Details of attack released
Family assaulted with hammer, screwdriver
The mother and two daughters injured in Tuesday's Mill Valley
invasion have reportedly been released from hospital care.
on the mend," Union County Prosecutor's Office victim's
Benedetti said this morning.
Marysville Police Department Assistant Chief
Glenn Nicol said this
morning that the mother was released from Grant Medical
Center at 6 p.m.
Tuesday. The daughters, ages 10 and 12, were transported to
Hospital of Union County for care and also were released.
said all three received stitches for their wounds. He clarified
that there was no knife involved. The men had used tools
found in the
"They used a hammer and a screwdriver," Nicol said. "We
anything other than that until we meet with the
Marysville Police received a 911 call from 1452 Meadowlark Lane
at 11:45 p.m. from a 10-year-old girl in her mother's bedroom
that her mother, her 12-year-old sister and herself had been
men during a burglary.
Reports state that two Hispanic males,
who remain at large, had entered
through an open garage door. They were
allegedly stealing electronic
equipment from the first floor, when the mother
caught them in the act.
The victims were assaulted on that floor and later
The 10-year-old girl told dispatchers she had been injured on her
and leg. She thought the men had a knife and were stabbing her
and had assaulted her sister.
This morning Benedetti reported the
extent of injuries the family
received. She said the mother had suffered
cuts, lacerations and bruises
on her head and on various locations on her
body. The 12-year-old
daughter was struck three times on her head, which
required stitches and
she also suffered bruises and scratches.
said the 10-year-old girl who called dispatchers, "had
suffered the extent of
The girl had been struck three places on her leg, which
stitches. She had also been struck on her head and while fighting of
attacker had suffered a defensive wound on her finger which
"They are troopers, every one of them," Benedetti said.
"Those two girls
are to be commended for their bravery."
She said the
girls were sore from their injuries, but they were smiling
as they talked to
people this morning.
Marysville Police Chief Floyd Golden said this morning
that he was proud
of the 10-year-old daughter for calling 911 for help when
she did. He
said that a program currently exists in which kindergarten
given training in how to call 911. He hoped that the girl's
demeanor on the phone may have been a result of that
system hits snag after assault
From J-T staff reports
A glitch in the
Union County Code Red system may have prevented
emergency calls going out to
phones in Mill Valley after a recent home invasion.
received a 911 call at 11:45 p.m. Monday that two
Hispanic males broke into a
home at 1452 Meadowlark Lane. A 10-year-old
victim reported that her mother
and her 12-year-old sister had been assaulted.
This morning Union County
Sheriff's Office Communications Director Anne
Barr said that a Code Red call
went out at 1:05 a.m. to 297 Mill Valley
phones. The message told residents
that a burglary had occurred in their
neighborhood and that two victims had
been assaulted. It stated that the
two men who committed the crime had fled
on foot and were at large. The
message asked residents to lock all of their
doors and turn on their
outside house lights.
But an error in the system
prevented that message from reaching everyone
it was meant for.
hit every home in Mill Valley," Barr said.
She said that the system is new
and a problem had somehow occurred. The
sheriff's office is currently looking
into what happened and why all of
the homes had not been notified.
said that the sheriff's office had received some calls from Mill
residents complaining that they had not received the Code Red
that some of their neighbors had.
Longtime worker looks back at the birth of Honda in
By MAC CORDELL
As Honda of America Manufacturing prepares for
Thursday's celebration of
the first car, built by a Japanese company in
America, one associate
remembers fondly the early days.
In fact, Tim
Hines, assistant manager over instrument panel production,
remembers the very
A recent high school graduate, Hines turned 18 in August of 1980
began working for Honda in the motorcycle plant Sept. 2, of that
Hines was a hard worker through school. He helped an area
the summer then had a job at a local pharmacy. His father and
other family members worked in a factory and Hines hoped to use
connections to get himself a job there as well.
"I had a lot of
people who told me that might be a good career for me,"
Hines said. "I was
kind of thinking that might be where I would end up."
That's when the
motorcycle plant opened and Hines took a job with the
new company from
"A lot of people were interested and just getting out of high school,
thought I could get in with a young, growing company. I thought it
turn out pretty good for me and it certainly has."
At the motorcycle
factory, Hines painted the bikes, which at that time
had to be done by
He hadn't been with Honda long when the chance to start on the
floor of a new factory came knocking. Honda officials came to
motorcycle plant and explained they would be opening the car plant
door. Anyone who was interested in making the move was invited to do
A supervisor in the motorcycle paint shop decided to transfer to the
plant, and thinking highly of him, Hines decided to go to transfer
"I thought this was another good opportunity to get involved in a
before it even gets started," Hines said of his decision.
He said he
and his friends at the motorcycle plant would go outside
during their breaks
and watch construction on the plant.
"It was very impressive to me," said
As impressive as the construction was, Hines was more excited about
"At that time I was eager for the challenge," Hines
said. "You never
knew at that time how big it was going to be."
10, 1982, workers started at the plant
"We were just starting up," Hines
said. "We had the new machines and we
were just learning how to turn them
While set to work in plastics at the automobile factory, he was
working in the car plant's paint shop when the first Honda rolled
the line. Hines explained that the paint division was "having a
trouble getting up and started." He said plant officials came
and asked for anyone with paint experience. When Hines said he had
in paint at the motorcycle plant, he was asked to take a one
assignment in the paint shop.
So excited to show his work ethic at
the new facility, Hines jumped at the chance.
"Back then, if someone had
said there is an opportunity over here or an
opportunity over there, I would
have gone and taken it," Hines said.
"It was just an awesome opportunity for
someone of my level, so I was
willing to take on anything that was asked of
me." He added. "It helped
that I didn't think they would ask me if they
didn't feel I could handle it."
By the first of December, Hines was back
in plastics and while he has
stayed in the plastics division, he said much
has changed since 1982.
"Growth, obviously," Hines said with a smile when
asked about the
biggest of the changes.
He said it has been exciting to
keep up with the evolving science of plastic.
"The technology of plastics
has changed quite a bit over the years and
we have been able to keep up with
that," he said.
He noted that while plastics used to be hard and would easily
it is much softer and more pliable now.
From less than 300 car a
day in just a few colors and very few
variations, the auto plant has expanded
an now produces 1,800 Hondas
each day, with several different models in
simultaneously. Hines said there is a great sense of pride
working in a
facility with that kind of capabilities.
"There aren't many
plants in the world that can make six different
products at the same time,"
Hines said. "There is a lot of pride
Hines said all of the changes he has
seen have led to improvements in
safety and quality for both the customer and
As a lifelong resident of the area, Hines said he has seen
the community as well. He said there is nothing left of the land
helped farm. He said there is more traffic and more people and a
Marysville. But he said it is worth it.
When you think of all the
jobs and the impact Honda has had on the
economy, not only the people that
work here, but also the jobs the jobs
that wouldn't be in the community if it
weren't for Honda being here.
"It has allowed families to stay here that
wouldn't have been able to otherwise."
Honda has also allowed some people
to leave the area.
Hines said he stopped counting the number of trips to
Japan when he
reached 15. While he doesn't know how many times he has been
said he still remembers his first in 1986.
"I had never been on
a plane before," Hines said. "I had only been out
of the state of Ohio a
couple times in my life."
He said that despite being a Japanese company,
Honda has "interwoven"
itself into the community. Hines said he wished
understood all the things Honda does for the surrounding
"There is just a lot of impact back to the community that a lot
people don't see," Hines said. "It is not just us making cars.
plant has made a positive change in the community."
Hines said he
hopes he gives as much to the company that they give to
the community. He
said his father used to tell to accomplish something everyday.
"I try to
give it my best everyday and I try to do better each day than
I did the day
before," Hines said.
That's what he has been doing at Honda for more than 25
Three running for mayor of Richwood
An incumbent and two challengers are vying for mayor in the
village of Richwood.
While mayor Bill Nibert is touting all the
accomplishments of his
administration during his 16 years as mayor,
challengers Arlene Blue and
Cynthia Blackburn claim they are running because
they were recruited to
do so by concerned citizens.
One word repeatedly comes up when Cynthia Blackburn discusses
qualifications to serve as mayor of the village of Richwood -
While she readily admits that she is not savvy in the dealings of
village government, Blackburn says what she lacks in experience
feels she makes up for in other areas.
"The key is honesty," Blackburn
said. "I wouldn't cheat anybody. I
couldn't do that."
Blackburn, who has
operated her own beautician business in the village
since 1993, said many of
her clients asked her to run for the position.
"I want to see what I can do
for the village," Blackburn said.
She said she sees no sweeping changes which
are needed for the village,
but just general pride issues.
"I want to see
if we can make the people of Richwood proud again," she said.
said she would have an open door policy as mayor that would
residents as well as village employees. She said she would ride
village employees to learn what they do on a day-to-day basis.
she is a good listener and gaining feedback is crucial in
changes in the village.
"I can't solve all of the world's problems but I can
work on a small
corner," Blackburn said.
Crime, specifically by juveniles,
is a problem plaguing the village,
according to Blackburn. She sees getting
youth and adults involved in
village affairs as a key to cutting some of the
"I would like to see the town come together a little bit
more," Blackburn said.
Blackburn said she welcomes the challenge of
learning the ins and outs
of being a mayor if elected. She said she hopes the
people of Richwood
are ready to get away from politics as usual and vote for
with a fresh perspective.
Blackburn said it would be difficult
to run both a business and the
village, but she would make it work. She said
she believes her clientele
and employees would help her free up time for work
around the village.
"I will make it blend," Blackburn said. "I'm a nonstop
Former village council member Arlene Blue said she will bring
responsibility to the Richwood government. She said government is
business and village officials need to spend public money like
spend their own money at home.
Blue, a former
20-year member of Richwood council, said she was asked to
run by numerous
people who felt a change was needed in the village. She
said her love for
Richwood led her to accept.
Blue said she will bring a level of frugality to
"I notice things written in the paper that distresses me
financially," Blue said.
She noted things such as paying a law firm
several thousand dollars to
update the codified ordinances and failing to
keep an updated inventory
of village assets as issues that trouble
"We need to get practical," Blue said. "We are a small village
people are tired of taxes."
She said the village currently does not
have a maintenance program to
make machinery last.
"They just go out and
replace them," Blue said.
Blue also said upgrading the appearance of the
village will be a top
priority if she is elected.
"I'm just tired of the
grit and grime," Blue said. "The village just looks bad."
She said the
government needs to convince residents to take pride in
their homes and
"I'm really disheartened in people's property," she said. "People
take pride in what the village looks like."
Blue said she would also
like to bring a level of respect to village
operations, pushing Richwood
employees to have pride in their work.
She said she will insist that rules of
parliamentary procedure are
followed at meetings and she will ensure the
public is treated with
respect. She also added that she will not succumb to
"I will not play favorites to friends and family," she
Blue said her experience as an accountant has familiarized her
payroll and tax issues. She said she is also familiar with dealing
the state and bureau of workers compensation.
Blue noted that her
experience on council also familiarized her with
grant writing and noted that
she wrote a grant application and secured a
$40,000 grant for the Richwood
Nibert, an insurance agent in the village, says
he is seeking office to
continue the growth that has taken place in the
village during his past
terms as mayor. A lifelong resident of Union County
and 50-year resident
of Richwood, Nibert has served as mayor for a total of
"During my past terms as mayor Richwood has seen tremendous
In terms of what qualifies him to serve as mayor
of the village, Nibert
needs only point to the list of accomplishments under
administration. Under Nibert's watch the village has seen
installation of new water and sewer lines and a new water tower.
also pointed to the purchase and development of ground for the
industrial park which is now the home of MAI manufacturing which
then 65 individuals, 90 percent of which are residents of
the Richwood area,
according to Nibert.
Nibert also points to negotiations to secure the land
for the new
baseball diamond at the park and the land were the Veterans'
located. He has also overseen the annexation of 22 acres of
Ottawa Street for additional housing for the village.
also noted that the village has received $5 million in grants
from the Union
County Commissioners while he was mayor of the village.
"I would like to
continue as mayor to ensure this progress," Nibert said.
Family attacked in home
Suspects entered residence via open garage
By CHAD WILLIAMSON AND RYAN HORNS
A woman and her two daughters were
reportedly attacked in their Mill
Valley home Monday night by two Hispanic
males who remain at large.
The woman, who sustained lacerations in the
attack, was transported to
Grant Medical Center by MedFlight after the
incident. Her daughters,
ages 10 and 12, were transported to Memorial
Hospital of Union County by
emergency squad where they were treated and
According to Glenn Nicol, assistant chief of the Marysville
Department, officers received a 911 call from 1452 Meadowlark Lane
11:45 p.m. The 10-year-old, who was in a second floor bedroom,
that her mother was struggling with the subjects downstairs. In
background the second young daughter can be heard crying and
Periodically the mother can be heard
"There is someone in my house and their killing . their stabbing
mom," the 10-year-old said. "They are stabbing me and my sister and
mom . I'm scared!"
"Where's your mom at right now?" the dispatcher
"She downstairs, they're hurting her," she said.
The girl said she
had no idea who the men were, but they had stabbed
their mother and went down
to the basement. The girl had gone to her
mother's bedroom to make the call
"Did you actually see the knife?" dispatchers asked.
my mommy got hit by one, it was going down her throat. And I'm
there is a cut on my finger and my leg."
"He cut your finger and your leg?"
"Yes and my face is like bleeding and everything," the
At this point in the conversation, screams can be heard
downstairs in the home.
"My mom is freaking out, she got hit with
the knife," the girl said. "My
mom's crying, she got stabbed
Although the girl claims the intruders had a knife, authorities are
yet confirming that fact.
Nicol said it appeared the two men chose the
house at random because the
garage door was raised. At this time it is not
believed that the
attackers knew the victims.
The men entered the home
through the garage and were removing electronic
equipment when they were
confronted by the woman. The victim's husband
was reportedly at his job at
the time of the attack.
Nicol said the woman was struck in the head with an
during the attack. Although he would not name the item,
Nicol said it is
believed the object used came from the garage of the
The two daughters, who were asleep when the attack began, were
and called police. The attackers would later make their way up
stairs and assault the two girls.
The men fled the scene and have not
been caught. It is unknown whether
they escaped on foot or were in a
Marysville Police, including the K-9 unit, and Union County
Deputies responded to the scene. Representatives of the Bureau
Criminal Investigation and Identification were at the scene this
processing the home for evidence.
Mill Valley residents
shocked by events
By MAC CORDELL
News of the attack on a Meadowlark Lane
resident spread quickly through
the Mill Valley housing development this
"We are freaking out here," said Kristina Kramer, who was outside
her son and talking with her neighbor.
She said her daughter plays
sports with one of the injured girls and was
"shocked" to hear the
Kramer said she and her neighbors are "nervous Nellies," following
news of the attack.
Her family already has a plan.
"We are calling
Brinks this morning to turn on our system. We don't care
what it costs,"
She explained that all the homes in Mill Valley were built with
systems, but it was the new resident's responsibility to have
"I think Brinks is going to get a lot of calls this
morning," she said.
Kramer said she moved into Mill Valley four years ago
with her family
from South Dakota. She said in South Dakota, the family
doors or cars as there was no need. She said she learned her
recently when her vehicle was broken into and a DVD player
"Otherwise, this neighborhood has been totally quiet. It is
Becky Wever and Kellie Crosby were walking with their
about the break-in.
"We were both really surprised it
happened in our neighborhood," said
Wever. "One of the reasons we moved here
was because it was so populated
and seemed so safe."
Crosby knows she
sometimes left the garage door open, but not anymore.
"It was really an eye
opener, because I know there are times when we
accidentally leave our garage
door open, but we will be more careful."
Both said the incident has served as
"I think it just teaches you to be more vigilant," Wever
"Definitely," agreed Crosby.
County hopes residents see value
of 911 system
By RYAN HORNS
Union County officials are
asking voters for the second time to help
keep its 911 emergency services
The previous 911 levy expired in December 2006.
Sheriff Rocky Nelson explained the importance of the
county's 911 Public
Safety Communications Levy by answering a number of questions.
will it cost?
Nelson said residents passed a 0.5 mill levy in 1988 to
create the 911 services. Now, 19 years later, residents are being
to pass a 0.75 mill levy to keep those services in place until
Under the previous levy, the owner of a $100,000 home paid roughly $14
year. Passage of the Nov. 6 ballot issue would cost the owner of
$100,000 home an additional $8.80 a year.
Nelson said voters have
renewed the levy every five years. However,
Union County has become one of
the fastest growing counties in the
state. This has had an affect on the
number of emergency situations, and
the rise in crime has been
The sheriff said that last year the 911 levy failed by more than
votes. Its passage would have ensured a seamless continuation
"It's critical at this point," he said. "We have no wiggle
room now. We
are trying to explain to the people of Union County the need for
What is 911?
Nelson said Union County's 911 system is a
which provides the dispatcher with a location and
phone number when a
911 call is dialed from a typical land line phone.
a resident makes a 911 call from his or her cell phone, wireless
gives the dispatcher the location by using X and Y mapping
County is one of only 23 Ohio counties which have this capability.
having both 911 land line and cell phone capability (provided a
signal is available) "provides residents with the security of
they have immediate, direct access to a dispatcher in the
event of an
What has the county done to save money?
Allen Township Fire
Chief Rod Goddard said by combining the city and
county 911 systems into one
call center in 2006, it eliminated the
expense of duplicate equipment and
services while still enabling 911 to
maintain the present level of
"In 2005, following the Ohio Revised Code, a Planning Committee
formed," Goddard said. "It consisted of a county commissioner, the
of the most populous city and a trustee of the most populous
They in turn asked for a Technical Advisory Committee to be formed
address needs, costs, technology, etc."
Goddard said the Technical
Advisory Committee consisted of 15 people
from 13 different entities, such as
township trustees, law enforcement,
fire departments, Emergency Management
and telephone companies. Over a
period of several months, the committee
presented an amended plan
currently in operation and the suggested funding
"There is so much behind the scenes that the majority of
know about," Goddard said. "But they expect the services to be
when they call . If they only knew the effort that has gone into
What are the needs?
Nelson said with rapid county growth, increased
use of 9-1-1 and the
demand for newer technology, it has created the need for
funding. From 1990 to 2005, Union County's population surged from
to 45,751, a 31 percent increase. He said 9-1-1 calls for
increased from 6,690 calls in 2004 to 10,673 calls in 2006, a 37
"Updated technology and staff - to adequately meet the
needs of our
residents, especially in times of emergencies - is a concern,"
Union County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Tom Morgan,
One concern for the
levy, Nelson said, is that Union County residents
are often hit with numerous
levies at the same time. It can make people
decide against passing any of
Mental Health board seeks replacement levy on Nov. 6
Editor's note: Today's
newspaper has the first two stories regarding
issues and candidates for the
November election. Election stories will
appear through Friday.
The Mental Health and Recovery Board of Union County is asking
members to renew its funding source on Nov. 6.
The board is
seeking a 0.5-mills replacement levy to provide money for
the operation of
mental health services and facilities. If passed, it
would not take effect
until 2008, but would last 10 years. Currently the
owner of a 100,000 home in
Union County pays $10.50. If the levy passes,
the same homeowner would pay
$15.32. The levy will raise approximately
$585,000 per year.
and Recovery serves as the local mental health and
substance abuse authority,
responsible for planning, funding and evaluating services.
dollars are really safety net dollars," said Mike Witzky,
of the Union County Board of Mental Health and
Recovery. "Our levy dollars
are our most flexible dollars."
He added, "I think passing the levy is for
the good and safety of our community."
Witzky said in fiscal year 2007,
the board served 2,056 clients, a
number that has more than doubled since
He said the board assists in a lot of ways that most members of
public never see, like mental health counseling or treatment for drug
alcohol dependency. He said the board also helps in more
ways with things like help for homeless and supported housing to
some of those with mental illness in their homes.
Witzky said the
board also provides counseling for the uninsured and
"These funds go to offset the care for these people,"
He said community services will suffer if the levy is not
approved by the voters.
"If the levy fails, ultimately we have three tries
to pass it, but if we
can't it is going to take $500,000 out of our budget,"
said Witzky. "If
that happens, we will probably have to reduce our counseling
will have a direct impact on our clinical staff. We will have to
costs and the easiest way to do that is cut staff."
While levy dollars
are the board's most flexible, they all go to services.
"100 percent of
levy dollars go to client services for Union County,"
Witzky said. "They do
not go to administrative services."
County voters will have other local
issues to decide as well.
Levies to help cover police protection from the
Union County Sheriff's
Office will be on the ballot in both Jerome and
Jerome Townships levy is an additional 1.2-mills tax, to
years. If the five-year levy passes, the owner of a
Jerome-Township home would pay $36.76. The levy will raise
$202,000 per year.
In Millcreek Township, voters will be
deciding on an additional 2-mills
tax levy. If the five-year levy passes, the
owner of a $100,000 home in
Millcreek would pay $61.24. The levy will raise
approximately $69,000 per year.
Fire protection will be the subject of
levies in Liberty and Taylor
Townships, both to begin in 2008. If passed, the
fire levies would be
used for the maintenance of fire apparatus, appliances,
well as water sources along with the payment of firefighters and
other fire companies.
In Liberty Township, the proposed 5.75-mills
replacement levy would last
five years. Currently the owner of a 100,000 home
in Liberty Township
pays $137.58 for the fire levy. If the replacement levy
passes, the same
homeowner would pay $176.10. The levy will raise
approximately $392,500 per year.
The Taylor Township levy is a 5.75-mills
replacement and increase, to
last five years, beginning in 2008. Currently
the owner of a 100,000
home pays $130.70 for the fire levy. If the levy
passes, the same
homeowner would pay $176.10. The levy will raise
approximately $222,000 per year.
Union Township, including the village of
Milford Center, and York
Township each have 1-mill levies on the
Union Township's is a five-year renewal, to begin in 2008.
generated will be used for the operation and maintenance of the
cemeteries. Currently the owner of a 100,000 home in Union Township
$30.52 for the levy and would see no change if the levy passes. The
will raise approximately $31,000 per year.
York Township's levy is to
cover current operating expenses. It is a
five-year replacement levy to begin
this year. Currently the owner of a
100,000 York-Township home pays $17.96.
If the replacement levy passes,
the same homeowner would pay $30.62. The levy
will raise approximately
$24,800 per year.
The board of elections approved
the placement of several alcohol-related
initiatives on the ballot. Old Stone
Haus Tavern, in Taylor Township,
precinct 1, will have two issues on the
ballot - weekly sales of
spirituous liquor and Sunday sales of beer, wine and
Voters in Marysville's 12th precinct will have the
opportunity to vote
on Sunday sales of beer, wine and mixed beverages at
Buffalo Wild Wings,
Little Tony's Pizzeria and Wal-Mart. In Marysville's
17795 Mill Valley LLC. will be on the ballot requesting
sell beer, wine and mixed beverages on Sunday.
is Tuesday, Nov. 6, however, those wishing to vote absentee
may do so now
through Nov. 5.
Wireless remotes allow teachers to gauge
By CORINNE BIX
New classroom response systems are
the equivalent of raising a pupil's
hand in class at local school districts,
Fairbanks, Jonathan Alder and North Union.
"clickers" are a wireless remote system that allows teachers to
students in a whole new way and finally answers the
age-old question that
every teacher wants to know "did they get that?"
Tom McCulloch is a teacher
and technology specialist at Jonathan Alder
Junior High School.
totally engages the students," he said.
JAJHS is currently sharing an
iRespond System among the teachers and staff.
McCulloch said the class set
includes one receiver, which plugs into a
laptop computer via a USB cord, and
32 student remotes or "clickers" as
they are commonly called.
clickers look like a remote control for a TV with a number pad, the
A-E, directional buttons and a small LCD screen," he explained.
can ask the class a question and the students simply click
"We instantly get feedback from all the students in class and not
who would normally raise their hands," McCulloch said.
In addition to
verbally asking the question, the system can also be set
up so that students
can re-read the question on their LCD screen before answering.
then gets immediate feedback as to what percentage of the
class has the
correct answer and can also pinpoint who might need
Teresa Henn teaches business, accounting and finance at
North Union high school.
Henn uses the classroom performance system with
her students as often as
once a week.
"I love it and my kids love it,"
Henn said. "I have kids asking me when
the next quiz is because they want to
Henn said a teacher could choose to input his or her own questions
the case of a core content class, use questions that are
into the system.
She said her students like to see the
immediate results after they click in.
Teachers can choose to put the
system in an anonymous mode in which each
student is identified by a number,
or in the case of a smaller group,
could use actual names.
question you can show the top scores or not show scores, it
just depends on
what motivates the students," Henn said. "The system
offers a lot of
McCulloch said the system records all the questions and answers and
the ability to print out various reports so that a teacher can
later with a student who may have struggled with a particular idea
The average cost for a classroom set of remotes and a receiver
He said the advantage to the system is it allows for a more
"If they can pick up something electronic,
it gets their attention,"
McCulloch said he hopes that
with time more and more teachers will
become comfortable with the clickers
and utilize them within their classrooms.
Uncontested races prevalent
on Union County ballots
By MAC CORDELL
The village of Milford Center will
have no contested races on the ballot in November.
Nor will they have any
new faces in office.
Nor will Plain City. Or North Union School Board. Or
Township, or Dover Township or Jackson Township, any number of
In fact, according to the Union County Board of Elections,
just 10 of 49
contests will have more candidates running than open seats, and
races will have no names on the ballot at all.
Like residents in many
of the communities, civic duty will be the only
reason for Plain City
residents to vote for either mayor or council as
incumbent Sandy Adkins is
the one running for mayor and incumbent
council members Chris Johnston and
Bob Walter are the only two running
for a pair of council seats.
Marysville and Richwood, council seats will be open, but there will
Candidates for Marysville seats include incumbent John E. Marshall
ward 1, incumbent Daniel E. Fogt in ward 2, Deborah Groat in ward 3
Nevin L. Taylor in ward four, with one candidate from each ward to
Von R. Beal and William S. Jerew running for the two open
Richwood Village Council.
North Union Local School District
School District residents will see
just a pair of familiar names, those of
incumbents Bryan Bumgarner and
Jon Hall, on their ballots for two
Voters will have few choices in Milford Center as incumbent mayor
Mitchell will seek his seat again as will fiscal officer Dawn
and while there will be two seats open for village council,
councilman Anthony C. Smith will be the only name on the
Unionville Center residents, an old face will be in a new place
current councilman Denver B. Thompson Jr., is running unopposed
mayor. Tracy Rausch will be unopposed in her bid to be Unionville
fiscal officer. Phil Rausch is running as a write-in candidate, for
of the two open seats on Unionville Center Village Council. He is
only candidate fioled for the position.
In Magnetic Springs, no one
has is running for mayor or fiscal officer.
Current councilman Martha
Cantrell and Carol Verity are the only two
running for Magnetic Springs
While any of the townships will see contested races. In
Dan Fancy (incumbent) and Don E. McCreary will vie for one
position. Jerome Township residents will get to cast ballots
current trustee Ron Rhodes and former trustee Freeman May. The
Township trustee race will pitt Douglas J. Alderman (incumbent)
Alfred L. Short. In Dover Township, Russell Conklin (incumbent) and
Miller are both running for one trustee seat. Taylor Township
will see three names - Dean E. Cook, Jack Engle (incumbent) and
Marshall - on their ballot for one township trustee position.
Township voters will also see three names - Jeff Clark, Bradley
and Randy C. Poland (incumbent) - on their ballot for one seat. In
Township, Donald Mathys (incumbent) and John Oates will run for
one trustee seat.
Uncontested township positions include Allen Township
(incumbent Cande S. Brake), Claibourne Township trustee
Jeffery L. Swartz), Claibourne Township fiscal officer (incumbent
Price), Darby Township fiscal officer (Mary Dick), Dover Township
officer (incumbent Wallace Snyder), Jerome Township fiscal
(incumbent Robert Caldwell), Jackson Township trustee (incumbent
Patton), Jackson Township fiscal officer (Jan Oldham), Leesburg
trustee (incumbent Gary L. Cunningham), Leesburg Township fiscal
(incumbent Annette Jill Chapman), Liberty Township trustee
Randy L. Trapp), Liberty Township fiscal officer (incumbent David
Gwilliams), Millcreek Township trustee (incumbent William E.
Jr.), Millcreek Township fiscal officer (incumbent Joyce Beaver),
Township trustee (incumbent John M. Eufinger), Paris Township
officer (incumbent Kristy K. Rowland), Taylor Township fiscal
(incumbent Patricia J. Laird), Union Township fiscal officer
Mary Lou Ryan), Washington Township trustee (incumbent Richard
Anderson), Washington Township fiscal officer (incumbent Valerie K.
and York Township fiscal officer (incumbent Timothy Paul Goodwin
Alleged Golden Arches burglars indicted
By MAC CORDELL
The trio that
allegedly burglarized a Marysville fast food restaurant
are among the
individuals recently indicted by a Union County Grand Jury.
(Money) Cross, Nicolas Trejo and Ashley N. Matson have been
charges stemming from the Feb.. 4 robbery of the McDonald's.
Each have been
charged with aggravated robbery, complicity to aggravated
robbery, theft and
two counts of kidnapping. All charges except the
theft are first-degree
felonies. Matson, 22, and Trejo, 19, both of 214
Saddlebrook in Delaware,
face a maximum 41 year prison sentence. Cross,
19, of 1407 Cinnamon Drive, is
facing 56 years because each of the
charges carries a specification accusing
him of having the gun during
the alleged robbery.
According to law
enforcement reports, Cross allegedly snuck into the
restaurant after hours
with a gun. Matson was an employee at the time.
Trejo is accused of being the
driver for the group, which allegedly made
off with several thousand
"The police began an investigation immediately following the
said Union County Prosecutor Dave Phillips. "It was focused (on
Cross, Matson and Trejo) relatively soon after."
Like Trejo and
Matson, Robin Paul Higgenbotham is also facing 41 years
Higgenbotham, 44, whose only court listed address is
Jail, has been indicted on 14 counts of forgery, 11
counts of theft, five
counts of receiving stolen property, two counts of
possession of cocaine and
one count of aggravated possession of drugs.,
all felonies of the fifth
degree. Higgenbotham is also accused of
engaging in a pattern of corrupt
activity, a second-degree felony.
According to the court documents, the drug
related activities took place
between June 10 and August 1 of this year. The
other alleged offenses
occurred Sept. 16 and 17.
Higgenbotham is Jeffrey R. Logan, 21, and Herman J.
Nienhaus, 41, both of
whose only court listed address is Tri-County
Regional Jail. Logan faces 4
counts of forgery, 11 counts of theft, five
counts of receiving stolen
property, all felonies of the fifth degree,
and one count of engaging in a
pattern of corrupt activity, a
second-degree felony for events that allegedly
took place between Sept.
16, and Sept. 24. If convicted, Logan faces as many
as 38 years in a penitentiary.
Nienhaus faces 12 years in prison on one
count of receiving stolen
property, a fifth degree felony, one count of
forgery, a fifth degree
felony, one count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt
second-degree felony, and two counts of obstructing justice, both
Noah Carter, 25, of 509 W. Fifth St., is the last
of the defendants to
be indicted out of the investigation into Lee Dog's
Lockerroom. He is
charged with one count of trafficking in cocaine, a third
and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, a first-degree
William R. Bohaboy, 37, of 5594 Covington Meadows Drive, in
is charged with three counts of importuning after allegedly
person, over 13 but younger than 16 years old, to have sex with
According to the court documents, the alleged incidents occurred
Dec. 1, of last year and May 1, of this year. He faces as many as
years in prison if convicted.
James Demoine Levalley, 25, and Rachel
Marie Kaple, 22, were indicted
together for a series of events between May 5,
2006 and July 16 of this
year. Levalley, of 670 Meadows Dr., is charged with
cocaine, a third-degree felony, theft, a fifth-degree felony,
theft, a fourth-degree felony, and four counts of identification
three of them third-degree felonies and one a fifth. If convicted,
faces as many as 23 and a half years in prison.
Kaple, of 620 Meadows
Drive, is charged with one count each of theft, a
fifth-degree felony, grand
theft, a fourth-degree felony, identification
fraud, a third-degree felony,
and trafficking in cocaine, a felony of
the fourth degree.
department offers trick or treat tips
From J-T staff reports
pirates and princesses prepare to descend on neighborhoods
County for trick or treating, the Union County Chapter of
the American Red
Cross and the Union County Health Department's Safe
program offers parents some safety tips to help
prepare their children for a
safe and enjoyable holiday.
"By following a few simple safety tips, parents
can make this Halloween
a safe and fun time for their little
trick-or-treaters," says Lynne
Whatley, local Red Cross executive director.
"Most Halloween injuries
are preventable if parents and children take some
"Children will be distracted by other costumes and the
thrill of getting
all those goodies," said Safe Communities/Safe Kids
Elizabeth Fries. "Parents should accompany their children if at
possible and stay in familiar neighborhoods."
The Red Cross advises
parents and children to follow the following
safety tips " ... because
Halloween's greatest hazards aren't vampires
and villains, but falls, costume
mishaps and automobile collisions," said Whatley.
.Plan your route and
share it with your family. If possible, have an
.Wear light-colored or reflective-type clothing to increase
(And remember to put reflective tape on bikes, skateboards and
.Use face paint rather than masks or things that will cover
.Cross the street only at corners.
.Look both ways before crossing
the street to check for cars and trucks
(and low-flying brooms!).
hide or cross the street between parked cars.
.Walk, slither and sneak on
sidewalks; not in the street.
.Carry a flashlight to light the way.
homes that have the porch light on.
.Keep away from open fires and candles.
(Keep in mind that costumes can
be extremely flammable.)
.Accept treats at
the door and never go into a stranger's home.
.Be cautious of strangers and
.Have a grownup inspect treats before eating. And don't eat candy if
package is already opened. Small, hard pieces of candy are a
hazard for young children.
Safe Communities adds the following
tips for motorists:
.Slow down in residential neighborhoods.
traffic signs and signals.
.Watch for children walking in the street or on
medians and curbs.
.Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and
.Teach children to exit and enter the car on the curbside, away
The Safe Communities program was developed through the Ohio
of Public Safety to establish and/or expand community partnerships
create safer, healthier communities throughout Ohio.
information may be obtained by contacting the Union County
at 642-2053 or by stopping by the American Red Cross
Union County Chapter
House at 112 E. Fifth St.; calling the Red Cross at
642-6651; or visiting the
Web site at www.redcross.org/oh/.
Treats also are
available at the Red Cross during regular business
hours, Monday through
Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Oct. 31.
U-CO ready to have new
From J-T staff reports
What started as the dream of a group of Union
County residents about a
decade ago has grown to affect many people's
attitudes and perceptions
of the people affected with developmental
Originally located in a truck garage on Industrial Parkway and
gymnasium of Broadway School, U-CO Industries was established as a
(c) (3) not-for-profit organization in 1974. U-CO moved to its
location, 835 E. Fifth St., in 1976.
Last week, the Union County
Board of Developmental Disabilities (UCBDD)
and U-CO Industries, Inc. entered
into a historic agreement and reaffirm
their mutual commitment to ensuring
services for adults with
disabilities in Union County. The two boards signed
a joint resolution
for the new facility located at 16900 Square Drive,
"To our knowledge, nowhere else in Ohio has a non-profit board
a building and taken such creative steps to lay such an
foundation on which to build a future for adults with
said UCBDD Superintendent Kim Miller.
The newly renovated
facility is a 72,000-square-foot warehouse. The site
will house several other
agencies such as WorkNet, Support Services, and
other consumer businesses
such as File 13, Inc.
The new facility, and what it represents to those
served by the UCBDD,
is best expressed by U-CO employee Mamie Murphy who has
worked at the
present location for more than 28 years.
"I can't wait to
have a real big new place to work. I have been here a
long-time and it's too
crowded here," she said.
Other matters addressed at the joint meeting
included the approval of a
contract with The Billing Connection for Medicaid
billing for 2008, and
the Union County Interagency Agreement on Transition
Intervention (Part C) to Preschool Special Education Programs
or Other Appropriate Services.
Several changes and additions to
policy and health benefits for 2008
were discussed and passed by the
For more information on UCBDD and its programs, services and
opportunities, contact Carol Scheiderer at 937-645-6733 or
has different vision for site
Officials want more offices, less
By RYAN HORNS
Marysville leaders may put the clamp on the
retail aspects of the future
Cook Property development.
routes 4 and 31 on the city's north side, the property
has carried with it
rumors of national retail chains, grocery stores and
more, but at Thursday
night's Marysville City Council meeting, members
discussed why the Cook
Development needs changes.
Planning Commission representative Alan Seymour
said the development was
recently given favorable reviews, but they were
hesitant about the
commercial and retail portions of it. They recommended
go back and come up with a sketch plan more in tune with city
Councilman John Marshall said the Cook Property falls within his
so he is concerned about following the Marysville Comprehensive
Plan. His greatest concern was with the high amount of retail space.
current sketch plan only calls for 18 percent office use.
intended to be mostly office, and not so much retail," he said.
is to give that a very hard serious look."
Marshall said he is worried about
the impact increased retail might have
on neighbors and the potential traffic
Councilman Mark Reams agreed that the Master Plan called for the land
"be an office park."
"I hate to see us take the last parcel and use it
for commercial when it
should be office," he said.
representatives, brothers Dean and Dave Cook, commented this
morning on the
plans for their property.
They said the project is still in its "very early
stages" and they
remain open minded toward any of the city's
"We want to work with the city any way that we can," Dave
The Cooks also mentioned that their father purchased the property
1960s, with the specific purpose of development some day.
Valley and Scott Farms located in the area, they said there
are more than
2,000 rooftops that need services currently not being provided.
they hope to talk with city officials more and are looking
forward to the
next Planning Commission meeting in early November.
"We're local and we can
do it right. We want to do what is good for the
community," Dean Cook
Seymour explained to Reams during the council meeting that
when a parcel of land is already zoned, the city's "hands are
Councilman John Gore said that perhaps the city should remain
to any commercial aspects. He added that there has been discussion
updating the city's Comprehensive Master Plan. The document was
created in 1999.
"In the meantime," Seymour said about the plan. "We have
what we have."
"I still have a hard time . without talking to the developer,"
said. "I have a tough time telling a landowner how they should
develop their land."
Seymour agreed, saying that this discussion is
exactly what the Planning
Commission has been dealing with. The landowner has
his or her rights
and the city has its plans.
"Obviously, there are a
number of strong opinions there," Gore said.
He recommended that city council
meet in a joint discussion with the
Planning Commission. No date was set for
In a somewhat related issue, Marshal asked city
House about the status of East Point Plaza, which is the
location of the
former Big Bear/Wal-Mart stores. He said the building has
since Big Bear moved out.
Marshall wondered if the city has
received any inquiries on the
building, in the hopes it could be filled with
another business someday.
House explained that there have been inquiries
in the past, but nothing
has come of it.
Marshall said it would be good to
hear suggestions regarding the
possible redevelopment of the
"Perhaps it would be worthwhile to kind of reinvent that site,"
He said the whole area has gone down hill, "with that
dinosaur sitting there."
Seymour said that his personal view is that the
spot is prime location,
but a reinvention of it is a good idea.
good when it does happen," he said.
In other discussions:
. House said the
city opened bids on the excavation project for the
She said Weaver Excavation came in as the winning bidder, with a
million price tag. That figure is "significantly under" the
engineers estimates for the cost. The project is expected to
construction this year, before January. The city plans to meet
surrounding neighbors to the site "very soon."
. Council voted
against accepting the dedication of park land in Scott
farms from M/I Homes
of Central Ohio.
Before the vote, members heard from city law director Tim
said that if council did not accept the land, then it could be
violation of the terms of the final plat and could be sued.
He said the
planning commission passed the final plat in 1996, which
listed the land to
be dedicated to the city as park land.
"We have no choice," Gore said.
think that's what we're supposed to do," Aslaner said.
Reams, who was on
planning commission in the late 1990s, said that he
did not recall the space
being park land. It was to be referred to as
"green space." There is a
"I don't like voting with a gun to my head," Marshall said. "This
just ugly because it is not park land."
Woman facing two years
after welfare fraud
By MAC CORDELL
A Mississippi woman could be spending
time in an Ohio penitentiary after
she admitted to welfare fraud.
L. Grizzle, 42, of Ocean Springs, Miss., pleaded guilty Thursday
counts of theft, both felonies of the fifth degree. She is facing
as many as
two years in prison.
Union County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard Parrott
presentence investigation and set a sentencing hearing for Monday,
26. Defense council Perry Parsons said his client would waive
presentence investigation to get the matter resolved quickly.
said he could not, by law, sentence the woman to probation without
presentence investigation. If the investigation were waived, the
would have to go to prison. Parsons and the defendant agreed to
The attorney did ask that his client be allowed to go to Tennessee
November to attend to a court hearing about a car accident.
Union County Prosecutor Terry Hord said the state was not
releasing the woman on her own recognizance, as long as she
if she failed to appear for her next court date, that
would be a separate
"There has been full restitution to Union County Job and
Family Services," Hord said.
The judge did release the woman on her own
recognizance but issued a stern warning.
"I want you to understand that if
you don't show up on Nov. 26, I am
telling you right now, when we catch you,
not if, when we catch you, you
will be sentenced to the whole amount,"
The woman said she understood, then said she wanted to add
"I am sorry for what I have done and I do realize it was wrong,"
"You can tell me that later," the judge told
According to court documents, Grizzle received more than $1,595
overpayments from Aid to Dependent Children and $666 in food
overpayments between Feb. 1, and May 31, 2005. During that
Grizzle applied for and was granted ADC and food stamps because she
Job and Family Services representatives that her two sons were
with her. If fact, at the time the sons were living in
Court documents indicate Grizzle and her husband were unemployed
time, as were both sons, one of which was 18 at the time. The
was being home schooled. Job and Family Services made several
to get family members jobs and job training, however, they failed
show up for the programs.
Grizzle was indicted in Union County and
later arrested in Jackson
County Mississippi. At that time, she waived
extradition to Ohio, but
when she was set to be conveyed north, she said she
had a medical
problem that prohibited her transport.
investigation and inquiry, it has been determined that she
has no medical
problem and used that as an excuse to avoid extradition,"
according to court
When she was finally returned to Ohio, bond was set at $50,000. At
time Hord wrote, "the state believes she is a significant flight risk
her bond is made."
According to court documents, Grizzle has several
aliases, addresses and
contacts in several states and a criminal history that
on drug charges, theft charges and burglary
Following her arrest, Grizzle wrote a letter to the court
for her actions. She called her living situation at the
She said she, "was scared to let anything else change
until I had some
sort of grasp or foothold on things. My boys have been in
and out of the
household. It's been nearly impossible for me to try to
provide for us all by myself."
She said that she had medical issues that
required care she could not
afford. She also said she was a full-time college
student, "trying to
get a college degree in order to have a chance at a good
She said she had been living on student loans but was not enrolled
school that semester and so was not getting student aid.
me make this right," the letter ended.
Hord said he appreciated the woman
repaying the money, but said this
type of offense is a crime against the
"We take welfare fraud very very seriously," said
County Prosecutor Terry Hord. "These are people who are
payers' money. This is a crime that costs anybody who pays taxes
gets services from the state."
Board considers impact of new
By CORINNE BIX
Memorial Hospital of Union County is
keeping a conservative financial
outlook for 2008, as the new Dublin
Methodist Hospital is scheduled to
open in January.
The board of trustees
approved in principle an initial draft of the 2008
budget which is due to the
county commissioners by Nov. 1.
Jeff Ehlers, chief financial officer,
presented the draft to the board.
Ehlers explained that the projected budget
was allowing for some
flexibility so that changes could be made once the
impact of the Dublin
hospital can be measured.
"This is the first we have
had a competitor opening," Chip Hubbs, MHUC
President/CEO, said. "We are
going to see a reduction of volume due to
that although conservative, there was no reason to believe
that MHUC won't
have a great year in 2008.
Ehlers said the draft budget would be fine-tuned
in the coming weeks,
and any changes would only be improvements.
third year in a row, Memorial Hospital has opted to reallocate
originally budgeted for medical staff and board member holiday
instead be donated to area not-for-profit groups.
Up to $8,000 will be given
to local charities.
Hubbs requested that local groups contact his office
directly and submit
a short letter explaining how their organization would
utilize additional funds.
Those interested should contact Connie Priday,
assistant, at 578-2289 or Connie.Priday@memorialhosp.org.
Zani, director of information services, and Mareva Page, director
presented information on the new central scheduling
department to open in the
The new department will alleviate high call volumes and eliminate
trees by directing all scheduling to one phone number.
Page said no
external interface would be needed to tie in the new system
which has a
projected total cost of $38,280.
MHUC is looking to house the new department
in the old sleep lab space
adjacent to the hospital's wellness center.
department will have between four and five employees. In addition to
etiquette training, those hired for the department will receive
specific to understanding the services/tests for which they are
Beginning in January, the central scheduling department's space
undergo renovations and the system will be installed. The
department is set to go live in April.
Page said overall, the
goals will be to give patients only one phone
number to call when scheduling
tests and procedures , resulting in more
satisfied customers because of the
timely manner in which appointments are made.
"We are trying to create a
better product, a better service and more
efficiency," Hubbs added.
board took time to recognize outgoing board member Pamela
will be relocating to Arizona with her family.
The board presented her with a
framed certificate of recognition, along
with a gift
Wenning-Earp has served on the board of trustees since
Hubbs said he expects the county commissioners to appoint someone
take her place on the board within the next few months.
employees and board members attending Thursday evening's
board meeting had an
opportunity to vote on this year's MHUC Christmas card.
This is the third
year that the hospital has asked a group of local
students to submit entries
for the card.
This year various students from Mill Valley Elementary and
Intermediate in grades four through six participated in the
The winner will be contacted this week and will receive a $100
Bond and $50 gift certificate to Toys R'Us.
The board adjourned
into executive session to discuss a trade secret of
a county hospital. No
action was taken.
The next regular board of trustees meeting will be Nov. 29
at 8 p.m.
In other business, the board:
.Approved Dr. Mohammed Shareef -
pulmonology/critical care, department
of medicine, courtesy provisional
status; Dr. James Underwood, DO -
pediatrics - department of medicine -
.Approved Dr. Norman Raymond for a medical leave of
.Approved committee reports for finance and joint
.Received customer service data and the Urgent Care 12-month
.Approved CRNA Core.
.Approved completed re-appointments of
various medical staff.
.Received board of trustees bylaws for biannual review
to be discussed
further at the next board meeting.
Bleacher theft may
lead to prison sentence
By MAC CORDELL
A false statement about a stolen
set of city bleachers could cost a
Marysville woman a year in
Natasha Conrad, 26, of 702 Meadows Drive, pleaded guilty Thursday to
count of falsification, a felony of the fifth degree. She faces as
as 12 months in prison. In exchange for the guilty plea,
dismissed a fifth-degree felony theft charge that could have
another year to a possible prison sentence.
The charges stemmed from
a Sept. 6, incident at the Singer Fire Station,
620 N. Main St. According to
court documents, Conrad and her husband
Benjamin Conrad 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.
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.
employee at the salvage facility was able to describe the truck,
matched the description given by the witnesses in Marysville, and
investigators with a license plate number and description of
Later that day, police stopped the truck and arrested
and Natasha Conrad. The pair gave investigators conflicting
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
idea and that she told him to stop when the pair was
While her husband has pleaded guilty to theft, it was the lie to
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."
Union County Court of Common Pleas
Judge Richard Parrott has ordered a
presentence investigation on both
Benjamin and Natasha Conrad. Parrott
also set a sentencing hearing for
Natasha Conrad on Monday, Nov. 26.
Benjamin Conrad's sentencing hearing is
set for the next day.
Local Red Cross
volunteer responds to scene of
By MAC CORDELL
As Union County Red Cross staff members scurried
from closet to closet
looking for shirts and a windbreaker jacket, one
volunteer sat in the
conference room fidgeting in her seat.
of the Raymond area, was gladly accepting the shirts and
other small supplies
being offered to her, but she had a long flight
ahead of her and was eager to
get on her way.
A volunteer with the local chapter of the American Red Cross
for about a
year, Watters was headed to the Sunshine State, where things
been so sunny recently. The retired TRC employee is doing her part
help those in California.
Southern California has been hit hard by
wildfires which have caused at
least $1 billion in damage in San Diego County
alone, officials said
Wednesday, and easing wind gave firefighters hope that
they could begin
to gain ground against the flames.
The fires, in their
fifth day, have destroyed 1,500 homes and caused at
least a half-million
people to flee - the largest evacuation in state
history. At least 1,200 of
the damaged homes were in San Diego County,
and officials believe that number
It is those 500,000 people forced to leave their home for the
a Red Cross shelter that Watters hopes to help.
American Red Cross sent a bulletin to all its local
chapters calling for
help. The relief organization needed volunteers
that had already been through
the background checks, physical screenings
and training to help at the Red
Union County Red Cross Executive Director Lynn Whatley said
immediately thought of Watters.
"I said, 'Yes, put me on the alert,'"
She said she called her husband, who is out of state, and let
what was going on. While this is her first experience going to
different part of the country to help with disaster relief, it is
exact reason she got involved with the Red Cross.
"One of the reasons
I took retirement at the earliest opportunity was
because I wanted to be able
to do this kind of thing, so I am really
excited to get busy and get
helping," Watters said.
Shortly after her retirement a year ago, Watters
contacted the local
chapter to help. Since then, she has volunteered with the
taken classes to prepare her for just such an
Whatley learned Wednesday morning that Watters' application to
been accepted. Watters was immediately scheduled to fly out of
that afternoon and be on the ground in California by
"They could have me doing anything, but I think I will be helping at
shelter, just lending a hand," Watters said.
The local Red Cross
chapter was responsible for all the coordination
efforts to facilitate the
deployment. Expenses, including Watter's
airfare, food, and lodging will be
picked up by The American Red Cross
scheduled to be home Nov. 14, but realizes she could return
home as quickly
as she was sent.
"They may shut down a lot of shelters early and send people
Watters said. "It is hard to tell."
Either way, Whatley said
she is proud to have Watters represent Union
County in California.
really special to be able to be part of a bigger national
said. "Today it is California where people are being
sent. Someday, people
will have to come to Union County. It is not a
question of if, it is when our
local community will need services."
Sheriff evaluates Code Red system
By RYAN HORNS
The new Union County
Sheriff's Office Code Red emergency system can
bring out the best and the
worst in people.
The system utilizes a phone database of Union County
residents to call
every household in a specific neighborhood or in the entire
depending upon where an emergency situations is occurring and who
Union County Sheriff Rocky Nelson said since it began, there
have been a
few "nasty" letters from residents regarding the unexpected
the majority of people have offered praise for being kept up to
emergencies. Numerous county schools have also asked to join
Nelson said if the majority of residents eventually decide that Code
is a burden, he can always stop funding it. Until then, the system
working quite well.
He added that residents may also opt out by
contacting the Union County
Sheriff's Office through e-mail or by calling and
making a request to be removed.
Union County Sheriff's Office
communications director Anne Barr warned
that being taken off the database
could mean those residents would lose
access to important emergency
"You're either all in, or you're all out," she said.
if there is a tool law enforcement can use to immediately
get the word out to
residents about emergencies that directly impact
their neighborhoods, how
could they not use it? He said the system is
about awareness. If one resident
turns on a porch light at night because
of receiving a Code Red alert message
on their phone, then it's worth it.
On Oct. 10 Code Red had its first
full-on test, when two different
crimes affected nearby residential areas.
The day started off with a man
who ran from deputies during a random traffic
Nelson said at 7 p.m. the Union County Sheriff's Office issued an
via telephone to inform a small amount of residents along the area
McPeck Road and Route 739 that a man had fled from deputies and
making his way through the area.
Barr said that because of the Code
Red alert, deputies received three
calls from residents who tipped off
deputies to the criminal's location.
The first was a woman who said the man
had just asked her child for a
ride to Byhalia. The family had refused and
the man fled.
The office received another two calls from drivers who
potential suspect taking his shirt off at the bridge on
"So (Code Red) worked perfect," Nelson said.
At 9:28 p.m.
another Code Red message went out to inform residents that
there was no
defined cause for the man to flee the traffic stop and that
still searching. The suspect ultimately evaded authorities
and was never
"It's my job to keep people informed, as much as I can," Nelson
"Especially when it concerns their safety and welfare . Who knew
later we would have to do it again in another area."
On the night of
Oct. 10 two inmates escaped from West Central Community
on Route 4.
Two calls went out through Code Red regarding the fleeing men.
was at 10:45 p.m., informing 897 residents that the men were in
area. The second call went out the next morning on Oct. 11 at 6:45
to 1,446 people, informing them that the convicts were still on
loose. Not everyone appreciated the early morning wake up call.
said it made sense to inform residents while they were getting
work. Many could be going out to the barn that morning to the
or climb into their cars to go to work and find two
escaped prisoners. He
said a surprised convict is more dangerous.
"Their excitement levels are
often very high when they are on the run,"
Nelson said. "They don't always
make the best decisions."
The Union County Sheriff's Office is not the only
area which has
received some complaints.
Marysville Police Chief Floyd
Golden said a few residents proved to be
more concerned with their favorite
television show, than with a missing
toddler wandering around their Mill
Valley neighborhood during a
thunderstorm earlier this year.
department's cable alert service is often used to cut into local
in order to inform residents of emergency situations
similar to Code
Golden said the situation was serious, but thanks to the cable
system, a resident called and the child was soon safe at home.
Golden said that didn't stop one resident from complaining to police
missing part of a television show.
Man caught allegedly stealing
From J-T staff reports
A Marysville man was caught red-handed
when a detective was waiting for
him inside a home he
Marysville Police reported today that an investigation into the
prescription medications over the past few weeks from a Grove Court
ended in the arrest of Michael J. Carpenter.
Carpenter, 35, of 33
Grove Court, was apprehended inside the home
Wednesday at 6:45 p.m. after a
Marysville police detective observed him
enter the house and take a
prescription of Vicodin from the kitchen.
Det. Don McGlenn said today that he
knew the home's residents planned on
being away most of the night. McGlenn
said, on a hunch, he decided to
keep an eye on the place. The hunch paid
"Just minutes after the residents left the home, the suspect
observed entering the residence with a key and taking control of
prescription bottle," police reported. "The investigator was inside
home at the time of the arrest and held the suspect until
officers arrived to assist."
Carpenter's mother, a neighbor to the
victims, had been assisting the
elderly couple at various times with
Police reported that they believe Carpenter may have taken
the house key
while his mother was attending to the couple.
arraigned today in Marysville Municipal Court and received
a $25,000 bond for
one count of burglary, a second-degree felony. If
convicted, Carpenter faces
as many as eight years in prison.
Police reported that the investigation is
ongoing and additional charges
are expected to be filed in the
Mayoral candidate meets with citizens
By RYAN HORNS
invited all of the mayoral candidates," resident Don Bergwall joked.
we're very fortunate that they all showed up."
On Wednesday night
Marysville's only mayoral candidate Chris Schmenk met
with about two dozen
invited citizens and community leaders for an Open
Forum held at the
Marysville Public Library. The night provided insight
on her plans and vision
for the city.
Schmenk said she has already been going door-to-door, talking
residents about what they expect from her.
"It's not going to be a
small job for you to transform things," resident
Myron Gallogly said to
When she thinks of Marysville, Schmenk said she thinks of a city with
rich agricultural heritage that has prospered because of its
"But we're starting to get discovered," Schmenk
said. "There has been a
rapid increase of population."
Growth can be good,
she said, if it is managed well. This means
including plenty of green space
and open land. It also means not
expanding beyond the city's financial means
and making sure to study
what other communities in a similar positions have
done to come out ahead.
Schmenk said she hopes to focus on issues that
affect senior citizens,
help the school district, connect sidewalks for
children to walk to
school and make sure people feel safe by helping the fire
and police services.
Residents also brought up issues which have impacted
them during current
Mayor Tom Kruse's term.
"A big issue with the current
administration is how they deal with
people," Gallogly said. "I'd like to see
restored treating people with
integrity, regardless of the mission . It has
Schmenk said her first job as an attorney out of college was with
Wendy's Corporation. She thought it was a great step for her
Then on her first day the company sent her on a mission to work
the counter at a local Wendy's restaurant. It was a lesson in
humble and learning how to treat people with respect.
come first," Schmenk said. "This city has to be a customer
A Jerome Township resident and farmer said he has had
with both Union County and Marysville
"Working with the county has been a pleasure," he said. "The city
not so much."
He hopes to see the city's attitude change toward its
A husband and wife said their farm land is affected by
the new reservoir
project. They have had issues with dealing with
and its attitude of ordering people around.
has been jammed down our throat," the wife said.
"I can't tell a lie. I am
honest," Schmenk said. "I always listen to
what people have to say and I will
require that of city employees too."
"Well, hopefully we'll look forward to
working with you," the wife said.
Union County Engineer Steve Stolte said
how Marysville deals with
townships is an issue. A better relationship is
Schmenk said she feels that county, townships and Marysville
directly tied to one another.
"I already feel like I have a good
relationship with (the townships),"
she said. "To me, Marysville cannot act
like an island. It is part of a
Regarding the growth down
the U.S. 33 and U.S. 42 corridor, she said
growth is happening fast. When it
come to issues such as annexation, she
said "we shouldn't just reach out and
grab. Growth needs to be slow and deliberate."
"Growth can be good if we
work with other officials," Schmenk said. "I
want Union County to have
benefits of that growth, rather than Dublin or Columbus."
One man brought
up how Schmenk is still employed full-time at The Scotts
and is involved on the Memorial Hospital of Union
County board. He wondered
how she plans to make time for being mayor.
"Many people have asked me that.
Especially my husband," she joked. "But
I am very fortunate to work for a
company which will allow me the time to be mayor."
Schmenk said she does
not plan to be a leader who is always dictating
and demanding what should be
done. When going door to door, she was
happy to find that residents are
willing to do whatever it takes to help her.
"There is a lot of talent in
this community," one man said. "All you
have to do is source it."
said community involvement with its government is important and
she hopes to
hear from a lot of people.
Resident Lloyd Baker, who helped organize the
forum with Bergwall, asked
Schmenk about the city's significant debt load and
how she plans to deal with it.
Schmenk said she still has a lot to learn
when it comes to understanding
the city's financial situation, but she is
against borrowing unless it
is necessary in the long run. The city should be
able to function in a
way to pay for the smaller things.
"It doesn't make
sense to borrow to pave streets," she said, "or borrow
to buy a police
The city has had to borrow a lot of money, she said, and it will be
job to make sure that residents' money is managed very well.
city wants to be has not been articulated," Bergwall said.
Schmenk said the
plan is to figure out what the city needs to be and
then make that a
Another key aspect of her term as mayor, Schmenk said, is to
accessible to residents.
She plans to keep the public forum open.
Another forum has been
scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 30 from 2 p.m. to 3:30
p.m. at the
Marysville Public Library's Conference Room A.
Schmenk said a
Columbus City Council member often invites residents to
jog along with her in
the morning and talk about issues. That is
something that sounds good to her
- to keep relationships with residents
informal and out of the
Local housing market may be hard to label
By MAC CORDELL
The real estate
market is clearly in a slump. Or maybe it isn't locally.
Or maybe it
Whether Union County is going through the downturn in the housing
with much of the rest of the country is largely dependent on who
"It is still good," local real estate agent Meg Michel said. "The
you hear are responding to the east coast and west coast and
where you had scams."
And Dana Garrett, an agent with HER Real
Living and ex-officiao of the
Union County Association of Realtors, says
don't even bother asking her
"I am probably a little
biased because I am having my best year ever in
the business, listing and
selling, so I can't go along with the fact
that the market is down."
not everyone agrees with the rosy outlook of those who have a vested
in convincing the public everything is fine.
According to the Union County
Recorders office, recorded deeds have seen
a decline the last two years. In
1998, the recorders office recorded
2,319 deeds. The number steadily
increased to 2,756 in 2005. However, in
2006, that number fell to 2,329 and
currently stands at 1,632 for 2007.
Union County Recorder Teresa Markham said
November and December are
traditionally low volume months.
"That is quite
a bit," Markham said of the slide. "We haven't been below
2,000 in quite some
time. I can't see us recording 400 in the rest of
the year to get to 2,000,
so yes, we are down I would say."
Union County Engineer Steve Stolte said he
has also seen a slowdown in
the number of single family building permits
issued by his office.
"Since 2003, we have seen a steady decline in the
number of single
family home permits," Stolte said.
He said Union County
went through a slowdown in the late 1990, but saw
steady growth in the early
2000s. Single family home permits peaked in
Union County with 580, Stolte
said. Last year, the engineer's office
issued 273 new housing permits. Based
on numbers through September of
this year, Stolte expects to issue about 220
permits in 2007. Stolte did
say he could see the decline, "starting to level
off a bit."
Stolte said that what permits are being requested are coming from
larger home builders like M/I and Dominion.
"The smaller ones have
really fallen off," Stolte said.
Michel said the perception of a failing
mortgage market has actually
done the most damage to the housing
"A lot more people are sitting tight and being more
Michel said of sellers.
The liberal buying and lending of
the past has caused another problem.
The number of Union County homes in
foreclosure is also up. According to
statistics from the Union County Common
Pleas Court, in 1998, the county
had 45 home foreclosures. In 1999 the number
rose to 71 and has
continued to rise to 259 in 2005 and 279 in 2006. Union
County has seen
232 foreclosure cases filed or reactivated through September
of 2007. To
be fair, there are more homeowners in Union County than 10 years
but foreclosure rates have outpaced the rate of growth.
foreclosures combined, with the proliferation of subdivisions and
building in the early part of the decade has created an
overage. That overage
had driven the price of homes down even further.
Fortunately for Union
County, local industry has made the area
"Looking all over, it is everywhere," said Garrett. "There is an
of houses in the market, but we have a lot of relocations here. We
a large number of big industries around us, how could we not
Michel said that while the number of buyers "moving
up" in homes was
down, the number of relocations to the area has been on the
keeping the market steady.
While her business is booming, Garrett
realizes all is not as good for
other real estate agents.
"I am seeing
other Realtors getting second jobs," Garrett said. "I am
Realtors struggling to make the numbers they have in the past."
said prices have not risen they way they had in the past.
"It has definitely
changed in pricing, but there are definitely still
buyers and still sellers.
You just have to adjust."
Garrett said she feels local house values are not
appreciating the last
18 months to two years the way they have in the past.
traditionally, homes in Union County have appreciated about
percent annually while the last 18 months, homes have
between one and a half and two percent.
Michel said many of
the houses were never really worth what the buyer
paid. She said many banks
offered no down payment and no closing costs.
Those costs were rolled into
the cost of the home.
"The true value of the home was really what they paid,
minus all those
extra costs added in," Michel said.
She added that many
homeowners have borrowed against the value of their
home, meaning they owe
more than their house is worth.
"If you are going to borrow 120 percent of
the appraised value of your
home, it's no surprise you can't sell your
Publicity around the housing crunch has given buyers a false
the real estate agents say.
"Not every seller is as desperate
as the media is putting out there,"
Garrett said, referring to the perception
that many buyers are in over
their head having bought too big a house on a
now escalating adjustable
Garrett added, buyers, "could be
shooting themselves in the foot by
continuing to lowball and slapping buyers
in the face. Buyers are trying
to get something for nothing."
added, however that buyers are likely to find a bargain if
they look long
"If buyers keep going with lowballing sellers, somebody is going to
in a position where they have to take it," Garrett said.
bargain shoppers, making "ridiculously low" offers, need to
know where to
"There are some bargains out there where people can't afford to
But these are in the subdivisions, not in the country."
that if you have some money, "it is a good time to buy some
Both real estate agents complemented local governments for
housing under control in the area.
"I think the city has done a
good job controlling the new construction
in a timely manner," Garrett
Michel added, "I think the slowdown in the subdivisions is a
thing," Michel said. "Let the schools get a break. Let commercial
up. We will never be as cheap as some of the houses on the west side
Columbus. That has never been our goal. Nice, quality developments
meets the need of the people, we can always use them."
that while people are not buying, they are making changes.
"We have seen the
number of alterations and additions has not fallen off
as fast." Stolte said.
"People seem to be doing more alterations than
Michel offered advice for those looking to buy to make certain when
want to sell, they can.
"As always, buy location," Michel offered.
"Buy in a subdivision that
will always have something special. Buy a lot that
has something special."
Child support offenders targeted
A pair of local men have pleaded guilty to not supporting
Between Paul E. Combs and Thomas David West, they owe
more than $37,838
in back child support payment for their children.
take nonsupport very seriously in this county," said Union County
David Phillips. "These men have a legal and moral obligation
to support their
children. If they do not follow the orders of the
court, if they decide to
break the law, we are going to go after them.
"Ultimately our goal is to get
these men to pay their obligation, but if
they don't, if they continue to
refuse to defy the orders of the court,
we are going to ask the judge to send
them to prison, both as a
punishment to the offender and as a deterrent to
West, 50, of 20 Sherman Ave., in Mansfield, pleaded guilty to
counts of fifth-degree felony criminal nonsupport. If convicted,
could be sentenced to as many as five years in prison.
Combs, 40, of
263 W. Third St., in Marysville, is facing as many as 41/2
years in prison
after pleading guilty to three counts of fourth-degree
nonsupport. Charges against Combs are more serious
because he has a prior
conviction on a 2003 charge of the same offense.
A sentencing recommendation
from the state suggests to the judge that
Combs should serve three years in
"We are entering a plea, but we do not enter into a
agreement," defense attorney Dorothy Liggett-Pelanda told Union
Common Pleas Court Judge Richard Parrott at the time of the guilty
She said her client did not contest the charges which include that
owes 12,350.34 in child support, but she added, "we do not feel
is in the best interest of the minor child."
her client has been making, "semi-regular" payments
but has applied for
Social Security because he has several medical issues.
recommended three years community service for West, who
owes 25,488.65 for
three children in Union County. He was being held in
Tri-County Regional Jail
in-lieu of $5,000 bond. When asked by the
judge, the man said he had no prior
convictions for criminal nonsupport.
Since no prison time was recommended for
the defendant, Parrott ordered
him released on his own
"There is no sense, you racking up a bunch of time I am going
you pay for in Tri-County," Parrott said.
The judge then offered a
warning to the man.
"If you get rabbit in your blood and you run, you are
going to take the
full load. It's that simple," Parrott said.
have been scheduled for sentencing hearings in November
Spotlight Theatre Co. to present The Legend of Sleepy
From J-T staff reports
Spotlight Theatre Company, Union County's
nonprofit community theatre
organization, will bring the classic fall family
production, "The Legend
of Sleepy Hollow," to life just in time for the
More than 45 local actors, children and crew will present
the play at
Veterans Memorial Auditorium, 233 W. Sixth St., Friday, Saturday
Sunday and Nov. 2, 3 and 4. Friday and Saturday shows will begin at
p.m., and Sunday shows will begin at 2 p.m.
Adapted by Clay Presley from
the story by Washington Irving, the
Spotlight Theatre Company version of the
classic Halloween tale presents
Ichabod Crane, a nervous and superstitious
sort, as the new schoolmaster
assigned to Sleepy Hollow, a small town. He
sets his eyes on Katrina,
the eldest daughter of rich farmer Baltus Van
Tassel. But Katrina is
already "claimed" by Brom Bones, the biggest bully in
As Ichabod woos the fair Katrina, Brom schemes to regain what
considers his rightful place. With the help of a little stage magic
the infamous headless horseman, a pumpkin and Ichabod bring
to its climax.
"We encourage everyone to plan to see the show, as it is
truly a family
show," said Kim Sobas, Spotlight's president. "Live theater is
everyone should experience, and we enjoy families being involved in
entire production process. We welcome anyone in our community who
like to participate."
Reserved seating may be purchased in advance
at Creative Traveline at
644-8188 or general seating purchased the day of the
show at the
auditorium box office. There is a fee for
Additional information may be obtained by contacting Sobas
(937)537-6163 or Karen Iden at (740)272-7928.
Spotlight Theater Company
members have contributed financially and
voluntarily to help improve the
community by assisting other
organizations such as the Union County Family
YMCA, Veteran's Memorial
Auditorium, Our Lady of Lourdes Church, the
Marysville Food Pantry and
the Union County Child Assault Prevention
Spotlight also is a member of the Union County Chamber of Commerce,
Community Theatre Association and the Theatre Roundtable of
Bed bugs reported at local motel
By MAC CORDELL
Sleep tight. Don't let the bed bugs bite.
It's not just a nursery rhyme, but
also words of wisdom for those about
to lay their head to slumber at one
Jason Orcena, public information officer at the Union County
Department confirmed Monday that the Super 8 Motel, 16510 Square
has bed bugs, or at least had them. According to documents at the
department, "several complaints were received concerning bed bugs,"
the local motel in August.
"Our sanitarians went out there," Orcena
said. "They investigated and in
the course of their investigation, they did
find some signs of possible bed bugs."
Exterminators were called to the
motel and the rooms were inspected.
According to the exterminator's report,
several rooms had bed bugs on
the head boards, mattress and box spring. In
one room, it was written,
"bed bugs found throughout room."
treated not only rooms where the bugs were found, but also
rooms at the motel manager's request, according to
documents from the
Mark Patel, general manager of the motel said there was only
where bugs were found. He said that room was closed off for two
and remains on an extermination schedule. He said several other
were cleaned, but only as a precaution. When asked about other
identified in the exterminator's report, he said it must have been
miscalculation on their part.
"We had only one isolated incident," Patel
He said the motel receives monthly extermination for all sorts of
"They come out once every two weeks to make sure it doesn't become
issue," Patel said.
He said motel officials had already contacted the
exterminator about the
bed bugs before the health department contacted
"We are taking care of it," Patel said. "We have already taken care
Orcena said the motel has worked well with the health department
bring the situation under control.
"We did our follow up investigation
and did not find any signs of bed
bugs at Super 8," Orcena said.
are nocturnal blood-feeding insects. When hungry, bed bugs
search for a host
and feed while the host is asleep. Using their sharp
beak, they pierce the
skin of a host. They inject a salivary fluid
containing a blood pooling agent
that helps with their meal. The fast
movers will feed, usually 10 to 15
minutes for the adults, then crawl
away to a hiding place.
"Bed bugs hide
during the day in dark, protected sites," according to
the Ohio State
University Extension Office. "They seem to prefer fabric,
wood, and paper
surfaces. They usually occur in fairly close proximity
to the host, although
they can travel far distances. Bed bugs initially
can be found about tufts,
seams, and folds of mattresses, later
spreading to crevices in the bedstead.
In heavier infestations, they
also may occupy hiding places farther from the
When traveling, OSU officials suggest motel-goers inspect their room
well as adjacent rooms.
"A bed bug infestation can be recognized by
blood stains from crushed
bugs or by rusty (sometimes dark) spots of
excrement on sheets and
mattresses, bed clothes, and walls," according to the
web site. "Fecal
spots, eggshells, and shed skins may be found in the
vicinity of their
hiding places. An offensive, sweet, musty odor from their
may be detected when bed bug infestations are severe."
key to controlling bed bugs is to not allow them in your home. This
difficult if a motel room has them and they are transferred from
the room to
an occupant's luggage, from the luggage to the home.
"Do not bring infested
items into one's home," according to the
extension office's Web site. "It is
important to carefully inspect
clothing and baggage of travelers, being on
the lookout for bed bugs and
their tell-tale fecal spots. Also, inspect
secondhand beds, bedding, and
furniture. Caulk cracks and crevices in the
building exterior and also
repair or screen openings to exclude birds, bats,
and rodents that can
serve as alternate hosts for bed bugs."
measures include frequently vacuuming the mattress,
laundering bed clothes in
hot water, as well as cleaning and sanitizing
the entire house.
vacuuming, immediately place the vacuum cleaner bag in a plastic
tightly, and discard in a container outdoors-this prevents
captured bed bugs
from escaping into the home, according to information
from the OSU Extension
office. "A stiff brush can be used to scrub the
mattress seams to dislodge
bed bugs and eggs. Discarding the mattress is
another option, although a new
mattress can quickly become infested if
bed bugs are still on the
While reactions can be varying, the bed bug's bite is almost
painless. A small, hard, swollen, white welt may develop at the site
each bite. The welts last for several hours to days and can be
itchy. Scratching may cause the welts to become infected.
three or so welts on exposed skin are characteristic signs of
according to the extension office web site. "Welts do not
have a red spot in
the center such as is characteristic of flea bites.
Some individuals respond
to bed bug infestations with anxiety, stress,
and insomnia. Bed bugs are not
known to transmit disease."
Locating the bugs is important to get rid of
"A thorough inspection of the premises to locate bed bugs and
harborage sites is necessary so that cleaning efforts and
treatments can be focused," according to information from the
University Extension Office. "Inspection efforts should
the mattress, box springs, and bed frame, as well as crack and
that the bed bugs may hide in during the day or when digesting a
meal. The latter sites include window and door frames, floor
carpet tack boards, baseboards, electrical boxes, furniture,
wall hangings, drapery pleats, loosened wallpaper, cracks in
ceiling moldings. Determine whether birds or rodents are nesting
near the house."
Marysville lays out participation fees
Will Marysville School District student athletes and pupils
participate in extra curricular activities be assessed larger fees
engage in their activities of choice?
Superintendent Larry Zimmerman told school board members at
night's regularly scheduled board meeting that if the
4.75-mill, five-year operating levy doesn't pass Nov. 6, many of
district's programs and activities will be impacted.
It's what he has
been saying for a couple months now, but Monday night
board members with estimated costs incurred in the
transportation of athletes
"This would be one of those choices school board members will
make if the Nov. 6 levy doesn't pass," he said.
explained a list of possible "student user fees" that would be
costs need to be reduced after the election. Dubbed
"travel fees" the costs
would offset costs incurred when a group uses
Travel fees would include $200 per participant in band; $150
participant for football, basketball, wrestling, swimming and
choir; $125 per participant for cross country, baseball, softball
track; $100 per participant in volleyball, tennis and FFA; $60
participant in golf and Mock Trial; and $50 per participant in ski
Costs for the In The Know team have yet to be determined.
are approximate costs, according to Zimmerman, but are based on
the number of
trips taken per group, the length of the trip (miles
driven) and the duration
of the trip (time required for the bus driver).
The fees would be coupled
with the district's pay-to-participate fee
which is currently $25 per
activity. This fee has not been increased
since it was first implemented in
1990, according to Zimmerman.
He said the average pay-to-participate fee in
Central Ohio is $150 per
activity. If the Nov. 6 levy is defeated,
Marysville's cost cutting/cost
saving measures considered would be to
increase its pay-to-participate
fee up to $150.
Even if the board decides
to keep the pay-to-play fee lower - for
example, $50, $75 or $100 - the total
travel fee/pay-to-participate cost
still represents a higher cost than is
currently being paid, Zimmerman said.
The board also approved the
district's five-year financial forecast as
presented by treasurer Delores
The forecast has to be submitted to the state before the end of
It is a "fairly fluid" document, according to Cramer, because
district is looking at increases in gasoline, heating fuel and
rates but is not sure of the amounts.
Not many people are aware of
it, Cramer said, but if the Nov. 6 levy is
defeated, the school district will
lose a full year of collecting
revenue because of the way funds are
"You can see the effect of it not passing in November," she
In other business, Zimmerman said that the school district was
commended by SABO/LIMBACH Energy Services for its energy
"I am currently monitoring utility bills for (more than) 60
Ohio, and Marysville Exempted Village Schools have the lowest
of any new buildings," read a communiqué from Tony Van Gundy,
of information systems.
Van Gundy also commended Jeff Wargo,
district director of maintenance,
and his staff for maintaining district
buildings in a cost conscious
Plain City officials
vote to authorize numerous raises
By MAC CORDELL
Following opinions from
the Ohio Ethics Commission and prosecutors from
both Union and Madison
County, village council in Plain City has
increased the mayor's
The council then approved pay increases for all village
Not to be left out, council also approved a compensation increase
itself, though that raise will not be effective until Jan. 1, 2010
some council members and not until 2012 for two others.
approved 2.5 percent raises for all police officers, including
chief/village administrator Steve Hilbert, and all public works
The police and public works departments still have salary
steps to reward
years of service. Each step was raised 2.5 percent.
Hilbert, who has been
head of the village police department since 1996,
is the longest serving
police chief in either Union or Madison County.
The chief's salary is not on
a step system.
Fiscal officer Renee VanWinkle will also receive a raise, to
from $32,595. VanWinkle's raise was larger than 2.5 percent in an
to bring her compensation package closer in line with that of others
similar positions in the area.
Council president pro-tem said the
raises were, "consistent with
recommendations from the personnel and finance
raises passed unanimously.
In an effort to make the
measure effective before the Nov. 6, election
council passed the mayor's
salary increase as an emergency measure.
Compensation for the mayor,
effective Jan. 1 when the next mayoral term
begins, will be $15,000 per year,
up from $8,000.
Council discussed the increase several weeks ago, but wanted
to seek an
ethics opinion since current mayor Sandy Adkins is the only
running for the position in November.
"We had to wait for that,"
said Village Solicitor Michael McCarthy of
the ethics commission's ruling.
"While inconvenient, that is how they operate."
McCarthy said the OEC saw
no problem with the raise as long as it was preelection.
the mayoral salary increase by a vote of 5-1, with
councilwoman Barb Long
voting against the resolution.
The council also passed its raise from $100
per meeting to $150 per
meeting by a vote of 5-1. Chris Johnston voted
against the increase.
Village Council is moving forward with zoning code
changes that would
allow an indoor soccer training facility to move into the
Dougherty, director of coaching for Ohio Premiere Girls Soccer
the group was hoping to move into the 37,000 square feet warehouse
250 S. Jefferson St., in the village, on the southwest corner of U.S.
42 and Route 161.
"We have a lot of things we can offer to the village,"
"We would like to be able to come to Plain City and be part
of this community."
He said the club would have a 29 month contract with
the building owner
with potential for a longer commitment.
property is zoned Industrial and carries a specific
prohibition on athletic
training facilities, council would need to make
athletic training facilities
a permitted conditional use. To change the
zoning district a public hearing,
which cannot occur until 30 days after
notice is posted, is required. The
hearing will be held Nov. 26. Walter
said the board of zoning appeals would
have the final decision, but
could meet the following evening to expedite the
Gary Kay, managing partner of Jefferson Street Properties, asked if
could begin making modifications to the building to expedite the
once the change has been approved.
"I think we would rather follow
the village requirements for the
village's protection, for your client's
protection," said Walter.
Committee positions were also discussed at the
meeting. Adkins informed
the council that Uptown Plain City Organization
president Jason Milligan
was resigning the position. She said he would remain
active with the
group, but did not want to lead it any longer. The mayor said
asked him to stay through the end of the year.
"I think he feels
burnt out and unsupported," Adkins said.
Council discussed placing a member
on the UPCO board as a committee
appointment. The group also voted to make
council member Todd Skidmore
chairman of the infrastructure committee.
Councilman Wes Gibson had been
chair of the committee but has found his
obligations as chair of the
fire committee, "have increased significantly,"
Walter said. Skidmore
said the infrastructure is looking for several members
from the public.
He said he would like to have residents from different areas
in the village.
"We have a diversity in the village and we want to take
that," Skidmore said.
Richwood Council hears of
potential plan for beach
By CHAD WILLIAMSON
Richwood officials asked for
help designing a revamped beach area for
the village park.
What they got
back was a unique structure plan, but no way to fund it.
Joe Looby of the
R.D. Zande and Associates engineering firm presented
council with a sketch of
the concept at Monday's village council
meeting. While the officials may have
been looking for a simple beach
area, the concept was much more
Looby showed a design that included a shelter house, concrete steps,
handicap accessible ramp and the most eye catching feature -
semicircle of decking which extends out into the lake to mark off
swimming area. The decking would be installed around the current
area and swimming would be allowed inside the perimeter.
the decking would be five to six feet wide, enough for people
to walk on or
fish from, but narrow enough to discourage bicycles or
other vehicles. The
size of the arc would depend on the depth of the
lake and how deep the
village wants the swimming area to be.
Looby said some dredging would be
required to remove debris from the
Council members added a
few more ideas for the area including a kiddie
pool area for children under a
year old and a drain to set a maximum
water level at the lake.
member Von Beal wanted to know the price for the work. Looby
didn't have an
answer, noting that his immediate goal was to see if
council liked the ideas
behind the project.
Village financial officer Don Jolliff noted that the
budgeted $20,000 for site improvements at the beach for 2008.
noted that the money was set aside for grading and sand purchase
wouldn't make much headway in paying for a project the size of the
Looby noted that grant money should be available for the
noted that the project affords handicapped individuals access to
recreation, a fact that scores well on many grant
Union County Economic Development Director Eric Phillips also
the project could qualify for money under an Ohio Natureworks or
grant. Mayor Bill Nibert said the Logan, Union, Champaign
Regional Planning Commission is also working up a grant package
for shelter house.
Looby said there is no reason the entire project needs
to be completed
at once, suggesting the work could be divided into phases.
that the engineers present a funding package to council at a
Council also heard from North Union schools superintendent
about the future of the current middle school. In the coming
district will be building a new middle school in the area of the
high school and elementary school.
Smith explained that the state
funding for the construction includes
money for the demolition of the current
middle school school on Norris
Street. This will leave a large empty space
where the school stood.
Despite rumors to the contrary, the district also
owns a large football
field behind the school site, leaving two large open
spaces in the
middle of the village once the school is demolished.
asked if the district would be interested in assuming ownership of
Council member Scott Jerew said the village would be
maintaining the green space in the village and would like
to see a proposal
for such a transition.
In other business, council:
.Voted 6-0 on the
recommendation of the Tax Incentive Review Council to
continue the enterprise
agreement with MAI Manufacturing.
.Voted 6-0 to eliminate parking on the
North Side of East Bomford
Street. Council waived the three reading rule on
.Learned from Jolliff that the village employee health
premiums will be increasing by 16 percent in the coming
.Heard from councilman George Showalter that some resident continue
burn trash in the village although the practice was banned several
.Learned that the village will conclude its brush chipping for
the year on Oct. 29.
.Heard from village administrator Larry Baxa that the
will be closed for the season on Oct. 29.
.Decided not to
hold its next scheduled meeting on Nov. 12 in observance
Suicide attempt leads to gas leak
By RYAN HORNS
Charges are pending
against a man who attempted suicide by turning on
natural gas Saturday
morning. The incident caused an entire apartment
building to be evacuated at
At 11:34 a.m., Marysville police officers were called to the 600
of West Third Street to check on the welfare of a 48-year-old man at
W. Third St.
Authorities soon realized that the entire apartment
building at The
Arbors needed to be evacuated because of dangerous gas
"When we approached the front door of the apartment, we could smell
strong odor of natural gas," stated a report filed by the
The man is expected to be charged with one
first-degree misdemeanor of
inducing panic charge.
Police Chief Glenn Nicol said this morning that at
first, officers could not
locate the man inside the apartment.
However, they soon detected a strong
odor of natural gas coming from the
cracks around the front door. One officer
climbed a ladder to check
inside a second floor window and discovered the
window shades were
drawn. It appeared as if the man was lying on the bed
Marysville Fire Department crews reportedly donned air tanks and
entry into the apartment, where they found the man sitting on
"When we walked in," one police officer said, "(the suspect)
into the kitchen."
The man was taken from the apartment by
police officers and was
immediately transported to Memorial Hospital of Union
County for care.
Firefighters also aided in the evacuation of more than a
who lived inside the apartment building.
reported that the man may have turned on a gas lever
sometime around 9 a.m.
By 11 a.m. the build-up of gas inside had also
seeped into many neighboring
According to fire reports, the gas was quickly shut off to all of
appliances inside the apartment, the windows were opened and a fan
set up to ventilate the home.
By 12:50 p.m., the apartment was cleared
of gas levels and residents
were permitted to return to their homes.
crews were on the scene for just under an hour dealing with the
fire report also explained that the man's family indicated that he
attempted suicide in the past.
allow teachers and students to perform computer functions at
the head of the
Editor's note: This is the second in a three-part series about
technology being used in the county schools.
Chris Terzis got booed by his students last week - not because
didn't like what he was teaching, but because his students wanted him
continue teaching while using one of two SmartBoards that are shared
the teachers at Creekview Intermediate School.
are the next generation of standard whiteboards
and chalkboards. The Smart
Board brand of interactive whiteboards is
being used in the Marysville and
Fairbanks school districts, and
teachers are eager to utilize the new
technology in their classrooms.
In addition, North Union and Jonathan Alder
school districts are using
interactive whiteboards in their
Terzis is the technology teacher and technology facilitator
Creekview. He said the demand for the building's two Smart Boards
growing as they await the arrival of two more purchased by the
"A Smart Board is a touch-sensitive display that connects to
computer and digital projector to show your computer image,"
explained. "You can then control computer applications directly from
display, write notes in digital ink and save your work to share
Smart Technologies describes its product as combining the simplicity
a whiteboard with the power of a computer.
Terzis said the result is a
more engaged classroom.
"It makes learning more fun for the students because
it hits on both
your visual learners and your hands on learners," he said.
that never participate want to interact with the lesson."
Thaman serves as the technology coordinator for Fairbanks.
"The Smart Board
adds a level of excitement to the class," Thaman said.
"It opens up learning
to the whole class."
Fairbanks has about 20 total Smart Boards between the
buildings. Marysville has 11 boards among the district's
Thaman said the Smart Boards range in size from 44 to 77
length and allow for a more tactile learning
Teachers can use movie clips during a lesson and then pause the
further explain an idea.
Thaman gave the example of a social
studies teacher doing a unit on
World War II. The teacher could pause the
video and ask students to
literally draw on the board which way they would
charge the hill.
Terzis said the board also allows social studies teachers to
kinds of mapping software in which students can identify features on
In science, a teacher at Creekview recently had a picture of a
had students drag animals of that biome into the picture and then
lines to create the correct food chain for that ecosystem.
said the Smart Boards are being used in math classes because
teachers can take advantage of the virtual compass and
Finally, in language arts teachers can use the board to
editing techniques and teach punctuation. It has also been used
interactive story writing, collaborative writing and revising.
said he couldn't think of a subject area where the Smart Board
"I've been talking to the art teacher about how the board could be
in his classroom," Terzis said.
He said the biggest challenge at
Creekview is that with more than 40
teachers and about 800 students there are
not enough Smart Boards to go around.
There appears to be a ripple down
effect among teachers in that one
teacher sees a colleague using the new
technology and then his or her
interest is sparked.
"Not one teacher that
has used the Smart Board has thought that it
wasn't a valuable tool for their
classroom," Terzis said. "The major
benefits that we have noted here are
increased motivation to participate
in a lesson and how it captures the
attention of the students."
Uptown Fall Frolic planned for Friday
festivities for families are planned Friday from 5 to 9 p.m. on the
Fifth and Main streets.
Activities include: music, strolling entertainment,
food, trick or
treating at businesses in Uptown Marysville, the Big Mac
decorating sponsored by the Marysville Public Library and
Humane Society, costume contest for adults and youths and a
house sponsored by the Union County Family YMCA.
Those who attend
th Fall Frolic will also have the opportunity to meet
Spotlight Theatre cast
members who will present the "Legend of Sleepy Hollow."
In addition to
downtown restaurants, concessions will be offered by
Mabry Jumbo Ice Tea, A
& S Concessions, Sweetooth Confections and
Goodies Galore. Adult
beverages will be available.
Fall Frolic is a part of the Uptown Renewal
Team, URT, revitalization
project. Sponsors for Uptown Friday Night events
Marysville, Nelson Auto Group, Roby Chevrolet, Chapman Ford,
Electric, Dayton Power & Light, Dave's Pharmacy and S & G
Additional information may be obtained by contacting the Union
Chamber of Commerce at 642-6279.
Local teen at forefront of fight against diabetes
By CORINNE BIX
Ellington wants students at Marysville Middle School and Navin
say "hats on" when it comes to fighting diabetes.
Ellington, 13, is one of
two youth ambassadors for the local American
Diabetes Association and he's
helping raise money and awareness for the
group by allowing students to pay
$1 and wear a hat on specified "Hat Days."
Navin held its Hat Day on
Thursday. The middle school will hold its Hat
Day on Oct. 24.
fundraiser is part of the nationwide "Step Out To Fight" diabetes
day to be
held Oct. 28. The local chapter will hold its walk at COSI.
diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, formally known as
when he was 9 years old.
"Type 1 is when your pancreas stops working
completely," Ellington explained.
It was during a long car trip to Texas
that Ellington's mom, April,
recognized some of the signs. Ellington was
extremely thirsty, lethargic
and just didn't feel right. April had at one
time worked as an emergency
registration clerk so she immediately took her
son to the doctor upon
returning to Marysville.
Ellington said he was
diagnosed quickly and began meeting regularly with
were lucky that we caught it early," he said.
Ellington always wears a small
insulin pump and only removes it for
brief periods of time to bathe or
He said living with diabetes is a lot easier than it used to
"They are coming up with a lot of new things to make it
Before he got the pump in late 2005, he had
to take seven to eight shots
of insulin daily which were very
Ellington changes the pump every three days and is thankful for the
spring-loaded inserters, which are a lot faster versus inserts that
to be pushed in by hand.
As an ADA youth ambassador, Ellington has
had the opportunity to speak
at several events including a recent "Step Out
on the State Lawn" event
in Columbus. While there, he had the opportunity to
meet Columbus Mayor
Mike Coleman and several legislators.
is the executive director for the American Diabetes
Association that serves
Central Ohio and a small portion of West Virginia.
Kermisch said the local
chapter of the ADA wanted to choose
representatives who, through further
efforts, could bring diabetes
awareness to other kids in their
"Austin is very active in the schools through his family,"
Ellington has two younger brothers at Navin and an older
brother who is
a senior at the high school.
Kermisch said by becoming
engaged in the ADA, Ellington and his family
have become more aware of its
services and have been able to put the
word out to the
Ellington's mom just recently completed a Section 504 plan, or
accommodation strategy, for her son. The plan allows children with
illness to have more flexibility in terms of attending school
completing assignments, which can sometimes be hindered by
"It gives him an opportunity to not be penalized, for
example, if he has
to excuse himself from class," Kermisch explained.
have been very accommodating to Austin's
Ellington said he hasn't decided for sure what hat he will wear for
Day at the middle school.
"My Dad works at Honda R&D so I might
wear a Honda hat that he got me," he said.
More than likely his younger
brother, Jordan, a second grader, will be
sporting a Mexican sombrero.
Ellington said he thought about wearing it
but unfortunately it was too
In addition to increasing diabetes awareness, Ellington is working
become an Eagle Scout.
Burglar given 10 years in prison
By MAC CORDELL
A burglar's victim has
said she hopes he get help. If he does, it will
be from inside a prison
Joseph Anthony Miller was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in prison.
September, Miller pleaded to one count each of aggravated
possession of drugs and escape and three counts of robbery.
faced a maximum 34 years in prison. In exchange for the guilty
prosecutors dropped an aggravated robbery charge and two theft of
charges. The dismissed charges could have added another 13 years to
the man's sentence.
During the sentencing hearing, the victim told Union
Richard Parrott that she was a recovering alcoholic.
for this man, because he is an addict," the victim said.
She said Miller
broke into her home several times.
"The third time was scary," she
She said the fear eventually turned to anger.
arrested about 2:55 a.m. Tuesday, July 17. He broke a window
in the rear of
the home in the 200 block of West Third Street. The
victim heard the man and
went to the front of the house to call for
help. While the victim was on the
phone with law enforcement officials,
Miller came through the front
"He almost knocked her (the occupant) over when he came in,"
Police Chief Floyd Golden said.
"He pushed a couple of people
who tried to subdue him," the chief added.
The victim said Miller went to
the medicine cabinet and grabbed
medication, including at least two
prescription medicines, and ran from the home.
Marysville Police Sgt.
Terry Basinger arrived at the scene first.
Neighbors told the officer it was
Miller who broke into the home. They
pointed Miller out to the
"He was ordered to stop repeatedly," Golden said.
eventually caught the man after a short chase on foot. The
Miller to the ground until back-up arrived to assist him.
from the home were found in Miller's pocket.
Miller was being held at the
jail during the pendency of his case. Court
records indicate he was granted a
medical release Aug. 21, with the
stipulation that he return to the jail two
days later. The defendant
failed to show up at the jail.
pleaded guilty to the escape charge, he has said it was
Charges, including kidnapping, get man four
By MAC CORDELL
A Marysville man has been ordered to spend the next
four years in a state penitentiary.
Robert Dell Lawhorn, 24, of 14228
Pleasant Ridge Drive, pleaded guilty
Thursday to one count each of
kidnapping, a first-degree felony, and
felonious assault, a felony of the
The plea came moments after Union County Common Pleas Court
Richard Parrott announced that the results of a psychological
evaluation were available.
"The psychologist has filed a report ... which
says you knew the
difference between right and wrong at the time of the
offense and also
that you are capable of helping in your defense with your
Parrott told the defendant.
Defense attorney Cliff Valentine
had filed a not guilty by reason of
insanity plea, as well as a motion that
Lawhorn was incompetent to stand
trial, based on a medical condition.
Lawhorn has had issues in the past, including this incident, where
frequently blacks out and does not remember his actions,"
After the psychologist's report was made, Lawhorn withdrew
his plea of
not guilty by reason of insanity in the case.
In exchange for
the guilty pleas, prosecutors agreed to drop a
third-degree felony charge of
abduction and recommend a four year prison
sentence. Lawhorn faced a
potential 18 year prison sentence on the
kidnapping and assault. A conviction
for abduction could have added
another five years in prison.
recommended sentence, Lawhorn agreed to forgo a presentence
receive his punishment immediately.
"All right, lets go ahead and get it over
with," Lawhorn said.
During the sentencing, Lawhorn asked the judge to be
"Take it easy on me," Lawhorn told the judge. "I am a good guy. This
my first time getting in any trouble of this degree."
The victim, in
the courtroom, said she did not want to make a statement.
wished Lawhorn well
"I guess I'll probably see you before too awfully long,"
referencing the man's ability to apply for judicial release in
The convictions stem from a July 21 incident. The victim was
get Lawhorn, her boyfriend, into her vehicle so she could take him
Lawhorn was angry about being made to leave and he resisted getting
the car. When Lawhorn finally did get in the car, he began to
the victim. He told her he was going to punch her in the face. While
woman was driving, Lawhorn grabbed her in a headlock and began
her. The defendant punched the woman about a dozen times, giving her
"When the victim was finally able to bring the vehicle to a
Lawhorn got out from the passenger side, walked around to the
side, opened the door and pushed and continued to hit the victim
she moved over into the passenger seat," according to court
When Lawhorn was in the driver's seat he drove to a Columbus
station. The woman told deputies she feared Lawhorn would
wreck the vehicle in an attempt to kill both of them. She said
done that in the past.
She said that during the drive to Columbus,
she thought of jumping out
of car, but was afraid because the car was going
too fast. When the pair
reached the gas station, the woman tried to
"While he was pumping the gas, the victim was able to exit the car
went inside the station, asked to use the phone to call for help
dialed 911," according to court documents. "Lawhorn left the station
the victim's car, but returned a short time later, came back inside
station, took the phone from the victim's hand and threw it at
station clerk. Lawhorn then pushed and dragged the victim by her
back into the car."
Lawhorn drove back to the home in Union County
where he kept the woman
for several hours. Lawhorn would go outside smoke,
but would take the
woman's cell phone with him. According to the police
report, the victim
feared for her life.
Eventually, he forgot to take the
phone and the victim was able to call
her stepmother. The victim was
intentionally cryptic, but tried to get
the stepmother to come to the home.
Eventually the stepmother did
arrive, just as Lawhorn was pushing the victim
into the car. The
stepmother told Lawhorn to get away from the victim and to
get off the property.
"He started to walk towards (the stepmother) and she
told him to get
away," according to the police report. "He then walked back
house, but turned around back towards her and flicked a lit
her face. (The victim) yelled at (the stepmother) to get away
before he hit her. Eventually (the stepmother) said she looked up
was gone. He walked away and disappeared."
Lawhorn was located some
time later walking along Route 31 and was arrested.
"He declined to speak
about the matter," according to the police report.
"In fact, he never asked
for any details or showed any interest in what
led me to arrest him. When we
arrived at the jail, he was asked what he
was there for. He stated 'Walking
down the road.'"
Following the hearing Thursday, Parrott asked the victim if
any type of court order forbidding Lawhorn from contacting her.
the events of that July night, the woman said no and explained that
and Lawhorn were still together.
Triad schools eye Web site
By CORINNE BIX
Triad School Board members heard a presentation
from School Pointe, a
Web site management company for school districts, at
their Thursday night meeting.
The company located in downtown Columbus has
clients in Ohio and
Indiana. Nearby clients include Big Walnut Local Schools,
Local Schools and Mechanicsburg Exempted Village
Cost for the standard package is $3,500 for the first year and
for each subsequent year, with a five-year contract. In addition
is a one time $500 start-up fee.
Triad's current district Web site
is maintained internally by teachers
and students at no significant
The School Pointe representative showed the board many of the
Web site features, including news and events links as well as
The company works to build functionality and ease of
navigation into its
Web sites, the representative said. The representative
board members that the company had never had any issues with
security breaches on any of its Web sites.
The board was
interested in getting additional pricing for modules that
would allow the
district to conduct alumni management and direct
communication to parents in
the event of a school delay or in the rare
case the district had to close
The district will make a decision at an upcoming board meeting if
choose to sign a contract with the company.
treasurer, presented the recommended five-year forecast
for the board's
approval. The forecast included an allocation for an
teacher to meet state mandated core curriculum
requirements, along with
funding for a proposed maintenance building.
The district has allocated
$70,000 for a maintenance building to be
possibly constructed within the next
Superintendent Dan Kaffenbarger said there is a need to create
maintenance specific space to house the district's truck, tractor
mowing deck, among other things.
The proposed building would be a
minimum of 2,000 square feet. Initial
quotes for materials alone are
estimated at $10,000.
Current enrollment is 1,076 students, and the district
funding for 985 students. The reduced number takes into
enrollment students and that the state only funds 50 percent for
Kaffenbarger reported that the reduction of bus
routes will save the
district an estimated $58,000. At the beginning of the
school year the
district reduced elementary bus routes from 12 to nine. The
recently added back one route; however, the two fewer routes
about 3,102 miles of driving each year which will garner
savings in regard to fuel and maintenance.
The district has
received three bids for a new school bus. The three
companies include Myers,
Cardinal and Miami Valley. The district aims to
update one bus a year to
ensure the proper turnover of the fleet for
safety and efficiency.
members were invited to stop by the middle school's Night with the
Stars science program after the meeting adjourned.
Scott Blackburn, middle
school principal, said between 80-85 middle
school students were
participating in the event which allows students to
constellations and movement of the sun and moon, along
with other aspects
associated with the universe unit.
The next regular board meeting will be
Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. in the high school library.
In other business, the
.Accepted the resignation of Harry Alltop as eighth grade
basketball coach effective immediately.
supplemental positions for Will Nichols, baseball
head coach; Faith Malone,
girls basketball volunteer; Shari Dixon,
softball head coach; Patrick
Johnson, track/field head coach; Doug
Miller, middle school track/field
coach; and John Sharritts, track/field assistant.
.Approved Larry Searles,
baseball assistant; Harry Alltop, baseball
volunteer; Terry Donohoe, baseball
volunteer; Jason Gniewecki, eighth
grade boys basketball; Bob Johnston,
seventh grade girls basketball;
Alissa Ohashi, middle school basketball
volunteer; Rick Wilkins,
assistant softball; Bob Brooks, softball volunteer;
softball volunteer; Matt Alexander, track/field assistant; and
Zizzo, wrestling assistant as classified supplemental
.Approved Haley Smith as a classified substitute, custodian, and
for the 2007-2008 school year.
.Approved the 2007-2008 bus routes as
presented by the transportation
supervisor and superintendent.
the superintendent and treasurer as Triad Board of Education
receive public record training as authorized by the Ohio
Office of the
.Approved the five year forecast (A) as presented by the
.Approved amended appropriations and amended certificate of
.Accepted $92.50 to Triad Elementary from Target Inc.;
$5,852 to Triad
Elementary for Houghton Mifflin level readers from the Triad
$150 for Red Ribbon Week materials from Conway Freight.
W. Mansfield mail carrier sentenced for theft
By MAC CORDELL
A former West
Mansfield mail carrier is headed to prison, but for how
long is the
Jessi J. Holcomb, 42, of 154 Walnut St. in Rushsylvania, was
Tuesday to 12 months in prison, stemming from her September guilty
to two counts of theft, both felonies of the fifth degree. The year
prison sentence was part of an agreed sentence. A maximum sentence
include a 24 month prison sentence.
"I am not convinced a full year
is appropriate in this case," Union
County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard
The judge said the woman could be free on judicial release in
as little as 30 days.
"The court would certainly take a strong look at
that, given you don't
give us any trouble out there (Ohio Reformatory for
Women)," Parrott said.
While the judge was not certain a year was
appropriate, he said he did
know the woman's crime overcame the fifth-degree
for probation. He said Holcomb was placed in a position
of trust with
the U.S. Postal Service and the public trusts the post
"You violated the trust of the public in that," Parrott
Holcomb was employed as a postal carrier for the West Mansfield
Office. On Dec. 18, 2006, Holcomb was to deliver a Visa giftcard to
of the Union County residents on her route. Instead, she kept the
and used it at a Marysville retailer so she could buy her husband
wedding ring. When she used the gift card, she signed the receipt
the name on the envelope.
Several weeks later, on Jan. 27, Holcomb
again opened a piece of mail,
this one a birthday card for a different Union
County resident. Inside
the birthday card was a gift card to be used at a
store. Holcomb took the card and used it a store in
Surveillance footage from the store shows Holcomb in the
the card. Again, Holcomb signed the intended recipient's name to
When law enforcement officials questioned the woman,
she admitted to
taking the cards and using them.
During her sentencing
hearing, Holcomb said the move was tremendously
out of character for her. She
said she is "genuinely embarrassed and
"I am just
sorry," Holcomb told the judge. "I will never do it again. I
have learned my
Parrott said he could tell from the letters he received that the
was out of character for the woman and that she had the support of
friends, family and neighbors.
"I understand fully...that you are
remorseful and if you could turn the
clock back, you wouldn't do the things
you've already done."
But Parrott said sentencing needs to have not only a
punitive effect on
the offender, but act as a warning for others.
to be a deterrent to others from doing the same thing," Parrott
can't have people turning around doing the same thing."
Michael Streng presented the court a $130 check for restitution.
officials in West Mansfield would not comment on the matter.
Hospital showcases sleep lab
By CORINNE BIX
Memorial Hospital of Union
County wants local residents to know that if
they're not sleeping well,
Memorial's new and improved sleep lab might
be just what they need to
diagnose and treat sleep disorders.
The new four-bed sleep lab has found a
perfect home tucked away in the
lower level of the hospital's Miracle Life
"The new location is optimum because it's secluded, quiet and a
traffic area," said David Gleeson, director of cardiopulmonary
services at MHUC.
The original two-bed sleep lab was established at the
hospital in 2001
and located adjacent to the MHUC wellness center.
knew it was time to expand due to excessive wait times.
considered five other locations for the new lab, including
other areas within
the hospital, off campus, or a freestanding building.
"This is the
perfect area," Gleeson said. "Some of the added benefits of
underground location is that there is less noise and no external
because there are no windows."
Each of the rooms features fluorescent
back-lit evening or nighttime scenes.
One of the goals of the new lab was
to create an inviting space, Gleeson said.
The hospital worked closely
with an architect from Columbus when
choosing the colors and décor which
feature chocolate brown, terra
cotta, moss green and an antique yellow. A
cherry finish wood is carried
throughout the unit.
"We didn't want it to
feel clinical," Gleeson said.
More than six months of substantial planning
went into the project
before construction began in late spring.
the four rooms boasts around 200 feet of space and features full
Comfort or "sleep number" beds. In addition there is a flat
Internet access, an in-room refrigerator stocked with bottled
water and a
All of the rooms have a sleeper sofa to accommodate a patient's
in the case of an adolescent, a place for a parent or guardian to
"We do conduct studies on children as young as 7 years old,"
Each room also has its own private bath and shower - in the
sleep lab patients shared bathroom facilities with the wellness
The flooring throughout the lab is a vinyl-sheeting product suitable
heath care institutions; however, it has twice the padding to
for the concrete slab underneath. Gleeson said the result is a
feel that gives when walked upon.
In the central lab area,
registered sleep technicians monitor patients.
Gleeson said most patients
arrive at the lab between 7 and 8 p.m. and
usually go to sleep between 9 and
10 p.m. Overnight patients are
monitored audibly and visually. The
technicians record everything from a
patient's heart rhythms, brain waves and
blood oxygen levels to limb
movements, body position and snoring.
addition to the three registered sleep technicians, the lab relies on
input of several physicians when diagnosing and treating patients
variety of sleep disorders, including sleep apnea, cessation of
a result of apnea, insomnia or narcolepsy.
"Our unit is unique in that we
have three physicians who work in the
interpretive capacity which include a
pulmonologist, a neurologist, and
a pulmonary and sleep medicine specialist,"
Gleeson said between the new facility and the array of medical
and staff the hospital has many different avenue in which the needs
patients can be met.
For more information, individuals may contact the
sleep lab directly at
578-4001 or contact their family
Presentence investigation ordered for alleged voyeur
A Union County judge has ordered a presentence investigation in
effort to get a handle on the criminal history of a defendant.
after pleading guilty to burglary, Aaron M. Kastein, 27, of 561
waived his right to have a presentence investigation look into
his past and
the circumstances of the incident.
Defense attorney David Burton said a joint
between the state and the defense, suggested a four
year prison term.
The charge carries a maximum eight-year prison
When asked if he was certain he wanted to waive the
Kastein said, "yes, your honor, that would be fine."
County Court of Common Pleas Judge Richard Parrott then asked the
Kastein was likely trying to avoid.
"What kind of record do you have?" the
"I have been in trouble in the state of Pennsylvania, your
Kastein responded. "It was a similar offense, criminal
The judge questioned further, "so you have had one prior?"
quick laugh later, Kastein confirmed, "no, your honor, it's been more than
Parrott said despite Kastein's waiver of rights, he wanted to see
defendant's history, "based on what I am hearing."
Kastein remains in
the Tri-County Regional Jail in Mechanicsburg in lieu
of $50,000 bond. He is
set to be sentenced Tuesday, Nov. 27.
The judge said since Kastein was
already in jail, those days counted
toward his prison sentence.
not going to be out anything going through the presentence
because you will get credit for the time you are serving here."
was arrested in Marysville on Aug. 14, after Marysville Police
were called to
a home on Rainbow Drive. A neighbor called 911 after
hearing a female victim
call for help. The woman yelled because she
found Kastein hiding behind a
homemade blind in her garage. When she
caught him, Kastein said he was
playing hide and seek.
Kastein fled the home, but was caught by police after
a foot pursuit.
He admitted to breaking into the garage, but said he was only
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
"Kastein denied that he was there at the house to commit a sex act
cause harm to anyone; and that he had never harmed anyone
according to the police report. "He stated that he has a problem
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. Sometimes he
fantasizes later, but not always.
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.
pleaded guilty to hiding under a girl's bed in a Pittsburgh, Pa.
16, 1999. He said at that time it was not the first time he
On July 5, 1999, he was arrested for breaking into a home in the
area. He said he noticed the girl and another woman at the library
thought they were pretty. He followed the girls on several
before breaking into the home. At that time he admitted into doing
same thing at another woman's home in the area. He was also connected
a similar incident a week earlier, but never charged.
He pleaded guilty
to both incidents and on in May of 2000 and began
serving two years
A month later, Kastein was found hiding on the basement stairs
the living room of suburban Pittsburgh area woman's house. The
had caught Kastein watching her sleep from the same steps several
earlier, but did not report the incident to police.
In August of
2000 he was found hiding in the back seat of a woman's
vehicle and was later
sentenced to jail and probation for charges
including criminal trespass and
He was released on parole after serving 11 and a half months of
In January 2002, Kastein was caught hiding under the
bed of woman in
Pittsburgh. Kastein fled and the three women who lived in the
not call police. The next day, Kastein and his father went to the
and apologized. Kastein told the women at that time that he had
with rejection and was only there to look at them because they
According to police reports, there was a series of other
in that neighborhood.
Later that month, Kastein was
arrested in New Lebanon home after he was
found hiding under the bed of a
Couple re-indicted in Clark County
Are accused of 'torturing' foster
By RYAN HORNS
A couple accused of repeatedly "torturing" their
five children with
belts, hammers and burning them with irons and a stove
re-indicted in Clark County, facing the exact charges they
faced in Union County.
Union County Prosecutor Dave Phillips
and his assistant prosecutor Rick
Rodger have been assigned as special
presocutors to work on the trial
with Clark County Prosecutor Andy Wilson, in
conjunction with the Ohio
State Attorney General's Office. The group met
Monday before a grand
jury in Clark County for the re-indictment.
Ferguson, 46, and his wife, Vonda Ferguson, 43, of Springfield,
previously pleaded not guilty to 20 counts of child endangerment,
of permitting child abuse and five counts of felonious
Ferguson also had pleaded not guilty to an additional
count of felonious
assault and two counts of rape.
The two were originally indicted locally in
By March of this year the charges were dismissed by Judge
Parrott of Union County Common Pleas Court at the request of
who said the case was filed in Union County under the theory that
the couple's alleged conduct could be prosecuted there.
When the judge
disagreed, Phillips said he chose to seek dismissal to
avoid having the
charges that stemmed from the couple's alleged
activities in Clark County
from being thrown out.
"This would place the case in peril," Phillips said at
the time about
trying the Fergusons in Union County. "We want the jury to
decide if the
defendants are guilty of abuse, without having the venue at
The Fergusons are expected to be arraigned in Clark County Friday
at 8:30 a.m.
Residents who have previously expressed outrage over the
have been vocal about seeing the charges filed again in Clark
The Union County Prosecutors Office reported that the process took
because the files had to be copied and Clark County attorneys
time to gain knowledge of the case against the Fergusons.
Bill of Particulars of the original Union County case against the
files include a list of beatings and acts the two allegedly
their five adopted children, three males and two
females. Reports allege the
juveniles were starved, struck with hammers,
shoved inside clothing dryers
which were then turned on, were burned on
hot stoves and suffered broken
limbs from violent beatings with sticks.
The abuse included in the files goes
on for 16 pages, listing crimes
that allegedly spanned a four-year period
between July 24, 2000 through
Nov. 19, 2004.
The crimes allegedly occurred
between any of three homes in Union and
Clark counties, namely 1126 N.
Fountain Blvd. in Clark County, 23237
Holycross-Epps Road in Union County and
1505 Patricia Drive in Marysville.
Attorneys representing the Fergusons
have requested the charges be
dropped for lack of evidence.
are accused of allegedly striking one juvenile daughter's
fingers with a
hammer "which caused her fingernails to bleed and fall
off; she was beaten
with sticks and belts, the handle of a toilet
plunger was stuck down her
throat; she was beaten with a white belt on
her back, legs and (bottom) until
her leg was bleeding; she was slammed
onto the floor resulting in a chipped
tooth; she had a drawer shut on
her finger which resulted in a broken finger,
she was intentionally
burned with a curling iron; she was stripped naked,
duct taped to a
table and beaten with a paddle and belt until her (bottom)
. she was put into a clothes dryer and the dryer was turned on
punishment; (all of the victims were told that if they told anyone
would be killed)."
Court reports go on to alledge that all of the
children were made to
line up and be whipped at the same time, making each
child rotate from
the front of the line to the back, receiving 6-7 hits with
before moving, duration was approximately 15 minutes); food was
from all victims for sometimes two days at which time the victims
eat cat food."
Numerous other charges concerning the additional
children listed additional allegations.
'Daddy hid really good
Toddler's confession leads to prison time for father
The braggings of a toddler has led to prison time for her father
could lead to prison for her mother as well.
James A. Beswick, 25, of
741 Kenny Lane in Marysville, pleaded guilty
Monday to one count of
aggravated possession of drugs, a felony of the fifth degree.
attorney Cliff Valentine said his client had agreed to a
recommendation and would waive a presentence investigation to
get the matter
"I would prefer that," Beswick told the judge.
charge was filed after Beswick was arrested in September of
last year on a
driving under suspension charge. When Beswick was placed
under arrest, police
searched him. They found four white pills in a
clear cigarette wrapper,
stuffed inside the cuff of Beswick's sock.
Beswick told the judge he was
ready to turn his life around.
"I just want to apologize to the court and let
you know I am ready to
take responsibility and when I am through with this, I
am ready to live
my life for my wife and child," Beswick said.
He said he
felt a community based corrections facility would probably be
a better fit
for him than prison.
Union County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard Parrott
prison was still the best option, sentencing him to 10
As Beswick was sentenced, his wife, Aldenia Sue Beswick, looked on
the front row. She could be joining him in the penitentiary.
Beswick, 20, of 741 Kenny Lane in Marysville, has been indicted
on two counts
of obstructing justice, both felonies of the fifth degree.
If convicted, she
faces a two-year prison term. The charges grew out of
a June 30, incident
involving James Beswick's arrest on the drug and
driving under suspension
According to court documents, Marysville Police went to Beswick's
about 7:45 p.m. that evening, looking for James Beswick. The man's
said James Beswick was not home, but that he had gone shopping with
mother. She told officers she would let James Beswick know they
looking for him.
About two hours later, officers returned to the
home. Again, Aldenia
said her husband was not home. She said she did not know
where he was or
when he would return.
At that point, officers informed the
wife they had arrest warrants for
her husband and asked if they could look
around. Aldenia Beswick agreed.
"After the officers entered the
apartment, Mr. Beswick's three year old
daughter...stated, 'Daddy hid really
good upstairs,'" according to court
documents. "Officer Findley asked Mrs.
Beswick at least seven times if
Mr. Beswick was hiding upstairs and she never
replied. Officer Findley
then advised Mrs. Beswick that if she didn't tell
them where he was, she
would be charged with obstructing justice and asked if
he was worth it.
Mrs. Beswick replied that 'he is my husband.'"
requested additional assistance and a canine unit to search the
The officers gave James Beswick several opportunities to give
When they got no response, officers released the dog to
"The canine found Mr. Beswick hiding in a box, with a few items on
of the box in a storage area," according to court documents.
Beswick was arrested on the warrant and additionally charged
of justice at that time.
Ash borer found here
By KARLYN BYERS
County has been added to the list of counties quarantined by the
It joins 26 other counties in which the exotic wood-boring insect
been identified, including neighboring Delaware, Franklin, Hardin,
and Marion counties.
The emerald ash borer (EAB) infests and kills
native North American ash
trees, including green, white, black and blue
"Department officials have quarantined Union County to help stop
spread of the devastating insect via ash trees and firewood," states
press release from the Ohio Department of Agriculture. "It is illegal
take ash trees, parts of ash trees, and all hardwood firewood out of
quarantined county into a non-quarantined county. Violators face
up to $4,000. It is also illegal to take these items out of the state
Ohio, per federal quarantine."
The insect infestation was confirmed
Tuesday, according to John H.
Hixson, Ohio State University Agriculture,
Natural Resources and
Community Development Extension Educator.
infested ash tree was discovered in a fencerow near the intersection
Collins Avenue and Linden Street. Hixson said he and George McVey,
Gardener coordinator and Union County Extension assistant,
inspected the tree
Friday and contacted the ODA.
The tree exhibits the distinctive "S-shaped,"
serpentine pathways just
under the bark that EAB larvae leave as they tunnel
into the wood pulp,
damaging a tree's water and nutrient transporting system.
borers emerge as adults, they leave behind characteristic
holes one-eighth inch in siBy Kze in the trunk and ma
Trees infested with EAB typically die within three to five years.
female ash borers will produce about 50 to 100 eggs, depositing
individually on the bark surface or within cracks and crevices of an
tree. Higher branches and upper portions of the trunk are
first, making it difficult to detect early infestations, according
Only living trees are colonized. Residents should be on
the lookout for
EAB larva and the D-shaped exit holes year round. Adult EAB
generally visible from June to August.
They also should be on the
lookout for unusually heavy woodpecker
activity on living ash trees,
especially in the winter; unnatural shoots
sprouting from the main trunk
and/or from the base of a tree; a thinning
canopy and top dieback; or thin,
relatively short (2-5 inches long)
vertical splits through the bark of living
Additional information on the Emerald Ash Borer or the Union
quarantine, call Hixson or McVey at 644-8117 or (800) 589-8584 or
Hixson at email@example.com.
Slump at the pump
Local Shell stations are out of gasoline
Plastic bags cover the pump handles and handmade signs read "Out
Fuel" at Marysville Shell gasoline stations.
Local store managers said
they have just as many questions as their
customers lately. Talk of the
company changing ownership and rumors of
bankruptcy have been tossed
"We heard that too," said Nicol Lee, manager of the Shell/Burger
station on West Fifth Street.
She said the gasoline holding tanks are
indeed empty, but that is all
she knows right now.
"We started running out
of regular on Friday night," Lee said. "Then we
ran out of premium over the
She did not know if the stores have been sold.
"We just do what
we're told," Lee said.
On South Jefferson Avenue in Plain City, Shell store
Nienhaus said she heard the reason was bankruptcy.
something to do with receivership," she said.
Nienhaus said the Plain City
location is independently owned and is not
held under as strict of a contract
as the Marysville branches. She heard
that there is no set date for when
Marysville stations will have their
gasoline tanks refilled, and store
merchandise may not be any better off.
"I heard once the cigarettes run
out," she said. "They are not going to
have a whole lot left to sell."
prices at Marysville Shell stations have also been a point of
among residents, because prices are much higher than other
stations in town.
Stores signs show an average 20 cents more per gallon
of gasoline than their
Telephone calls placed to Shell District Manager Laura Davis
were not returned.
Further inquiries at the two other Marysville Shell
stations did not
provide any answers either.
Store managers at the East
Fifth Street station and the location on
Allenby Drive both hinted that the
district office had warned them
against speaking about the situation with
"We're not supposed to make any comments," one female employee on
Fifth Street said.
On Allenby Drive, the question was met with "No
comment" by the female employee.
Nienhaus said she hopes the bankruptcy
situation can get ironed out.
"My credit card machine just stopped working,"
she said. "Hopefully that
will get fixed soon."
Plea entered in drug
By MAC CORDELL
A woman accused of supplying the drugs that
killed a man has pleaded guilty.
Aerial Nicole May, 20, of 267 B North
Ave., in Plain City, pleaded
guilty Monday to one count of involuntary
manslaughter, a felony of the
first degree, aggravated trafficking in drugs,
a felony of the fourth
degree, and deception to obtain a dangerous drug, a
felony of the fourth degree.
In August, May entered a plea of not guilty
and not guilty by reason of
insanity to the three charges as well as two
additional counts of
aggravated trafficking in drugs and one count of
permitting drug abuse.
She was evaluated by mental health professionals both
for her sanity at
the time of the offense and her competency to stand
Monday, Union County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard E. Parrott
the results of the evaluations were complete.
"(The doctor) has
basically said she did know right from wrong at the
time the alleged act was
committed and that she is capable of assisting
her counsel in her defense,"
Defense attorney Cliff Valentine said he had reviewed the
discussed it with his client. Valentine said May wanted to
accept a plea
agreement that would drop three of the charges. As part of the
prosecutors and the defense recommended an eight year prison term
May. She faces as many as 13 years in prison.
Rather than issue the
sentence Monday, Parrott ordered a presentence
investigation and set a
sentencing hearing for Tuesday, Nov. 27.
"I'd rather just do the sentencing
today, right now if that's O.K.," May
told the judge.
"Ma'am, I really
don't want to do that and I'll tell you why," Parrott
responded. "These are
some pretty serious charges. I want to be sure I
have a good presentence
investigation because I don't know anything
about you and feel like I should
The judge explained that a member of his staff would sit down and
to the woman about the incident, her background, her family,
criminal record and her state of mind.
"It all bears on what I need to
do in this case," Parrott said.
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
together at May's Plain City residence. May had prescriptions
morphine, Oxycodone and Fentanyl, which she gave to the victim, who
"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 said.
eight hours after the woman was rushed to the hospital, a member
family found Amend dead in the woman's bed and called police.
told police Amend was taking mushrooms, but a toxicology
report revealed he
was not. The woman eventually admitted the drugs were hers.
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.
NU may hold mock critical
By CHAD WILLIAMSON
North Union schools could be the location of
not one but two emergency
situations in the coming year - if the school board
Paul Slaughter of the Union County Local Emergency Planning
(LEPC) discussed two mock critical incidents that could be carried
within the school in the spring.
NU superintendent Rick Smith said the
board would still have to vote to
allow the training, and parental permission
would be required for
students to participate.
Slaughter explained that
each year the LEPC carries out a hazardous
material spill simulation. This
year the agency would like to use a school as a setting.
He said the
situation would be that a pickup truck driver hauling a tank
ammonia crashes into one of the school buildings and then
runs inside making
The second phase of the incident would focus more on law
officer training and would involve an "active
Slaughter said that prior to the Columbine school shootings,
prevailing theory was to attempt to get students out of the
before going after the shooter. Since that incident, lawmen have
trained to enter the building and move toward the gunshots.
said the Pickerington School District recently went through a
incident involving a shooter in the building. Local officials
are trying to
work with representatives of Pickerington to help plan
Slaughter said local officials had originally hoped to carry
training this fall, but additional planning is needed, and the
probably will not take place, if approved, until May.
told the board that he believes he has a teacher and aide in
place to begin
offering the Early Start Program in January.
The program would allow
elementary school students to be brought to
school as early as 6 a.m. and
would run through 9 a.m. each day.
Students would receive breakfast and would
take part in lessons.
Up to 32 students can be accepted at a cost of $25 per
week. Smith said
some Title I grant money is being used to offset the cost of
Smith said the district would begin accepting applicants in
added that if either employee decides not to take the position
program will not move forward.
In other business, the
.Handed out the district's academic awards for high school
.Set a policy committee meeting for today at 8 p.m.
hall meetings on construction projects for Nov. 6 at 7:30 p.m.
at the high
school library and Nov. 8 at 6 p.m. at the board
.Voted 5-0 to accept the amounts and rates as determined by the
commission and authoring the necessary tax levies and certifying them
the county auditor for the coming tax year.
.Voted to approve a high
school diploma to Ayla Lowery who met the
requirements to qualify as a
graduate with the class of 2007.
.Accepted the resignation of Sherry Rhea as
worker/cashier effective Oct. 19.
.Approved a list of
certified and non-certified substitute personnel to
be called on an as-needed
.Voted 4-1 to approve an eighth grade overnight trip to Chicago.
member Don Tumeo cast the dissenting vote.
Trustees discuss record compliance
By MAC CORDELL
officials have taken steps to make certain they are in
compliance with state
and federal public records requirements.
Township Clerk/Fiscal Officer Robert
Caldwell informed the trustees
Monday at their meeting that they or their
designee was required to take
training in the public records requirements. He
said spots in the
training, offered by the Ohio Townships Association, are
quickly. Caldwell said trustees who want to be compliant, even if
are up for election in November, need to schedule to take the
He added that many townships are designating their clerks to take
training for the township trustees. Caldwell said he was
scheduled to take the training in December. Township Trustee Andy
asked whose job it was to fill public records requests.
said the township has a written public records policy and it is
responsibility of every employee of the township," to fulfill
He added that the policy does recommend bringing the
requests to the
Thomas then suggested the trustees designate Caldwell as
representative to go to the training. He asked if that would cover
"Does it alleviate your responsibility to be
compliant?" asked Caldwell.
"No. Does it alleviate your responsibility to go
to the training? Yes."
The trustees also wanted to inform the public that
U.S. 42 will be
closing soon. CSX will be closing the road in the village of
work on the railroad tracks. The road will be closed beginning
It is scheduled to reopen Tuesday, Nov. 16.
Township officials are
working to have the children of Jerome Township
name one of the newly
purchased dogs for the sheriff's office's new canine division.
purchased the dog, it was suggested by Mr. (Freeman) May that
we let the
children of the township name the dog," said Township Trustee Bob
He suggested the sheriff pick the winning name rather than any of
Trustee Ron Rhodes suggested the trustees purchase a savings
possibly a plaque for the winner.
"I think the winner should have
something," Rhodes said.
Merkle suggested a picture with the dog and the
sheriff would also be nice.
During the public participation portion of the
resident Mike Bing thanked trustee Ron Rhodes for removing
sign from the township park. Rhode's sign was a point of
the last meeting when Bing said the sign violated the
ordinances. Bing was informed that many of the rules governing
signs were no longer valid since court rulings said they were
extension of free speech. Monday, Bing said he understood the signs
protected as free speech, but appreciated Rhodes removing them
Bing added that he would like to see the code, which is included on
township's Web site updated to reflect the new less
regulations. The trustees said that would take a considerable
amount of time.
"I just think it is a disservice to the public to have it
on the site,
but not have it up to date," Bing said.
Reinventing the overhead projector
New technology allows teachers to
Editor's note: This is the first of a three-part series on
new uses of
technology in the classrooms of Union County. Additional stories
run each Monday.
By CORINNE BIX
When most people think of an
overhead projector, transparencies come to
mind, however in today's classroom
transparencies are quickly becoming a
tool of the past as technology has
brought new life to a standard resource.
Visual projecting equipment is
the next generation of the former
overhead projector. The new equipment is
about 1/3 the size of the
traditional projector and, depending on the model,
are capable of
projecting almost anything including three-dimensional
For example, teachers can enhance their lessons by connecting to
Internet via a computer and projecting real-time web pages using an
projector. In the case of a document camera, an instructor can
to a microscope and project images of live specimens.
districts including Marysville, Fairbanks, Jonathan Alder and
Triad are using
the new technology in their classrooms.
Pam Wenning-Earp, North Union
technology coordinator, said textbooks are
now coming with software that
works with the new equipment and allows
the teacher to pull in various
"The equipment provides a tremendous opportunity for
teachers to share
visual experiences classroom wide in that every child is
able to fully
see what is being projected," Wenning-Earp said.
social studies teacher at Triad Middle School, said she
utilizes her LCD
projector about once a week.
"If we can attract students by using technology
in the classroom, we are
going to do it," she said.
Moore explained that
the images are very colorful and eye-catching which
are aspects that the kids
respond well to given their exposure to TV and video games.
Moore said she
likes to use the guided notes portion of the software to
"The software is phenomenal because it's in line with Ohio
standards," she said, "I can print off the PowerPoint notes,
changes if I want and then the kids can fill out the notes during
Shawna Cardoza, Triad seventh grade math teacher, wrote the
awarded the middle school four LCD projectors this year.
said she uses a LCD projector at least two or three times a week and
use it everyday if she had full-time access to one.
"It's very easy to
manipulate and comes with a remote which frees me up
to be anywhere I need to
be within the classroom," Cardoza said.
Some of the visual projection
equipment or more specifically document
cameras can project 3-D images hence
a teacher doesn't have to worry
that an item might not be flat enough to
In addition to LCD projectors, North Union has purchased seven
brand document cameras, which prove very useful in various
Wenning-Earp gives the example of projecting an actual animal
using the document camera during a biology lesson. In the case of
a teacher can project math manipulatives like blocks when teaching
a counting lesson.
She said it eliminates everyone trying to clamor around
desk so they can see what the teacher is trying to demonstrate
with his/her students.
"Today's students are growing up in such
an interactive and visually
stimulating environment," Wenning-Earp said,"
therefore you have to find
new and different ways to engage them in the
Mystery of missing M.C. pastor solved
From staff and wire
Skeletal remains have been found, ending the mystery of
disappearance of a former Milford Center pastor and her friend.
John Newsom of the Warren County Ohio Sheriff's Department
Sunday that the remains of two women found in a Kentucky
identified as those of former area pastor Mary Ellen Walters,
68, and her
friend Ada Wasson, 80. The two have been missing from the
Retirement Living Community near Lebanon since April 19. Since
then a search
over two states has been underway.
A hunter reportedly discovered Wasson's
car and the remains Sunday
morning, Newsom has said. The car was found in
Henry County, Ky. near
the Campbellsburg community, about 38 miles northeast
The two were reported missing after telling friends they were
going to a
J.C. Penney outlet store in either Carrollton, Ky., or Columbus,
authorities have said. Kentucky Forensic Anthropologist, Dr.
Craig, said autopsies will be performed on the women today.
and Walters were likely traveling to an outlet mall in the
when they were last seen, authorities said. Carrollton
is exit 44 on
Interstate 71. Campbellsburg is exit 34.
Kentucky State Police report there
are no signs of foul play.
Shopping was a favorite activity of the two, and
they preferred driving
scenic highways rather than Interstate 71, according
to their friends.
Authorities and volunteers had searched thousands of square
Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana by land and air for the missing
Investigators studied store videotapes, checked under bridges and
out thousands of fliers.
Wasson at times became confused, while
Walters, a retired United
Methodist minister, was limited physically by knee
problems, neighbors said.
Authorities know Wasson filled her car with gas
the night of April 18,
and they left some time the next day. But in the weeks
disappearance, there was no activity on the women's credit or
bank cards, police said.
The women also didn't bring luggage and Walters,
who normally asked
neighbors to watch the Schnauzer mix if she was to be away
long, left the dog alone.
Back in May, Ron Payne, current part-time pastor
at the Milford Center
United Methodist Church, said he knew Walters well
before her retirement
from pastoring five years ago.
"I always knew her as
a bright, cheerful person, she had been an
elementary school teacher," he
said. "She just had a bright and chipper disposition."
Defendant takes deal in middle of trial
By MAC CORDELL
The jury was seated
and the trial was underway, when the state and a
Marysville criminal reached
James R. Brown, 20, of 1024 Coventry Place, Apt. C, in
pleaded guilty, shortly after lunch Friday, to one count of
misdemeanor of the first degree. Acting Marysville Municipal Court
Robert Parrott wanted to make certain the whole matter had not
to quickly for Brown.
"It's been filed quick," Parrott told the
defendant. "You are sure you
don't want time to reflect on this and you want
to move on?"
Brown confirmed he was ready to proceed and Parrott sentenced
the man to
180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. The judge suspended the entire
and 40 of the days in jail. Since Brown has been in jail since his
26-arrest, 140 days, he was a free man.
Parrott did warn the defendant
that if he did not pay his court costs or
restitution within the court's
schedule or if he failed to abide by the
terms of his probation, Brown would
serve the other 40 days and pay
"every dollar," of the fine.
"It is a good
result," said defense attorney Cliff Valentine.
Valentine told the judge his
client took the deal because, "he knows he
was still facing penitentiary time
if he went forward. (with the trial
in Common Pleas Court)"
It was a good
result, for the defense, because earlier in the day Brown
was midway through
a criminal trail, that if convicted, could have led
to as many as 16 years in
Brown and another man, Jason Allerton, were each initially indicted
grand jury on one count of felonious assault and one count of
to felonious assault, felonies of the second degree.
to court documents, Brown and Allerton were in a car on
Charles Lane, yelling
at the girl and another woman in a different car.
The victim, a 15-year-old,
pulled up on his bicycle and told the men to
stop yelling at the females.
Brown and Allerton got out of the car and
assaulted the boy. The boy fell
unconscious, hitting the back of his
head on the pavement.
As a result of
the assault, the victim suffered a fractured jaw, which
required wiring his
jaw shut, and a cut on the back of his head which
required five staples to
During testimony of the trial's first and only witness, one of
females, Assistant Union County Prosecutor sensed the jury
struggle to convict Brown and offered the defense the
"After a witness' testimony was inconsistent with a
statement she had
previously given to police and prosecutors, based on the
had and the evidence at that point in the trial, to be certain
we got a
conviction, we felt this was the best resolution," said Hord.
witness, which took the stand for the prosecution, testified that
struggled to see the fight and credited Allerton with the blows to the
Following the girl's testimony, the judge dismissed the jury. During
break, Hord and Valentine decided to settle the matter in
court with the misdemeanor charge. As part of the agreement,
agreed to pay court and jury costs in the felony cases now
against him. Hord recommended a suspended fine, informing Parrott
since the jury was already impaneled, jury fees would likely reach,
couple of hundred dollars."
The judge agreed to suspend the fine, an
exception to his normal practice.
"Usually we don't suspend the fines, but
you have these other costs you
have agreed to pay in the other (felony)
case," Parrott said.
Flu clinics scheduled
From J-T staff
The Union County Health Department in partnership with Memorial
of Union County announced its adult flu clinic schedule.
year's adult clinics offer two options for flu immunization, flu
FluMist nasal spray. To date, the Centers for Disease Control
(CDC) has not
set any restrictions on who is eligible for flu shots.
may be established by the CDC at any time during
the flu season.
eligible for FluMist nasal spray, individuals must be age 9 to 49
healthy and non-pregnant
The following clinics have been scheduled at this
time. All clinics are
based on availability of vaccine and may be canceled
with little notice
if vaccine is not available. Adult clinics are only open
to people 9
years of age and older. Registration for clinics will not begin
the specified time.
Clinic dates, times, locations follow: Friday,
Oct. 19, 9-11 a.m.,
Richwood Fire House, 602 N. Franklin St., Richwood;
Wednesday, Oct. 24,
1-3 p.m., Jerome Township Building, 9777 Industrial
Oct. 26, 10 a.m. to noon, First English Lutheran Church, 687
Ave., Wednesday, Oct. 31, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Union County
Tuesday, Nov. 6, 4-6 p.m., First English Lutheran Church;
16, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Union County Health Department, 940
Ave.; and Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2-4 p.m., Union County Health
The cost for Union County residents is $20 for flu shots; $24
FluMist nasal spray; and $30 for pneumonia shots.
An additional $5 per
shot is required for all non-Union County
residents. Medicare Part B and
Medicaid will cover the cost of flu and
pneumonia shots, but Medicare and
Medicaid cards must be presented at the clinic.
The CDC recommends
pneumonia shots for individuals age 65 or older who
received their first
pneumonia shot before age 65. People under the age
of 65 must bring a
doctor's order to receive a pneumonia shot.
Child flu shots are available
during normal child immunization clinics
at the Union County Health
For additional information on child flu vaccinations, contact the
department at 642-0801 or 333-9461.
For additional information on
flu clinics, call the health department's flu hot at 645-2028.
Way online auction underway
From J-T staff reports
United Way's online
auction back for second year
Union County's largest online charity auction is
back for a second year
as the United Way of Union County opened the doors of
its online store
for business this week.
From now through the end of the
month, Web browsers will be able to shop
online for discounts, deals, gifts
and bargains on United Way's Web site
online auction is a supplemental fundraiser to the organization's annual
Items posted in the online catalog are the result of in-kind
service donations from area businesses. To date, more than 125
totaling more than $16,000 in value are up for bid. Items vary in
from as much as a $2,500 membership to Corazón Club & Spa to a
cookbook from the Kiwanis Club of Marysville.
"The online auction is a
great way for smaller businesses to participate
in the United Way campaign
process because this gives them exposure for
the services they can provide,"
said Dave Bezusko, Campaign & PR
Director for the United Way of Union
Last year, United Way received more than 489,000 hits on its auction
site in the event's first year, raising $13,165 to be used for
programs and services provided by the non-profit
Participating businesses receive online exposure with their
as well as additional free advertising options if they give
items of increased value.
"There are so many interesting items in the
auction and it truly gives
you an idea of the varied products and services
made here in Union
County," Bezusko said. "There's something on the auction
United Way is working to raise $800,000 in its fall
campaign. To date,
officials report that about half that amount has been
workplace campaigns and community-wide fundraisers.
information about United Way of Union County's Online Auction,
visit the Web
site at www.unitedwayofunioncounty.org
or call (937) 644-8381.
Sewer lines may need work
Former county pipes could need $81 million in
By RYAN HORNS
When Marysville took on Union County's wastewater
utilities, it may have
also taken on upgrade projects totaling up to $81.7
At Thursday night's Marysville City Council meeting, Tom
Malcolm Pirnie senior associate, presented the Wastewater Master
Update to members.
In his executive summary, Bulcher explained that
Marysville used Malcolm
Pirnie, a Columbus engineering firm, to complete a
Study in August 2004. The study recommended a new water
facility be constructed in the southwest portion of
existing service area. Property was then purchased, a permit
the facility was designed and it is now currently under
the intersection of U.S. 33 at Beecher Gamble Road.
executive summary shows that since completion of the 2004 Wastewater
Study, the city took over the Union County wastewater system,
the area south of Scottslawn Road and Watkins Road. The
area has recently
seen "considerable planning for development by private
developers that would
require a significant investment in wastewater
infrastructure to serve the area."
"Why were we not told about this when we
originally purchased the
lines?" Marysville city councilman David Burke
He said he wondered if council had been misled about the
"I'm wondering at this time if we were given the
information," Burke said. "My understanding was that the lines
Other council members agreed with his point.
public service director Tracie Davies explained that Mayor
Tom Kruse was
"privy to that information."
She explained that the intention of the
wastewater study update was to
be prepared for what is to come over the next
40 years. She said the
condition of the system is not the same as when it was
Union County. Marysville used to be under contract with the
which it made development options "very limited" in that area. But
the contract was gone the "doors were opened" for new development.
will lead to needed upgrades in the system.
"Obviously, we're hoping
that the developers will help front that cost," Davies said.
this morning that less than half of the $81 million could be
needed up front,
as projects like Bayly Pointe and Jerome Village move
forward. But he said
the city is "100 percent" committed to making
development pay for
In other business discussed:
.Mike Witzky, executive director
of the Mental Health and Recovery Board
of Union County, asked for city
council's endorsement for a 0.5-mill
replacement levy up for vote on Nov.
Witzky explained that this comes up once every 10 years.
He said the
current owner of a $100,000 home property evaluation pays
$10.50 a year. If
the 0.5-mill replacement levy passes, that price would
go up $4.82 to a total
of $15.32 a year.
Gore said that it was too late for council to put an
on a future agenda, but he personally offered his
"I think the work you do is outstanding for the county," councilman
Ed Pleasant said.
The other council members also vocalized their
.The first reading of an ordinance was read to appropriate $575,000
City Water Fund, to put in the Water Incremental Capacity Fee Fund
pay for the raw water line at Maple and Main streets for the
.The first reading was held on an ordinance to
appropriate $967,000 from
Water Improvement and Replacement Funds to pay for
engineering services for the reservoir.
.The second reading
and public hearing was held on the ordinance to
appropriate $152,526 from the
general fund to pay for a comprehensive
city traffic study.
readings were held on two ordinances to accept the
dedication of park land in
Scott Farms and The Woods at Mill Valley from
M/I Homes of Central
Councilman Mark Reams said he remains skeptical that this land should
"It's not park land," he said. "I don't see why the city
would want to
take responsibility for that."
He said the land would just
become an addition mowing burden on city
workers instead of being the
responsibility of a homeowners association.
.Burke offered his praise to
the Marysville Police Department, saying he
was extremely proud of its
response time regarding thieves breaking into
his pharmacy Tuesday
The rules of adulthood
Prosecutor talks with students about
offenders over the age of 18
The judicial system has drawn a line, treating adult offenders
different from juvenile offenders.
Union County Prosecutor Dave
Phillips wants to make sure area residents
about to make the transition from
juvenile to legal adult are fully
aware of those differences.
"A lot of
this behavior goes on, without the young person realizing the
their behavior," Phillips said. "It is really not a
behavior that is all that
uncommon for a lot of high school students,
but when you do it as an adult,
18 or over, it becomes a much more serious offense."
Thursday at North Union High School helping to educate
students about the
Marcia Livingston, family and consumer sciences teacher, coordinated
presentation as part of the life management class that is mandatory
all seniors at North Union High School.
"One of the things that crops
up a lot with these students is the law,"
Livingston said. "They think they
are still in a sort of protective
bubble because they are in high school and
they are not. It is about
age, not whether they are in school.
need this information, because they don't know. Some of them
think they know
about the law, but they don't."
Phillips explained there are two very
different philosophies of justice
when dealing with juvenile and adult
The juvenile court system, Phillips said, looks at the offender
tries to implement a plan to change that individual's thought
process and behaviors.
"The juvenile system is basically set up to be
said. "The adult system looks at the same behavior in
a much more punitive way."
Phillips took with him a written scenario
involving an newly turned 18
year-old named Kyle. In the scenario, Kyle goes
to a party at the home
of one of his underage friends. He takes with him
several pills from his
mothers medicine cabinet. He also takes beer he got
from his brother.
Kyle gives some of the pills away and is seduced by a
Ultimately one of the party goers dies from side effects of
alcohol and the pills.
"It is based on cases we have had and prosecuted
here in Union County,
because kids say, 'That never happens,' but it does,"
Livingston said that was important.
"Once they said, 'Yeah,
this is something that could easily happen,' he
(Phillips) had them hooked,"
the teacher said. "He could really relate
to where the kids were coming from
and that gave him a lot of
credibility with them."
After Phillips talked
with the students about the law and the
differences between juvenile and
adult court, he gave them the scenario,
allowed them to read it, then walked
through the fictitious events of
the evening, pointing out criminal
violations along the way.
"There are kids taking drugs from the parents,
taking them to school and
passing them out, we know this because we have
gotten calls about it,"
Phillips said. "That is not only drug possession, but
trafficking, even as a gift. What I am trying to impress upon them
the seriousness of the offense."
Livingston said she believes Phillips
was able to get his message across.
"I think, for the kids, their eyes
just popped open," Livingston said.
The prosecutor said that was the
"Hopefully, by informing them of the law, and ignorance of the law is
defense, we can deter some of that behavior," Phillips said.
said he is looking to make similar presentations at other
schools in the
county. Livingston said she will do everything she can to
make sure he
returns to North Union.
"Part of my philosophy about my job as prosecutor, is
that I am to
educate people, both in how not to become a victim, but also how
comply with the law," Phillips said.
Phillips said the measure of the
program's success will be the number of
students he doesn't see.
have a lot of young offenders who do not understand the gravity
behavior," Phillips said. "I think we see a lot of cases where
we can look at
young perpetrators and say, 'That was really dumb.' So if
we can educate the
kids and get them to think before they act, if we can
stop one kid from
taking pills from their parents' medicine cabinet or
keep one kid from
passing out their prescription medication, then I
think it was
"When things get to my office or to the coroners office, it is too
to educate kids," Phillips said. "Young people tend to
prescription drugs as safe and they are not when they are
Hopefully we can educate them on that."
Escapees captured, arraigned
By RYAN HORNS
Two inmates who escaped from
the West Central Community Correctional
Facility Tuesday night were captured
in Logan County Wednesday morning.
Inmates Eliberto Deleon III, 19, of
Bellefontaine and William Kaim, 19,
of Marion were found driving a stolen
vehicle in Bellefontaine at 11:45
a.m. Wednesday and were finally apprehended
after a 15-hour search.
The two inmates had just weeks remaining on their
sentences at West
Central, but those sentences may soon become more than five
in maximum security prisons for the escape charges. Additional
are expected to be filed.
Deleon and Kaim reportedly walked out of
West Central Tuesday at 9:45
p.m. and at the time were believed to be headed
Union County Sheriff's Office public information officer
said this morning that at 11:33 a.m. Wednesday, a Bellefontaine
officer saw the stolen car - a silver 1999 Chrysler Sebring, with
distinctive white driver side door - and followed it until the
stopped outside of a Goodwill store in the city. He said that Kaim
driving the vehicle and Deleon was inside as well. There were no
"They did not attempt to flee and they did not attempt
Deleon and Kaim were arraigned this morning in
the Marysville Municipal
Court before Judge Bob Parrott.
"You two have
both been charged with the same offense," Parrott said.
"You are both charged
Parrott said escape is a third-degree felony offense,
anywhere from one to five years in prison.
Roger pointed out the pair are obviously flight risks,
since they have been
charged with escape.
Parrott then set their bonds at $150,000 cash each, with
no 10 percent
"How many crimes are we being indicted on?" Kaim
asked the judge.
Parrott did not specify the additional charges, adding only
charges are expected and the two will be brought back into court
arraignment on those at a later time.
Skinner explained that the two
could face burglary, theft and grand
theft auto charges as well.
and Kaim reportedly cut the screen to a garage in the 16000 block
Road Tuesday night and were thought to have taken two bikes.
evidence on that theft remains under investigation, the two
may have ridden
the bicycles to the 22000 block of Wolford Maskill Road
where the Sebring was
later reported stolen.
It was the same vehicle the two were found driving in
Skinner said it is important to note that West
Central remains a "very
safe and very professional" facility.
want the actions of two men to reflect on the West Central
Correctional Facility or any of the other inmates," Skinner
said. "They offer
a valuable service to Union County."
Facility director Dave Ervin said that
West Central does not accept
violent offenders and essentially provides a
rehabilitation service to
criminals to help them transition from maximum
security and toward
getting their lives back in order upon their
Skinner said Union County Sheriff Rocky Nelson acknowledged
for their participation in the Code Red program, which notified
near the escape area via telephone to be on the lookout for Deleon
He said a call went out Tuesday at about 11 p.m. to notify 800
residents of the escape and another went out Wednesday at about 6
to notify 1,400 residents of the vehicle description as well as
description of the inmates.
"We are very pleased that Code Red
worked," Skinner said.
Megafarm planned in JA school district
The permitting process for a 5,428 cow dairy planned for
Madison County is moving forward.
Thomas Menke, president of
Menke Consulting Inc., said Tuesday that his
firm was finalizing answers to
several questions posed by the Ohio
Department of Agriculture as part of the
permitting process. He said
those answers should be submitted to ODA later
Menke is organizing the project for three brothers from the
who will take control of the dairy farm once it has been
The group filed an application in January requesting permission
construct a large confined animal feeding operation on the Orleton
at the intersection of Routes 29 and 38.
Menke said the 5,290-acre
farm, which is 2.1 miles from both Plumwood
and Choctaw Lake, would house
4,420 mature milking cows and 1,008 dry
"This would be the largest
farm like this in the state, by far," said
Madison County Commissioner Chris
Menke said he hopes to break ground on the dairy in late winter or
spring 2008, with some cows hopefully on the ground later that
"Hopefully this time next year, there will be a chance to have
on site," Menke said.
Feed will not be an issue for the dairy.
Because of the size of the
farm, owners will be raising enough crops to feed
"It does look like they are going to use environmentally sound
management practices," Snyder said. "Even with the manure
plan, they have, we all know there are going to be some
According to information from Menke, the manure and water will not
stored in lagoons like the other mega farms in the area.
Manure will be
collected from the barn three times each day. Sand, which
will be used at the
farm for bedding, will be separated and washed to be
reused. Fibrous solids
will be separated and applied to fields.
Additional solid wastes will be
separated from liquid waste.
The liquid will be treated at the farm and used
to irrigate crops and
wash the sand. The remaining solids will be used as
fertilizer for the
crops. He said, as with any manure, there will be some
odor to what is
spread on the field, but said it will be knifed into the
The dairy has been opposed by some neighbors and
received support from
others. An opposition group, Darby Creek Matters, has
been formed. That
group spoke to the Jonathan Alder School Board on Monday,
hoping to draw
support from the board. The group has said the farm, which it
be 1,700 feet from Monroe Elementary, could pose health concerns to
elementary students due to pollution and sewage disposal.
David Dhume said he realized neighbors may have concerns;
however, there is
not much local authorities can do.
"This is the position the state has put
the county in," Dhume said.
"We have to follow the law and work within the
legislation set down by
the state of Ohio."
ODA will hold a series of
public meetings regarding the proposed dairy
farm. Menke said his firm always
expects some opposition.
"But once the farm is built, we are looking forward
to showing Madison
County that agriculture can still exist in an environment
He added that he expects the farm to be a model
for others to use and
hopes it can be used as a research facility at some
Police look for pair who broke into Dave's Pharmacy
Two suspects are on the loose after breaking into a local
Marysville Assistant Police Chief Glenn Nicol said that
at 3:15 a.m. a
male and a female pried open the doors to Dave's Pharmacy on
Nicol said that the two were only in the store for a
When the alarm sounded officers were only a few blocks away,"
When police arrived on the scene, the two were gone. They made
an undisclosed number of pharmaceuticals.
He said typically,
those who break into pharmacies often steal drugs
said that after hitting the Marysville Pharmacy, the same couple
to have broken into a pharmacy on the west side of Columbus
and another in
Clark County near Enon.
The crime in Marysville was caught on video and
police have issued a
photo of the suspects inside the building.
residents know the suspects or see them, they are asked to
Marysville Police Department.
County's financial picture said to be good
By MAC CORDELL
Bob Fry, an
independent contractor hired by the commissioners to
evaluate the county's
financial position, Tuesday offered his evaluation
of the county's financial
position through three-quarters of 2007.
"In the 10 years I have been doing
this, this is probably the best
picture I have ever seen," Fry told the
He said through three quarters of the year, the county is at
of expected revenue and 69 percent of appropriated expenses.
added he was not looking at more than two to three percent increase
revenue for 2008.
"So you can draw whatever conclusions from that," he said
of the 2008
budget process, which has already began.
He reiterated the
positive position the county was in for 2007.
According to Fry's figures, he
projected the county would draw revenue
of $18,905,000 for 2007. Last year,
Union County Auditor Mary Snyder
conservatively estimated revenue for 2007 at
$16,360, 169. Through
September, county revenue is at $14,895,446, up more
than $1 million
over the same time period last year.
Fry credited the good
year in sales tax, up more than $768,000 over the
same period last
The commissioners reminded him that last year, Union County had
return $800,000 in sales tax revenue to the state to reimburse
previous overpayment from the state.
Commissioner Tom McCarthy said that
in truth, sales tax was "running flat."
"For 24 months, the sales tax has
been pretty much static," he said.
The only revenue item below 69 percent of
the yearly projected amount is grants.
"There is nothing you can do about
grants," Fry told the commissioners.
"Every year they go down."
expenses side of the ledger, Fry was nearly as pleased. He said
the county revenue is at nearly $14.9-million, expenses are
at just under
$13.2-million, or 69 percent of this year's appropriations.
not bad at all," Fry said.
McCarthy credited the county office
"It is just the office holders holding everything down," he
Commissioner Gary Lee said that over the last six years, office
have spent less than 95 percent of their appropriated funds on
He said he appreciated that "responsibility." Lee said that in
counties, office holders will spend every dollar allotted to
whether they need the money or not.
"The office holders in this
county do not do that," Lee said.
He added that the office holders ability to
control costs has "built a
lot of trust" and earned them some grace, if an
occasion arises where
they need to request additional funds.
years ago, office holders would abuse that, purchasing
equipment not included
in the budget, then returning to the
commissioners for additional funds to
purchase the equipment
specifically included in the budget. He said that is
not a problem any longer.
Commissioner Charles Hall said the county "is
going to push the limit,"
on the equipment budget this year. He said there is
just $38,000, less
than 10 percent, remaining in the equipment line item for
"Most of that is already encumbered," Lee said.
In July, Fry
expressed slight concern on the appropriations side, saying
the county was,
"spending a little more," but overall was pleased with
the county's financial
picture at the half-way mark. At that time he did
say property transfer fees
were down significantly through two quarters.
That revenue has rebounded in
the third quarter and now sits at 70
percent of yearly projection.
Union County Commissioners asked Fry if he would be willing to
evaluating the county's financial status.
"This is invaluable to us,"
Lee said the county could have an employee do the appraisal,
would be more likely to sugar coat the results. He said he
having an "independent view," that he knows, "isn't going to skew
Fry said he enjoyed the task because it keeps him active in the
and current practices.
"I don't do this for the money," Fry said,
though he added that he felt
he was fairly compensated for his work.
commissioners said they would present a contract for Fry's services
prosecutor's office for approval
Two inmates on the run
looking for pair who left West Central Community
UPDATE: The two inmates that escaped from the West Central
Corrections Facility were caught in a stolen vehicle in
shortly after press time. Read Thursday's paper for follow up
By RYAN HORNS
A manhunt has been under way since Tuesday evening
for two inmates who
escaped from the West Central Community Corrections
Union County Sheriff's Office public information officer Chris
said this morning that Tuesday at 9:45 p.m., inmates Eliberto
III, 19, and William Kaim, 19, both walked out the door of the
security facility located at 18200 Route 4, just north of
Sheriff's deputies and a helicopter sent from Franklin County
in the search Tuesday night and this morning. Many officers were on
scene until well after 2 a.m. for the initial search.
Skinner said, the two may be trading minimum security
sentences for much
longer maximum security terms. The big question now
is why the two would
escape, since both reportedly had only weeks
remaining on their current
"We have no speculation as to what they were thinking," Skinner
West Central director David Ervin said that when the two are
"They will do a lot more time."
Skinner said Deleon was
incarcerated on June 5 and was scheduled to be
released on Oct. 22. Kaim was
incarcerated on May 24 and was set for
release on Nov. 5.
that Deleon had been serving time in a Marion County
maximum security prison
for a previous escape charge and had been moved
to West Central for good
behavior. Kaim was serving time for possession
of drugs and drug
paraphernalia, receiving stolen property and vandalism charges.
are asked to keep a look out for both escapees, Skinner said.
described as a 5-10 white male, weighs 165 pounds, and has
brown eyes and
black hair. Kaim is listed as 5-1, weighs 136 pounds and
has blue eyes and
Skinner said Deleon and Kaim left wearing Phase II prison
clothing, which consists of green button down shirts, blue jeans with
tan belt, and white tennis shoes.
Officials know that Deleon also took
with him a purple, gray and white
polo shirt that was in his locker. Deleon
or Kaim may now be wearing this shirt.
Union County Sheriff Rocky Nelson
said that the county Code Red system
was activated in the area where the
escapees were believed to be
traveling in order to warn about 800 to 900
homes in the area.
After the inmates escaped, Skinner said, two crimes were
may have been committed by the pair.
"We have not confirmed
the linkage yet," he said.
But common sense indicates the crimes may be
related to the inmates, he
said. Two bikes were stolen from a property in the
16000 block of Moore
Road during a burglary. A car was later stolen from the
22000 block of
Wolford Maskill Road, which is near Moore Road.
said the two bikes were later found near where the car was
inside a corn field.
Law enforcement officials advise residents to look for a
Chrysler Sebring with the license plate EBJ5019. The car can be
easily because the vehicle is silver, except for one white driver
Skinner said the crimes occurred within walking distance of
correctional facility and were in line with the northern direction
inmates are believed to be traveling.
The two previously had held work
release jobs together at MAI
Manufacturing located at 150 Ira Bean Parkway in
Skinner said the escapees may have made contacts with people in
area and could be seeking them out for help.
Unconfirmed reports have
also indicated that the two escapees may have
stolen another car in
Ervin said that over the years, there have been five or six escapes
West Central, a facility organized to accept non-violent offenders.
said some have been sent to the prison to serve out the remaining
months of their sentence in minimum security after good beaver
maximum security prisons.
The most recent escape involved a woman who
picked her husband up
outside the facility on May 8, 2006. The two were later
convicted on escape charges.
Altogether, Ervin said, there have
been five or six cases of escapes.
Most have been attributed to inmates
walking away from work release
sites. All were later located, convicted and
sent back to prison.
Ervin said he hopes to lower local residents' fears
about of what the
two men are capable.
"There is no indication that they
are violent," he said. "As you know,
we do not take violent offenders here.
They also have no history of
Ervin said he had been
receiving calls this morning from area school
officials, who were worried
about the escapees.
There was a concern if the schools should be placed on
lock down or if
they should cancel recess until the escapees are
Ervin was also asked if the two had been showing any recent signs
they may have been capable of walking away.
"Were they having some
difficulty? They were." Ervin said about their
behavior leading up to their
escape. "But I don't know yet to what extent."
deals with fall, winter service contracts
By AUDREY HALL
Plans for fall
and winter services were the main topics at Monday
night's Unionville Center
Village Council meeting.
Sealed estimates for leaf pick-up, storm sewer drop
cleaning and snow
removal may be given to Mayor Denver Thompson or brought to
the Nov. 13 meeting.
All estimates must be accompanied by proof of
liability insurance and
each service should be a separate estimate.
guidelines for the estimates for services are as follows: leaf
scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 17. Pick-up will be on one day
removal is expected when there is a snow fall of two inches or
Estimates should include salt for designated major intersections.
are approximately 40 storm sewer drops in the village.
resolution accepting the amounts and rates as determined by
commission and authorizing the necessary tax levies and
certifying them to
the county auditor was approved. The current property
tax rate of 2.95 mils
is in effect for the tax years 2007 to 2011. The
amount of revenue generated
for the general fund is $4,400. The inside
rate of one mill generates $2,300
for the general fund.
Phil Rausch, representative to the Pleasant Valley Fire
reported that Fire Safety Week will be celebrated with an open
Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. at the fire station. There are a variety
activities planned for the day. The Me Flight helicopter is scheduled
be present from noon to 1 p.m.
There will be fire extinguisher classes,
demonstrations, station tours, Union County EMA
and the Smoke House will be on site for children and
adults to practice
exiting safely from a burning building.
and Peggy Williamson represented council at an Oct. 4
meeting for the Union
County Covered Bridge Festival, which is being
planned for next September.
Rausch shared some of the suggestions from
the meeting. Council expressed an
interest in community participation in the event.
Election Day is Tuesday,
Nov. 6. Mayor Thompson and clerk-treasurer
Tracy Rausch will be on the
ballot. Council member Phil Rausch will be
running for re-election as a
There is still one open seat on council. Any concerned
resident who is
interested in the welfare of the community can be appointed
by the mayor
to fill the position, it was reported.
present were Ron Griffith, Mary Lou Morris, Phil Rausch,
Brenda Terry and
The next scheduled meeting will be on Tuesday, November 13
at 6:30 p.m.
JA board asked to oppose megafarm
By CORINNE BIX
The Darby Creek Matters
group wants the Jonathan Alder School Board to
unequivocally oppose the
placing of a 5,200-acre megafarm or
concentrated animal feed operation (CAFO)
within 1,700 feet of Monroe Elementary.
The group expressed to the board
Monday night its many health concerns
due to pollution and sewage disposal
that could unduly harm elementary
students and residents of the village of
Alan Garcia, Darby Creek Matters representative, said it is
that if the CAFO is built, 40 acres will be devoted to sewage
and 383 tons of sewage will be disposed of each day. In addition,
prevailing winds blow southwest from the proposed site directly
Monroe and Plumwood.
Garcia also mentioned that the Oreleton Farms
CAFO proposed for the
Route 29 and 38 site is owned by Vreba Hoff who has a
lengthy history of
pollution violations in Ohio, Michigan and
Another primary concern is to protect the Darby Watershed, which
considered a pristine cold water habitat and is home to 37 rare
and endangered species.
Superintendent Doug Carpenter said he has written
letters to various
state officials, including the governor, against the
proposed CAFO on
behalf of Darby Creek Matters.
Board members agreed that
it was in the best interest of district
students to research the
"We believe your part is vital to our cause," Garcia said.
Elementary was back open today after a water pump unexpectedly
early Monday morning, causing the school to close for the day.
said a new pump was ordered from the closest supplier in
Florida, and it will
take four days to ship. Therefore, someone from the
school district traveled
to Cleveland on Monday to purchase a used pump
so school could open
Carpenter said he feels issues like this will only become more
because of how highly technical internal systems such as water
He said, in part, the high-tech systems are a reaction to
which require everything from more involved systems to hiring
certified water operator at a cost of $18,000 per year.
Plain City Public Library, informed the board that the
library will be on the
ballot in November for a 0.75-mill operating levy.
She thanked the board
for its continued support. The school district
acts as the taxing authority
for the library and is also responsible for
appointing library board
However, Long reiterated that all budgets and operating costs
completely separate between the two entities.
Jane Sonenshein, state
board of education, presented the board with a
banner celebrating its
"excellent" rating by the state.
The board adjourned into executive session
to consider the appointment,
dismissal, promotion, demotion, or compensation
of a public employee. No
action was taken.
The next regular meeting will
be Nov. 19 at 7 p.m.
In other action, the board:
.Approved the resignation
of Darin Curtis as boys basketball assistant coach.
resignation as retire/rehire for Bill Dulgar as bus
mechanic, effective Jan.
.Approved the employment of Rick Hutton, boys basketball
assistant coach; Ryan Swinehart, boys basketball freshman coach;
Curtis, boys basketball volunteer assistant; Laura Hipp, Title 1
at Monroe elementary for up to 10 hours per week, effective Aug. 28;
Maggie Gates, home tutor for one hour per day of absence of
.Approved classified substitutes Lisa Kaltenbach, Sheila McNichols
and Rebecca Kutz.
.Approved certified substitutes Sharon Berry, Relva
Branham, Jennifer DeWitt, Jeremy Hartman, Jennalee
McCray, Jami Oyster, Linda Roberts, Sharon Shoaf, Andrea Todd
and Hazel Williams.
.Approved in-lieu of transportation
.Reviewed the summer repair and improvements report, the state
card for the district and information on the Plain City
.Commended Cheryl Brockman for receiving a $500 grant
dealing with energy education.
.Commended students for their performance
on AP (Advanced Placement)
tests last year - Tommy Kellett, Kendalyn Schrock,
Erica Thomas and
Emily Trombley, who all scored a "5" on the junior English
Benedict and Clayton Greenbaum for scoring a "5" on the calculus
and Dusty Bollinger and Adam Bollinger for scoring a "4" on the
.Commended Gehres Landscaping for the new plants, grass
seed and mulch
for the front of the Plain City Elementary
Zoning change considered to lure soccer club
Council members are considering changes to Plain City's zoning code
an effort to draw a girl's soccer club headquarters.
Gary Kay, managing
partner of Jefferson Street Properties, addressed
council Monday to see if
there is any way to expedite the process.
He said his company owns eight
acres at 250 S. Jefferson St., in the
village, on the southwest corner of
U.S. 42 and Route 161, not including
the retail frontage. He said on the
property is 37,000 square feet of
warehouse and Ohio Girl's Premiere Soccer
has inquired about leasing
space to put its headquarters and indoor practice
outdoor fields possible. Kay said the facility would draw
hundred families each week to the village.
The problem is, Kay's
property is zoned Industrial. The industrial
zoning carries a specific
prohibition on athletic training facilities.
Village solicitor Michael
McCarthy said it was unusual for any property
to request a tighter zoning
"You better be careful what you ask for," McCarthy
"Once it is changed to less, getting it back to more can be
the solicitor told Kay.
Kay questioned the possibility of a
variance for his property. McCarthy
said that would be difficult, but added
that athletic training
facilities, "probably do fit quite nicely in
Council president pro-tem Bob Walter suggested the
amending the list of acceptable uses in the industrial zoning
to include athletic training.
McCarthy suggested Jefferson Street
Properties submit an application for
amendment to the village planning and
zoning commission. Walter said
that group meets next week and could possibly
get the matter on the
agenda, if the application is received quickly.
said the group initially wanted to sign a lease by Oct. 15 and they
looking at other sites. He said he had not really gotten involved in
negotiating process with the soccer club, choosing to leave that to
"But they weren't getting anywhere and I said, as the owner, I
get involved," Kay told council.
"I don't want to lose these guys
to Dublin," Kay said. "I would like to keep them here."
He said he
believes the families will support Plain City businesses and
generate some property tax value for the city.
"I think this would generate
some revenue for the city," Kay said.
Walter questioned whether this was the
best use of the property for the
village or if actual industry would not draw
more revenue for Plain City.
Kay said he thought retail was probably the
best use for the property.
Walter said industrial and office uses offer
higher economic return to
the village than retail. Walter then said he would
support a conditional
use permit that would attach to the property, but if
the property were
abandoned by the business using that conditional permit,
would be withdrawn.
He said the process of changing the zoning
code would take a minimum of
45 days, but added that Kay could likely begin
talking specifics with
the soccer club, if the zoning commission approved his
application next week.
Other council members said they supported the idea
of having the soccer
club call Plain City home.
"I like the sound of it,"
said councilman Mark Hostetler.
Todd Skidmore added, "It sounds like a good
Flames claim 150-year-old house
From J-T staff reports
firefighters were unable to save a 150-year-old house which burned
ground this morning.
Leesburg Township Fire Chief Jim Hall said that just
before 5 a.m. his
department got a call that the house at 10700 Hopewell Road
in flames. No one was inside at the time and no one was
Neighbor Steve McDulin said he woke up 20 minutes before 5 a.m. to
sounds of what seemed like someone trying to break into his home.
turned out to be his only warning that a fire was going on next
"Some passersby were beating on (my) house," McDulin said. "I
didn't smell a fire."
No one was inside at the time, Hall said, because
the homeowners live in
Delaware. They had recently finished a two-year
remodeling job and were
in the process of moving in. He said the origin of
the fire was in the
back of the house.
Hall said the house was a total
loss. He preferred to have the structure
torn down, but wanted to notify the
As crews rolled up water hoses before leaving, he said he did
if the family knew the home was gone or not.
"We haven't found
anything that indicates a cause. There were no paint
supplies inside," he
Hall said firefighters remained on the scene until 9 a.m. trying to
sure the fire stayed out.
"I fully expect it to rekindle," Hall
Because of the age of the house, he said, the wooden beams making up
structure consisted of thick old wood. As a result, it may take a
time to fully go out.
After calling for fire crews, McDulin said he
stepped outside and was
surprised that there was very little smoke.
went fast," he said.
It was sad to see the house destroyed, McDulin said. It
was built in
1840 and eventually became the house where his wife was
Hall said Leesburg was helped by Northern Union, Marysville and
Run fire departments. The Union County EMA also was on the
Richwood residents ask for property repairs after sewer
By CHAD WILLIAMSON
Residents in the area of Ottawa Street,
including one Richwood Village
Council member, do not feel their properties
were returned to their
original condition after storm sewer line work this
East Ottawa Street resident Jim Inskeep approached council Monday
and said his property needs work.
"It was supposed to be put back as
existing," Inskeep said.
He said after crews installed the sewer line, the
ground settled and
caused a dip in his front yard. He also said a newly laid
cracked because of the settling ground beneath it.
said he has talked to the contractor three times about the
nothing has been done. He also noted that the dirt used to
fill in the area
did not include topsoil.
Council member George Showalter added that he and
other residents in the
area have experienced the same problem. Showalter said
he's got a low
spot in his front yard that has not been fixed.
Showalter said. "I hate to be a constant complainer but it's low."
none of the homeowners in the area were asked if they were
satisfied with the
completed work. He said grass seed has been planted
in the area and he hopes
the contractor is not finished.
Village administrator Larry Baxa said the
village does withhold a
portion of the contractor's money until all work on
the project is
completed. He said he will get the company to come back to
deal with the
issues raised by the homeowners.
Council also discussed a
Memorial Hospital of Union County sign which
was proposed to the village
years ago as part of the purchase agreement
for the village administration
The building is a former doctor's office that is owned by the
Memorial Hospital is willing to sell the property to the village at
reduced price if the village will grant the organization an easement
place a permanent sign near the industrial park entrance on Route
Hospital officials approached the village about the issue several
ago but details were never finalized. As part of the agreement
hospital would sell the property to the village for $10,000.
solicitor Victoria Stone-Moledor said the hospital would be willing
accept a $1,000 down payment and a $1,000 payment each year.
financial officer Don Jolliff said the village would rather build
full payment of $10,000 into the 2008 budget.
Richwood Mayor Bill Nibert will meet with
representatives of the hospital and
the prosecutors office to secure
more details of the deal and then report
back to council.
In other business, council:
.Learned that the village's
insurance premium will not increase this year.
.Heard that the police
department has purchased two new batteries for
the speed indicator sign at a
cost of $136.
.Hearned that the police department is accepting donations to
candy for trick-or-treat night. Last year officers paid $90 for
.Heard that the haunted shelter house at the park will only be open
Saturday, Oct. 27 from 6-10 p.m. The attraction was to have been open
Friday also, but those plans have been scrapped.
parking on the north side of East Bomford Street
between Pearl and School
.Learned that the village will continue chipping brush until the end
the October. Pick-up of bagged leaves will begin soon. Only leaves
to be put into these bags, council was told.
.Learned Ohio Edison will
begin switching to sodium vapor lights from
mercury vapor lights at the first
of the year. The lights will have a
more yellow glow than the previous
Family removed from court during sentencing
By MAC CORDELL
It took an
eight woman, four man jury more than five hours over two
days, but it
eventually convicted a local man of attacking a Union
The jury found John R. Bailey, of 67 Commercial St., in Milford
guilty of one count of assault, a felony of the fourth
Moments after the jury read the verdict, Union County Common Pleas
Judge Richard E. Parrott sentenced the 36-year-old Bailey to 12
in prison, and while family members were on hand to hear the
they were not in the courtroom when sentence was pronounced.
the jury foreman read the verdict, Bailey's family began to weep and
out, slamming their fists together and throwing themselves onto the courtroom
"She (Bailey's wife) is to go out of the courtroom," Parrott said.
tried to tell her ahead of time. I tried to tell everybody. I am
not going to have it."
Bailey's trial lasted less than a day and featured
enforcement officials, a desperate 911 call from the defendant's
testimony from Bailey's family and the defendant taking the stand in
his own defense.
The defendant testified that July 3, he was angry with
his wife and he
decided to leave the residence to try to cool down.
the man was out of the house, the defendant's wife made a call to
requesting emergency help in dealing with Bailey
Deputies testified that when
they responded to the call, Bailey was not
at the home and the front door had
been damaged and a window was broken.
They were told where Bailey was and
they went to get him. When the
deputies found the man, he began to run,
taunting the deputies as he
did. Despite repeated warnings to stop, Bailey
refused. When he was
eventually caught, Deputies used their Tasers several
times on the man.
It was after being captured that the defendant's story
varies from the
deputies account. Deputies testified that as they were
apprehend Bailey, he shoved one deputy and attempted to choke
deputy, ripping a pin off his shirt. Bailey said he may have bumped
deputy as he was falling after losing control once he was Tasered.
said he did not intentionally choke the officer.
At one point in direct
examination, Bailey volunteered that he had no criminal record.
after the prosecutor began questioning the defendant on cross
Parrott called for a recess. Once the jury had left the
courtroom, the judge
chastised Bailey about his testimony that he had no prior record
and you know you lied," Parrott said. "You know what your
record is. You
better straighten it up, or I am telling the prosecutor
to take it to grand
jury and prosecute you on perjury."
Parrott said the man's record was
lengthy, taking up nine pages. He said
it contained numerous traffic charges,
along with a drunk driving
conviction and a resisting arrest charge that was
pleaded down to disorderly conduct.
"You might be trying to fool this
jury, but you can't lie to me when I
am sitting here looking at it," Parrott
The defendant said he did not know he had a criminal record and
pushed further, he said he thought the prosecutor meant
"Oh, bull," the judge responded.
During the sentencing portion
of the trial, the state requested a
17-month prison sentence, just one month
short of the maximum.
"If the court wishes to issue a fine, that would be all
Rodger, assistant Union County prosecutor, said.
Council Elizabeth Gaba requested a presentence investigation
before a prison
sentence was imposed so the judge could look more
thoroughly into the
defendant's record. Parrott denied the request
saying he had already seen the
defendant's criminal history and asked if
Bailey had any other criminal
convictions not on his official record.
Gaba said he did not.
asked the judge to go easy on her client.
"I would request the most lenient
sentence the court can give, your honor," Gaba said.
The defense attorney
said her client is the sole caregiver for his wife,
who has numerous physical
"She is dying," Gaba said.
Parrott asked if this was the same
woman he heard on the 911 tape. Gaba
said it was but added there have been no
incidents of domestic violence
or assault between Bailey and his
Roger rebutted Gaba's arguments for leniency. He said he's been
with the Baileys for "some time." He said the defendant's wife is
capable of functioning on her own" and her ailments are not new.
would ask you not to take that into consideration, her care," Rodger
"She certainly has other family to take care of her other than
The defendant said he has always cared for his wife.
love my wife tremendously," he said, adding the couple just
20th wedding anniversary.
He said he began drinking when he learned of his
wife's diseases, "it hit me hard," he said.
He said he is the only one who
can take care of her. He then put the
blame for the incident on the deputies
that responded to the call.
"These officers made me look like a monster
here," Bailey told the judge.
He also said he is "not a bad person" and
again denied the offense.
"I did not try to choke the officer," Bailey told
the judge. "I did not.
It did not happen in that way. It didn't. And I'm
sorry for everything,
but it did not happen."
Parrott said the protection
of the public required him to sentence Bailey to prison.
"It is good
public policy that we do not allow our law enforcement
officers to be
assaulted," Parrott said. "Because they are there.to
protect us and to make
sure we don't have antisocial behavior that
disrupts the community and
disrupts the social order. So, policy is,
they don't get assaulted. And if
they do, which in this case happened,
then we are at the other end of it and
what we do in that case.
"I think it needs to be dealt with severely because
it is not only the
principals and purposes of sentencing to punish the
offender, but also
to deter others from doing the same thing. So if I slap
his hand and
say, 'go, don't do this again,' then anyone else who wants to
law enforcement officer can do so and say, 'well judge, you don't
anything when that happens.' And I am not going to be a party to
The judge added, "the public needs protected."
After issuing his
sentence, Parrott addressed early release. He told the
defendant to start
working on his general equivalency diploma.
"You start making progress on a
high school G.E.D., and I mean you do
that right away," Parrott said. "If you
show no progress and you apply
(for early release) it will be turned down.
I'll tell you that right now."
The judge said he would review Bailey's
progress when he requested
release. The judge also said he wanted to check on
prior 911 calls
regarding the defendant.
Parrott told the defendant that
if he did grant judicial release Bailey
would be under strict guidelines and
monitored closely. If the defendant
violated any terms of the judicial,
"you'll serve every day of the rest
of your sentence," Parrott
Business lends a hand to special needs class
It's so much more than a new refrigerator for the eight special
students in Josh Montgomery's class at Marysville High School.
the classroom refrigerator broke earlier this month, a good portion
Montgomery's program was put on the back burner.
Montgomery, an intervention
specialist who teaches daily living skills
and vocational skills, has built a
third of his teaching day around a
lunch program he started when he came to
the district three years ago.
"The skill of being able to prepare their own
meals is important to
surviving as an adult once they leave school,"
Students in Montgomery's class have a variety of special
from autism, mental retardation and hearing impairment.
students in the class work every day to master all aspects of making
The students go grocery shopping every Monday with money
them by their families.
Before they leave to shop they prepare
grocery lists based on meal plans
for the upcoming week.
11 a.m. the students start preparation for that day's lunch.
said by noon most students are eating and a portion of the
devoted to properly cleaning up after the midday meal.
"We use all the
appliances, including the oven, stovetop, microwave and
When the refrigerator died earlier this month,
Montgomery said the
program had to be put on hold.
"They had to go to the
cafeteria and buy for the last two weeks," he said.
Montgomery said the
problem couldn't be remedied via school funds
because there is currently a
freeze on all unplanned expenditures due to
the recent school levy failing in
It was the local Home Depot that ended up donating a new refrigerator
"Personally and as a school employee I am very
grateful that they were
able to help us," he said.
The new refrigerator
was delivered on Wednesday, and Montgomery said
many of his students were
cheering when it arrived.
Tammy Basil's son, Michael DeNoewer, is one of
She said the lunch program has made a huge impact on
her son who is
non-verbal and has autism and epilepsy.
"The skills the
parent of a typical child takes for granted take an
autistic kid a long time
to learn," Basil said.
DeNoewer has been in Montogomery's class for the last
Basil said she could still remember tears rolling down her face
first time she watched her son prepare lunch.
"There's no way I can
explain to you how stunned I was to learn that my
son could cook," Basil
She said that for a special needs child each step in a routine
process has to be learned.
Basil said in the instance of preparing
frozen green beans, there are
really seven steps from initially choosing to
make green beans to the
final cooked product.
Basil added that little
steps like choosing the appropriate saucepan or
opting for a slotted spoon
are vital to the success of the end result.
"I've always wanted Michael to
gain as much independence as possible,"
she said. "Every step he makes is one
closer to being independent."
Basil said she is thankful to teachers like
Montgomery who are inventive
in the way they teach and work with their
Sex offender arrested
Was living in area of Marysville middle and high
schools, had failed to
report to sheriff's dept.
By MAC CORDELL
convicted child molester out of Indiana has been arrested in Union
living less than 1,000 feet from a local school.
William Alan Jenks, 36, of
826 Watkins Glen Blvd., was arrested Friday
morning, charged with one count
of failure to register as a sex
offender, a felony of the third degree. If
convicted, Jenks faces as
many as five years in prison for the
The legal process is not new to Jenks. According to the
Department of Corrections, Jenks was ordered in Howard County Indiana
serve six years in prison following a 1991 conviction for
confinement, eight years in prison for a 1997 conviction on
molestation stemming from a relationship with a 15-year-old girl,
years in prison following a 2001 conviction for burglary during
the victim was stabbed, and one year in prison for January
convictions for resisting law enforcement and neglecting a
According to Union County Municipal Court documents, three of
prior convictions involved class A felonies, Indiana's most
level of offense.
Despite the one-year sentence on the most recent
charges, Jenks was
apparently released from prison in March 2006 and placed
version of post release control or parole. As part of that
asked his supervising officer for permission to leave the state
and come to Marysville. That permission was granted.
Union County Municipal Court documents, Jenks began
reporting to authorities
in Union County for his parole. However,
according to the charges, Jenks
failed to notify Union County
authorities that he is a convicted sexual
offender, required to register
in the county of his residence for the
remainder of his life.
Thursday, 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
fight. After police released Jenks, they performed a routine
records check which revealed his past as a sexual offender and
requirement to register.
Marysville Police Department Assistant Chief
Glenn Nicol and Detective
Doug Ropp went to 752 Meadows Drive and found
Jenks. He informed law
enforcement he had been living in Marysville for about
two and a half
months. While Jenks gave police the Watkins Glen address,
enforcement officials believe he was living at the property on
Drive. That property abuts Marysville High School and Middle
properties, though investigators do not believe Jenks targeted
property because of its proximity to the schools.
"We believe it was
simply for convenience to his mother and girlfriend," said Nicol.
said the arrest should stress to sexual offenders and others that
enforcement officials will force offenders to comply with
"I think it show we are enforcing compliance with
Nicol said. "The law is no good if no one is following up
enforcement of these sanctions."
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.
portion of the law in Ohio became effective July 1, and a portion will
effective until January 1, 2008.
For a list of sexual offenders registered in
Ohio, go to
man found safe
From J-T staff reports
An elderly man, missing for more
than a day, has been found.
The Union County Sheriff's Office reported that
Billy Ray Stewart, 74,
of the 16000 block of Allen Center Road, in Allen
Township, has been found.
Law enforcement officials say the man left home
in his truck Thursday
morning to visit relatives in Kentucky. Apparently he
failed to notify
any of his friends or family, including his wife of 55
reported him missing when he did not come home in the early
morning hours Friday.
The man's disappearance baffled local law
enforcement officials as he
had no motive to intentionally go missing and no
evidence of foul play.
Fraser announces candidacy for
From J-T staff report
Local attorney Don Fraser has announced
his candidacy for judge of the
Union County Common Pleas Court. On Wednesday,
Fraser, a Republican,
filed petitions with the Union County Board of
Elections to be certified
as a candidate for the position which will be on
the March 4, 2008 primary ballot.
Fraser, 55, was born and raised on his
family farm near Zanesfield, and
has been a resident of Union County since
1985. He is managing partner
of the law firm of Cannizzaro, Fraser, Bridges,
Jillisky and Streng,
LLC, a firm he co-founded with partner John Cannizzaro
in 1982. Now with
seven attorneys, it is Marysville's largest law
He received a bachelor of science degree from the college
agriculture at The Ohio State University in 1975 and his Juris
from Capital University Law School in 1979. He is admitted to
law by the Ohio Supreme Court, United States District Court for
Southern District of Ohio, United States Sixth Circuit Court of
and the United States Supreme Court.
During his first years in
private practice in Marysville, Fraser also
served six years as an assistant
prosecuting attorney in Logan County.
He has tried numerous criminal, civil
and domestic cases in his 28 years
of experience. In recent years the focus
of Fraser's practice has been
on assisting individuals and families in the
preparation of wills and
trusts, estate planning, Medicaid planning, and
In addition, he and partner Michael Streng serve as
general counsel to
Union Rural Electric Cooperative Inc.
perhaps best known locally for his public service from 1995
through 2002 as a
Union County Commissioner. He says he was recognized
as a leader for his
ability to work with both government and the public
to create consensus and
to effectively meet the demands of a growing
community. Upon his retirement
from the county commission, a Dec. 21,
2002 Journal-Tribune article
interviewed him on several difficult
decisions he had to deal with during his
On the position of common pleas judge, Fraser said: "If elected, I
strive to meet and exceed the standards of excellence,
and integrity set by the judges that have presided in our
me. We should demand from every judge the strength of
necessary to make hard decisions, enforcement of the law as it
written, patience to give every person a fair hearing and commitment
justice. The hallmark of a good judge is measured by how the
treats the high office to which he or she is elected, as well as how
or she treats the lawyers who practice before them and every person
is part of the quest for justice. A judge must remain fair and
throughout the proceedings and make sound decisions based on
sense and the law."
Fraser added: "In my eight years of service as
Commissioner, I established a public record demonstrating to
citizens of this county that I can be such a judge. I would consider
an honor to serve as Union County Common Pleas Judge and to be
accountable by my fellow lawyers and the public as to how well I
up to these standards. I have demonstrated my ability to
hand-in-hand with the Union County Commissioners and other
county officials to make the Union County government offices the
efficient, friendly and service-oriented offices in the state. I
experience managing an office and a budget accountable to the
trust. We have a great team of elected officials in this county
realize they are here to serve the needs of the public that put them
their position. I want to once again become a leader on that
Fraser is the current chair of the Union County Public
Commission, a member of the Ohio Public Defender Commission and a
of the Board of Trustees of the Union County Foundation. He is a
of a number of expert and professional organizations
WealthCounsel, LLC, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys,
Practice Systems, Academy of Special Needs Planners, The Ohio Forum
Estate Planning Attorneys, Elder Law Answers, and Union County,
County, Columbus, and Ohio State Bar
Deputies looking for missing Allen Twp.
From J-T staff reports
The Union County Sheriff's Office is
requesting the public's help in
looking for an elderly Allen Township
Billy Ray Stewart, 74, of the 16000 block of Allen Center Road,
discovered missing Thursday, about 10:40 a.m. The man's wife of 55
discovered him missing. Stewart was not reported missing until the
morning hours Friday.
"We are concerned, obviously, for his safety,"
said Union County
Sheriff's Office Sgt. Chris Skinner.
Stewart is about 6
foot tall and weights about 220 pounds. He has white
hair and blue eyes.
Skinner said the missing man has a faded army style
tattoo on his right
He was last seen wearing blue jeans, a white shirt and a red
hat. The man's vehicle is also missing. Skinner said Stewart will
be driving a dark green, Ford F-150 pick-up truck, license plate
with a matching cap.
Sheriff's deputies have searched all areas
where Stewart is known to frequent.
"We have been to all those areas
looking for him, church, friends,
family, and all those people know to be
looking for him," Skinner said.
He said investigators have no idea why the
man would go missing intentionally.
"The sheriff's office would appreciate
any help we can get from the
public," Skinner said. "If anyone has seen him
since the time of the
report, or knows where he may be, we would appreciate
Anyone with information on where Stewart or his vehicle are, or
been since Thursday morning, is asked to call the Union County
Office at (937) 645-4110.
Bypass a long time coming
Route around Plain City was first proposed in the
By MAC CORDELL
"A thing long expected, takes the form of the
unexpected, when at last
it comes," said Plain City Mayor Sandy Adkins. The
mayor quoted Mark
Twain to summarize her feelings at Wednesday's ribbon
cutting of the
U.S. 42 Bypass, just north of the village.
She said it was
"exhilarating" to drive on the new bypass and called the
afternoon, "a memorable day in the history of Plain City,"
noting that it
will be marked in the village's history because it was so
long in the
Union County Engineer Steve Stolte told the standing crowd assembled
the intersection of 42 and Route 736 in Jerome Township, that a
around the village was first suggested in the 1950s following an
Department of Transportation study. He said it was again proposed in
1960s by an ODOT hired consultant. Finally in 1994, the
completed a study recommending the bypass.
"ODOT picked that up
and ran with the ball," Stolte said, adding that
when the study completed,
the cost of the bypass was estimated at $1.3
million. The final pricetag for
the project, which included relocating
US 42, widening State Route 161
through Plain City and rehabilitating
several side roads and streets, was
around $4.3 million.
Stolte thanked Adkins, along with former mayors Michael
Murphy and Freeman Yutzy for their persistence in pushing the
both state and local officials in Union and Madison
"It is only through the perseverance of these four mayors, this
stayed on the radar, stayed a number one priority."
of the bypass began in May 2006, relocating 1.5 miles of US
42 from downtown
Plain City to the village's northwest side. The new
bypass is a little more
than eight-tenths of a mile long.
Thomas J. Wester, ODOT district 6 deputy
director, said the ribbon
cutting was a "celebration of partnerships and
Wester said the bypass was, "constructed to insure safety to the
of Plain City and built to bring commerce to this corner of Union
He recognized the elected officials present at the
event and explained,
"the investment we make in our highways and bridges
stimulates the local economy."
Adkins too expressed belief that the bypass
will help drive the
community's economy. She said Plain City was once "a
"Over the years, all the trucks kind of took the
wind out of our sails
and the downtown kind of took a beating," Adkins
Trucks have caused parking concerns because many can not make the
from Main Street on to Chillicothe Street, and vice versa,
coming onto the sidewalk. The presence of semi trucks on the
has also discouraged pedestrian traffic in the downtown.
curbs and cutouts have been destroyed by the weight of the
their trailers. According to ODOT, recent vehicle counts indicate
than 12,000 vehicles travel through Plain City on an average day.
that number, ODOT indicates more than 2,000 of the vehicles are
trucks. That represents an increase of nearly a 1,000 trucks per
day since 1999.
Adkins says she believes the new truck free downtown will
retail growth and expansion of current businesses.
"It is my
hope the residents will do what they can to support the
revitalization of the
downtown," Adkins said.
She also thanked the residents for their patience
through the planning
and the construction process. She acknowledged that, "up
until the day
it happened, people continued to say, 'I will believe it when I
She said seeing it made her want to yell "Yahoo."
County Commissioner Tom McCarthy said the bypass was good
just for Plain City, but for the entire county.
"This means jobs, this means
an expanded tax base, this mean good news
for everybody here," McCarthy
Following McCarthy's comments, Plain City resident Rev. Dr.
Stenner took the stage to offer a benediction.
"I am here to say
'Praise God,'" Stenner said to laughter and strong
applause. "I am one of
those who said I would believe it when I saw it."
He then prayed for the
safety of all those who will travel the bridge.
Along with the bypass, the 42
bridge over Big Darby Creek at the north
end of the village at Route 736 was
replaced. The new bridge also opened
Monday. The replacement bridge project
cost $2.7 million.
The bypass has actually been open for several weeks,
though the bridge
on 42, north of the village still has the road closed.
Because a portion
of 42 through the village is closed, traffic is routed onto
bypass. Main Street in the village is expected to be closed for
another two weeks.
Village Administrator/Police Chief Steve Hilbert, took
the ceremony to thank the residents again for their
"We have really appreciated the understanding of the residents and
businesses in the area of the bypass," Hilbert said. "We know
people have put up with a lot. They have put up with dirt, mud,
water pipes, noise, and they have been very understanding."
the ribbon cutting, Adkins said the bypass ushers in an exciting
Plain City she said she is looking forward to "sprucing up"
the downtown and
having residents walking the sidewalks again.
"We want to see a vibrant
downtown and we want to see our residents use
it," Adkins said. "The trucks
have been the number one reason why
resident's and visitors have not come
downtown. Now we are really
looking forward to the economic difference this
will mean for us and the
long term changes this will make."
that while Wednesday's ribbon cutting was largely for
government and ODOT
dignitaries, the village will be sponsoring a
celebration for Plain City
residents Saturday, Oct. 20, in the parking
lot at Plain City Lanes on 42 in
the south end of the village. She urged
all residents to attend and
celebrate. That celebration will feature the
Jonathan Alder High School band,
games, prizes, shopping, food, gifts,
historical information on the bypass
and a "bye-bye barrel" sing along.
"We just hope to see our residents come
out, have a good time in
celebration of our new bypass and bridge," Hilbert
He added that next spring and summer, ODOT will be repaving
Chillicothe Street in the village. After that, he said, it should
some time before any major roadwork is needed in the village.
will be really nice," Hilbert said.
Absentee voting a changing
By MAC CORDELL
This is not your grandfathers absentee
In years past, absentee voting was something largely done by the
and those that would be out of the county on election day. Today, it
practice of many would be voters who are simply too busy to get to
polls on the first Tuesday, following the first Monday of November,
what ever month the election is taking place in.
"I think the idea was
for convenience for voters," said Karla Herron,
director of the Union County
Board of Elections.
The Union County Board of Elections has already handed
out its first
ballots of the 2007 general election.
Because of statewide
decision to move to no-fault voting, residents do
not need to have an excuse
to vote absentee.
"You need no reason," said Herron, who added the reasons
why someone may
want to vote absentee are as varried as convenince, fear that
may come up election day, avoiding the lines or saving
While no reason is needed, there are still a few rules to be
Those wishing to vote absentee may do it one of two ways - either
person or by mail.
To vote absentee by mail, registered voters must
submit a letter
requesting the absentee ballot. The letter must include, in
the voter's name, address, birthdate, signature and either a
license number or the final four digits of a social security
Requests by mail must be received at the board of elections no
than Saturday, Nov. 3, 2007, by Noon. The ballot will be sent to
requeste. It must be returned to the board of elections office
7:30 p.m. election day. Even if the ballot is postmarked before
day, if it does not reach the board of elections by 7:30 p.m.
day, the vote will not be counted.
The more preferred way to vote
absentee is simply to go to the board of
elections office. Voters can fill
out a form and receive a ballot or
they can fill out the same form and vote
on one of the board's touch
screen voting machines. Voters who go to the
board of elections office
and vote do not need any identification. Those that
go to the polls will
need a photo ID.
Voting at the board office has
"When they come in to vote, if they have a question, we can
it for them," said Theresa Hook, deputy director.
application can be downloaded from the board of elections'
web site www.electionsonthe.net/oh/union.
That form can be used in
substitute of a request letter. From the website,
voters can also check
polling locations, read ballot issues, download other
forms and check
their own registration.
"It is really a valuable and
useful tool," said Gary Wallace, board of
absentee voting may be done from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday
from now through Monday, Nov. 5, at the board office,
940 London Ave., Suite
1000. Signs will be posted directing voters to
the rear of the
The Board of Elections will also be open Saturday, November 3,
from 9:00 to Noon for absentee voting.
Special hours will be held
Tuesday, which is the last day for new voter
registrations or registration
changes for the 2007 elections. The board
will be open Tuesday from 8:30 a.m.
to 9 p.m. Voters may cast ballots
during those hours as well.
want to encourage everyone to get registered and be sure to
Herron. "People can come in here and vote absentee and be
their vote will be counted."
Village may sue Champaign County
officials to meet with
By CORINNE BIX
The village of North Lewisburg will meet
with an attorney today to
discuss possibly suing the Champaign County
auditor's office for what it
feels is the uneven distribution of state-funded
local government and revenue assistance.
Currently distributions are based
on relative need instead of population
or acreage. In Union County,
distributions are determined based on
population, and amounts are adjusted
after every census.
Barry First, outgoing village administrator, said last
year that it was
his understanding that the method by which funds are
countywide has not been re-evaluated since the 1940s.
North Lewisburg has been allocated $28,000 in local government
Mechanicsburg is set to receive close to $67,000, and St.
Paris will receive
$61,000. All three municipalities have comparable populations.
the new village administrator, along with First and Mayor
Dick Willis, will
meet with Ray Cox, an attorney from Dayton, to discuss possible
Yoder said that at this point the village is only making contact
attorney to discuss the issue. Attorney Harley Davidson of Urbana,
village's standing legal counsel, recommended Cox.
"They (Davidson and
Cox) both think we have valid rights to go farther," First said.
the village council passed a resolution, which was sent to the
County Budget Commission, contesting the way in which funds are
The Champaign County Budget Commission is comprised of the
auditor, treasurer and prosecutor.
First and Diane Davis, village
financial officer, began attending
commission meetings last year and were
told in order for a change to
occur all 21 political subdivisions within
Champaign County would have
to vote and have a 51 percent majority vote. This
would come with some
resistance, since a new calculation would take from some
and give to others.
Willis took time on Monday evening to thank First for
his more than 30
years of public service in the village.
First will retire
at the end of this month.
"It's certainly been an honor to serve the
community," First said.
Yoder said the village has decided to resubmit for
bids for the park
rest room project.
Last month it was reported that bids
for the project came in well over
the engineer's original estimate of
$26,000. The lowest bid was $46,635,
and the highest bid was $81,500.
village has since streamlined the building design to help
The project will completely refurbish the bathrooms with
received in Community Development Grant Block (CDBG) funds.
addition, the village is working to apply for funding for the Bike
Bridge Project which will be in large part funded with CDBG funding.
project should see $68,000 in grant funding with a local match of
The local match will be paid through various funds already in place.
.deputy Glenn Kemp gave the Champaign County Sheriff's report for
month of September. It included 21 traffic citations, four
issued for traffic violations, 16 incident reports, 28 cases
assistance give to citizens, 15 arrests made, nine civil and
papers served, 46 follow-up investigations, three open doors,
instances of juvenile contacts, one civic activity completed, and
auto accident report taken.
.Beggar's Night will be Oct. 31 from 6-8
p.m. as set by the Champaign
County Mayor's Association
agreement with the county to provide legal counsel for
.heard the wastewater treatment plant start-up date is set for Oct.
.received information from the Champaign County Health District
the 0.4-mill levy for operating expenses on the November ballot. It
estimated that the owner of a $100,000 home will spend an
$12.60 in property tax per year if the levy
Jerome Township considers crackdown on election signs
A Jerome Township resident addressed the board of trustees
regarding concerns over election signs.
"It is like the
commercialization of Christmas where it starts around
the Fourth of July some
years," said resident Mike Bing.
Bing approached the trustees about the sign
regulations in the zoning
code which is posted on the township's Web
"I was just wondering if, I wanted to know if the zoning code on the
site is up to date," Bing said, adding that some sections have not
Township Clerk Robert Caldwell said he was not sure
the entire code is
online, but believes the only sections not up to date are
to lot size and zoning appeals.
Bing then informed the
trustees the Web site included a version of the
zoning code which
specifically prohibits campaign signs in public
right-of-ways. He said the
code also includes a prohibition on signs
being erected more than 30 days
before the election.
"I think I have noticed some violations around the
township," Bing said.
He added, "I think there are some out around the
He specifically cited a sign already placed near a township
"How can we put our faith, as the voters, how can we put our faith,
people are either unaware of the laws, or vagrantly disregarding
them?" asked Bing.
Township Trustee Ron Rhodes said, "it is a matter of
He said a zoning code similar to the townships has been tested
He specifically referenced a court case regarding a law in
prohibiting campaign signs earlier than 14 days before the
Rhodes said the city's rule was challenged several years ago in
contest for county prosecutor.
"The law was struck down," Rhodes
Bing responded saying, "maybe you ought to change the Web
Township Trustee Bob Merkle thanked Bing for his concerns and
monitoring the Web site.
"You have a very good point Mr. Bing," Merkle
said. "That needs to be
addressed online if there is a change or if that is a
Rhodes said after the meeting that even with the code being in
with the courts, it cannot be remedied before the election. He
because a zoning code change would be needed, it would take a minimum
90 days to reconcile the township's rule with the court's
Unionville Council hears audit results
The biennial audit was the topic of a special meeting held Tuesday
the Unionville Center Village Council.
The signatures of all council
members are required on the draft audit
report received by clerk treasurer
Rausch said that the report needs to be returned to the auditor
as soon as possible.
During the audit period, 2005-2006, there
were two clerk-treasurers for
the village. When Karla Gingerich moved outside
the village, she became
ineligible for the position. Current clerk-treasurer
Tracy Rausch was
appointed to replace Gingerich in September 2006.
Buskirk, assistant auditor, audit division, Columbus region of
the auditor of
state's office, conducted the audit. Buskirk found two
Motor vehicle license tax funds in the amount of $595.61 were posted
the general fund when they should have been posted to the
construction maintenance and repair fund. General fund expenditures
$129 were posted to the street construction maintenance and repair
The adjustments were between funds and corrections have already
made by the clerk-treasurer. No other errors or irregularities
were noted in the report.
Payment of $2,024 for the required audit was
approved at the regular
September council meeting.
Those present at the
meeting were Rausch, Mayor Denver Thompson, and
council members Ron Griffith,
Mary Lou Morris, Phil Rausch, Brenda Terry
and Peggy Williamson.
regular meeting of the village council will be Tuesday at
Latest community concert was 'sparkling'
note: The following review of the initial production of the
County Community Concerts Association is submitted by Kay
"On Broadway" was indeed the "sparkling revue of
it was advertised to be!
The production was staged
Tuesday night at Marysville High School and
featured a multi-talented
energetic traveling troupe of eight
actor-dancers. They held the audience
spellbound with classic Broadway
and contemporary Broadway productions.
remarkable, tireless four-man orchestra of drum, keyboard, bass
percussion made it an evening of great music. We loved it!
Some of the
comments I heard from my neighboring audience members
included "Can't say how
it could be better!" "I sat with goose bumps the
whole show," "'Phantom' blew
me out of my chair!" "Great choreography."
"Slickest Broadway I've ever
The vertical stage creation and lighting was interesting, creating
levels for actors to romp up and down, creating an illusion of a
stage and greater cast. Impressive!
The music - oh, that music -
was magnificent! It included powerful, glorious duets.
"The Music of the
Night" from "Phantom of the Opera" was chillingly
beautiful. The female voice
in "Hello, Dolly!" belted out the tunes just
as the original Broadway grand
Popular numbers included "If I Were a Rich Man," "Oklahoma,"
Will Say We're in Love," "River City" "Tonight" and more and
The costuming was colorful and creative. And what energy!
house gave them all a well-deserved standing ovation.
The next production of
the Union County Community Concerts Association
will be Nov. 4 and will
feature "The Polyjesters," four men playing
"chunk" music. Composed of
ukulele, fiddle, percussion and bass, the
group plays a mixture of swing,
folk, old country, bluegrass and ragtime
music, coupled with humor.
Former coach enters guilty plea
By MAC CORDELL
A former Marysville High
School assistant girls basketball coach has
pleaded guilty to a felony charge
of bringing a firearm onto school grounds.
Michael T. Francisco, whose
only court-listed address is P.O. Box 561 in
Marysville, pleaded guilty
Monday to one count of illegal conveyance or
possession of a deadly weapon or
dangerous ordnance or illegal
possession of object indistinguishable from
firearm in a school safety
zone, a felony of the fifth degree. Francisco
faces a possible year-long prison term.
Francisco waived indictment in the
case and pleaded to a bill of
information before the case reached a grand
"Do you want to tell me what happened to get here today?" asked
"I was a basketball coach," Francisco began.
He said he was
on his way to basketball practice as the assistant girls'
varsity coach. He
said he just entered Marysville High School property
when he was pulled over
by the police. When police asked if he had a gun
in the car, he said he
Francisco told the judge he runs several businesses and often is
to carry large sums of cash to be deposited. He said he has a
carry permit and carries the gun for protection.
attorney Jeffrey Merklin elaborated. Merklin said stores in the
Francisco's had been robbed. He began carrying the gun for protection.
don't want to say he forgot about it, but," Merklin said.
He added that it
was "flawed judgment" to forget about the gun and that
there was no excuse
for doing so.
The attorney said Francisco was going through "a pretty nasty
at the time. He said it was the soon-to-be ex-wife who contacted
to tell them the coach had been carrying a gun and it would be on
"It is his fault and I know in this day and age, the
impact of something
like this," Merklin said.
Merklin said Francisco
stopped coaching immediately, a move that had a
profound effect on the
"It really hurt my daughter and a bunch of other girls as well,"
said. The attorney's daughter was on the basketball team
The attorney called it, "a very, very difficult
situation to deal with."
Sentencing is set for Monday, Oct. 22. Merklin
said his client has no
criminal record. As part of the plea agreement,
prosecutors agreed to
recommend a three-year probation term and no prison
Parrott ordered a presentence agreement. He said that he would
follow the sentencing recommendation, "assuming everything is
advertised," indicating Francisco had no prior record.
suspect unfit for trial
By MAC CORDELL
According to a journal entry filed
Monday morning, an accused murderer
will not stand trial any time
Robert Timothy Conley, 46, of 220 Greenwood Blvd., Apt. 1D, is
with murder and aggravated murder after the Thanksgiving day shooting
of a neighbor.
Union County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard E. Parrott
filed an entry
Monday moving the case to inactive status.
prosecutors and the defense had a hearing regarding the
inability to understand the nature and objective of the
him and assisting his counsel in his own defense,"
according to court
At the hearing, prosecutors agreed with defense counsel and
health evaluators that Conley was still unable to stand trial as he
not understand the charges or the process and that he was unable to
help his attorney.
"This case is ordered inactive and the attorneys are
ordered to prepare
an entry assigning defendant to the maximum security
forensic unit at
TVBH-CC (Twin Valley Behavioral Health ? Columbus Campus)
proceedings," Parrott wrote.
Conley has been at the facility
since February when his attorneys filed
pleas of not guilty and not guilty by
reason of insanity. They requested
their client be evaluated for both sanity
Parrott initially ordered Conley to undergo an evaluation as
outpatient at Twin Valley's facility in Dayton. However, officials
the treatment facility requested the evaluation be done both as
inpatient and at the maximum security facility in Columbus, "given
nature of the offense alleged."
In March, mental health evaluators
reported that Conley was incompetent
to stand trial, "but that there is a
substantial probability that the
defendant may become competent to stand
trial within one year if he
undergoes treatment at an approved
Parrott ordered Conley detained at Twin Valley's maximum
facility for treatment and evaluation. The judge ordered
reports on the defendant's mental condition. He also noted that a
evaluation must be submitted no later than 14 days before
anniversary of the initial incompetence finding. He ruled the
inactive at that time, then activated it again in time for the
most recent update.
Twin Valley has been ordered to alert the court when
Conley is psychiatrically ready to stand
According to court documents, Conley and neighbor Charles E.
Frazell had been feuding during the autumn of last year. On Nov.
Conley saw Frazell exit his car. Conley allegedly picked up
.22-caliber pistol and went to confront Frazell, who Conley says
called him "the Taliban."
"Conley indicated to (Marysville) Officer Brian
Payne that the reason
Conley left his apartment with the handgun was that
Conley was 'sick and
tired of being called names and it was going to end,'"
according to court documents.
Conley allegedly told other neighbors he was
going to shoot Frazell.
When Conley confronted the victim, there was a short
in front of the apartment complex. Frazell began to walk
Conley allegedly shot him in the chest.
"Conley told police he
knew Frazell would no longer bother him,"
according to court documents.
"Following the shooting, Conley told
police that he went back to his
apartment, unloaded the handgun and set
it on the table. Conley also took off
a knife which he had been wearing
and waited for police to arrive. Conley
indicated that he unloaded the
weapon and took off the knife to avoid
problems with the police."
Medics and police officers arrived at the scene
and tried to resuscitate
Frazell. However, those efforts were unsuccessful
and the victim was
pronounced dead at Memorial Hospital of Union
Conley told police what he had done. He tried to his explain his
actions to investigators.
"I did to Butch to protect myself and to even
let everyone know that I
am not the (expletive), loudmouth fool that people
think I am," Conley
wrote in a statement to police.
He added he, "was
sorry for Butch that he would not listen and would not
stop his terrorist
remarks to me. I felt I would not live in the
apartment in safety if I did
not act on protecting myself."
ORW inmate arraigned on escape try
By MAC CORDELL
Already a prisoner, a
local woman may have been looking for another
opportunity to escape following
her recent arraignment.
Tanisha Jenkins, 28, is an inmate at the Ohio
Reformatory for women.
Earlier this summer, she was indicted on one count
each of escape, a
second-degree felony, possession of a deadly weapon while
detention, a first-degree felony, and assault, a fifth-degree
At her arraignment Friday, Jenkins pleaded not guilty and requested
court appointed attorney.
Following the appearance, done by video from
the Ohio Reformatory for
Women, Union County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard
Parrott asked the
defendant if she had any questions. She said she
"Will ya'll bring me to Union County for this, or are you going to do
here like this?" Jenkins asked.
The judge said the hearings would be
done by video from the prison.
"You will stay right there at the reformatory,
and we will do it right
there like this," Parrott said.
"That way you
don't have to be inconvenienced by coming out here or
anything like that,"
the judge added.
According to court documents, on Feb. 19, 2006, Jenkins was
20-year-to-life sentence stemming from a conviction in 1998 of one
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
As he was pulling Jenkins off the ground, she allegedly kicked a
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. Parrott set no bond amount
since the defendant has no
opportunity for release anytime soon.
convicted on all the new charges, she faces another 19 years in prison.
Marysville Journal Tribune
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