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Local Archived News November 2007



     City prepares for Christmas parade

     Licenses go on sale for four-legged friends

     Local talent to be  showcased in 'The Best Christmas Pageant Ever'


     Plain City to host Christmas Under the Clock

     Couple sentenced for theft


    Woman gets eight years for roll in overdose 

     Alleged voyeur sentenced


     District begins cost saving plan

     Council airs concerns with Richwood  Police Department

     Plain City plans for downtown revitalization

     Man pleads guilty to assaulting deputy


    Driver escapes after Saturday chase

    Local post names trooper of the year


     Santa's House will return as part of Christmas Walk

     Library plans events for Monday evening event


     Local man nominates legislator  for national award

     'A Bunsold Christmas' to be presented


     JA board debates dairy farm

     Ewe better watch out...

     Board of health in process  of revising rules


     North Union prepares for levy attempt

     Purse party results in indictment

     Fairbanks officials  discuss unfunded  mandates

     Union County Care Train rolls into 21st year


     Community Thanksgiving dinner planned

     Bonds will help improve airport

     New egg facility will be built in two phases


     Voters to decide on sales tax measure

     Council debate landscaping ordinance

     New egg facility planned


     Group at standstill on park proposal

     North side development plan tabled by commission


     Commissioners revisit sales tax idea

     Unionville Center awards contracts

     Nationwide gives $108,319 to United Way of U.C


     Burke  kicks off campaign for state office

     P.C. Council discusses insurance change

     Busing change proposed for Marysville


     Local officials push legislation on prescription drug abuse


     Pregnancy Care Center hopes to reach more individuals

     Kiwanis project has members checking on seniors


     Income tax an option for new fire station

     'The pipeline is plugged'

     Family's tradition stands the test of time


     IFC celebrates 20 years

     Gillmor to run for Mumper's Senate seat

     Thirty years of service


     Voters reject Marysville school levy for second time

     Mental health, 911 issues pass

     Candidate roundup

     Area school districts take steps to deter MRSA

     Keeran wins NL mayor's race by four votes


     Industrial Parkway may need beefed up

     Judge rejects plea, sends  case to trial

     Committee plans 'Life from the Stone' on Veterans Day

     Trinity marks 62 years of Election Day suppers


     City may expand sex offender rules

     YMCA seeks to promote 'fit kids'


     Local woman to enter Vets Hall of Fame

     Council roundup

     Two want to be North Lewisburg's next mayor


     Residents may organize following attack

     Schools try again for 4.75-mill levy

     Honda pledges money to United Way

     Local Military Family Support Group plans drives


      School board seats up for grabs

      Honda Auto Plant celebrates a milestone

      Men who escaped from West Central face felonies

City prepares for Christmas parade
Marysville High School band will not participate

Marysville residents are invited to take part in one of the city's
favorite holiday traditions Sunday -the annual Elks Christmas Parade.
"This is a great, family-fun event," said Randy Salyer, who helped
organize the parade. "We invite everybody to come out and bring their
kids. They will have a great time."
Lineup for the parade will begin at 1 p.m. at the Marysville Middle
School. The parade will step off at 2 p.m., travel east on Amrine Mill
Road to Maple Street, South on Maple Street to Elwood Avenue, southwest
on Elwood Avenue to Main Street, south on Main Street to Sixth Street
and west on Sixth Street to the Methodist Church.
The parade will feature the Fairbanks High School Band, along with
dozens of local church and social organizations.
"We have quite a few people in it this year," said Salyer. "I would
expect the parade to last about 45 minutes, maybe an hour."
As always, Santa will bring up the rear of the parade. Children are also
encouraged to bring their letters for the jolly elf. Representatives
from Marysville Post Office will be walking the parade route ahead of
Santa, collecting letters from the kids to be delivered to the North Pole.
One band that will not be assuming its traditional spot in the parade is
the Marysville Monarchs.
"They informed us they would not be participating because the levy
didn't pass," Salyer said.
District spokesman Melanie Ziegler confirmed that Marysville would not
be participating.
"At the core, this is a field trip, not a band competition," Ziegler
said. "With the failure of the levy, field trips have been restricted.
This being a field trip, it has been restricted."
Ziegler said parade organizers were notified in "mid-November, so they
could find another band from the community to fill that void."
She said at the heart of the issue, the district was reluctant to pay a
bus driver for his time on the weekend, and to expend the funds for
diesel fuel to transport band members from the high school to the middle
school. She said the district considered having band members meet at the
middle school.
"But then they are still faced with the transportation issue of getting
them back to the middle school," Ziegler said.
The district spokesman said it was simply a financial decision.
"At the end of the day, we have been asked to live within our means,"
Ziegler said. "To do that we have had to restrict some things we would
like to be able to do. Sadly, field trips are one of them."
Children along the parade route may want to bring a bag, as many of the
parade participants, including Santa, will be tossing candy to the crowd.
Organizers want to remind residents the parade will be held rain or
shine, "so with the weather forecasted to be kind of ugly, people may
want to bring an umbrella just in case," Salyer said.

Licenses go on sale for four-legged friends
Dog owners will be getting an important piece of paper in the mail soon.
It is their application for 2008 dog license.
Dog warden Mary Beth Hall said applications will go in the mail
Saturday. For those who do not want to wait for their application to
come in the mail, the dog licenses will go on sale Saturday at several
locations around the county.
"It is really important for people to buy their tags to help their
animal if it is ever lost and because it is the law," said Union County
Dog Warden Mary Beth Hall.
Hall said even people who never let their dogs out of the house need to
purchase a license, not only because it is the law, but also because
"sometimes things just happen." She said sometimes dogs escape or a door
accidentally gets left open.
"Without tags, it can be really difficult to find a way to get them
home," said Hall. "I do make an effort to get them home if they are licensed."
If the animal is not licensed, the dog warden will ask area residents if
they recognize the animal. If they don't, the dog is taken to the animal
shelter. Many times, when a family loses their dog, her office is
called. Sometimes an unlicensed dog can be reunited with its family,
"but it helps me get dogs home much, much quicker if a found dog has a
license on," Hall said.
Dog licenses purchased between Dec. 1 of this year and Jan. 1, 2008,
will cost the buyer $12. When February gets here, the cost doubles to $24.
"It's really a bargain anytime," said Hall comparing the price with the
$110 fine for an unlicensed dog citation.
The dog warden says she issues about a citation a week for unlicensed dogs.
"I did that last year, issue citations for failure to license," Hall
said. "It's not something I want to do. I want dog owners to license
their animals, but I will do it again this year if people don't register their dog."
Hall said last year, Union County issued nearly 9,000 dog licenses. That
seems like a large number, she noted, until you realize there are an
estimated 22,696 dogs in the county.
"Having dogs licensed helps us identify them if there is ever a disaster
- a snow storm or a flood or something," Hall said. "It helps me respond
to that much quicker if our dogs are licensed."
Hall said dog owners will have the option this year of paying additional
money for their dog tags as part of Union County's new Extra Mile fund.
The warden said the fund was established to help pay for the care of
injured or seriously sick animals rescued by the county.
"Emergency veterinary care can be very expensive," Hall said. "So these
additional funds will help us off set the cost of helping these animals help."
The dog warden said there were close to a dozen times in 2007 when an
auxiliary fund could have been used to help an animal. She said her
office does care for these animals and donated money would not go to the
dog warden's day-to-day operations as the commissioners, "do pay for all
of our animal control issues."
Hall said even without the funds, her office would "do everything we can
to do what's best for the animal." But added the Extra Mile Funds will
make managing cases that involve a seriously injured or sick animal much easier.
"These expenses are extraordinary expenses and I can't plan for them in
my budget," Hall said. "To have somewhere to go when I have a dog that
is injured or ill, would be a great resource."
The dog warden said with dog-licensing season here, she has high hopes.
"I really hope everybody will go out and get their dogs licensed, and
maybe write another check to the Extra Mile Fund," Hall said. "I hope
2008 will be a good year for Union County's dogs."

Local talent to be  showcased in 'The Best Christmas Pageant Ever'
From J-T staff reports
"The Best Christmas Pageant Ever," a play about "the worst kids in the
whole history of the world," will open Monday at 7:30 p.m. at the Upper
Room Theater at First Presbyterian Church.
The Herdmans, Ralph, Leroy, Ollie, Claude, Imogene and Gladys, cause
havoc in this timeless play set in the 1960s which features local talent of all ages.
The Herdman children show up at the annual church Christmas pageant
auditions. And because Mrs. Armstrong (Kim Kinsey) is not capable of
directing the pageant this year because of a broken leg, Mrs. Bradley
(Lisa Wellman) ends up with the task. The Herdmans cause terrible
problems in coordinating the annual pageant. Not only is the minister
(Dan McKean) upset, but Mrs. Armstrong's cronies and church gossips
(Linda Rinehart, Lisa Rose, Pam Klaus and Kathy Schrader) talk behind
Mrs. Bradley's back, ridiculing the attempt at making sure the pageant
gets off the ground.
Mr. Bradley (Duane Hammer) and the Bradley children (Jordan Schrader and
Erik Klaus) are just as critical of their wife and mother in trying to
direct the pageant. And despite a church fire and disrespect to the
church facility, the whole disaster ends up with a happy ending, turning
into "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever."
The play is directed by Marysville High School sophomore Mallory
Underwood, who is a member of the high school's show choir and mock
trial team. A veteran of the theater, she was an actress in "The Best
Christmas Pageant Ever" at Columbus Childrens' Theater. She has recently
been cast in the role of "Lily" for the upcoming music "Annie" which
will be staged the weekend of March 8 at the Palace Theater in Columbus.
Tickets can be purchased for reserved seats by calling (937) 594-2895 or
will be available at the door.
Performances are scheduled at 4 p.m. Dec. 8 and 9 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3,
4 6, 7, 10, 13 and 14 at the church.
The production is staged in collaboration with Relay for Life and is
part of the church's concert series. For more information, call the
ticket line number or the church at 642-5651.
Other cast members include, Emily, Rachel and Sarah Wargo, Jessica
Blake, Carly, Cole and Caeden Luke, Myah and Lisa Rose, Hannah and
Madison Schultz, Emma Klaus, Emma McKean, Ashley Williams, Kaitlyn and
Tierra Smith, Katherine and Allison Rogers, Kylee and Noah Eubanks,
Kristen Dunlap, Regan Yoakum , Tara Stritmatter, Brenda Neuenswander,
Taylor Davis, Anna Strohm and Frances Boggs.City prepares for Christmas parade
Marysville High School band will not participate

Marysville residents are invited to take part in one of the city's
favorite holiday traditions Sunday -the annual Elks Christmas Parade.
"This is a great, family-fun event," said Randy Salyer, who helped
organize the parade. "We invite everybody to come out and bring their
kids. They will have a great time."
Lineup for the parade will begin at 1 p.m. at the Marysville Middle
School. The parade will step off at 2 p.m., travel east on Amrine Mill
Road to Maple Street, South on Maple Street to Elwood Avenue, southwest
on Elwood Avenue to Main Street, south on Main Street to Sixth Street
and west on Sixth Street to the Methodist Church.
The parade will feature the Fairbanks High School Band, along with
dozens of local church and social organizations.
"We have quite a few people in it this year," said Salyer. "I would
expect the parade to last about 45 minutes, maybe an hour."
As always, Santa will bring up the rear of the parade. Children are also
encouraged to bring their letters for the jolly elf. Representatives
from Marysville Post Office will be walking the parade route ahead of
Santa, collecting letters from the kids to be delivered to the North Pole.
One band that will not be assuming its traditional spot in the parade is
the Marysville Monarchs.
"They informed us they would not be participating because the levy
didn't pass," Salyer said.
District spokesman Melanie Ziegler confirmed that Marysville would not
be participating.
"At the core, this is a field trip, not a band competition," Ziegler
said. "With the failure of the levy, field trips have been restricted.
This being a field trip, it has been restricted."
Ziegler said parade organizers were notified in "mid-November, so they
could find another band from the community to fill that void."
She said at the heart of the issue, the district was reluctant to pay a
bus driver for his time on the weekend, and to expend the funds for
diesel fuel to transport band members from the high school to the middle
school. She said the district considered having band members meet at the
middle school.
"But then they are still faced with the transportation issue of getting
them back to the middle school," Ziegler said.
The district spokesman said it was simply a financial decision.
"At the end of the day, we have been asked to live within our means,"
Ziegler said. "To do that we have had to restrict some things we would
like to be able to do. Sadly, field trips are one of them."
Children along the parade route may want to bring a bag, as many of the
parade participants, including Santa, will be tossing candy to the crowd.
Organizers want to remind residents the parade will be held rain or
shine, "so with the weather forecasted to be kind of ugly, people may
want to bring an umbrella just in case," Salyer said.

Licenses go on sale for four-legged friends
Dog owners will be getting an important piece of paper in the mail soon.
It is their application for 2008 dog license.
Dog warden Mary Beth Hall said applications will go in the mail
Saturday. For those who do not want to wait for their application to
come in the mail, the dog licenses will go on sale Saturday at several
locations around the county.
"It is really important for people to buy their tags to help their
animal if it is ever lost and because it is the law," said Union County
Dog Warden Mary Beth Hall.
Hall said even people who never let their dogs out of the house need to
purchase a license, not only because it is the law, but also because
"sometimes things just happen." She said sometimes dogs escape or a door
accidentally gets left open.
"Without tags, it can be really difficult to find a way to get them
home," said Hall. "I do make an effort to get them home if they are licensed."
If the animal is not licensed, the dog warden will ask area residents if
they recognize the animal. If they don't, the dog is taken to the animal
shelter. Many times, when a family loses their dog, her office is
called. Sometimes an unlicensed dog can be reunited with its family,
"but it helps me get dogs home much, much quicker if a found dog has a
license on," Hall said.
Dog licenses purchased between Dec. 1 of this year and Jan. 1, 2008,
will cost the buyer $12. When February gets here, the cost doubles to $24.
"It's really a bargain anytime," said Hall comparing the price with the
$110 fine for an unlicensed dog citation.
The dog warden says she issues about a citation a week for unlicensed dogs.
"I did that last year, issue citations for failure to license," Hall
said. "It's not something I want to do. I want dog owners to license
their animals, but I will do it again this year if people don't register their dog."
Hall said last year, Union County issued nearly 9,000 dog licenses. That
seems like a large number, she noted, until you realize there are an
estimated 22,696 dogs in the county.
"Having dogs licensed helps us identify them if there is ever a disaster
- a snow storm or a flood or something," Hall said. "It helps me respond
to that much quicker if our dogs are licensed."
Hall said dog owners will have the option this year of paying additional
money for their dog tags as part of Union County's new Extra Mile fund.
The warden said the fund was established to help pay for the care of
injured or seriously sick animals rescued by the county.
"Emergency veterinary care can be very expensive," Hall said. "So these
additional funds will help us off set the cost of helping these animals help."
The dog warden said there were close to a dozen times in 2007 when an
auxiliary fund could have been used to help an animal. She said her
office does care for these animals and donated money would not go to the
dog warden's day-to-day operations as the commissioners, "do pay for all
of our animal control issues."
Hall said even without the funds, her office would "do everything we can
to do what's best for the animal." But added the Extra Mile Funds will
make managing cases that involve a seriously injured or sick animal much easier.
"These expenses are extraordinary expenses and I can't plan for them in
my budget," Hall said. "To have somewhere to go when I have a dog that
is injured or ill, would be a great resource."
The dog warden said with dog-licensing season here, she has high hopes.
"I really hope everybody will go out and get their dogs licensed, and
maybe write another check to the Extra Mile Fund," Hall said. "I hope
2008 will be a good year for Union County's dogs."

Local talent to be  showcased in 'The Best Christmas Pageant Ever'
From J-T staff reports
"The Best Christmas Pageant Ever," a play about "the worst kids in the
whole history of the world," will open Monday at 7:30 p.m. at the Upper
Room Theater at First Presbyterian Church.
The Herdmans, Ralph, Leroy, Ollie, Claude, Imogene and Gladys, cause
havoc in this timeless play set in the 1960s which features local talent of all ages.
The Herdman children show up at the annual church Christmas pageant
auditions. And because Mrs. Armstrong (Kim Kinsey) is not capable of
directing the pageant this year because of a broken leg, Mrs. Bradley
(Lisa Wellman) ends up with the task. The Herdmans cause terrible
problems in coordinating the annual pageant. Not only is the minister
(Dan McKean) upset, but Mrs. Armstrong's cronies and church gossips
(Linda Rinehart, Lisa Rose, Pam Klaus and Kathy Schrader) talk behind
Mrs. Bradley's back, ridiculing the attempt at making sure the pageant
gets off the ground.
Mr. Bradley (Duane Hammer) and the Bradley children (Jordan Schrader and
Erik Klaus) are just as critical of their wife and mother in trying to
direct the pageant. And despite a church fire and disrespect to the
church facility, the whole disaster ends up with a happy ending, turning
into "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever."
The play is directed by Marysville High School sophomore Mallory
Underwood, who is a member of the high school's show choir and mock
trial team. A veteran of the theater, she was an actress in "The Best
Christmas Pageant Ever" at Columbus Childrens' Theater. She has recently
been cast in the role of "Lily" for the upcoming music "Annie" which
will be staged the weekend of March 8 at the Palace Theater in Columbus.
Tickets can be purchased for reserved seats by calling (937) 594-2895 or
will be available at the door.
Performances are scheduled at 4 p.m. Dec. 8 and 9 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3,
4 6, 7, 10, 13 and 14 at the church.
The production is staged in collaboration with Relay for Life and is
part of the church's concert series. For more information, call the
ticket line number or the church at 642-5651.
Other cast members include, Emily, Rachel and Sarah Wargo, Jessica
Blake, Carly, Cole and Caeden Luke, Myah and Lisa Rose, Hannah and
Madison Schultz, Emma Klaus, Emma McKean, Ashley Williams, Kaitlyn and
Tierra Smith, Katherine and Allison Rogers, Kylee and Noah Eubanks,
Kristen Dunlap, Regan Yoakum , Tara Stritmatter, Brenda Neuenswander,
Taylor Davis, Anna Strohm and Frances Boggs.

Plain City to host Christmas Under the Clock

Plain City residents will look under the clock Saturday to tell what
time it is - it's Christmas time.
Or at least, it is Christmas Under the Clock time again in Plain City.
"This is our chance to welcome in the holiday season," said Mayor Sandy
Adkins. "In my opinion, each year it has increased in attendance and it
is really nice to see the residents, not just of Plain City but from the
surrounding country areas as well, come out and have a good time at
Christmas and interact with their neighbors."
As always, a highlight of the event will be the lighting of the village
Christmas tree, which will be held at 5:30 p.m. in the downtown's
Bicentennial Park. Santa Claus is expected to make an appearance at the
tree lighting and will be available to talk with and pose for pictures
at Yoder's Hardware store.
The event will host live music from 5:30-9 p.m. with a band at the flat
iron, guitarist Rod Brown serenading those waiting to see Santa, the
Jonathan Alder High School band, carolers making their way through the
village and a string and woodwind quartet at the Plain City Library.
The library will also host a novelty sale, which Chris Long of the Plain
City Library and an event organizer, described as "a high-end yard
sale." She said it will feature holiday decorations, glassware, homemade
wood and pottery projects and other items as well as traditional library related items.
A new event at this year's celebration will be the wreath auction.
One-of-a-kind wreaths, designed and decorated by organizations and
businesses in Plain City, will be auctioned at 5 p.m. at the Plain City Auction.
"Money raised from that auction will go right back to the revitalization
efforts of the uptown," Adkins said.
Participants will also be encouraged to visit many of the uptown
businesses hosting open houses. Between 6 and 8:45 p.m. each
participating business will offer shoppers a chance to register for
prizes, including several gift baskets and a $500 shopping spree at the
Mall at Tuttle Crossing. The grand prize drawing will be at 9 p.m. and
entrants do not need to be present to win.
"It will definitely be worth stopping at a few businesses and putting
your name in," said Long. "It is one entry per person, per business, but
obviously, the more businesses you visit and enter at, the better your
chance to win."
She added that even if one doesn't win the grand prize, the businesses
will have food and beverages, as well as goodies to pass out.
And for those not feeling in the Christmas spirit, the Grinch will be
visiting with shoppers at the Pioneer Coffee Co. throughout the evening.
"It's always a nice celebration," said Steve Hilbert, Plain City village
administrator/police chief. "It gives people a chance to come downtown,
be together and go to the local businesses."
Adkins said that while this has become an annual celebration in the
village's uptown, this year will be special - the first without trucks.
"Residents can come into the uptown and they will be amazed how it looks
now and how it has changed," Adkins said. "In years past, it has been
quite an ordeal, especially for the police department, trying to reroute
the trucks and people didn't want to come uptown other times because of
the trucks. This year is going to be noticeably different."
She said, in the past, it has been hard to build momentum for the
businesses in the uptown. The mayor said she hopes with the new look and
the absence of trucks, shoppers will see how convenient the uptown is
and Christmas Under the Clock will serve as a springboard for businesses
in the uptown.
"We think people will notice how different it is," Adkins said. "We hope
we can keep them coming back to the downtown."

Couple sentenced for theft
A Marysville woman will be spending the next three years on probation.
However, she will spend 11 months without her husband.
Natasha Conrad and her husband Benjamin Conrad, both of 702 Meadows
Drive, were each sentenced earlier this week for their role in the theft
of Marysville park bleachers.
Natasha Conrad, 26, pleaded guilty in October to one count of
falsification while Benjamin Conrad, 32, pleaded guilty to theft. Both
offenses are a felony of the fifth degree which carry a legal
presumption against prison time. However, Union County Common Pleas
Court Judge Richard E. Parrott said Benjamin Conrad's criminal record
overcame that presumption.
Despite a sentencing recommendation for probation from both the state
and the defense, the judge ordered the husband to spend 11 months in
prison, just one month short of a maximum sentence.
Parrott reviewed the man's history with law enforcement which includes
arrests for theft, attempted theft, falsification, possession of
marijuana, obstruction of justice, disorderly conduct and multiple
counts of possession of drug paraphernalia.
"You didn't learn," the judge said of prior probation attempts for
Benjamin Conrad.
"This is a no brainer for me, I'll tell you that," Parrott explained.
"It doesn't seem to me I should in any way, shape or form consider
placing you on community control."
Benjamin Conrad cried as his sentence was read. The man explained that
he was in a drug treatment program and was sorry for his actions.
"I deeply regret what I have done," Benjamin Conrad told the judge.
Defense attorney Cliff Valentine called the crime, "a very large error
in judgment," done "to support himself and his drug dependency."
Natasha Conrad also expressed remorse, saying she was both, "very sorry"
and "very ashamed."
Defense attorney Perry Parsons said his client knows she made a mistake.
"She certainly understands that not telling the truth to the police the
first time was the wrong thing to do," Parsons told Parrott. He asked
for probation for his client, "so she can prove she can stay out of
trouble during her time on probation."
Natasha Conrad told the judge, "I can guarantee I will follow my
probation and you won't see me here again."
Unlike with Natasha's husband, the judge followed the recommended
sentence of probation. Natasha Conrad had no prior felony criminal
record. In exchange for her earlier guilty plea, prosecutors dismissed a
fifth-degree felony theft charge that could have added another year to a
possible prison sentence.
Parrott ordered a three-year probation term, and ordered her to perform
200 hours of community service. He also offered the defendant a warning
that she better be right about following the terms of her probation.
"You abide by these, you and I don't have a problem," Parrott told
Natasha Conrad. "You violate one of these, and I am telling you, you go
to prison for 12 months."
Parrott also ordered both Conrads to each pay a $1,000 fine.
The charges stemmed from a Sept. 6 incident at Singer Fire Station, 620
N. Main St. According to court documents, the Conrads were in Marysville
at the mobile home park. Benjamin Conrad had been talking about taking a
set of 10-12 foot, three-tier bleachers from the Singer Station. The
Conrads pulled up to the station and quickly loaded the aluminum
bleachers, which belonged to the city of Marysville, on their truck.
A pair of passerbys were able to help police find the bleacher bandits.
"Two witnesses to the truck and the occupants being parked at the
address were able to give police a description of the truck and the
occupants," according to court documents.
The duo took the bleachers to a salvage facility in Delaware and sold
them for scrap metal. The Conrads sold the bleachers, valued at $1,150
for $78.50.
An employee at the salvage facility was able to describe the truck,
which matched the description given by the witnesses in Marysville, and
provide investigators with a license plate number and description of the Conrads.
Later that day, police stopped the truck and arrested Benjamin Conrad
and Natasha Conrad. The pair gave investigators conflicting reports
about the events of that day.
"Benjamin confessed to stealing the bleachers," according to a police
report. "Natasha at first denied the theft, but later also confessed to
being with Benjamin when the bleachers were stolen and sold."
Ultimately, Natasha Conrad told police the theft was Benjamin Conrad's
idea and that she told him to stop when the pair was seen.
It was the original lie to police that got Natasha Conrad in trouble.
According to the falsification indictment, Natasha Conrad was charged
because she, "did knowingly make a false statement or knowingly swear or
affirm the truth of a false statement previously made, when the
statement is made with purpose to commit or facilitate the commission of a theft."

Woman gets eight years for roll in overdose
Victim's family not satisfied with sentence

A Plain City woman convicted of supplying the drugs that killed a man,
is going to prison for eight years.
And the dead man's family is not pleased.
Aerial Nicole May, of 267 B North Ave., pleaded guilty in October to one
count each of involuntary manslaughter, aggravated trafficking in drugs,
and deception to obtain a dangerous drug.
Tuesday, one day after her 21st birthday, she received the eight year
sentence as part of a sentencing recommendation. May faced 13 years in
prison on the charges. However, in exchange for a guilty plea, the state
agreed to recommend just eight years in prison. The deal also dismissed
two additional counts of aggravated trafficking in drugs, two counts of
deception to obtain drugs and one count of permitting drug abuse, which
could have added another seven years in prison.
Terry Hord, chief Union County assistant prosecutor, said the victim's
family members had approved the plea agreement. He told the judge family
members of the victim were in the courtroom, but did not want to make a statement.
Union County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard Parrott asked the family
if they were satisfied with the agreement, "considering there can be no
replacement for the deceased, no matter what I do here."
A male family member spoke for the others.
"I really feel like eight years really doesn't do justice in this case,"
said the victim's family member. "I feel there should be more. I feel
like he was left to die. He could have been saved and he wasn't."
He said he realized there wasn't much the judge could do, but said he
hopes when May is released, she speaks with medical students about the
dangerous effects of prescription drug overdoses.
The man called prescription drug abuse, "a menace to our society."
He added, "It is a shame these pain killers can be given out so freely."
Defense attorney Cliff Valentine said May has a 10-month-old daughter.
He added that his client has shown remorse.
"I realize what happened was a major mistake on my part," said May.
She added, "I am very regretful for my actions."
Parrott noted the presentence investigation also highlights the woman's
remorse and her willingness to take responsibility for her actions,
"which is a start I guess."
In addition, Parrott encouraged the probation department to honor the
family's wishes when the defendant is released from prison.
"I would hope the adult probation department would see fit to
incorporate it into post-release control the suggestion of the family,
and that you would volunteer to do this, to take every opportunity you
can to discuss with medical students and practicing physicians, the
effects of misuse of these prescription drugs."
May was indicted in June for the April 25 death of Eric D. Amend.
According to court documents, May and the 24-year-old victim met on a
phone chat line and knew each other for several months. The two got
together at May's Plain City residence. May had prescriptions for
morphine, Oxycodone and Fentanyl, which she gave to the victim, who also
drank alcohol.
"The combination was enough to cause his death," according to the autopsy report.
The pair fell asleep during the evening. According to court documents,
May woke sometime before 6 a.m. and made several calls in an attempt to
get someone to take her to the hospital. Ultimately she dialed 911 for
an ambulance.
"At that time, Mr. Amend was either in distress or already expired and
she didn't say anything about him having been there," Union County
Prosecutor Dave Phillips has said.
About eight hours after the woman was rushed to the hospital, a member
of May's family found Amend dead in the woman's bed and called police.
Initially, May told police Amend was taking mushrooms, but a toxicology
report revealed he was not. The woman eventually admitted the drugs were hers.
May was released on her own recognizance following her indictment;
however, her bond was revoked in September after she failed to appear
for court dates in both Madison County and Marysville Municipal Courts.
She has been held in jail since.
In August, May entered a plea of not guilty and not guilty by reason of
insanity to the charges. She was evaluated by mental health
professionals and ruled both sane at the time of the offense and
competent to stand trial. At that point, she accepted the plea deal.

Alleged voyeur sentenced
An area man with a history of breaking into homes to secretly watch
women will spend the next four years in prison.
Aaron M. Kastein, 27, of 561 Dove St., pleaded guilty in October to one
count of burglary, a felony of the first degree. Tuesday, the man was
sentenced to four years in prison.
Defense Attorney M. David Burton said Kastein, "is remorseful, very much so."
The defendant, who was caught hiding behind a make-shift blind in the
garage of a Marysville woman, said he was sorry.
"Your honor, I would just like to apologize and that's it," Kastein told
Union County Common Pleas County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard
Parrott. "I wanted to apologize that it had to come to this and that's it."
During the hearing, Terry Hord, chief Union County assistant prosecutor,
did not comment on the case other than to remind the judge of a
recommended sentencing memorandum seeking a four year prison term.
"The court considers this is a very unusual set of circumstances that
gives rise to the conviction in this case," Parrott said, ultimately
agreeing to the recommendation.
Parrott handed down the sentence adding that he would not approve of an
early release program. He said he felt the four-year recommended term is appropriate.
"First, I think you need some type of psychological help - further
psychological help," Parrott said. "Second, this isn't the first offense
of this type that you have had. I feel it would be appropriate for you
to serve each day of the four years."
He added that Kastein's actions were unacceptable for him or others.
"We cannot have people in our community who come into their home and
find somebody has trespassed uninvited," the judge said. "That is
anti-social behavior and it has to be punished. We just can't have it."
Kastein was arrested in Marysville on Aug. 14, when police were called
to a home on Rainbow Drive. A woman at the home went to the garage and
saw Kastein hiding behind a blind he made from things in her garage. The
woman screamed, prompting a neighbor to call authorities. Kastein said
he was playing hide and seek, then fled the home. Police caught him
after a foot pursuit.
He admitted to breaking into the home, but said he was only in the home
a few minutes, before being caught.
"Kastein said he had been doing well for the last six months since
moving to Marysville," according to the report from the Marysville
Police Department. "He reported that he had been in prison for five
years in Pennsylvania for similar acts and was released in February of 2007."
Kastein said he did not want to steal anything.
"Kastein denied that he was there at the house to commit a sex act or
cause harm to anyone; and that he had never harmed anyone before,"
according to the police report. "He stated that he has a problem with
voyeuristic behavior." He said he just likes to look.
Kastein said he has a habit of watching women when they don't know he's there.
During the interview, Kastein said he chose the house because he saw an
attractive woman there within the past few weeks. He said he did not
intend to enter the home.
Kastein told Marysville police that his problems started in college,
however, court records indicate he has been sneaking into homes for many
years. Kastein has multiple prior convictions in Pennsylvania for
burglary, criminal trespassing, harassment and disorderly conduct, all
stemming from similar incidents.
Kastein pleaded guilty to hiding under a girl's bed in a Pittsburgh
house June 16, 1999. He said at that time it was not the first time he had done so.
On July 5, 1999, he was arrested for breaking into a home in the same
area. He said he noticed the girl and another woman at the library and
thought they were pretty. He followed the girls on several occasions
before breaking into the home. At that time he admitted into doing the
same thing at another woman's home in the area. He was also connected to
a similar incident a week earlier, but never charged.
He pleaded guilty to both incidents and on May 8, 2000, began serving
two years' probation.
A month later, Kastein was found hiding on the basement stairs watching
the living room of suburban Pittsburgh area woman's house. The victim
had caught Kastein watching her sleep from the same steps several weeks
earlier, but did not report the incident to police.
On Aug. 17, 2000, he was found hiding in the back seat of a woman's vehicle.
In 2000 he was sentenced to jail and probation for charges including
criminal trespass and stalking.
He was released on parole after serving 111/2 months of a 23-month sentence.
In January 2002, Kastein was caught hiding under the bed of woman in
Pittsburgh. Kastein fled and the three women who lived in the home did
not call police. The next day, Kastein and his father went to the home
and apologized. Kastein told the women at that time that he had issues
with rejection and was only there to look at them because they were pretty.
According to police reports, there was a series of other similar events
in that neighborhood.
Later that month, Kastein was arrested in New Lebanon home after he was
found hiding under the bed of a 13-year-old girl.

District begins cost saving plan
Marysville schools increase pay-to-play fee; implement transportation fee

Numerous items on Marysville School District's proposed cost reductions
list were authorized by the school board Monday night, including an
increase in the pay-to-participate fee and implementation of a
transportation fee.
Board members Tom Brower, Bill Hayes, Scott Johnson, Jeff Mabee and
board president Roy Fraker voted to authorize the cuts in items B
through K which were proposed by superintendent Larry Zimmerman in a
special Nov. 12 meeting.
Under item "G," the district will increase its pay-to-participate fee
from $25 to $50 and implement transportation fees based on individual
"Some will be $150, some will be a little more than that, some under,"
Zimmerman said.
But the fees assessed will be based on the actual cost of an activity, he said.
School lunch prices will be increased 10 cents per meal, effective Jan.
3 when pupils return from the winter break.
A total of 5 cents of that increase will already be "eaten up" by an
increase in the cost of milk, Mabee said.
"There has got to be other planning than just a price increase," he
said, to which Zimmerman replied, "I agree."
Hayes suggested administrators "seriously" look at the variety of dishes
served with an idea of reducing options offered.
State law requires that Ohio school districts that show a budget deficit
as early as the second year of a five-year financial forecast identify
cuts that will be enacted by the school district in order to eliminate
any deficit, Zimmerman said in a printed statement released at Monday's meeting.
"In most cases, as districts continually evaluate their five-year
forecasts, they seek voter support for a levy before those reductions
become necessary. That was, in fact, the case in Marysville as we placed
an issue before voters twice in 2007. As a result, we now know that the
district will not receive any additional local tax dollars in 2007 or
2008. That fact necessitates a $3 million reduction to the 2008 school
budget. To that end, the board of education and leadership team have
spent the last several months looking for ways to trim an already tight
school district budget," the statement continued.
Not authorized Monday night were proposed changes in the school bus
routes. Zimmerman said he needed more time to evaluate route changes
that would save the district approximately $104,000 and shave about 400
miles per day off routes traveled.
"I just want to make sure that the choice we do (make) won't create some
other issues," Zimmerman said.
He will address the busing issue at the December board meeting,
Zimmerman said, adding "My goal still hasn't changed - to try to save
400 miles a day."
That board meeting was rescheduled to Tuesday, Dec. 18. Treasurer Dee
Cramer said she would consult with Union County Auditor Mary Snider to
see if she could attend the meeting.
If the board decides to put an emergency levy on the March 4 primary
ballot, it would have to be certified by Snider by Dec. 14 before being
presented to the Union County Board of Elections by Dec. 20, Cramer said
during the Nov. 12 meeting.
Other cuts authorized by the board during Monday night's meeting include:
.The cancellation of field trips, club trips and ski club travel.
.The elimination of drug testing for athletes.
.The elimination of in-school suspension at Creekview Intermediate
School, the middle school and the high school.
.Reduction of building thermostats to 68 degrees daytime temperature and
63 degrees at night.
.Neutralizing benefit package costs.
.Eliminating a resource officer at the middle school.
.Increasing building use fees.
.Reducing staff size through attrition, although Zimmerman said, "I know
as sure as I'm sitting here we'll be up another 100-150 kids next year."

Council airs concerns with Richwood  Police Department
At Monday's Richwood Village Council meeting, police chief Monte Asher
sought and secured a higher starting wage and a cell phone allowance for
officers, but he also received two cents he wasn't expecting.
Asher's request for additional benefits for his officers opened up a
pointed discussion about problems council members had with the way the
department operates. Council pointed out staffing problems, issues of
professionalism and calls for service which are not answered as some of
their concerns.
"I'm going to have to get my cell phone reimbursed (because) I'm calling
in so much," council member Scott Jerew said.
 Earlier in the meeting Asher had been a part of a discussion of a $40
cell phone reimbursement plan which was approved for village employees.
The reasoning behind the plan was that officers and other village
employees use personal cell phones for village business on a daily basis.
Asher then approached council about increasing the starting wage for a
village officer. The starting hourly rate for an officer was $10.52.
"It's hard to get anyone with any experience to work for $10.52," Asher
said. "We're losing them as fast as we're getting them."
Council member Jim Thompson agreed, noting that the village spends money
on drug tests, equipment and training for officers who then leave the department.
"We're training them for someone else," Thompson said.
Jerew said he agreed that the wage did not encourage a long term
commitment to the village but added that he was not pleased with the
performance of the department.
Jerew said the village put parking ordinances in place so officers could
ticket offenders. Jerew said he has called the department about parking
violations but nothing was ever done.
He added that some of the violations are hard for officers to miss.
"They park in front of the police station the wrong way," Jerew said.
"What type of example does that set?"
Councilman Von Beal added that council agreed to promote an officer to
sergeant with the understanding that she would be required to work
evening and overnight shifts. Jerew said the officer has since worked days.
Asher said the department is currently operating with a full-time and
part-time position unfilled. Once those positions are filled, the
sergeant will patrol the village at night.
Council member George Showalter said he believes the officers could do
more from a standpoint of public relations. He said officers could
interact with the public more.
At one point Asher became frustrated with the direction of the conversation.
"I don't know, maybe someone else should run the department," he said.
"If that's the case, maybe we should start looking," Jerew responded.
Some village officials defended the department.
Village solicitor Victoria Stone-Moledor said she works with several law
enforcement agencies within the county. She said Richwood's officers are
as good as the other agencies, but frequent turnover is a problem.
Council member Peg Wiley agreed with that observation.
"Once we get an officer, he's gone in six months," Wiley said.
Jerew said ultimately he agrees that a higher wage is needed, but the
village department needs to perform the duties which are required.
Council voted 5-0, with member Wade McCalf absent from the meeting, to
increase the starting pay for a full-time village police officer to
$11.98 per hour. Part-time officers will receive a starting wage of $9.41 an hour.
After the starting wage, officers will receive raises at sixth months,
$12.56; 12 months, $13.13; and 18 months, $13.69.
The cell phone allowance was also passed by a 5-0 vote.
In other business, council:
.Met Union County clerk of courts candidate Karen Haller and treasurer
candidate Donna Rausch.
.Briefly discussed allowing the water department to check water meters
every two months while providing an estimated bill for the months in
between. Council opted not to allow the practice.
.Heard an update on a village project by Ed Bischoff of Bischoff and Associates.
.Approved increasing the village's liability insurance coverage at a
cost of a little more than $1,000.
.Learned that the village Christmas parade will be Saturday at 4 p.m.
.Discussed elements for a five-year revitalization plan.
.Discussed looking into setting up a trash removal service for the entire village.
.Held an executive session to discuss pending litigation.

Plain City plans for downtown revitalization
Plain City Village Council is hoping more residents and business owners
will become involved in the downtown's revitalization
Council President Pro-Tem Bob Walter said the Uptown Plain City
Organization is about to begin a membership drive. The organization is
going through some leadership changes. Walter said he was at the
organization's most recent meeting, he reported, "a pretty good turnout
with a lot of new faces." He added that he saw "a little bit of burnout
in some, a little bit of excitement in some others."
Walter said he reminded UPCO members of the important role they have
played in the village's development.
The group started as council's downtown improvement committee and was
very influential in the creation of the 2003 comprehensive plan.
"The things that they have done is absolutely amazing," Walter said.
"This is not just a shot in the dark organization. It is a grassroots
movement that has grown."
Walter said the organization is about to enter its fourth stage, what he
called "a rejuvenation of UPCO."
Mayor Sandy Adkins said the membership drive will begin in earnest at
the first meeting in January. She encouraged council members who knew
individuals interested in the village's downtown to "just ask them to
become involved with UPCO."
"If they have even just a little bit of an understanding what's going on
in the village, they will want to be involved," the mayor said.
She said adding new membership and new ideas is vitally important to the
success of UPCO.
"We don't want them to bog down and go by the wayside, because a few
can't do it all," said Adkins.
The mayor has been proactive in encouraging downtown businesses and
property owners to help clean up the area. She recently sent a letter to
many downtown stakeholders asking them to "take pride" in the downtown
and clean the property now that truck traffic is no longer a concern.
Those interested in involvement with the Uptown Plain City Organization
are encouraged to contact the mayor at her office or call (614) 873-5812.
Council also held a public hearing for comment on changes to the
village's zoning code that would permit indoor training facilities under
the code's industrial designation as a conditional use. There was no
comment from the public.
Council unanimously passed the change. The move sends Ohio Premiere
Girls Soccer Club to tonight's meeting of the board of zoning appeals.
The club is hoping to move into the 37,000 square feet warehouse at 250
S. Jefferson St., in the village, on the southwest corner of U.S. 42 and
Route 161. An indoor training facility was not a permitted use under the
old regulations. If BZA allows this use, the club is expected to sign a
29 month lease with the property owner to move its headquarters and
indoor practice facilities to Plain City, with outdoor fields possible.
Supporters have told council the facility would draw several hundred
families each week to the village.
Village Solicitor Mike McCarthy told council he was not opposed to the
indoor training facility but urged the board of zoning appeals to act cautiously.
"I think BZA needs to pay attention to the scope of the use and make
sure they are comfortable with whatever they approve," McCarthy said.
The solicitor encouraged the zoning appeals board to be very narrow with
the specific use it permits under the new zoning.
Walter informed council that he was submitting the village's rewritten
zoning code to the Planning and Zoning commission at it's meeting
Wednesday. Once the code is reviewed and approved by Planning and Zoning
it will be submitted to the full council for approval.

Man pleads guilty to assaulting deputy
From J-T staff reports
A local man has pleaded guilty to kicking a Union County Sheriff's deputy.
Harold Joseph Hall, III, 32, of 119 Maplewood Drive, in Ashley, pleaded
guilty Monday to one count of assault on a peace officer, a felony of
the fourth degree.
Hall faces as many as 18 months in jail and a $5,000 fine. A joint
sentencing agreement between prosecutors and the defense calls for Hall
to receive 12 months in prison. The agreement also specifies that the
state will not oppose the defendant's request for judicial release in as
few as 30 days. The sentence agreements are not binding on the
sentencing judge.
Hall informed Union County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard E. Parrott
that he was not on probation. The defendant also said he did not want to
be sentenced immediately, but wanted a presentence investigation.
Parrott agreed, setting sentencing for Tuesday, Dec. 18. By entering the
guilty plea Monday, Hall avoided going to trial on the matter. His trial
was set for next week.
According to court documents, about 12:58 p.m., Friday, Aug. 22,
sheriff's deputies were called 13134 Route 347 in response to a domestic
violence call. While Deputy Chad Lee was photographing Hall's injuries,
the defendant, "became upset, started cussing and yelling at the
deputies," according to the court documents.
Hall continued to curse and then began threatening to attack the
deputies. At one point, Hall looked at Lee and threatened to kick him in the genitalia.
"Mr. Hall then attempted to kick Dep. Lee in the groin," according to a
bill of particulars in the case. "Deputy Lee tried to avoid the kick by
jumping back, but Hall still kicked Lee's inner thigh.

Driver escapes after Saturday chase

From J-T staff reports
A driver traveling at high speeds through Taylor Township caused a
deputy to crash and eventually escaped Saturday.
According to Union County Sheriff's reports, at 4:31 a.m. a deputy
clocked a car traveling in excess of 100 mph heading westbound on Route
347, just east of Route 31.
Despite sirens and flashing lights, the driver refused to acknowledge
the deputy and kept going, eventually turning into a driveway in the
20000 block of Route 347.
As the deputy followed the suspect's car down the winding driveway, the
driver suddenly turned off the headlights and sped off through the lawn
of the property.
Attempting to back up on the driveway and pursue, the sheriff's deputy
struck a pine tree and the pursuit ended.
Reports show that the suspect was last spotted heading eastbound on Route 347.
The sheriff's deputy reported no damage to the vehicle and the Union
County Sheriff's Office is currently trying to make contact with the
property owner regarding damages caused to the lawn by the suspect and
damages to the tree. The suspect remains at large.

Local post names trooper of the year
From J-T staff reports
The Marysville Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol recently announced
its "Trooper of the Year" award winner.
Jeremy D. Allen, a seven year veteran of the patrol, was selected as the
2007 recipient.
The post reported that the selection of Allen was in recognition of his
outstanding service during the 2007 year at the Marysville Post.
His fellow officers and staff nominated Allen "based on his leadership
abilities, professional ethics, courteous treatment of others,
enthusiastic work attitude and cooperation with supervisors, peers and the public."
Allen is now officially placed in contention for the District and State
Trooper of the Year award, to be announced at a later date.
Joining the Ohio State Highway patrol in 2000, Allen had served at the
Findlay Post before transferring to the Marysville Post in 2004. He is
originally from Zanesfield and is a graduate of Ben Logan High School.
He is married with three children.

Santa's House will return as part of Christmas Walk

Marysville's Annual Christmas tradition is getting a new addition this year.
Actually, it is an old addition.
Santa's House is returning to downtown Marysville. The jolly elf's
station, located at the corner of Fifth and Main streets, will open as
part of the Marysville Christmas Walk, to be held Monday, from 5 to 8 p.m.
"The Santa's House is something that is new, trying to bring back an old
favorite," said Christy Clark of the Union County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Kris Kringle will also keep hours at his Marysville residence on the
weekends and will offer free pictures with children who come to see him.
The return of the Santa House is the result of a collaborative effort
between the Union County Building Industry Association and a class from
Ohio Hi-Point Career Center.
"The house is just awesome," said Clark. "I think it is really nice that
we had all these people work together and come together to bring back a
Marysville tradition."
Once wish lists have been given to Santa, there is still plenty to do at
the Christmas walk.
"The Christmas Walk is a great chance to experience the small town charm
of Marysville - with the carriage rides and the luminaries and the
smells in the air," said Clark. "It's just a great place to start off
the Christmas season and support the local businesses."
Shopping is a centerpiece of the Christmas Walk.
"All of the downtown businesses will be open and will have specials
going," Clark said.
Those shoppers visiting local businesses can pick up a card and special
stamps. When the card has enough stamps, it can be turned in an entered
into a drawing for prizes. Local businesses are also eligible for prizes
as part of an inaugural holiday window decorating contest. Judging will
occur during the Christmas Walk. First prize will be $100, with second
and third place prizes also awarded.
Those not looking for gifts will find other ways to get into the holiday spirit, including:
. Carriage rides along Main Street from Plum Street to Court Street.
. Enjoying a Christmas tale as part of Marysville Library's story time
program, to be held at 6:45 p.m. inside the library.
. Cookie decorating at the corner of Fifth and Main streets  in the
former Weiss building.
. Taking a ride on the Mac Train on Main Street, between Fourth and Sixth streets.
. Watching a special movie showing at Marysville Cinema.
. Visiting with animal friends at a petting zoo.
. Sharing fresh kettle corn at the corner of Fifth and Main streets.
. Coloring a seasonal picture and decorating an ornament at the courthouse.
Artists from Fairbanks, Jonathan Alder, Marysville and North Union High
Schools will be displaying their work throughout the evening at the
courthouse. Local performing artists will also be entertaining those
gathered downtown. The Marysville High School Mini-Swingers will be
strolling along Main Street from 5:30-6 p.m. and young dancers from
local studios will perform at 6:30 and 7 p.m. on Main Street.
Helping to bring the appearance of Christmas will be the dozens of
luminaries lighting the way for Christmas walkers and, of course, the
municipal Christmas Tree. A tree lighting ceremony will be held at 6
p.m. in front of City Hall.
Clark said the events of the evening will take place, "rain or shine."
"It doesn't make any difference what the weather is like, most of the
activities are inside and outside, so come on down and enjoy the
evening," Clark said.
Alternate travel routes may be appropriate for those not attending the
Christmas Walk. Several city streets will be closed for the festivities
- Main Street from Fourth Street to Sixth Street, and Fifth Street from
Court Street to Plum Street.

Library plans events for Monday evening event
From J-T staff reports
The Marysville Public Library will hold a book signing Monday during
Uptown Marysville's annual Christmas Walk.
Authors Alicia Adams, John Becker and Amy Fowble, along with illustrator
Sara Deericks, will be on hand to sell and sign their books between 5 and 8 p.m.
Adams, author of "The Bathroom Book of Ohio Trivia," is a true Buckeye.
Born in Ohio in 1967, she has never the state. She decided to become a
writer at the age of 8 when she read about the world's youngest author
in the "Guinness Book of World Records." Her articles have appeared in
the "Christian Science Monitor," "Single Parenting Magazine," "Wee One"
magazine and others. She lives in Marysville.
Becker, author of "Mugambi's Journey," grew up in Cleveland, and now
resides in Delaware. As a child he enjoyed reading and writing about
adventures and exotic places. He earned a Ph.D. at The Ohio State
University and worked at the Columbus Zoo and helped start an
organization called the International Society for Endangered Cats..  His
lifelong passion is animals. He now travels around to schools to talk
about creative writing and appears on radio and television. When he's
not traveling, he's writing his Returning Wildlife or Seedling book series.
Fowble is the author of "It's Fun to be a Buckeye!" and a graduate of
the Ohio State University, where she received a bachelor of science
degree in allied health. She works part-time as an occupational
therapist and resides in Marysville with her husband, two children and
two dogs. They are avid Buckeye fans.
Deericks has been illustrating since the age of 2. "It's Fun to be a
Buckeye!" is her first picture book. She is a true child at heart and is
rarely found without a marker, crayon or pencil in her hand and cites
her husband and two children as her inspirations.
The Friends of the Library will serve refreshments. A special family
storytime at 6:45 p.m. also will be part of the event. Fowble will read
"It's Fun to be a Buckeye!"
Additional information may be obtained by calling 642-1876 extension 26.

Local man nominates legislator  for national award

From J-T staff reports
A local legislator has been honored nationally and it was a Marysville
man that nominated him.
State Representative Jon Peterson (R-Delaware) recently received the Ben
Censoni Award of Excellence in Public Services at a national recognition
ceremony in Washington, D.C. Peterson is the first state legislator in
the United States to be so honored by the National Association of State
Directors of Developmental Disability Services.
Dan Ohler, a Marysville resident and executive director of Ohio
Association of County Boards of MRDD, also participated in the ceremony.
In fact, it was Ohler that nominated the law maker.
"Jon is an effective leader, and a strong advocate for individuals with
developmental disabilities," Ohler said. "It was an honor to nominate
him and a thrill to participate in the awards ceremony."
Ohler nominated Peterson because he has been a friend to those with
developmental disabilities during his years of public service.
Peterson has collaborated with state administrators, Ohio's county
Boards of MRDD and members of the General Assembly to launch legislation
that advocates expansion of services during the state's time of economic
struggles, Ohler said.
"Representative Peterson's passion is to help individuals with
developmental disabilities live with confidence, self respect, joy and
independence," Ohler said. "He is a caring and passionate person who is
an effective leader and strong advocate for individuals with
developmental disabilities."
John L. Martin, director of the Ohio Department of MRDD, said Peterson
is an appropriate choice for the award.
"Rep. Peterson is a passionate and caring legislator whose actions have
had a significant impact on improving the lives of Ohio's most
vulnerable citizens," Martin said.
The honored legislator gave an inspirational acceptance speech to an
audience of state leaders from across the country. He shared an
emotional story of his daughter Hannah, diagnosed with Autism. He
explained how his love for Hannah has been the inspiration for wanting
to make a positive difference during his service in the General
Assembly. His speech moved the audience from laughter to tears, then
back again.
"It was like having another keynote speaker," said Nancy Thaler, NASDDDS
Executive Director.
Ohler and NASDDDS Vice President Ken Ritchey, former Director of the
Ohio Department of MRDD and current head of New Jersey's developmental
disabilities department presented the award.
"Jon Peterson's efforts in Ohio will benefit individuals with
developmental disabilities for decades to come," Ritchey said. "It was a
pleasure to work with him during my tenure in Ohio and an honor to
present this award to him today."
Thaler commented, "having had the opportunity to meet Jon and listen to
his message, it is so evident that he truly embodies the spirit of the
Censoni Award - people are what really matter."
The Ben Censoni Award, named in memory of the former state director from
Michigan who passed away in 1988, is The National Association of State
Directors of Developmental Disability Services' most prestigious award.
It is presented only when a nominated individual clearly demonstrates
commitment to improving the quality of life for those with developmental
disabilities. Because of the high standard set, the award is not
presented annually.

'A Bunsold Christmas' to be presented
From J-T staff reports
The Bunsold family will share its Thanksgiving weekend homecoming with
the Marysville community Sunday at 4 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church
with "A Bunsold Christmas."
The quartet of professional musicians called "Relativity" will offer a
variety of seasonal music - songs which are part of their recently
released Christmas CD, "Joy to the World!."
The Bunsold siblings, Susan, Ben and Erin, born and raised in
Marysville, and all graduates of Marysville High School, join Susan's
husband, David Wilson, in bringing a setting of favorites including, "O
Holy Night," "I'll Be Home For Christmas," "Do You Hear What I Hear?"
and several arias from composers such as G. F. Handel.
Susan Bunsold-Wilson sings alto and received a vocal performance degree
from Ohio Wesleyan University and a master's degree in music education
from The Ohio State University. She has performed musical theatre with
the Columbus Children's Theatre, Gallery Players and at the Palace
Theater in Columbus for Children's Hospital Pleasure Guild. She is
presently a music teacher with the Worthington schools.
Bass singer David Wilson received his undergraduate and master's degrees
in vocal performance from The University of Michigan and has been
featured with the Motor City Lyric Opera in Michigan.
Soprano Erin Bunsold is a graduate of The Ohio State University, where
she received her bachelor's and master's degree in vocal performance.
She has performed opera with the College Light Opera in Massachusetts
and is presently a music teacher in the North Union School District.
Ben Bunsold, tenor, is a voice performance graduate of Ohio Wesleyan
University and received a master's degree in vocal performance from the
University of Illinois.  He has performed with the Tucson, Ariz.,
symphony orchestra, the Ft. Worth, Texas Light Opera and the Ashville
Lyric Opera in North Carolina.
The quartet also will be the featured soloists for the community choir
presentation of Handel's "Messiah" on Dec. 20, 21 and 22 at  First
This weekend's "Joy To The World" concert will be held in the church
sanctuary. A freewill offering will be accepted with proceeds benefiting
the Marysville area Community Thanksgiving Dinner.

JA board debates dairy farm
Round two of the Orleton Dairy Project versus the Jonathan Alder Board
of Education was last night as board members heard a presentation
supporting the proposed mega dairy to be located within 1.3 miles of
Monroe Elementary.
Tom Menke, president of Menke Consulting, presented facts that support
the building of the 5,428-acre dairy farm and refuted many claims
presented by the Darby Creek Matters group presented at last month's
board meeting.
Menke's company has been hired by the van Bakel family from the
Netherlands to develop the project.
Menke consulting specializes in environmental and agronomic consulting
and over the last 30 years has worked with nearly 70 percent of all Ohio
Department of Agriculture permitted farms.
Menke began by explaining the Orleton farm history that dates back to
1933 and was originally owned by the Proctor family of Proctor and Gamble.
Today, the farm may be the largest continuous tract of land east of the Mississippi.
Plans for the farm have been in the works since last year and the intent
is to keep the acreage as agriculture land.
Menke addressed concerns regarding the disposal of cow manure, which was
the primary issue brought up by Darby Creek Matters in regard to the
close proximity to Monroe.
Menke explained that the dairy cows will be housed 1.3 miles from the
elementary and the extensive enclosed manure processing treatment
facility will be housed 2.1 miles away.
He also said that no raw manure would be stored on the farm for more
than eight hours and no raw manure would be applied to the farmland.
Menke said the choice to house close to 5,500 cows is a balancing act of
sorts - integrating the maximum milking parlor with the most efficient
number of cows. The acreage is also a good match in regard to the forage
needed for more than 5,000 cows, and the soil nutrient requirements are
a good match with manure nutrient production.
The $35 million construction project is expected to generate 35 jobs
directly at the dairy and an additional 77 support jobs, with an
estimated $70.5 million annual economic activity in the state created.
Menke said the farm will bring many different opportunities to the area
economically through jobs and revenue, environmentally through
conservation planning, and educationally by means of allowing public and
school tours of the facility.
"My opinion is that this farm was once a showplace and could be again,"
Menke said.
Steve Votaw, board member, asked that Menke provide the board with
information specific to school buildings located within a two-mile
radius of the farm.
Superintendent Doug Carpenter said that the district must be diligent
when taking into consideration the safety of its students.
Fred Yoder, a local farmer, said that Menke's plan took many of the
community's concerns into consideration.
"We have to do it right and then it can be a plus for everyone," Yoder said.
The board appointed John Adams to take over the Tolles report for board
meetings, as outgoing member Jim Phillips will be leaving at the
conclusion of his term next month.
The board approved the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) request to
be recognized as a student organization for the purpose of funding.
Carpenter explained after the meeting that since the group raises money
through fundraisers it needs to go through the treasurer's office so
those funds can be properly managed. The group does meet outside of
regular school hours.
The board adjourned into executive session to consider the appointment,
dismissal, discipline, promotion, or compensation of a public employee.
No action was taken.
The next regular board meeting will be Dec. 10 at 7 p.m.
In other news, the board:
.Accepted the resignation of Erin Lybeck as assistant winter
cheerleading coach; Kelly Behrmann as high school PAVE tutor effective
Oct. 31; Pam Toll as cashier/cook at the junior high effective Oct. 12;
and Chip Seely as head track coach at the high school.
.Approved Beth Beach as mentor, director of teaching and learning for
two years; Pam Toll, head cook at the high school; Harry Shade, seventh
grade girls basketball coach; Katelyn Dunlap, eighth grade girls
basketball coach; Randy Beachy, eighth grade girls basketball volunteer
coach; Larryn Allen, winter cheerleading advisor (half position); Sheila
Allen, winter cheerleading volunteer assistant; Roberta Scott, assistant
softball coach for the 2007 season; Bob Wehner, reserve girls basketball
coach; Mike Stalnaker, volunteer wrestling coach; Danielle Bray,
assistant winter cheerleading advisor; Jason Carlson, assistant baseball
coach; Phil Netti as home instruction tutor; and Debbie Foster as
cashier/cook at the junior high school.
.Approved the employment of substitute teachers - Kari Hrinko, Theresa
Daughtery, Seth Evans, Mark Junker, Linda Lehman, RaeAnna Miller, Steve
Ponton and Meredith Richards.
.Approved the employment of classified substitutes Melody Beachy, Alicia
Ellis, Debbie Foster, Kari Hrinko, Judy Pennington, Mark Syx, Suzanne
VanBibber and Donald Gordon.
.Approved joining the Madison County Family and Children First Council
for calendar year 2008 at $1 per student.
.Approved the service agreement for the 2007-2008 school year with the
Madison County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental
.Approved various in-lieu-of transportation requests for students.
.Approved maternity leave requests for Beth Kimbleton (Canaan), Libby
Krummery (Monroe) and Sharon Pigott (high school)
.Commended the Mike Furrey Foundation for the donation of $5,000 for
playground equipment when the new elementary is built.
.Commended the boys golf team for an outstanding season - it was the
first in school history to reach the state tournament.
.Commended the volunteers who helped build and install new playground
equipment at Monroe Elementary.
.Commended those volunteers who worked on the first Plain City
Elementary Walkathon
.Commended Geheres Landscaping for help with the playground.
.Commended the many students athletes who participated in fall sports
and activities, many of which received all district or all county honors.
.Commended the individuals, families and organizations for their work on
the "beautification project" at the junior high school.

Ewe better watch out...
Police called to wrangle sheep on the loose; animal remains at large
While another community was dealing with a lion running down U.S. 23
Tuesday, Marysville was dealing with its own problem: A sheep running
loose around town.
Marysville Assistant Police Chief Glenn Nicol joked that it is a sign of
how safe Marysville is as a community, when police are dealing with a
sheep instead of a lion.
Police dispatcher Rodney Hesson said that at 10 a.m. Tuesday the owner
of the Stonebrook Development on Milford Avenue reported seeing a ram or
some type of sheep running around his property over the past two days.
Several Marysville police officers responded to the area and ended up
spending a portion of the day dealing with the task of catching the
animal with the help of Union County Dog Warden Mary Beth Hall.
This morning Hall said her job is specifically geared toward dealing
with stray dogs, but she was glad to help out.
Her professional opinion, she said, is that the animal is a Columbia
Dorsett crossbreed ewe, or female sheep.
"I got within six feet of it," Hall said. "But it got away."
Hesson said the animal began running toward Timberview Golf Course,
spent some time on the greens, took a path down London Avenue, went
behind Memorial Hospital of Union County, stopped off at the Masonic
Temple, and then proceeded to go down Sixth Street to Seventh Street,
went through the Marysville fire station, then went near the Union
County Sheriff's Office at Court Street.
Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer Chris Skinner said that he
was outside at the time and was asked to help retrieve the animal, but
already knew that trying to catch a sheep is more like a "wild goose chase."
One Marysville police officer who helped with the chase, said this
morning that there was some discussion about trying to Taser the ewe, in
order to get it under control.
Hall said that not only is the animal's wool too thick to penetrate, but
the Taser would have to have five times the voltage to do ay good.
Either way, officers couldn't get close enough to use the weapon anyway.
Hesson said the animal crossed Maple Street and then disappeared
somewhere near Collins Avenue.
This morning he said the ewe was last seen in the woods near Nestles on
Milford Avenue.
"We're trying to locate the owner to try and retrieve it," Hesson said.
If anyone in town is missing the animal, he said, they are asked to
contact the Marysville Police Department.
Hesson said the last time he can remember police officers having to help
out with farm animals was 10 years ago when a goat fell down an old
abandoned well. He also noted an incident many years ago involving six deer on the
courthouse lawn.

Board of health in process  of revising rules
From J-T staff reports:
The Union County Board of Health held the second reading of the newly
revised sewage rules Monday as it met in regular session.
The revisions are necessary to bring the statewide rules into compliance
with local needs and concerns, according to the health department.  The
final reading will be held at the December meeting.
A complete text of the rules is available for viewing at
The board also held the second reading on the proposed 2008 fee schedule
for environmental health services. The schedule did include changes in
several categories and marks the first significant change in the
schedule since 2003.
The district licensing council, a statutorily created council consisting
of those who are affected by the fees, approved the recommended changes
at its October meeting. The final reading will be held at the Dec. 19 board meeting.
In other action, the board approved two contracts for services, one with
Doug Limes to provide back-up plumbing inspections, and the other with
Wilmington Peace Resource Center to provide training to local schools on
positive discipline.
It also adopted its proposed 2008 operational budget.
The next regular board of health meeting will be Dec. 19 at 7:30 a.m. at
the 940 London Ave. facility.
Additional information may be obtained by contacting the Union County
Health Department at 642-2053.

North Union prepares for levy attempt
Would fund  auditorium, auxiliary gym and classrooms
North Union officials are hoping district voters will see value in a
levy which will benefit academics, arts and athletics.
On Monday night the board voted 4-0 to put a 5.5-mill, permanent
improvement levy on the March primary ballot. Board president Jon Hall
was absent from the meeting.
The levy would pay for a third phase of the high school renovation
project at a total cost of more than $7 million. The money would help
the district pay back the cost of the project over 30 years.
North Union Superintendent Richard Smith said the levy would help the
district meet growing needs.
He said the money would fund construction of five additional classrooms
to help expand the advanced placement courses. It would also fund a
700-seat auditorium for the performing arts, including a choir program
which has grown from 12 students to 72 in the past two years.
Board member Dennis Hall said he felt the public has expressed a
particular interest in this type of facility.
"People in our community feel we have under invested in our arts," Hall said.
The levy would also help construct a new auxiliary gymnasium and locker
room facility in the area of the football stadium. Smith said the
additional gym space is needed as the district could be losing similar
space due to demolition of aging facilities in the coming years.
Smith noted that the funding formula for the levy is somewhat confusing
but he hopes voters will take the time to figure it out. He said
district officials will do their best to decipher the formula in an easy
to understand manner.
The issue essentially involves 1.5 mills of new money and 4 mills of
money already being paid by taxpayers. The existing money would be
shifted into the new tax issue.
Voters currently pay a 1.8 mill emergency operating levy which is coming
up for renewal in the coming year. If voters pass the permanent
improvement levy, the 1.8-mill levy will be allowed to expire.
Also, the district spent nearly $1.5 million under its budget for the
construction of the elementary school. That money is the equivalent of a
2.2-mill levy.
The state funding program that was used to construct the elementary
school does not allow districts to keep unused funds so that money is to
be rolled back and returned to voters through their tax bills. Smith is
hoping district residents will also factor this into the permanent
improvement levy equation.
On top of this the district is seeking 1.5 mills of new money. The net
effect on the tax bill for the owner of a $100,000 home would be $50 per
year more than he or she is currently paying, according to Smith.
He felt the cost was acceptable considering the district was looking to
add facilities that would serve the district in the coming decades.
"We are talking about the next 50 years here," he said.
Smith said if the levy is passed, the auxiliary gym could be constructed
fairly quickly, but the other projects would have to wait until the
district has completed the current phases of the of the high school
renovation project. He said all three of the proposed additions could be
finished by 2010.
Hall said felt the idea had a positive reception at two recent town hall
style meetings. He said despite the net effect being relatively small,
5.5 mills is still a fairly large number and he challenged  community
members to get behind the plan.
Board member Kevin Crosthwaite also noted that if the issue fails, the
board will be forced to seek renewal of the 1.8 mill emergency operating
levy and the entire funding plan will unravel. He said this is contrary
to most school funding issues which are put before voters repeatedly if
they fail. "This is a one time opportunity," he said.

Purse party results in indictment
Despite an advertisement to the contrary, law enforcement officials
believe purses sold as part of a fundraising event were illegal copies.
Based on that belief, a Union County Grand Jury has indicted Deborah
Jean Sass, 39, of 2070 Arch Hill Road, in Zanesville, on one count of
trademark counterfeiting, a felony of the fifth degree.
An advertisement that ran in the Marysville Journal Tribune on July 11
said the items to be sold two days later as part of a fundraising event
for Memorial Hospital of Union County Auxiliary were "designer replica
purses and women's and men's wallets.
The ad continued, "Although our goal is to provide the finest replicas
available, we are not interested in violating copyright laws, ours are
not the illegal copies."
Union County Prosecutor David Phillips said that will be a matter for
the jury of the woman's peers.
"That is the ultimate question the jury has to answer," Phillips said.
The prosecutor said that when law enforcement officials went to the
hospital, where the sale was being held, they found Sass, "allegedly
selling purses which violate state and federal laws for being
substantially similar or indistinguishable from a registered trademark."
Phillips said that while the bags did not carry the name of a famous
designer, "it is more than just the name that is trademarked. There are
other design elements that are trademarked as well."
If convicted, Sass faces as many as 12 months in prison. She also faces
the forfeiture of the purses and other items used in the commission of
the alleged offense, including a Kia sports utility vehicle.
Shannon Elizabeth Alexander, also known as Shannon E. Hay, 31, of 436
Windsor Drive, has been indicted on two counts of burglary, one a
third-degree felony and the other a fourth-degree felony, and one count
of fifth-degree felony vandalism. If convicted, the woman faces as many
as 71/2 years in prison. According to court documents, the indictments
stem from an incident that occurred between Feb. 22 and Feb. 23 of last year.
James Tylor McCarthy, 22, of 153 S. Fulton St., has also been indicted
on burglary. He faces one count of the offense at the second-degree
felony level stemming from an Oct. 25 incident.
Jacob Thaddeus Marshal, III, 58, whose last known address is 925 W.
Fifth St., has been indicted on one count of safe cracking, two counts
of breaking and entering, one count of theft and one count of possession
of criminal tools. Court documents indicate the theft allegedly occurred
in May of 2006 while the other alleged offenses are believed to have
occurred July 15, 2006. According to the court documents, the safe
cracking charge means he, "with purpose to commit an offense, did
knowingly enter, force an entrance into, or tamper with any vault, safe
or strongbox."
Dana Leigh Myers, 28, whose last known address is 13913 Route 347, is
facing as many as six years in prison if convicted of the five charges
against her arising from events alleged to have occurred over four days
in May. She has been indicted for two counts of deception to obtain a
dangerous drug, one count is a felony of the fourth degree the other is
a fifth-degree felony, involving Vicodin and Oxycodone. She is also
charged with identification fraud, a fourth-degree felony, along with
aggravated possession of drugs and theft, both fifth-degree felonies.
Deborah L. Ramey, 41, of 19939 Bonnie Court in Marysville has been
indicted on two counts of theft of drugs, both fourth-degree felonies.
She faces as many as three years in prison if convicted.
Kyle A. Endicott, 26, and Jeremy L. Graves, 28, have each been indicted
on one count of possession of cocaine for unrelated events. The charge
against Endicott, of 21755 Liberty West Road, involves a June 10,
arrest. Graves, of 1754 Frank Road, in Columbus, is alleged to have
possessed cocaine in December of last year. Both men face as many as 12
months in prison if convicted.

Fairbanks officials  discuss unfunded  mandates
Unfunded mandates became the topic of conversation at Monday night's
Fairbanks School Board meeting, as Superintendent Jim Craycraft talked
about the district's budget.
Unfunded mandates are policies or directives the state legislature
enacts but for which it supplies little or no additional funding.
There are large ones and small ones, according to Craycraft, and the new
Ohio CORE curriculum standards are an example of a large one.
Under CORE directives, Fairbanks had to hire a science teacher and will
need to expand its math program, add a financial management course and
expand its foreign language program.
"The state gave us planning money but did not give any money to support
the teachers in those programs," Craycraft responded in an e-mail
message this morning. "Some of the areas we can shift people, but in
most cases we will be adding staff. The state will market that they gave
all schools a 3 percent increase this past year but when you look at the
overall budget and take away the reductions, we got very little as far
as an increase in state funding."
The school district also hired three special needs teachers because of
an increase in the number of special needs children and an additional
classroom teacher because of larger numbers in the classroom, Craycraft said.
All told, with salaries, fringe benefits and retirement factored in,
those positions added $60,000-$70,000 apiece to the district's budget
this school year, he said.
And, Craycraft said, "You don't have any choice."
Another example is compliance with Jarod's Law regulations which require
annual school inspections by the Ohio Board of Health for unsafe health,
safety and sanitation conditions.
Jarod's Law was enacted because of a child who was crushed when a
cafeteria table fell on him. According to Craycraft, it is a very
comprehensive law to make sure all aspects of the school environment are
safe, including playgrounds, bleachers, building roofs and classroom supplies.
"There is no question you want to make the buildings safe," Craycraft said.
However, the school district does not know what the cost will be until
its first inspection will be completed in the spring, he said.
"It's creating some confusion," he said, both for the health department
and the school district.
Craycraft also talked about the Nov. 3 oil leak behind the middle school
which spilled between 300-400 gallons of fuel oil into Big Darby Creek.
The cleanup involved the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and six or
seven different contractors, he said, and its cost is approaching $70,000.
Craycraft said the school district is talking with the three contractors
who were working in the area.
"Somebody went over it and broke the pipe and we have to find out who
did it," he said.
In other business, the board:
.Heard a presentation by high school chemistry teacher Jeff Ungerer
about two grants he has recently received which will help purchase
equipment. He also talked about the "patents" he is granting his
students for innovative inventions. "These kids have come up with some
incredibly good ideas ... ," he said.
.Heard a report from high school principal Tom Montgomery in which he
said that high school social studies teacher Karen Saffle was recently
named a Nationally Certified Teacher. He also said the high school is
"going green," as students become more environmentally conscious.
Recycling bins will be placed throughout the school to collect plastic
bottles - a project of the Student Council.
.Accepted the retirement of June Ackley, middle school teacher,
effective May 30.
.Accepted the retirement of Theresa Nelson, bus driver, effective June 2.
.Approved supplemental contracts for Kathy Schrader, high school play
director; Karla Wygle, junior class prom advisor; Bonnie Schall,
volunteer middle school robotics club advisor; and Dena Komula, eighth
grade Power of the Pen. All are effective this school year.
.Approved athletic contracts for the 2007-2008 school year for Sean
Bowers, varsity assistant girls basketball coach; Dexter Bailey,
volunteer high school girls basketball coach; Rob Riddle, seventh grade
middle school boys basketball coach; and Stephen Bauman, volunteer high
school girls basketball coach.
.Approved Richard Diamond as a substitute custodian and Melissa Spires
and Brande Vollrath as substitute educational aides.
.Approved Dava Miller as a volunteer middle school tutor and rescinded
the Oct. 23 approval of her as a middle school aide.
.Authorized an initial membership of $250 to the Ohio School Boards
Association Legal Assistance Fund.
.Accepted more than 75 donated books for the middle/high school media center.

Union County Care Train rolls into 21st year
For more than 20 years the Union County Care Train has been raising
funds to provide local needy families with food and toys during the
holiday season. But with the community growing so fast, the worry is
that new residents have not heard about the auction.
That is the question Care Train founder Dave Laslow is hoping to deal with.
"What I would like to convey to the community is that we have grown so
large over the 21 years we have been doing this," he said. "There are
still people who don't know what it is."
Laslow said the organizers want everyone in Union County to become
"reacquainted" with the Care Train. This year's auction is scheduled to
be held Dec. 8 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at McAuliffe's Ace Hardware store
and will be broadcast live over Time Warner Cable on channels 6 and 9.
The event will also be broadcast through St. Gabriel Radio at 1270 AM.
"I want to introduce the Care Train to new residents," Laslow said. "We
make the holidays happen for the less fortunate."
The Union County Care Train started out as a small grassroots charity
two decades ago, he said, but due community needs it has grown into so
much more.
Once a year, Laslow said, volunteers get together and auction off
donated items from area businesses and residents. He said the point of
the event is about the community coming together in order to provide for
less fortunate families. Some residents buy hats, gloves and socks to
make sure families have the necessary winter essentials. But the event
is also about making these families know that people care, which why
people also donate food and toys.
Last year the event raised more than $100,000, but Laslow said the
auction is not about focusing on a monetary goal.
"We give what we get. Our purpose is to make sure that families are
taken care of," he said. "It is all about the families."
Money goes directly toward providing needy families with food vouchers
at the local Kroger grocery store. A total of 730 families, 1,200
children and 235 senior citizens benefited from the charity through food vouchers.
He said the toys alone donated for children last year were priceless,
because "you can't buy a toy for under $10 these days."
Any remaining funds raised go toward paying for production of the event,
such as the television camera crew, advertising, printing and banners -
which indirectly goes right back into the community as well.
Laslow said one aspect unique to the Care Train is that it is brought to
life entirely through volunteers. There is no full-time staff and all
the money raised goes back into the community.
This year, he said, Care Train organizers hope to mirror the growth of
the community, by raising the bar on the number of volunteers who would
like to help with the auction, distribution or sponsorship. He said
Honda of America has already stepped forward as the event's major
sponsor for 2007.
In 2006 one of the large-ticket auction items was a car. Laslow said
this year the auction has expended to include two cars for the auction
and possibly two more cars could be added.
In the past 20 years, the distribution of the toys and charity items
collected has taken place at such locations as the Union County Airport.
This year, Laslow said the distribution will be held on Dec. 18 at Dutch
Mills Greenhouse on Route 4.
Laslow said in past years businesses such as Scotts-Miracle Gro, The
Memorial Hospital of Union County staff, Doc Hendersons, Lambert
Jewelers and countless business and community leaders have helped out in
some form or another. He said that it is amazing what can be
accomplished when a community gets together to help out those in need.

Community Thanksgiving dinner planned
Imagine serving Thanksgiving dinner to a crowd of about 1,300 people.
Then think about how many pounds of sweet and white potatoes, green
beans, cranberry sauce, stuffing, pies and turkeys will be needed to
feed that many.
But it's not an imaginary scenario - it's a reality that a stalwart
group of community volunteers deal with each Thanksgiving, as they cook,
serve and deliver meals to the less fortunate and homebound.
And those volunteers have done this annually for 14 years.
This year's Thanksgiving dinner will be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at
First United Methodist Church's Burnside Center. This is the second year
the South Court Street facility has hosted the meal.
"Every year it gets better," said Julie Whipple, one of the Thanksgiving
meal's organizers. "It is quite exciting."
Whipple said it will take 91 turkeys to meet the hearty appetites of the
community Thursday - and frozen turkey donations will be gladly accepted.
Turkeys may be dropped off Sunday at First United Methodist from 1 to 5
p.m. Also accepted will be donations of baked and canned goods for meal
recipients (each family will be given a sack of groceries), monetary
donations, cans of green beans, yams, cranberry sauce, etc., and boxes
of mashed potatoes.
Cash donations also may be mailed to Beth Marshall, 1604 Route 347,
Marysville, OH 43040.
Items that require refrigeration will be housed in a refrigerated truck
provided by Nestle R&D.
"They are so wonderful," Whipple said. "There's so much stuff to keep cold."
Whipple also expressed gratitude for the Kroger Co. and its many donations.
"Kroger is always helpful," she said. "They are so, so helpful."
Turkeys will be thawed on Monday and cooked on Tuesday. On Wednesday,
other food items will be made. Local youths will assist with table
decorations, setting up tables and chairs and baking pies.
In a departure from previous years, no carryout meals will be available.
Meals will still be delivered, however, and drivers are needed, Whipple said.
"Last year we didn't have enough," she said.
She said employees of the Union County Sheriff's Office are helping
coordinate maps to go with the names of those who request home delivery.
This should help make deliveries faster.
Those who would like a meal delivered may call Dottie Stump at 642-2623.
Also new this year is the addition of another serving line. This should
help alleviate long waits for those delivering meals, Whipple said.
She also said more volunteers are wanted and welcome, especially for
Friday cleanup.

Bonds will help improve airport
The Union County Board of Commissioners is set to approve the issuance
of nearly half a million dollars in bonds to improve the Union County Airport.
Matthew L. Stout, of the law firm Bricker and Eckler, is finalizing the
paperwork to issue $400,000 in bonds. The bonds will be used to build a
new hangar at the airport. The bonds will not be general obligation
debts of the county, but rather will be the responsibility of the Union
County Airport authority to repay over the next 20 years. The
commissioners said they were confident the board would be able to
service the debt as the additional hanger space will bring additional revenue.
"They claim they have a waiting list and they will fill up quickly and
the revenue will come in quickly," said commissioner Charles Hall.
Ken Denman, president of the Union County Airport Authority, was more
specific about individuals interested in renting hangar space.
"We have got about 40 on the waiting list," Denman said. "We are in the
process now of contacting these people to see how good that list is."
 He said the Ohio State University Airport has about 120 individuals on
its waiting list.
"We are close enough, we may be able to dip into some of theirs," he said.
Denman said the total cost for the improvements project will be "a
little over $600,000." He added that the Federal Aviation Administration
is picking up a portion of the tab.
County and airport officials hoped the hangar would be completed by the
first of the year, however, when cold weather hit earlier this week,
plans were interrupted. Denman said the crew needs a couple more dry
days with temperatures in the 50s to asphalt the ground. He still hopes
to have the building constructed by the middle of January.
"We are not sure what is going to happen yet," Denman said. "It depends
if we get a couple more warm days."
In fact, the push to get the project completed quickly led the
commissioners to advance $150,000 to the airport authority.
Denman said the rent generated from the new stalls will, "more than pay"
for the debt encumbered.
Currently, the airport serves as a permanent storage facility for about
60 planes in 42 hangars in three buildings. Denman said the new building
will have 13 storage units available and he hopes that will take the
airport to 70 planes. He said the FAA bases its funding on the number of
planes at the airport.
"Eventually, we would like to see more than 100," Denman said.
A future project on the airport authority's radar is a grass runway for
some of the "tail-draggers." In an effort to save costs on that project,
the airport is taking dirt from the City of Marysville's sewer project.
"We are going to use it for future development," Denman said. "We are
going to take advantage of the city's project."
He said that to attract large corporate jets, the airstrip would need to
be lengthened. That would be cost prohibitive, so he said the airport
authority is concentrating on doing what it does best - promote small
general aviation.
"We are not probably going to get the big corporate jets in, so we have
decided to try to make this the best small aviation airport in the
country," Denman said.
He said part of the way the airport is doing that is by keeping costs
down. Currently there are two levels for renting space at the airport.
Smaller units cost $200 a month while the larger units rent for $225 a
month. He said rising gas prices have also increased the price of
aviation fuel, making it difficult for some flyers to take their plane out.
"We are just trying to keep costs down so people can continue to enjoy
aviation," Denman said.

New egg facility will be built in two phases
An egg laying facility proposed in York Township will be built in two
phases and could house up to 6 million layers, said the construction
director involved in the project.
It also will result in a considerable market for corn produced locally,
said Tom Lohr, Henning Construction director of project development.
Lohr said the first phase, which could possibly begin as early as April,
will consist of 10 houses of laying hens, a feed mill, egg breaking
plant, office scale house and an organic nutrient containment storage
and distribution system. It will be built on 473 acres currently owned
by the Ohio Development Corp. and will be called Hi-Q Egg Produce LLC.
Shareholders of Hi-Q Egg Produce are listed as Jeffery Henning and
Steven George, both of Iowa, according to Lohr. Both have shares in
other egg producing operations.
The permitting process with the Ohio Department of Agriculture has
begun, Lohr said. The facility will be located near Day Lay egg farm
which was recently sold and which will be operated as a company under
the name of New Day.
Lohr said he assumes New Day will continue to operate that facility as
an egg farm.
"I know the company very well and they will upgrade that facility where
it will be a highly managed production facility," he said of New Day.
Eggs produced at the proposed Hi-Q Egg facility will be marketed as
"liquid" eggs to processors on the East Coast.
Lohr said an automated system will convey eggs from the laying cages to
the breaking plant where they will be separated and transferred into
refrigerated containers. They will be chilled to a temperature just
above freezing and transferred via refrigerated tankers to the East Coast.
Once there they will be pasteurized for either commercial use - bread,
bagels, pastries, ice cream, candy products, mayonnaise, nutrition bars,
etc. - or used by the food service industry in schools, hospitals,
nursing homes, universities and other institutions.
"Basically what it does is reduces food safety concerns because eggs are
being taken into the facility on a daily basis. It's all automated and
won't be touched by a human hand," Lohr said.
Egg shells will be recycled back into the chicken feed, mixing 200
pounds of shells with every ton of grain used.
"You've got to have calcium in the diet for production yields," Lohr said.
The "organic nutrient containment storage and distribution system" will
handle the manure created by the hens. The storage area will consist of
a concrete base and walls covered by a roof. It will store up to a
year's volume of manure.
Its moisture content will be 25 percent or less, Lohr said, which will
result in a heat cycle high enough to kill the larvae of flies and other
flying insects. There will be no odor, he added, because the pile will
not be stirred.
"These facilities are going to be state of the art," he said.
Collection belts will pass under the birds and air will be blown across
the belts continuously to dry the waste.
It will be sold as fertilizer, Lohr said, through a broker who handles
"that type of product."
Up to 75 people could be employed at Hi-Q, Lohr said, with the largest
number employed in the egg processing plant.
Lohr said the jobs will be "fairly skilled jobs that will take some time
for training."
They will be filled by legal citizens, he added.
"I can assure you this company will not knowingly employ any illegals.
We will hire people we feel are the most highly qualified," he said.
The Raymond area was selected, Lohr said, because it offered a parcel of
land large enough to accommodate the facility.
It also should be a good supply of locally raised grain, and it is not
terribly distant from the East Coast facility that will be pasteurizing
the liquid eggs.
Also, Lohr said, the Raymond area offers some isolation. With the large
number of chickens to be housed and the amount of waste created, Lohr
said the company is aware neighbors of the proposed plant might have
environmental concerns.
"We're very conscious of the fact that any kind of livestock operation's
going to be dealing with environmental issues," he said. "Our proposal
is for this to be a very modern facility, well managed and constructed
with the most modern technology available."
"We hope to make the community feel comfortable," he added. "We're not
putting this in here to be a bad neighbor."
" ... our goal is to be upfront and as honest as we can with everybody.
Whatever regulations need to be met, we will meet ... the requirement
and do our best to exceed those."

Voters to decide on sales tax measure
Following a crowded public hearing, the Union County Commissioners have
approved the placement of a quarter percent sales tax initiative on the ballot.
Currently, sales tax in Union County is at 6.5 percent. If the levy
passes, the tax would increase to 6.75 percent, bringing it even with
Franklin, Delaware and Madison Counties.
Champaign, Logan and Hardin Counties have a 7 percent sales tax. Marion
County has a 6.5 percent sales tax.
On a $100 taxable purchase, the increased tax would cost the consumer 25
cents. On a $20,000 purchase, it would cost the consumer $50. According
to county officials, the increased sales tax would generate anticipated
revenue between $1.7 and $1.9 million per year, to be used equally for
senior citizens in the county and for the engineer's office.
During the public hearing, Union County Engineer Steve Stolte informed
those assembled that just seven counties have a lower sales tax than
Union County. He said that even if the levy passes, Union County would
have the same sales tax as 13 counties statewide and 40 counties would
still have higher sales taxes. He added that many counties have levies
or permissive license fees for road and bridge improvements.
"That tells me that even with the increase, we are still pretty much
middle of the road," Stolte said.
He added, "Those comparisons tell me that this group of county
commissioners and the county commissioners that came before them have
done an excellent, excellent job managing the finances. They have gotten
the most out of the moneys provided to them."
Stolte said those numbers are "benchmarks" of Union County against other
counties in the state. He presented a handout with what he called the
real need for the levy.
According to the handout, current engineers office funding can support
only 120 miles of asphalt pavements while 240 miles of county roads need
to have asphalt pavements, 262 miles of county roads need to be widened
and "nearly 50 intersections are substandard and require improvements."
The flyer pointed out that county bridges also need attention. According
to the flyer, Union County has 320 bridges - 30 of them more than 50
years old, 14 that need replaced immediately, 17 that are too narrow, 18
bridges that cannot carry legal loads and 18 that are structurally
deficient. The information also included a projected price increase in
construction costs and the fact that engineer's office has seen a nearly
40 percent reduction in personnel since 1970.
Dick Douglas, director of Union County Senior Services, guaranteed to
the commissioners that, "this sales tax levy will pass."
He thanked the commissioners for "planting seeds" of senior services and
continuing to plant them.
"I believe if we are honest and we lay out the facts before the voters,
this will be a successful."
The flyer passed out at the hearing included information on needed
senior services including mobile meals, senior transportation, personal
care, respite care, housekeeping and maintenance, emergency utility
assistance, prescription assistance, senior advocacy, protective
services and adult day care.
The director said for 2007, the commissioners provided $265,000 to Union
County Senior Services to fund both the office operations and the
provided services and will continue to, so that all senior services
funds that come in through the tax levy will go to actually providing
services. Douglas pointed out that 62 of Ohio's 88 counties already have
senior services levies and that the senior population of Union County in
2020 is expected to be twice what it was in 2000.
Jim Cesa, of Community Action, said his organization sees a need for
senior services, but no way to meet them.
"The need for services is out there, but the funds are not," Cesa said.
A Union County Adult Protective Services Caseworker said additional
caseworkers could help prevent small issues from becoming a crisis.
The county commissioners thanked Douglas and Stolte for their
cooperation, making due with diminishing funds. The said these are two
county areas in desperate need of funds. Commissioner Charles Hall said
he understood the engineer's "frustration" and called the need for
senior services, "an iceberg."
"We have just seen the tip of it sticking out there," Hall said.
Commissioner Tom McCarthy said he believes the public will pass a sales tax.
"I think this levy is one that people will rally around because they can
see the benefits," McCarthy said.
Commissioner Gary Lee made a motion to place the sales tax on the
ballot. That motion passed unanimously. Lee said the commissioners will
need the help of county employees to inform the public of the need for the levy.
After planning for the measure to appear on the November 2007 ballot,
the levy did not make it because the commissioners missed the filing
deadline with the board of elections. In 2005 -  by a 52 to 48-percent
margin - voters rejected a property tax levy to fund services for senior citizens.

Council debate landscaping ordinance
A new ordinance could put some teeth behind the enforcement of
Marysville Homeowner Associations when it comes to taking care of landscaping.
The first reading was held by City Council Thursday evening on an
ordinance creating Chapter 1110, Property Owners Associations, within
the city Planning and Zoning Code.
However, the reading immediately fell into debate among city officials.
Councilman John Gore raised the question of whether or not the city will
be enforcing the new code, or if compliance is just requested.
He said the ordinance language is not very clear when it comes to
defining its intentions.
"If the question exists, then the question should be closed," Planning
Commission's Alan Seymour said.
Seymour explained that when the planning commission members decided to
turn the ordinance over to council, they had left the decision over
compliance "unsettled."
In the end, he said, the members decided to recommend a decidedly "not
required" stance because they did not like "the idea of demanding
something" from the property owner associations.
Other council members felt the ordinance was ambiguous. Some thought the
ordinance was indeed asking for mandatory compliance.
"It sounds pretty mandatory to me," city administrator Kathy House said.
City law director Tim Aslaner said he found problems with the way the
language is written but said that could be clarified. He said he always
thought the ordinance was intended to be mandatory and was surprised to
see the final outcome was not clearly stating that path.
Councilman John Marshall recommended the issue be corrected before the
next meeting, so they may proceed on the second reading and public
hearing of the issue.
In other discussions:
-City council passed the ordinance amending "Exterior appearances of
premises and structures" of zoning codes. The passage means that
residents will not be allowed to park their cars on their front lawns
for extended periods of time. Gore was the only member who voted against
passing the ordinance.
-Council passed an ordinance expanding the 1,000 feet rule, governing
how close registered sexual offenders living in Marysville may live near
schools, to also include preschools, libraries, day-care centers and parks.
-Marshall pointed out that the city currently pays more than $300,000 a
year for the operation of street lights within residential developments.
He suggested that from now on, the city take a cue from areas such as
Dublin and Columbus, who do not pay for street lights and many
neighborhoods do not have them. It can be something Property Owner
Associations can pay for.
He said that is $300,000 annually that could be going toward fire
department equipment or adding employees to the fire and police departments.
"That would be a pretty hefty debate," Gore said. "But it's a good point."
-Economic development director Eric Phillips said a total of $9,100 has
been raised toward the funding needed to renovate the town run. He said
local businesses such as Union Rural Electric, Honda, Wal-Mart, National
City Bank and more had donated the funds to put toward the grant process
to make the work happen.
-House reported that the Marysville Christmas Walk will be held Nov. 26
from 5-8 p.m. The city Christmas tree will be lighted at 6 p.m. and
other events will take place.
-Local attorney Dorothy Liggett-Pelanda introduced herself to city
council as a candidate for Union County Common Pleas Court judge. Born
and raised in Marysville, she said she has been practicing law in town
for the past 26 years. She has also worked for years with current Common
Pleas Court Judge Richard Parrott, taking criminal cases for those who
cannot afford representation.
When Parrott announced he intended to retire, she said she knew that was
the position she wanted to pursue.
Councilwoman Leah Sellers commended Pelanda for her work in town.
-The first reading was held on a resolution to adopt the city wastewater
Master Plan.
Councilman Dan Fogt said he was disappointed to see that the city does
not intend to have a building to create compost out of sewage, which in
turn can be sold to farmers as fertilizer.
House said that it was more expensive to go that route, and the city is
not able to afford that at this time

New egg facility planned
Construction could begin in April on a new egg facility in York Township
that will result in a "substantial increase" in the amount of corn
purchased from local farmers, according to a representative of Henning
Construction near Des Moines, Iowa.
Tom Menke, director of project development, said this morning that Hi-Q
Egg Products LLC will build a new egg product facility on 473 acres
currently owned by the Ohio Development Corp.
That facility, which will house facilities for laying hens, manure
containment, a feed mill and grain storage bins, will account for the
consumption of 4 to 6 million bushels of corn yearly.
The permitting process with the Ohio Department of Agriculture has
begun, Menke said. He added that the facility will be constructed and
operated "under extreme rigorous standards approved by the Ohio
Department of Agriculture, the Ohio EPA (Environmental Protection
Agency) and the Union County Health Department.
The facility will be located near Day Lay egg farm, which was recently
sold and which will be operated as a company by the name of New Day.
"(Hi-Q) has nothing to do with Day Lay; the new owners of Day Lay are
not investors of this farm," Menke said.
Menke said Hi-Q Egg Products LLC is a new company established to produce
egg products "with priorities on food safety, environmental stewardship,
employee care and animal husbandry.
It will be build in two phases near the intersection of Davis Road and
Township Road 249. Menke said the goal is to start construction in
April, with the project being complete about 21/2 years later.
A follow-up story is planned for Saturday's newspapers.

Group at standstill on park proposal
Members of the Plain City South Park committee have come to "a log jam,"
said committee member Doug Saxour.
"Not everyone is seeing eye to eye," he told the Plain City Village Council Monday.
The group was formed to help council with ideas for the construction of
a park on the south end of Plain City. Saxour said the group has reached
an impasse and wanted some clarification from village officials. He said
some committee members and residents would like to see several small
parks in the area rather than just one larger park.
He said that some residents and committee members would like to see
small parks that residents can easily walk to. He added that committee
members understood that a "bigger park" in Plain City would be smaller
than a big park in Dublin or Columbus. However, they hoped to get
clarification on what bigger park meant.
"To put up multiple parks and sustain them would, at this point, be a
hardship in my opinion," Mayor Sandy Adkins said.
Council president pro-tem Bob Walter said the one large park model was
the direction of the village's comprehensive plan. He urged the
committee to "look historically how the village has developed."
"We are trying to balance where we are now, with where we want to be in
the future," Walter said. "And where we are now is looking at one big
park in the southwest corner of the village."
Adkins stressed, however, that the purpose of the committee is to make
recommendations to village officials.
"That wouldn't preclude the group from coming up with some alternate
plans, but I think, right now, this is the way we need to go," Adkins.
The mayor did say that if park committee members think several small
parks would be appropriate, they should add that to their suggestions as
a possible route for later.
"Anytime there is a development, there is going to be open space,"
Adkins said. "The homeowners' association can do with it as it pleases,
within limits."
Council members questioned Saxour as to whether the committee had
identified a location for the park. He said it had not, adding that
individual members have identified locations close to their home where
they would like to see the park, but the committee as a whole has made
no decisions. He said the group has largely taken the approach to, "get
the idea down, let's get a plan together and then decide on where."
In addition to parks, council discussed the village's downtown - both
its clean-up and its traffic patterns.
Village Administrator/Police Chief Steve Hilbert said he wanted to talk
to Ohio Department of Transportation engineers about the traffic light
at the intersection of Main and Chillicothe Streets.
"It is just not functioning the way we would like it to," Hilbert said.
He said he would like to see the lights synchronized better and the stop
bars reconfigured now that most of the semi trucks are not traversing
through the downtown.
"I think  we need to discus and possibly get some guidance from ODOT, to
get it to where it is a whole lot more efficient than it is now," Hilbert said.
Adkins said she has sent a letter to many of the business and property
owners in the downtown encouraging them to help improve the appearance
of the downtown.
"Please begin to put some thoughts into your business and your
property," Adkins said the letter urges. "What type of improvements can
you make that might entice small businesses that might want to relocate
to the village."
She said several small businesses have visited Plain City.
"And they have told me, 'It's not what I thought it would be,'" Adkins said.
She said that before the bypass, it was more difficult to keep the
downtown clean because of the truck traffic. That is no longer an excuse
Adkins said.
The mayor added that she is contemplating a letter to send to businesses
that have expressed interest in Plain City or which might be a good fit
for the village.
"It would basically ask them not to lose interest while we pull our act
together," Adkins told council.
She said she would like to coordinate a networking evening to get those
businesses in one place and talk about the village.
Councilman Wes Gibson said it all starts with the downtown shopkeepers
and property owners.
"Take pride in your community," he urged.

North side development plan tabled by commission
The 171-acre Cook development proposed for Marysville's north side
suffered a slight setback this week after the preliminary sketch plan
was tabled by the Marysville Planning Commission.
At the Nov. 5 meeting, Cook Property representative David Cook brought
attorney Kathryn Cunningham to "help the process along" of approving the
family's development, rumored to bring such large-scale retail
businesses as Kohl's or Meijer to Marysville.
Planning commission's Alan Seymour said this morning that the debate
over the percentage of retail space outlined in the project remains,
whereas the overall comprehensive business plan outlined by city and
county officials calls for more office space.
Cunningham said since October the Cooks have met with Marysville staff
and economic development director Eric Phillips, as well as neighbors,
to come to some middle ground on the retail/office debate.
Cook said that they made changes to southern areas of the development in
order to include more office space as the city has requested, but the
changes must not have been enough. The preliminary sketch plan was
tabled by commission members after more than two hours of discussion.
Cunningham and Birdhouk Collective's Gary Schmidt said during the Nov. 5
meeting that the Cook plan meets the city's zoning codes.
"In most cases we are either on your standard or exceeding your
standards," he said.
Cunningham wondered why commission members are focused so much on the
development's sketch plan, when the details they are addressing should
be looked at during the preliminary development plan stage.
"Maybe we can start with the broad and narrow down on an understanding
of what the city would like to see in the sketch plan," Cunningham said.
"Why we're here today is more to have a conversation about where we need
to be . just in terms of the overall plan, the district proposals, the
general concept of the layout, the roads."
She said the commissioners need to focus on specifics of what they would
like changed "rather than spending all our time on the sketch plan .
rather than just spinning our wheels and taking a shot in the dark."
"There was a concern that we had too much retail," Schmidt said.
As a result, he said, they have added more office space.
"We've cleaned this up a lot," Schmidt said. "We have some questions
about how we should proceed."
Seymour commended the Cooks for the changes made to the plan.
"I like this direction a whole lot better," member Ken Kraus said.
Seymour said the main reason for the sketch being tabled was due to the
fact that commission members had not seen the changes until before the
meeting. It was not enough time to digest what changes had been made.
He said that debate remained over the definition of office in relation
to commercial and retail.
"That is a sensitive issue, that is why it is being looked at closely," Seymour said.
He added that a neighbor to the northern section of the development was
also concerned about the high density buildings proposed for that area.

Commissioners revisit sales tax idea

The Union County Commissioners will hold a public hearing Thursday, in
the board hearing room on the possibility of adding one-quarter percent
sales tax levy on the March 4 ballot.
Currently, sales tax in Union County is at 6.5 percent. If the levy
passes, the tax would increase to 6.75 percent, bringing it even with
Franklin, Delaware and Logan Counties.
On a $100 taxable purchase, the increased tax would cost the consumer
$0.25. On a $20,000 purchase, it would cost the consumer $50.
The potential sales tax increase would generate anticipated revenue
between $1.7 and $1.9 million per year, to be used equally for senior
citizens in the county and for the engineer's office.
The levy would run for five years and would need public approval for renewal.
The commissioners announced in August that they intended to place the
levy on the November ballot. However, before it could go to the board of
elections, the tax request needed two public hearings. As they worked on
the ballot language, the commissioners were unable to get both public
hearings held and missed the filing deadline.
Union County Commissioner Charles Hall said there is minimal difference
between passing the tax in November, versus passing the tax in March.
The new tax would not become effective until the first day of the first
new quarter, a minimum of 65 days following the election certification,
typically 10 days after the election. Given those parameter, if the
sales tax passed in November, it would have become effective April 1,
2008. If it passes in March, it will become effective July 1, 2007.
Money will begin flowing into the county about three months after it is collected.
"We are talking about three months," Hall said. "Yeah, we would have
liked to have had this in November, but we want to make sure everything
is done right."
The March election will be heavily watched, serving as the presidential
primary for both republicans and democrats in Ohio.
Officials say the three month delay may be a good thing, giving the
commissioners additional time to educate voters about the need for the sales tax.
"We really want everybody to have all the information we could before we
went to the voters with it," Hall said.
The commissioners want to make sure they do not miss the Dec. 20,
deadline to have issues included on the March ballot. A first public
hearing to place the initiative on the March ballot has already been
held with the second scheduled for 11:30 a.m., Thursday in the
Commissioners Hearing Room.
Dick Douglas, director of Union County Senior Services, said seniors in
the county have been "overwhelmingly supportive" of the proposed levy.
That was not the case with the 2005 property tax, which failed 52
percent to 48 percent. He said 66 of Ohio's 88 counties already have a
levy to fund senior services.
Douglas noted that for 2007, the commissioners provided $265,000 to
Union County Senior Services to fund both the office operations and the
provided services. Douglas said the commissioners agreed to continue
funding the operational budget and have pledged that all senior services
funds that come in through the tax levy will go to actually providing
services. He specifically mentioned home health care, respite care,
transportation and mobile meals as senior programs that need funded.
County officials said it is also important to increase funding for the
engineer's office. Union County Commissioner Gary Lee said that as
Marysville has grown, the county has lost some income because of the
city's residential tax incentive programs. As money has been lost and
costs in other departments have gone up, money has been taken from the
engineer's budget, Lee said. He added that rising fuel costs have meant
the engineer has lost about 40 percent of his buying power in just three years.
"We are just going to get the engineer's office back to where it should
be three years ago," Lee said.
Union County Commissioner Tom McCarthy added, "the need to improve the
road system in a growing community cannot be funded entirely from a
gasoline tax."
Under the Ohio Revised Code, the county commissioners have the option of
simply imposing additional sales tax of up to a half of one percent.
"Our pledge has always been that we do not wish to enact any tax that
the voters do not have the opportunity to vote on," Hall said when the
sales tax was initially considered.
Additionally he noted the commissioners do not want to use their entire
tax ability. He said they want to be able to reserve the additional
quarter percent for a possible emergency.

Unionville Center awards contracts
Service contracts were awarded at Tuesday night's Unionville Center
Village Council meeting.
Lawns Plus of Marysville owned by Mike Kuhn and Todd Fultz will do leaf
pick-up in the village at the cost of $65 per hour. Pick-up will be on
Monday beginning at 8 a.m.   Leaves should be raked to the edge of
streets and alleys.
Lawns Plus also received the contract for cleaning the 45 storm sewer
drops within the village for $450. The drops will be cleaned the same
week as leaf pick-up.
Clark Snow Removal owned by Jeff Clark of Milford Center was awarded the
snow removal contract for $59.75 per hour per vehicle.
Dorothy Liggett-Pelanda candidate for Union County Common Pleas Judge
introduced herself and asked for support in the March 4 election.
Current Common Pleas Judge Richard Parrott will be retiring .
Teresa Nickle candidate for Clerk of Courts also was present to ask for
support during the upcoming election. Current Clerk of Courts Paula
Pyers Warner will be retiring.
The Unionville Center flag which is flown at The Green is tattered and
will be retired.  Karla Gingerich will sew a new flag. The flag was
designed by B.J. Schoenlib during a contest held four years.
After a recent near miss with a car and a bicycle, the need for a stop
sign at the alley behind the playground and Third Street was discussed.
A sign will be posted by the weekend.
Deputy Adam Haycox has been assigned as the liaison between the village
and the Union County Sheriff Department. County golf cart inspection
regulations are in place and council  has adopted an ordinance requiring
compliance with the regulations.   Deputy Rod Wilson is in charge of inspections.
Phil Rausch reported that the Fire Awareness Week activities at the
Pleasant Valley Fire Station in October were well attended. The expected
delivery of the new fire truck is March 2008.
There will be a special budget meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 27 at 6:30 p.m.
The next regular meeting will be on Tuesday, Dec. 11. Village children
are invited to come visit Santa at 6 p.m. prior to the start of the meeting.
Council members in attendance were Ron Griffith, Mary Lou Morris, Phil
Rausch, Brenda Terry, Peggy Williamson, mayor Denver Thompson and
clerk-treasurer Tracy Rausch.

Nationwide gives $108,319 to United Way of U.C
Editor's note: The following information is supplied by Dave Bezusko of
the United Way of Union County.
For the second year in a row, donor designations to United Way of Union
County from one Columbus-based company will surpass the $100,000 mark.
Nationwide released its 2007 United Way campaign results Thursday with
$108,319 of the $17.5 million raised by the insurance company being
earmarked for Union County.
Sixty six percent of Nationwide associates participated in the company's
fundraiser, giving $8,751,031.65. Nationwide Foundation then adds a
100-percent corporate match.
"It is a direct reflection of the values of 'Nationwiders' around the
country," said Mike Lex, Nationwide's 2007 United Way Campaign Chair.
"They give for the right reasons. They give from the heart."
This marks the third year in a row that Nationwide will be United Way of
Union County's second largest workplace campaign, behind Honda of
America ? despite the fact that it is not located in Union County.
"These are still local donors doing the contributing," said Dave
Bezusko, United Way of Union County's Campaign and PR Director. "We have
a large number of commuters who live here and drive to work at
Nationwide's offices in the Tuttle area in Dublin or all the way to
downtown Columbus. We encourage all Union County residents to 'Give
where you Live' and allow your charitable dollar to strengthen your own neighborhood.
"But then you combine that with a $54,000 corporate match from a
corporate partner that's really reaching out into the communities where
its associates and customers live. That's really incredible generosity."
The announcement at Nationwide Thursday takes United Way of Union
County's 2007 campaign total to $604,563, or 76 percent of the
organization's $800,000 goal..
For more information, those interested may visit

Burke  kicks off campaign for state office

From J-T staff reports
This week Marysville City Council vice president Dave Burke will kick
off his campaign to become State Representative for Ohio's 83rd District.
On Wednesday at 6 p.m. Burke will hold a gathering at his store, Dave's
Pharmacy, located at 411 W. Fifth St.
When not serving on Marysville City Council, Burke and his wife, Donna,
are both pharmacists. They opened Dave's Pharmacy in 1997 and now employ
12 people and fill 2000 prescriptions each week. Burke was awarded the
2006 Business Leader of the Year Award by the Marysville Chamber of
Commerce for his positive leadership impact on Union County. He was also
recognized by The Union County Health Department as the 2002 Healthcare
Partner of the Year Award winner for being the person with the most
positive impact on public health.
"Somewhere along the line, things got off track in Ohio and now it is
time to continue work on these difficult issues with a new spirit,"
Burke said. "The challenges of healthcare, economic development and
education still require work in our statehouse. As a pharmacist, I hope
to add a voice of reason to the healthcare debate and educate my
colleagues about the possible savings that can be had within the
healthcare industry. I also realize that economic development is always
a top priority of government and that we must prepare our children for
an increasingly competitive world."
Burke was adopted at two months of age and raised in Marion County. He
graduated from both St. Mary's elementary and Marion Catholic High
School. He received a pharmacy degree from Ohio Northern University and
an MBA from Capital University. He has been married to Donna for over 16
years and has two children, Alexandra, 8, and Adam, 4.
To learn more about the Team Burke Campaign go on-line at

P.C. Council discusses insurance change
Plain City Council voted Monday night to change insurance for village
employees and the move may or may not save the village some money.
Frank Harmon, of the Ohio Insurance Services Agency, Inc., reported that
Anthem, the village's medical insurance provider, offered a renewal rate
was lower than last year, but still high.
"Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to matter if the renewal rate is higher
or lower, they are still a large part of everybody's expenses," Harmon
told Village council and the mayor Monday evening.
He said that since the village has been with Anthem for a while, maybe
it was time to "shop around a little bit."
Harmon suggested a health reimbursement plan, similar to the one he
proposed at Jerome Township and Pleasant Valley Fire District. Under the
newly passed Medical Mutual program, members would have a higher
deductible than the current Anthem plan's. However, Harmon said the
Medical Mutual plan is a health reimbursement plan, which means the
member will pay the deductible, then submit the bills to OISA, which
will reimburse the member and pass the cost on to the township.
He said because the plan has a higher deductible, the plan helps
employees "get some of those benefits back they lost a couple of years ago."
Harmon guaranteed village officials that reimbursements would be paid
with-in five days. He also said OISA would issue reimbursements just off
a doctor's receipt. He said that is especially helpful for families that
may have several members sick at the same time, "so there is no big out
outlay of cash on their part."
For the village, the reimbursement plan would save the village $23,000.
However, the reimbursements and administration fees could cost the
village as much as $28,800. Harmon stressed that most groups under the
reimbursement plan only spend 50 to 60 percent of their possible maximum
in reimbursements. He said that if the village is "typical" it would
mean a savings of about $5,000.
"And I think the employees are going to see the advantage of a little
bit better designed plan, less out of pocket expenses and a better
overall drug card," Harmon told village officials.
The OISA representative said it would be best for the village to make a
decision on the plan quickly "so we are not cutting it so close," and so
plan members could get identification cards and drug cards before Dec.
1, when the Anthem plan expires.
Council president pro-tem Bob Walter wanted to make sure procedures
performed under the Anthem plan, but not billed until after Dec. 1 would
still get paid. Harmon said members have 12 months from the time the
expense is incurred to bill the insurance company, even if the member is
no longer with the insurance company.
Walter also worried that members may need to find new doctors.
"If there is a big difference between the two plans, it could be
difficult for employees to make a decision in a hurry about their health
care professional and I am not keen on that," Walter said.
Harmon said plan members would need to see doctors in the Medical Mutual
network to be covered, but said there is about a 98 percent match-up of physicians.
Councilman Mark Hostetler asked if council needed to get the opinion of
village employees before approving the insurance plan. Mayor Sandy
Adkins said they did not.
Village Administrator/Police Chief Steve Hilbert said he had reviewed the plan.
"I think it is probably the first step towards going to a (health
savings account)," Hilbert said. "But it is something we need to look at
and this seems like a pretty good plan."
Harmon said there is an added benefit to the plan. He said with greater
upfront costs, even though they will be reimbursed, patients are more
likely to monitor their own costs. He said many insurance plans have,
"turned consumers into sheep" never questioning their doctors. With the
added upfront costs, members are less likely to pay for "unnecessary" procedures.
"It is different, but different in a good way," Harmon said.

Busing change proposed for Marysville
Cost saving measures proposed after levy defeat

Changes are in order for pupils transported by bus in the Marysville
School District, and those changes will "definitely" be effective by
Jan. 1, according to superintendent Larry Zimmerman.
The school district needs to trim 400 miles off its daily transportation
routes, Zimmerman said, a procedure which would save an estimated
$104,000. This will be accomplished by moving to a two-mile limit for
pupils in grades kindergarten through 12, flexible start/dismissal times
at various buildings or a combination of these measures.
Currently, pupils living more than a mile away from their school are
transported. School board president Roy Fraker said he would hate to see
that distance extended because not all Marysville neighborhoods have
sidewalks on which pupils could walk.
Zimmerman said he understood that, but if a two-mile limit was
implemented only on routes that had sidewalks, "we're still going to be
driving an awful lot of miles."
Zimmerman presented a list of "Proposed Immediate Reductions to Meet
(the) 2008 Financial Shortfall" at a special board meeting Monday night.
The reductions are in response to the Nov. 6 defeat of the district's
five-year, 4.75-mill operating levy - the same issue that also was
defeated Aug. 7.
Because of the issue's defeat, Zimmerman said, there will be no new
money coming into the school district until 2009 which means school
officials must "under spend" the remainder of the 2007-2008 school year
and the beginning of the 2008-2009 school year.
"It's not a meeting I want to have but what we're going to have,"
Zimmerman said, to the board members and the small group of staff and
visitors assembled.
He and board members then discussed pay-to-participate fees and fees to
transport pupils involved in extracurricular activities, decreasing
costs in food service, reducing thermostat temperatures, lighting and
water usage in buildings, "neutralizing" benefit costs and increasing
the fees charged for building use, among other things.
The district could realize a savings of about $18,000 by eliminating
drug testing for athletes, a measure which Zimmerman said he "had
already put on hold" for the start of the winter sports season.
It also could save $36,000 by eliminating in-school suspension at
Creekview Intermediate School, the middle school and the high school,
and could realize up to $58,000 in savings by eliminating the school
resource officers at the middle and high school and eliminating crossing guards.
Board member Bill Hayes suggested Zimmerman prioritize extracurricular
activities with the idea of eliminating some.
Zimmerman said he remembered when the district had fifth grade band and
a strings program. Those programs were reduced years ago when the
district faced another financial crisis and never returned.
Zimmerman said whether the new intermediate/middle school on Route 4
opens for the 2008-2009 school year "remains to be seen." But if it does
open, "we must try to do it with current staff which will be very difficult to do."
In an e-mail to the Journal-Tribune this morning, Zimmerman said the
school district has already saved approximately $800,000 by not
replacing staff even though the school district grew by more than 100
new students. It also will not be buying computers, textbooks,
technology equipment and other classroom equipment, not making scheduled
repairs to buildings and not purchasing the scheduled number of
replacement buses. It has already reduced paper usage and copier usage, he said.
"With the additional reductions we discussed last night it is our goal
to hopefully save another $800,000 to $1 million between now and June
30," the e-mail message read.
Zimmerman and treasurer Delores "Dee" Cramer also talked briefly about
putting another issue on the March primary ballot.
If a similar issue is going to be on the March 4 ballot, it has to be
certified by Union County Auditor Mary Snider by Dec. 10, and presented
to the board of elections by Dec. 20.
If the school district wishes to place an emergency levy on the March 4
ballot, it must be certified by Snider by Dec. 14 before being presented
to the Union County Board of Elections by Dec. 20.
 In an emergency levy, the school district would request a dollar
amount, Cramer said, and Snider would certify the amount of millage
required to raise that amount.

Local officials push legislation on prescription drug abuse

When Justin Phelps ingested the morphine that ultimately killed him, the
pills were not illegal.
The woman who gave them to the young man, Marsha A. Shoemaker, never
took any of the pills and lied to her doctor to get them so she could
trade them for marijuana. But because the doctor wrote her the
prescription, it was perfectly legal to have the drugs.
Under a new state law, proposed by Union County Prosecutor David
Phillips and the Union County Sheriff's Office, because Shoemaker lied
to get the drugs, it would be illegal for her, or anyone else to possess them.
"The problem is, once you lie to your doctor to get the prescription,
you can legally have the drugs. Nothing in the current law requires the
prescription to be lawful" Phillips said of the current law. "It makes no sense."
"Knowing it was a problem, Mike Justice and I worked at getting a bill
together and Rep. Tony Core has been tremendously helpful in getting it
introduced and helping us with the process."
The bill makes the law specific that drugs must be obtained using a
"lawful prescription" defined as "a prescription that is issued for a
legitimate medical purpose by a licensed health professional authorized
to prescribe drugs, that is not altered or forged, and that was not
obtained by means of deception or by the commission of any theft offense."
The bill also increases the penalty for the offenses of deception to
obtain a dangerous drug and possession of drugs, if a larger amount of
drugs are obtained or if they are obtained using a preprinted blank
prescription pad. Additionally, charges would increase if the offender
has previously been convicted of a drug abuse offense.
"I wouldn't say it was unique to Union County, but it certainly is a
problem here, so we are working to address it," Phillips said. "We
continue to work on other issues, like the illicit drugs - cocaine and
such - but this seems to be a more widespread problem here."
Rep. Core said that as he talked to lawmakers from other areas, "We came
to find out a lot of other counties had the same problem."
In addition to reacting to local cases, the bill was also in response to
an appellate court suggestion. In a 2002 Cuyahoga County prescription
drugs case, the trial court dismissed possession charges against a woman
because he had a prescription for the drugs, despite the fact that he
lied to his doctor to obtain it. The appellate court affirmed the trial
courts decision, but expressed displeasure in doing so,
"Understandably, this court would urge the legislature to revisit this
issue and clearly make the distinction between lawfully obtained
prescriptions and those prescriptions that were obtained utilizing
deceptive and deceitful practices," wrote Judge Frank Celebrezze Jr., of
the eighth appellate district.
While it is a problem statewide that needs addressed, for Justice it is
still a local issue.
"It was a culmination of several things, working the drug end for the
county, it is just such a big issue for Union County," Justice said. "In
the last seven years we have seen such a jump in doctor shopping, lying
to a doctor charges."
That doctor shopping for drugs has had fatal effects in Union County.
"In the past seven years we have had about 20 drug-related deaths,"
Phillips said. "All but one of them is related to prescription drug overdose."
He said in the last few years, an 18-year-old, a 21-year-old and a
14-year-old have died of prescription drug overdoses.
"In my discussions with doctors and the medical examiner, they recognize
prescription drug abuse is a problem," Phillips said.
In addition to legislators, other organizations have noted there is a
problem with doctor shopping. The prosecutor said those agencies have
reviewed the potential legislation.
"It has good support from the various interested parties," Phillips
said. Those parties include the Ohio Pharmacists Association, the Ohio
Prosecuting Attorneys' Association and the Buckeye State Sheriff's Association.
Thus far, Phillips and Justice have testified in front of the Ohio House
of Representatives Criminal Justice Committee and the Ohio Senate's
Judiciary Committee for Criminal Justice.
"Our bill has overwhelming support," Core said.
In fact, the bill passed the house 99-0 before being moved to the
Senate. So overwhelming is the bill's support that other legislators
have worked to add an amendment to it. The amendment would add a $5
charge to all traffic offense fines. The charge would be used to fund
multi-jurisdictional drug task forces. Core said more legislators are
trying to add even more amendments to the bill.
"I am kind of trying to fend these off," he said, noting that he hopes
the amendment does not erode support for the original bill. "I am trying
to keep our bill as clean and simple as possible."
Since the Senate changed the bill, once it is approved by the Senate, it
will be returned to the House for its approval again. Core said he hopes
the process moves quickly and the bill is passed by both the House and
the Senate next time both are in session together, the middle of December.
Justice said he is glad the bill is moving rapidly.
"I am very pleased it is going that smoothly," Justice said. "I think it
will have a great impact, not only in our county, but statewide, and
hopefully we can curb some of this and keep kids from drugs. I think the
leadership that Dave Phillips has shown and the progressive law
enforcement of the sheriff's office, working together has really been a
positive for Union County and the state."

Pregnancy Care Center hopes to reach more individuals

The Pregnancy Care Center of Union County has decided to take a more
direct approach when it comes to fundraising. The organization had 717
client visits within the last year and it wants to do even more.
Tina Hill, PCC director, along with her board and volunteers, are hoping
that by pooling resources and taking a "each one-reach one" attitude,
the center can grow its funding and touch the lives of those who are in
need of support.
"I'm very excited for this year's banquet and the speaker, Peggy
Hartshorn, president of Heartbeat International, is a pioneer in
pregnancy care centers," Hill said.
Migon Drummond, along with her husband Jay, are PCC volunteers and this
year's Table Host Coordinators for the 16th annual PCC fundraising
banquet which was held at Karen's Event Center Thursday evening.
"The four things that the center does is support women facing unplanned
pregnancies, women needing post-abortion support, those seeking
abstinence education and help with grieving after a miscarriage," Drummond said.
The Drummonds became involved in the ministry earlier this year after
moving to the area in 2006. They have one daughter, and Drummond left
her career as a national account manager for a Fortune 500 company to
become a stay-at-home mom.
Drummond said she was looking for a way to both support a ministry she
felt passionately about and utilize the skills she developed while
working in the corporate world.
"PCC does a great job of providing education, prevention and
intervention as well as resources for their clients," she explained.
"The center's first priority is to teach abstinence and the second is to
prevent against sexually transmitted diseases."
The 2007 budget for the center was approximately $53,000 of which all
funding came from a collective community of individual donations, local
churches and local businesses.
This year will be the second year the banquet has been held at Karen's
Event Center. Drummond said the advantage to the location is it allows
community members to join together and support a great
non-denominational ministry while enjoying a meal and a special speaker.
"The dinner has been underwritten by various sponsors to afford people
the opportunity to learn about the PCC and accept ownership of the
ministry through financial support," she said.
The center chose to go with a table host system this year as a way of
reaching other potential donors through a personal one-on-one relationship.
"The board decided we needed a different approach which is relational
people to people," Drummond said.
The purpose of the event is to be a fundraiser, as 60 percent of the
annual budget is generated at the banquet each year.
"It's a fundraising strategy and one of the purposes of the banquet is
to raise funds."
In addition to aiming for a $75,000 budget for 2008, the center wants to
expand in three ways: Virtually via the Internet, physically via office
space and materially in resources provided for clients.
"A huge goal for 2008 is increasing awareness for our ministry,"
Drummond said, "It's not only economically disadvantaged women who need
our help, as some people would think, we are here for all women and
families facing issues related to pregnancy."
Hill said she wants the community to understand that the center doesn't
just provide material support but also emotional support.
"We are here to walk those families through the maze of an unplanned
pregnancy," Hill said.
Hill hopes to hire someone in 2008 who will exclusively take on client
services because the center anticipates more clients as the county
continues to grow.
"We can always use more volunteers to help with client flow and office
work," Hill said. "And we can always use more people to help with our
board and our banquet team."
Hill, said the center's office located at 825 W. Sixth St., will
schedule appointments from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and
open walk-in hours are 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
For more information about the Pregnancy Care Center, those interested
may call 642-5683.

Kiwanis project has members checking on seniors
From J-T staff reports
The Kiwanis Club of Marysville recently announced a new service project,
uniting the Mobile Meals Program, the Marysville Fire Department and
Heartland of Marysville Nursing Home.
Kiwanis members are reportedly riding along on several Mobile Meals
routes to check the status of smoke detectors in the homes of Mobile
Meal recipients who have requested the service. Members will check
detectors to be sure they are operating correctly and will change
batteries when necessary. Heartland of Marysville Nursing Home will be
donating all of the batteries.
The club stated that smoke detectors should be installed flat against
the ceiling on each floor of a home and in each bedroom.
The Kiwanis organization reported in a recent press release that if its
members find a smoke detector that is not functioning correctly, they
will report the find to Mobile Meals coordinator Beth Reschke, who will
in turn contact the Marysville Fire Department to provide a brand new
smoke detector to the resident.
The Marysville Fire Department currently has about 800 smoke detectors,
secured through a federal grant. Due to the terms of the grant, the
department will only be able to issue detectors to residents in the
Marysville Fire District. If necessary, smoke detectors should be
available from other local township fire departments.
Kiwanis reported that 55 Mobile Meals recipients have requested the
detectors. The Kiwanis Club plans to offer this project twice a year
around each Daylight Savings Time change.
For more information on the smoke detector program, residents may
contact Kiwanian Henk Berbee at 642-0511.
The Marysville Division of Fire reported that approximately 1,000
children under the age of 20 die each year in home fires. Eighty percent
of fatal home fire victims who were children were killed in homes
without working smoke alarms. Adults over age 75 are three times more
likely to die in home fires than the rest of the population; those over
85 are 4 1/2 times more likely to die in a home fire. Many seniors are
unable to escape quickly. Many low-income families are unable to afford
batteries for their smoke alarms.

Income tax an option for new fire station
Marysville Fire Department officials recently discussed income tax levy
options to pay for the future Marysville Fire Department station at an
undetermined site and are making plans to visit other stations in the
region to pick up design tips.
While funding does not currently exist in Marysville's City Budget to
build the new Marysville Fire Department station, city officials gave
the green light toward paying for the designing of the building in order
to keep the process moving.
On Oct. 29 the Marysville Public Safety Committee met to review funding
and a list of specifications for engineering work that has been completed.
Members also discussed possible dates to take a field trip to tour three
relatively new regional fire stations in order to get a perspective on
positive and negative aspects of construction and station components.
According to the meeting minutes, members decided to make plans to visit
three fire stations. One on Lazelle Road, one in Mt. Vernon and another
in Newark. The buildings were designed by Kellam and Associates,
currently designing the architecture for the Marysville Fire Department
building. Some dates being considered for the trip include Nov. 16 or 26
or Dec. 7, 12, 13 or 14.
The minutes also laid out possible assumptions that the future fire
station would be a two-story structure, with living quarters and a
kitchen upstairs and a community room. The building would ideally sit on
three to five acres of land.
Committee member John Marshall said one question still remaining is
whether the building being designed is going to be a replacement station
with room for additions, or if it is going to be a second station to
assist the current Main Street fire location.
City officials have previously discussed the option of combining the new
fire station with a new police department building. In order to
accomplish a project of this scope, an income tax levy would need to be
presented to voters. The proposed location of the building has centered
around land on the Ohio Reformatory for Women property because of its
easy access to the highways.
Marshall said that they need to be looking at all their options and that
includes the need for attention toward first-responder services, such as
the Marysville Police Department.
"If we ask people for a tax increase, we need to have a specific plan,"
Marshall said in meeting minutes. "(We) need to have public input to
receive their general opinion. People want to know what their money is
going for."
He said if the building being designed is to replace the current one,
where is it going to go? He said if they are going to pursue the ORW
land, they need to move quickly because it will take a year or more to
get through the legislature.
City administrator Kathy House said that the existing building on Main
Street does not "suffice" as the sole fire station. She recommended a
new main station be constructed, with a master plan for a second fire
station in the future. She recommended city finance director John
Morehart figure out how much revenue various percentage
increase would generate.
Marshall said they need to raise just enough to offset what the city
already has in the budget.
"This would pay for the building and pay it in cash going forward,"
Marshall said, according to meeting minutes. "(We) need a plan to
upgrade services over a period of time, and get caught up without going
into debt, a plan to build buildings and a plan to replace equipment."
City engineer Phil Roush said that asking voters for a 1 percent tax
would bring in $7 million per year, which is currently the combined
amount of the fire and police department budget. Feasibly, the budget
should be $10 million to $12 million.
"They are both scratching to keep up their services," Roush said about
the fire and police services, "because they are extended as much as they can be."

'The pipeline is plugged'
Bumper corn crop has elevators full

A bumper corn crop is causing some local farmers a problem, but it is a
good problem they say.
"It is a little bit frustrating," said Wes Leeper, a Marysville area
farmer. "But in general, I think the farmers are still pretty happy
because it is a good yield and a good yield equals dollars."
 John Hixson, Ohio State University agricultural officer for Union
County said the overwhelming yield is, "surprising, given the dry
weather we had this summer."
The frustrating good problem the farmers are having is what to do with
all the corn.
"All of the on-farm storage is full or nearly full," Hixson said.
Andy Thomas, a Jerome Township farmer, said he is down to about 20
percent of his crops yet to harvest.
"But my bins will be full today," Thomas said this morning. "I am going
to have to go to flat storage for the first time in five years. But that
will only be a day or two hold."
For some farmers, on-farm storage has been full for weeks for many
farmers and local grain elevators are experiencing the same problem.
"Most of the grain elevators have been closed because they don't have
room either," Hixson said.
Ed Nienaber, grain merchandising manager for Champaign Landmark said it
isn't just the grain elevators in Union County.
"Just about everyone has been struggling with it," he confirmed.
Farmers have had to drive further away to larger elevators with more
storage and better options to haul grain away.
Leeper said he has driven as far as Kenton, only to sit in line for
hours to unload his corn. He said he sometimes sits as long as three hours.
"We get there early," Leeper said. "They start taking corn at 7:30 a.m.
The other morning we were there at 6 or 6:30 a.m. and we were like 10th
or 12th in line. That's not too bad, but when you go back up, you're
going to sit in line."
He added, "it is just making us work more hours, and then you are not as
efficient because you are waiting in line,"
Leeper said it is not so bad for him as he has a semi-truck to haul the
corn and doesn't need to make as many trips to the elevator.
"For some of the little farmers, it is more inconvenient," Leeper said.
Nienaber said he understands the frustration of some farmers, but after
more than 30 years in the business, he just takes it in stride.
"Anytime we have the kind of bumper crop we had this year, you are going
to have this type of problem."
He said the high crop yield was the result of, "a combination of a lot
of things coming together to cause gridlock."
Nienaber said farmers, in general, increased their corn acreage by about
10 percent. He said farmers are also seeing about 20 bushels per acre of
increased production.
Thomas agreed and stressed that there have been no rainy days when
farmers would not be in the fields harvesting.
"The harvest has come in quickly," Thomas said.
He added, "as far as field work goes, this has been an excellent fall for that."
Thomas said he hopes the weather holds because farmers may need to stop
harvesting until storage options open up.
"You may get to the point where you will see corn still standing, not
because it can't be harvested, but because there is no place to put it.
The pipeline is plugged," he said.
Nienaber said between the weather, the prices and the yield, storage
shouldn't get the farmers down.
"I would think they would be ecstatic," the Champaign Landmark
representative said. "The price is still high. I would think, for most
farmers, it would have to be the best 12 months they have been through."
While the yield is great for the farmers, Nienaber said it has been
"challenging." He said there is only so much grain elevators can do to
ease the backlog for farmers.
"I think we are doing a great job, but there is just so much corn, it
has just come at us so fast and so furious," Nienaber said. "There is
only so much fobing capacity (ability to move the grain away from the
elevators and bins). We are moving bushels and trying to make space. We
are doing everything we can to try to accommodate them."
"A lot of farmers have just built more bins and they are filling them up
just about as quick as they are being built," said Hixson. "Most of the
elevators are having to haul grain away before they have room for more."
Even that has been tough Nienaber said.
"Rail cars just haven't been moving like we need them to," Nienaber
said. "There has been no breaks in the weather to let us catch up. It
has been hard to stay open."
In fact, many of Champaign Landmark's elevators have closed until corn
can be moved and storage room made. Local farmers have been abuzz with a
rumor that the Marysville grain elevator will be open today and
Saturday. When Leeper got confirmation the rumor was true, he offered a
bit of farmerly advice.
"Just be ready for lines, because they will be lined up." Leeper said.
Nienaber said there is some relief in sight with railcars finally moving.
"There is a light at the end of the tunnel," Nienaber said. "Trains are
starting to come in, both in Mechanicsburg and Urbana."
But, he warned, it may take 10 days.
"We are going to get going and help them get through," Nienaber said.
That's good news, Thomas said, because there are still crops to be
gathered and the hardest part is still ahead of the farmers.
"This last 10 to 20 percent is going to be the hardest to find space
for," Thomas said. "It is going to be difficult. Where do you put it?"

Family's tradition stands the test of time
Starting a tradition is easy, keeping a tradition going takes
dedication. Lucky for five Milford Center Clark sisters that it runs in the family.
Timeless Together is a group of women who have met for brunch on New
Year's Eve since 1999 to catch up with friends, reflect on the previous
12 months and look forward to the year ahead.
This year the group will host an arts and crafts show, titled "Timeless
Christmas," at the Houston House to showcase the many talents of its
members. It will be held Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Julia Byers had no idea when she invited her four sisters and their best
friends for a morning of pampering eight years ago that her little
get-together would grow to 30 members ranging in age from 13-85.
"All of us were so busy in our lives that by making a yearly commitment
it helped us to keep in better touch with family and friends," Byers explained.
Julia, along with her sisters Dawn Burger, Melody Cunningham, Jinny
Clark and Mary Poeschel, were all raised in Milford Center, along with
their brothers, David, Chuck, and John.
All but one of the sisters have remained local, but the family as a
whole makes it a top priority to put family and friends first.
The New Year's Eve group has grown to include three generations of
women, including mom Phyllis Clark and her sisters, Virginia Davis and Ellen Organ.
In addition, the five sisters have brought along their daughters, nieces
and granddaughters and many friends both old and new to participate in
the yearly gathering.
Some of the friendships have weathered divorces and the passing of loved ones.
The group's name came after Byers went on a shopping trip in search of a
box to store photos from each of the year's gatherings. She happened
upon the perfect photo box with a picture of a woman's wristwatch on the lid.
"The watch is actually set to a few minutes after 10 which is ironic
since we always mean to begin 10 a.m. on New Year's but never get
started right on time," Byers said. "The wording on the box said
'Timeless Together' which we adopted as our official name."
The group has gathered each year at various homes, community and church
buildings, local restaurants and for the past two years at The Houston House.
Each year the sisters have taken turns choosing a theme for the
gatherings, such as making ceramics, playing games or storytelling.
Burger's daughter, Hope, 34, said the group is an extension of what she
considers to be important.
"I'm really close with my family and it's important to keep those ties,"
Hope said. "They aren't just my family, they are my friends."
The idea for the Timeless Christmas became the next logical step for a
group that already celebrated one another's successes.
At last year's gathering, Poeschel suggested that anyone interested join
the sisters and participate in an arts and crafts show. The result is 20 exhibitors.
Poeschel resides in Michigan with her family and specializes in original drawings.
She will be selling some of her original photos at the November show. In
addition she has created an original drawing of the Union County
Veteran's Memorial. Poeschel will sell prints of the original and donate
10 percent of all sales to the Union County Veteran's organization.
Poeschel said there will be a wide variety of unique things at the show,
including jewelry, quilts, Ohio State themed gifts, kitchen items,
homemade candy, and Christmas decorations.
Virginia Davis, 85, is the group's oldest member and will be selling her
plastic canvas doorstops and recipe boxes.
Davis said she is thankful that the group gets together every year
because she looks forward to catching up with everyone.
"I'm the oldest and I worry I won't be around much longer," Davis said.
Byers, who was the group's first official host, will be selling bath
salts, photography and sewing kits.
"The advantage of doing the craft show is we've had the opportunity to
see each other more since we've been gathering for monthly planning
meetings all year."
The women hope that the arts and crafts show becomes another annual
tradition as they will continue to meet on New Year's Eve for Auld Lang Syne.
For more information about the art and craft show contact Byers at

IFC celebrates 20 years

It all began 20-some years ago when two Marysville women reached out to
their "sisters" from across the Pacific Ocean. Since then, the
International Family Center of Union County has outgrown its original
headquarters and expanded its outreach to roughly 115 families residing
in Union County and its contiguous area.
The organization will hold its annual International Festival tonight
from 6 to 8 p.m. at 18000 Route 4, Suite C (the Union County Ag Services Building).
The IFC began with a discussion in Tokyo, Japan. Marysville teacher
Betty Wolstenholme, who was one of six teachers from Dublin, Marysville
and the Bellefontaine area on a Honda-sponsored trip to schools in
Tokyo, and Pat and then-Marysville Mayor Tom Nuckles - who were part of
the business contingent visiting Honda headquarters - were having dinner
when Pat Nuckles mentioned that she carried a book of matches from her
hotel room so she could communicate with the taxi driver about where they were staying.
The cultures are quite different, Pat Nuckles noted, and the language barrier large.
One of the Honda people responded, "How do you think the Japanese women
feel when they are sent to the United States?"
The adjustment seemed to be most difficult for the wives of the Honda
executives, they noted. After all, Japanese children were learning the
English language at school and the husbands at work. The women, however,
were mostly homebound and uncomfortable about venturing outside the home
because of their inability to communicate.
A seed was planted.
Pat Nuckles and Wolstenholme later talked about the Honda executive's
remarks and "decided to do something about it," said Nuckles.
Investigation showed that Marysville and the Union County area were home
to numerous international families, not only from Japan, but from as
many as 20 different countries. So the women established an eight-member
board of directors, goal statements were formulated and program options
were explored. Articles of incorporation were filed. A room above the
Nuckles insurance agency at Fourth and Maple streets was utilized as a
meeting room, and a name and logo were selected.
An orientation meeting was held, with 30 people in attendance. The first
activity was a Valentine's Day brunch for international and American
wives on Feb. 13, 1987. That was followed by a membership meeting in
March and a tour of the office facilities.
"The first year, Honda was very helpful, but we were more or less on our
own," Pat Nuckles said.
Money was short, but fundraisers were not, including style shows and a
downtown autumn arts festival.
"Just about anything we could think of that would make us some money,"
Pat Nuckles said.
During the first year, the IFC recruited 25 host families, 25 volunteers
and 87 members. Monthly programs were held during the months of
September through May. An annual meeting and international dinner were held.
In its first year, the IFC served 34 international families. In 2007,
that number has grown to 115. In 2005, there were 28 international
individuals taking English as a second language classes. In 2006-2007,
there were 56 students enrolled.
Current international families residing in Union County represent Japan,
Korea, Vietnam, Lebanon, the Philippines, Thailand, China, Ukraine,
Costa Rica, Honduras, Switzerland, Algeria, Nicaragua, Uruguay, South
Africa, Mexico, Colombia, Haiti, Venezuela, Peru, India, Scotland,
Guatemala, Czech Republic, Chile, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Bolivia, Canada,
Sweden, El Salvador and Great Britain.
Wolstenholme, who has since retired to Florida, served as the first
executive director, with Pat Nuckles at her side as assistant director.
Eventually, Ann Skidmore, a retired school teacher, was hired.  She was
succeeded by Thelma Carlson, Bertha Bearden and Barbara Davis.
Current director is Lorli Patterson who was hired in October 2005. A
Marysville resident since 1997 after moving from Richwood, Patterson was
introduced to the IFC by another Filipino friend who also lives in Marysville.
At the time of her hiring, she was involved with the IFC as a
contractual ESL instructor.
"I have been involved since then," she said.
Music, entertainment and food samples from around the world will be part
of tonight's International Festival and displays from Peru, the
Philippines, Mexico, Japan, Venezuela and England will be featured.
Additional information may be obtained by calling 644-4646.

Gillmor to run for Mumper's Senate seat
From J-T staff reports
Union County will have a new state Senator in 2009.
Sen. Larry Mumper has held the Ohio Senate seat representing the 26th
District which includes Union, Logan, Marion, Crawford, Wyandot,
Sandusky and parts of Seneca and Ottawa counties but cannot run again
because of term limits.
Karen Gillmor (R-Tiffin) announced Wednesday that in 2008 she will run
for the seat which she previously held for two terms.
"With the full support of my family and the encouragement of many
throughout north central Ohio, I am announcing today that I will ask the
voters of the 26th Senate District to return me to the Ohio Senate as
their senator," Gillmor said.
Gillmor was elected in 1992 to the first of two terms in the State
Senate representing the 26th District. As state senator, Gillmor was the
chair of two senate committees, the vice chair of one senate committee,
and a member of numerous other committees.
She said she is concerned about the "brain drain" from Ohio.
"Too many of Ohio's brightest are leaving our state," Gillmor said. "As
your state senator, I intend to work with my colleagues to improve
opportunity right here in Ohio. I am troubled by the fact that while
other areas of the country have enjoyed healthy economic expansion, Ohio
has lagged behind."
Gillmor addressed the need to provide high quality education, reduce the
cost of doing business in Ohio, the rising cost of health care, Ohio's
tax burden on its citizens and maintenance of Ohio's infrastructure.
During the announcement, Gillmor highlighted accomplishments
representing the 26th Senate District, including tax breaks for family
friendly business and bringing more than 400 new businesses to the area.
Gillmor is the widow of Congressman Paul Gillmor who died Sept. 5, 2007
after apparently falling down the stairs at his Washington apartment.
She had considered running for the Congressional seat vacated when her
husband died, but chose instead to run for the Senate seat so she could
stay in Ohio and raise her family. She has three sons and two daughters.
At her announcement, Gillmor stressed the importance of family.
"I have been blessed with multiple titles in my life," Gillmor said. "My
two favorite, of course, are 'Mom' and 'Mrs. Paul Gillmor.' With the
support of my children, today I humbly ask the voters of the 26th
District to once again give me the title of 'Senator.'"
She continued, saying, "I learned from Paul and from many of you that
government at all levels must be about hope. As a parent, I feel the
very real responsibility to leave our children an Ohio and a country
that are in better shape than the ones we inherited from our parents.
That's what our parents did for us. We can do no less for our children.
With your vote, I will work with each of you to build an Ohio worthy of
our parents' legacy and worthy of our children's future."
Gillmor is a lifelong Ohioan. She earned a bachelor of arts degree with
honors from Michigan State University and a master of arts degree and a
Ph.D. from The Ohio State University. In addition to public service,
Gillmor has help positions in education, healthcare and finance.
In 1997, Gillmor received the first of two appointments to the State
Employment Relations Board. She now serves as vice chairman of the
board. She also currently serves as a trustee of Heidelberg College, the
Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center, the National First Ladies
Library, and the U.S. Capitol Childcare Center. She was also a member of
the Advisory Council to the Childhood League Center.
During her career in public service, Gillmor has received numerous
awards from groups representing education, medicine, ethics and
taxpayers. She was named the Ohio Outstanding Freshman Legislator by the
United Conservatives of Ohio and the National Outstanding Freshman
Legislator of the Year by the National Republican Legislators

Thirty years of service
Barry First retires as North Lewisburg administrator
North Lewisburg lost three decades of experience in October with the
retirement of village administrator Barry First.
First, 51, culminated 30 years of public service devoted to a community
that has been his home for more than 40 years.
"I came to work here on October 31, 1977," First said, "I was hired in
to perform maintenance on all the facilities and their operations."
First began serving the village in 1974 when he joined the Northeast
Champaign County Fire District.
He came up the ranks from firefighter to captain then assistant chief
before retiring in 1995.
First said for him public service has always been something he felt led to do.
"I was always compelled to help those that couldn't help themselves," he
explained, "Public service got into the bloodstream and stayed there."
As the village grew so did First's position. He was originally hired in
under the village's first administrator, Harry DeWitt.
In 1990, he was appointed to be the village's third administrator under
then Mayor Max Coates, who now serves as one of the Champaign County
First said working with Coates inspired him and together the two men
along with a cooperative village council and a supportive community made
many positive things happen in North Lewisburg.
"The Cherry Arbors retirement community and the library renovation in
2002 are two of my fondest projects," First said.
Cherry Arbors was built in 1993. The 40-unit complex was largely funded
through the federal HUD 202 project.
"We had nothing here before to assist the elderly," he explained,
"Cherry Arbors allows our local seniors to stay in their hometown with
friends and family."
The $2 million project was six years in the making and the one that
First said is probably closest to his heart.
First said a lot has changed over the last thirty years in North
Lewisburg including the annexation of more than 400 acres, the
construction of five housing developments and the doubling of the
population from 1,000 to 2,000 residents.
The village was the first in three counties (Champaign, Union and Logan)
to create an exclusive comprehensive plan, which outlines a
municipality's policies and goals for future planning. The village was
also the first in three counties to create subdivision regulations
outside of the three county seats.
"I was directly involved with helping the village receive over $11
million in local, state and federal funds which all went into our
infrastructure," he said.
Larger projects over the past 20 years have included two wastewater
treatment plant upgrades at a cost of $6 million, $3 million in 1995 for
the water treatment plant and second water tower, and $600,000 in 2006
for the two-mile multi-use path.
First plans to keep busy during retirement as he and his wife, Judy,
will continue to rehabilitate real estate that the couple owns in Logan
and Champaign County along with Tampa, Florida.
"We've touched, owned, bought or sold about one a year since 1987," he
said, "I'd definitely like to grow on that."
The couple lives on Railroad Street with their youngest daughter Julie.
Their older son Jerry lives with his family within the village.
First said he wants to take the winter off.
"I want to step back and take a look at everything," he said.
However, he doesn't rule out the possibility of coming back someday to
the serve the community that he holds so dear.
"It's not one individual that makes change, it takes the whole
community," First said, "The village has been lucky to have the
community's support and a council to accept, allow and pay for change."

Voters reject Marysville school levy for second time

For the second straight election, voters defeated a 4.75-mill, five-year
operating levy proposed by the Marysville Exempted Village School Board.
The measure was defeated by a 3,633 against, 3,176 for vote (53.36
percent against; 46.64 percent for), according to unofficial results
released by the Union County Board of Elections.
It was a closer vote than the Aug. 7 defeat of the same ballot issue.
That issue was defeated by a 2,305 to 1,263 margin (64.6 to 34.4 percent).
Tuesday night was a "tough night for Marysville Schools," said
superintendent Larry Zimmerman. "Today will also be hard ... and we have
some difficult 'tomorrows'," Zimmerman said in an e-mail response to a
request from the Journal-Tribune.
"This is a hard message to write. I love this school district and this
community, so the reductions we will have to make will be hard ... This
is a great school district that worked hard to become an 'excellent'
school district, the highest ranking in the state, and we do so without
spending even to state average. We are proud of that," Zimmerman
continued in his e-mail message.
Zimmerman said school officials will "react as leaders of a great school
district and do the things that need to be done. The students will be
looking to us for leadership and guidance. Yes, there will need to be
some changes and reductions. And yes, we may not be able to do
everything we planned to do. But, one thing will never change ... our
focus on the needs of our kids. They need us now as much as they ever have."
Zimmerman said he will work with the board of education, administrators
and staff members to reduce the school district's budget by roughly $2
to $3 million. Some reductions, service changes and fee increases will
start immediately, he said. But many cuts and service changes cannot be
implemented until the beginning of the 2008-2009 school year.
"To eliminate classes and/or courses in the middle of this current
school year will not be possible," he said.
By law, the school district must maintain a balanced budget, Zimmerman said.
At the Oct. 22 school board meeting, Zimmerman explained a list of
possible "student user fees" that would be recommended if the levy was
defeated. Dubbed "travel fees," the costs would offset costs incurred
when a group uses district transportation and included $200 per
participant in band, $150 per participant for football, basketball,
wrestling, swimming and show choir; $125 per participant for cross
country, baseball, softball and track, and so on.
The fees would be coupled with an increase in the district's
pay-to-participate fee which is currently $25 per activity.
Other cost savings measured were discussed at the Sept. 24 school board
meeting. They included a hiring freeze except for essential positions,
reducing or postponing textbook purchases, reducing the number of
educational tutors, operating buildings at higher air conditioning
temperatures and furnaces at lower heating temperatures, increasing
school lunches, eliminating "second team" opportunities at the middle
school level, limiting the number of extra curricular activities and
increasing the cost of facilities rental.
It has been years since the school district has had to deal with a
similar situation, Zimmerman added, but community growth and state
funding changes have squeezed district finances.
"Cutting back while also reacting to community growth will mean less for
our students," Zimmerman wrote. "But this school district made it
through tough times before and will do it again by always focusing on
what is best for kids using the resources we have available. It may be a
bit rocky and bumpy but our students are counting on us ... they only
get one chance at a K-12 education

Mental health, 911 issues pass
Union County voters were in the mood to say yes to most of the issues on
their ballots Tuesday.
According to unofficial results from the Union County Board of
Elections, Voters passed measures to fund the county's 911 system and
board of mental health and recovery, along with township public safety,
fire services, cemeteries and operating expenses. They also approved all
of the liquor initiatives in the county.
According to unofficial results from the Union County Board of
Elections, voters in every precinct of the county passed a five-year,
0.75-mill levy to fund the countywide 911 and public safety
communications system. Tuesday's unofficial local election results
showed that 7,392 residents voted to pass the levy, with 3,599 who voted against.
The levy will be effective this year. Currently the owner of a 100,000
home pays $14.18 for the 911 levy. With the passage of the new levy, the
same homeowner will pay $22.98. The levy will raise approximately $835,000 per year.
Allen Township Fire Chief Rod Goddard said this morning that the passage
of the levy was a relief to those in emergency services.
"We're going to keep striving to earn the respect of each and every resident," he said.
Goddard also responded to the question of whether recent high profile
crimes in Marysville may have underlined the importance of 911 services to residents.
"I just think there are a lot of people who have had personal
experiences with the service," Goddard said.
It can be hard for people to understand the need for 911 services, he
said, until they actually benefit from it. He said he was glad that
residents talked about the levy and debated the importance of it amongst themselves.
Union County Sheriff Rocky Nelson said this morning that he is grateful
that the levy passed, as well as the public safety officer levies in
Jerome and Millcreek Township.
"We have more work to do to gain the confidence of those who did not
vote for these levies," Nelson said. "There are emergencies every day
across Union County and as we saw with the terrible tragedy in Mill
Valley, the 911 system is very important to the safety and well being of
Union County residents. We will continue to provide needed services in a
professional manner through the 911 system and maintain the technology
that so many have come to depend on in a time of crisis."
"I must express my thanks to the many people who helped to educate and
share the important information about all three of these levies. Many of
my staff, as well as other first responders and private citizens, spent
a great deal of time answering questions and explaining how the 911
system and the PSOs benefit our communities and what they are capable of
accomplishing," Nelson said.
Voters countywide also approved a 10-year, 0.5-mills replacement levy to
provide money for the operation of mental health services and
facilities. The levy passed by a 6,402 to 4,599 margin. Currently the
owner of a 100,000 home in Union County pays $10.50. Under the newly
passed levy for which collection will begin in 2008, the same homeowner
will pay $15.32. The levy will raise approximately $585,000 per year.
"I was very pleased with the approval," said Mike Witzky, executive
director of the Union County Board of Mental Health and Recovery. "I
think this demonstrated that even in difficult times like we are
experiencing now, with finances and the economy, I think people realize
mental health services and recovery are important to make this a vital community."
Witzky credited the support from community leaders for the levy passage.
"I think the voters said, 'if these people that we know and respect are
in favor of the levy, it must be worth supporting."
Jerome and Millcreek Township voters passed levies to fund a dedicated
public service officer for the townships. In Jerome Township, the
approved levy was an additional 1.2-mills tax, to last five years and
will cost the owner of a $100,000 Jerome-Township home would pay $36.76.
The levy will raise approximately $202,000 per year. The Millcreek
Township levy is an additional 2-mills for five-years and will cost the
owner of a $100,000 home $61.24. The levy will raise approximately
$69,000 per year.
According to unofficial results from the Union County Board of
Elections, in Jerome Township the measure passed 541 votes, to 471
votes. In Millcreek Township, the vote was much closer as residents
passed the measure by just 17 votes.
Nelson said with the passage of the PSO levies in Jerome and Millcreek
townships, the sheriff's office will be able to continue to provide
dedicated police protection to the residents. He said the cooperative
relationship that has developed between the residents, trustees, county
commissioners, and deputies through this program results in a stronger
and safer community in this area of the county.
In York Township, 56 percent of votes approved a one-mill, five-year
replacement levy to begin this year. The approved levy raises the tax on
a $100,000 home from $17.96 to $30.62 per year. The levy will raise
approximately $24,800 per year.

Candidate roundup
Incumbents fare well in local races

There were relatively few surprises in Tuesday's general election as
incumbents and unopposed races dominated the day.
In Marysville, Chris Schmenk, 3,314 votes, was unopposed in her bid to
succeed current Mayor Tom Kruse. Each of the four Marysville City
Council seats were also uncontested as John E. Marshall garnered 996
votes in Ward 1, Daniel Fogt earned 556 votes in Ward 2, Deborah Groat
received 522 votes in Ward 3 and Nevin Taylor earned 913 votes in Ward 4.
Incumbent Roy Fraker was returned to the Marysville School District
Board of Education, earning 3,272 votes. John Freudenberg also won a
seat on the school board, pulling 3,004 votes to Gregg Buck's 2,801 votes.
The Fairbanks School District Board of Education saw a pair of
incumbents returned to their seats. According to unofficial results from
the Union and Madison County Boards of Election, Mark Lippencott, 914
votes, and David Huber, 802 votes, defeated newcomer Joe Hackney, 423 votes.
In the North Union School District, just two candidates were running for
two school board seats. Bryan Bumgarner received 1,077 votes and Jon
Hall received 1,045 votes.
Richwood voters returned current mayor Bill Nibert to city hall.
According to unofficial results from the Union County Board of
Elections, Nibert, with 205 votes, fended off challenges from former
councilwoman Wanda A. Blue with  164 votes, and Cynthia K. Blackburn,
with 97 votes. Von R. Beal and write-in candidate William S. Jerew were
elected to Richwood Council.
In Plain City there were no surprises as Mayor Sandy Adkins, 459 votes,
and councilmen Chris Johnston, 361 votes, and Robert Walter Jr., 360
votes, were all unopposed and returned to office according to unofficial
results from the Union and Madison County Boards of Election.
The Jonathan Alder School District had three open seats and three
candidates - Thomas Bichsel, 1,004 votes, Christine Blacka, 1,049 votes,
and Steve Votaw 1,077 votes.
Milford Center voters saw only unopposed races, approving Bob Mitchell,
132 votes, for mayor, Dawn Barnhardt, 113 votes, for clerk-treasurer,
and Anthony C. Smith, 125 votes, for village council. A village council
seat will remain open and will be up to council to fill.
In Magnetic Springs, no one ran for mayor. A write-in candidate for
clerk-treasurer, Melinda Ritchie, received seven votes. Carol Verity, 30
votes, and write-in candidate Martha Cantrell, five votes, won seats on
the Magnetic Springs Village Council.
Unionville Center councilman Denver B. Thompson Jr., will be the next
mayor in the village, earning 39 votes. Tracy Rausch, unopposed,
received 36 votes for Unionville Center fiscal officer. No one ran for
either open seat on Unionville Center Village Council. A write-in
candidate for village council, Philip S. Rausch, received nine votes.
The Triad School Board will welcome a new board member in January
however the face is very familiar.
Bill McDaniel, former teacher and athletic director for the district,
was elected with 530 votes. Current board members Chris Millice, 609
votes, and Randy Moore, 576 votes, were both re-elected defeating
Charles Keeran, 412 votes.
In the township races, according to unofficial results from the Union
County Board of Elections:
Don McCreary, 381 votes, defeated Dan Fancey, 293 votes, for the Allen
Township trustee position.
Cande S. Brake, unopposed, received 534 votes for Allen Township fiscal officer.
Jeffrey L. Swartz, unopposed, received 638 votes for Claibourne Township trustee.
Vicki Price, unopposed, received 594 votes for Claibourne Township fiscal officer.
Douglas J. Alderman, 308 votes, defeated Alfred Lloyd Short, 126 votes,
for the Darby Township trustee position.
Mary Dick, unopposed, received 325 votes for Darby Township fiscal officer.
Ron Miller, 314 votes, defeated Russell Conklin, 215 votes, for Dover Township trustee.
Wallace Snyder, unopposed, received 418 votes for Dover Township fiscal officer.
Ron Rhodes, 653 votes, defeated Freeman May, 461 votes, for the Jerome
Township trustee position.
Robert Caldwell, unopposed, received 812 votes for Jerome Township fiscal officer.
Steve Patton, unopposed, received 144 votes for Jackson Township trustee.
Jan Oldham, unopposed, received 137 votes for Jackson Township fiscal officer.
Gary L. Cunningham, unopposed, received 259 votes for Leesburg Township trustee.
Annette Jill Chapman, unopposed, received 248 votes for Leesburg
Township fiscal officer
Randy L. Trapp, unopposed, received 420 votes for Liberty Township trustee.
David L. Gwilliams, unopposed, received 383 votes for Liberty Township fiscal officer.
William E. Lynch Jr., unopposed, received 215 votes for Millcreek Township trustee.
Joyce Beaver, unopposed, received 251 votes for Millcreek Township fiscal officer.
John M. Eufinger, unopposed, received 3,447 votes for Paris Township trustee.
Kristy K. Rowland, unopposed, received 3,145 votes for Paris Township fiscal officer.
John H. Marshall, 195 votes, defeated Dean E. Cook, 151 votes, and Jack
Engle, 130 votes, for Taylor Township trustee.
Patricia J. Laird, unopposed, received 409 votes for Taylor Township fiscal officer.
Randy C. Poland, 226 votes, defeated Jeff Clark, 103 votes, and Bradley
Herron, 65 votes, for Union Township trustee.
Marylou Ryan, unopposed, received 355 votes for Union Township fiscal officer.
Richard L. Anderson, unopposed, received 127 votes for Washington township trustee.
Valerie K. Cox, unopposed, received 125 votes for Washington Township fiscal officer.
Gene Bostic, unopposed, received 72 votes for Washington/Franklin Township trustee.
Joyce E. Robinson, unopposed, received 75 votes for Washington/Franklin
Township fiscal officer.
John Oates, 126 votes, defeated Donald Mathys, 118 votes, for York Township trustee.
Timothy Paul Goodwin, unopposed, received 214 votes for York Township fiscal officer.
All results are unofficial from the Union County Board of Elections
until the election is certified Tuesday, Nov. 20, by the board.

Area school districts take steps to deter MRSA
One case reported locally

While schools around the state fight with the staph infection known as
MRSA, local district officials are also dealing with the issue.
"We have had a minor case, involving a student with multiple piercings,"
said Marysville School District Superintendent Larry Zimmerman.
He said the student is, "only in one or two classrooms all day, so it
was a pretty easy case to deal with."
North Union School District Superintendent Rick Smith said MRSA has not
been an issue in his district.
"We don't have any known cases here," Smith said.
He said custodians took a recent off day and gave buildings a "thorough
and extensive cleaning."
"I think our focus is just making sure our kids keep aware of washing
their hands and keeping clean," Smith said. "From a district standpoint,
We are doing our best to double-check our restrooms and other areas and
making sure we are keeping things to a high cleaning standard."
Zimmerman said custodians were sure to clean the rooms, halls and
restrooms the infected student used.
"We know working hard and keeping things clean is the answer to making
sure this doesn't become a problem for us," Zimmerman said. "Basically,
it is a non-issue if you follow good health and cleaning practices."
At Fairbanks, where there have been no cases, the responsibility to keep
buildings MRSA-free is also falling largely to the custodial staff.
"When that first was being talked about, I talked to our custodians and
learned that in our normal cleaning stuff, we have something that kills
that bacteria," said Superintendent Jim Craycraft.
He added that custodians have been especially diligent to spray door
knobs and high-touch areas with disinfectant.
"So far, we haven't noticed any problems."
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection is caused
by Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, or "staph."
A strain of staph eventually emerged in hospitals that was resistant to
the antibiotics commonly used to treat it. That resistance led to the
name Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus - MRSA.
Staph bacteria are normally found on the skin or in the nose of about
one-third of the population. Healthy people can have staph on their skin
or nose with no ill effects, however, they can pass the germ to others.
Staph bacteria are generally harmless unless they enter the body through
a cut or other wound, and even then they often cause only minor skin
problems in healthy people. However, in older adults, children and
people who are ill or have weakened immune systems, ordinary staph
infections can cause serious illness.
In the 1990s, a type of MRSA, known as community-associated MRSA, began
showing up in the wider community. It is that type of infection that has
caused concerns at schools.
Community Associated MRSA infections are usually spread by direct skin
to skin contact. Infections can also be spread when an individual
touches a wound or materials containing discharge from wounds and then
touches someone else. Athletes and other persons that encounter
increased physical contact are more at risk for infection.
Jason Orcena, public information officer at the Union County Health
Department said there is no mandate to report MRSA.
"Therefore, we never really have a good gauge on MRSA in our community,"
Orcena said, adding that one case of MRSA has been reported to the
health department involving an adult not associated with the school districts..
While the health department can not monitor outbreaks, schools are
listening to the department. Like the other districts, North Union is
trying to stay informed about the situation.
"We are just monitoring the information coming from the state and the
health department," he said.
Craycraft said a district nurse is charged with keeping up to date about
information on possible infections.
"We are prepared to take action if something happens, but find that the
best way to deal with illness like this is to try to prevent it," Craycraft said.
He said in addition to having custodial workers scrubbing the buildings,
the district has also stressed to elementary school students the
importance of washing their hands. He says the district encourages
students to sing Happy Birthday while they wash, to make certain they
get their hands thoroughly clean.
Dee Houdashelt, RN and director of nursing at the Union County Health
Department thinks that is a good idea.
"The best way to protect our community and youth is to educate people on
how to prevent MRSA infections," Houdashelt wrote recently in a release
from the health department. "It is often difficult to identify where an
individual picked up the infection, so we encourage all our residents to
practice good hand washing at all times, and to never share personal
items such as towels or razors."
Zimmerman said most kids already know to wash their hands, not drink
after others and take regular showers or baths, it is just a matter of reminding them.
"The best practices are the things Mom told us to do anyway," Zimmerman said.
Craycraft said that while Fairbanks has not seen any incidents of the
infection, it is still something he thinks about.
"Any type of illness is a concern for a superintendent," the Fairbanks
superintendent said. "You want to keep your kids and your staff healthy."
Zimmerman also said MRSA continues to be a concern, but has focused his
attention now on the most recent health scare - whooping cough. In
Worthington, there has been several students with the illness.
"That's a pretty serious outbreak and that's pretty close to us," Zimmerman said.
He said the Franklin County Health Department is recommending that all
students in Franklin or contiguous counties, between 11 and 18 years old
receive a whooping cough booster shot.
Craycraft said he hopes communication between the district and parents,
helps keep the community from unnecessary worry and informed of actual concerns.
"The health and safety of our kids is number one so we are trying to be
prepared to prevent it, but if it does, we are prepared to deal with
it," Craycraft said.
He said his district is trying to keep parents and students informed.
Additionally, Fairbanks is part of a program called Instant Alert, which
allows the district to contract all teacher and parents, in the
community by phone, e-mail or text message in 5 minutes.
For more information about MRSA or whooping cough, contact the Union
County Health Department at (937) 642-0801.
Tips for protecting against MRSA
To protect residents from MRSA infections the Union County Health
Department recommends these steps:
. Wash hands frequently (after using the restroom, before eating, after
touching wounds or bandages, after changing diapers, after touching
animals, after being outdoors, and after coughing and sneezing);
. Wash hands thoroughly (scrub vigorously for 15-20 seconds with soap
and warm water);
. Shower immediately following exercise or athletic competition;
. Do not share personal items such as towels, razors, or athletic
equipment (including pads, helmets, jerseys, towels, and water bottles);
. Keep all wounds bandaged and cover bandages with clothing if possible;
. Avoid contact with other's wounds;
. Immediately wash all towels, sheets and clothing that comes into
contact with wounds.

Keeran wins NL mayor's race by four votes
Race could swing as seven provisionals remain uncounted

From J-T staff reports
It was an extremely close race in North Lewisburg for mayor and the
difference of four votes put Jason Keeran in the village's top spot.
Keeran won with 128 votes while Steven Wilson had 124 votes.
However there are still seven provisional ballots left to be counted and
the race will not be certified until Nov. 21.
Keeran said he is eager to take on the new position.
"I look forward to working with council to solve the challenges at
hand," he said.
In the race for two seats on the village council, current council
members, Susan Spain and David Scott were both elected for another term.
Spain received 172 votes while Scott received 155 votes. Fred Volz
received 86 votes.

Industrial Parkway may need beefed up

The Jerome Township Board of Trustees and the Union County Engineer
hosted a public open house Monday to discuss improvements to Industrial Parkway.
Because of an increasing number of businesses on Industrial Parkway, the
area has seen a significant increase in traffic, especially heavy truck
traffic. As a result, the engineers office initiated a project to
accommodate the existing and future traffic needs of the area. A trio of
feasible alternatives are being considered, including an undivided
roadway, a median with two-way left turn lanes or a raised median. The
group studying the project is also considering two intersection types
-signalized intersections and roundabouts.
Costs for the improvements have not been determined, but could be as
high as $7.2 million. Work on the project is expected to begin in 2011.
Those with questions about the project are encouraged to contact
Assistant Union County Engineer Jeff Stauch, (937) 645-3116, or project
manager Andy Wolpert, PE, at (614) 734-7144 ext. 26.
At the regular portion of the meeting, the trustees discussed an
insurance change that could save the township as much as $81,000. Frank
Harmon, of the Ohio Insurance Services Agency, Inc., reported that
Anthem, the township's medical insurance provider, offered a renewal
rate increase of 27 percent. Eventually the renewal rate was lowered to 19 percent.
"That's why we suggested shopping around a little bit," Harmon said.
He added, "I think the cost is getting up in an area where it is getting
to be quite a considerable amount of money."
Harmon brought a proposal from Medical Mutual. The program includes a
$1,000 deductible, not required under the Anthem plan. However, Harmon
said the Medical Mutual plan is a health reimbursement plan, which means
the member will pay the deductible, then submit the bills to OISA, which
will reimburse the member and pass the cost on to the township. Harmon
said if every member and family member used their full deductible, it
would cost the township $37,000. Since the plan saves the township
$81,000, "so worst case scenario, you still save $44,000," Harmon explained.
"It is a significant savings to the township," said Trustee Bob Merkle
Plan members would need to see doctors in the Medical Mutual network to
be covered, but Harmon said there was "about a 99 percent match-up with Anthem."
The OISA representative provided references for the plan. He also said
he met with township fiscal officer Robert Caldwell and township
firefighter union representatives which seemed to be pleased with the plan.
Trustees Ron Rhodes and Andy Thomas said their only concern was that
Fire Chief Scott Skeldon had not reviewed the proposed new plan as he
was out of town.
The trustees delayed acting on the plan, "just to give Scotty a chance
to review it," Rhodes said.
They set a special meeting for Monday, to discuss the plan with Skeldon
and union representatives.
Michael Blank, campaign director for the township's Public Safety
Officer levy, encouraged everyone to get out today and vote. Blank said
he has seen "overwhelming" public support for the levy. He said
committee members  have tried to explain to residents the levy isn't
just about township protection, but a dedicated officer.
"If this levy fails, we will still have protection from the Union County
Sheriff's Office," Blank said. "What we won't have is the dedicated
protection that we have become accustomed to and enjoyed."

Judge rejects plea, sends  case to trial
Common Pleas Court Judge Richard Parrott refused to take a woman's
guilty plea sending the case against the woman to trial.
On Friday, Tanisha Jenkins, 29, an inmate at the Ohio Reformatory for
women, pleaded guilty to one count each of escape, a second-degree
felony, and possession of a deadly weapon while under detention, a
first-degree felony.
Parrott explained that a guilty plea is "a complete and total admission
of guilt." He asked if the woman understood that. She said she did, then
added, "I don't think I am guilty of the escape and I don't think I can
be charged with it."
The judge told her that if she believed that, she needed to go to trial.
"If you didn't do it, and you don't want to admit it, I am not going to
take a guilty plea," Parrott told her.
Jenkins said she still wanted to enter the guilty plea.
"I'll take a guilty plea and take the five years," Jenkins said,
referring to the recommended sentence agreement between the state and the defense.
The judge explained that a sentencing recommendation was not binding on
him. He said he was not forcing her to plead guilty. Parrott also
reminded the woman that if he did accept the sentencing recommendation,
she would not be able to appeal. Jenkins said she didn't understand why
she could not appeal. The judge said that by law, if he accepts the
agreed sentencing recommendation, there was no available appeal.
Jenkins finally said she would plead guilty, but again refused to admit her guilt.
"I am not about to take a guilty plea from somebody who doesn't feel
they are guilty," Parrott said. "I am just not going to do it."
"I do feel I am guilty," Jenkins responded.
"Well that's not what you told me a few minutes ago," Parrott said.
"I know, and I am sorry," Jenkins replied.
Again, Parrott reminded the woman that he did not need to follow the
sentencing recommendation and he could give her the full 18 year sentence.
"Mr. (Cliff) Valentine, can you say something to get him to get that
five years back," Jenkins asked her defense attorney.
Valentine tried to explain to his client that despite the
recommendation, there was no guarantee she would receive a five year
sentence. She said she wanted to take the deal where the sentence was
guaranteed. Valentine said there was no such guarantee.
"If I say you're going to get 10 years, you don't want to (plead
guilty), right?" asked the judge.
"Right," she confirmed.
"Forget it, we will have the trial," Parrott told the woman. "I am not
going to fool with you anymore."
The defendant then questioned her attorney.
"Excuse me, Mr. Valentine, you didn't say I would have to go to trial," Jenkins said.
The judge stepped in.
"You are going to trial because I want to make sure you get all of your
criminal rights and one of them is that you are proven guilty beyond a
reasonable doubt at trial," Parrott said.
Jenkins again questioned her attorney.
"Mr. Valentine, why isn't this going the way I wanted it to?" she asked.
Valentine said he would come see the woman at the reformatory and try to
explain the process better. In addition to the escape and possession of
a deadly weapon charges, Jenkins also faces an assault charge.
According to court documents, on Feb. 19, 2006, Jenkins was serving a
20-year-to-life sentence stemming from a conviction in 1998 of one count
of aggravated murder in Cuyahoga County.
About 11:45 a.m., Jenkins was by the entrance of the women's prison and
began walking towards the fence. A corrections officer ordered Jenkins
to stop and get down on the ground. Jenkins told the officer that she
wasn't going to stop. She became aggressive and charged at the officer.
Jenkins allegedly punched the officer in the face. That officer wrestled
Jenkins to the ground and handcuffed her.
As he was pulling Jenkins off the ground, she allegedly kicked a second
officer in the thigh.
The first officer, after Jenkins was off the ground, found a shank,
laying where Jenkins had been.
According to court documents, Jenkins admitted to investigators the
shank was hers. She told them she used it for protection in the prison.
She could be paroled in 2021 on the murder conviction, but would face a
mandatory additional three years for a gun specification from the murder charge.
If convicted on all the new charges, she faces another 19 years in prison.

Committee plans 'Life from the Stone' on Veterans Day
From J-T staff reports
The Veterans Remembrance Committee will sponsor its inaugural "Life from
the Stone" observance on Veterans Day, Nov. 11 at 3 p.m. at the Memorial
Plaza in front of the Union County Courthouse.
The committee is planning this observance to be an annual event each
Veterans Day. The program will last about 30 minutes and will include
patriotic symbols, prayer, music, speeches and the remembrance of David D. Claar.
An informal dedication of the new pavers also will be held.
Claar was lost in the European Theater. His name is engraved on the
monument as a Union County person who gave his life so others may live
in security and freedom. His widow, Doris Story, will talk about her husband.
The event is open to public. A few chairs will be provided for those who
need them. In case of inclement weather, the program will be held at
First Presbyterian Church across the street from the Memorial Plaza.

Trinity marks 62 years of Election Day suppers
From J-T staff reports
What started as a simple request from the Rev. E. J. Goedeking for chili
to be served after an evening meeting at Trinity Lutheran Church has
turned into a 62-year tradition at the east side church and school.
On Election Day 1945, the first Trinity Christian Education Association
Election Day supper was held at the Trinity parish house. The menu of
the day was chili, perfection salad and homemade apple or pumpkin pie.
The cost of the meal was 50 cents.
A group of longtime Trinity members met with a reporter from the
Journal-Tribune in 1995 to relate the story of how the supper started.
The Rev. Goedeking really liked chili and asked that it be served
following an evening meeting at the church. Georgia Coleman (now
deceased) suggested that if the men at the meeting liked chili so much,
maybe the school could hold a chili supper as a fundraiser.
Children at the school sold tickets. Families of the school children
furnished canned tomatoes, and the Asman Meat Market donated the ground
meat. Mrs. Coleman said she used a recipe from one of her cookbooks that
made enough chili to feed a large group.
She said the church did not have enough bowls or silverware and had to
borrow those from the Methodist church. Part of the money earned from
the first supper was used to buy dinnerware.
After the first year, a decision was made to offer both chili and
vegetable soup in the future. Oxtails were cooked and the meat scraped
off to put into the vegetable soup.
About 1950 the supper was moved to the church facilities.  The crowds
had outgrown the parish house and there was more room in the newly
excavated basement. The food was still prepared at the old location then
carried to the church basement in electric roasters.
When the present Trinity Lutheran School was built in 1976, the annual
event was moved there.  A huge soup kettle was included in the purchases
for the kitchen, even though it was used only once each year on Election Day.
In 2005, during the annual boiler inspection, the state of Ohio
condemned the boiler in the school kitchen, saying it was unsafe to use.
As the boiler was the source of the steam for the two large soup kettles
used for the supper, the officers of the CEA started to look for a
solution to the boiler problem.  The repair or replacement cost for the
boiler was found to be too costly, so the decision was made to continue
with the Election Day supper but change the menu.
Today, Trinity will hold its traditional dinner for the 62nd year. This
year's menu will be chicken and noodles, green beans, tossed salad,
rolls, applesauce, and choice of beverage and dessert. The children's
menu will be hot dog, potato chips, applesauce, milk and dessert. A
vegetarian offering will be available, consisting of noodles with red
sauce and Parmesan cheese, along with the rest of the adult or children's menu.
Carryout will be available. The supper will start at 4:30 p.m. and end
at 8 p.m. in the school cafeteria

City may expand sex offender rules

Laws regarding where sexual offenders are allowed to live in Marysville
could soon be set for expansion.
The second reading and public hearing of an ordinance to amend the laws
was held during Thursday night's Marysville City Council.
Federal laws state that sexual offenders may not live within 1,000 feet
of a school. Some communities have been expanding those laws to protect
children from the perceived threat of repeat offenders.
The new ordinance proposes to add the 1,000 feet limit not only to
schools, but to preschools, libraries, child day-care centers and
city-owned parks.
Marysville officials began taking a look at the sexual offender laws
after a homeless man with health issues took up residency on a park
bench at the corner of Fifth and Main streets last year. The bench was
located near a children's dance studio and children's book store.
Several residents complained about the man living on the bench, but
Marysville Police Chief Floyd Golden said that the man was not breaking the law.
"All this does is expand the restrictions," city law director Tim
Aslaner said, during the first reading of the ordinance at the Oct. 25
council meeting.
If sexual offenders are found in violation, the ordinance states that
the city can take legal action.
"The city director of law has cause of action for injunctive relief
against the person. The city of Marysville shall not be required to
prove irreparable harm in order to obtain the relief," the ordinance states.
Members Ed Pleasant, David Burke and Leah Sellers co-sponsored the
changes made to the code.
"We have strengthened the law to add additional security to our
community," Burke said. "Children are our most valued asset, and they
should be protected as best we can."
Councilman John Marshall said at the Oct. 25 council meeting that he
wanted to know how the proposed changes correspond to the Ohio Revised
Code stance on sexual offenders.
"It goes above and beyond the code," Pleasant said.
Aslaner said that the proposed changes specifically apply to Sexual
Offenders, which includes some misdemeanor violators. If passed, he said
the new statures would go into affect on Jan. 1, 2008.
Others on council had questions about who the changes would affect.
Marshall said he wondered if anyone would have to move out of their home
because of the changes? If that is the case, does the city propose to
"grandfather" anyone?
According to the ordinance, those currently living within an area of the
proposed expansion are allowed to stay put.
"Any person who has been convicted of, is convicted of, has pleaded
guilty to, or pleads guilty to a sexually oriented offense or a
child-victim oriented offense and who is the subject of the of the
prohibition described in Section A of this ordinance shall not be
required to vacate his or her residence as the result of the enactment
of this ordinance. If the person vacates that residence, he or she will
then be subject to this ordinance and may not relocate to another
residence within any of the prohibited areas as outlined in this
ordinance," the language states.
Council member Dan Fogt complimented Pleasant, Sellers and Burke for
taking the time to update the city's stance on sexual offenders.

YMCA seeks to promote 'fit kids'
To those people, young and old, who think orange soda is a healthy juice
made of real oranges, listen up.
The "Fit Kids After School" program at the Union County Family YMCA is
going to help bring children and their parents back to reality when it
comes to making healthy choices in food and exercise.
Open to children ages nine to 15, "Fit Kids After School" takes place at
the Union County YMCA on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 4:30 to 6 p.m.
During the program, trained YMCA staff lead children in discussions
about issues such as "honesty, respect, responsibility and caring."
There are also educational group activities, field trips and healthy cooking lessons planned.
YMCA Wellness Director Mitch Potterf said the program highlights a
larger story about the misconceptions of food and health. The reality is
that many people, young and old, may have no idea what healthy food choices are.
Essentially, he said, it is not about preaching at children.
"We don't tell them what to eat," Potterf said. "We tell them about
moderation and consequenses."
He said they look at their choices and explain to them what the results
of eating those types of food might be. A part of the program may be to
ask children to go home that night and eat vegetables with their meal,
then document what they chose.
What they write can be very revealing, he said.
Some children may choose vegetables like broccoli, while others might list french fries.
"One thought that orange pop had juice in it and that it was good for you," Potterf said.
Potterf said what children learn in the program will hopefully rub off
on their parents as well.
He said aside from the fact that some people think "fruit" sodas are
healthy, the soda servings sizes keep growing. He pointed out that
standard sizes have gone from 12 oz. to 20 oz.
The program tries to teach children what the consequenses are from
drinking that amount of soda on a daily basis.
During the "Fit Kids After School" sessions, YMCA staff may take the
children on a field trip to the grocery store and point out how certain
items are advertised specifically for kids.
As an example, Potterf said, sugar cereals are always placed at eye
level for children to see first.
"Then we'll ask them why they think they put the cereal at their eye level," he said.
He said other field trips might include a stop at a local high school to
teach children about preparing food in the kitchen. The rest of the day
might be filled with cardiovascular exercise, whether it is a run on the
treadmill or a game of dodgeball.
"We're trying to teach them that fitness can be fun," Potterf said. "It
is a lifestyle choice."
The program is geared toward focusing on the "real life value" of
nutritional choices. Parents are encouraged to get involved through
monthly parent meetings, at-home challenges and take home class information.
Potterf said that the program is geared toward all types of children,
whether they are overweight, in need of a lifestyle change, or simply
looking for a healthy hobby after school.
The cost for YMCA members to take part is $80 per four week sessions, or
$100 for non-YMCA members. Financial assistance is available.
To register, parents may contact the Union County Family YMCA at
937-578-4250 or over the Internet at

Local woman to enter Vets Hall of Fame

J-T staff reports
Ohio's oldest living female veteran will be inducted into the Ohio
Veterans Hall of Fame Thursday, and she just happens to be a Union
County resident.
Opal McAlister, 102 years old, is the only female member of the
induction class of 2007. She will be recognized in an 11 a.m. ceremony
at Veterans Memorial, with close family friends and veterans in attendance.
It is an honor that McAlister still has a hard time believing.
"It gives me chills," she said. "It awes me and thrills me."
McAlister was born Nov. 16, 1904, in Marysville, and she remains a
Marysville resident. She resides at The Gables at Green Pastures, where
she serves as chair of the residential council.
An educator most of her life, she was described as a "strong patriot and
supporter of our country and the military" by the individual(s) who
nominated McAlister for induction into the Veterans Hall of Fame.
She was the keynote speaker during the May dedication of the Union
County Veterans Monument and Plaza on the courthouse lawn. Her speech
was given without consulting any notes.
McAlister entered the Army voluntarily in 1942 at age 38 to serve in
World War II. She trained WACs to serve overseas and toward the end of
the war became the property officer at the St. Louis Ordnance Depot.
A teacher at Flint near Washington in 1942, McAlister remembers talking
to her students about history and the war. Suddenly she asked herself,
"Why am I standing up here? Why don't I do something about it?"
She called her husband, Dan McAlister, who was serving with the Civil
Air Patrol, and told him she wanted to enlist. He gave his consent, and
she enlisted in the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) in December
1942. (WAAC was the predecessor of the Women's Army Corps - WAC).
She was sent to Officer Candidate School and graduated as an officer in
February 1943.
When the WAC was authorized by presidential signature on July 3, 1943,
McAlister chose to continue to serve her county and officially entered
the WAC on Sept. 1, 1943. (Those in the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps had
a choice - they could either be discharged or continue in the newly
authorized WAC.)
McAlister served until March 23, 1946, when she was discharged as a
captain in the Women's Army Corps.
She spent 52 years as a teacher and principal which allowed her to
influence several generations of students. She was president of the
Delaware County Teachers Association for 20 years and after retiring
became the secretary/treasurer of the Delaware County Retired Teachers
Association for more than 15 years.
She was honored for her teaching in "Lessons of the Century: A Teaching
Gem" by Robert C. Johnston in Education Week magazine in September 1999.
In 1924, she was the first woman to coach boys varsity basketball, an
arrangement that was unheard of during that time. She continued coaching
for three years before moving to another school.
In 1964, she became the first female principal of what was then
Ostrander Elementary School. She retired in 1967 to be with her ailing
husband but returned to teach math three years later after his death.
She is a life member of American Legion Post No. 79 in Marysville, an
honorary member of WAVES National and a member of the Women's Army Corps
Veterans Association - Chapter 3 in Columbus.

Council roundup
Marysville takes aim at cars in yards
The city of Marysville may soon come calling on resident who park cars
in their yards.
At Thursday night's Marysville City Council meeting, the second reading
was held on an ordinance to amend rules concerning exterior appearances
of premises and structures.
The changes proposed in the ordinance, councilman Ed Pleasant said, are
specifically intended to prevent residents from parking cars on their front yards.
Councilman Dan Fogt said, during the first reading of the ordinance on
Oct. 25, that it is intended to be "good for the appearance of the city."
But councilman John Gore said he had some questions. He wondered,
hypothetically, would he be in violation of city law if he parked his
car in his yard to wash it or wax it.
"I think you need to do that in the driveway," city law director Tim Aslaner said.
Gore also brought up the fact that some people may have a family
gathering, numerous cars to park and may have to put one on the front yard.
"I think the intent of it is if (the car) has been sitting there for a
day or two and it hasn't been moved," Pleasant said.
"You get a five-day notice," councilman Mark Reams joked. "Can you wash
your car by then?"
"The problem is if people are parking their car repeatedly in their
front yard," Fogt said.
The second reading of the ordinance was passed and will return for third
reading at the Nov. 15 Marysville City Council meeting.
In other council discussions, a program geared toward helping residents
fund improvements to their local sidewalks could get a city-wide expansion.
The first reading was held on an ordinance to expand the Side Walk
Replacement Program, which was first initiated back in June. The program
was started to help repair sidewalks in Marysville's historic districts.
"Effective January 1, 2008, this program will be available to all
residents and businesses located in the city of Marysville," the
ordinance states. "The program will allow for the installation of new
sidewalks in areas where they currently do not exist."
Reams said that the first pilot program was spearheaded by councilman
Dave Burke.
Because of public response to that program, he said, the idea was to let
all residents in on it.
He said that new construction of buildings are not included in the
proposed expansion ordinance. But all other homes within the city which
have previously existed, whether they have sidewalks or not, can take part.
Reams said projects set to receive funding are measured on a point
system. For example, if a sidewalk needs repairs or needs to be created
in order to connect to a path leading to a school, the project would get
more points in importance.
According to the ordinance, for 2008 the project will be limited to
$10,000 of city funds for a total pilot project amount of $20,000. A
maximum of $500 may be directed to each individual property owner's
request. It states that $1,000 of proposed work gets a $500 match from
the city, with the resident paying $500. A $1,500 project gets a $500
match from the city, with the residents paying $1,000.
Councilwoman Leah Sellers asked Reams if residents who have paid for
improving their sidewalks in 2007 have been reimbursed by the city yet.
Reams said he did not know the answer to that. He said if a resident did
repairs without being eligible for the program, that is another issue.
The second reading of the ordinance is set for the Nov. 15 Marysville
City Council meeting.
In other topics discussed:
. Marysville Mayor Tom Kruse presented city employee Lane Stillings with
the Employee of the Quarter Award, for his service to the city.
Marysville Police Officer David Miller was also nominated.

Two want to be North Lewisburg's next mayor
Election 2007

Steven Wilson and Jason Keeran have something in common; they both want
to be North Lewisburg's next mayor.
Issues with the Northeast Champaign County Fire District (NECCFD) and
Woodstock are sharing the stage in this election and each candidate has
a plan for how they will make things right.
Both men have lived in the North Lewisburg area all of their lives and
both currently serve on the village council. Keeran was elected council
president in January and Wilson held the post in 2005 and 2006.
The Candidates
Wilson, 61, and wife, Becky, moved to their home on North Street in 1969
shortly after Wilson had been discharged from the United States Air Force.
Wilson has always played an active role in the village.
"I've been on council approximately 20 years over the last three
decades," Wilson said.
Keeran, 35, is a 1990 graduate of Triad and is serving his second year
on council.
He has put in 250 hours of training in public service management via the
state auditor's office, the attorney general's office and the Ohio
Municipal League.
"I think the hours I've put into classes has shown my dedication to
local municipal government," Keeran said.
The Northeast Champaign County Fire District (NECCFD) currently operates
out of the village municipal building and pays rent on 5,286 square feet
of space. The village voted in April 2006 to more than double the
NECCFD's annual rent from $6,000 to $12,500 retroactive to Jan. 1, 2006
when their last contract expired.
Village council also voted to gradually increase their annual rent to
$25,000 by 2008 which averages out to $5 per square foot of space used
There have been many debates over the past several years between village
officials and the fire board regarding what is in the best interest of
each entity in relation to housing the ever growing fire department.
Last November, council agreed to sell the village municipal building to
the NECCFD for the appraised value of $300,000 however the NECCFD said
it wasn't fiscally possible to purchase the building outright.
In the spring, the NECCFD said they wouldn't pay rent until an amicable
agreement was reached between the two entities.
In May, the NECCFD asked if council would be open to reviewing a
lease/purchase agreement for the municipal building upon which council agreed.
The village has not yet received a lease/purchase proposal and the
NECCFD has not paid any rent for 2007.
North Lewisburg participates along with Woodstock, Rush Township and
Wayne Township in the NECCFD, which is a tax entity subdivision.
Wilson and Keeran both agree that a compromise needs to be reached
between the village and the fire district.
Wilson said all four entities have to work together to a common goal and
stay objective.
"Once everyone is working in the same direction you can solve anything,"
he said, "Its really quite simple."
Wilson said there are many options available and a collective amicable
solution is possible.
Keeran, a now retired 17-year NECCFD firefighter, believes the NECCFD
shouldn't lease or buy the municipal building.
"My feeling is they need their own building so they don't have to
renovate or retrofit the municipal building for their specific needs,"
Keeran said.
He said based on their projected budget for 2008 as sent to the
Champaign County Auditor's office, the money is there at or around $400,000.
"The fire district needs to reevaluate their budget," Keeran said.
Both candidates agree the future for volunteer fire departments isn't
good, as state mandates require increased training for all firefighters.
"People can't afford to do it in today's society," Keeran said.
Wilson said he too believed that volunteer departments were on their way
out in that there appears to be no way to stop the increased legislation.
In August, The Village of North Lewisburg council voted to proceed with
litigation against Woodstock for failure to pay for wastewater treatment
services for 2006.
The village and Woodstock have an intermunicipality agreement for
treatment services per a 20 year contract signed in 1997.
Keeran said North Lewisburg is owed approximately $28,000.
"I'm a firm believer that if a service is provided you should pay for it," Keeran said.
Woodstock is citing that they are a master meter per a clause in their
contract and should be charged 25 cent per 1,000 gallons of wastewater treated.
Keeran said, North Lewisburg residents pay $5.85 per 1,000 gallons treated.
Wilson said Woodstock residents each pay around $50 per month for waste
services. Only a small percentage of their bill is paid to North
Lewisburg. The bulk of their bill goes towards retiring the debt on
wastewater treatment equipment, maintenance and upkeep.
"I don't know enough about it to know if it's right, wrong or fair but
it does need to be looked at," Wilson said.
Wilson said he know that there are things that need to be corrected
within the village and he would like to a shot at making things right.
He believes in collective solutions that allow all involved parties to
walk away satisfied.
Keeran said he is proud of how far the village has come and he wants to
continue on the progressive path.
"I want to continue to promote the growth of the village but keep the
small town atmosphere," he said.
In addition to the mayoral election, North Lewisburg residents will have
their choice of three candidates for two spots on council. Incumbents
David Scott and Susan Spain will run against newcomer Fred Volz.

Residents may organize following attack
The Monday night home invasion attack on a Mill Valley family may have
spurred the creation of new neighborhood watch programs in the area.
Marysville Assistant Police Chief Glenn Nicol said this morning that the
interest in neighborhood watch programs has spiked since the crime occurred.
During Thursday night's Marysville City Council meeting, councilman Dan
Fogt said that in light of the burglary and attack in Mill Valley
residents in the area have been inquiring about starting neighborhood
watch programs soon.
He said that police patrolling late night shifts in Mill Valley
reported, even before the burglary and home invasion had occurred, that
"closing garage doors at night was a major thing."
On the night of the attack, Fogt said, officers found more than a half
dozen garage doors open as they searched for the two males suspected of
assaulting a mother and her two young daughters in the neighborhood.
"Without bothering anyone," Fogt said, "An officer checked if he could
get into any of the houses and found that there were three houses he
could get into. He also could have stolen three cars because the keys
were left in them."
Councilman John Marshall, whose Ward includes Mill Valley, said he
appreciated Marysville Police Chief Floyd Golden explaining the
emergency situation to him on the morning of the burglary. Until then,
he was not entirely sure what had happened.
Marshall said that after the assault occurred he got "a lot of feedback"
from residents wanting to pursue watch programs.
"From my experience and my experience working with other agencies, a lot
of neighborhood watch programs get started after certain crimes hit the
area," Nicol said. "We have attempted in the past to organize
neighborhood watch programs with residents in the Mill Valley north
area. But there was a lack of follow up for various reasons."
Nicol said many times residents determined the program was not needed,
or residents did not have the time to participate, or were just too busy
to take part. He said that it is something the department has been
trying to organize for the past several years.
"I believe neighborhood watch programs can be beneficial, although I'm
not convinced it would have thwarted this crime," Nicol said. "But they
do help with the overall quality of life in the area."
"I encourage everyone in Mill Valley, or the city in general, to look
out for your neighbor," Marshall said.
A good indication of how scared people are, he said, was apparent when
he saw a young girl jogging down the street, with a friend following in
their car, with the hazards on.
"Take care of one another," Marshall said. "Get to know your neighbors."
Fogt said that his neighborhood is taking the incident seriously.
"This is not a small town anymore," he said. "More people should take
some precautions."
He said police have recommended closing garage doors and locking the
house up at night, turning on outside lights and perhaps installing
motion detector lights.
Nicol explained that crimes like the home invasion in Mill valley can
happen in small towns too. He said generally neighborhood watch programs
are not about turning residents into vigilantes. The idea is for people
to get together, get to know their neighbors, look for suspicious
activity and keep a good line of communication going on amongst
themselves and with the local police department.
For any residents interested in starting a neighborhood watch program,
contact Nicol at 645-1038 or Marysville Police Chief Floyd Golden at
645-1039 or e-mail

Schools try again for 4.75-mill levy
Election 2007
Marysville voters are being asked to approve a 4.75-mill, five-year
operating levy Tuesday, one placed on the ballot by the Marysville
Exempted Village School Board.
The levy is a duplicate of a levy defeated by voters in a special Aug. 7
election. Its passage is needed to help the school district cope with
continuing growth and reduced state funding, school board members have said.
If passed, the levy will cost the owner of a $100,000 home $145.48 per
year. It will generate $3.3 million a year for the school district.
Marysville is a great community with a great school district and
Tuesday's passage of the school district's operating levy will help keep
it that way, according to Larry Zimmerman, Marysville Schools superintendent.
 "I think you've got to spend your money where you get the benefit, and
you've got to have good instructors and the money spent on kids," he said.
"We're not overspending, that's for sure," Zimmerman said.
One example of that, he said, is the ratio of pupils per administrators.
While the state average is 155.99 pupils for every administrator
employed in a school district, Marysville averages 269.29 pupils per
administrator. That means Marysville operates "leaner" than many other
Central Ohio school districts, Zimmerman said.
For instance, Marion City utilizes an administrator for every 161.54
pupils; Upper Arlington City, 195.72; Worthington City, 204.26; Delaware
City, 218.81; Hilliard 227.80; and Dublin, 236.97.
Zimmerman said Marysville has long chosen to focus on those positions
that more directly impact students on a daily basis. That means more
tasks and longer days for administrators, but the savings are worth it, he said.
"Marysville has never had a bunch of administrators. The money that gets
spent here gets spent on kids and instruction and I think it shows," he said.
Zimmerman added, "We probably need to be a lot more public with that.
It's a long-standing tradition and that's what is expected of us."
The district utilizes more than 500 volunteers to help support education
and programs. Those volunteers perform a variety of tasks, helping
pupils read, running papers for staff members and assisting with other
duties, organizing field trips, getting ready for special events and
acting as chaperones.
"You couldn't do those kinds of things without the volunteers ... be it
elementary or high school, band, show choir, athletics ... It saves a
lot of money because you're not spending money on staff to get it done,"
Zimmerman said.
The school district also has been lauded by Standard & Poor's, an
independent credit rating provider that "rates the district's financial
health," according to Zimmerman.
He said S&P "liked" how the school district reacted in 2005 to tax
changes mandated by House Bill 66 which eliminated the tangible personal
property tax and implemented other tax changes.
By refinancing its debt load as a result of voters approving a special
5.2-mill bond issue, the school district is saving roughly $27 million
over a period of 26 years.
"We reacted and many school district didn't," Zimmerman said.
The school district also expends fewer dollars per square foot on its
utilities than many other Central Ohio school districts, Zimmerman said,
and he said he has "the documents to back that up."
Additional information about Tuesday's operating levy and the Marysville
School District may be obtained at the Citizens for Schools Web site at
Other school news is accessible at the school district's Web site at

Honda pledges money to United Way
From J-T staff reports
For the 13th time in Honda of America Manufacturing's 28-year history in
Ohio, associates have pledged more than $1 million to local United Ways
throughout the company's 15-county hiring region.
Result of the company's 2007-08 United Way campaign announced Thursday
at the Marysville Auto Plant revealed a $1.76 million fundraiser with
$251,280 earmarked for United Way of Union County.
A total of 7,950 associates pledged, including 1,150 who designated
$167,520.48 for Union County.
Honda contributes a 50-percent corporate match in addition to the
associate pledges. Honda has been conducting a United Way campaign in
its workplace since 1982. Over that 25-year period, Honda and its
assocaites have given more than $26.5 million to United Ways across Ohio.
"Honda's philosophy is to support the community," said Rene Hoy, Honda
of America Corporate Affairs and United Way committee project leader.
"We want our communities to say 'I'm just glad Honda's here.'"
"We're ecstatic that Honda's here!" said Dave Bezusko, Campaign & PR
Director of the United Way of Union County. "Honda's contribution to our
organization represents almost one-third of our annual revenue and the
generosity of their associates shines through year after year. Their
campaign is a model of efficiency in fundraising. And you can't say
enough about their team of associates who pull together to coordinate
this massive undertaking in addition to the workload already on their plates."
Today's announcement at Honda takes United Way of Union County's 2007
campaign total to $593,373, or 74 percent of the organization's $800,000
goal, with one month remaining in the campaign.
For more information, please visit

Local Military Family Support Group plans drives
From J-T staff reports
For the past four years, the Union County Military Family Support Group
has set up collection sites at various businesses once a year.
This year the plan is again to enlist the community's gracious hearts
and open wallets to donate food and other items to our area's servicemen
and women. Through the community's generosity, packages have been sent
four or five times during the year to local service members.
The packages are reportedly appreciated, as various family members have
received letters or e-mails from their loved ones thanking us for their care packages.
The plan to collect items in November includes two weekends. Locations,
dates, and times are as follows: Kroger on Friday and Saturday from 8
a.m. until noon and Friday, Nov. 9 from 8 a.m. until noon; Community
Market on Nov. 9 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Nov. 10.
The group will also be at Richwood Cardinal on Nov. 9 and 10 from 9 a.m.
to 3 p.m. and at The Pit Stop at the intersection of routes 347 and  4
on Nov. 9 from 3-6 p.m.
Monetary contributions will be accepted and donation jars will be set up
at each location. As a 501c (3) non-profit organization,  donations are
tax deductible to the extent of the law.
Cash is accepted or checks can be made payable to the Union County
Military Family Support Group or (UCMFSG). Monetary support helps with
the cost of shipping the care packages. Shipment costs alone range from
$600 to $1,300 for each shipment.
Those with loved ones in military service but not registered with the
UCMFSG may do so with the help of the volunteers at any of the above
locations. Information may also be sent by e-mail to Lynn Heard
(, call 246-4125, or come to one of the monthly
meetings normally held every fourth Thursday at 7 p.m. at the American
Legion Building on West Fifth Street.
The MFSG is open to Union County residents to help in its mission
whether you have family members on active duty or not.
The mission of the UCMFSG is to have family activities and/or provide
advice, counsel, or assistance for the family members of those serving
as well as to remind troops that they are supported through packages and
notes. There are normally 70-80 families directly affected as a result
of active duty of one or more of their members.
Community support is essential to the success of the program.

School board seats up for grabs
Election 2007

From J-T staff reports
Marysville School Board
Three candidates are running for two Marysville School Board positions
on the Nov. 6 ballot.
Greg Buck
Greg Buck, Elwood Avenue, is a Marysville native and a 1980 graduate of
Marysville High School. He and his wife, Beverly, have been married 21
years and have two sons, Nathan and Joshua.
A manager for 20 years, Buck has been employed at Honda of America for
the past five years. Prior to that he worked at a fulfillment company in
Atlanta, and then with The Home Depot. He was with Home Depot 12 years,
starting out in Atlanta, and transferring to Kansas City and then to
Columbus, where he assisted in opening several stores.
He believes a board of education is a business and should be run like
one. Keeping the best interest of children should come first, and then
making sure that citizens are happy with the outcome, he said.
"My education, though limited in the classroom, has come from on-the-job
training. The years I have spent working my way up through to management
has given me much insight and experience into just how things should
(be) done. I believe I can make a difference ... " Buck said.
Roy Fraker
Seeking re-election to a seat he has held six years is Raymond Road
resident Roy Fraker.
Also a MHS graduate, Fraker has lived in the Marysville School District
for more than 40 years. He and his wife have three children who also
graduated from Marysville High School. They have nine grandchildren,
eight of whom are in the Marysville School District.
Fraker is employed at Honda of America and has worked there for more
than 24 years. He currently works in the North American Task Group
Department. His job responsibility is to train Honda suppliers. The
training includes courses such as Project Management Workshop, Problem
Solving and Decision Making, Analytic Trouble Shooting, Basic Quality
Tools and other managerial courses.
Fraker said he is seeking re-election for several reasons. First and
foremost, he loves children and wants to do whatever he can to continue
to support them.
"One of the ways of doing this is by serving on the board. I have been
considered by others to be rational and serve as a good 'reality check'
person on various issues," he said.
"I like being involved in the community and especially with the school
system. I feel I have an advantage over some people by having a good
background of where we were several years ago, where we are today and
where we need to go into the future. I enjoy working with an excellent
administration staff. We have the best superintendent and treasurer in
the state. You won't find anyone better than these two," Fraker added.
John Freudenberg
The third person running for Marysville School Board is John Freudenberg
of West Seventh Street.He holds a bachelor of science degree in
management from Northern Kentucky University (1987) and has completed
formal training in technical and managerial programs. His employment
history includes Kao Brands (formally The Andrew Jergens Company) in
Cincinnati, and Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, Marysville. He currently is
affiliated with Global Recruiters of Columbus Northwest and Packaging
Consulting Resources.
The Freudenbergs - John, Janice, his wife of 25 years, and daughters
Elizabeth, Meredith and Lydia - "shopped" for schools and communities
when they moved to Central Ohio 12 years ago.
"After looking at many school districts and communities I located my
family here in Marysville because of the quality schools, school
programs and a strong sense of community. We have not been disappointed.
We call Marysville home," John Freudenberg said.
"As a business leader I have successfully built teams and organizations,
effectively managed multi-million dollar projects and budgets, launched
products and programs that have had both positive fiscal and long term
sustainable growth. My commitment as a board member is to forge a more
robust and sustainable bond with both the community and businesses,
existing as well as new," Freudenberg said.
Freudenberg said he is running for the board of education seat because
he feels "an opportunity exists for a deeper understanding and
improvement in the relationship between business, community and school systems."
"Our schools, businesses and community all have a common underlying
theme; they all strive for a bright and prosperous future. Not any one
of the entities can truly secure (its) future at the expense of the
others. I believe that a practical and collaborative approach to
managing this relationship will result in both a mutual respect and
mutual support of the common theme of a bright and prosperous future."
Fairbanks School Board
Three candidates are seeking two positions on the Fairbanks Local School
District Board.
Joe Hackney
Joe Hackney, a Milford Center resident, has been married to his wife,
Jacqueline, for 17 years. He is the father of four children; three of
whom  - Joseph (a sophomore), Jonathan (eighth grade) and Jessica (sixth
grade) attend the Fairbanks School System. All are active in school
programs and extracurricular activities.
The Hackneys relocated from the Westerville School District to the
Fairbanks community four years ago.
Joe Hackney graduated from the Grandview Heights School System in 1978.
He said he possesses an extensive background in industrial electricity
and has attended night school for six years. He is a federally certified
electrician through the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) and
a member of the Professional Grounds Maintenance Society and the
International Facilities Management Association. He has been employed by
The Dispatch Printing Company and Wolfe Industries, where he is the
in-charge person at 17 facilities in the Central Ohio area.
"The Fairbanks School District is entering a dynamic period of
construction and growth," said Hackney. "While change is inevitable, it
is also an exciting period. I wish to maintain the comfort our children
and teachers feel while expanding for the future."
He said growth is possible without constant cost increases if board
members are "diligent, watchful, and tireless" when assessing cost
saving possibilities.
"We must never forget that this is the people's district, and the people
fund it. I believe our children have an exciting and bright future. We
have dedicated parents, kids, and faculty," Hackney said.
Dave Huber
Dave Huber was appointed to the school board to fulfill a position
vacated by the resignation of Alan Phelps. He is a Fairbanks alumni and
the father of five children who either have attended or will attend
Fairbanks High School.
Huber said he is committed to the success of Fairbanks Local Schools and
has chosen to run for another term because he feels he has much to offer
the district. As the father of two Fairbanks graduates, he knows that
the education provided is instrumental in a students' success outside of
the classroom.
Huber said he understands that with new challenges facing the district
it is important to have a clear vision and sense of cooperation to
balance the needs of the students, teachers, tax payers and administration.
Since 1982 he has been employed at Honda of America Mfg., and he is
currently working in the human resources department at the Marysville auto plant.
Huber also is an active member at St. John's Lutheran Church where he
served as a member of the school's board of education for eight years.
This time prepared him to become a member of the Fairbanks's Board of
Education, he said.
In his next term, Huber hopes to make the transition to the new
elementary school as smooth as possible for all involved. As the
district continues to grow, he believes a clear plan is needed for the
district to balance the needs of the taxpayers and the students.
Mark Lippencott
Mark Lippencott joined the Fairbanks School Board in August 2006 when he
was appointed to fill the unexpired term of former board member Sherry Shoots.
He has lived in the Fairbanks School District all his life and is one of
only a few people left in the district who actually attended grade
school at Rosedale Elementary. He graduated in 1970 from FHS and in 1974
from The Ohio State University with a bachelor of science degree in journalism.
Lippencott and his wife, Sue, have been married for more than 27 years
and have two children. Mitch will be 25 on Nov. 5 and is an 2001
Fairbanks graduate and an 2005 graduate of OSU with a degree in history.
He owns and operates a landscaping service in the Marysville area.
Courtney is an 2006 FHS graduate and is currently attending the Aveda Institute.
Lippencott has been employed at Honda of America Mfg. Inc., where he
works in the plant services group. He is in his 21st year of employment
at Honda. Prior to that, he was employed by the Ohio Grain Company.
He has served on the board of the Union County United Way for several
years and currently serves on the Union Township Zoning committee. He
has coached youth basketball and baseball teams and been a volunteer
with the Fairbanks athletic department for more than 12 years, painting
the football field, holding chains for games and keeping score for basketball.
"I feel that education in general is at a crossroads," he said. "The
traditional styles of education are being challenged by new technology.
Students today are more technologically advanced than previous
generations and our educational system must be able to challenge these students."

Honda Auto Plant celebrates a milestone
From J-T staff reports
The first Japanese auto plant to build a car in America turns 25 today,
marking a milestone that brought innovation to the U.S. auto industry
and vaulted Honda to a leadership position.
The 5,300 associates at Honda's Marysville Auto Plant will not miss a
beat as they spend the day building more than 1,800 cars and light
trucks. Later this month, they will hit another milestone ? production
of the plant's nine-millionth vehicle.
Associates recently launched the eighth-generation Honda Accord at the
plant. The Accord was the plant's first vehicle and remains the plant's
core product. The U.S. is the most important market for the Accord, with
sales of more than 300,000 units through September, mostly built in the
Marysville Auto Plant. Nearly 80 percent of all Honda and Acura vehicles
sold in America are built at one of Honda's six auto plants in North America.
At 25 years, the Marysville plant and its associates continue as a
driving force for Honda and the auto industry. Honda brought its unique
brand of teamwork and associate involvement to manufacturing when it
established Honda of America Mfg., Inc. near Marysville to begin
motorcycle manufacturing in 1979. Success of that startup quickly led
that same year to the bold decision to build an auto plant as well. At
the time, the company was not even among Japan's largest automakers.
"People are always asking why Honda has been so successful," said Honda
of America President Akio Hamada. "The answer is simple - our
associates. Their involvement and teamwork to achieve the highest
quality for our customers and improve our operations have continuously
driven us forward to higher levels and greater achievements."
Honda has continued to adjust its manufacturing process to keep those
associates healthy, working with the Ohio State University to develop
new ways to build cars in a way that is ergonomically less stressful to
those building them.
"We want to make the cars as easy as possible to build for our
associates," Honda spokesman Ron Litzke said. "Because the easier it is
to build, the safer it is to build and you get better quality. These
associ2ates are producing over 1,800 units per day. They are doing these
processes hundreds of times a day. As a result, we have studied certain
areas and reworked how we do some things in certain areas to reduce
these problems."
Honda's approach to auto manufacturing was new to America with a
foundation built on customer satisfaction, a high level of teamwork and
a passion for overcoming challenges. The Marysville plant introduced
many new concepts to the U.S. auto industry, including just-in-time
parts delivery, quick die changes in metal stamping, rolling model
changes to launch new vehicles without stopping production and a high
level of flexible model production.
Honda's automotive experience in Ohio became the model for Honda
globally, Hamada said, in terms of local production, developing a local
supplier network and recognizing the importance of working closely with communities.
"We have been building cars in Ohio since 1982," he said. "This has been
possible because we have grown together with communities like Marysville."
As the first Accord sedans began rolling off the line Nov. 1, 1982,
Honda associates who were building cars in small numbers with nearly
identical content and in only a few colors also had little manufacturing
experience. In the last two months of 1982, fewer than 1,000 Accords
were produced as the associates focused on mastering their car-building
skills. By the end of 1982, they were making 160 cars per day.
The Accord was a much simpler product then, said Tim Hines, who was
among the first associates at the auto plant. "While getting ready for
mass production, we were producing maybe six cars per day, really
focusing on assuring quality on every part of the vehicles," Hines said.
"Those were perfect cars, because we were learning to build quality
first and then the product."
Today, the Marysville plant has the capacity to build 440,000 vehicles
per year on two lines.
Honda spokesman Ron Litzke added, "Back then, we produced one, four-door
sedan and not in many colors. We were just learning how to build cars.
Today we have tremendous variety and they are the teachers for other plants."
Always demonstrating the flexibility to build multiple models on the
production line, associates have now added production of light trucks.
In addition to the Accord sedan and coupe, they build the Acura TL
luxury sedan, and the Acura RDX sport utility vehicle.
At one point during launch of the '08 Accord sedan and coupe, production
of the old and new models overlapped during the transition. "To the
credit of our associates, this team carried out the most complicated
model launch in our history," Plant Manager Sam Harpest said. "No other
plant in America has the flexibility and experienced workforce to build
six different vehicles at the same time.
"The Marysville Auto Plant may be 25 years old on the outside, but it is
a new plant on the inside," said Harpest. "It has always been changing,
and there isn't a more flexible plant in the industry with our level of
quality and productivity."
Making a plant that flexible is not cheap. Since it was built, Honda has
invested $3.6 billion in capital improvements to the plant, with $60
million in the last "couple of years" according to Litzke.
The Marysville plant validated Honda's philosophy to design, engineer
and manufacture products close to the customer. Building on its success
in Marysville, Honda has continued establishing plants in North America
and the world to meet demand for unique products by building them
locally in each region. Each region has autonmous control over
production in their plant.
Today, Honda operates six auto plants in North America and a seventh,
located in Indiana, will begin operations in fall 2008. The additional
production of 200,000 Civics per year at that plant will help boost
Honda's total North American automobile production capacity to more than
1.6 million units in 2008, employment in North America to more than
37,000 associates and capital investment in North America to more than
$9 billion. Honda annually purchases more than $17.6 billion in parts
and materials from U.S. suppliers.
The Marysville plant is among five plants that Honda has established in
Ohio since 1979. The combined production of the Marysville plant and
nearby East Liberty Auto Plant makes Honda the top auto producer in
Ohio. Honda also operates major R&D and engineering centers, a regional
parts distribution center, and other support operations in Ohio.
Honda directly employs more than 15,000 Ohioans. In addition,
approximately 140 Ohio companies supply parts to Honda. In 2006, Honda's
purchases from these companies totaled $6.4 billion last year.
The plant recently celebrated an open house to observe the event and
invited associates to bring community members to see the plant. More
than 4,600 associates and family members attended the event.
"I think that shows something, that people who work five and six days a
week, they still have enough pride to bring their family and friends to
show them were they work." said Litzke.

Men who escaped from West Central face felonies
Grand jury indictments
A pair of men accused of escaping the West Central Community Based
Correction Facility and leading law enforcement on a one-day man hunt
are among those indicted recently by the Union County grand jury.
William James Kaim and Eliberto Lee Deleon, both 19 with addresses
listed as Tri-County Regional Jail, are each charged with escape and
complicity to escape, third-degree felonies, breaking and entering,
fifth-degree felonies, grand theft motor vehicle, fourth-degree
felonies, and theft from an elderly person, a fifth-degree felony. If
convicted, the men each face 13 and a half years in prison.
The grand jury chose to also indicted a pair of sex offenders who have
allegedly not complied with reporting requirements. William Alan Jenks,
36, of 826 Watkins Glen, is charged with one count of failure to
register as a sex offender, a felony of the third degree punishable by
as many as five years in prison. Mark William Neville, 50, of 360 N.
Chillicothe St., in Plain City, is charged with failure to provide
change of address, a fifth-degree felony.
According to the Indiana Department of Corrections, Jenks was ordered in
Howard County Indiana to serve six years in prison following a 1991
conviction for criminal confinement, eight years in prison for a 1997
conviction on child molestation stemming from a relationship with a
15-year-old girl, five years in prison following a 2001 conviction for
burglary during which the victim was stabbed, and one year in prison for
January 2006 convictions for resisting law enforcement and neglecting a dependent.
According to Union County Municipal Court documents, three of Jenk's
prior convictions involved class A felonies, Indiana's most serious level of offense.
Jenks was apparently released from prison in March 2006 and placed on
Indiana's version of post release control or parole. As part of that
parole, Jenks asked his supervising officer for permission to leave the
state in July and come to Marysville. That permission was granted.
Jenks began reporting to authorities in Union County for his parole.
However, according to the charges, Jenks failed to notify Union County
authorities that he is a convicted sexual offender, required to register
in the county of his residence for the remainder of his life.
Earlier this month, police were called to a fight in the area of Route
31, near U.S. 33. At that time, Jenks was identified as a victim of the
alleged fight. After police released Jenks, they performed a routine
criminal records check which revealed his past as a sexual offender and
his requirement to register.
Neville was convicted in 2004 of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.
He is required by law to register with the sheriff's office.
Sex offenders in Ohio, and in much of the nation now, are classified
into three tiers depending on their offense. They must register with the
sheriff's office in their county of residence several times a year, as
well as with the sheriff of any county they work or go to school in. The
sheriff's office must be notified prior to any change of address. Even
if an offender is visiting another county or state for more than three
consecutive days, they are required to notify the sheriff in their
county as well as the county they intend to visit.
A portion of the law in Ohio became effective July 1, and a portion will
not be effective until January 1, 2008.
For a list of sexual offenders registered in Ohio, go to
Mazin Shamoon, 38, of 6068 Rt. 128. in Cleves, Ohio, was indicted on one
count of aggravated assault, a felony of the fourth degree. If
convicted, Shamoon faces as many as 18 months in prison.
A ride operator at the Union County Fair,  Shamoon was arrested in the
morning hours of Wednesday, July 25. At 3:45 a.m. deputies at the
fairgrounds responded to an assault call. The victim, a 39-year old male
vendor who was staying on the fairgrounds, reported that he got into an
altercation with Shamoon, who was also staying at the fairgrounds. The
victim reported that Shamoon hit him in the face and knocked him down.
Once the victim fell, Shamoon allegedly continued to kick and punch the
victim. Shamoon was originally indicted on felonious assault, a
second-degree felony punishable by as many as eight years in prison.
Prosecutors dropped that charge and reindicted him on the aggravated
assault charge.
A also indicted was:
 Dustin Michael Ford, 21, of 1546 Rebecca Drive, in Marysville.
According to court documents, Ford is accused of theft and forgery, both
fifth-degree felonies, both stemming from June 16 events. If convicted,
Ford faces as many as two years in prison.
Abby Davis, 21, of 301 S. E. Ninth Court, Pampano Beach, Fla. Davis is
charged with one count of trafficking in cocaine, felony of the fourth
degree. The indictment arises out of a May 5, arrest and could land her
as many as 18 months in prison if convicted.
Debra L. Carpenter, 52, of 33 Grove Court in Marysville. She faces as
many as 14 and a half years in prison if convicted on the 11 counts of
deception to obtain a dangerous drug, seven of them fourth-degree
felonies and four of them fifth-degree felonies.


Marysville Journal-Tribune
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