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Local Archived News March 2007



     Community Correctional Facility to open women's wing


     Meeting focuses on city debt load


     Blankets to warm the body and soul


     Parents warned of odd practices

     Holy Week services listed


     Abuse case dismissed locally

     Richwood Council sets aside extra money for  street repairs

     Board of Developmental Disabilities adopts new mission statement


     MHUC receives new CT scanner

     Student admits  making bomb threat at MHS


     Answered prayers

     Rail crossing upgrade delayed

     Kiwanis Club designates Random Acts of Kindness Week

     Humane Society plans kitten shower


     Water rate hike clears first hurdle

     Hospital to expand sleep lab


     Bean there, done that

     Triad treasurer resigns


     Masons to honor area  residents

     Justin Kempfer earns rank of Eagle Scout


     Marysville doesn't OK late start date

     North Union officials discuss weighted grade system

     Jerome trustees approve paving work


     MHS show choir places second in nationwide competition

     Traffic shift is next phase of Plain City bypass project


     It's not here yet, but virus is a cat killer


     Armed robbery reported in Richwood

     Replica Vietnam Wall coming to Marysville

     Triad revises athletic eligibility policy


     Area resident Martha Asman to turn 100


     Marysville eyes redistricting

     WorkNet volunteer, sheriff's department receive statewide awards

     Fire levels small barn, corn crib


     A different perspective


     Water rate increase sent to council

     JA's Canaan Middle School honored

     Milford Center budget approved

     Unionville Center deals with alley issues

     Richwood Council hears parking ticket complaint


     Drowning may not have been cause of death

     Restaurant plans City Gate location


     Man drowns

     Students showcase imagination


     Plane crashes in W. Mansfield

     Water rate issue finds no resolution

     Drug bust nets 173 pounds of marijuana

     Cotner resigns as FHS grid coach


     Money down  the drain?

     Young adults implicated in string of break-ins

     Few details released on carjacking


     N. Lewisburg needs stormwater plan

     Who are you giving your money to?

     Union County to receive money from Emergency Food and Shelter National Board


     Jerome trustees discuss safety officers

     Foot pursuit leads to arrest

     Marysville Boy Scouts schedule events


     JA student killed in crash


     For the love of animals


     Little headway made in 16 years

     MR/DD drops Mental Retardation from name

     Literacy BEAR event is Monday


      Marysville Muscle

      Youngsters brought together through program

Community Correctional Facility to open women's wing
Has been empty since construction was completed in 2006

State funding may finally allow the empty rooms of a women's wing at
West Central Community Correctional Facility (WCCCF) to be filled.
Executive Director David Ervin said Thursday that his facility recently
received $228,240 to help open the wing, which has been vacant since its
groundbreaking in April 2005. The construction wrapped up in 2006.
Despite a daunting political environment filled with state budget cuts,
West Central Community Correctional Facility constructed the new female
facility knowing that it would have to sit empty until funding could be
secured through the state.
Ervin said at the time that the decision to construct the new facility
was based largely on the limits of time and money. The state had already
set aside construction funds in the 2005 budget to build the female
wing, then state budget cuts reared up and dropped funding over the next
few years. If officials had not built the wing, inflation would have
eaten away at all the money appropriated for the project.
"The state budget is very tight," Ervin said. "Legislators are being
very careful to make sure the funding priorities are in the right order."
He said the main reason funding recently opened up is because of
recently appointed Director of Rehabilitation and Corrections, Terry
Collins, who has interest in expanding programs such as West Central
across Ohio. Collins went before the state legislature to ask for
funding and his request was granted in the amount of $5 million. This
will then be spread out among different programs around Ohio.
"We were very pleased to get that funding," Ervin said. "The director
really came through for us."
He also gave credit to state representative Tony Core, Ohio senator
Larry Mumper and Union County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard Parrott
for their efforts to expand the community correctional facility.
Ervin said these programs are important because of the reality of prison
overcrowding and the concern over the number of female inmates housed by
the state of Ohio.
"The criminal justice system is overwhelmed," Ervin said.
He said the funding Collins was able to get for his facility will be
used to fill 16 of 50 beds in the female wing. Ervin said he will be
looking for ways to find more funding to open the entire wing.
Ervin said West Central will also use the funding to hire five resident
monitors and two counselors. The challenge has been finding the right
people for the job. The search started three or four months ago and
interviews are still being conducted.
Ervin said the public is welcome to attend two upcoming events at WCCCF.
On April 26 there will be a grand opening of the women's wing at 1:30
p.m. Then on April 29 a dedication ceremony will be held at 2

Meeting focuses on city debt load
How much debt can a city the size of Marysville really handle?
This question and more were raised at Marysville City Council's special
meeting on a water rate increase Thursday night. The agenda consisted of
discussion on funding, water needs and two public hearings for legislation.
Despite detailed information provided by financial experts and city
officials in support of the rate increase, issues such as debt
management and water conservation took the forefront.
The proposed legislation would raise water rates roughly 12 percent over
a two-year period. Based on home usage of 700 cubit feet per month,
bills for residents have gone from from $48.28 in 2005 and $50.69 in
2006 to $53.73 in 2007, and then $56.95 in 2008.
Resident Lloyd Baker pointed out that more than 31 percent of previously
passed wastewater rate hikes have yet to be added to resident's bills.
He said 20 percent of that increase will be implemented in 2008.
"It seems we are in too much debt," resident Esther Carmany said.
She said that if a $9 million water company purchase 16 years ago has
caused such financial problems for the city, how does it expect to pay
off the current debt? Resident Dick Noland, an engineer for some 45
years, said the city owes as much as $180 to $200 million. Other
residents placed that figure from $125 to $150 million.
City finance director John Morehart said that as of March 2007 the debt
is at $125,020,000.
Numerous residents voiced their approval of councilwoman Leah Sellers'
resolution for the city to create both a business and land use plan as
part of the water rate increases. She was called upon to defend her
resolution from comments raised by councilman John Marshall, Mayor Tom
Kruse and former Union County Commissioner Don Fraser who felt the
resolution and the 6 percent increase is irresponsible, in the face of
the 8 percent increase originally proposed.
"The 6 percent compromise doesn't satisfy everyone, but it does enable
us to move forward with water supply improvements," Sellers said.
With the two-year, 6 percent increase, she said the city can build its
reservoir and buy time to find alternative funding options to keep the
future wastewater treatment plant projects going.
Kruse said that business and land use plans are already in place. He
added that "wrong conclusions" have been made about the past
re-financing of the city's water company bonds. The extra money the city
gained through those maneuvers was not wasted. It was used on needed
capital items such as trucks and equipment.
He stressed that his administration could not have done any of that
without the approval of city council and the public, which neither
objected to at the time. He said by refinancing of the 30-year water
company bond, its debt will still be paid off in 30 years as originally planned.
Sellers said that Marysville's Water Master plan and overall Union
County plans are out of date. She reiterated that the city has not
pursued creative financing to help lift the burden from residents and
make growth pay for growth. She said that the main entity standing to
benefit from Marysville's reservoir and wastewater upgrades is Jerome
Village and developments slotted for that area. The city has not made
any effort to ask Jerome Village to pay for any part of the reservoir
and water treatment plant, and it was just assumed that the full price
is Marysville's problem and the responsibility of residents.
"I know who I represent. It is not developers or landowners outside city
limits or in the southern part of our county. I represent the people in
Marysville and in this room," Sellers said. "Now or in the future, I
won't ask residents to buy something if I can't tell them what they are
buying . we have no plan or understanding in place to tell residents
definitively what the growth in the southern part of the county will
look like and to protect them from costly residential development.
That's what a land-use plan does. It's a shield and a sword."
Sellers said that she is not looking for "a Pulitzer Prize winning
document" from the city - just something that describes how they are
going to manage and reduce debt and not repeat the same mistakes of the past.
She said that some have pointed out that her resolution "lacks teeth."
She said the mayor and administration may ultimately ignore her resolution.
"Unfortunately, there really is no good penalty that council can impose
for such bad behavior, we can't fine the mayor or coerce him or his
staff to do something. I would hope that if this passes, that the mayor
would make a good faith effort to comply, and do what's best for the
city.  I think he will - if it survives a veto," Sellers said. "But as
you all know, the ultimate remedy for all elected officials, including
myself, if you don't think we are doing our jobs, or if you think
somebody else could do a better job, is to vote us out."
Kruse also spoke about numerous ramifications for passing the 6 percent
increase over the 8 percent recommended. It would force him to abandon
the wastewater treatment plant project and his plans to borrow $53
million needed for the Trunk Interceptor Project; it will stop growth,
abandon bids for wastewater projects making the eventual re-bids even
more costly, and stop all future annexations because of their inability
to provide services. He said the schools would have to pass levies to
pay their debt on three new building projects, and the city will lose
its $3.6 million Jobs Ready Site grant.
"These are not threats," Kruse said, which brought laughter from
residents in the audience.
All second readings held Thursday night were passed and will turn up
again at the next council meeting on April 12 for the final reading.
Councilman Mark Reams said that one way residents can defer the rate
increase is by conserving their water usage. It is an issue that should
have been addressed years ago.
He said in many homes 27 percent of water is used by the toilet, so buy
one that is low flow. In other areas, 22 percent is used in the clothes
washer, 17 percent in the shower 16 percent from faucets, and 14 percent
from leaks. He said upgrading to more modern and efficient appliances
could offset all of these and keep individuals water rates down.

Blankets to warm the body and soul
Group provides coverings for area children

Just as Charles Schulz's Peanuts comic strip character, Linus, was
portrayed comforted by his blanket, some Marysville children will be
offered that same security thanks to a motivated group of "blanketeers."
Project Linus is an all-volunteer organization that provides comfort and
security to seriously ill and traumatized children through handmade blankets.
Kim Mathewson, of Marysville, is serving as chapter coordinator for the
Marysville area. She considers her work a personal mission.
In May of 2004, Mathewson lost her 16-year-old son Jason, in a car
accident. She said one of the hardest parts in dealing with his death
was that she was not able to be there to comfort him in his final moments.
"It's a mom's job to comfort a child, and I wasn't able to do that," she said tearfully.
She remembers the impact Jason's death had on the family and daughter, Krista.
"Krista lost her brother, she would have been a kid to give a blanket  to," she said.
Since that time Mathewson has been looking for an organization that
works to make a difference in the lives of children. Now, both she and
Krista are active blanketeers.
"We have tried to turn something bad into a positive," she said. "For
Krista, this has been good therapy, and it's a way for us to honor Jason."
Mathewson has heard about the impact Project Linus can have on a community.
"My sister lives in Marion County, and they have a chapter there," she
said.  "The police actually keep the blankets in their cruisers for
situations like domestic violence."
Mathewson said she hopes to work with local police and fire departments,
hospitals, shelters, and social service agencies in the distribution of
blankets to children.
"There are a lot of kids who can benefit from this," she said.
"And it's not only the kids who need the support, the parents need their
kids comforted, so this helps comfort the parents too," said Krista.
Both ladies are kicking-off the new chapter of Project Linus by having a
"Make a Blanket Day" on April 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Calvary
Baptist Church, 17376 Route 347.
Those interested in making a blanket are encouraged to bring 1 1/2 yards
of fleece fabric and a pair of sharp scissors. Mathewson said she will
share some blanket making ideas and information on becoming a volunteer.
According to Mathewson, since its inception, Project Linus has delivered
more than 1.5 million blankets to children through nearly 400 chapters
across the country, at least 20 of those in Ohio.
More information can be obtained by contacting Kim Mathewson at 642-5124

Parents warned of odd practices

J-T staff reports
Triad parents recently received a letter, sent home with students,
informing them of two dangerous practices the superintendent says have
occurred within the school district but not on school grounds.
The first practice Superintendent Daniel Kaffenbarger mentions in the
letter is branding.
"A piece of metal, usually a coat hanger is bent into a desired shape
and then that shape is heated, usually with a blowtorch or lighter and
the brand applied to the skin, Kaffenbarger wrote.
He said he believes the practice has been occurring since the first of the year.
"From what I understand, this comes on the heels of the release of the
new "Jackass" movie, which something similar occurred in that movie," he said.
The practice is considered unsafe because of the health risks associated
with it, he said.
According to Kaffenbarger, there have been cases documented across the
country where  physical complications have occurred including,
hepatitis, HIV, staph infection, and in some extreme cases, gangrene.
Kaffenbarger said the practice started among high school students, but
some siblings later introduced it to middle school students.
Approximately 10 students have participated in the act and consider it
on the same level as tattooing, Kaffenbarger said, adding he heard the
branding is happening at the participants' homes.
A second practice mentioned in the letter is the spraying of Axe Body
Spray on the genital area of the body and then setting it on fire. This
activity is reportedly promoted on YouTube via the Internet.
Kaffenbarger states, "Although neither of these activities is occurring
at school there is the unavoidable peer pressure occurring during school time."
He also encouraged parents to talk with their children about the risks
associated with these acts.
Kaffenbarger writes, "After several concerned parents have spoken to me
about these activities, I felt it was my responsibility to share my
concern with you as an educator and a parent."
He also encouraged parents who have any additional information to contact him.

Holy Week services listed
From J-T staff reports:
The Marysville Area Ministerial Association (MAMA) will sponsor a
community Good Friday service April 6 from noon to 1 p.m.
The service will be held at First Presbyterian Church. The Rev. Ken
Daft, senior pastor at Marysville First United Methodist Church, will
deliver the sermon.
Special music will be presented by the Marysville Interdenominational
Children's Choir under the direction of Barbara Demming.
Those interested in participating in an introit choir may show up for a
short rehearsal in the church choir room at 11:15 a.m.
Other Holy Week activities and the churches hosting them follow:
Agape Community Fellowship will hold its first Sunday service in its new
location on Palm Sunday. The worship service will begin at 10 a.m. at
Mill Valley Elementary. A special celebration will be held on Easter Sunday.
Byhalia Friends Church, Route 31 in Byhalia, will present "The Second
Day Drama and Concert" on Palm Sunday at 10:30 a.m. The drama by Betsy
Carter will depict the day after the crucification of Jesus.
Caldwell Memorial United Methodist Church, Irwin, will hold a festival
worship on Palm Sunday at 9:15 a.m. Holy Communion will be celebrated on
Maundy Thursday, April 5, at 7 p.m., and festival worship will be held
at 9:15 a.m. Easter Sunday.
Good Friday services at Calvary Baptist Church, 17376 Route 347, will be
held April 6 at 7 p.m. An Easter sunrise service will be held at 8:30
a.m., followed by breakfast at 9:30 a.m. and morning worship at 10:45 a.m.
The Easter Cantata, "Because He Lives" will be performed Easter Sunday
at Christian Assembly Church, 1003 N. Maple St., at 10:30 a.m. It will
be preceded by a sunrise service at 6:30 a.m. On Good Friday, a
Communion service will be held at 7 p.m.
The adult ensemble of Emmanuel Baptist Church, 309 S. Oak St., will
present "Behold the Man: Exalting the Christ of Easter" on Easter Sunday
at 10:40 a.m. Nursery will be provided.
First Congregational United Church of Christ will hold an Easter egg
hunt and cookout at McCarthy Park at 11 a.m. March 31. The Easter Bunny
will be special guest. Those planning to attend should call 642-1611.
A processional will be held Palm Sunday at 10:30 a.m. It will be
preceded by Sunday school at 9:30 a.m. A Maundy Thursday worship service
will be held April 5 at 7 p.m.
Easter Sunday activities will include a sunrise service at Sean Doebert
Memorial Shelter at Legion Park, a 9:30 a.m., breakfast in the church
fellowship hall, and Easter worship at 10:30 a.m. The message will be
"The Last Enemy."
"The Seven Last Words of Christ" by Theodore Dubois, will be presented
Palm Sunday at 2 p.m. at First English Lutheran Church. The ministry in
song will be presented by the combined voices of local area church
choirs. Communion will be served during the 10:30 a.m. worship.
On Wednesday, April 4 at 6:15 p.m., a Seder meal will be served. A
Maundy Thursday service with Communion will be held April 5. Communion
also will be served Good Friday at 7 p.m. An Easter vigil will begin at
8:30 p.m. Saturday, April 7.
First Presbyterian Church at Fifth and Court streets will present "The
Red Carpet," a musical story of the passion of Christ during 10 a.m.
worship on Palm Sunday. The story will include narration by the Rev. Dr.
Scott L. Strohm and soloists and ensembles directed by Scott Underwood
with accompaniment by Caroline Ohnsman.
On Maundy Thursday, April 5, the 7 p.m. worship will include receiving
the confirmation/commissioning class of seventh grade students into
church membership and the sacrament of Holy Communion.
The Easter Sunday worship service will be held at 10 a.m. April 8 and
will include traditional Resurrection Day hymns with instrumental
accompaniment and a piano and organ duet.
First United Methodist Church, 18 S. Fulton St., Richwood, will kick off
Holy Week activities with a children's music program during its 10:30
a.m. Palm Sunday worship service. It will be preceded by an 8:15 a.m.
early worship service and 9:30 a.m. Sunday school.
A Maundy Thursday service with a Seder meal will be held April 5 at 6:30
p.m. A Good Friday service will be held at noon April 6, with lunch to
follow. Holy Week activities will conclude Easter Sunday with a 7:30
a.m. sunrise service with breakfast to follow, 9:30 a.m. Sunday school
and a 10:30 a.m. worship service with the choir and hand bells.
Jerome United Methodist Church, 10531 Jerome Road, will begin Palm
Sunday with its 8:30 a.m. traditional worship and children's worship.
Following at 9:30 a.m. will be fellowship time and refreshments, 9:45
a.m. Christian education for all ages, and a 10:45 a.m. contemporary and
children's worship.
On Maundy Thursday at 7:30 p.m., "Communion at the Cross," an
experiential contemporary worship, will be held. The Good Friday service
will include "For Such A One As This," a music and drama telling the
passion of Christ and featuring a chamber orchestra with a string
ensemble from the Columbus Youth Symphony.
An Easter sunrise service will be held at 7 a.m. April 8. It will be
followed by continental breakfasts at 7:45 and 9:45 a.m., traditional
Easter worship at 8:30 a.m., and contemporary Easter worship at 10:45 a.m.
"Faces Around the Cross - the Thief" will be the Palm Sunday message at
Marysville First United Methodist Church. It will be based on Luke 23:38-43.
A Maundy Thursday Communion service will be held April 5 at 7 p.m. in
the sanctuary. The message will be "Falling Away." A Good Friday service
will be held April 6 at 7 p.m. in the sanctuary.
An 11th Hour Service will be held April 7 at 6 p.m. in the Burnside
Family Life Center. An Easter Sunday sunrise service will be held at 7
p.m. Easter worship celebrations will be held at 8:25, 9:30 and 10:45
a.m. The message will be "Faces Around the Cross - Peter," based on Luke  2:54-62.
Marysville Grace Brethren Church will hold an Easter egg hunt April 7 at
Eljer Park at 11 a.m. An Easter Sunday family service will be held April
8 at 8:30 a.m., followed by worship at 10 a.m., with full childcare
available for children of all ages. The church meets at Navin Elementary School.
Palm Sunday worship will be held at 10:30 a.m. at Milford Center United
Methodist Church, 55 E. State St., Milford Center. Sunday school and a
coffee hour will be held at 9:30 a.m.
On Good Friday at 7 p.m., Stations of the Cross will be staged. An
Easter Sunday sunrise worship at Liberty Park will begin at 7:30 a.m. If
the weather is inclement, the event will be moved to the church. The
worship will be followed by breakfast at 8:15 a.m., Sunday school and
coffee hour at 9:15 a.m., and festival worship at 10:30 a.m.
New Dover United Methodist Church, 16637 Church St., New  Dover, and
Unionville Center UMC, 127 W. Main St., Unionville Center, will hold a
combined Easter sunrise service at 8 a.m. at the New Dover church.
Breakfast will follow.
New Dover also will hold a Maundy Thursday service April 5 at 7 p.m.,
and an Easter egg hunt Saturday, April 7, at 1 p.m. Easter Sunday
worship will be held at 11 a.m. April 8, with Sunday school scheduled at 10 a.m.
Unionville Center will hold a Good Friday service April 6 at 7 p.m. It
also will hold an Easter egg hunt April 7 at 11 a.m.
Easter Sunday worship will begin with singing April 8 at 9:15 a.m. The
worship service will follow at 9:30 a.m.
Our Lady of Lourdes will begin Holy Week services with a Saturday Mass
at 4:30 p.m. and 9 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Masses on Palm Sunday. A Holy
Thursday Mass will be held April 5 at 7 p.m., and a Good Friday Mass at
noon on April 6.
An Easter Vigil is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. on April 7. Easter Sunday
Masses will be held at 9 and 11:30 a.m. on April 8.
Raymond Church of Christ will observe Palm Sunday with Communion during
its 10:30 a.m. service. An Easter sunrise service will be held at 7:30
a.m., with breakfast to follow at 8:30 a.m. Sunday school will be held
at 9:30 a.m. and will be followed by Easter Sunday worship at 10:30 a.m.
At 6 p.m., evening worship will be held.
Palm Sunday also is Confirmation Sunday at St. Paul Lutheran Church,
7960 Route 38. Sunday school and Bible study will be held at 9 a.m.
There will be no early worship service that day.
The church will hold a Maundy Thursday worship service with Communion at
7 p.m. April 5. A reception for the confirmation class will follow. A
Good Friday service will be held April 6 at 7 p.m.
On Easter Sunday, a sunrise service will be held at 7 a.m. It will be
followed by breakfast and an egg hunt at 8 a.m., Sunday school and Bible
study at 9 a.m., and an Easter celebration and worship at 10 a.m.
Trinity Lutheran Church will hold a palm processional on Palm Sunday,
April 1. On Wednesday, April 4, a special healing service will be held
at 7 p.m. A Maundy Thursday service will be held April 5 at 7 p.m. and a
Good Friday service April 6 at 7 p.m.
Easter Sunday will include a sunrise service at 6:30 a.m., followed by a
pancake breakfast at 7:30 a.m. At 8 a.m., a traditional service will be
held. Contemporary services will follow at 9:30 and 11 a.m.

Abuse case dismissed locally
Charges will reportedly be pursued in Clark County

From J-T staff reports:
Some 63 charges against a Springfield couple accused of committing
disturbing child abuse crimes were dismissed in Union County this week.
Union County Prosecutor David Phillips announced Monday that the
dismissal of the charges is temporary, as new indictments will be sought
in Clark County.
"This case is expected to be presented to the Clark County Grand Jury in
the near future," Phillips said.
James Ferguson and his wife, Vonda, both of 1337 Northfield Court,
Springfield, pleaded innocent in August 2006 to 61 counts of felonious
assault, permitting child abuse and endangering children for allegedly
abusing five of their adopted children between 2000 and 2004. Vonda
Ferguson also was charged with two counts of rape. The allegations
against the couple include burning them with a clothing iron, severe
beatings and forcing them into scalding bath water.
Ferguson's attorney, Kerry Donahue, reported March 2 that such a
dismissal could be coming, due to the charges being related to another county.
"We considered our options in this matter," Phillips said, "and felt
this was the best way to proceed given the current status of the case.
The judge indicated that he would dismiss any crimes which occurred in
Clark County at the close of the state's case. Given that many of the
serious allegations of abuse were alleged to have occurred in
Springfield, this would place the case in peril."
Phillips said that keeping the cases in Union County could mean the
Fergusons would be unable to be prosecuted.
"While we could appeal the court's ruling, we could not retry the
defendants because of the double jeopardy clause of the United States
Constitution," Phillips said.
Re-filing the case in Clark County, he said, will eliminate this issue
and allow the jury to decide the case on its own merits.
"I'd hate to see the matter decided on a technicality," Phillips said.
"We want the jury to decide if the defendants are guilty of abuse,
without having the venue at issue."
The prosecutor explained that the Ferguson cases were initially filed in
Union County under the theory that the defendants were engaged in a
continuing course of criminal conduct. Based on this, he said any county
the crimes occurred in could feasibly indict the couple.
"We believe the law allowed us to charge all of the conduct in Union
County, under the statutes of Ohio," Phillips said. "However, the judge
disagreed with this theory at a recent hearing."
Phillips said that he has been in touch with the Clark County
prosecuting attorney, Steve Shoemaker, and the prosecution will be
conducted by the two prosecutor's offices. Phillips said Shoemaker has
plans to appoint him as a special prosecutor in Clark County, so that he
may continue to help try the case.

Richwood Council sets aside extra money for  street repairs
With some village streets in desperate need of attention, Richwood
Council has set aside extra money in 2007 for repairs.
Council approved the final 2007 budget 5-0, with member Peg Wiley
absent, with total appropriations of $1,658,735. Total revenue for the
year is projected at $1,698,999.
Village council opted to place additional money in the funds for street
repairs. Village financial officer Don Jolliff said the village has set
aside $100,000 for repairs, $50,000 more than 2006 figures.
Jolliff explained some of the extra money comes from revenues from the
gasoline tax. Most of the tax money goes into a fund to repair village
streets, but a small portion is set aside for state highway improvements.
The highway money has built up over the years leaving the village with a
surplus which was allocated for use this year.
The village also opted to use more than $25,000 which the village
secured from the sale of land at the Richwood Industrial Park on street repairs.
Village administrator Larry Baxa said he would be meeting with street
committee chairman Scott Jerew to determine which roads most desperately
need repairs.
Total village appropriations for 2007 include: General fund, $556,724;
streets, $185,578; state highway, $50,000, parks, $41,196; sewer
construction, $96,371; building and other structures, $20,000;
industrial park development, $7,500; water operating, $265,643; sewer
operating, $308,164; water debt service, $73,422; and sewer debt
service, $54,133.
In other business council:
.Approved of the safety committee's recommendation to promote Becky
Frazier to the position of sergeant in the Richwood Village Police Department.
.Discussed additional parking issues, in a continuation of talks at recent meetings.
.Learned that the village will begin chipping brush on April 9. The
village will also begin picking up bags of leaves and clippings.
Richwood crews will not pick up bags if they contain even small amounts of garbage.
.Heard that a small portion of the storm sewer line work that was done
on North Clinton and Blagrove streets is being adjusted by the
contractors. Apparently drainage was not efficient after recent rains.
.Learned that a lightning strike caused a motor in a village well pump
to burn out. The motor will be replaced and the cost may be covered by insurance.
.Heard from mayor Bill Nibert that the North Union School District would
like to use some of the accumulated dirt from the Industrial Park
construction for use at future school construction sites. Baxa said
there was no reason for the village to hold onto the dirt.
.Set Spring Cleanup Day for May 12.
.Held an executive session to discuss personnel.

Board of Developmental Disabilities adopts new mission statement
From J-T staff reports:
The Union County Board of Developmental Disabilities has adopted a new
mission statement, vision statement, and core values as the initial
components for a revised strategic plan. The approval of these plan
segments came after a presentation by Superintendent Kim Miller and the
management team who had worked several months on the project.
The new mission statement is: "The mission of the Union County Board of
Developmental Disabilities is to ensure services and supports are
available for eligible individuals."
The revised vision statement is: "It is the vision of the Union County
Board of Developmental Disabilities to be a primary community force that
ensures a consumer-driven system and that assists eligible individuals
to become full citizens within the community."
Board Vice President Steve Streng said, "We want to make sure that we
don't get away from our message that everyday we make a difference in
the lives of citizens with special needs in Union County."
Board member Jim Kouri commended the management team for "creating
functional mission and vision statements with core values that will
drive the strategic plan." Kouri added, "It's about all of us moving
forward together."
Work on the strategic plan will continue for the next several months.
Staff member Rachel Hayes presented the board with a staff petition
regarding converting the organization's logo to a five prong starfish to
align with the five core values which are:  Excellence, customer-driven,
collaboration, integrity and stewardship.
The idea was generated at a recent all-staff in-service day.  Hayes said
that this potential change has generated "a lot of passion and enthusiasm by staff."
"The timing for this is appropriate and logical," said board member the
Rev. Paul Whiteford.
Additional design follow-up will occur in the next month.
The next regularly scheduled board meeting will be April 16 at 4:30 p.m.
in the Amrine Room of the Harold Lewis Center.

MHUC receives new CT scanner
$3 million device is one of two in Ohio

Memorial Hospital of Union County entered an elite society Saturday when
it accepted delivery and installation of a state-of-the-art dual source
64-slice CT scanner.
The Siemens scanner is one of only two in the state and was manufactured
in Germany. The Cleveland Clinic also has one.
Memorial's new scanner is the cornerstone of the hospital's recent
renovation of the CT and MRI suite and comes with an impressive price
tag. The total cost, along with renovations to the suite, was $3.1 million dollars.
The CT scanner is being funded through community and business donations,
along with operating and capital funds.
CT stands for computed tomography, which was formerly referred to as a
computer-aided tomography scan or CAT scan.
Before the hospital only had one four-slice CT scanner. The four-slice
unit will be replaced with an industry standard 16-slice unit in the coming months.
The hospital will then have two CT's to meet the different needs of
patients, depending on the intricacy of their diagnosis.
Melanie Ziegler, director of development and communications, explained
that the original plan was to upgrade the four-slice with a standard
64-slice CT scanner.
However, with the dual source technology becoming available last fall
following FDA approval, the hospital saw it as an opportunity to step
out and demonstrate top-notch technology by bringing it closer to home.
Mareva Page, director of imaging services, said the advantage to the new
dual source scanner is that two as opposed to one x-ray tube is used to
create a crisper more detailed image.
"The idea behind the dual source CT is simple," Page said. "It is merely
using two x-ray sources and two detectors at the same time, hence giving
way to better resolution, double the speed and twice the power in less time."
A CT scan is used to view tissues throughout the entire body which can
help avoid exploratory surgery to find a problem.
Specifically, the advantage to the dual source is to cardiac patients
because it eliminates the need for beta-blockers. Page explained that
beta-blockers are often administered to cardiac patients before a single
source CT scan can be done. The beta-blockers are a medication used to
lower the heart rate.
"Anytime you are affecting the heart rate, you are at greater risk for a
cardiac event," Page explained, "In the case of the dual source, the
images can be acquired at a higher speed so beta-blockers are unnecessary."
Simply put, it captures the image more quickly, Page said.
Dr. Charles Muncrief, a radiologist on staff at MHUC, said the advantage
to the dual source 64-slice CT scanner is that it is able to do double the work.
"Above all, our top priority is the safety of our patients," Muncrief
said, "We feel that the dual source CT scanner is the best choice
because it is able to accomplish this mission - to produce images -
while protecting patients from unnecessary medication and radiation."
The new CT/MRI suite had been completely renovated to complement the
cutting edge technology.
Patients enter a new a reception area where they can check in for their procedures.
A bathroom has been added to ensure patient privacy. Earth tones are
used throughout the department.
"The aim is to make it feel very soothing for the patient," Ziegler said.
Page said patients are scheduled for a CT or MRI scan because their
physician is trying to either rule out or diagnose a life-threatening
disease or medical anomaly.
"This can be very stressful and we want to put the patient in as warm
and comfortable of an environment as we possibly can," Page said.
The actual CT scanner room will feature a decorative backlit Plexiglas
ceiling panel. The panel will provide an aesthetically pleasing view for
patients undergoing a scan.
The dual source 64-slice is designed to be faster and more efficient to
provide patients and their doctors with more immediate results.
The hospital will begin scanning patients with the new scanner on April
16. The plan is to offer cardiac scanning midsummer.
The hospital is currently working on plans to install a new MRI unit later this year.

Student admits  making bomb threat at MHS
From J-T staff reports:
The Marysville High School student behind a recent bomb threat has been
Assistant Marysville Police Chief Glenn Nicol reported this morning that
charges are pending through the Union County Prosecutor's Office
against student Michael A. Tackett, 18, of 315 W. Fourth St. He said
Tackett will face charges related to the bomb threat written on a
bathroom wall at Marysville High School on Wednesday, March 21.
Nicol said that Tackett admitted to the message which stated, "There is
a bomb that's going to go off at 8 a.m. Can you find them all?"
The threat also made vague references to the bombs being placed at
"structure points" within the school building, Nicol said.
Immediately after the bomb threat was reported, both police and
Marysville school officials said they were not going to take it lightly.
"Following an extensive investigation, a student has admitted to the
bomb threat at Marysville High School," Marysville schools
superintendent Larry Zimmerman reported Saturday morning in an e-mail
message. "The Marysville Police assisted in the investigation and will
file charges against the Marysville High School student."
Details on what led investigators to Tackett were not available this
morning because charges are still pending.

Answered prayers
The Rev.  Marty Sheckler  is out of his coma, back at home and wants to

It has been one week today that the Rev. Marty Sheckler returned home
after spending eight months in hospitals and nursing homes due to a
motorcycle accident that critically injured him in July.
"It has been great, I get to see Julie and the kids more," Sheckler said with a smile.
The fact that the pastor can speak at all has been surprising, not only
to his family, but to the doctors, nurses and therapists who have been treating him.
"I've surprised them all," he said. "One doctor at OSU said I had the largest blood
clot he had ever seen.
"I must have hit the road hard."
All of the bones were shattered around his right eye, the right side of
his head was cut open, and that wasn't all.
"The doctor said my heart couldn't take all the damage," he said. "They
thought I was going to die."
Sheckler has no recollection of the accident but has been told that he
was just minutes from his Leeper Perkins Road home when a dog ran out in
front of him on County Home Road on July 14. His motorcycle rolled or
skidded into the ditch. Friends say, he was at the scene for about an
hour before some drivers found him.
Sheckler, minister of the Marysville Christian Church, had driven his
new motorcycle to church before taking a vanload of men to a Promise
Keepers event in Columbus. At 10:15 p.m. he called his family to let
them know he was on his way home. That was the night that would change
his life forever.
Sheckler presently is confined to a chair, needs help getting in and out
of bed, is deaf in his right ear, has a rash on his skin from the
pavement tearing it off, lost the use of four nerves, one of which
controls swallowing, and his right eye is temporarily stitched closed.
Regardless, he is upbeat and has set a goal.
"I want to walk pretty badly, and I really believe I will," he said.
Just as Sheckler had to learn to talk again, he will also have to learn to walk again.
"While I was in the coma, for four months, my muscles got so weak, so I
will have to build them up," he said.
That process has started with practice using parallel bars, a walker and
a tilt table which has multiple straps to help patients stand.
According to Sheckler his physical therapy can sometimes be painful.
Even so, he still keeps his sense of humor.
"My therapist had PT (for physical therapist) on her badge and I told
her it stood for pain and torture," he laughed.
Sheckler likes to laugh and even more so, he likes to make others laugh,
including wife, Julie.
"When he carries on, I just tell people it's the medication," his wife, Julie, said.
Sheckler said the laughing is what keeps him going.
"Julie says, 'I've got my Marty back,'" he said.
Not once has the pastor questioned the accident or been angry with the
God he serves.
"I'm not angry with God, I need his help to walk again," he said.
"According to scripture it says ?'he is our refuge and our strength.'"
Sheckler says it is the local church community that has been a true
support system for he and his family of five.
"I know at the rally they had for me $41,000 was raised," he said. "I
just couldn't believe it."
Julie said she learned that 80 percent of the people who attended the
Oct. 14 rally at the Union County Fairgrounds didn't even know her husband.
"The community has been good to me and my church has been good to me,"
Sheckler said. "I believe the people at church saved my life because
they prayed for me."
The pastor is now ready to give back to his church. He says he wants to
preach in a couple of weeks.
"I go to church, but I'm not preaching," he said. "I long for that day."
Although he hasn't been preaching in church, he was able to minister to
a lot of the friends he made while recovering in the hospitals and
nursing homes. Friends say Sheckler had a famous saying at the end of
his services:  "Let's go out and be the church."
Regardless of his physical condition, some would say Marty Sheckler has
been doing just that.
For more information on Sheckler's progress, those interested may visit

Rail crossing upgrade delayed
Residents looking forward to the city opening up the East Fifth Street
railroad crossing may have to wait longer than they expected.
Councilman Dan Fogt said during Thursday night's Marysville City Council
meeting that he was not happy with recent news that plans for the East
Fifth Street railroad crossing upgrade were delayed.
City Administrator Kathy House told council she had recently received an
update on the status of the crossing in an e-mail from city engineer Phil Roush.
The subsequent upgrade work and opening have now been pushed back
several months. The process was originally set to begin in early 2007.
"I talked with Joe Reinhardt of the Ohio Rail Development Commission
(ORDC) this morning," Roush wrote Thursday afternoon. "He believes PUCO
will issue an order in early April for the lights and gates for the
crossing. The necessary agreement from CSX was received last week."
Roush said that ORDC funds for the order were received Thursday.
September 2006 was when councilman John Gore first announced that the
Ohio Rail Development Commission reported that Marysville was set to
receive 100 percent of the funding needed to keep traffic flowing
through East Fifth Street. This set in motion the process of
installation of crossing lights and arms, which Mayor Tom Kruse said
were essential before he would allow the opening the East Fifth Street crossing again.
At the time, manager of the ORDC Safety Programs Susan Kirkland said the
ORDC would fund the warning device installation at a 70 percent level
and the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) will cover 20 percent
along with assessing CSX a 10 percent share. She said Bonnie Johrendt at
the PUCO would initiate a contract outlining the scope and funding
scenario for the project.
"We are to receive a copy of the PUCO order when it is issued. The
railroad will have one year from the date of issuance to install the
lights and gates," Roush explained. "We have been advised by ORDC that
they recommend we not reopen the crossing to traffic until the lights
and gates are operational."
Kirkland said that by adding PUCO and CSX into the funding scheme, the
project timeline would take longer.
House told Fogt that paperwork issue with CSX seem to be the cause for the delay.
"I'm extremely disappointed," Fogt said.
He said he takes issue with the project taking one year from the money
being issued, instead of plans already being underway as he was led to
believe. He said he plans to look into the issue.

Kiwanis Club designates Random Acts of Kindness Week
Also plans Love Thy  Neighbor awards

From J-T staff reports:
The Kiwanis Club of Marysville will once again sponsor Random Acts of
Kindness Week during the week of April 22-28.
The weeklong movement encourages kind deeds and friendly acts among the community.
"Our goal since the inception of this project and throughout the years
has always simply been to encourage the community to put some genuine
thought and effort into being kind." said Derric Brown, Kiwanis member
and RAOK chairman. "The 'feel- good' potential for this week is great
and if our efforts help brighten the day of one or a few then it will have been worth it."
The Kiwanis Club of Marysville has long encouraged residents to be
original in their gestures. Some frequent suggestions are allowing a
shopper to check out before you, opening doors for others, buying
desserts for the table next to you, calling an old friend, or saying
"hello" to a passerby on the street.  Individuals could also make a more
concerted effort of making someone's day by writing a letter of thanks
to local firemen and police, visiting the elderly, or volunteering for
your city, school, or church.  Brown urges participants be sincere, have
fun and enjoy making someone else feel fantastic.
The Kiwanis Club of Marysville will also award its annual "Love Thy
Neighbor" awards. These awards are presented to an adult and child who
have selflessly given of him or herself and in whom the qualities of
kindness and respect are best reflected.
Nominations must be submitted to the Kiwanis Club of Marysville, P.O.
Box 340, Marysville, or e-mailed to Derric Brown at  Submitters should tell why the individual is
being nominated and include your name, address and phone number along
with the same information for the individual being nominated.
Nominations must be received by April 18. Sending in a nomination could
also be considered random act of kindness.
The "Love Thy Neighbor" awards will be presented at the April 23 Kiwanis
Club of Marysville meeting.
For more information about Random Acts of Kindness Week and the Kiwanis
Club of Marysville, those interested may call Derric Brown at 642-1751
or e-mail questions to the above mentioned address.

Humane Society plans kitten shower
From J-T staff reports:
In preparations for the upcoming kitten season, the Union County Humane
Society is hosting its first-ever kitten shower.
Similar to an ordinary baby shower, the event will take place on Sunday
at St. John's Church on Route 736 in Marysville and will include
refreshments and door prizes.
The UCHS is also registered at Wall-Mart and Target for items urgently
needed including kitten formula and small bottles for orphaned kittens,
blankets, litter boxes, heating pads, toys and more.
"Last year we took in 112 cats in May alone," UCHS executive director
Rachel Finney said.
In the coming months the humane society will receive phone calls and
requests to take in hundreds of cats.
"We get calls from concerned citizens trying to place cats every day,
but in the early spring months, we get requests for as many as 20 to 40 cats a day."
Despite increasing intake of cats by 25 percent in 2006, the society
isn't equipped to handle the volume of cats that need help in Union County.
"There just isn't enough space at the shelter," operations manager Al
Burnard said. "We need foster homes that are willing to provide care for
pregnant and nursing cats and orphaned kittens."
Foster families are provided with basic start-up supplies and keep the
kittens until they are able to be spayed or neutered for adoption. In
most kittens, the animals can be spayed or neutered at two pounds.
"Union County is such a supportive and nurturing community," Finney
said. "I hope we can count on that support for our feline neighbors and friends."
Cats available for adoption at the Union County Humane Society are
already spayed or neutered, fully vaccinated, microchipped for permanent
identification, have tested negative for feline leukemia and FIV and
come with a free information DVD. Cost of adoption is $65.

Water rate hike clears first hurdle
Companion legislation would make city create spending, land use plans
Marysville residents will soon have one last chance to speak their minds
on water rate hikes and offer advice to city leaders.
Councilman Ed Pleasant said that the pubic is encouraged to attend a
special council meeting Thursday, March 29, at 7 p.m. in council
chambers at 125 E. Sixth St. in City Hall. The purpose of the meeting is
to allow residents one last chance to speak on water hikes before the
issue has its final reading in April.
City council met Thursday night and held the first reading on an
ordinance to increase water rates 6 percent each of the next two years.
Councilman John Marshall then proposed that council waive the third
reading on the water rate hikes. He said the discussion has been going
on for "months and months." If a special meeting is being held
specifically for a public hearing, he said, then it won't be necessary
to have the third reading.
Marshall said that it has been difficult to arrange his work schedule to
attend these past council meetings and he wants to be able to be there
for the final vote.
When put to vote, Marshall's proposal to waive third reading was voted
down by the rest of council.
"Here we are in the 11th hour," councilman Dave Burke said. "You don't
want to push."
Council member Leah Sellers pointed out that council will sometimes
allow public comment on the third reading if permission is requested.
"They've had since November, Leah," Marshall said about Marysville
residents. "Here we go again."
Some residents said  recently that they were upset after council invited
and encouraged the public to speak at the last special council meeting,
only to be told they weren't allowed when they showed up.
Pleasant said that the March 29 meeting will have attorneys, bank
representatives, city administrators and fact sheets all available to
provide the public a chance to speak.
The first reading was also held on a resolution companion piece to the
water rate ordinance drafted by Sellers. She said she originally voted
against increasing water rates because of the city's lack of a business
plan and a land use plan. Both issues are addressed in the companion resolution.
The first section states that Marysville administration will complete a
land use plan for the city's growth and utility service areas within one
year of the passage of the resolution. A progress report on the land use
plan will also be presented to council within six months.
Sellers is also calling for an update to the 1999 Union County
Comprehensive Plan regarding land use as it pertains to Marysville. It
asks that administration work with Marysville Planning Commission to
determine appropriate land use for different growth and utility areas within the city.
The second section of the resolution deals with the city creating a
Water Utility Business Plan, Sellers said. It states that administration
will present a plan for Marysville's water utility within three months
after the passage of the legislation.
The legislation states that the goal of the business plan will be to
ensure that the water rates culled from Marysville will be managed
properly to ensure the well-being of residents. Specifically, any
profits and fees from the water utility will go toward the benefit of
the water utility itself, specifically toward debt repayment. By doing
this, city administration must ensure that any return on investments go
toward reducing the water utility debt "as fast as possible" and
implement cost saving measures within the utility.
In other business:
. The first reading was held on an ordinance to borrow $53 million
toward the future wastewater treatment plant. Bids that came in were
below what administration thought they would be. With the funding, the
city can begin the pump station and force water main projects.
. The local American Legion requested a donation of $1,750 or more from
city council to pay for the Fourth of July fireworks show.

Hospital to expand sleep lab
Memorial Hospital of Union County (MHUC) will begin expanding the sleep
lab within the next month.
Spence Fisher, vice president of physician relations and business
development, said the plans are complete and the project will go out to
bid within the next week.
The project is expected to take three months to complete.
The sleep lab will expand the current unit from two to four beds and
will be moved to the lower level of the Women's Health Center. The lab
is used to help diagnose sleep disorders.
The new lab will be constructed within an existing shell that was left
purposely unoccupied for the intent of expansion when the Women's Health
Center was completed in 2004.
The new location will be quiet and feature hotel-like amenities for
sleep lab patients.
The dual-source 64-slice CT (computed tomography) scanner will be
delivered and installed Saturday.
The scanner will be one of only two available statewide. The scanner is
part of the hospital's complete renovation of the MRI/CT department.
Gwen Janeczek, nurse director, presented to the board information on the
hospital's behavioral health unit.
The behavioral health unit is a 10-bed locked unit located off the
hospital's Morey Center.
The unit is one of a limited number in the central Ohio region. It pulls
a large number of patients from outside the county; however, even though
the unit accepts admissions statewide, priority is given to Union County residents.
The unit shares the same building as Consolidated Care Inc. but is not
affiliated with the outpatient counseling service.
It admits patients 18 and older who have been determined to have a
primary Axis 1 diagnosis; for example, major depression.
Janeczek explained that the unit is not an in-patient chemical dependency unit.
The unit has averaged 446 admissions per year over the last three years.
Janeczek said the average length of stay for patients is anywhere from
three to five days.
She said the unit staffs a registered nurse, a master prepared social
worker, a rehabilitation therapist and nursing support.
The expected outcomes of the unit include assisting patients to develop
coping skills and strategies. The staff also works to assist the
patient's family and make resources readily available for after the patient's release.
Fisher shared with board members an award presented to the hospital
naming MHUC a Public Health Partner of the Year by the Union County Health Department.
Fisher explained that this is the first time an organization has
received the award rather than an individual.
The board elected Dennis Stone as board president, Chad Hoffman as
vice-president and Bud Westlake as secretary.
The next regular board meeting will be April 26 at 8 p.m.
In other action, the board:
.Approved the following committee reports - operational team report,
finance committee and joint conference committee.
.Approved the initial appointment of Dr. Scott Albright, family medicine
- department of medicine - ER urgent care - provisional; Dr. Anna
Clem-Badhwar, family medicine - department of medicine - active
provisional; Dr. Eric Espinosa, urology - department of surgery -
courtesy provisional; Jeffrey Fisher, PA, physician assistant -
department of medicine - allied health provisional; Regina Massey, CNP,
nurse practitioner - department of medicine - allied health provisional;
and Dr. Karen Morrison, family medicine (adult only) - department of
medicine - consulting provisional.
.Approved the conclusion of provisional status for  Kathy Prendergast,
PA, physician assistant - department of medicine - allied health; Laurie
Reiley, PA, physician assistant - department of medicine - allied
health; and Sara Shamsali, CRNA, nurse anesthetists - department of
surgery - allied health.
.Approved the credentials manual 1.2-1 and 3.1.
.Approved resolution to extend a $5.5 million bond to
advance funds for outstanding bonds.
.Was reminded of annual board of trustee conflict of interest statements for 2007.
.Reviewed 2007 board of trustee committee appointments.

Bean there, done that
Plain City coffee shop owner goes around the world to get quality java

Few who reach for a cup of joe in the morning realize the painstaking
labor that went into securing that jolting java.
Thanks to a man named Diego and a Mechanicsburg roaster, some in Union
County can sample a quality coffee made from specifically chosen beans.
Paul Kurtz and his wife Grace have been roasting coffee for four years.
They founded Hemisphere Coffee Roasters (HCR) with a vision of making a
difference in the coffee growing regions of the world.
"Hemisphere Coffees from the beginning had a desire to learn the
business inside and out and to do it in a way to help farmers in
different countries be more sustainable," said Paul Kurtz.
Kurtz, through his work with Rosedale Mennonite Missions, began
developing close relationships with many Christian leaders in the coffee
growing regions of Central America and Kenya, East Africa. With his
passion for coffee and the desire to help change lives as part of his
Christian faith, Kurtz decided the best strategy was to purchase coffee
beans directly from the farmers.
"By me going right to the farmer, he makes twice as much," said Kurtz.
The middle man is eliminated; therefore, both the farmer and roaster are
able to profit. Kurtz refers to this as "Relationship Coffee."
"It's based on an honest relationship between the grower and the
roaster," he said. "Farmers share their production cost, and we share
our costs, so a fair price is established and everyone benefits."
Kurtz said he will only purchase "specialty grade" coffee beans.
"Specialty grade coffee represents 6 percent of the coffee grown
world-wide," he said.
To produce this kind of coffee, altitude is key. According to Kurtz,
coffee grows best on volcanic soil above 3,500 feet altitude. In other
words, the higher up on the mountain the coffee grows, the better
quality it is. Farmers work around-the-clock pruning, picking (by hand),
and bagging.
"Coffee is everything to these people," said Kurtz.
Diego Chavarria of Nicaragua is a land-owner who houses nearly 100
families on his farm.
"It's important that he does well," said Kurtz. "If not, that's 100
families out of jobs."
Lucky for Chavarria, the fruits of his and his workers' labors paid off
this season. Kurtz purchased enough coffee beans to fill a shipping
container, which will arrive in the United States in mid-April.  This
was the first time Kurtz made a purchase of such high volume. He said it
amounts to 250 bags of coffee beans, each 150 pounds.
"Diego wanted to make sure I was happy with the coffee," he said. "I was
extremely happy that the 40,000 pounds of coffee I took possession of
scored very high in the grading process."
Kurtz has big plans for his newly purchased commodity.
"We are going to brand the coffee 'Cafe Diego' since it came from
Diego's farm," he said.
Patrons can expect to see the new brand on shelves in April. Kurtz sells
to several local retail shops and coffee houses, including one he's part
owner of, Pioneer Coffee Company in Plain City. Other local sellers
include Beans In Cream in Mechanicsburg, Chet's IGA in Mechanicsburg,
and the Cheese House in Plain City.
Kurtz says he roasts to order.
"Freshness is our top priority," he said.
After the coffee is roasted, it produces a carbon dioxide gas. That's
why Kurtz said he packages the coffee in heavy bags equipped with
one-way valves and resealable zippers.
"The valve allows the gas to escape but does not allow oxygen to come
in, because oxygen is a killer of coffee," he said.
Kurtz also recommends, after opening, storing the coffee in the freezer
to stop the de-gassing.
A one-pound bag of coffee costs between $10 and $12, and an 8-ounce bag
runs between $6 and $7. The price is based on single origins, blends and
flavored coffees.
According to Kurtz, the second highest traded commodity in the world,
next to oil, is coffee.
"The demand is there," he said. "People all around the world love their coffee."
And with a lot of research and experimental batches, Kurtz has found a
way to put his own unique stamp on such a hot commodity.
A partnership, and more importantly a friendship, between a Nicaraguan
farmer and a local roaster has brewed up a product that truly is what
the brochure reads: Coffee with a Mission.
More information can be obtained by visiting

Triad treasurer resigns
J-T staff reports
Triad Local Schools Treasurer Maureen Scott will step down from her position.
Scott, who has been employed with the district since 2005, has been on
extended leave. Superintendent Dan Kaffenbarger said in November that
Scott's absence was for personal and family reasons.
Last week the board approved the employment of interim treasurer Jill
Smith. A special board meeting was held Tuesday night to accept the
resignation of Scott.
"It is unfortunate that Mrs. Scott resigned," Kaffenbarger said. "The
board felt it was acting in the best interest of the district and Mrs.
Scott brokering this separation agreement."
Smith was treasurer for the district from 1999 to 2005. She is currently
employed as treasurer for West Jefferson Local Schools.
Smith will be paid at a rate of $35 per hour plus travel expenses for up
to 20 hours per week, effective immediately and until further notice.
Kaffenbarger said the district will work with the Madison-Champaign
Education Service Center (ESC) to help develop the treasurer job posting
and to assist with the initial screening of candidates.
"We are looking for someone with a valid treasurer license, someone who
has worked previously in a school setting and someone with excellent
interpersonal skills and a strong financial background," Kaffenbarger said.
Triad's next regular board meeting will be April 19 at 7 p.m. in the
middle school library.

Masons to honor area  residents
From J-T staff reports:
Rowland M. Seymour has been named recipient of the 2007 Community
Service Award by the 1,966 Masons in Union, Logan, Marion and Morrow
Counties of the 15th Masonic District.
Michael A. Himes, Ohio's top Masonic officer, will present Seymour the
award on Friday at a ceremony at Karen's Event Center in Marysville.
Seymour, a retired worker from Eljer Plumbing Plant in Marysville, has
been involved in many projects that have improved life in the community
of Marysville. He served as mayor of Marysville from 1964 to 1969.
After being discharged from the U.S. Army, Seymour was employed by the
Eljer Company, which at that time was one of the largest producers of
plumbing fixtures in the country. Soon after he retired in 1986, the
Eljer Company closed the Marysville plant. The empty building and
property reportedly became an environmental concern for the community.
The waste material from the manufacturing process was still deposited on
the property.
Seymour, although retired, continued to work for the Eljer Company as a
property consultant. During this time, he was instrumental in working
with the company to raze and return the property to a safe environmental
condition. The reclaimed property was then "token" leased to the city of
Marysville for use and development as a recreational park, dedicated in
1998 as Eljer Park, which continues to be utilized by the community.
Seymour has actively served not only as a civic leader but also as a
leader for all the veterans who reside in the community.
He also served the community as Past Commander of the Disabled Veterans
Organization and currently serves on the Union County Veterans Service
Committee. He is presently busy as the treasurer of the Union County
Veterans Memorial Committee. This memorial will be placed on the Union
County Courthouse lawn and will recognize all veterans from the county
who have served their country. The dedication ceremony is planned for May 19.
Himes will also honor Thomas Ray McKinniss of LaRue, and Toni Nicole
Strauch of Marysville, with the Excellence in Youth Award.
McKinniss, a senior at Elgin High School and Tri-Rivers Career Center,
is the son and co-operator of McKinniss Farms in LaRue. He is a member
of the National Honor Society and recipient of the Elgin Varsity E
academic award throughout his four years of high school. McKinniss also
is vice president of the Elgin FFA chapter and has won many FFA awards.
He is a member of the Marion County Junior Fair board and received the
Outstanding Market Beef Exhibitor and First Place Beef Skillathon in
2006 at the Marion County Fair. He is a member of LaRue United Methodist
Church and the church youth group. He plans to pursue a degree in
engineering and continue to operate the family cattle and grain operation.
Strauch, an eighth grader at North Union Middle School, is a member of
Marysville Assembly No. 145 Rainbow Girls, where she has held various
offices. Her special projects include the Ronald McDonald House and
placing flags at the cemetery for Memorial Day. She is a member of the
Pharisburg United Methodist Church Youth Group, Girl Scouts, 4-H,
marching band and volleyball. Strauch has been on the honor roll
throughout middle school. Through her 4-H membership, she showed the
Grand Champion Goat at the 2005 and 2006 Richwood County Fair.
Himes oversees Ohio's 116,000 Masons and more than 530 lodges. Known for
its charity, the Masonic fraternity provides approximately $15 million
in charitable giving annually.
This year in Ohio, Masons gave $94,000 in college scholarships,
contributed $125,000 to Ohio Summer Special Olympics and funded $70,000
in free training for hundreds of Ohio school teachers to recognize
students at non-academic risk. The Masons also provided $12 million in
elderly care and helped many needy Ohio families and individuals through
their charitable foundation.

Justin Kempfer earns rank of Eagle Scout
From J-T staff reports:
Justin Andrew Kempfer of Troop 158 recently acquired the rank of Eagle
He was honored in a Court of Honor ceremony Feb. 24 at Shiloh Chapel
Evangelical Church, where he attends regularly, and after passing a
Board of Review for the Eagle rank on Nov. 16.
Justin's Eagle project was to build 10 park benches for the Logan County
Fairgrounds, a project which was coordinated through his grandfather,
Andrew Stoner, and Uncle Keith Stoner.
Justin also has earned 26 merit badges over the course of his scouting career.
He is a junior at Marysville High School and plans to study mechanical
engineering after graduating. Justin aspires to design automobiles. He
has worked for Simon Oh at the Marysville Golf Club the past two years
and plans to work there again this summer.
Justin enjoys reading the Bible, attending church and spending time with
friends and family. He is an avid golfer.
The son of Renae and Bob Sabins of Marysville, and Mark and Sharon
Kempfer of Ft. Wayne, Ind., Justin also is the grandson of Andrew and
Carolyn Stoner of Rushsylvania.

Marysville doesn't OK late start date
School district won't yield to pressure to begin after Labor Day

The Marysville School District is not stepping on the bandwagon to begin
the school year after Labor Day.
By a vote of 3-0 school board members authorized the 2007-2008 school
calendar, which has a starting day of Aug. 22, at Monday night's board
meeting. Board members Thomas Brower and Bill Hayes were absent.
It was a calendar chosen by a vast majority of teachers in the school
district, said Superintendent Larry Zimmerman, and was one of four
options submitted to the staff.
In December, John Hildebrandt, vice president and general manager of
Cedar Point amusement park, and other amusement park operators,
encouraged Ohio legislators to delay the start of school until after
Labor Day to help businesses that rely on tourism.
FOXNEWS.COM quoted Hildebrandt as saying, "It makes sense
for families and tourism."
But Zimmerman said, "We would rather have our days in early. Our (goal)
is to get as many days in by March as we can before (proficiency) testing begins."
School districts in Michigan now begin classes after Labor Day after
changes in that state's law required the later start. The law has
fulfilled expectations by boosting the state's tourism industry,
according to a Labor Day and tourism Web article written by David Waddell.
Marysville's school calendar will feature a Dec. 20, through Jan. 2,
2008, winter break, March 28, 2008, through April 4, 2008, spring break
and Nov. 21 through 23 Thanksgiving break.
The last day of school will be June 4, 2008, with graduation set for June 8, 2008.
"(It's) pretty much our traditional calendar," Zimmerman said.
Board members also heard construction updates from Emily Wieringa of
Thomas & Marker Construction Company and Adam Drexel of Ruscilli Construction.
Drexel said construction at Northwood Elementary is "going well."
The project is mainly on schedule and there should be "some savings," he
said, adding "We are pretty happy with that."
Room 130 will become the new temporary entrance at Marysville High
School, Drexel said, as work progresses on the 100,000-square-foot
addition to the 16-year-old building.
Ruscilli is in the process of soliciting bids for $15.3 million worth of
work and bids will be accepted on April 3.
Wieringa said despite the weather, the new middle school/intermediate
school project along Route 4 is on schedule.
Footers are being poured and the last three contracts were signed Monday, she said.
In other business, the board:
.Honored Kelly McGraw, fiscal support and classified payroll personnel,
as February Employee of the Month. McGraw does "an incredible job for
us," according to Zimmerman. She is always available for questions and
is extremely professional and helpful when answering them, read a
resolution commending McGraw.
.Heard a presentation by Rich Holton and Will Kirby, high school math
teachers, about the high school Algebra and Geometry for Mastery
program. Since implementation of the University of Chicago textbook
series, achievement-oriented curriculums and a different approach by
teachers, math scores on the Ohio mandated proficiency tests have
increased from 62 percent in 2004 to 76.3 percent in 2005 and 84.2
percent in 2006, Holton said.
.Accepted the resignation of Matthew Chrispin, as assistant principal,
and Brian Crim as teacher, and the retirements of Karen Hanson, Nancy
Streng, Kandace Taylor and Charles Easton as teachers. Chrispin was
named high school principal at the Feb. 26 school board meeting.
.Granted three-year limited administrator contracts to Karen Wells,
assistant principal, Gregg Stubbs, administrative assistant, and Mary
Anne Dimitry, low incidence coordinator, all effective Aug. 1.
.Granted a two-year limited administrator contract to Steven Ader,
operations manager; and one-year limited contracts to Candace Sweeney on
an as-needed basis as school psychologist and Alicia Goodman as
executive director of food service, all effective Aug. 1. Board member
Jeff Mabee said he was approving Goodman's contract "with some reservation."
.Employed Sharon Berry and Ellen Crowley (certified), and Mary Draughon,
Carrie Moffat, Robert Popovich, Steve Vannata and Sharon Berry
(classified) as substitutes/home instructors during the 2006-2007 school
year on an as-needed basis.
.Awarded supplemental contracts to Eric Puffenberger, middle school baseball.
.Approved Jeff Gafford, weight room, as district volunteer; Heidi Cordle
and Karen Lyle as new Ohio Reads volunteers; George Boston, Trent Hobbs,
Steve Boyer, Trent Bishop, David Burge, Michael Butler, Joe Case, Joyce
Conner, Jeff Feucht, Brenda London, Eric Miller, Robert Miller, Paul
Nichols, Robert Occonners, Kelly Reed, Scott Reed, Jesse Severance,
Donald Snider, Phyllis Stevens, Christ Swanek, Chelsea Vanscyoc, Michael
Wolfe, Jonathon Woolard, Cody Young, Jason Young, Nathan Young, Brandon
Zell and Amy Zenquist as volunteers at East Elementary; Michelle McClish
as a volunteer at Raymond Elementary; and Scott Akins, Jill Shavley,
Joan Phillips, Dale Proshek, Becky Craig and Pam Allen as volunteer at
Marysville Middle School..Approved an April 20-22 trip for the high
school jazz ensemble to Chicago to rehearse with a Northwestern
University College of Music professor and to listen to live jazz at a
cafe on the Navy Pier.
 .Approved overnight trips for the FFA ag science program to conduct
officer training at an Ohio park April 11 and 12; Ohio FFA Camp
Muskingum for leadership and conservation training June 18-22; sometime
in June for whitewater rafting in West Virginia; July 5-10 to attend the
National FFA Washington Leadership Program in Washington, D.C.; Oct. 12
and 14 for leadership training and community service at Ohio FFA Camp
Muskingum; Oct. 23-27 to attend the national FFA Convention in
Indianapolis; and Jan. 6-7, 2008, for 10 students to travel to the
Marriott North in Columbus and attend the Ohio FFA's Made for Excellence
program..Passed a resolution of "recognition and appreciation" for the
Marysville High School wrestling team for winning the Ohio Capital
Conference Central Division for the sixth consecutive year and
distinguishing itself throughout the 2006-2007 season, and the two MHS
Mock Trial teams for advancing to the state tournament and placing
seventh and 18th in the state out of more than 400 teams. The board also
extended appreciation to legal advisor John Eufinger, coaches Dick
Smith, Lurel LaFrance and Connie Strebe and volunteer Evan Smith.
.Adopted Literature: The Reader's Choice for ninth, 10th and 11th grade
English students, and Writer's Choice: Grammar and Composition for ninth
and 10th grade English students.
.Approved the DVD sale of upcoming spring activities at East Elementary
and approved the East Elementary Pizza Hut Coupon Night. The school will
receive 20 percent of the sales if parents bring in coupons today from 5 to 9 p.m.
.Approved Jump Rope for Heart at Edgewood Elementary in April and a
spring fund-raiser by the Raymond Elementary PTO.
.Accepted a $1,000 donation to Edgewood from Discover Financial Services
LLC; and a $1,296 donation from the Creekview Intermediate School PTO to
support the Creekview library/media center.

North Union officials discuss weighted grade system
In an effort to encourage students to take more challenging courses,
North Union High School is considering implementing a weighted grading system.
In reality the proposal wouldn't change grade point averages, but would
set up a secondary system which would rank students based not only on
grades but also on the difficulty of the courses they took.
At Monday night's school board meeting, high school principal Eric
Holman said he recently attended a conference with 15 to 20 other
principals in the area and found that North Union is one of the few
districts which does not employ some type of weighted system.
While many districts have shifted to a system whereby the old 4.0 grade
system is replaced by a 5.0 scale, North Union officials were not in
favor of the switch. A 5.0 scale allows additional grade points to be
earned by taking advanced level classes.
Holman said the model he liked best was one used by Upper Sandusky schools.
In that system each high school course is assigned a value from 1 point,
for basic courses, to 1.4 points for advanced courses. Those values when
multiplied by the grade the student receives in the course give the
student a quality point total.
The quality point total and the grade point average are separate scores.
Over the course of a high school career the quality points earned by a
student would be used to determine class rank and would determine
valedictorian and salutatorian for the class.
Superintendent Richard Smith said after the meeting that maintaining the
4.0 system would not put North Union students at a disadvantage when
applying for college. He said most colleges take grade point averages
and determine an appropriate score on a 4.0 system, even if the student
attended a school which uses a 5.0 system.
Holman said the goal of the project is to encourage students to attempt
more challenging courses, rather than take easier classes in an effort
to maintain a higher grade point average. He said there have been
instances in past years where students work very hard for their first
three years of high school, but then take easier classes during their
senior years in an effort to safeguard their GPAs.
Holman said he would like to iron out the details of implementing such a
plan before the next board meeting in April. He was unsure if such a
system should begin with a certain class of freshmen or if it could be
used for students already in the middle of their high school careers.
Holman said that once a phase-in plan is developed a parents meeting
would be set up to explain the details of the system.
"We believe this is the best plan to challenge our kids," Smith said.
In other business, the board:
.Heard a presentation about use of expanded expression tools that help
elementary students improve descriptive writing.
.Approved the financial report provided by the district treasurer.
.Approved the bid package for abatement at the existing North Union High School.
.Approved the emergency quick reference chart developed by the North
Union Safety Committee.
.Authorized an agreement with the Ohio School Boards Association for Web
based conversion service for board policy.
.Approved a list of additions and revisions to board policy.
.Voted to approve the course description handbook for North Union High
School for next year.
.Approved a contract with West Liberty-Salem schools for the education
of a North Union student residing in foster care in the district.
.Voted to approve N. Carol Insurance Company as the provider of student
accident insurance.
.Picked a school calendar for next year.
.Set fees and teacher compensation for summer school.
.Approved a request for an overnight trip by the high school band for
May 11-12 to Cedar Point for a band/music festival.
.Accepted the resignation of Tyler Tingley of his supplemental duties as
head golf coach and head boys basketball coach.
.Voted to re-employ middle school principal Diana Martin and Holman to
three-year administrative contracts.
.Voted to employ facilities manager Brian Nauman and transportation
supervisor Claude Tidd to two-year contracts.

Jerome trustees approve paving work
From J-T staff reports:
After much consideration and bid comparisons, the Jerome Township
Trustees decided Monday evening to use American Pavements, of Plain
City, to repair five streets in New California Hills and six streets in
New California Woods.
The work will be dependent on the weather, but trustee Andy Thomas said
it will likely begin in June or July.
"It will be routine maintenance, but the big factor we've taken into
consideration is letting residents know when the work will start," he said.
Thomas said there will be notification postings in the township hall,
and door hangers will be distributed to homes on the streets where the
road crews will work.
Thomas said the improvements are expected to give the roads another
eight- to 10-year lifespan.
The cost of the road work will be $68,072.
Thomas also recommended the trustees accept a bid of $11,553 from the
Union County Engineer's office to use a hot mix treatment on Sequoia
Court in Jerome Township. The trustees voted unanimously to accept the
bid for the improvement.
Planning and Zoning Coordinator Kathleen Crowley discussed the township
zoning map and expressed the desire for the trustees to approve it.
Trustee Ron Rhodes said he wouldn't approve the map the way it is,
because his property, along with a neighbor's, isn't zoned correctly.
Crowley said the trustees could still approve the map, and if Rhodes
submitted evidence that his Crottinger Road property isn't zoned
correctly, she would make the change on the map immediately.
"I don't want to have to hire an attorney to prove I'm right," said
Rhodes. "That's my problem with it."
The trustees decided to table approving the map until the next meeting.
The trustees also discussed recent leaks in the roof of the township
hall and garage, which are more than 20 years old, and decided to accept
a bid by Hochstetler Buildings Inc. to make the necessary repairs for $2,570.

MHS show choir places second in nationwide competition

Took stage at Grand Ol' Opry; member honored as best soloist
From J-T staff reports:
The Marysville High School Show Choir, Swingers Unlimited, is first
runner-up nationwide after winning top honors over the weekend in
Nashville, Tenn. MHS was the only show choir from Ohio chosen to perform
at the national competition.
The group performed at the Acuff Theatre on Friday and took Best Vocals,
Best Instrumental Combo and Best Female Soloist went to Aashley Morgan
during the preliminary competition.
The Swingers advanced to the finals on Saturday.
According to leaders Katie Paulson, Jeremy Alfera and Mike Robertson,
the Swingers fulfilled their dream of performing on the stage of the Grand Ol' Opry.
The Swingers Unlimited finals performance earned the show choir overall
Best Instrumental Combo and overall First Runner-up.
The Enterprise High School "Encores" from Enterprise, Ala., earned the
Grand Champion title which made the day extra special, according to Paulson.
According to local parents who attended the competition, three
Enterprise show choir students were killed in a tornado that hit
Enterprise High School March 1.
The Swingers Unlimited shared the spirit of the Encores and showed its
support with a fundraiser for the school.
The Marysville show choir season produced three grand championships and
one first runner-up which led it to the national competition.
Swingers Unlimited will perform its '07 show for the last time at the
spring choral concert May 19 at 7:30 p.m.

Traffic shift is next phase of Plain City bypass project
Storm sewer construction begins along Route 161

From J-T staff reports:
Beginning today, traffic on Route 161 through the village of Plain City
will be shifted toward the south half of the road, allowing room for
construction crews to install storm sewers on the north side.
Two 11-foot lanes of traffic - one each direction - will be maintained
between U.S. 42 on the village's west side and Park Street. This new
traffic configuration will remain in place for the duration of the storm
sewer installation and curb construction, tentatively scheduled until
mid-April. During this phase, construction and paving of Gray Street
also will be performed.
The Ohio Department of Transportation, Plain City administrators and
community leaders broke ground for the $4.1 million bypass project in
May. The project will relocate 1.5 miles of U.S. 42, which will turn
westward in the vicinity of Rickard Road on the village's north side,
and then south again to intersect with Route 161 at Jefferson Avenue on
the west side.
More information may be obtained by contacting Michael Stout at (740)
Serving the central Ohio area comprised of Delaware, Fayette, Franklin,
Madison, Marion, Morrow, Pickaway and Union counties, the Ohio
Department of Transportation District 6 is responsible for construction,
maintenance, and snow and ice removal on 1,552 bridges and more than
4,300 state, U.S., and interstate highway lane miles.

It's not here yet, but virus is a cat killer
Veterinarian recommends  vaccination for felines

A local veterinarian is calling a mutated virus, found in indoor and
outdoor cats, "catastrophic" and is encouraging cat owners to get a
vaccine for their feline friends.
The virus has been termed "killer cilici virus", the official name is
Virulent Systemic Calicivirus. It is a mutated strain of the common
calici virus that causes mild to moderate respiratory problems.
According to Dr. Tad Sullivan of the Marysville Animal Care Center, this
new strain is much more severe and is fatal in 60 to 67 percent of cats
that contract the disease.
"It's also highly contagious," said Dr. Sullivan. "People can pet a cat
that has it and then take it home to their own cat."
The virus can also be carried into homes on clothing and shoes. Dr.
Sullivan said some veterinary offices that found the virus, had to close
3 to 4 months to make sure the strain wouldn't be passed on to other cats.
Symptoms in cats include sneezing, high fever, facial swelling, painful
ulcers in the mouth, skin sores, hair loss, and swollen, painful joints.
In some cases, Dr. Sullivan said, the cats will die with very little
obvious symptoms.
"It really is a hard way for cats to go," he said. "It causes a lot of
pain and suffering for them."
There is no specific treatment for the disease; however, according to
Dr. Sullivan, there is a vaccine available.
"The vaccine is effective in preventing the virus and is very safe," he said.
Dr. Sullivan said he encourages all of his clients, who own cats, to get the vaccine.
"It's just not worth the risk," he said. "The vaccine is relatively inexpensive."
The cost varies in price depending on the clinic where the cat is taken,
but it can usually be purchased for under $20.
Although there have been several documented outbreaks since the first in
1999, none have been recorded in Ohio. According to Dr. Sullivan, since
the strain is somewhat new, some veterinarians may not recognize it or
even be aware of it, therefore, it may go unreported or documented.
According to the noted cases have been in
Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Massachusetts, California, and Nevada.
"I think it's a definite threat although we don't have it here yet,"
said Dr. Sullivan. "The bottom line is, it's easy to prevent but is
devastating if they get it."

Armed robbery reported in Richwood
Richwood police are investigating a Wednesday night armed robbery.
Richwood Police Chief Monte Asher said that at 8:15 p.m. that night a
man walked into the Certified Oil gas station at 25 E. Blagrove St.
brandishing a silver handgun. He demanded money from the clerk, but did
not injure the employee or strike him in any way.
"He threw a plastic shopping bag at him, a tan bag," Asher said. "And
told him to put the money in the bag."
Within one minute, Asher said, the suspect had committed the robbery and
fled the store. He made off with an undetermined amount of cash.
"It was quick," Asher said about the robbery.
The suspect ordered the store clerk into a bathroom, then ran out of the
business, escaping on foot. Asher said based on store security video
footage, the man is seen running away from Certified Oil toward the east.
Delaware Sheriff's Office deputies soon arrived and used their canine
unit to track the suspect's location, Asher said. The dog was able to
trace a path down the alley behind Certified Oil. He could not elaborate
on where else the dog followed the trail.
"I don't want to say too much," Asher said. "We're still investigating."
He said the suspect they are looking for is a white male, between 5 feet
8 or 10 inches tall, with a thin build. The man came into the business
wearing a hooded dark blue shirt, with gray or white arched lettering
across the front. What is written on the man's shirt was not visible on
security footage.
"We are following leads right now," Asher said. "If anyone has
information they can contact me here."
The number for the Richwood Police Department is (740) 943-2422.
Asher said investigators immediately ruled out the store clerk's
involvement. He said seconds before the suspect walked into the store,
the clerk was busy depositing envelopes containing $100 each.
"If he was involved, he never would have made the drop," Asher said.
The reason, he said, is because once the envelopes are dropped into the
safe they cannot be retrieved.
Asher said it has been at least five years since the last armed robbery
occurred in Richwood. An employee of Richwood's Cardinal grocery store
was beaten with sticks by two men outside waiting for him. When the
employee refused to give them the money, the men became violent.
But Asher does have some advice for business owners and residents
regarding actions they can take to prevent armed robberies. He said if
an employee or resident has to leave a store with a large amount of
money or feels unsafe while handling money in different situations, he
or she can always contact the Richwood Police Department and request assistance.
"We'd be happy to give them a police escort," Asher said.
For now, he said, investigators are following numerous leads that have
been called into the department.
"People want to help," Asher said.

Replica Vietnam Wall coming to Marysville
A traveling replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington
D.C. will be on display at the Union County Fairgrounds in mid-September of 2008.
Exact dates will be announced closer to the event.
The Marysville Council of the Knights of Columbus is coordinating the
four-day event. Deputy Grand Knight Duane Lord is chairing the committee
that will oversee the activities.
"In 2002 I saw a traveling wall in Missouri and was so touched, that it
stuck in my mind," said Lord. "I finally decided it wasn't going away in
my mind, so I needed to do something about it."
Although Lord is not a veteran himself, his father was a veteran of
World War II, and Lord's cousin and two brother-in-laws served in the Vietnam War.
"Military Veterans have a special place in my heart," he said.
According to Fred LaFrance, Trustee for the Knights of Columbus, Lord
pursued bringing the wall to Union County as a personal mission.
"He spearheaded and asked for support of the organization (Knights of
Columbus), and we said 'sure, this looks like something we would like to
do for the community,'" LaFrance said.
According to Lord, this is a project designed to involve the entire community.
"It's a good way for the community to say 'thank you'," he said.
An evening ceremony, during which American, POW-MIA, and Ohio flags will
be raised, will open the event. The program will include brief speeches
by military and civilian dignitaries. Following the formal program, the
memorial will be open around the clock.
"The Washington Wall is a long over-due memorial to those soldiers who
gave their lives or are still missing in Vietnam," said LaFrance. "Since
some Americans don't have the ability or can't afford to travel to
Washington to see the wall, it can travel to them, and that's why we're
trying to make it available in the county."
The wall is a 3/5 scale of the memorial in Washington D.C. It stands six
feet tall at the center and covers almost 300 feet from each end. It
includes more than 58,000 names which are inscribed in chronological
order, according to the date of casualty. For the missing, their name
and the date they were reported missing is inscribed.
Information regarding the location of specific names on the wall will be
available during the duration of the event.
The Knights will be contacting Veterans' civic, religious, and fraternal
organizations inviting their participation in this undertaking. Since at
least two adults must be in attendance at the wall at all times during
its display, groups will be encouraged to schedule an hour or two to
serve as hosts to the public.

Triad revises athletic eligibility policy
The Triad Local Schools Board of Education agreed to approve a revised
athletic policy for the 2007-2008 school year as presented by
Superintendent Dan Kaffenbarger and the Triad Athletic Council.
Specifically the policy alters an eligibility policy in light of Triad's
grading scale. For a student to be eligible, he or she must maintain a
GPA of 1.67 (which is a C- or 78 percent average) and not have more than
one "F" on his or her grade card.
The new policy also implements an academic probation for any student who
does not meet these requirements, which can be used once in a student's
career, and the student must still pass the equivalent of five credits to remain eligible.
The Athletic Council also repealed its stance that the interim grading
period be used as a period of ineligibility and agreed to drug, alcohol
and tobacco policies changes made to first, second and third offenses.
First-time offenders would be suspended for 30 percent of the sport
season with the number of games suspended for each season clarified. In
the event of a second offense, there would be a one calendar year
suspension and for a third offense the student would be denied
participation for the rest of his or her career.
Finally, a self or parent referral policy was added which states that if
a student or a parent turns the student in for drug, alcohol or tobacco
use and agrees to the terms listed, the student would not be punished
under the terms of the policy.
Kaffenbarger also reported that Ohiio Superintendent of Instruction
Susan Zelman will visit the school district Tuesday.
He formally invited all board members to attend an 8:15 a.m. breakfast with Zelman.
Zelman will tour all three district buildings, participate in a potluck
lunch provided by the elementary staff and conclude her visit by meeting
with district administrators and staff.
The board also approved the employment of interim treasurer, Jill Smith,
while current treasurer, Maureen Scott, is on extended leave until further notice.
Kaffenbarger said in November that Scott's absence was for personal and family reasons.
Smith was treasurer for the district from 1999-2005. She is currently
employed as treasurer for West Jefferson Local Schools.
Smith will be paid at a rate of $35 per hour plus travel expenses for up
to 20 hours per week, effective immediately until further notice.
Shirley and Dean Weaver requested that the board make an exception to
its policy prohibiting students from bringing dates over the age of 21
to the prom. The Weaver's daughter, Amy, is a senior and would like to
attend the prom with her longtime boyfriend.
Kaffenbarger explained that the policy was put into place about six
years ago after various incidents.
"The age was not selected arbitrarily but with a purpose in mind because
of the ability to purchase alcohol," Kaffenbarger said.
Kaffenbarger recommended that the board uphold the policy so as not to
open the door to requests for future exceptions.
Chris Millice, board president, told the family their request would be
taken under consideration.
Kyle Huffman, high school principal, said sophomores have recently
finished up the Ohio Graduation Test (OGT.)
The high school provided breakfast for the test-taking students to help
better prepare them for the state mandated tests.
"The kids are taking these tests seriously," Huffman said.
Results should be available at the end of May.
The board accepted resignations from Jack Stout, social studies teacher,
and Virginia Angus Hall, Spanish teacher. Both resignations will take
effect at the end of the 2006-2007 school year.
Stout has been with the district for 18 years and is resigning for the
purpose of retirement. Hall has been with the district for one year.
The board approved a motion to go into executive session to discuss the
consideration of employee discipline and employee compensation. No
action was taken.
The board has tentatively scheduled a meeting on March 20 to consider
the discipline/termination of an employee. They expect to take action on the matter.
The next regular board meeting will be held April 19 at 7 p.m. in the
middle school library.
In other action, the board:
.Presented awards to Kaylen Burchnell, Ashley Tilley, Molly Zeigler and
Tabitha VanHoose for receiving superior ratings at the OMEA Solo and
Ensemble Contest.
.Approved extended leave for Tina Wells through the end of the 2006-2007 school year.
.Approved extended leave for Maureen Scott from Feb. 27 until further notice.
.Approved classified supplemental positions for the 2006-2007 school
year  - Cindy Alltop, track assistant; Matt Alexander, track middle
school; and John Sharritts, track middle school.
.Approved classified supplemental positions for the 2007-2008 school
year - Terry Donohoe, boys basketball assistant; Harry  Alltop, eighth
grade boys basketball and football middle school; Chuck Adams, seventh
grade boys basketball; Joe Linscott and Andy Yoder, football volunteer
assistants; Matt Alexander, football and wrestling middle school; Bill
McKenzie, soccer head coach; and Nathan Bails, wrestling head coach.
.Approved certified supplemental positions for the 2007-2008 school year
- John Millice, boys basketball head coach and golf; Jason Malone,
football assistant and girls basketball head coach; Erick Grasley,
football assistant and girls basketball assistant; Doug Miller, cross
country head coach; Patrick Johnson, cross country assistant; Payton
Printz, football head coach; Mike Braun, football assistant; Tina
Campbell, volleyball head coach; and Liz Carder, volleyball assistant.
.Approved a resolution accepting the amounts and rates as determined by
the budget commission and authorizing the necessary tax levies and
certifying them to the county auditor.
.Approved the transportation agreement with Kenneth Horn to transport
Samantha Horn to and from Triad Elementary for the remainder of the
2006-2007 school year at a rate of $10 per day as transportation by
school conveyance has been deemed impractical for this student.
.Approved the use of facilities for the following with both
organizations responsible for any overtime fees for custodial or
cafeteria staff: The middle school cafeteria on March 15 from 6 to 8
p.m. for the Triad Youth Wrestling banquet; the middle school gym
between 6 and 8 p.m. for the T-Bird Baseball team practice from March 13
to April 30.

Area resident Martha Asman to turn 100

From J-T staff reports:
Martha Asman of Marysville, will celebrate her 100th birthday Saturday
at an open house at First United Methodist Church's Burnside Family
Center. The event will be held from 1 to 3 p.m.
Mrs. Asman was born March 17, 1907, at home to Burl and Minnie Turner
Southard. She is the only survivor of five children, including herself,
John, Mary, Dorothy and Charles.
A retired school teacher, she still lives by herself, although she has
been spending the winter at the family cottage on Indian Lake.
Mrs. Asman married William Asman on Sept. 7, 1929, and he died April 23,
1969. They had six children, Barbara Brandt and Sally Swanson who are
deceased, Susan Easton of Worthington, Mary Ann Garcia of Marysvile,
Bill Asman of Indian Lake and Nancy Prudell of Oregon. They also have 19
grandchildren, 31 great-grandchildren and seven
Mr. Asman operated the family drug store at 120 E. Fifth St., where the
Republican Headquarters is now housed.
The omission of gifts is requested. The family suggests cards and
greetings be sent to Mrs. Asman at 9351 Breezy Way, Belle Center, OH 43310.

Marysville eyes redistricting

One thing became clear as Marysville School District held community
meetings about proposed redistricting: There was a lot of support for
all day, every day kindergarten.
"The kindergarten design has dominated conversation," said Trent Bower,
principal at Navin Elementary.
Bower, Edgewood Principal Colene Thomas, Mill Valley Principal Greg
Casto, and Carla Steele, district curriculum coordinator, were among the
administrators present at a special board of education meeting Wednesday
night at the district administrative building.
Also present were several parents, including Heather Dukette and Carla Porschet.
Board member Scott Johnson said he has been approached several times
about all day, every day kindergarten.
"The feasibility of all day kindergarten needs to be looked at," he said.
With the opening of Northwood Elementary this fall, elementary
boundaries will be redefined. The redistricting also could help
facilitate changes in the school district that are going to take place
in fall 2008 when a second intermediate/middle school opens on the south
side of Marysville, said Superintendent Larry Zimmerman.
Two proposals were discussed at the special meeting. The first would
call for utilizing East, Edgewood, Mill Valley, Navin, Northwood and
Raymond as elementaries and continuing the fourth and fifth grade
populations at Creekview Intermediate School, seventh and eighth grade
pupils at the Middle School and the traditional ninth through 12th grade
population at the high school.
The second would utilize East Elementary to house all day, every day
kindergarten or as a district career center.
"Geographically, it probably makes as much sense as anything to put all
day kindergarten at East," Zimmerman said.
Using East as career center would save the school district about $2
million over a five-year period, according to calculations by district
treasurer Delores Cramer.
Marysville parents who decide to enroll their children in the all day,
every day option would be billed an estimated $250 a month.
Marysville School District is not eligible for any state funds to
finance that kindergarten option. Those funds are reserved for districts
which have a high poverty level or are located in urban districts, Zimmerman said.
Steele said the school district is looking into establishing
scholarships for families who cannot afford the expense but who feel
their children would benefit from all day, every day kindergarten.
Later, Zimmerman talked about the "huge need" for additional vocational
training at the high school level.
"It's very difficult to get kids to Hi-Point," he said. "We know that we
aren't reaching our potential of getting the number of kids to Hi-Point
that we should."
Both the five-elementary and six-elementary options came with several
different scenarios, with elementary numbers tweaked here and there to
best utilize each building. The different options were explained by
Zimmerman and Matt Cropper of GIS Software, who Zimmerman said was
"looking at the issues of redistricting" for the school district.
None of the options presented would affect Raymond Elementary.
"In all scenarios we are not recommending that we move any kids from
Raymond," Zimmerman said. "With Raymond being up there it's really not
practical to shove kids from (there) to (here)."
Operating all six elementaries would necessitate not only the hiring of
additional teaching and administrative staff at Northwood but also
specialized staff such as art, music and physical education teachers,
speech therapists, nurses and occupational therapy people, Zimmerman said.
Zimmerman, Cramer and school board members also discussed the
possibility of putting an operating levy on the August ballot.
Because of House Bill 66 and changes in school financing it brought with
it, as well as continued enrollment increases, the school district needs
additional money, Zimmerman and Cramer said.
Although the district's rate of growth has slowed from about 5 percent
per year to 3 percent, each pupil enrolled in the district costs
Marysville Schools roughly $9,000 a year to educate. According to
Cramer, state funds are definitely not keeping pace.
"I want to go back to the voters as little as possible," Scott said.
Wednesday's special meeting began at 6 p.m. About 9:20 p.m., board
members adjourned into executive session to discuss personnel issues. No
further action was planned.

WorkNet volunteer, sheriff's department receive statewide awards
From J-T staff reports:
Maria Bowen, WorkNet volunteer consumer advocate, and the Union County
Sheriff's Office received statewide honors at the Ohio Public Images
Disability Awareness luncheon held in Columbus recently.
Bowen reportedly won the "Advocate of the Year" category and the Union
County Sheriff's Office won a special Merit Award in the "Organization
of the Year" category for their six month special autism project last
spring. Both were nominated by the Union County Board of Developmental Disabilities.
Bowen began her volunteer role as "Consumer Advocate" four years ago and
was looking to "give back to the program and the community after her son
had received support services. Since her involvement, she has
established a wide variety of social and recreational programs for more
than 30 adults with developmental disabilities in Union County.
Those programs include The Lunch Bunch and the WorkNet Crew. She also
has participated in Project Success, a summer job skills program. In
addition, she has involved consumers in volunteer community service projects.
"Maria is a very strong advocate for herself and those around her and
has a strong desire to improve the lives of others," Mike Heifner,
Employment Services Director of WorkNet said.
"I am deeply honored to receive this recognition and I am grateful to
the Union County Board of Developmental Disabilities for the
opportunities they have offered me," Bowen said.
Her future goals include expanding the membership in Lunch Bunch and the
WorkNet Crew and increasing opportunities for community involvement.
Union County Sheriff Rocky Nelson said he credits his staff, under the
leadership of Lt. Jeff Frisch, with resource assistance by Sgt. Chris
Skinner, Deputy Kim Zacharias, Sonya Shuler and Idella Feeley for making
a special autism awareness program occur.
He said after unsuccessfully attempting to get a grant from the Ohio
Criminal Justice System in Oct. 2006, a second application resulted in a
grant award that enabled the organization to bring in a national autism
expert for a series of training programs in the spring of 2006.
Originally, the program was targeted just for community "first
responders." But once the project began, the Sheriff's Office
discovered  the importance of the community-at-large and other agencies
to increase their understanding of citizens with autism.
Subsequently, Nelson said, they spearheaded an effort that involved the
Marysville Exempted Village School District, the Union County Board of
Developmental Disabilities and the Autism Support Group of Union County.
"We were able to open people's eyes in Union County and make a
difference towards increasing awareness and acceptance of citizens in
Union County with autism," Nelson said.

Fire levels small barn, corn crib
From J-T staff reports:
A barn fire in Taylor Township resulted in a total loss of the structure.
Liberty Township Fire Chief Lloyd Segner reported that crews responded
to 24232 Ford Reed Road Wednesday at 5:12 p.m. after the homeowner was
on the phone and looked out the window to find the small barn on fire.
"At this time the cause is unknown," Segner said.
The suspicion right now is that the fire was started by electrical
problems with the cord to a water heater in the barn, he said, but that
remains under investigation.
He said no one was injured in the fire.
Segner said for three hours Liberty Township crews were joined by
Marysville, Leesburg and Richwood fire crews to douse the flames.
The fire spread to a nearby corn crib structure, about 20 feet by 24
feet in size, he said. Both the barn and the crib were total losses.
Segner said they were able to save the fire from spreading to a larger barn.

A different perspective
Area business leaders learn challenges of disabilities

Local business leaders are learning firsthand the challenges and
inconveniences associated with having a disability.
Tuesday, five participants were asked to carry out their usual job
functions. However, they were given "disability conditions" to contend
with as part of a special project by the Union County Board of
Developmental Disabilities.
March has been designated National Developmental Disabilities Month.
Jen England, childcare director for the YMCA, had to wear special
glasses to learn what it was like to have a visual impairment.
"It has been very difficult, because my vision is normally perfect,"
England said. "I keep trying to take the glasses off, because it's
annoying to have this impairment, but for people who have it, they
couldn't get rid of it like I can."
Lynne Whatley, executive director of the Red Cross, experienced a
hearing impairment. Cotton was placed in her ears to simulate the disability.
"I was in my own world not being able to hear anything," she said. "It
didn't seem like we're too accommodating for individuals with special needs."
Christy Clark, public relations and tourism director for the Union
County Convention and Visitors Bureau, experienced over-accommodation
with her arthritic disability.
"Individuals either wanted to help and do everything, because I was
slower, or I would get 'the look'," she said. "It's extremely
interesting to see the types of interactions with people."
Clark had limited use of her fingers, because they were wrapped with
tape with popsicle sticks attached.
Other participants included Amy Pack, membership services representative
for Union Rural Electric and Mitch Potterf, aquatics/wellness director for the YMCA.
Pack had both an arthritic condition and hearing impairment, and Potterf
had a paralysis condition that kept him in a wheelchair.
All of the participants involved spent at least one hour practicing a disability.
According to Pete Emmons, community outreach and training coordinator
for the board of DD, it is estimated that one in 10 American families
have someone with a disability condition.
"Providing citizens the opportunity to experience disabilities from the
inside-out is something that will help further community awareness and
acceptance of individuals in Union County with special needs," he said.
"We welcome the chance to share our story with any organization."
The Union County Board of DD supports and provides specialized services
to more than 400 individuals and families from birth through adulthood
through its Early Infant Program, The Harold Lewis Center Preschool,
U-CO Industries, WorkNet (community employment), Day Habilitation
Services, and family supports and services.

Water rate increase sent to council

Committee recommends 6 percent, two-year hike
The Marysville Ad Hoc Committee will soon introduce legislation for a
two-year, 6 percent water rate hike for City Council's approval.
Monday night the committee met in council chambers for what ended up
being its final meeting on future water rate increases. The result was
the announcement of draft legislation council will have to consider.
Committee member David Burke said the 6 percent increase should provide
adequate funding the city needs to start constructing a reservoir, start
planning a water plant and buy more time on other related projects.
The percentage increase only affects water rates on the city's overall
utility bill, Burke said. He said some residents walked out of the
meeting still unsure about what the draft legislation meant.
He explained that current water bills for an average home are $22.36. If
the future legislation passes, the rates will go up 6 percent to $23.70
on July 1 and then go up an additional 6 percent to $25.12 on Jan. 1, 2008.
Committee member John Gore said council does not plan to waive any
readings on the water rate legislation.
Burke said this would allow plenty of time for public discussion, which
is why the committee did not allow public comment on the announcement at
the meeting Monday night. He said the first reading of the draft
legislation will take place at the March 22 council meeting. The second
reading and public hearing be held during a special council meeting,
with the water rate hike as its only agenda item. The date for this
meeting will be announced on March 22.
"We've continued to do more research since the last meeting," member Dan
Fogt explained. "We need to do something and get it on the council agenda soon."
Gore said the decision has been tough. He said the committee looked at
different options to keep the rates down, including contacting
government agencies and submitting an application for low interest rate
loans to the Ohio EPA. There are also a few more pending leads that
could come to fruition over the next two weeks and they will continue
working with townships to the south for a possible joint water district.
Resident Lloyd Baker said he left feeling "very disappointed." At the
March 8 City Council meeting he said members encouraged the public to
attend the Monday night meeting, but then they denied them the right to speak.
Baker said he is not sure how many people understand that there are
still years of rate increases scheduled to hit city wastewater rates,
which were already approved in 2005.
He said the water rate increase being proposed still does not address
"this whole issue of credibility and trust" the public has toward its
city leaders after years of apparent unmanaged spending, which put the
city in this financial situation in the first place.
One of the main reasons there are no other options, Fogt said, is
because the city has already put its funding into the future wastewater
treatment plant project.
"If we didn't already have that project started, then we could have gone
in another direction," Fogt said, referring to water rates.
Gore said council clerk Connie Patterson has agreed to begin taking
grant-writing courses in Indiana later this month. She can then be
useful in helping the city pursue grants.
Committee members agreed that an issue they have been struggling with is
how past Marysville administrators purchased the land for the reservoir
about 10 years ago, yet nothing has been done and they have known that
water storage was going to be a problem as long as 20 years ago.
Gore said that the need for the reservoir has never been disputed.
"Our main concern has been about how to pay for it and reduce the burden
for residents," Gore said. "Our backs are against the wall. The experts
tell us we have to get something soon. It's been really tough. But we
need to move forward."
"This is about controlling our future," Burke said. "We have a choice of
controlling or letting it go to Columbus. We have to be dedicated to the cause."
Fogt said the reservoir is not just a purchase for Marysville, the
reservoir will help benefit the entire area.
"In 20 years we can look back and say we did the right thing - without
annexation" Fogt said.

JA's Canaan Middle School honored
There was standing room only at Monday night's Jonathan Alder School
Board meeting.
Numerous teachers and staff members from Canaan Middle School joined
Principal Bobby Moore as the school was presented the "National and Ohio
School to Watch" award.
Canaan was one of only four schools in Ohio selected as a model for
other middle schools across the state and country.
Deb Tully, Ohio Federation of Teachers, presented the award.
The Ohio Schools to Watch - Reaching for the Stars program is conducted
through a partnership between the Ohio Department of Education, The Ohio
Middle School Association, Knowledge Works Foundation, Otterbein College
and the Ohio Federation of Teachers.
"You are very lucky to have this dedicated group of people working for
you," Tully told board members after presenting the award to the Canaan team.
Board members were in full agreement and congratulated Moore and all the
teachers and staff at Canaan for the outstanding accomplishment.
Superintendent Doug Carpenter and board members continued February's
discussion in regard to a possible "no school, no game" policy.
At the February meeting, Carpenter said in light of the many school
closings due to weather, he wanted the board to discuss how to handle
extra curricular events scheduled for after school when classes have
been canceled for the day.
After much discussion, it was decided that a blanket policy would be too
broad and perhaps unduly prevent activities from occurring when school
was canceled for below zero degree temperatures or wind chill;
especially when temperatures typically rise throughout the day and
students wouldn't be affected when participating in after-school activities.
The board agreed to review a policy that would cancel all activities in
the event school is closed to adverse road conditions such as snow and
ice. In the event school is closed due to low temperatures, activities
would be held at the discretion of the building principal.
The district also may create a temperature guideline for parents in
order to prepare for necessary childcare for the next school day.
Carpenter said they will more than likely call a school delay or
cancellation in the event temperatures are forecast at either minus 5
degrees or minus 15 degrees wind-chill.
The board approved a resolution to transfer four properties on
Taylor-Blair Road in London into the Jonathan Alder School District.
In his 34 years with the district, the four properties have always
attended Jonathan Alder schools and have been included in district bus
routes. Carpenter said. However, the current Madison County Auditor
discovered that the properties are actually districted to West Jefferson
Schools and the property taxes from these four properties have always
been paid into West Jefferson Schools.
Carpenter said because the four families have always attended Jonathan
Alder with several Alder graduates, it is necessary to formally transfer
the properties into the Jonathan Alder School District as requested by
the Madison County Auditor.
The board approved the Strategies for Success course for special
education students, along with an honors biology course.
The board agreed to hold its annual goal setting meeting before the May
14 board meeting to be held at Tolles Technical and Career Center. Goal
setting will begin at 5 p.m., followed by a tour of Tolles at 6:30 p.m.
and the regular board meeting at 7:30 p.m.
The board adjourned into executive session to consider the appointment,
dismissal, discipline, promotion, demotion or compensation of a public
employee. No action was taken.
The next regular board meeting will be April 16 at 7 p.m.
In other news, the board:
.Approved the financial report for February 2007.
.Accepted resignations for Jennifer Danner, eighth grade spelling team
coach for the 2006-2007 school year; Erica Tornik, assistant to the
special education department effective at the end of her 2006-2007
contract; Marilyn Hoff, high school Spanish teacher, effective July 7.
.Approved administrative contracts for Jim Albanese, three years; Chris
Piper, three years; Bobby Moore, five years; Kathy Welch, five years;
Linda Keyes, five years; John Lanka, five years; and Doug Carpenter, two years.
.Approved teachers Shannon McConaughy, Nancy Patterson, Suzanne Lintz,
Sue Hostetler, Janel Luker and Beth Randall as tutors.
.Approved to split Spanish club advisor stipend between Marilyn Hoff (25
percent) and Jessica Flere (75 percent) based on total time spent in the
position over the 2006-2007 school year.
.Approved policy of public records and request for revision of board
policy 5461 in regard to post-secondary enrollment.
.Commended Principal Bobby Moore, Canaan Middle School, for completing
his doctoral program.

Milford Center budget approved
From J-T staff reports:
The village of Milford Center is gearing up for spring with an approved
budget for 2007 and a plan for the annual village clean-up.
Council members met Monday evening to look through the budget which was
submitted on new spreadsheets by the finance committee. The categories
and appropriations discussed included the general fund; street
construction, maintenance, and repair; state highway fund; grant
construction; water operating; sewer operating; and the street improvement fund.
Also considered was the overall budget amount. Council members agreed it
was important to make sure the village didn't run out of money at the
end of the year. The budget for 2006 was $446,194, and the total
expenditures, according to the village's spreadsheet, ended up being
$416,036. The 2007 budget proposal is $483,525.27 and takes into account
a 4 percent cost of living increase, according to council.
Council members voted to give utility clerk Kathy McCoy a $20 per month
raise, her first raise in 10 years. McCoy previously made $400 per month
and will now make $420.
Dates were set for the annual village garage sale and clean-up. The
garage sale will be held Saturday, April 28, and the clean-up day, which
includes bringing in dumpsters, will be Saturday, May 5. Council said it
would provide village residents with more information about the two days
in the near future.
Union Township Trustees Dick Brake, Randy Poland and Rob Thompson
stopped in briefly to ask council's permission to utilize the vacant
parking lot by the fire department for a truck that stores recyclable
solid waste. The truck, which is mandated by the EPA, provides township
residents the opportunity to dispose of recyclables such as aluminum. It
will be available Monday, April 9, from 9 a.m. until noon and will
continue two additional months on the second Monday of each. The
trustees mentioned the disposal system would be a three-month trial
period and is something residents don't have to pay for.

Unionville Center deals with alley issues
Resident Rob Schaner requested action from council at the Monday night
Unionville Center Village Council meeting concerning the condition of
the alley that borders his property.
Traffic on the alley, which is from Main Street to Cross Street next to
the council building, has increased in recent years causing the bank at
the curve to slope resulting in ruts and a mud hole.   Council agreed to
install posts with reflectors to mark the edge of the alley and will
consider grading the curve and adding stone.
Council member Jim Weese said there are similar problems in the alley
behind his house, between Third and Fourth streets, with vehicles making
ruts in his yard. Council decided to install posts with reflectors in that alley as well.
Snow removal for the season has cost the village $3,220. Snow and rain
during February caused some additional flooding south of Railroad Street
in spite of the new storm sewer drain tie-in recently installed. The
saturated ground was given as the cause and no residents complained
about the situation.
Kailin Wile and her father, Mark, were present to follow up on her
request at the December meeting for sponsorship of her trip to England
and Scotland in June as a People to People Student Ambassador. Fiscal
officer Tracy Rausch reported that she requested advice from the Union
County Prosecutor regarding the legality a donation but received no
response. Another request will be made.
Union County Sheriff Rocky Nelson said that golf cart policies and
procedures are still being reviewed by the Union County Prosecutor. The
village is delaying a decision on a golf cart ordinance until a
countywide policy is in place.
The mowing estimate of $1,000 for the Green and council lot for the
season from Whitt Lawn Care was accepted.
Other requests for services were extended until the April 9 meeting.
Other agreements being considered are:
.brush pick-up on April 28 with May 5 as a rain date. Brush pick-up has
a 10 hour, one day limit unless permission is granted for extended time
due to extenuating circumstances.
.cleaning of Main Street on May 5 with a rain date of May 12.
.cleaning the storm sewer drops on April 21 with April 28 as a  rain date.
The Time-Warner Cable franchise contract was approved allowing
Time-Warner to install and maintain cable service within the village.
UC Signs is planning an addition to both sides of its shop located at
110 Main Street. A saw room will be added on the alley side and a garage
will be added on the other side. Council did approve a variance for
owner Drew Youngberg to build as close as eight feet from the alley
rather than the standard 10 feet if approved by the state-issued building permit.
Youngberg said he would like to keep the addition in line with the
building that houses the Post Office and UC Signs office.
Council will participate in the county wide Adopt a Pot program
sponsored by the Union County Master Gardeners again this year. The
barrel planter on Main Street will be planted on May 26 with red and
white geraniums and blue petunias.
Rausch said that the combined statement of cash receipts, cash
disbursements and changes in fund cash balances all governmental fund
types for 2006  is on file and available for review.
The next regular council meeting will be Monday, April 9 at 6:30 p.m.
Present at the meeting were Mayor Denver Thompson, Rausch, and council
members Ron Griffith, Mary Lou Morris, Brenda Terry, Phil Rausch, Weese,
and Peggy Williamson.

Richwood Council hears parking ticket complaint
Monday night Richwood Council members fielded a complaint about the
village's decision to enforce parking regulations.
Herbert Street resident James Adkins told council members that he
received a parking ticket in February for parking his vehicle facing the
wrong direction in front of his home. He said he has parked facing the
opposite direction of traffic for many years and does so to avoid
stepping out into a water-filled pot hole in the street.
Adkins said he moved to Richwood because of the relaxed attitude toward
minor issues such as parking regulations. He questioned why council felt
the need to begin enforcing parking regulations and asked why warnings
couldn't be given to residents.
Council member Von Beal said the group was reacting to citizen
complaints about lax traffic enforcement in the village.
Village solicitor Victoria Stone-Moledor said council set up the
regulations over a three or four month process. She added that the issue
was covered and advertised in area newspapers.
Mayor Bill Nibert added that there is an appeals process in place and
asked Adkins if he had exercised that right. Adkins said he simply paid the ticket.
In other business, council:
.Discussed a request for two-hour parking signs for a downtown business.
Council felt it could not approve the request.
.Learned that work on the North Union Veterans Monument will begin this week.
.Learned that Park Day will be observed on Aug. 5.
.Learned that the Richwood Anglers group would be donating money to fund
a fishing dock and historical monument for the Richwood Lake.
.Heard that one of the police officers approved for a full-time position
cannot take the job, leaving the village with a position to fill.
.Heard that recent traffic enforcement on Route 4 has led to an increase
in traffic on Route 47.
.Discussed two new homes being build on East Ottawa Street. Questions
were raised about whether the lot had been subdivided and about water
and sewer tap-ins. Future construction in the area was also discussed.
. Learned that phase two of the Ottawa Street storm sewer project is
completed as far as manholes and new piping. The construction area will
be graded and seeded after rain settles the dirt.
.Heard that utility work on North Clinton and Blagrove streets is nearly completed.
.Learned that most of the pipe for the Industrial Park lift station has
been installed. Electrical work for the project remains to be completed.
.Learned that recent flooding on George Street was caused by leaves,
yard waste and trash plugging up the storm drain.
.Held an executive session to discuss personnel.

Drowning may not have been cause of death

From J-T staff reports:
A neighborhood mourns the death of its honorary "mayor" who died while
tending to his property over the weekend.
Initial reports stated that Hawn Road resident Robert Scheiderer, 80,
died after drowning in a tributary Friday night on his property near
Robinson Run. This morning Union County Sheriff's Office reports
indicate Scheiderer may have died from a heart condition.
Sheriff's office public information officer Chris Skinner said that the
cause of death is still being determined by Union County Coroner Dr.
David Applegate, but that Scheiderer had a coronary condition.
At 9:11 p.m. Friday deputies were called to the 15000 block of Hawn Road
after a family member found Scheiderer deceased in a creek bed by a
field. It was apparent he had been dead for several hours, according to sheriff's reports.
Reports show that the family knew Scheiderer had gone out to clear brush
on his property earlier that day, but had become worried when he had not
been seen for several hours.
Neighbors of Scheiderer said that he was known as the honorary "mayor"
of Hawn Road because he had been involved in giving residents a sense of
community for decades. Outside of his home, some neighbors erected a
memorial sign showing their appreciation for him.

Restaurant plans City Gate location
From J-T staff reports:
A new restaurant has been announced for inclusion in Marysville's City Gate development.
Developer Phil Connolly, of Connolly Construction, announced that he has
signed a contract for Boston Gourmet Pizza.
Connolly was quick to point out that, despite the focus on pizza, Boston
Pizza features numerous types of food, from ribs to pastas, chicken,
oven-roasted salmon and grouper, pork chops, and more. He described it
as being like a Champs style restaurant, referring to the Columbus-based establishment.
"There are between three and four hundred Boston Pizzas in the United
States and Canada," Connolly said. "This is the first one in Ohio. (The
owner) plans to build two more in the Columbus area."
According to the restaurant's Web site, the
restaurant has a double focus, as it is designed to have a casual dining
feel, combined with a sports-themed bar. The facility is decorated with
sports memorabilia.

Man drowns
Was cutting brush in area of Robinson Run

From J-T staff reports:
A man cutting brush along Robinson Run near Hawn Road drowned Friday
night after falling into the tributary.
According to battalion chief Brent Smith of the Pleasant Valley Fire
Department, an 80-year-old man had apparently been working in the area
and fell into the water. He was found by acquaintances at about 9:15
p.m., roughly 100 yards off Hawn Road, between Route 736 and Robinson Road.
The man's identity was not available at press time.
According to police scanner reports, the man had been missing since 4
p.m. Acquaintances of the man pulled him from the water shortly after 9
p.m. and summoned medics. The person who called for medical crews
reported that the man had no pulse and no one was performing CPR.
A Union County Sheriff's deputy arriving on the scene confirmed that the
man was dead and had been in the water for some time, noting that ice
had formed on his body.
Along with sheriff's department officials, personnel from Pleasant
Valley and the Jerome Township fire departments responded to the scene.

Students showcase imagination
Local youngsters to compete in Destination ImagiNation tournament

Several Marysville students will take their creativity, critical
thinking, and problem solving skills to competition this weekend for the
regional Destination ImagiNation tournament being held at Delaware Hayes High School.
Destination ImagiNation is an extra curricular program and any student
in kindergarten through college can participate.
Fifteen teams of seven students or less will take what they know and
what they're good at and apply those skills to solve challenges and push
the limits of imagination while working together cooperatively.
The local teams will compete with teams from Marion, Licking, Morrow,
Pickaway, Delaware, and Franklin counties.
The teams selected a Challenge in the fall and now have a skit,
costumes, scenery and a technical device to present in their 8-minute
performances. The challenge categories include: DIrect Flight, CSI : DI,
Round About Courage, Switching TraDItions, and Car-DI-ology.
An example challenge from the Car-DI-ology category is using playing
cards and glue to build a weight-bearing structure.
According to Ellen Carter, Coordinator for Gifted Services, CSI : DI has
been the most popular category with the teams. For this challenge, the
teams must develop an original crime scene investigation story and
resolution with a colorful and a shady character.
Nine-year-old Aaron Kaeser, who attends Mill Valley Elementary, said his
team chose DIrect Flight.
"We had to build a tower that has an elevator, to launch an airplane to
a certain spot," he said.
Kaeser worked with teammates Grant Martin, A.J. Moots, and Ryley Akins.
He said he likes working on a team.
"We work together, and it's fun to create stuff and use your mind," he said.
Kaeser plans to put all of the skills he has learned to good use someday.
"When I grow up, I want to work at an Australia zoo, because I like
being with animals, he said."
The winning team from the regional tournament will go on to compete at
the state tournament April 21 in New Albany. The world tournament is
scheduled for late May in Knoxville, Tenn.

Plane crashes in W. Mansfield
Delaware pilot found dead at scene
A Delaware pilot died Thursday morning when his twin-engine plane
crashed into a corn field in the West Mansfield area, just across the
Logan County line.
The Marysville Ohio State Highway Patrol Post reported at 11:15 a.m.
pilot Russell Sheets, 45, of Delaware, died as a result of the crash. He
had been thrown from the wreckage.
Two witnesses at the nearby Heartland Egg Farm reportedly told Logan
County Sheriff's dispatchers that the 1948 Cam Air Model 480 twin-engine
single occupant plane sputtered in the air before suddenly spiraling to
the ground. There was also some speculation that the plane was on fire
before it struck.
Ohio State Highway Patrol Lt. Dan Lay said the cause of the crash is
currently unknown and remains under investigation. Sheets was the only
one aboard and no one on the ground was injured.
The crash occurred roughly in the middle of a 1,400 acre cornfield off
Route 292 at County Road 26 in West Mansfield. Area media, law
enforcement and some residents lined the sides of the roadway looking
out across the field as medics and investigators worked beyond their
view. Overhead, three helicopters surveyed the scene.
Lay explained that the farm property owner was not letting anyone back
to the crash site. At the time Sheets' family had not been notified.
He said Sheets' flight plan was unknown and that filing such a plan with
the airfield was not necessary as many pilots often go for uncharted rides.
As Lay spoke to media, members of the Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA) arrived in a car at about 2:20 p.m. to begin their investigation
into the crash. They were expected to continue their work throughout the
night. The Transportation Safety Board was also contacted to assist.
Lay said it was possible the plane was on fire before crashing, but that
determination will be made by FAA investigators. He said there was an
area of ground that appeared to have been burned in the post-impact
area. The crash scene was relatively small, suggesting a sudden impact,
only spanning an 80-yard radius.
"It looked like an angled impact," Lay explained further. "Not so much
of a nose dive."
He said there were no marks on the ground to suggest the plane had
bounced or dragged before crashing.
"It was not a long drawn-out crash," he said.
Resident Larry Lloyd of West Mansfield was one of the people looking out
across the field. He noted that a plane crash had not happened in the area for years.
A volunteer Logan County Firefighter's Association official, who wished
to remain anonymous, said that he was initially allowed back to the
crash scene to take photos for the fire department. He said the tail end
of the plane was jutting into the air, which seemed to suggest the plane
had nose dived into the ground.
An area pilot, who did not provide his name, said he had been getting
calls all morning from people who thought that he might have been the
one flying the plane. He decided to come out and see what happened for
himself, because there are only a few pilots and most know one another.
At that time Sheets' name had not been released.

Water rate issue finds no resolution
A future increase for Marysville water utility rates remains on hold, as
plans for another public discussion are in the works.
The Marysville City Council's Ad Hoc Committee, assigned to study water
rate increase amounts, will meet again on Monday at 6 p.m. in city
council chambers in City Hall, 125 E. Sixth St.
Numerous council members encouraged Marysville residents to come to the
ad hoc meeting and take part.
At Thursday night's council meeting, member John Gore thanked city
administration for filling out an application to eventually apply for
available Ohio EPA funding the city could use to help its water rate
predicament. He had raised the possibility of the funding at the Feb. 22
council meeting, based on a discussion with an aide from Congresswoman
Deborah Pryce's office.
On the topic of water rates and outstanding Marysville water company
debt, resident Lloyd Baker presented copies to council and
administration from past Marysville Journal-Tribune articles.
He referred specifically to a Feb. 23, 2001 article quoting then city
administrator Bob Schaumleffel speaking on the reason for water and
sewer rate hikes at that time. The former city official said the cause
was due to previous administrations use of "creative accounting" which
"shielded funds" so the severity of the financial situation was not known.
Baker wanted to know if any action was ever taken to correct those
financial issues Schaumleffel was referring to.
"This wasn't a citizen coming in off the streets," Baker said. "This was
the (former) city administrator."
Council members said they would look into the concerns Baker raised and
that the water rate issue is expected to be discussed further at the
March 22 council meeting.
In other issues, Kathy Werkmiester of the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning
Commission, addressed council over the city's Community Housing
Improvement Program (CHIP). This will be Marysville's third year
applying for the funding. She reported that residents have benefited
from the it in 2005 and 2006.
She reiterated that CHIP offers funding for low to moderate income
families to put down payments on their first homes, to rehabilitate
houses, or conduct drainage, electrical and sewage upgrades and more.
Dozens of families will be up for receiving the funding, Werkmiester
said, but they first need to apply by contacting Marysville administration.
"I just want to thank you for doing this," councilman Dan Fogt said. "I
think this is a very good program for the city."
Fogt said he hopes that Marysville residents will take advantage of the funding.
Werkmiester said the 2006 CHIP program is still open and funding remains
available. Information on that can be found by calling administration at City Hall.
In other discussions:
. Gore asked city administration to provide an update on the status of
the East Fifth Street railroad crossing issue. House said that the city
engineer called the Ohio Rail Commission three weeks ago and has been
waiting for a return call.
. Finance director John Morehart said that the city will again provide
income tax assistance for residents. Sessions will be available on March
14 from 5 to 7 p.m.; March 20 from 5 to 7 p.m. and March 31 from 9 a.m.
to noon. Morehart also asked to place an ordinance to appropriate
$18,965 toward a grant awarded to the Marysville Fire Department to
receive $47,385.
. Economic development director Eric Phillips said that the Uptown
Renewal Team is applying for a grant through the Ohio Historical Society
to place a historical marker denoting East Fifth Street as General
Beightler Way based on the area's decorated soldier.

Drug bust nets 173 pounds of marijuana
From J-T staff reports:
A Thursday night drug bust yielded 173 pounds of marijuana.
Union County Sheriff Rocky Nelson said this morning that his
investigators worked in conjunction with Drug Enforcement Agency and
Bureau of Criminal Investigations agents to confiscate the marijuana
that had a street value of more than $100,000.
Det. Mike Justice of the Union County Sheriff's Office has been working
exclusively with the state agency.
"That collaboration helped out a lot," Nelson said.
The investigation revealed the marijuana was being transported from
Northern Indiana to Union County. At 9:30 p.m., uniformed deputies,
detectives and agents arrested three individuals at the American Inn
parking lot on U.S. 42 north of New California. The sheriff's office
K-9, Jordy, alerted to a vehicle in the parking lot.
Charges are pending in Federal Court, Southern District of West
Virginia, against Joseph L. Kezee, 28, and Crystal R. Murray, 25, both
of Indiana, and Luis F. Reues, 34, from Texas. Union County Prosecutor
David Phillips also was present in case any state charges were to be considered.
"Since October 2006 we've assigned ... Justice to work with a DEA task
force and it has resulted in a good working relationship with local and
federal agencies," Sheriff Nelson said this morning in a press release
about the marijuana seizure.
Nelson also wanted to acknowledge the Jerome Township Fire Department
for its hospitality toward agents while conducting the arrest

Cotner resigns as FHS grid coach
Will take job at Ben Logan

Is he staying or is he going?
Until late this morning, only Carlton Cotner really knew and even then,
the decision wasn't easy to make.
Saying it was one of the most difficult professional decisions he has
ever made, Cotner announced today that he is stepping down as Fairbanks
High School's head football coach.
Cotner is leaving after four years at the Panther helm to take over as
the head coach at nearby Benjamin Logan.
Rumors had been circulating steadily in the area the past few days that
Cotner would be leaving FHS for the Raider position.
He confirmed to the Journal-Tribune Thursday morning that he had been
offered the job Wednesday night.
However, he said he needed a little more time to come to a decision.
"It was a very tough one to make because I love it here at Fairbanks,"
Cotner, who guided the Panthers to an overall record of 18-22, said.
"The kids are great and I feel we were getting the program on the right track."
After going 5-15 during his first two years at FHS, Cotner guided the
Panthers to a 13-7 record over the 2005 and 2006 campaigns. The team
just missed state playoff berths both years.
Cotner has been the athletic director and dean of students at Fairbanks
since his arrival prior to the 2003 season.
The desire to go into the teaching classroom was one of the reasons that
prompted his acceptance of the Benjamin Logan job.
"The athletic director's job was getting to be too much for me, along
with coaching," he admitted. "There wasn't the opportunity to go into
the classroom here and there is at Ben Logan."
Cotner will teach social studies at the Logan County school.
"I am so grateful to Fairbanks for the opportunity ... grateful to the
kids and their parents," he said. "It's been a great opportunity."

Money down  the drain?

Funds from refinancing of water plant were not put toward principle
After 16 years of payments toward the purchase of the Marysville water
company the debt has not gone down much, partly due to past and present
administrations losing focus on paying it off.
Recently city officials have helped explain the good and the bad of the
situation. One Marysville Council member has even called it a possible
"misuse" of tax funds.
Marysville City Finance Director John Morehart said the city's purchase
of the Ohio Water Service Company on June 7, 1991 was for $9,585,145,
paid with a 30-year bond of $11 million to finance it until it's paid off in 2022.
He said the $11 million bond consisted of issuance costs of $535,000 and
the funding for a debt service reserve account of $879,000, which was
the equivalent of one year of debt payment. At that time, funding a
separate debt service fund was required, which involved additional borrowing.
Morehart explained that the purchase is akin to someone buying and
financing a home; interest is naturally going to accumulate over such a
long period of time. A water company payment chart he provided, states
that a total of $4,045,000 in principle payments have been made in 16
years. This translates to $12,382,176 in total debt service toward the
initial $9 million purchase.
Since then, Marysville past and present administrations have been paying
roughly $800,000 a year toward paying that off, with little results.
Although not much of a dent has been put into the principle, officials
stopped short of calling the payments a waste.
"No, I wouldn't say it's wasted money," city councilman Dave Burke
explained. "What I think is a misuse of tax dollars is not paying down the principal."
Burke explained that the problem with the water company purchase and its
debt over the years has been a lack of consistency between changing administrations.
"There is no policy in place to allocate funds," he said.
Twice the city has refinanced the bond payments for a lesser amount, but
Burke said that extra money was then spent on other projects, instead of
making larger payments toward the principle debt.
Morehart said interest rates have been another issue with debt payments.
Then in 1993, Morehart said the city refinanced the existing debt to
take advantage of lower interest rates. The initial debt in 1991 was
issued with an interest rate range of 5.5 to 6.7 percent. The 1993 bonds
were issued with an interest rate range of 2.85 to 4.8 percent,
resulting in a savings of around $900,000 over the remaining life of the
bond. The 1993 bonds were issued for $12,280,000 which included the
amount required to pay off the 1991 bonds of $11,797,310 (including the
debt service reserve requirement) plus issuance costs of around $480,000.
Morehart explained that in 2003, interest rates dropped enough again to
encourage refinancing at $9,155,000 with new interest rates that created
a savings of $1,291,386. He said as of Dec. 31, 2006 the outstanding
amount on the bonds was $8,100,000 with a maturity date of Dec. 1, 2021.
The maturity date has not changed since the initial borrowing to
purchase the water company in 1991.
Burke said that this was a good decision, but that the money saved in
the move should have been put toward paying off the overall water
company debt. Changing administrations lost focus on paying that off and
he thinks this is why a policy needs to be in place to keep that focus
consistent and relevant with new administrations.
"That is one of the reasons we have some of the highest water rates in
the area," Burke said.
City administrator Kathy House and Mayor Tom Kruse have both mentioned
in previous council meetings how pending debt on the water company has
forced the city to seek rate increases, in order to create more funding
for other projects such as the future Raymond Road reservoir.

Young adults implicated in string of break-ins
Charges are pending against several young men responsible for a string
of burglaries in Marysville.
On Wednesday, Marysville Police Department investigators reported
solving several area business break-ins, which occurred over the past
six to eight months.
Assistant police chief Glenn Nicol said that the investigations
culminated with the Union County Sheriff's Office arresting five
individuals for a specific break-in at a business in Broadway.
He said numerous charges are expected to be sought through the grand
jury process for breaking and entering and related crimes, against
Jonathan Vandall, 21; Joshua Courtney, 18; and Justyn Ruggles, 19, all
of 45 Butternut Drive; and Timothy C. Foughty, 21, of Middleburg.
Nicol said the crimes included break-ins at Goodies Galore, Wedding
Designs, New Me Hair Salon, Philly's Bar & Grill, Sandy's Restaurant,
Belltone, CPP Engineering, Interim Health Care, New Reflections, and
Kmart locally, as well as a couple of locations in Logan County.
"As a result of break-ins starting in July of 2006 through December,
evidence had been submitted for laboratory analysis, as well as various
suspect interviews and many hours of surveillance were also conducted
over the course of the investigation," Nicol said. "The majority of the
break-ins occurred in August and September of 2006."
He said the young men arrested have various levels of involvement in
each of the break-ins. Courtney was believed to be involved in 13
incidents and Vandall seven.
Nicol said Sandy's Bar and Grill on Mill Creek Drive suffered the most
damage out of all the break-ins.
"We've have had customers asking about it," said Steve Montgomery, whose
family owns the business. "But it's been a while, so we just thought
nothing was going to come out of it. We were happy to hear something was going on."
He said the restaurant had to recoup damages totaling $15-$20,000 and
was forced to shut down operations for 10 days.
"They really tore the place up," Montgomery said. "They stole a bunch of
liquor. They smashed bottles of liquor all over the floors, broke the
beer taps, set off fire extinguishers and contaminated the walk-in
cooler. We had to get rid off all the food in the cooler and get rid of
all the liquor that was contaminated by the fire extinguishers."
When asked if he was surprised at the young age of the men arrested,
Montgomery said he didn't think they would be so young. But after
thinking about it, he said he remembered that whoever broke in only
stole the cheap  liquor. They ended up smashing the expensive  liquor on
the floor. It could have been a sign that the suspects were too young to
know the difference, he said.

Few details released on carjacking
From J-T staff reports:
Little information on a reported carjacking was available today.
According to radio reports  Wednesday, Ohio State Highway Patrol and
Delaware County Sheriff's deputies were looking for a suspect who beat a
man unconscious and stole his car.
Law enforcement reported that the crime was suspected of occurring
sometime between 2:30 and 4:20 p.m. in the area of U.S. 36 at Ostrander Road.
"The subject was beaten," dispatchers reported to officers in the area.
They also stated that the suspect drove off in the victim's red vehicle.
The Delaware County Sheriff's Office confirmed this morning that the
crime had occurred, but reportedly because of the shift change, no
report was available to provide to media.
Information on the male victim was not available.

N. Lewisburg needs stormwater plan

The village of North Lewisburg will more than likely need to put a storm
water management and utility plan in place soon.
Barry First, village administrator, said it will only be a matter of
time before the Ohio EPA requires that the village initiate a plan which
protects all streams from potential contaminants due to storm water runoff.
Council first became aware of the need for a plan in 2005 when it was
applying for grants to help fund a wastewater treatment plant.
First said that because of the classification of Spain's Creek as an
exceptional pristine cold-water habitat, it only makes sense given the
Water Quality Acts, that North Lewisburg will be required to have a plan in place.
The total cost of a storm water management plan is approximately
$20,000. It was originally projected that annual increases in resident
utilities would help fund a mandated plan.
Village council voted in 2006 and 2007 to table a utility rate increase
given the switch from flat utility billing to billing based on usage.
First said it is now necessary to revisit the proposed flat $3 increase
per month per utility account to generate funding and offset problems. A
$3 increase would generate $28,800 annually based on 800 utility accounts.
"Everyone creates storm water and no one wants standing water," First said.
The long awaited wastewater treatment plant is set to be completed by
June. First reported that things are going well with all major
components delivered and on site.
The valve vault basement portion of the plant needs major repairs to the
truss system and the roof. It has been suggested when making the repairs
that some additional area be made available to store heavy duty
materials related to the water system.
A project plan for the basement addition will be presented at the next
regular council meeting.
The village park bathroom project will go out to bid within the next
couple of weeks. The bathrooms will be completely refurbished with
$27,000 received in Community Development Grant Block (CDBG) funds. The
bathrooms are scheduled to be completed in July.
First told council that the village of Woodstock will be billed $7,599
for water treatment services for 2006.
Woodstock also will be informed that when it is billed for the first
quarter of 2007 it will be billed on usage as determined by flow meter
readings at $5.11 per 1,000 gallons used. This is the same rate North
Lewisburg residents are charged for treatment services.
Council members were told to mark their calendars for the Multi-Use Path
ribbon-cutting ceremony scheduled for June 21 at 10:30 a.m. at the
Pottersburg-Darby covered bridge on the pathway.
The event will dedicate both the covered bridge and the Scenic Byway,
which runs from North Lewisburg to Plain City. About 100 guests are to
be invited and the event will feature entertainment and refreshments.
The next regular village council meeting will be April 3 at 7 p.m.
In other news, council:
.Heard Deputy Glenn Kemp gave the Champaign County Sheriff's report for
the month of February. It included 13 traffic citations, four warnings
issued for traffic violations, 16 incident reports, 18 cases of
assistance give to citizens, six arrests made, seven civil and criminal
papers served, 20 follow-up investigations, two open doors, three
instances of juvenile contact and one civic activity completed.
.Talked about spring the clean-up dates of May 1 through 8.
.Invited council members to the Leadership Champaign County meeting
Friday from 8 to 10 a.m. at the municipal building.
.Heard the Activate Champaign County community event will be held April
14 at 10 a.m. at the county fairgrounds.
.Approved the removal of a lost check from the 2006 financial report and
re-appropriate the same amount to Summerfield Insurance for consulting services.
.Was informed of the mayor's participation in the Ohio Mayor's
Association in Dublin on March 3 and the upcoming Ohio Municipal League
Luncheon at the statehouse.
.Agreed to create an escrow fund regarding ordinance No. 231 (fire loss
claims ordinance) to hold funds from State Farm Insurance for 143 Abbey Lane.

Who are you giving your money to?
City has measures in place to monitor collection of cash on streets

When someone gives money to a charity collecting on the street, how can
they really know if their money is going to a good cause and not funding a scam?
On Friday a Kentucky-based charity group was stationed in Marysville
collecting money for the New Life Church of Louisville. Several
residents called the Marysville Police Department to complain of a scam.
But their fears were unfounded.
Marysville Police Chief Floyd Golden explained that he knew of the
charity group and that it is recognized on the Kentucky Secretary of
State Web site,, as a nonprofit organization. New Life
Church of Louisville is listed in "active" and in "good" standing. The
charity was founded in 2004 and its annual reports are available for
reading through the state site.
Zoning permits show that the charity solicited in Marysville on March 1
and previously on April 27 and Dec. 18 in 2006. Last week they were
limited to collecting at the intersections of Fifth and Vine streets and
Fifth and Grove streets from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Golden said his main priority is that street charity collectors don't
create a dangerous situation for drivers.
He said he encountered the Kentucky-based charity group as he was
driving back into Marysville, as they asked for donations while he
waited for a light. He spoke with them about not harassing anyone and
generally keeping their charitable collection safe and friendly.
The Marysville codified ordinance states that the collectors must wear
light-colored clothing and perhaps safety vests. If they violate any
guidelines and create a hazardous situation on the roadways, the city
may revoke the permit. There is also the potential of a minor
misdemeanor charge and a $150 fine.
Golden said even with safeguards in place to prevent scams, the
department is limited in what it can do. He said what is in place may
not be enough to prevent scams, but police follow codified ordinance
311.05, concerning, "In street charitable solicitation."
"We are only limited to what the ordinance tells us to do," Golden said.
The law explains that any charitable organization must apply for a
permit through the director of administration. The permit will only be
granted if the money raised is indeed going to a charity, clarified as
an organization validated through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and
has benevolent causes which it supports. The application also is
expected to state when and where the charity will be in town.
Golden said individual charities are limited to collecting in Marysville
two times a year.
"It used to be that there wasn't an ordinance in place," Golden said.
"Then (Marysville City Council) passed something that limited the amount
of times a group could come into town."
The law also includes collection sites limited to no more than three
intersections within the city per day, as long as it does not conflict
with previously issued parade or public events. The charity must also
accept all liability and no more than one charity is allowed to collect
at one time.
Past charities collecting in Marysville have included Honda Gold Wing
Riders raising money for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation - Ride for
Kids on July 12, 2006, and the Union County Shrine Club on May 24, 2006.

Union County to receive money from Emergency Food and Shelter National

From J-T staff reports:
 Union County has been chosen to receive $14,306 to supplement emergency
food and shelter programs in the county under the Emergency Food and
Shelter National Board Program.
 The selection was made by a national board that is chaired by the
Federal Emergency Management Agency and consists of representatives from
the Salvation Army, American Red Cross, United Jewish Communities,
Catholic Charities, USA, National Council of the Churches of Christ in
the USA and the United Way of America. The national board was charged to
distribute funds appropriated by Congress to help expand the capacity of
food and shelter programs in high-need areas around the country.
 A local board made up of a representative of the American Red Cross,
the Salvation Army, Union County Department of Job and Family Services,
Union County Health Department, Union County Council on Aging, Mental
Health and Recovery Services Board, Community Action Organization, Union
County Commissioners and the United Way of Union County will determine
how the funds awarded to Union County are to be distributed among
emergency food and shelter programs run by local service agencies in the
area. The local board is responsible for recommending agencies to
receive these funds and any additional funds available under this phase of the program.
Under the terms of the grant from the national board, local agencies
chosen to receive funds must: Be private voluntary non-profits or units
of government; have an accounting system; practice nondiscrimination;
have demonstrated the capability to deliver emergency food and/or
shelter programs; and if they are a private voluntary organization, they
must have a voluntary board. Qualifying agencies may apply.
Last year Union County's local board distributed the Emergency Food and
Shelter funds of $14,903 to the Salvation Army's Homeless Prevention
Program. This program was responsible for providing $12,495.21 in rent
assistance for 30 households and using $2,407.79 to assist another 12
households with paying utility bills.
Public or private voluntary agencies interested in applying for
Emergency Food and Shelter Program funds may request an application from
the United Way by calling 644-8381 extension 1 or by e-mail at
Applications must be returned to the United Way of Union County, P.O.
Box 145, Marysville, OH 43040 on or before March 23 at noon. The local
board will meet on April 6 at 9:30 a.m. at the United Way office, 232 N.
Main St., Suite UW.

Jerome trustees discuss safety officers

Jerome Township Trustees met with a full agenda Monday night and plenty
of public participation.
Trustees Bob Merkle, Ron Rhodes and Andy Thomas were present, as well as
fiscal officer Robert Caldwell and six Jerome Township residents.
Sheriff Rocky Nelson addressed the trustees with projections for a 2007
through 2009 public safety program in which Jerome and Millcreek townships share.
The 2007 cost of three public safety officers for both Jerome and
Millcreek townships amounts to $196,565.05. In 2006, the total was
$186,645.41. Jerome Township pays for 75 percent of the officers'
salaries, while Millcreek Township pays for 25 percent.
The county commissioners pay nearly $200,000 for the additional costs,
including the cruisers. The public safety officers are sheriffs deputies
who are cross-trained in fire and EMS.
In past discussions, it was brought up that Jerome, Millcreek and Dover
townships all partner in the public safety program; however, Nelson
mentioned he thought it would make the district too large.
"I would be concerned, bringing in another township just for cost
savings," he said. "It would only take once when the response time was too long."
The trustees agreed that response time was of most importance. They also
commented how valuable they feel the program is.
Former trustee Freeman May questioned the cost for the public safety program.
"I'm not against the public service officers, but we have so many people
taking out of this township and not putting back into the township," he said.
Rhodes, not sure what May meant, asked, "So you feel that businesses
should pay and the residents should not?"
May answered, "You're going to have to wake up and start running this
township like a business."
May took the opportunity to state that he didn't feel the land on
Highland Croy Road should have been lost, had the trustees "woke up and
done something about it."
Rhodes responded, "It was lost due to a referendum, Mr. May."
The trustees stated they needed to move on to other business and thanked
Sheriff Nelson for attending.
Scott Hudson of American Pavements presented a proposal to the trustees
for road work that is needed in the township. Areas mentioned included:
Kimberly Drive, Briarwood Drive, Sierra Woods Circle, Sequoia Court,
Monteray Drive and Carmel Drive. The trustees decided they will need
time to look through the proposal and determine how to allocate the
$87,500 budget they have to work with.
Caldwell said there is an option of pulling money from the capital
improvements budget if needed. Rhodes said improvements must happen in
New California Woods which he said hasn't been touched for nearly 20
years. The trustees received a quote of more than $15,000 from the
county engineer's office for Hickory Ridge Road which will be taken care of this year.
Eagle Scout Ben Karn, who also led the pledge of allegiance at the
beginning of the meeting, presented a scout project budget to the
trustees. After checking prices at Carter lumber, Karn asked the
trustees for $1,300 to be used for the construction of a bridge at the
pond north of the township building on Industrial Parkway.
The trustees approved the amount, and Karn said he plans to begin the
project on March 26, the first day of his spring break. Rhodes offered
his compliments to Karn for his dedication and professionalism in addressing the trustees.
Several questions were raised by May during public participation of the clerk's report.
His list of desired explanations included: A figure of $645 for repair
of some snow plows, a $531 expense from the fire department for new
carpeting, the cost for a periodical subscription belonging to fire
chief Scott Skeldon, the cost of truck repairs pertaining to either the
fire or road division, a question about what a Citi credit card was used
for, a cost pertaining to trustee Ron Rhodes' disability insurance and a
figure of $500.57 for transmission work for a large truck used in the township.
May accepted the explanations from Caldwell and Rhodes for all of the
charges except for the charge of transmission work that had been done to
a township truck. He stated the trucks had been serviced when he was in
office. Rhodes responded that he had been advised that transmission
fluid needs to be changed every year or every 25,000 miles.
May questioned how many miles are actually put on the truck and stated
that he sees the truck sitting dormant most of the time. Rhodes
reiterated his point that the fluid needs to be changed every year. The
trustees then decided to move on to other business.
Chief Skeldon reported that Engine 210 had experienced an alternator
problem which was fixed the day after it failed, at a cost of $900. He
also announced that an equipment grant had been submitted to the state.
Skeldon said there is a need for some of the fire department's breathing
apparatus to be replaced.
He also reported on a recent symposium for new fire chiefs in which he
was a key speaker, and he reminded everyone that daylight-saving time
begins Sunday, which is a good time to change smoke detector batteries.

Foot pursuit leads to arrest
After being under surveillance, suspect is chased down and charged

Police chased a burglary suspect on foot through a quiet Marysville
residential area Monday, leading to the arrest of a teenager tied to
numerous other daytime break-ins.
Officers rushed out of the Marysville Police Department just after 10
a.m. when a call came into dispatch from Detective Chad Seeberg who said
he had the burglary suspect apprehended and held in the area of Sherwood
Avenue and Hickory Drive.
Joshua R. Wolford, 19, of 1271 Woodline Drive, was arrested on Van Kirk
Drive after Seeberg witnessed him running from behind Grove Street residences.
"(Wolford) was apprehended by a police investigator who was in the area
on surveillance of the suspect," Marysville Assistant Police Chief Glenn
Nicol said this morning. "The suspect did not break into a residence,
but was admittedly looking to enter a residence in the 700 block of
Grove Street when he ran."
Nicol said that after further investigation, Wolford was held on one
third-degree felony burglary charge for a home he is suspected of
hitting on Feb. 20. He said items related to recent burglaries were
recovered from Wolford's residence, including two handguns stolen from a
Carmel Drive residence.
Nicol said Wolford's arrest was the eventual result of a police
investigation into several daytime residential burglaries that have
occurred in recent months throughout Marysville.
He said not all details can be provided because he does not want to
compromise the investigation, but Wolford has been linked to seven
suspected burglaries. Police have been investigating for a month and a
half. The investigation became a joint effort with the Union County
Sheriff's Office when more, apparently related, burglaries were
discovered outside of the city.
Sheriff's Detective Jon Kleiber said that the first Union County
burglary they began looking into occurred Oct. 31.
"It really helped when we shared our information with the county," Nicol said.
He said two burglaries took place in Greenwood Colony, two in Green
Pastures, one in Mill Valley, one on West Seventh Street and two more
outside of the city on Brookline Drive and Lunda Road.
Additional charges are expected to be sought against Wolford through
grand jury procedures for at least eight burglaries, Nicol said,
including the two that occurred in Union County.

Marysville Boy Scouts schedule events
Recruiting drive, mayor's breakfast planned

From J-T staff reports:
Local Boy Scouts have planned a recruiting event Saturday, March 10 at
the Union County Fairgrounds from noon to 3 p.m.
The event will be held in conjunction with "Scout Week" in Marysville.
Parents may bring their sons to see scout skills demonstrated by area
Cub Scout packs and Boy Scout troops. There also will be opportunities
to meet with leaders and learn about the full array of scouting
opportunities in Union County.
Another Scout Week event will be a first-ever "Mayor's Breakfast"
Wednesday at the Union County Public Service Center at 8 a.m. The
breakfast is a popular tradition in other central Ohio communities and
is aimed at informing business people about the program and how they can
help support it, according to a press release announcing Scout Week activities.
Local scouts and speakers will share updates on the scouting program and
local Scoutmaster John Eufinger will be recognized for his years of
service. Those interested in attending may call the council office at
(800) 433-4051.
Marysville Mayor Tom Kruse issued a recent proclamation declaring this
week as "Scout Week" in Marysville. In his proclamation, Kruse said he
would "urge everyone to recognize the North Star District of the Simon
Kenton Council of Boy  Scouts for its continuing service to Marysville
and Union County, and its commitment to instilling the virtues of
Scouting in our community."
Marysville and Union County have a strong tradition of Scouting. Today,
the Boy Scouts of America serve more than 650 boys in 24 units across
the county. Nearly all of the boys in these units have the opportunity
to participate in week-long summer camps or day camps.
Union County has produced hundreds of Eagle Scouts, many of whom are now
leaders in the community and credit the scouting program for instilling
solid values and leadership skills.
In 2006, 12 boys received their Eagle Scout award locally. The scouts
are hoping to top that in 2007 and see even more boys advance to Eagle.
The scouts also are looking to add at least two units this year,
targeting strong growth in the southern part of the county and around
new  schools being built in Marysville.
Boy Scouts around the world are celebrating the 100th anniversary of
scouting this year. Lord Robert Baden Powell  began the program in 1907
with his popular guidebook, "Scouting for Boys," and the first organized
camp out held at  Brownsea Island, off the cost of England.
Shortly thereafter, Troops of Boy Scouts began springing up across the
United States. There have been several active troops in Union County
dating back to the 1920s. In fact, Troop 101, chartered to the First
United Methodist Church in Marysville, has been  continuously chartered
for 80 years, making it the oldest active troop in the area, according
to the press release.
Additional information about becoming involved with scouting in Union
County or supporting local scouting efforts may be obtained by
contacting Don Sheppard, Union County District Executive Boy Scouts of
America, 1901 E. Dublin-Granville Road, Columbus, OH 43229 (800) 433-4051.

 JA student killed in crash
From J-T staff reports:
A Jonathan Alder senior died in a Saturday car crash in Madison County.
The West Jefferson Ohio State Highway Patrol Post reported that Sierra
Fauver, 17, of Union County was killed after the high speed car crash in
which she was a passenger.
Fauver was a varsity volleyball team member of Jonathan Alder High
School and attended Tolles Career Center. She also was known for her
association with 4-H dog and equestrian clubs in Union and Franklin
counties. Funeral services will be held Wednesday at 11 a.m. at Jonathan
Alder High School.
According to Phil Harris, Jonathan Alder High School Principal,
counselors were available for students at the school today.
"We want to be here for the 550 some kids here," Harris said. "Her
dearest friends aren't in school today - other students who knew her
have come but left.
"We just need to let them go through it."
A completed report on the crash was not ready this morning, although the
OSP post issued a media release on the fatal crash.
The reports show that Saturday at 11:54 p.m. Nicholas Jenkins, 18, of
London, was driving on Route 38 near Blaugher Avenue, north of the
village of Newport in Madison County.
"Mr. Jenkins lost control at a high rate of speed and drove off the left
side of the roadway," reports state. "The vehicle struck a utility pole
on the passenger's side."
The collision with the pole reportedly resulted in Fauver's death, who
was sitting in the front passenger seat.
There were three other passengers in the rear seat, Kristen Eberle, 17,
of Plain City, and Larryn Allen, 17, and Michelle Hostetler, 17, both of London.
West Jefferson troopers reported that the driver and the three rear
passengers suffered non-life-threatening injuries and were transported
to Madison County Hospital.
"The driver, Mr. Jenkins, was wearing his seat belt at the time of the
crash. The deceased passenger was not wearing her seat belt at the time.
Seat belt use by rear seat passengers is unknown at this time," reports state.
The OSP reported that alcohol and drug impairment are suspected at this
time and the crash remains under investigation. Criminal charges are
pending consultation with the Madison County Prosecutor.

For the love of animals
Area woman runs sanctuary for unwanted livestock
When Mindy Mallett started Sunrise Sanctuary, a non-profit animal
sanctuary, six years ago she knew her rural approach wasn't the norm for Union County.
Mallett, originally from Brooklyn, New York, has always been an animal
advocate and although growing up in the city, she is a self proclaimed
"country girl."  She is committed to rescuing animals, mainly livestock,
if they're not wanted or if they've been hurt. She says she wants to
keep animals alive if it's in their best interest.
"Animals are unique individuals that should be valued for what they
are," she said. "I want the animals I rescue to be able to live on my
farm safely for the remainder of their lives."
Mallett feeds and houses a total of 50 animals on her Martin Welch Road
farm including hogs, sheep, goats, llamas, chickens, ducks, dogs, cats and a pony.
"I believe in the old-fashioned family farm," she said. "At least on
family farms, the animals do live quality lives before being put to death."
Mallett says she does not agree with the practices of what she calls "factory farms."
"I offer another option for the way animals live their lives," she said.
"I want them to be able to see the sunshine and have open space to walk around."
She is committed to her passion, so much so, that she works two jobs to
support the animals.
"I will work three jobs if I have to," she said. "Somebody needs to take
that position in life for animals, and you can't help it if that's how you feel."
Mallett hopes to someday open her farm to the community, so people can
come and learn about the animals.
"People are always welcome to come out," she said. "I hope if they see
what I'm doing, they'll also want to support the cause."
Mallett says she works with local veterinarians and the humane society
to keep the animals healthy. Although she knows it's important, the
bills do add up. Since the sanctuary is non-profit, she can take
donations in the form of money or even bags of feed or bales of hay.
"I'd love for someone to sponsor an animal monthly, she said. "There's
always the cost of feed and hay, not to mention, the cost of fencing for the animals."
She also hopes to have a Web site designed one-day.
Mallett's friend and fellow animal-lover Kathy Fuhrman volunteers on the
farm. Both women hope to get more volunteers and supporters on board so
that in the future, there will always be space for emergency rescues.
Presently, Mallett is at capacity for the amount of animals she can afford.
She says pleasure comes from just watching her livestock in the barn.
She has also been surprised at how all of the animals are able to
co-exist in the same space.
"The chicks like to climb up on the hog's back, and it's just so
precious to watch," she laughed. "I also enjoy watching the cats eat
their food with the chickens."
Although some of the animals have deformities and are not in perfect
condition, Mallett doesn't judge.
"They are still wonderful companions to myself and each other even
though they're not perfect, and they deserve a chance at life," she said.
To obtain more information about the sanctuary, those interested may
write to Sunrise Sanctuary P.O. Box 105, Marysville, Ohio,  43040.

Little headway made in 16 years
After purchasing the water plant in 1991 for $9 million, city still owes
$8 million

"Deceive me once shame on you. Deceive me twice shame on me," Marysville
resident Lloyd Baker said at a recent Marysville City Council Ad Hoc Committee meeting.
Baker said that when it comes to increasing utility rates, Marysville
seems to be raising rates throughout the years, yet expecting different
results. He said water and sewer rates have been raised twice before to
pay for the 1991 purchase of Marysville's water company and the future
wastewater treatment plant. Now new water rate hikes are expected. In
the process, projects never seem to be completed.
According to a Feb. 13, 1991 Marysville Journal-Tribune article, the
city purchased the water company at a price of about $9 million. Then a
March 23, 2001,  Journal-Tribune article states that the water and sewer
rate hikes passed would "fund debt service on the city's purchase of the
water company, which totals $1.2 million annually, as well as pay for
current and future improvements, such as the construction of the Raymond Road reservoir."
City Finance Director John Morehart said on Thursday that after 16 years
Marysville owes about $8 million on that $9 million purchase. He said
that the reason is because the plant was purchased on a 30-year bond and
there were initially high interest rates.
But Baker said the 2001 article on rate increases "gave a very bright
prediction" on how increased rates would accommodate current as well as
future needs. He said it seems in conflict with the city's current situation.
"I guess I was very disturbed at the last ad hoc committee meeting when
the amount of the (rate) changes between 2001 and 2006 were referred to
as being 'minor'," Baker said, in regards to a comment by city engineer Phil Roush.
Baker claims the increase in the water rates alone in 2001 was 56.7
percent and the increase in the sewer rate was 168.6 percent, as a
result of those increases. The total water bill, or utility bill
increased approximately 60 percent.
"I think that the pattern of these past increases leaves some skepticism
on the part of the public and what we're apt to swallow here now. It
would be just a repeat of what we were asked to swallow in 1991 and from
2001," Baker said.
Marysville city council's ad hoc committee met first on Feb. 7 and again
on Monday to find ways to decrease proposed water rates for residents
over the next few years. Committee members said that the current plan is
to have water rate legislation ready by March 22 and perhaps waive
readings to move it along faster once it's before city council.
Ad Hoc Committee member Dan Fogt said that the biggest news he learned
from Monday's meeting was that Marysville has not yet borrowed the
entire amount of money approved by city council to complete its future
wastewater plant trunk line sewer project.
"That was to save interest money until the money was actually needed," Fogt said.
He said the threat now is that the city could end up building the trunk
line sewer, but not have enough funds to connect it to the new plant.
"What I'm hearing you say is that the $55 million that we have already
borrowed for the wastewater treatment plant won't be enough for this?"
committee member John Gore asked at the Monday meeting.
Roush said that the majority of funding has gone toward designing and
engineering the plant.
Kathy House added that the decision to halt the water rate increases
essentially halted the stability of funding coming in for the project.
"As you know, it's been a difficult decision for council," committee
chairman Dave Burke said at Monday's ad hoc meeting. "I think we're
getting close to finding some resolution to move this project forward."
Burke said there is a short-term issue to deal with and then a long-term
issue. The short term deals with keeping essential projects going. The
long-term deals with a possible water crisis if they don't deal with the issue now.
"The potential water crisis concerns me," Gore said. "It absolutely
concerns me. But I just kind of feel that there is another answer
besides just continuing to raise rates . You can call a rate increase
what you want, but it's still a tax."
Baker said that the true root of the problem is not being addressed,
which is that the city needs a business plan.
Roush said that Marysville does have a business plan, which is included
within the Water Master Study. People need to read the entire plan,
instead of only learning bits and pieces of it from newspaper articles,
he said. He said copies of the Water Master Plan are available for
reading through the city and are at the Marysville Public Library.

MR/DD drops Mental Retardation from name
From J-T staff reports:
The Union County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental
Disabilities approved a change of its organization name to "The Union
County Board of Developmental Disabilities" at its monthly meeting.
According to Pete Emmons, Community Outreach and Training Coordinator,
the move comes after a comprehensive three-month study by the board,
including input from a wide variety of community stakeholders.
"We have taken a major step towards increasing community sensitivity to
the needs of our citizens with developmental disabilities," said
Superintendent Kim Miller. "The new name is also symbolic of our
emphasis to become a more active partner with other community agencies."
In other business, the board approved a one-year pilot program called
"Resource Allocation for Families Today" which was presented by Kara
Brown, director of support services. The program is designed to provide
respite assistance and additional adapted equipment to families who have
an individual with a developmental disability residing at home.
"The number one thing we need to do is to make sure that we are
supporting families as they address unique needs of individuals with
developmental disabilities living in the home," Miller said.
Kim Rogers of Laidlaw Educational Services reported to the board that it
was in full compliance with applicable state regulations regarding the
screening and monitoring of transportation personnel.
The board approved extending the lease of Children Inc. in a section of
the Harold Lewis Center for another 23 months.
"We are eager to build upon the collaborative efforts which began in
late summer of 2006," said Brenda Weilbacher, executive director. "We
look forward to partnering with the Union County Board of DD and the
Harold Lewis Center in providing quality early childhood programming
which will continue to benefit the children of Marysville and Union
County for years to come."
The board accepted news of a payment settlement from the Ohio Department
of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities for the years 2001,
2002, and 2003 pertaining to the former Community Alternative Funding Program.
Business Manager Cheryl Gugel gave a report on a zero-based budget
concept which provides more fiscal responsibility starting at the
department head level.
Miller said, "We are looking at the most efficient means of operation to
ensure we are good stewards of the resources provided to us by the Union
County taxpayers."
The next regularly scheduled board meeting will be March 19 at 4:30 p.m.
in the Amrine Room of the Harold Lewis Center.

Literacy BEAR event is Monday
From the J-T staff reports:
The fifth annual Literacy United BEAR Family Event will be held Monday
at the Union County Services Building, 940 London Ave.
The event will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. A variety of free literacy based
activities will be available for family participation, and each child
attending will receive a free book while supplies lasts.
The "Be Excited About Reading" (BEAR) project is a fund-raiser for the
Marysville Public Library and ABLE/Literacy United. Library patrons may
vote for their favorite bears by dropping money into marked containers
under each display until Friday at 5 p.m. The top vote getters will be
sold Monday at the family event by auctioneer Dan Westlake, beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Each bear is dressed as a character from an award winning book. One
bear, "Professor Sherman," an entry from Connolly Construction based on
the book "The Twenty-One Balloons" by William Pene Dubois, a Newbury
Award winner, comes with 20 gift certificates to restaurants totaling
more than $600 in value.
Absentee bids may be placed by calling Literacy United at 644-2796 or by
e-mail at by noon Monday.
Bears may be viewed on the Marysville Public Library Web site at (click on the BEAR link).

Marysville Muscle
Local woman will compete in event at Arnold Classic in Columbus

For a number of years, the Arnold Classic has brought athletes from
around the globe to Columbus in the hopes of placing high in various competitions.
The annual event, which runs the first weekend in March, features
competitions ranging from weight lifting to arm wrestling, ultimate
fighting to bodybuilding and included for the first time this year, sumo wrestling.
Another event is called the Pro Figure International and a
Marysville-area woman will be competing for the title.
Julie Wallis, 37, will be among 15 competitors Friday evening at
Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Columbus.
Participants go through two rounds of competition, one while wearing a
two-piece bathing suit and the other in a one-piece.
"We don't do poses like they do in body building," said Wallis. "The
competition has a lot to do with comparing physiques for muscularity and
leanness and it also has a lot to do with hair and makeup as well."
"I guess you could call it a 'fitness-beauty pageant' and it's a lot of
standing there, wearing heels.'"
While figure competitors have a muscular physique, they do not strive
for the dense, bulky muscles of female bodybuilders.
"Judging is very subjective," Wallis said. "Many of the judges (up to 10
per competition) are previous body builders and they look for more
muscular girls, while I have a smaller frame."
Wallis, a native of San Antonio, Texas, first became interested in
figure competitions after looking through some fitness magazines.
"I saw the pictures and thought that's what I wanted to do," she said.
After working as an amateur for two years, she joined the professional
figure circuit in 1999. She has had several top five finishes since that time.
A holder of bachelors and master's degrees in biology from the
University of Texas, Wallis moved to Ohio while under the employ of a
chiropractor who worked with powerlifters.
She became interested in weight lifting several years earlier and
enjoyed the workouts.
"Fitness became really popular in 1997 and that's when I saw the
magazines," she said. "I really came to enjoy doing the photo shoots."
Wallis has appeared in numerous magazines, including "Ironman," "Flex"
and "Muscle and Fitness."
She has also published a book "33 Ways for 33 Days" and is working on a
fitness video. When not onstage at the Figure International, she will
greet her fans at the Fitness Factory booth during the fitness expo
portion of the weekend event.
Wallis' workout sessions are extensive throughout the week, focusing
both on weights and cardio-vascular exercise. She allows herself only
one day off each week.
Her contest training is a 12-week process. During that time she eats
seven meals per day but takes in only 1,100 calories. Meals consist of
chicken, tuna, tilapia, egg whites and a some oatmeal.
When she's not hard at work in the training room, she's busy in the
classroom at The Ohio State University.
There, she is enrolled in a doctorate program in sports exercise and science.
It's the second such program that she has entered.
"I was enrolled in a doctorate program in neurobiology," she said,
adding that she didn't finish the course work.
As she is just getting started at Ohio State, she plans to have her
doctorate in three years.
Wallis, who also holds a teaching assistantship in sports and exercise
science at OSU, recently received a $5,000 grant from General Mills to
search for ways to combat childhood obesity. In April, she plans to
begin a study program in this area at Grant Middle School in Marion.
Over the next couple of days, though, she will focus on Friday night's
competition in Columbus.
It will mark the third time at the Arnold event for the competitor who
goes by the stage name of "DJ" Wallis.
"That started when I was in my first doctorate program," she laughed.
"It was a takeoff on 'Doc Julie.'"
Wallis competed in the fitness portion of the Arnold Classic seven years
ago and placed sixth. The fitness portion of the competition
incorporates an athletic routine into the judging.
Three years later, she entered the figure competition and finished fifth.
This year, she's determined to finish even higher.
"The third time is going to be the charm," she said. "This year, I'm
going to win it."

Youngsters brought together through program
Although their cultures and upbringings couldn't be any more opposite,
three things brought a group of children together Wednesday night at the
church of The Nazarene, a love for singing, dancing and Jesus.
Fifteen children, part of World Help's "Children of the World,
International Children's Choir," performed in English as well as their
native languages. Ranging in age from 8 to 11, the children entertained
the packed church auditorium with their swing choir style performance.
Becky Ransome, church member and hostess to two children,
said she was beyond impressed.
"The children were unbelievable," she said. "My son, Evan, is in the
Marysville show choir, Swingers Unlimited, and he couldn't get over how
professional the children were with their singing and dance moves."
The children, some of them orphans, come from desperate circumstances.
They are from Brazil, India, Uganda and the Philippines.
Some of their parents died from situations such as tribal wars, malaria,
cancer and farm accidents.
The choir children have been able to come to America due to sponsorships
through World Help which ministers in more than 58 countries. According
to the organization, each year more than 12 million children die from
preventable diseases, 1 billion live in poverty and 153 million children
under the age of 5 suffer from hunger.
Ransome said she got to talk with her two host children about their home
situations while they stayed with her family.
"These kids have seen so much," she said. "One little girl was telling
me she walks through the jungle afraid someone will cut off her head."
That's a world away from the environment Ransome provided Wednesday.
"I took the kids to COSI," she said. "There was a simulation of a space
shuttle, and they had no idea what a space shuttle even was."
While Ransome was making them dinner, Evan took the children, ages 8 and
10, outside to build a snowman.
"They loved that, because they had never done it before and don't get to
see snow where they're from," she said.
As far as foods they've been enjoying while in the United States,
Ransome said they love chicken and rice.
"They do eat things like pizza, but what I really noticed was that they
love fruit and especially strawberries," she said.
The children are not permitted to play video games while staying with
host families, and they can only watch G-rated movies. The host families
are also discouraged from giving the children gifts.
Ransome said she feels the choir children notice the types of things
American children enjoy; however, they don't feel that they need the
same types of things.
"That's not their thought process at this age. They don't think they
need an abundance of things," she said. "The message to the kids is to
show God's love."
The children travel on a bus with chaperones, a road crew, and their
team leaders, Josh and Jennifer Lawhorn, originally from Mansfield. They
began the tour in August and will wrap it up in June.
This morning, Ransome delivered the children back to the church, where
they will stay and receive schooling until taking off for their next trip.
According to Jennifer Lawhorn, once the children complete the tour,
which allows them a 10-month visa, they will go back to their native countries.
"They aren't able to be away from school any longer than that," she
said. "It's not America, but for them, it's what they know."
To obtain more information on World Help, visit


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