Golf Cart and the
remainder was funded by Make-a- Wish.
Make-A-Wish receives funds through local donations from individuals,
churches, schools, businesses and civic organizations. The foundation
was originally founded in 1980 and the central Ohio chapter was formed
in 1997 and serves 34 counties in Ohio.
Upon granting a wish, the foundation sends out one of their "wish teams"
which is a group of volunteers who meet with the child and learn their
one true wish.
Briana will turn 11 on Aug. 22, two weeks after her chemotherapy ends.
She will continue to have monthly blood work and CT scans every three
months to monitor her recovery.
Lori said that 18 days into Briana's chemotherapy treatments  in 2005,
her daughter was considered in remission because her scans came up cancer-free.
The family continues to pray that after ending treatment, the scans will
continue to have only good news.
"Despite the joy of Briana having her wish come true with golf cart our
ultimate wish is that Briana continues to be healthy and cancer free," Lori said.
Briana will start sixth grade this fall at Creekview Intermediate. For
more information on Briana's story and recovery, those interested may
visit www.caringbridge.org/brianalacella.

A port-less  port authority?
Economic development director believes such a  group would open up
funding options

By MAC CORDELL
When the Marysville YMCA sought additional finances, it went to the
Marion County Port Authority to help secure a bond.
"Our Y went to another county and gave another county money to make this
funding a reality," Union County Economic Development Director Eric Phillips said.
He hopes that doesn't need to happen again.
"Just because we don't have a river or a major airport, doesn't mean we
can't have a port authority," Phillips told the Union County Board of
Commissioners on Thursday.
Phillips said the idea of creating a port authority in Union County had
been discussed in the past, but nothing ever came of those discussions.
"It has come to light again as an issue we need to look at," Phillips said.
He explained that port authorities were originally created to monitor
sea, rail, land and airports. They have evolved into political
subdivisions with taxing authority and an ability to help fund public
and private projects. It has a lot more financing options than a county
government or its economic development arm.
"It can really make financing a reality," Phillips said.
He said a port authority can help with financing for up to $10 million
for non-profit organizations.
Phillips said the Toledo/Lucas County Port Authority markets itself
around the state and, through its financing fees, brings revenue into the county.
He explained that the port authority is a pass through funding entity
and therefore liability for a deal that goes bad would fall entirely on
the organization being funded, not the authority.
Phillips said he has already met with Marysville Mayor Tom Kruse about
the possibility of a port authority
Phillips said it would cost about $1,500 in legal fees to establish a
port authority. After that, there would be no cost to the county. The
Union County Community Improvement Corporation would administrate the
port authority.
"What do we gain," asked Union County Commissioner Tom McCarthy.
"I mean, a couple of thousand dollars here or there is nice, but that's
not the reason to do it," McCarthy said. "The reason to do it is that it
would give you some ability."
Phillips said the port authority would be, "a tool in your tool belt."
He said the port authority's ability to provide funding for projects
would help attract industry and jobs to the area.
"You would have local people making local decisions," he added.
The local people making those decisions would be a board of directors.
Phillips recommended that the board include no elected officials, only
businessmen. He said a port authority board must have an odd number of
members and seven is the minimum.
Phillips also recommended a joint board so the authority would service
Union County and Marysville. He explained that if Union County develops
a port authority first, the city could not establish one at all. If the
city established one first, the county could create one in the area
around the city.
Phillips said it would be up to the commissioners to restrict some of
the authorities extensive powers, which include the power to place taxes
on the ballot and the power to seize land by eminent domain.
"You may want to limit its eminent domain powers," Phillips said, adding
that commissioners could require their approval before a tax issue is
placed on the ballot.
He said while many port authorities have those power, they rarely use
them. Only two port authorities in the state have taxes and only one has
ever taken property. That exercise of eminent domain landed the
authority a two-year lawsuit that is still unsettled.
The commissioners asked Phillips to prepare a sheet that would compare a
potential port authority with the county's current CIC. They also
requested a list of pros and cons associated with a port authority and its creation.
Commissioners suggested hosting a work session with both the board of
commissioners and city council


Promoting the arts
Classes at Houston House help local individuals develop their talents

By RYAN HORNS
A community of artists growing in Marysville has recently added to the
legacy of a local historic home.
"When you come here you can't help but be creative. It has a lot of
atmosphere and creative energy," art teacher Rodolfo Perez said. "The
facilities are excellent."
The Marysville Art League announced it has moved classes to the Houston
House at 264 W. Fifth St. after renovation construction began at the
Marysville Public Library last year. Built in 1872 by Christopher
Houston, the home once stood amongst a Marysville community of 500
people, compared to more than 6,000 today.
The Marysville Art League, a non-profit tax exempt organization,
acquired the home in 1982.
Houston and his family once held a deep appreciation of the arts, along
with being active in local social and political realms. One of the goals
of the Art League is to continue to provide a facility to support the
arts in Union County.
The only thing keeping the Marysville Art League classes from spanning
out is a lack of proper promotion, Perez said.
Dianne Kreeger, Marysville Art League Board member as well as his
student, said the group is hoping to inform residents that adults and
children are welcome to attend art classes every Saturday. Children's
sessions running from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and adult sessions run from 12 to 2 p.m.
All of the classes are geared toward moving students forward, Perez
said, and developing their own unique vision.
Kreeger said the area is lucky to have an art teacher as diverse as Perez.
"What is neat about Rodolfo is that he has the ability to work in a
number of different media styles, whether it's carving, acrylics or
drawing," Kreeger said.
This experience makes it possible to teach students numerous styles, she
said, or allows them to pick and choose which ones they want to focus on.
"He is able to keep up with all of us somehow," Kreeger laughed.
 A few years after moving to Marysville with his wife and children in
2000, Perez held a showing of his sculptures at the Marysville Public
Library. He soon became involved with teaching numerous classes for
local budding artists for the Marysville Art League.
Perez said he turned away from methods of forcing students to learn all
different styles of art, instead letting them guide what they would like
to learn. He said the change in focus resulted in his students
developing their own unique styles and their own artistic personalities.
Perez said the whole point of the art classes is to keep students moving
forward. The children are taught to become ready for high school level
art. Older students and adults are taught how to improve their
portfolios to continue their work into college and maybe future art
careers. Some students have gone on to be accepted by prestigious art
institutes such as the Cleveland Institute of Art, the Columbus College
of Art and Design, Ohio State University or Miami University.
"That's a real success story," Kreeger said.
Her own day job with the Union County Board of Developmental
Disabilities shows that closet artists can be found all over Marysville.
She said the Houston House classes can help guide their skills.
Perez said that in order to accommodate regional artists, the Marysville
Arts League plans to expand classes to take place on Fridays as well.
In addition, the Houston House will offer other events. Kreeger said
every second Friday of the month musical jam sessions are held by the
Front Porch Players at 7 p.m., and the front room of the home is now
being used as a music studio for teaching piano, brass, wood instruments
and guitar.
For more information on classes with the Marysville Art League, those
interested may call Rodolfo Perez at (937) 578-3460.

Glacier West pushing forward
By RYAN HORNS
Local officials announced they are ready to kick the future Glacier West
development into high gear.
Talk of the 2,000 acre Easton-style development at U.S 42 and U.S. 33
has been around since 2005. Judging from the city council audience
filled with property owners, township officials and developers, it
appears discussions have been moving faster than many thought.
At Thursday night's Marysville City Council meeting, mayor Tom Kruse
said that he has already met with Glacier West developers several times.
Together, they have hashed out an outline for a possible Joint Economic
Development District (JEDD). The document could help ensure that all
entities involved in the project are happy.
Kruse said the JEDD write-up outlines exactly what the city wants out of
the potential development of Easton-style commercial and residential
growth. Marysville would be set to offer water and sewer services to the
project. The developers also voiced their support for the terms.
"This document is the outgrowth of (those discussions)," Kruse said to
council members. "We're happy with the document. Now we're at the point
where we need input from council. Glacier intends to get together with
the townships. But it's going to take all of us getting together at some point."
Kruse said throughout the entire process they have always kept in mind
how  Millcreek and Jerome townships would fit into the scenario, as well
as how the development would affect the needs of the Fairbanks School District.
"It looks good to me," councilman John Gore said, after looking through the document.
 If everyone is on the same page, he said, then they should all sit down
in one room and hash it out. What he does not want to see is all the
entities meeting separately, and then trying to meet back and forth to
discuss the issues.
"We would still be talking by next year," Gore said. "Let's get
something going and not dilly dally around."
Councilman David Burke, who scheduled the meeting with Glacier West
before that night, said the developers have been the driving force to
get the agreements in place this time.
"That's what makes it different," he said, referring to past discussions
on the development which led nowhere.
Millcreek Township trustee Bill Lynch said that trustees have already
met with Glacier West numerous times since February. Now the township is
ready to sit down and discuss it all.
"In a nutshell, let's pour some gas on this and light it," councilman
John Marshall said. "Let's cut to the chase and get it done."
Council president Ed Pleasant suggested that council meet in a special
ad hoc committee to discuss the JEDD proposal with Glacier West.
Making up that committee will be council volunteers Gore, Burke and Leah Sellers.
"I think this is a real step forward. I think we can move into a project
that gets off the ground real quickly," Kruse said.
In other council news discussed:
. Gore reported that congress woman Deborah Pryce's office notified him
that there is $800,000 set aside to help pay for Marysville's reservoir
project in a bill being considered for approval next week.
. The first reading was held on an ordinance to set the salary for
future city council members before the next Ward elections.
Councilman Mark Reams explained that the salary limits have only been
modified once in 20 years. He said city human resources director Brian
Dostanko recommended matching the middle ground of salary set by
similarly sized cities and they will go with a figure beneath that.
.Economic Development Director Eric Phillips reported that construction
work has begun at the City Gate development off Delaware Avenue, for the
future Bob Evans. He added that the official groundbreaking ceremony for
the National Guard building across the street is scheduled for Tuesday
at 9:30 a.m.

Audit finds issues on county books
Trip to Vegas reimbursed;  coroner disagrees with findings

By MAC CORDELL
Ohio Auditor of State Mary Taylor released a report Thursday detailing
several areas of concern with the finances  of Union County.
Emily K. Frazee, spokesman for the auditor's office, said the office
found a pair of issues when it reviewed the financial condition of the county.
"Money has been misspent and misused and we have asked for it to be
repaid to the county," Frazee said Thursday.
The two issues involved a Las Vegas trip taken by Union County Coroner
Dr. David Applegate and his wife, and the county's accounting of sick
leave and vacation days.
According to the report, Applegate appointed his wife, Mary, as deputy
coroner for Union County in 2001. In 2006 he took her to a conference in
Las Vegas.
"We found that was not the correct public purpose and asked for that
money to be paid back," Frazee said. The auditor's report referenced a
June 2005 letter sent to Applegate from the Ohio Ethics Commission. That
letter said that Applegate's wife could not receive any compensation for
her position as deputy coroner. It specifically referenced travel
expenses as being prohibited.
Union County Commissioner Tom McCarthy said the commissioners and the
county auditor approved the trip before the Applegates took it.
"All of us thought it was an appropriate trip based on the purpose of
the conference," McCarthy said.
"It is a gray area," he said. "If there was a mistake made, it was an
honest mistake. It was unfortunate."
Applegate has repaid the county $1,521.19. That covered the $1,382.90 in
travel expenses for his wife, plus 10 percent.
"I think that speaks volumes for Dr. Applegate's integrity," McCarthy said.
Applegate defended his integrity in a response, included in the
auditor's final report.
"I expressly deny any wrongdoing, illegal or unethical behavior in such
matters. I reimbursed county funds only to avoid any suggestion of
disgraceful behavior until this matter can be appropriately examined,"
Applegate wrote in response to the report.
"I, personally, have been harmed by this finding and I submit the county
is harmed, too," according to Applegate's response.
He wrote that it is difficult to get physicians to take the deputy
coroner's position. Applegate's wife is not compensated for her work.
Applegate said the conference was training for his wife.
"It is my opinion that the taxpayers of this county will be harmed with
the loss of a trained professional non-compensated deputy coroner. It is
unprofessional for this office holder to allow any staff to act in an
untrained or unprofessional manner and continuing education is mandatory.
"Thus, I submit, it was and is only Union county who received the
benefit of my spouse's training and education and therefore within the
moral and ethical fabric of the ORC (Ohio Revised Code) to be a
legitimate and legal county expenditure."
Frazee said all findings for recovery are submitted to the Ohio Attorney
General's Office.
"If they feel they need to pursue it legally, that is really up to
them," Frazee said.
She said this matter was also submitted to the Ohio Ethic's Commission
for review. She said that is not standard practice, but the auditor's
office felt this situation deserved additional scrutiny.
"It gave the appearance of a possible ethics violation so we submitted
it to the ethics commission for their attention," Frazee said.
She added, "It is their prerogative to see if they want to conduct an investigation."
The report concluded its findings on the matter stating, "Dr. Applegate
is bound by the opinion of the Ohio Ethics Commission (OEC), whether he
agrees with it or not. In the face of the opinion, he should have sought
further guidance from the Ohio Ethics Commission prior to approving a
trip to Las Vegas for his wife."
The auditor's office called the second issue, involving employee
off-time, a "significant deficiency." McCarthy called it "a clerical error."
The auditor's review of employee leave accrual records in the county
auditor's payroll system revealed that throughout the year multiple
corrections were made to leave balances.
"One example resulted in an excess accumulation of vacation leave for
the Director of Veteran Services during the years of 2001 through 2006,"
according to the state auditor's report. "This leave was then taken by
the Director of Veteran Services. This error was detected during 2007
and as a result the Director of Veteran Services made a repayment of
$3,954.44 to the County to correct the error."
McCarthy said the clerical error led to the director accruing vacation
time faster than she was entitled to.
"It was an honest mistake," he said. "She thought she was acting
appropriately. She thought she had the vacation time."
Frazee said the auditor's office has made some suggestions to county
officials to make certain the errors do not take place in the future.
"We recommended they put some controls in place - software, double
checks," Frazee said. "Maybe have someone run the numbers, then have
another person check them to make sure they are accurate."
The county's response, also listed in the report, stated, "we have
reminded all departments to review all total leave accruals which
includes sick, vacation, and comp time."
McCarthy said he was surprised by "the tone" of the auditor's report. He
said county officials around the state are trying to adjust to the
procedures of the new auditor.
"In both cases, there was corrective action taking place before the
audit ever took place," McCarthy said.
Frazee said Taylor has taken a more aggressive approach to some of the audits.
"Auditor Taylor feels it is very important to keep government officials
accountable for how they are spending the county's money," Frazee said.
McCarthy said he can appreciate that.
"Our practice is to always take to heart what the state auditor tells
us," McCarthy said. "We take it seriously. We are dealing with tax-payer
money. We always want to go well above the standard of what the state requires."
He added that the county is taking steps, unique in Ohio, to make
certain it is in compliance with future requirements of the state.

Taylor to run for city council seat
From J-T staff reports:
Today a former Marysville City Council member officially declared his
intentions to come back.
Resident Nevin Taylor announced his plans to run for Marysville's Ward 4
in the next election. He said when current council president Ed Pleasant
announced he was not running for another term, "my opportunity was opened."
Known as a "people person," Taylor was a council member from 2002 to
2006 and served as vice president for two years and president for one
year. He also held positions as finance committee chairman for two
years, Parks and Recreation Committee member for one year and chairman
of the Public Safety Committee for one year.
Taylor said he hopes to rejoin council and help find a way for people to
have more pride in being from Marysville.
"We have a great community with a strong rich heritage that needs to be
promoted again," Taylor said. "I will have more time this term as I'm
retired and thus can be full-time to the citizens and Marysville community."
He also stressed the importance of trying to regain the "trust factor"
residents have toward local government.
Currently, Taylor is chairman of the Board of Zoning Appeals, which he
has been involved with since 2006.
In his time with council, Taylor said that he helped with county
officials, the Union County Chamber of Commerce and other communities to
enhance communication channels. He said his major concerns and past
service were based upon "putting growth under pressure to reduce low
quality decisions or hurry up approaches to development without long term results."
Taylor retired in June as the agricultural education instructor at
Fairbanks High School - a position he held for 30 years. He was also the
Ohio State Fair Superintendent for 18 years in Public Relations and
Agricultural Education.
Taylor explained that he has previous city government experience and
knows well the experience needed to keep the city moving forward.
Other highlights of Taylor's involvement with the community:
. Former OHSAA wrestling and football official for 26 years.
. Served on the Union County Fair Board for 16 years, four as president.
. Former State President of Ohio Agricultural Education of Vocational Education.
. Served as Ohio State University teacher trainer for 16 years.
. Member of Trinity Lutheran Church where he has served on council and
as property supervisor.
. Graduated from Ohio State University and "bleeds scarlet and gray."

Speeding: Perception versus reality
Police chief says city does not have a problem, regardless of complaints

By RYAN HORNS
"There is speeding," Marysville Police Chief Floyd Golden said. "And
then there is the perception of speeding."
Tuesday night members of the Marysville Public Safety Committee talked
about the issue of fast drivers in residential areas. The complaints are
coming in from different neighborhoods, so it is clear the issue exists - or does it?
Golden explained that there are two sides to the issue and they are
conflicting. He said studies made by the United States Department of
Justice show measures to reduce the speed limit from 35 to 25 mph has
little affect on drivers. Those measures have been to lower the average
speed, putting up stop signs, adding speed bumps, etc. He said the
results only showed a difference of 1 mph in the average driver speed.
Increasing fines didn't work either, he said, and putting stop signs up
just made drivers gun their motors more often and even raised the average speed.
For months the Marysville Police Department has been conducting
residential speed studies of its own, Golden said. The unpopular news is
that neighborhoods "do not have a problem with speeding."
He said the average person is driving at the posted limit "or less." A
study on Bay Laurel Drive checked the speed of 600 cars. The average
speed was just 23.1 miles per hour ? on a 25 mph road.
Golden said the U.S. Department of Justice took different speeding
solutions, such as adding more stop signs, reducing the speed limit,
making road bumps, three-way stops, etc.
"The responses were met with limited effectiveness," Golden said.
"Drivers just make up for the lost time by speeding in between road devices."
Golden said it was interesting to note that one factor did change after
adding speed devices: Citizen complaints stopped.
The irony, he said, is that while road devices made matters worse, their
presence reduced complaint calls from residents. The reason was the
perception that something was being done.
"How do you fight the perception versus the reality?" committee chairman
John Marshall said.
"Sooner or later (speeders) get caught in their own pattern," Golden said.
The Marysville Police Department has the average reports, but they also
have the details. Officers can pinpoint individual drivers, some clocked
at speeds of more than 40 mph in a 25 mph zone. By narrowing those
violations to certain times of the day, police can eventually find the
offenders. They could be coming home from work at the same time every
evening. Or rushing to drop their children off at school and get to work
in the morning.
Golden said police can focus on that mode for finding the speeders.
Until then, he said Delaware City Council recently passed a resolution
establishing a policy for the consideration of installing unwarranted
multi-way stop signs in residential neighborhoods.
The resolution explains that Delaware residents often call their city
officials about putting up more stop signs, which have no impact. As a
result of the legislation, residents now have to submit the traffic sign
request in writing and present a signed petition of at least 75 percent
of the nearby property owners. The proposed roadway must have a traffic
count of less than 1000 cars per day and speeders must be documented at
an average 5 mph over the limit. Only then will the request meet with a
"thorough examination of the intersection" by city officials ? and the
city will still retain the right to remove the sign if any negative impacts arise.
But committee member and councilwoman Leah Sellers said that she sees a
problem with Marysville pursuing similar legislation.
"It could anger residents who see one driver going 40 mph, but the radar
averages show nothing," she said.
As a result, the committee agreed to look further into the issue and
mull over possible legislation ideas to put some policy in place for
residential traffic devices.

Jury returns guilty verdict  on sex, corruption charges
By MAC CORDELL
A local man already serving a 34-month prison term is facing an
additional 12 1/2 years in prison.
Cordell J. Hicks, 20, was convicted Wednesday of one count of gross
sexual imposition, a felony of the third degree, and one count of
corrupting another with drugs, a felony of the fourth degree. The jury
acquitted Hicks of a second count of gross sexual imposition.
Moments before the trial began Monday, Hicks pleaded guilty to four
counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, all felonies of the
fourth degree. Those charges stemmed from a March 2006 incident
involving Hicks and a 13 year-old girl which occurred in Marysville.
Hicks is currently serving a 34 month sentence in prison for convictions
earlier this year on charges of theft, receiving stolen property and
tampering with evidence.
In December, Hicks was convicted of misdemeanor sexual imposition with a
14-year-old girl.
The case that led to Wednesday's convictions began after a teacher at
the Marysville Middle School took a note from a friend of the victim. In
the note, the victim, who was 12 at the time, detailed events that had
happened at a local motel in January 2006.
Monday, the victim testified that on that day she had stolen $100 from
her mother. She said she gave the money to Hicks to pay for a room at
the motel, where the couple and several others spent the night. The girl
told jurors that once at the motel, she and Hicks engaged in several
sexually related activities.
She also testified that Hicks left at some point to purchase marijuana.
When he returned, the group smoked the newly purchased drugs.
The girl admitted to defense attorney Kerry Donahue that she had lied on
numerous occasions about the events of that evening. She said she had
been charged with falsification after she told Marysville Police she had
lied in her grand jury testimony. She later said much of her grand jury
testimony was truthful and she recanted that testimony only because she
feared Hicks would break up with her.
Other witnesses at the party testified that Hicks and the girl were
flirting with each other. One witness said Hicks and the victim were
"friends with benefits." Some of the witnesses said they remembered
seeing Hicks and the girl in the same bed.
Hick's brother told the jury he did not remember seeing his brother in
bed with the girl. He also told the jury it was him who purchased and
supplied the marijuana.
The defendant, who was 18 at the time of the offense, chose not to take the stand.
During closing arguments, Chief Assistant Prosecutor Terry Hord reviewed
details of the sexual relationship between Hicks and the victim. He said
the inconsistencies in the victim's statement were because, "she is
still in love with Cordell Hicks."
He asked the jury to, "keep in mind, all this time Cordell Hicks is the
adult," and to "use common sense" while deliberating.
Donahue asked the jury to remember the victim as a liar.
"We know (the victim) lies to everyone," Donahue said. "We know she lies
to her mother. We know she lies to get out of trouble. We know she lies
to police. We know she lies under oath. We know she lies to everyone."
"The state of Ohio can't prove anyone guilty beyond a reasonable doubt
based on that witness because she is not truthful"
He then questioned the state's motive for continuing to prosecute his client.
"You had somebody say they lied to grand jury," Donahue said. "Why not
drop the charges?"
He asked the jury to drop the charges.
"This is a serious matter, this is a serious case," Donahue said. "You
have to prove this beyond a reasonable doubt and they haven't done that."
Following the verdict, which took five hours over two days for the
six-man six-woman jury to reach, Donahue asked Union County Common Pleas
Court Judge Richard E. Parrott to override the jury and dismiss the
charge's himself based on a lack of evidence.
Parrott refused, but said he was not going to sentence the man yet. He
said it is customary for him to sentence defendants immediately
following a guilty verdict. The reason for the derivation, Parrott said,
is a new law which imposes new classification requirements for sexual
offenders. A portion of the law became effective July 1, and a portion
will not be effective until Jan. 1, 2008.
"We are under the new law, and we are under the old law for six months,"
Parrott said. "Which just lets you know, you wonder what's going on at
the state house."

Fairbanks awards building contracts
From J-T staff reports:
In a special meeting Wednesday night at the district's administrative
offices, Fairbanks School Board members awarded four more contracts for
the new elementary school.
Thomas & Marker Construction Co.  was the "lowest responsible bidder"
for general trades work at the new facility to be located behind the
current middle/high school on Route 38. Its winning general trades bid
was $4,777,000. Slagle Mechanical submitted the winning plumbing and
HVAC bid, $2.1 million, and Gaylor Electric and S.A. Communale submitted
the winning electrical and fire protection bids at $1.5 million and
$198,800 respectively.
Superintendent Jim Craycraft requested board members meet with him Aug.
1 at 11 a.m. to discuss alternative bid packages, such as playground
equipment, landscaping, etc.
Site preparation was supposed to begin June 20 but encountered drainage
issues raised by the Environmental Protection Agency. Approval should be
forthcoming, according to project manager Adam Drexel of Ruscilli
Construction and architect Kevin Harrison of TMP Architecture LLC. Once
approval is granted, the school should take about 13 1/2 months to complete.
In other business, the board:
.Contracted with Honeywell International Inc. for installation of its
Instant Alert system. The Honeywell system was the most user friendly
system reviewed by administrators, Craycraft said, and offered more
options for notification of parents, students, school personnel, etc.,
in emergency situations. It will cost the school district $2,400 during
the 2007-2008 school year and $3,600 each for the 2008-2009 and
2009-2010 school years.
.Granted Naomi Ruth Kidney a one-year contract as consumer science teacher.
.Conducted the first reading of a new cell phone policy which will put
the school district in compliance with recommendations by the Internal
Revenue Service.
The next regular board of education meeting will be July 23 at 7:30 p.m.

Day in the Park is Saturday
From J-T staff reports:
Summer is a time for swimming pools and plenty of sun. But thanks to
Marysville's "Day in the Park" it's also a time for city officials to
serve hot dogs to citizens.
This Saturday Marysville will hold its annual park appreciation event
from noon to 4 p.m. at the American Legion Park, located at the corner
of Fifth Street and Park Avenue.
Residents can enjoy live entertainment from regional success Arnett
Howard, clowns making balloon animals, free food, beverages, ice cream
and free swimming at the municipal pool until 4 p.m.
The event is also known for bringing Marysville City Council members out
of City Hall and into their aprons, as volunteer cooks and food servers.
According to Marysville officials, many United Way affiliated non-profit
organizations will be on hand to provide information and games for all ages.
The "Day in the Park" event is produced by the city of Marysville Parks
and Recreation Division, Nestles R&D, Kinetico Water, the United Way of
Union County, McAuliffe's Ace Hardware, and many more. A complete list
of sponsors will be posted at the event.

Plans for new fire station at a standstill

By RYAN HORNS
The wheels may have stopped spinning on plans to build a new Marysville
fire station.
At the Tuesday night Public Safety Committee meeting, members decided to
hold a public forum on the future fire station at the July 26 Marysville
City Council meeting. The meeting will focus on the proposed future site
situated near the Ohio Reformatory for Women.
Marysville Fire Chief Gary Johnson recommended the site last year, after
compiling "cold hard facts" figuring out what location would best fit
the needs of the city and ensure the safety of the public.
"We believe the evidence . is compelling," Marysville city engineer Phil
Roush said. "It was pretty clear that ORW was the best site since last year."
"At some point we have to put a spot on the map and say, 'That's where
it's going to go,'" committee chairman John Marshall said.
Aside from Johnson, Marshall and Roush, the committee also includes city
administrator Kathy House, councilwoman Leah Sellers, councilman Mark
Reams, Marysville Police Chief Floyd Golden, city law director Tim
Aslaner and assistant engineer Brian Palmer.
Members spent the majority of the two-hour meeting mulling over the
obstacles leading up to the design plans and the eventual funding of the
new  building. A $23,000 architectural study is first on the to-do list
for the station.
Sellers said she was interested in making sure no tax-payer money is
wasted on frivolous studies. She also stressed they need to get things
done. She fears the study may waste time by telling them what they
already know.
Roush explained that for $23,000, the Newark architectural firm Kellam
Associates, Inc. plans to spend 15 percent of the work on the site
location, determining soil stability. The remaining 80 percent of work
would be spent doing interviews with fire department officials about the
building needs and the eventual master plans for the building layout. He
assured it was not going to be wasted money.
By the end of the discussion, Sellers offered her support and said she
was ready to move forward on it.
Regarding the site, Johnson said the ORW location makes the most sense
because it fits into the overall future goal of having two fire stations
in Marysville. He said other cities the size of Marysville often have
two or three stations by now.
He said by placing a station at ORW, firemen would have quick access to
the highways. It would also cover the west side of town and eventually
the second station would cover the east side. Covering the city from
east to west follows the natural trend of where growth is occurring.
Johnson said that the increase in calls for service have become an
issue. Earlier on Tuesday crews went out to serious auto accident.
Meanwhile, back at the station, there was a person who walked in looking
for help and there was no one there.
"It's pretty serious and it's been going on a long time," he said. "I
don't want to wait another year before we decide what to do."
"What I want is to have some movement forward," Marshall said.
Sellers stressed that process can only begin when city council passes
legislation to purchase a site they have all agreed upon. So she
proposed that they focus on what council needs to do right now.
Reams said each year a different site seems to be the "good idea." He
just wants to be sure they are picking the right one.
Johnson handed out a large packet of facts from the fact-finding work
that has been conducted. The facts point toward the ORW site. He asked
the committee to look over the information and get back to him with any questions.
Some discussion also focused on whether or not the city should plan to
build both stations at once.
With a fire department budget of $3.2 million, House said, that fund
would essentially have to double.
Marshall said funding the station is the biggest hurdle, designing the
station is not. So they need to start laying out a financial plan now.
He said they need to get public input early on. Would residents be
willing to support a possible First Responders Services Levy?
"It's never a popular thing to talk about," Marshall said about a levy.
"But let's not forget that the police department has issues with space
and response time too. The levy can include both."
House said there is also the option of forming some kind of fire
district to help share the cost for emergency services.

Plain City officials keeping an eye on  street issues
By MAC CORDELL
Plain City Village Council spent much of Monday night's meeting
addressing street issues in the village.
Village Administrator Steve Hilbert reminded residents that several
downtown streets would be closed Friday evening for the Steam Threshers
parade. He said streets would begin closing about 5:40 p.m. The parade
will follow its traditional route from the north entrance of the park,
south on U.S. 42 to Noteman Road, east on Noteman Road to North Avenue,
south on North Avenue to Main Street, west on Main Street to Park Avenue
and north back to the park.
Streets will not be closed this year for a weekly farmers market, Mayor
Sandra Adkins reported. She said there would be no village farmers
market this year.
"They have not been able to get those who were involved with it last
year to do it again," Adkins said.
She added that those who helped last year spent every Saturday at the
event, "because there weren't enough volunteers."
Donald North of 530 Gray St., complained that construction of the bypass
is making life difficult for those who live in the area. He called the
area, "a hazard."
"We have a lot of problem back there with dust and mud," North said.
He added that construction vehicles have had his street backed up, even
blocked since last year.
North said the construction has caused run off issues in the area. He
said when it rains, the water floods halfway up his driveway.
"They should be mitigating that soon," said Council President Pro-Tem Bob Walter.
Adkins said she appreciated the residents' patience and has spoken with
the Ohio Department of Transportation about making as many
accommodations in the area, so residents, "are not totally put out by the construction."
However, Adkins added, "that is one of the evils of progress."
"The work has to proceed and needs to get done as quick as it can,"
Adkins told the resident.
She said the bypass is expected to be completed in October.
"We are really sorry about the mess," Adkins said. "We are trying our best."
Hilbert said North Chillicothe Street (U.S  42) will also be under
construction in the next couple of months. He said the road is becoming
in disrepair and ODOT feels much of the problem, "other than the obvious
truck traffic" is the drainage.
"We have some areas on North Chillicothe Street with some real issues,"
Hilbert said. "If we don't get it done soon, it is just continuing to
deteriorate the road."
Hilbert said village employees will be working to repair and improve the
storm sewers on the street. He said it will be completed while the
bridge on 42, just north of the village, is closed and under construction.
"We are trying to minimize the impact on traffic," Hilbert said.
He also said ODOT will be repairing and repaving the street next year.
Plain City Police Lt. Jim Hill reported the department will be "stepping
up patrols" on Noteman Road. He said residents have complained about
traffic speeding through the are and not obeying traffic signs. He
reminded residents the speed limit in that area is 25 miles per hour.

Six apply for clerk-treasurer position in Unionville Center
By AUDREY HALL
Unionville Center will hold its annual community yard sale Aug. 18, it
was decided at Monday night's village council meeting.
Village council will share advertising costs with the Unionville Center
United Methodist Church which holds a summer social on the same day.
Families who wish to participate should set up a yard sale at their residences.
Six people have applied for the clerk-treasurer position, all
non-residents of the village. In order for Mayor Denver Thompson to
appoint a non-resident, an ordinance must be passed making the
clerk-treasurer a non-elected position.
Thompson will research the exact criteria of a potential ordinance.
Tracy Rausch will continue to serve as clerk-treasurer until the
position is filled.
An incident of four dogs attacking a family member was reported by
resident Michelle Snyder. She was advised to contact Union County Dog
Warden Mary Beth Hall at (937) 645-3016. In addition, the mayor will
post a reminder to all residents that a leash law is in effect.
In other business, council:
.Discussed an estimate for installing a sidewalk on The Green. Council
determined that there are more pressing concerns for the village and the
money would be better spent elsewhere. Storm water drainage problems in
the southern part of the village remain a major concern.
.Heard that village financial records are due for the biennial audit by
the auditor of state.
.Heard that the mayor's seat and two council seats are up for election
in November. Petitions soliciting voter signatures can be obtained at
the Union County Board of Elections. The signed petitions must be
submitted to the board by Aug. 23.
The next regular scheduled meeting will be Aug. 14.
Council members present were Ron Griffith, Mary Lou Morris, Phil Rausch,
Brenda Terry and Peggy Williamson.

It may be hard to overlook Plain City's Bicentennial Park
Council discusses visibility issues

By MAC CORDELL
Plain City Village Council discussed Monday the need to address sight
issues at the village's flatiron.
"From a safety issue, that whole thing needs addressed, that whole
flatiron," said councilman Wes Gibson.
He said that unless drivers are in an taller vehicle, their visibility
is significantly impaired by the brick, elevated flower bed with a
flagpole in front of the municipal building. The area sits in the wedge
just south of Main Street, between South Chillicothe Street, Gay Street
and Bigelow Avenue. The area is also called the flatiron or Bicentennial Park.
"If you are not in an SUV, you cannot see," Gibson said.
He said village residents have approached him about the safety of the area.
The issue came to discussion at the meeting as council members discussed
a white fence that had been removed from the village's Bicentennial Park
in the downtown area.
Council President Pro-Tem Bob Walter said the flatiron safety issue was
"outside the scope" of council's discussions about the fence. He added
that he would like to see council come back to the issue.
"I think we have to look at the safety in the long run, but I think that
is more the flatiron, not the fence."
Council members moved to allow a citizen group to reinstall a white
vinyl fence around Bicentennial Park. Earlier this summer council
instructed Village Administrator Steve Hilbert to have the fence
removed, saying its erection had not been approved and it was a
potential visual obstruction for those driving around the village's flatiron.
Stephanie Ferguson and another member of Citizens Concerned About Their
Town came before council Monday, at Walter's request. Ferguson explained
that CCATT had placed the fence around the park to replace one they
removed. The group has undertaken the task of helping to maintain the
parks in the village and placing flowers in the downtown and the parks.
She said the group replaced the old wooden fence because, "it was pretty
rotty and falling apart."
"We actually had trouble keeping it together," she added.
She said the fence serves to conceal smaller weeds and flowers that have
died. It also offers an area to decorate or post banners.
"We really do need that fence up there," she said.
She said the vinyl fence was donated and was easier for the group
because it needs no maintenance. She asked council what they wanted to
see. Ferguson said CCATT would try to find a fence that council would
like better, if council would tell the group what it would like to see.
"What would please council?" she asked.
Mayor Sandra Adkins said she liked that the old fence blended in with
the wall and the flowers. Councilman Mark Hostetler said he never knew
there was a fence around the park, a testament to how well it blended
it. He said he preferred that, but asked if the fence was higher than the flowers.
"No, actually the flowers are higher," Ferguson confirmed.
Hostetler said the fence was a moot point if that is true.
"As long as it is no higher than the flowers, because if you can't see
over the flowers, there is no difference," Hostetler said.
Walter offered a compromise that CCATT could re-erect the fence, but
would need to talk to council before next season.
"What we really need to do is plan in advance," Walter said.
He suggested the group apply for advanced budgeting for next year.
Council is working on a form that could be distributed to any group that
wishes to be included in the budgeting process. The form will allow
groups to detail projects for the benefit of the village and request
funds from the village for those projects. Hilbert said CCATT is one of
the groups that annually requests funds, as does the Music in the Park Committee.
The form will allow groups to formalize their requests and will
hopefully improve communication between the village and the groups.
Hilbert said he believes the form will be approved at the next council
meeting. Several members of council noted that improved dialog between
the groups and the village was vital to improving the community.

Richwood won't go easy on  past due utility accounts
By CHAD WILLIAMSON
Richwood residents who run up pricey water bills will find the village
waiting with a shutoff notice rather than a payoff plan.
Village administrator Larry Baxa came to Monday night's village council
meeting with an idea about allowing those with large bills to set up a
payment plan rather than having their water shut off. He said the
individuals would have to sign an agreement to pay a certain portion of
the bill each week, as well as paying for current charges on the
water/sewer account.
Baxa said the option would be for individuals who have bills in excess
of $300. He said the village could also charge interest on the past due balance.
Village financial officer Don Jolliff was against the idea from the start.
"We're not a finance company," Jolliff said.
Jolliff said the village has no need for such a financing option. He
said the village administrator and billing clerk have always handled
past due balances. Jolliff said in the past the village has shut off the
water on past due accounts, forcing customers to pay or lose use of the utility.
Baxa noted that when the water is shut off the village may never get
payment on the account if the individual moves. He noted that by setting
up a payment option the village would receive some type of payment.
Jolliff said that people who run up such high bill do so on a habitual
basis. He said the same names show up on the shutoff list month after month.
Baxa said the payment option would not be set up for habitual offenders.
He said it was more for people who have undetected water leaks or water
softener problems who experience a one-time spike in their bill.
Council member Peg Wiley asked why a plan must be put in place for such
issues when council has handled them in the past. She said those who
receive such large bills often approach council about the issue. The
members then try to come to a reasonable solution.
Jolliff also noted that this is not the time to be lax on shutting off
service on unpaid accounts. He said there are currently about $12,000 in
unpaid utility bills owed to the village.
Mayor Bill Nibert said the village will continue its policy of shutting
off water service rather than installing the payment plan. He said the
next round of shutoffs will occur on July 23.
Village resident Mike Williams attended the meeting to complain about
motorcycle traffic in the village. He said on the Fourth of July
motorcycles raced around the streets of the village at unsafe speeds.
Williams said village police officers should have been able to hear
offenders even if they couldn't be seen.
"Racing on motorcycles really went rampant on the ," Williams said.
Williams said he called police about the issue, but after his calls the
motorcycles wouldn't be seen for a while. He believes the riders have
police scanners and are warned when officers are called.
Williams' point was emphasized earlier in the meeting as a pair of
riders raced down the street in front of the administration building
where the meeting was held. One of the riders popped a wheelie and rode
it down the street.
"These kids are completely out of hand," Williams said.
Richwood Police Chief Monte Asher said if his officers can clock the
riders with radar, they will be given a ticket. It is sometimes hard to
catch motorcycle riders misbehaving because they are orderly when a
police cruiser is in the area.
Asher noted that one of the offending riders was given two tickets by
village officers last week.
"Somebody's going to get killed," Wiley said.
In other business, council:
.Learned that the village is continuing to work toward repairing the
village clock.
.Learned that the police department's bike patrol is nearly ready to hit the streets.
.Learned that the village will receive $31,000 in CDBG money to repave Gill Street.
.Heard that letters will be sent soon about parking ticket refunds.

JA will allow schools to be used as voting precincts
By CORINNE BIX
The Jonathan Alder School Board approved the use of district buildings
as voting polls in future elections.
The Madison County Board of Elections had requested that the school
board approve the use of Plain City Junior High for one voting precinct
and Plain City High School for two precincts.
The three precincts were housed at various community buildings,
including the VFW and the fire department, in past elections. The board
of elections is requesting the use of the school buildings to
accommodate parking and to better meet requirements set by the American
Disabilities Act (ADA.)
It was not specified when the county would like to begin using the
district's buildings.
Board members had several concerns in regard to security issues and the
possible disruption of class schedules.
Superintendent Doug Carpenter said he didn't foresee any problems with
security or space at the high school. The high school building opened in
2005 and was designed with a security system that allows for limited
entry to only specified parts of the building.
Regarding the junior high school, the administration will work on
accommodating the board of elections in the best way possible while not
disturbing class schedules or student activities.
"As far as I'm concerned, we should make the buildings accessible and
work out the details later with the building principals," Carpenter said.
Elizabeth Beach, director of teaching and learning, presented to the
board the Ohio Achievement test results for the district.
District students in grades three through eight all tested above the
state averages in reading, math, science and social studies.
Overall the district averages were 12 percent above the state average.
In grade five, math scores were 20 percent above the state average and
social studies scores were up by 22 percent. In grade six, math scores
were up by 19 percent and in grade eight, math was up by 18 percent and
science by 17 percent.
Beach said the unofficial Ohio Graduation Test results were all above
the state averages in all five subject areas. The district scored the
highest in writing with a 94 percent.
The board also approved three district policy revisions to comply with
state mandates regarding the distribution/student use of
medicines/medications, attendance and bullying/harassment/intimidation.
The bullying/harassment/intimidation policy includes the controlling and
disciplining of students who bully others, name call, harass, threaten,
attempt to intimidate, use ethnic slurs or other derogatory comments
that demean the person(s) at whom they are directed.
Discipline for such actions will be administered by the building
principal for any violations at school, on school property or at school sponsored events.
The policy also includes cyber-bullying or harassment delivered via
computer, e-mail, Internet Web sites, cellular phones or other
electronic devises. Cyber-bullying on or off school property will not be permitted.
In other business, the board:
.Accepted the resignation of Priscilla Dulgar as high school secretary.
Dulgar has been with the district for 27 years.
.Also accepted the resignations of Emma Salyer, secretary at Monroe
(retire/rehire) and Mary Anne Roberts, cafeteria coordinator (retire/rehire).
.Approved employment of Lora Siershula, speech therapist; Heather
Fischer, 2/3 split CSR at Monroe; Erin Hatten, intervention specialist
at Monroe; Wendi Mitchell, summer intervention; Colleen Murdock, library
aide at JAJHS; Kristen Lewis, Spanish teacher at JAHS; Dave Parker,
part-time social studies teacher at JAHS; Kelly Behrmenn, tutor at JAHS;
Alicia Tremayne, math teacher at JAJHS; Mark Piatak, math teacher at
JAJHS; Lindsay Reid, special education teacher at JAJHS; Christine
Armitage, split custodian at JAJHS and Plain City elementary.
.Approved release time education by the Plain City church fellowship for
the 2007-2008 school year.
.Approved the request for re-appointment of Jane Thompson Grow for the
Plain City Library Board.
The next Jonathan Alder School Board meeting will be Aug. 13 at 7 p.m.

County finalizes grant requests
Money will go to projects in Richwood, Milford Center and Taylor
Township

By MAC CORDELL
The Union County Commissioners will request funding for three local
projects through the state's community development block grant program.
The commissioners today voted to request $35,000 to help Taylor Township
demolish its unused school building, $31,000 for the village of Richwood
for improvements and repaving of Gill Street and $5,000 to Milford
Center for a manual transfer switch for power to the village's water
treatment facility.
Additionally, the county will request $10,000 in administrative fees and
$4,000 for fair housing fees.
The three political subdivisions submitted their requests to the Logan
Union Champaign Regional Planning Commission for review. The LUC
presented the requests to the commissioners. LUC must complete and
submit the application for grant money by Friday.
Originally, the three entities had requested $119,759 for the three
projects - $47,759 for Richwood, $42,000 for Taylor Township and $30,000
for Milford Center. Taylor Township had also requested $5,400 for the
demolition and disposal of a private barn that had become a nuisance.
Jenny Snapp of LUC said that project did not qualify for CDBG money.
Snapp told the commissioners the state had allocated $71,000 for CDBG
projects in Union County. She said the commissioners needed to whittle
the requested amounts down to meet the $71,000 figure. She said they
could request additional funds later if any where available. She also
said the commissioners could amend their requests at a later date, if they desired.
The commissioners had initially discussed giving Taylor Township $1,000
more dollars and Richwood $1,000 less. However, state guidelines require
that a majority of the grant dollars go to projects that would benefit
low to moderate income families. The Taylor Township school project did
not qualify. To meet the state requirement, the commissioners moved the
$1,000 from the Taylor Township project to the Gill Street project which
does benefit low to moderate income families.
The village would like to make improvements to Gill Street from South
Franklin Street to the corporation limits. Village officials, in their
request, stated they believe the project will take a week to complete.
The street is the primary entrance to the Richwood Fairgrounds.
"That is heavily used and it is not in good shape," commissioner Charles Hall said.
Wes Dodds, of LUC, said Richwood had requested two other projects also
be considered for CDBG funding, but rescinded those requests.
"I am sure they have money to supplement what we don't fund," Dodds told
the commissioners.
Milford Center had originally requested money for a generator and an
automatic transfer switch, in case of a power outage. Dodds said Milford
Center had gas powered generator that was not in working order. The Ohio
Environmental Protection Agency suggested the village acquire a new
generator since the gas power one sat too close to the drinking water supply.
Randy Riffle, head of maintenance for the county, suggested funding a
manual transfer switch that would allow Milford Center to plug into
Marysville power in case of an outage. He said Milford Center had not
had a major problem at the water treatment facility in 10 years.
"If both (Marysville and Milford Center) go down at the same time for
major disaster, we have got bigger problems than drinking water," Riffle said.
According to Milford Center's request, the village has $3,000 to put to
the project. That money, coupled with $5,000 from the state, "ought to
cover it," Commissioner Tom McCarthy said.
The commissioners asked Taylor Township Trustee Ron Steele if the
Township had any money it could use for the school building project.
"We have some money we could use," Steele said. He added that money had
not yet been allocated for the project. He said the township would have
"possibly" $7,000.
"It just helps us when you can offer matching funds for the project on
some level," said McCarthy. "It helps us fund more projects."
Steele said the township estimates it will cost $30,000 to get the
building "on the ground." He said the township would like use the debris
from the building to fill the building's partial basement. Steele said
there would be additional costs for removal of the rest of the debris.
"I think we need to find money to help you tear down the building, but
we need to make sure we have money to complete it," said McCarthy.
Steele said any help would be appreciated

P.C. prepares for steam threshers show

By MAC CORDELL
The gentle chug-chug-chug of the steam engine is a noise of the past.
But for one weekend a year, the sound that reminds so many of their
youth on the farm returns to Plain City.
This coming week, the Miami Valley Steam Threshers Association will hold
its 58th annual show and reunion on the grounds of Plain City's Pastime
park. The show begins Thursday at 10 a.m. with a welcoming ceremony and
will run through the weekend, concluding Sunday, July 15.
"This is really a great show," said Plain City Village Administrator
Steve Hilbert. "It brings a lot of people into our village and everyone
seems to have a good time. Everybody always enjoys themselves. It really
caters and fosters our rural culture in the community."
Gary Gallimore, president of the Miami Valley Steam Threshers
Association agreed.
"It really is a great time," he said.
The show is expected to feature 300-400 tractors, as many as 200
hit-miss engines, 140 flea market vendors, plenty of food, saw milling,
shingle making, arts, crafts, veneer milling, threshing, bailing, draft
horses, an operating blacksmith shop, model engines and many other
activities, including those for children.
The highlight of the show will be grand parade through the downtown.
Despite construction, the parade will follow its traditional route from
the north entrance of the park, south on U.S. 42 to Noteman Road, east
on Noteman Road to North Avenue, south on North Avenue to Main Street,
west on Main Street to Park Avenue and north back to the park.
Gallimore said he is pleased to have the national Rumely expo held in
connection with this steam threshers show. He said he is hoping for 100
at the show.
"It is a pretty big deal for them and for us," said Gallimore.
He added that show-goers will have the opportunity to see many rare and
several one-of-a-kind tractors at the show.
"Not many of them are around anymore," he said.
"They became the gasoline power right after the steam," Gallimore explained.
He noted that Rumelys reached their heyday from the early 1920s to the
early 1930s. He said the original Rumelys were built on steam engine chassis.
Gallimore said the show has a lot to offer even those who are not as
familiar with the history of the engines. Even those who know nothing
about tractors or farming will find the show worth attending.
"For someone who did not come from this type of background, it is quite
an education," said Gallimore. "Your ancestors, my ancestors, all of our
ancestors were involved in this type of work. Even if they were town
folks, they knew about this type of work and this type of machinery. The
purpose of the association and the show is to educate people, educate
everyone what our ancestors went through just to survive."
He said it is important to educate the younger generations about what it
took to make a living in days past.
"Now we just push a button to do the same job," Gallimore said.
Gallimore said the opportunity for people to learn about this lifestyle
is dwindling.
"It seems we don't have as many exhibitors anymore," he said. "We do
this show out of the goodness of our heart and because we enjoy it, but
some of these people are getting older and can't handle moving the
equipment like they used to."
He stressed that those at the show need to ask questions and learn while
they can.
"We always take time to answer any questions," Gallimore said. "If we
don't know the answer or can't answer, there is always someone who can."
He said the event, for the exhibitors and the old-timers, is more about
the reunion.
"We really look forward to seeing each other once a year," Gallimore said.
He added that as much as they like to see one another, they love to see
new people at the show.
"You won't find a stranger at the show," said Gallimore. "When we see
someone new, we welcome them and get them involved. Before they leave,
they are part of us."
Gallimore said he believes the show will bring 14,000 to 15,000 people
to the park.
Hilbert said the attendance figures will fluctuate from year to year.
"It is pretty dependent on the weather and the featured tractor," said
Hilbert. "We always plan for a big show and they always have a big
crowd, but how big depends on a lot of things."
Gallimore and Hilbert remind those looking to attend the show that the
bridge on U.S. Route 42, just north of the village is under construction
and therefore not in use.
"Just follow the detour," Hilbert said.
The detour takes traffic off U.S. 42 onto U.S. 33 south to Route 161 and
brings you into the village from the east.
"It is obviously going to eliminate any traffic coming from the north on
42," Hilbert said. He added, "it will increase some of the traffic in
town when they are coming and going from the show."

Inmate phone card plan put on hold
By MAC CORDELL
The Tri-County Corrections Commission tabled discussion on a plan that
would allow inmates to purchase phone cards at the jails commissary.
Tri-County Regional Jail Director Bob Beightler told the board he wanted
to begin selling phone cards in the commissary. He said currently
inmates need to have family members call into the jail to establish an
account. Once that account has been established, the inmate may make
calls, but only to the individuals who established the account. If
inmates purchased the phone cards, they would be able to enter a
personal identification number (PIN) located on the card, and make calls
to any number.
"That is cumbersome," Beightler said of the current phone system. "With
the phone cards, they can just put in a PIN number and get on the line."
"It makes it easier to get out on the phone lines and also generate some
revenue," Beightler said.
Champaign County Common Pleas Court Judge Roger B. Wilson objected.
"And call anyone they want," he said.
Wilson said the inmate could call the court or a crime victim.
Beightler confirmed inmates would be able to call anyone they wanted,
but it would also allow jail officials to monitor the calls of specific
inmates. He said law enforcement officials often request a recording of
calls from a specific inmate. Currently, while all calls are recorded,
jail officials must listen to hours of calls to try to identify the
requested inmate. With the PIN number, that inmate's calls can be isolated.
He added that inmates currently circumvent the system using third-party calls.
Beightler said he knows of several confinement facilities that use phone
cards effectively.
"From the facilities I have checked, they have worked pretty well.
Champaign County Sheriff Dave Deskins said, "it would be nice to be able
to track those phone calls."
Beightler also introduced the 2008 budget. The jail's $4,187,109
projected budget includes a $193,000 increase over the 2007 budget.
He said the budget did not need approved until the next board meeting,
but "wanted to get this out and give you an opportunity to review it,"
he told the board members.
"The primary increases are in employee salaries, food service operations
and equipment money," Beightler said.
The director said he may need an additional increase in equipment funds.
He said the jail is now seven years old and equipment is now starting to
show wear. He specifically noted locks, heating and air conditioning
equipment, computers and video arraignment technology. Beightler
provided board members with a list of other capital expenditures he is
expecting for 2008.
"Take time to review it (the budget) before next meeting," said Union
County Commissioner Gary Lee, who was filling in for board chairman
David Dhume, who could not be at the meeting. "We will probably need to
pass this at the next so we can get this to Champaign County for their
budget process and everybody else."
In other business:
. The board voted to give the director authority to approve temporary
raises. Beightler said a situation arose as the state auditor's office
was reviewing the jail's books. During a period when a position was open
and additional responsibilities were placed on another employee,
Beightler gave that employee additional salary to compensate for the
additional work. The auditor reported that as a violation since all
raises needed to be approved by the board.
Champaign County Commissioner Bob Corbett said he feels the director
needs to have the authority to issue a temporary raise. Corbett said
Beightler should bring the move to the board at its next meeting for
retroactive approval.
"A permanent raise I think should wait until the board meets," Corbett said.
 . The jail has hired a part time clerical worker and contracted with an
accountant to help get several financial items in compliance with the
state auditor's office recommendations. Beightler requested the hiring
of a couple additional employees that could fill in while current
employees receive required additional training.
. The director would like to host an open house at the jail.
"Most people who come in here and visit, just don't know what to
expect," Beightler said. "When they come in here, most of what they
expect comes from what they see on TV and that just isn't happening."
He said there would need to be some restrictions on who could attend the
open house, including no one on probation and no one with a relative in
the jail. Board members discussed allowing those under 21 years old tour
the jail.
"Some day, they are going to be an adult," Lee said. "It might give them
something to think about."
Beightler said he was not certain the jail could legally allow those
under 21 in the jail.
 . Lee said Union County's newly installed video arraignment equipment
is working properly and the process has been effective.
"We have not had any problems," Lee reported.
He said he had spoken with Union County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard
Parrott who said the system is "working perfectly."
. The board, at the insistence of the state auditor's office, created
two new budget line items for indigent commissary use. Beightler said
the jail is required to provide certain items to inmates who are indigent.
"We will supply them with basic hygiene needs, as required, like
toothpaste, soap, ect.," Beightler told the board.
He said expenses for the items given to those inmates are paid from the
profit off commissary items purchased by other inmates. The director
said funds for the indigent's commissary items will still come out of
the regular commissary's profit, but separate line items, an expenses
and a revenues item, need created to separate those expenses.
 . Beightler said he is planning to have a "full-scale" fire drill
sometime in the near future. Union County Sheriff Rocky Nelson suggested
the possibility of a bomb threat drill. The director said his staff just
completed self-defense training, including cell extraction.
"You never know what is going to happen and it is better to be
prepared," Beightler said.
. The next board meeting will be held Thursday, Sept. 6, at the jail.

Sheriff's K9 dog euthanized
Editor's note: The following information is supplied by Scott Underwood.
---
 Deputies from The Union County Sheriff's Office lowered the American
flag to half staff today as the agency mourned the loss of one of its
own law enforcers.
The Sheriff's Office's 6-year-old canine deputy, Jordy, was euthanized
Wednesday afternoon as a result of a sudden illness causing permanent
paralysis. His death leaves the office without a K9 unit and in grief.
Jordy (pronounced Yordy), was a Belgian Malinois and a deputy for the
office since May 2004. He and his handler, Sgt. Bob Roberts, were
responsible for scores of searches and accomplished numerous
apprehensions during Jordy's tenure.
"This is a heartbreaking time for our staff and for Sgt. Roberts," said
Sheriff Rocky Nelson. "Jordy's relationship with Roberts was one of a
true, life-protecting, law enforcement partnership."
Born in Scandinavia in 2001, Jordy was a dual-purpose canine purchased
by the Sheriff's Office with drug seizure monies. He and his handler
were certified through the State of Ohio and North American Police Work
Dog Association (NAPWDA). He was trained in obedience, drug and evidence
detection, building searches, area searches, tracking, criminal
apprehension and handler protection.
The Belgian Malinois is known as an intelligent, courageous, and alert
breed, with unwavering devotion to their masters. They are used today
for herding and as therapy and search and rescue dogs, among other things.
The Belgian Malinois also is known as a high-energy breed with a need
for regular mental and physical stimulation. It is believed to be an
ideal watchdog and guard dog. It is aloof with strangers and can be
aggressive toward other dogs and animals. When confined, it often runs
in sweeping circles in an effort to stay on the move. It is protective
of its home and family.
Aside from presenting many public demonstrations throughout the county
at fairs, schools and service organizations, Jordy assisted other Union
County law enforcement agencies in addition to the Sheriff's Office.
Among his many accomplishments, he helped the Marysville Division of
Police track the location of a suicide victim.
He assisted other agencies with seven felony drug arrests and 18
misdemeanor drug arrests in 2007 alone. He also helped the Federal DEA
with the arrest of suspects and seizure of 173 pounds of marijuana.
Jordy received unwavering care from the sheriff's office staff and his
handler and showed no previous indications of any particular health
problems. On Wednesday morning, Jordy began to display sudden signs of
paralysis. He was taken immediately to a local veterinarian who referred
Jordy to a specialist in Worthington.
After examination, the doctor's diagnosis was that Jordy suffered a
fibrocartilaginous embolism (FCE). This is a stroke to the spinal cord,
caused by some tissue from the spinal disc entering the spine's veins
and putting pressure where the nerves leave the cord for the limbs,
damaging them.  The paralysis caused by a FCE is immediate with
permanent dysfunction. The decision to euthanize Jordy was made.
According to Sheriff Rocky Nelson and Lt. Jeff Frisch, efforts to find
Jordy's replacement will be made as soon as possible.
"Jordy proved to us how valuable a K9 unit is to the sheriff's office
and other law enforcement agencies in our county. We certainly won't be
able to replace Jordy's own demeanor, but in honor of him and his proven
record, we need to carry on his legacy," Frisch said.
A public memorial service will be held Wednesday at 11 a.m., at the
American Legion Park Sean Doebert Memorial Amphitheater. Among
representatives from other first responder organizations in Union
County, K9 units from around the state are expected to pay tribute to
their comrade.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Union County Sheriff's Office
K9 Program, Attention Alicia Bosch, 221 W. Fifth St., Marysville, OH 43040.
For further information, contact Lt. Frisch at 645-4150 or Underwood
Funeral Home, which is assisting the sheriff's office with funeral
arrangements, at 642-7039.

Wind  farms  not planned
Other counties in area have better conditions

By MAC CORDELL
The immense silhouette of rotating propellors could soon define the
skyline of northwestern Ohio.
Unlike the quaint windmills that dot the landscape of our fairy tales,
these newer, sleeker wind turbines stand nearly 400 feet tall, and
occupy very little ground space.
Already a staple of the western United States, talk is mounting about
construction of several of the utility-grade wind turbines in Logan and
Champaign Counties.
Earlier this year, Dennis Elliott, principal research scientist at the
U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory,
released a statement indicating that many portions of Ohio were windier
than previously believed, causing utility companies to take another look
at the Buckeye State.
Despite their potential appearance in neighboring counties, Union County
is not likely to get swept up by the wind mills.
Union County's downfall is that it isn't high enough. That is to say,
portions of Hardin, Logan and Champaign Counties lie on a glacial ridge,
an area created by a glacier as it moved across the area. Because the
ridge is elevated, it sees higher wind speeds, a prerequisite for
construction of the wind turbines.
"Union County has just a slight tip in Washington Township," said Union
County Commissioner Charles Hall. "I don't think Union County, per se,
is in the line of sight of this wind thing. This is not a strong area."
He added, "I know there is quite a lot of discussion going on in Logan
County, but Union County has not been strongly effected by these
windmills they seem to be putting in."
Green Energy Ohio confirmed that Union County has several applications
for residential windmills. However, the utility grade wind turbines are
much bigger and require significantly more wind than the simple residential model.
While the mechanism for the turbines are complex, the concept behind
them is simple. As wind blows across the blades of the propellor, it
causes them to spin. As the blades rotate, they turn a shaft connected
to the center of the propellor. The turning shaft spins a generator to make electricity.
The American Wind Energy Association has projected that wind energy
could supply 20 percent of the U.S. electricity needs by 2030. That
seems ambitious as current wind generated electricity makes up less than
1 percent of all electricity in the U.S. However, the leap may not be as
great as it initially seems.
Based on the evidence of Ohio's wind production, Elliott predicted that
if Ohio were to utilize 20 percent of the states windy land areas,
windmills could, "provide approximately 20 percent of Ohio's electric
needs and would only require the development of about 0.03 percent of
the state's total land area."
Christine Real de Azua, spokesman for AWEA, said wind power is part of
the answer to America's dependence on foreign oil. She also said the
wind mills could be constructed relatively quickly and operated nearly
cost-free, with little to no impact on the environment.
"Wind power is economically sound," Real de Azua said. "The
environmental impact is small and actually beneficial and it strengthens
our domestic energy security."
Real de Azua said, environmentally, wind power is an outstanding option.
No fuel is consumed to produce wind generated power, therefore, no
byproduct released into the environment. No fuel is needed to transport
the power either.
Real de Azua, like Hall, didn't seem to think Union County would host a
utility-grade wind turbine anytime soon.
"It is simply the wind speed," Real de Azua said of what makes a good
location for wind mills. "You want to make sure there is enough wind and
that it is steady enough, throughout the year, to make it economically
viable to put up these wind turbines."
The wind speed does not need to be excessive on the ground to make the
turbines a possibility.
"The reason the turbines are getting taller and more powerful is that
winds are obviously better the higher up you go," Real de Azua.
She concluded saying she is encouraged by the outlook for the wind power industry.
"Right now, wind power is small," Real de Azua said. "But it is growing fast."
At least for a while, however, if Union County residents want to glimpse
the future of how we are to end our energy crisis, they will have to drive to do it.

N. Lewisburg to celebrate opening of path
By CORINNE BIX
North Lewisburg will host a ribbon cutting ceremony Aug. 18 at 11 a.m.
to celebrate the recently opened 1.9-mile multi-purpose path which runs
from East Street to Inskeep Cratty Road just inside the Union County border.
On June 21 the village participated in a dedication/celebration ceremony
with the Union County engineer's office to celebrate the multi-purpose
path and several other projects. These included the move and
rehabilitation of the Pottersburg Bridge to the multi-purpose path,
along with the construction of a new North Lewisburg bridge and the new
Buck Run Road covered bridge.
The celebration became a five-fold event when the Big Darby Plains
Scenic Byway committee learned that the newly established corridor had
received its new designation in May.
Fred Voltz, village resident, suggested that a smaller ceremony be
planned to allow village residents an opportunity to participate in the
village specific walking and biking trail.
Council also discussed hosting a community potluck to follow the ribbon
cutting. More information is expected at the August council meeting.
Gary Silcott, village engineer of R.D. Zande and Associates, reported
that the water meter installation is wrapping up and a final count was
completed last week.
The wastewater treatment plant is moving along and is expected to be
finished this summer.
Water bills based on usage will begin this month.
Those customers who didn't receive two preview bills will only pay the
base rate of $45 per month for the months of July and August.
The base rate for water and sewer includes 3,000 gallons of water. The
former flat rate for water and sewer prior to water meters was $54 per
utility account.
Tim Maxhimer, parks and recreation, reported that the village is
planning to locate the playground equipment near the shelter house.
The playground equipment should arrive within the next four to six
weeks. Three-quarters of the funding for the equipment came from a
Natureworks grant.
Maxhimer said he estimates it will take two weeks to construct the
playground with village residents and the Triad Junior baseball leagues
donating labor. He said labor donated to the project is counted towards
the village's 25 percent match on the project.
Maxhimer also reported that the skateboard committee has submitted to
the village a plan for a proposed skateboard park to be located off the
East Street parking lot by the multi-purpose path entrance.
The Floyd Holycross memorial baseball tournament will be held Friday and
Saturday at the village baseball field. The 15th annual tournament will
feature homemade ice cream and chicken and noodles. Fireworks will be at
dusk on Saturday night.
Heather Keeran talked to council about "Random Acts of Kindness" month.
Victory Chapel Churches of Christ and Christian Union, along with other
churches in the community, will join together for the fundraiser "Jesus
Cares, Do You?" All money from the month-long event will benefit the
Children's Hospital oncology department and the Ronald McDonald house.
Events include a bake sale from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday at
Citizen's National Bank, a bike-a-thon from 8-11 a.m. on July 14 and a
walk-a-thon on July 21 from 8-11 a.m., both to be held at the multi-use
path. A bazaar/rummage sale will be held at the village community room
from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on July 28. A recognition service will be held at 4
p.m. at the Victory Chapel CCU.
Jason Keeran, council president, gave an update on the village Web site,
which is expected to be up and running later this summer. Those
interested in submitting information to the Web site should drop it off
at the village municipal building.
The next village council meeting will be Aug. 7 at 7 p.m.

Hospital looks at going private
Officials are looking at what it would take to move away from being
county-owned

By MAC CORDELL
Memorial Hospital of Union County is preparing to explore the
possibility of becoming a private organization.
Hospital officials Monday presented the Union County Board of
Commissioners with a draft copy request for proposal. The request seeks
bids on a study to move the hospital from a county entity to one
governed by a nonprofit board of directors.
"The distinction seems small, but really there is a lot that goes into
this," said Union County Commissioner Tom McCarthy.
He said requirements on how a county must operate a hospital, and its
manage its doctors, can be restrictive.
"There is a reason, there aren't many county run hospitals anymore,"
McCarthy said.
The possibility of privatizing the hospital came out of a strategic
planning session. McCarthy said hospital officials were examining where
they wanted to take the hospital, then wondered if the best way to get
there was as a public hospital. County officials said before they invest
millions of dollars into improving or expanding hospital facilities,
they want an answer to that question.
McCarthy said he wants residents to understand that no decision has been
made yet, as the consultant has not even been hired to investigate the possibility.
"It is certainly not a foregone conclusion that we want to do this, but
in our due diligence to the public, we have to explore it," McCarthy said.
Commissioners and hospital officials said they had very few answers
about the process of privatization, that is why they are hiring the consultant.
"This study will help define what the costs will be and what the
benefits will be to the county and to the employees," McCarthy said.
Hospital Chief Executive Officer Chip Hubbs told the commissioners he
has kept hospital employees apprised of the possibility of moving the
hospital to a private organization. The biggest issue hospital employees
would likely face is how the possible move would effect their public
employee retirement and benefits.
"That is what the bottom line is," said Hubbs. "That is the what the
employees are going to hold onto."
Commissioner Charles Hall added that people generally hate change.
Hubbs said no matter how loyal an employee is, they will always look out
for themselves and their family first. He said the key will be to show
the employees how the change could benefit them. Hubbs said a series of
townhall style meetings could be planning to make certain all employees
have complete and accurate information.
McCarthy said the hospital's employees are its best asset and the
hospital needs to keep them informed.
"We need to assure people we are trying to do what's in the best
interest of the organization as a whole, but also we need to be
sensitive to how this effects them on a personal level," said McCarthy.
He added that he wants to "reassure people that for the long run, we are
doing what is best for them."
Hubbs told the commissioners that hospital officials will categorize
received responses into proposals they like, proposals they do not like
and proposals in the middle. He did not give a timeline for hiring a
consultant. He said he did not know what the study would cost, but told
commissioners to expect hourly fees similar to legal fees. He said the
final contract would be drawn with an hourly rate, but a clause that the
consultant was not to exceed a certain dollar amount.
He said the hospital board had not yet approved the request for
proposal. Hospital officials are scheduled to continue discussions with
the commissioners at the meeting Monday.

Sewer project moves ahead

By RYAN HORNS
"They have all begun," Marysville City Administrator Kathy House said
with a smile on her face.
In her office at City Hall Thursday, House said she was happy to
announce that the three separate projects that make up the future Water
Reclamation Facility for wastewater treatment are underway.
She said the goal is to have the 8 million gallons per day (MGD)
Marysville Water Reclamation Facility open by December 2008. The plant
can later be expanded to a full 24 MGD, if needed, which creates an
essential pathway for growth to unfold in Union County.
Before it can open, House said, current wastewater crews will have to be
properly trained to work with the new equipment. She does not expect to
hire any additional employees because the new plant will be much more automated.
House said the current Marysville Wastewater Plant is equipped to handle
4 million gallons per day, but the plant has been taking in more than
that on a daily basis.
For almost a decade the city has been working toward expanding its
wastewater capacity in this fast growing community. In the process, the
city faced many well-documented hurdles, such as acquiring easements
from landowners and dealing with water rate increase debates needed to
fund the plant.
"We are very excited that everything is finally moving forward," House said.
She explained that construction has begun on the trunk interceptor sewer
lines that will connect the new and old wastewater plants, the pump
station that helps the flow on its way and the force main lines which
take the material from the pumps to the plant for purification. In
addition, work has started on the effluent line which carries the
treated water from the plant back to Mill Creek.
House said that contractors Super Excavators of Wisconsin will be
digging the trunk interceptor sewer line 40 feet underground.
"The route of the sewer will generally follow Cherry Street to Columbus
Avenue/Industrial Parkway and across Scottslawn Road to the Crosses Run
Pump Station, which is also in the initial stages of construction," she said.
City engineer Phil Roush said the trunk interceptor sewer project is
expected to be finished in April, 2009. He said the cost estimate for
the project is roughly $35 million.
House said that beginning today that project subcontractor, Sauls
Seismic, will be conducting a preconstruction video on the alignment of
the proposed sanitary sewer. As part of the preconstruction work, she
said Super Excavators will also be conducting building inspections on
properties within 200 feet of shaft locations and 100 feet of the
sanitary sewer centerline.
Roush said the work is expected to ensure safekeeping of residential
property during the process of construction.
"In the unlikely event that tunneling or shaft construction cause's
damage to any property or improvements, the videos and inspections will
document the damage for the insurance company and will greatly speed up
the processing of any claims and repair work," House said.
She added that for further safekeeping, geotechnical instrumentation
will be installed along the entire length of the project to monitor
ground movement during the tunneling process to further document any
potential for damage to nearby properties. Residents who have any
questions or concerns may contact SEI at 642-1393 or visit the company's
office, located at 840 E. Fifth St.
House said the only evidence residents will see of this work is drivers
hauling dirt away in trucks, man holes leading to shafts, and a few open
cuts into the ground in less populated areas. The shaft holes will be
fenced off and only opened during work hours. At times crews will work
24 hours a day.
"There will be very limited noise and dust," House said.
Regarding the pump station, House said it is being contracted by Kirk
Brothers Company, Inc. out of Alvada, Ohio. Excavation work has already
begun, which drivers may have spotted on Industrial Parkway, outside the
entrance to the Scotts Miracle-Gro Park and pool area.
She said the project was postponed six months as the city debated over
water rate fees. As a result, the station is expected to be completed by
mid-2009 instead of late 2008. Crews will be at work 10 hours a day,
Monday through Thursday.
The force main project is being contracted by George J. Igel and
Company, Inc. located out of Columbus, House said. The work will bury
two sewer lines, running side by side down Adelsberger Road then under
U.S. 33 taking wastewater for processing at the water reclamation facility.
"This project is not as complex and should be done before all the
others," she said.
Throughout all the work, House said that residents will see very little
in terms of inconvenience because of the use of tunneling instead of
digging large trenches. The force main project may result in Industrial
Parkway going into one lane at times. There may also be some increased
traffic congestion at the Five Points Intersection from trucks hauling dirt.

 

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