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Local Archived News October 2007



     Details of attack released

     Code Red system hits snag after assault

     Longtime worker looks back at the birth of Honda in Marysville

     Three running for mayor of Richwood


     Family attacked  in home

     Mill Valley residents shocked by events

     County hopes residents  see value  of 911 system


     Mental Health board seeks replacement levy on Nov. 6

     Click away

     Uncontested races prevalent on Union County ballots


     Alleged Golden Arches burglars indicted

     Health department offers trick or treat tips

     U-CO ready to have new home


     City has different vision for site

     Woman facing two years after welfare fraud

     Board considers impact of new Dublin hospital

     Bleacher theft may  lead to prison sentence

     Local Red Cross volunteer responds to scene of wildfires


    Sheriff evaluates Code Red system

    Man caught allegedly stealing medication

    Mayoral candidate meets with citizens


     Local housing market may be hard to label

     Child support offenders targeted

     Spotlight Theatre Co. to present The Legend of Sleepy Hollow


     Super ate

     Marysville lays out participation fees

     Plain City officials  vote to authorize numerous raises

     Richwood Council hears of potential plan for beach


     Suicide attempt leads to gas leak

     Interactive chalkboards?

     Uptown Fall Frolic planned for Friday


     Local teen at forefront of fight against diabetes


     Burglar given 10 years in prison

     Charges, including kidnapping, get man four years

     Triad schools eye Web site upgrade


     W. Mansfield mail carrier sentenced for theft

     Memorial Hospital  showcases sleep lab

     Presentence investigation ordered for alleged voyeur


     Couple re-indicted in Clark County

     'Daddy hid really good upstairs'

     Ash borer found here


     Slump at the pump

     Plea entered in drug related death

     NU may hold mock critical incidents

     Jerome Township Trustees discuss record compliance


     Reinventing the overhead projector

     Mystery of missing M.C. pastor  solved


     Defendant takes deal in middle of trial

     Flu clinics scheduled

     United Way online auction underway


     Sewer lines may need work

     The rules of adulthood


     Escapees captured, arraigned

     Megafarm planned in JA school district

     Police look for pair who broke into Dave's Pharmacy


     County's financial picture said to  be good

     Two inmates on the run

     Unionville Center  deals with fall, winter service contracts


     JA board asked to oppose megafarm

     Zoning change  considered to lure soccer club

     Flames claim 150-year-old house

     Richwood residents ask for property repairs after sewer project


     Family removed from court during sentencing

     Business lends a hand to special needs class


     Sex offender arrested

     Missing man found safe


     Fraser announces candidacy for judge's seat

     Deputies looking for missing Allen Twp. resident


     Bypass a long time coming

     Absentee voting a changing practice


     Village may sue Champaign County

     Jerome Township considers crackdown on election signs

     Unionville Council hears audit results

     Latest community concert was 'sparkling'


      Former coach enters guilty plea

      Murder suspect unfit for trial


      ORW inmate arraigned on escape try

Details of attack released
Family assaulted with hammer, screwdriver

The mother and two daughters injured in Tuesday's Mill Valley home
invasion have reportedly been released from hospital care.
"They are on the mend," Union County Prosecutor's Office victim's
advocate Nancy 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 Memorial
Hospital of Union County for care and also were released.
Nicol said all three received stitches for their wounds. He clarified
this morning that there was no knife involved. The men had used tools
found in the family's garage.
"They used a hammer and a screwdriver," Nicol said. "We won't know
anything other than that until we meet with the family."
Marysville Police received a 911 call from 1452 Meadowlark Lane Monday
at 11:45 p.m. from a 10-year-old girl in her mother's bedroom reporting
that her mother, her 12-year-old sister and herself had been injured by
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 upstairs.
The 10-year-old girl told dispatchers she had been injured on her finger
and leg. She thought the men had a knife and were stabbing her mother
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.
Benedetti said the 10-year-old girl who called dispatchers, "had
suffered the extent of the injuries."
The girl had been struck three places on her leg, which required
stitches. She had also been struck on her head and while fighting of her
attacker had suffered a defensive wound on her finger which required stitches.
"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 children are
given training in how to call 911. He hoped that the girl's calm
demeanor on the phone may have been a result of that training.

Code Red 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.
Marysville Police 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.
"It didn't 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.
Barr said that the sheriff's office had received some calls from Mill
Valley residents complaining that they had not received the Code Red
after hearing that some of their neighbors had.

Longtime worker looks back at the birth of Honda in Marysville
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 first days.
A recent high school graduate, Hines turned 18 in August of 1980 and
began working for Honda in the motorcycle plant Sept. 2, of that same year.
Hines was a hard worker through school. He helped an area farmer during
the summer then had a job at a local pharmacy. His father and several
other family members worked in a factory and Hines hoped to use those
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 Japan.
"A lot of people were interested and just getting out of high school, I
thought I could get in with a young, growing company. I thought it might
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 hand.
He hadn't been with Honda long when the chance to start on the ground
floor of a new factory came knocking. Honda officials came to the
motorcycle plant and explained they would be opening the car plant next
door. Anyone who was interested in making the move was invited to do so.
A supervisor in the motorcycle paint shop decided to transfer to the car
plant, and thinking highly of him, Hines decided to go to transfer as well.
"I thought this was another good opportunity to get involved in a plant
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 Hines.
As impressive as the construction was, Hines was more excited about the
upcoming move.
"At that time I was eager for the challenge," Hines said. "You never
knew at that time how big it was going to be."
On Oct. 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 on."
While set to work in plastics at the automobile factory, he was actually
working in the car plant's paint shop when the first Honda rolled off
the line. Hines explained that the paint division was "having a little
trouble getting up and started." He said plant officials came through
and asked for anyone with paint experience. When Hines said he had been
in paint at the motorcycle plant, he was asked to take a one month
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 shatter,
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 production, often
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 the associates.
As a lifelong resident of the area, Hines said he has seen Honda change
the community as well. He said there is nothing left of the land he once
helped farm. He said there is more traffic and more people and a bigger
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 there, he
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 residents really
understood all the things Honda does for the surrounding area.
"There is just a lot of impact back to the community that a lot of
people don't see," Hines said. "It is not just us making cars. This
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 years.

Three running for mayor of Richwood
Election 2007
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.
Cynthia Blackburn
One word repeatedly comes up when Cynthia Blackburn discusses her
qualifications to serve as mayor of the village of Richwood - honesty.
While she readily admits that she is not savvy in the dealings of a
village government, Blackburn says what she lacks in experience she
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.
Blackburn said she would have an open door policy as mayor that would
apply to residents as well as village employees. She said she would ride
along with village employees to learn what they do on a day-to-day basis.
She said she is a good listener and gaining feedback is crucial in
making positive 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 crime.
"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 a candidate
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 worker."
Former village council member Arlene Blue said she will bring fiscal
responsibility to the Richwood government. She said government is a
business and village officials need to spend public money like they
spend their own money at home.
Arlene Blue
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 village affairs.
"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 her.
"We need to get practical," Blue said. "We are a small village and
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 property.
"I'm really disheartened in people's property," she said. "People don't
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 favoritism.
"I will not play favorites to friends and family," she said.
Blue said her experience as an accountant has familiarized her with
payroll and tax issues. She said she is also familiar with dealing with
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 Park.
Bill Nibert
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 16 years.
"During my past terms as mayor Richwood has seen tremendous progress,"
Nibert said.
In terms of what qualifies him to serve as mayor of the village, Nibert
needs only point to the list of accomplishments under his
administration. Under Nibert's watch the village has seen the
installation of new water and sewer lines and a new water tower.
He also pointed to the purchase and development of ground for the
village industrial park which is now the home of MAI manufacturing which
employs more 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' Memorial is
located. He has also overseen the annexation of 22 acres of ground off
Ottawa Street for additional housing for the village.
Nibert 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 door

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 released.
According to Glenn Nicol, assistant chief of the Marysville Police
Department, officers received a 911 call from 1452 Meadowlark Lane at
11:45 p.m. The 10-year-old, who was in a second floor bedroom, reported
that her mother was struggling with the subjects downstairs. In the
background the second young daughter can be heard crying and yelling
"Help mommy!"
Periodically the mother can be heard screaming.
"There is someone in my house and their killing . their stabbing my
mom," the 10-year-old said. "They are stabbing me and my sister and my
mom . I'm scared!"
"Where's your mom at right now?" the dispatcher asked.
"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 to police.
"Did you actually see the knife?" dispatchers asked.
"No, but my mommy got hit by one, it was going down her throat. And I'm
all bleeding, there is a cut on my finger and my leg."
"He cut your finger and your leg?" dispatchers asked.
"Yes and my face is like bleeding and everything," the girl said.
At this point in the conversation, screams can be heard louder
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 again."
Although the girl claims the intruders had a knife, authorities are not
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 unidentified object
during the attack. Although he would not name the item, Nicol said it is
believed the object used came from the garage of the home.
The two daughters, who were asleep when the attack began, were awakened
and called police. The attackers would later make their way up the
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 vehicle.
Marysville Police, including the K-9 unit, and Union County Sheriff's
Deputies responded to the scene. Representatives of the Bureau of
Criminal Investigation and Identification were at the scene this morning
processing the home for evidence.

Mill Valley residents shocked by events
News of the attack on a Meadowlark Lane resident spread quickly through
the Mill Valley  housing development this morning.
"We are freaking out here," said Kristina Kramer, who was outside with
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 news.
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," Kramer said.
She explained that all the homes in Mill Valley were built with security
systems, but it was the new resident's responsibility to have them activated.
"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 didn't lock
doors or cars as there was no need. She said she learned her lesson
recently when her vehicle was broken into and a DVD player stolen.
"Otherwise, this neighborhood has been totally quiet. It is really unexpected."
Becky Wever and Kellie Crosby were walking with their children, talking
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 a warning.
"I think it just teaches you to be more vigilant," Wever said.
"Definitely," agreed Crosby.

County hopes residents  see value  of 911 system
Election 2007
Union County officials are asking voters for the second time to help
keep its 911 emergency services afloat.
The previous 911 levy expired in December 2006.
Union County Sheriff Rocky Nelson explained the importance of the
county's 911 Public Safety Communications Levy by answering a number of questions.
How much will it cost?
Nelson said residents passed a 0.5 mill levy in 1988 to originally
create the 911 services. Now, 19 years later, residents are being asked
to pass a 0.75 mill levy to keep those services in place until 2011.
Under the previous levy, the owner of a $100,000 home paid roughly $14 a
year. Passage of the Nov. 6 ballot issue would cost the owner of a
$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 significant.
The sheriff said that last year the 911 levy failed by more than 400
votes. Its passage would have ensured a seamless continuation of services.
"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 the levy."
What is 911?
Nelson said Union County's 911 system is a computer-enhanced program
which provides the dispatcher with a location and phone number when a
911 call is dialed from a typical land line phone.
If a resident makes a 911 call from his or her cell phone, wireless
technology gives the dispatcher the location by using X and Y mapping
coordinates. Union County is one of only 23 Ohio counties which have this capability.
He said having both 911 land line and cell phone capability (provided a
cellular signal is available) "provides residents with the security of
knowing that they have immediate, direct access to a dispatcher in the
event of an emergency."
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 service.
"In 2005, following the Ohio Revised Code, a Planning Committee was
formed," Goddard said. "It consisted of a county commissioner, the mayor
of the most populous city and a trustee of the most populous township.
They in turn asked for a Technical Advisory Committee to be formed to
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 requirements needed.
"There is so much behind the scenes that the majority of people don't
know about," Goddard said. "But they expect the services to be there
when they call . If they only knew the effort that has gone into this."
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 additional
funding. From 1990 to 2005, Union County's population surged from 31,969
to 45,751, a 31 percent increase. He said 9-1-1 calls for assistance
increased from 6,690 calls in 2004 to 10,673 calls in 2006, a 37 percent increase.
"Updated technology and staff - to adequately meet the needs of our
residents, especially in times of emergencies - is a concern," said
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 them.

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 community
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.
Mental Health and Recovery serves as the local mental health and
substance abuse authority, responsible for planning, funding and evaluating services.
"The levy dollars are really safety net dollars," said Mike Witzky,
executive director 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 2001.
He said the board assists in a lot of ways that most members of the
public never see, like mental health counseling or treatment for drug or
alcohol dependency. He said the board also helps in more recognizable
ways with things like help for homeless and supported housing to keep
some of those with mental illness in their homes.
Witzky said the board also provides counseling for the uninsured and the underinsured.
"These funds go to offset the care for these people," Witzky said.
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 staff. It
will have a direct impact on our clinical staff. We will have to cut
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 Millcreek Townships.
Jerome Townships levy is an additional 1.2-mills tax, to last five
years. If the five-year levy passes, the owner of a $100,000
Jerome-Township home would pay $36.76. The levy will raise approximately
$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, buildings as
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 ballot.
Union Township's is a five-year renewal, to begin in 2008. Money
generated will be used for the operation and maintenance of the township
cemeteries. Currently the owner of a 100,000 home in Union Township pays
$30.52 for the levy and would see no change if the levy passes. The levy
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 mixed beverages.
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 ninth precinct,
17795 Mill Valley LLC. will be on the ballot requesting permission to
sell beer, wine and mixed beverages on Sunday.
Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 6, however, those wishing to vote absentee
may do so now through Nov. 5.

Click away
Wireless remotes allow teachers to gauge student understanding

New classroom response systems are the equivalent of raising a pupil's
hand in class at local school districts, including Marysville,
Fairbanks, Jonathan Alder and North Union.
The "clickers" are a wireless remote system that allows teachers to
involve their 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.
"It 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.
"The clickers look like a remote control for a TV with a number pad, the
letters A-E, directional buttons and a small LCD screen," he explained.
The teacher can ask the class a question and the students simply click
in their answers.
"We instantly get feedback from all the students in class and not just
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.
The teacher then gets immediate feedback as to what percentage of the
class has the correct answer and can also pinpoint who might need extra attention.
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 use it."
Henn said a teacher could choose to input his or her own questions or in
the case of a core content class, use questions that are pre-programmed
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.
"After each 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 options."
McCulloch said the system records all the questions and answers and has
the ability to print out various reports so that a teacher can review
later with a student who may have struggled with a particular idea or concept.
The average cost for a classroom set of remotes and a receiver is $3,000.
He said the advantage to the system is it allows for a more hands-on
learning environment.
"If they can pick up something electronic, it gets their attention,"
McCulloch said.
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
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 Claibourne
Township, or Dover Township or Jackson Township, any number of other areas.
In fact, according to the Union County Board of Elections, just 10 of 49
contests will have more candidates running than open seats, and some
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.
In Marysville and Richwood, council seats will be open, but there will
be no contest.
Candidates for Marysville seats include incumbent John E. Marshall in
ward 1, incumbent Daniel E. Fogt in ward 2, Deborah Groat in ward 3 and
Nevin L. Taylor in ward four, with one candidate from each ward to be elected.
Von R. Beal and William S. Jerew running for the two open seats on
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 seats.
Voters will have few choices in Milford Center as incumbent mayor Bob
Mitchell will seek his seat again as will fiscal officer Dawn Barnhardt
and while there will be two seats open for village council, current
councilman Anthony C. Smith will be the only name on the ballot.
Unionville Center residents, an old face will be in a new place as
current councilman Denver B. Thompson Jr., is running unopposed for
mayor. Tracy Rausch will be unopposed in her bid to be Unionville Center
fiscal officer. Phil Rausch is running as a write-in candidate, for one
of the two open seats on Unionville Center Village Council. He is the
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 Village Council.
While any of the townships will see contested races. In Allen Township,
Dan Fancy (incumbent) and Don E. McCreary will vie for one trustee
position. Jerome Township residents will get to cast ballots between
current trustee Ron Rhodes and former trustee Freeman May. The Darby
Township trustee race will pitt Douglas J. Alderman (incumbent) against
Alfred L. Short. In Dover Township, Russell Conklin (incumbent) and Ron
Miller are both running for one trustee seat. Taylor Township residents
will see three names - Dean E. Cook, Jack Engle (incumbent) and John H.
Marshall - on their ballot for one township trustee position. Union
Township voters will also see three names - Jeff Clark, Bradley Herron
and Randy C. Poland (incumbent) - on their ballot for one seat. In York
Township, Donald Mathys (incumbent) and John Oates will run for one trustee seat.
Uncontested township positions include Allen Township fiscal officer
(incumbent Cande S. Brake), Claibourne Township trustee (incumbent
Jeffery L. Swartz), Claibourne Township fiscal officer (incumbent Vicki
Price), Darby Township fiscal officer (Mary Dick), Dover Township fiscal
officer (incumbent Wallace Snyder), Jerome Township fiscal officer
(incumbent Robert Caldwell), Jackson Township trustee (incumbent Steve
Patton), Jackson Township fiscal officer (Jan Oldham), Leesburg Township
trustee (incumbent Gary L. Cunningham), Leesburg Township fiscal officer
(incumbent Annette Jill Chapman), Liberty Township trustee (incumbent
Randy L. Trapp), Liberty Township fiscal officer (incumbent David L.
Gwilliams), Millcreek Township trustee (incumbent William E. Lynch,
Jr.), Millcreek Township fiscal officer (incumbent Joyce Beaver), Paris
Township trustee (incumbent John M. Eufinger), Paris Township fiscal
officer (incumbent Kristy K. Rowland), Taylor Township fiscal officer
(incumbent Patricia J. Laird), Union Township fiscal officer (incumbent
Mary Lou Ryan), Washington Township trustee (incumbent Richard L.
Anderson), Washington Township fiscal officer (incumbent Valerie K. Cox)
and York Township fiscal officer (incumbent Timothy Paul Goodwin

Alleged Golden Arches burglars indicted

The trio that allegedly burglarized a Marysville fast food restaurant
are among the individuals recently indicted by a Union County Grand Jury.
Monuaire W. (Money) Cross, Nicolas Trejo and Ashley N. Matson have been
indicted on 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 dollars.
"The police began an investigation immediately following the robbery,"
said Union County Prosecutor Dave Phillips. "It was focused (on the
Cross, Matson and Trejo) relatively soon after."
Like Trejo and Matson, Robin Paul Higgenbotham is also facing 41 years
in prison. Higgenbotham, 44, whose only court listed address is
Tri-County Regional 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.
Indicted with 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 activity, a
second-degree felony, and two counts of obstructing justice, both fifth
degree felonies.
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 degree felony,
and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, a first-degree felony.
William R. Bohaboy, 37, of 5594 Covington Meadows Drive, in Westerville,
is charged with three counts of importuning after allegedly soliciting a
person, over 13 but younger than 16 years old, to have sex with him.
According to the court documents, the alleged incidents occurred between
Dec. 1, of last year and May 1, of this year. He faces as many as three
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 trafficking in
cocaine, a third-degree felony, theft, a fifth-degree felony, grand
theft, a fourth-degree felony, and four counts of identification fraud,
three of them third-degree felonies and one a fifth. If convicted, he
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.

Health department offers trick or treat tips
From J-T staff reports
As ghosts, pirates and princesses prepare to descend on neighborhoods
across Union County for trick or treating, the Union County Chapter of
the American Red Cross and the Union County Health Department's Safe
Communities/Safe Kids 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 simple precautions."
"Children will be distracted by other costumes and the thrill of getting
all those goodies," said Safe Communities/Safe Kids Coordinator
Elizabeth Fries. "Parents should accompany their children if at all
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
adult accompany children.
.Wear light-colored or reflective-type clothing to increase visibility.
(And remember to put reflective tape on bikes, skateboards and brooms!)
.Use face paint rather than masks or things that will cover eyes.
.Cross the street only at corners.
.Look both ways before crossing the street to check for cars and trucks
(and low-flying brooms!).
.Don't 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.
.Visit 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 animals.
.Have a grownup inspect treats before eating. And don't eat candy if the
package is already opened. Small, hard pieces of candy are a choking
hazard for young children.
Safe Communities adds the following tips for motorists:
.Slow down in residential neighborhoods.
.Obey all traffic signs and signals.
.Watch for children walking in the street or on medians and curbs.
.Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.
.Teach children to exit and enter the car on the curbside, away from traffic.
The Safe Communities program was developed through the Ohio Department
of Public Safety to establish and/or expand community partnerships to
create safer, healthier communities throughout Ohio.
Additional information may be obtained by contacting the Union County
Health Department 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
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 home
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 disabilities.
Originally located in a truck garage on Industrial Parkway and then a
gymnasium of Broadway School, U-CO Industries was established as a 501
(c) (3) not-for-profit organization in 1974. U-CO moved to its current
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, Marysville.
"To our knowledge, nowhere else in Ohio has a non-profit board purchased
a building and taken such creative steps to lay such an incredible
foundation on which to build a future for adults with disabilities,"
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 from Early
Intervention (Part C) to Preschool Special Education Programs (Part B)
or Other Appropriate Services.
Several changes and additions to policy and health benefits for 2008
were discussed and passed by the board.
For more information on UCBDD and its programs, services and volunteer
opportunities, contact Carol Scheiderer at 937-645-6733 or

City has different vision for site
Officials want more offices,  less commercial
Marysville leaders may put the clamp on the retail aspects of the future
Cook Property development.
Located between 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 that developers
go back and come up with a sketch plan more in tune with city zoning.
Councilman John Marshall said the Cook Property falls within his ward,
so he is concerned about following the Marysville Comprehensive Master
Plan. His greatest concern was with the high amount of retail space. The
current sketch plan only calls for 18 percent office use.
"It was intended to be mostly office, and not so much retail," he said.
"My request 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 issues.
Councilman Mark Reams agreed that the Master Plan called for the land to
"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.
Development 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 recommendations.
"We want to work with the city any way that we can," Dave Cook said.
The Cooks also mentioned that their father purchased the property in the
1960s, with the specific purpose of development some day.
With Mill Valley and Scott Farms located in the area, they said there
are more than 2,000 rooftops that need services currently not being provided.
Both said 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 said.
Seymour explained to Reams during the council meeting that sometimes
when a parcel of land is already zoned, the city's "hands are tied."
Councilman John Gore said that perhaps the city should remain receptive
to any commercial aspects. He added that there has been discussion of
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," Gore
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 that possibility.
In a somewhat related issue, Marshal asked city administrator Kathy
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 been vacant
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 area.
"Perhaps it would be worthwhile to kind of reinvent that site," Marshall said.
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.
"It'll be good when it does happen," he said.
In other discussions:
. House said the city opened bids on the excavation project for the
future water Reservoir.
She said Weaver Excavation came in as the winning bidder, with a $6.7
million price tag. That figure is "significantly under" the original
engineers estimates for the cost. The project is expected to begin
construction this year, before January. The city plans to meet with
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 Aslaner who
said that if council did not accept the land, then it could be in
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.
"I 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 difference.
"I don't like voting with a gun to my head," Marshall said. "This one is
just ugly because it is not park land."

Woman facing two years after welfare fraud
A Mississippi woman could be spending time in an Ohio penitentiary after
she admitted to welfare fraud.
Cheryl L. Grizzle, 42, of Ocean Springs, Miss., pleaded guilty Thursday
to two 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 ordered a
presentence investigation and set a sentencing hearing for  Monday, Nov.
26. Defense council Perry Parsons said his client would waive the
presentence investigation to get the matter resolved quickly. Parrott
said he could not, by law, sentence the woman to probation without a
presentence investigation. If the investigation were waived, the woman
would have to go to prison. Parsons and the defendant agreed to wait.
The attorney did ask that his client be allowed to go to Tennessee in
November to attend to a court hearing about a car accident.
Assistant Union County Prosecutor Terry Hord said the state was not
opposed to releasing the woman on her own recognizance, as long as she
understood that if she failed to appear for her next court date, that
would be a separate indictable offense.
"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," Parrott said
The woman said she understood, then said she wanted to add something.
"I am sorry for what I have done and I do realize it was wrong," Grizzle said.
"You can tell me that later," the judge told her.
According to court documents, Grizzle received more than $1,595 in
overpayments from Aid to Dependent Children and $666 in food stamp
overpayments between Feb. 1, and May 31, 2005. During that period,
Grizzle applied for and was granted ADC and food stamps because she told
Job and Family Services representatives that her two sons were living
with her. If fact, at the time the sons were living in Tennessee.
Court documents indicate Grizzle and her husband were unemployed at the
time, as were both sons, one of which was 18 at the time. The juvenile
was being home schooled. Job and Family Services made several attempts
to get family members jobs and job training, however, they failed to
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.
"Upon further 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 documents.
When she was finally returned to Ohio, bond was set at $50,000. At that
time Hord wrote, "the state believes she is a significant flight risk if
her bond is made."
According to court documents, Grizzle has several aliases, addresses and
contacts in several states and a criminal history that includes arrests
on drug charges, theft charges and burglary charges.
Following her arrest, Grizzle wrote a letter to the court apologizing
for her actions. She called her living situation at the time, "unstable."
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 future."
She said she had been living on student loans but was not enrolled in
school that semester and so was not getting student aid.
"Please help 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 entire community.
"We take welfare fraud very  very seriously," said assistant Union
County Prosecutor Terry Hord. "These are people who are taking tax
payers' money. This is a crime that costs anybody who pays taxes or who
gets services from the state."

Board considers impact of new Dublin hospital
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
Dublin Methodist."
Hubbs added 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.
For the third year in a row, Memorial Hospital has opted to reallocate
funds originally budgeted for medical staff and board member holiday
gifts to 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, Hubbs' administrative
assistant, at 578-2289 or
Carl Zani, director of information services, and Mareva Page, director
of imaging, presented information on the new central scheduling
department to open in the spring.
The new department will alleviate high call volumes and eliminate phone
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.
The department will have between four and five employees. In addition to
phone etiquette training, those hired for the department will receive
training specific to understanding the services/tests for which they are
scheduling patients.
Beginning in January, the central scheduling department's space will
undergo renovations and the system will be installed. The completed
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.
The board took time to recognize outgoing board member Pamela
Wenning-Earp who will be relocating to Arizona with her family.
The board presented her with a framed certificate of recognition, along
with a gift certificate.
Wenning-Earp has served on the board of trustees since 2002.
Hubbs said he expects the county commissioners to appoint someone to
take her place on the board within the next few months.
Those hospital 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 Creekview
Intermediate in grades four through six participated in the contest.
The winner will be contacted this week and will receive a $100 Savings
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 - active provisional.
.Approved Dr. Norman Raymond for a medical leave of absence.
.Approved committee reports for finance and joint conference.
.Received customer service data and the Urgent Care 12-month summary.
.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
A false statement about a stolen set of city bleachers could cost a
Marysville woman a year in prison.
Natasha Conrad, 26, of 702 Meadows Drive, pleaded guilty Thursday to one
count of falsification, a felony of the fifth degree. She faces as many
as 12 months in prison. In exchange for the guilty plea, prosecutors
dismissed a fifth-degree felony theft charge that could have added
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.
The duo took the bleachers to a salvage facility in Delaware and sold
them for scrap metal. The Conrads sold the bleachers, valued at $1,150 for $78.50.
An employee at the salvage facility was able to describe the truck,
which matched the description given by the witnesses in Marysville, and
provide investigators with a license plate number and description of the Conrads.
Later that day, police stopped the truck and arrested Benjamin Conrad
and Natasha Conrad. The pair gave investigators conflicting reports
about the events of that day.
"Benjamin confessed to stealing the bleachers," according to a police
report. "Natasha at first denied the theft, but later also confessed to
being with Benjamin when the bleachers were stolen and sold."
Ultimately, Natasha Conrad told police the theft was Benjamin Conrad's
idea and that she told him to stop when the pair was seen.
While her husband has pleaded guilty to theft, it was the lie to police
that got Natasha Conrad in trouble.
According to the falsification indictment, Natasha Conrad was charged
because she, "did knowingly make a false statement or knowingly swear or
affirm the truth of a false statement previously made, when the
statement is made with purpose to commit or facilitate the commission of a theft."
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 wildfires
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.
Ginny Watters, 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 haven't
been so sunny recently. The retired TRC employee is doing her part to
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 will rise.
It is those 500,000 people forced to leave their home for the safety of
a Red Cross shelter that Watters hopes to help.
Tuesday, the 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 Cross.
Union County Red Cross Executive Director Lynn Whatley said she
immediately thought of Watters.
"I said, 'Yes, put me on the alert,'" Watters said.
She said she called her husband, who is out of state, and let him know
what was going on. While this is her first experience going to a
different part of the country to help with disaster relief, it is the
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 chapter and
taken classes to prepare her for just such an assignment.
Whatley learned Wednesday morning that Watters' application to help had
been accepted. Watters was immediately scheduled to fly out of Columbus
that afternoon and be on the ground in California by evening.
"They could have me doing anything, but I think I will be helping at the
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
National Headquarters.
Watters is 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 home early,"
Watters said. "It is hard to tell."
Either way, Whatley said she is proud to have Watters represent Union
County in California.
"It is really special to be able to be part of a bigger national
community," Whatley 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

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 county,
depending upon where an emergency situations is occurring and who it affects.
Union County Sheriff Rocky Nelson said since it began, there have been a
few "nasty" letters from residents regarding the unexpected calls, but
the majority of people have offered praise for being kept up to date on
emergencies. Numerous county schools have also asked to join up.
Nelson said if the majority of residents eventually decide that Code Red
is a burden, he can always stop funding it. Until then, the system is
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 notices.
"You're either all in, or you're all out," she said.
Nelson 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 stop.
Nelson said at 7 p.m. the Union County Sheriff's Office issued an alert
via telephone to inform a small amount of residents along the area of
McPeck Road and Route 739 that a man had fled from deputies and was
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 witnessed the
potential suspect taking his shirt off at the bridge on Shirtzer Road.
"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
deputies were still searching. The suspect ultimately evaded authorities
and was never found.
"It's my job to keep people informed, as much as I can," Nelson said.
"Especially when it concerns their safety and welfare . Who knew that
later we would have to do it again in another area."
On the night of Oct. 10 two inmates escaped from West Central Community
Correctional facility on Route 4.
Two calls went out through Code Red regarding the fleeing men. The first
was at 10:45 p.m., informing 897 residents that the men were in their
area. The second call went out the next morning on Oct. 11 at 6:45 a.m.
to 1,446 people, informing them that the convicts were still on the
loose. Not everyone appreciated the early morning wake up call.
Nelson said it made sense to inform residents while they were getting
ready for work. Many could be going out to the barn that morning to the
feed animals, 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.
The department's cable alert service is often used to cut into local
programming, in order to inform residents of emergency situations
similar to Code Red.
Golden said the situation was serious, but thanks to the cable alert
system, a resident called and the child was soon safe at home.
But Golden said that didn't stop one resident from complaining to police
about missing part of a television show.

Man caught allegedly stealing medication
From J-T staff reports
A Marysville man was caught red-handed when a detective was waiting for
him inside a home he burglarized.
Marysville Police reported today that an investigation into the theft of
prescription medications over the past few weeks from a Grove Court home
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 off.
"Just minutes after the residents left the home, the suspect was
observed entering the residence with a key and taking control of a
prescription bottle," police reported. "The investigator was inside the
home at the time of the arrest and held the suspect until patrol
officers arrived to assist."
Carpenter's mother, a neighbor to the victims, had been assisting the
elderly couple at various times with transportation.
Police reported that they believe Carpenter may have taken the house key
while his mother was attending to the couple.
Carpenter was 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 case.

Mayoral candidate meets with citizens
"We invited all of the mayoral candidates," resident Don Bergwall joked.
"And 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 to
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 her.
When she thinks of Marysville, Schmenk said she thinks of a city with a
rich agricultural heritage that has prospered because of its good
hard-working people.
"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 been lost."
Schmenk said her first job as an attorney out of college was with the
Wendy's Corporation. She thought it was a great step for her career.
Then on her first day the company sent her on a mission to work behind
the counter at a local Wendy's restaurant. It was a lesson in being
humble and learning how to treat people with respect.
"Customers come first," Schmenk said. "This city has to be a customer
service organization."
A Jerome Township resident and farmer said he has had experience dealing
with both Union County and Marysville officials.
"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 farming community.
A husband and wife said their farm land is affected by the new reservoir
project. They have had issues with dealing with Marysville's bureaucracy
and its attitude of ordering people around.
"It 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 needed.
Schmenk said she feels that county, townships and Marysville are
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
bigger picture."
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
Miracle-Gro Company 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."
Schmenk 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 cruiser."
The city has had to borrow a lot of money, she said, and it will be her
job to make sure that residents' money is managed very well.
"What the 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 reality.
Another key aspect of her term as mayor, Schmenk said, is to be
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 office.

Local housing market may be hard to label

The real estate market is clearly in a slump. Or maybe it isn't locally.
Or maybe it is.
Whether Union County is going through the downturn in the housing market
with much of the rest of the country is largely dependent on who you ask.
"It is still good," local real estate agent Meg Michel said. "The press
you hear are responding to the east coast and west coast and pockets
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
about business.
"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."
But not everyone agrees with the rosy outlook of those who have a vested
interest 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 the
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 industry.
"A lot more people are sitting tight and being more conservative,"
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 ago,
but foreclosure rates have outpaced the rate of growth.
The foreclosures combined, with the proliferation of subdivisions and
speculation 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
attractive for relocators.
"Looking all over, it is everywhere," said Garrett. "There is an overage
of houses in the market, but we have a lot of relocations here. We have
a large number of big industries around us, how could we not have
relocation here."
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 rise,
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
seeing other Realtors struggling to make the numbers they have in the past."
Garrett 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. She said
traditionally, homes in Union County have appreciated about three
percent annually while the last 18 months, homes have appreciated
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 house."
Publicity around the housing crunch has given buyers a false expectation
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
rate mortgage.
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."
She quickly added, however that buyers are likely to find a bargain if
they look long enough.
"If buyers keep going with lowballing sellers, somebody is going to be
in a position where they have to take it," Garrett said.
Michel said bargain shoppers, making "ridiculously low" offers, need to
know where to look.
"There are some bargains out there where people can't afford to wait.
But these are in the subdivisions, not in the country."
Michel added that if you have some money, "it is a good time to buy some
of these bargains."
Both real estate agents complemented local governments for keeping
housing under control in the area.
"I think the city has done a good job controlling the new construction
in a timely manner," Garrett said.
Michel added, "I think the slowdown in the subdivisions is a good
thing," Michel said. "Let the schools get a break. Let commercial catch
up. We will never be as cheap as some of the houses on the west side of
Columbus. That has never been our goal. Nice, quality developments that
meets the need of the people, we can always use them."
Stolte said 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
building new houses."
Michel offered advice for those looking to buy to make certain when they
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 their children.
Between Paul E. Combs and Thomas David West, they owe more than $37,838
in back child support payment for their children.
"We take nonsupport very seriously in this county," said Union County
Prosecutor 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 others."
West, 50, of 20 Sherman Ave., in Mansfield, pleaded guilty to five
counts of fifth-degree felony criminal nonsupport. If convicted, he
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
felony criminal 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 prison.
"We are entering a plea, but we do not enter into a sentencing
agreement," defense attorney Dorothy Liggett-Pelanda told Union County
Common Pleas Court Judge Richard Parrott at the time of the guilty plea.
She said her client did not contest the charges which include that he
owes 12,350.34 in child support, but she added, "we do not feel (prison)
is in the best interest of the minor child."
Liggett-Pelanda said her client has been making, "semi-regular" payments
but has applied for Social Security because he has several medical issues.
Prosecutors have 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 recognizance.
"There is no sense, you racking up a bunch of time I am going to make
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.
Both men have been scheduled for sentencing hearings in November
following presentence investigations.

Spotlight Theatre Co. to present The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
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 Halloween season.
More than 45 local actors, children and crew will present the play at
Veterans Memorial Auditorium, 233 W. Sixth St., Friday, Saturday and
Sunday and Nov. 2, 3 and 4. Friday and Saturday shows will begin at 7
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 town.
As Ichabod woos the fair Katrina, Brom schemes to regain what he
considers his rightful place. With the help of a little stage magic with
the infamous headless horseman, a pumpkin and Ichabod bring
the show 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 something
everyone should experience, and we enjoy families being involved in the
entire production process. We welcome anyone in our community who would
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 admission.
Additional information may be obtained by contacting Sobas at
(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 Project.
Spotlight also is a member of the Union County Chamber of Commerce, Ohio
Community Theatre Association and the Theatre Roundtable of Central Ohio.

Super ate
Bed bugs reported at local motel

Good night. 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 local motel.
Jason Orcena, public information officer at the Union County Health
Department confirmed Monday that the Super 8 Motel, 16510 Square Drive,
has bed bugs, or at least had them. According to documents at the health
department, "several complaints were received concerning bed bugs," at
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."
Exterminators treated not only rooms where the bugs were found, but also
some adjoining rooms at the motel manager's request, according to
documents from the exterminator.
Mark Patel, general manager of the motel said there was only one room
where bugs were found. He said that room was closed off for two weeks
and remains on an extermination schedule. He said several other rooms
were cleaned, but only as a precaution. When asked about other rooms
identified in the exterminator's report, he said it must have been a
miscalculation on their part.
"We had only one isolated incident," Patel said.
He said the motel receives monthly extermination for all sorts of pests.
"They come out once every two weeks to make sure it doesn't become an
issue," Patel said.
He said motel officials had already contacted the exterminator about the
bed bugs before the health department contacted him.
"We are taking care of it," Patel said. "We have already taken care of it."
Orcena said the motel has worked well with the health department to
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.
Bed bugs 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 bed."
When traveling, OSU officials suggest motel-goers inspect their room as
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 scent glands
may be detected when bed bug infestations are severe."
The key to controlling bed bugs is to not allow them in your home. This
can be 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."
Sanitation measures include frequently vacuuming the mattress,
laundering bed clothes in hot water, as well as cleaning and sanitizing
the entire house.
"After vacuuming, immediately place the vacuum cleaner bag in a plastic
bag, seal 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 premises."
While reactions can be varying, the bed bug's bite is almost always
painless. A small, hard, swollen, white welt may develop at the site of
each bite. The welts last for several hours to days and can be very
itchy. Scratching may cause the welts to become infected.
"Rows of three or so welts on exposed skin are characteristic signs of
bed bugs," 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 them.
"A thorough inspection of the premises to locate bed bugs and their
harborage sites is necessary so that cleaning efforts and insecticide
treatments can be focused," according to information from the Ohio State
University Extension Office. "Inspection efforts should concentrate on
the mattress, box springs, and bed frame, as well as crack and crevices
that the bed bugs may hide in during the day or when digesting a blood
meal. The latter sites include window and door frames, floor cracks,
carpet tack boards, baseboards, electrical boxes, furniture, pictures,
wall hangings, drapery pleats, loosened wallpaper, cracks in plaster and
ceiling moldings. Determine whether birds or rodents are nesting on or
near the house."

Marysville lays out participation fees
Will Marysville School District student athletes and pupils who
participate in extra curricular activities be assessed larger fees to
engage in their activities of choice?
It could happen.
Superintendent Larry Zimmerman told school board members at Monday
night's regularly scheduled board meeting that if the district's
4.75-mill, five-year operating levy doesn't pass Nov. 6, many of the
district's programs and activities will be impacted.
It's what he has been saying for a couple months now, but Monday night
Zimmerman presented board members with estimated costs incurred in the
transportation of athletes and others.
"This would be one of those choices school board members will have to
make if the Nov. 6 levy doesn't pass," he said.
Zimmerman explained a list of possible "student user fees" that would be
recommended if costs need to be reduced after the election. Dubbed
"travel fees" the costs would offset costs incurred when a group uses
district transportation.
Travel fees would include $200 per participant in band; $150 per
participant for football, basketball, wrestling, swimming and show
choir; $125 per participant for cross country, baseball, softball and
track; $100 per participant in volleyball, tennis and FFA; $60 per
participant in golf and Mock Trial; and $50 per participant in ski club.
Costs for the In The Know team have yet to be determined.
The fees 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 "Dee" Cramer.
The forecast has to be submitted to the state before the end of October.
It is a "fairly fluid" document, according to Cramer, because the
district is looking at increases in gasoline, heating fuel and water
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 disbursed.
"You can see the effect of it not passing in November," she said.
In other business, Zimmerman said that the school district was recently
commended by SABO/LIMBACH Energy Services for its energy efficiency.
"I am currently monitoring utility bills for (more than) 60 districts in
Ohio, and Marysville Exempted Village Schools have the lowest gas usage
of any new buildings," read a communiqué from Tony Van Gundy, director
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
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 salary.
The council then approved pay increases for all village employees.
Not to be left out, council also approved a compensation increase for
itself, though that raise will not be effective until Jan. 1, 2010 for
some council members and not until 2012 for two others.
Council approved 2.5 percent raises for all police officers, including
police chief/village administrator Steve Hilbert, and all public works
employees. 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 $38,950
from $32,595. VanWinkle's raise was larger than 2.5 percent in an effort
to bring her compensation package closer in line with that of others in
similar positions in the area.
Council president pro-tem said the raises were, "consistent with
recommendations from the personnel and finance committee." Employee
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 candidate
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.
Council passed 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 village. Kevin
Dougherty, director of coaching for Ohio Premiere Girls Soccer Club said
the group was hoping to move into the 37,000 square feet warehouse at
250 S. Jefferson St., in the village, on the southwest corner of U.S. 42 and Route 161.
"We have a lot of things we can offer to the village," said Dougherty.
"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.
Since the 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 matter.
Gary Kay, managing partner of Jefferson Street Properties, asked if he
could begin making modifications to the building to expedite the process
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 she has
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 advantage of
that," Skidmore said.

Richwood Council hears of potential plan for beach
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 unique.
Looby showed a design that included a shelter house, concrete steps, an
handicap accessible ramp and the most eye catching feature - a
semicircle of decking which extends out into the lake to mark off the
swimming area. The decking would be installed around the current beach
area and swimming would be allowed inside the perimeter.
Looby said 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
swimming area.
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.
Council 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 village had
budgeted $20,000 for site improvements at the beach for 2008. Jolliff
noted that the money was set aside for grading and sand purchase but
wouldn't make much headway in paying for a project the size of the one presented.
Looby noted that grant money should be available for the project. He
noted that the project affords handicapped individuals access to water
recreation, a fact that scores well on many grant applications.
Union County Economic Development Director Eric Phillips also noted that
the project could qualify for money under an Ohio Natureworks or EPA
grant. Mayor Bill Nibert said the Logan, Union, Champaign County
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. Beal asked
that the engineers present a funding package to council at a later meeting.
Council also heard from North Union schools superintendent Rick Smith
about the future of the current middle school. In the coming years, the
district will be building a new middle school in the area of the current
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.
Smith asked if the district would be interested in assuming ownership of
the land. Council member Scott Jerew said the village would be
interested in 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 the issue.
.Learned from Jolliff that the village employee health insurance
premiums will be increasing by 16 percent in the coming year.
.Heard from councilman George Showalter that some resident continue to
burn trash in the village although the practice was banned several years ago.
.Learned that the village will conclude its brush chipping for the year on Oct. 29.
.Heard from village administrator Larry Baxa that the park restrooms
will be closed for the season on Oct. 29.
.Decided not to hold its next scheduled meeting on Nov. 12 in observance
of Veteran's Day.

Suicide attempt leads to gas leak

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 The Arbors.
At 11:34 a.m., Marysville police officers were called to the 600 block
of West Third Street to check on the welfare of a 48-year-old man at 682
W. Third St.
Authorities soon realized that the entire apartment building at The
Arbors needed to be evacuated because of dangerous gas levels.
"When we approached the front door of the apartment, we could smell a
strong odor of natural gas," stated a report filed by the Marysville
Fire Department.
The man is expected to be charged with one first-degree misdemeanor of
inducing panic charge.
Marysville Assistant 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 inside.
Marysville Fire Department crews reportedly donned air tanks and forced
entry into the apartment, where they found the man sitting on the stairs.
"When we walked in," one police officer said, "(the suspect) was walking
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 dozen residents
who lived inside the apartment building.
Police officers 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 apartments.
According to fire reports, the gas was quickly shut off to all of the
appliances inside the apartment, the windows were opened and a fan was
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.
Fire crews were on the scene for just under an hour dealing with the
The fire report also explained that the man's family indicated that he
has attempted suicide in the past.

Interactive chalkboards?
Smartboards allow teachers and students to perform computer functions at
the head of the class

Editor's note: This is the second in a three-part series about new
technology being used in the county schools.
Chris Terzis got booed by his students last week - not because they
didn't like what he was teaching, but because his students wanted him to
continue teaching while using one of two SmartBoards that are shared by
the teachers at Creekview Intermediate School.
Interactive whiteboards 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 classes.
Terzis is the technology teacher and technology facilitator at
Creekview. He said the demand for the building's two Smart Boards is
growing as they await the arrival of two more purchased by the school's PTO.
"A Smart Board is a touch-sensitive display that connects to your
computer and digital projector to show your computer image," Terzis
explained. "You can then control computer applications directly from the
display, write notes in digital ink and save your work to share later."
Smart Technologies describes its product as combining the simplicity of
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. "Students
that never participate want to interact with the lesson."
BJ 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 district's three
buildings. Marysville has 11 boards among the district's nine buildings.
Thaman said the Smart Boards range in size from 44 to 77 inches in
length and allow for a more tactile learning experience.
Teachers can use movie clips during a lesson and then pause the clip to
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 use all
kinds of mapping software in which students can identify features on the map.
In science, a teacher at Creekview recently had a picture of a biome and
had students drag animals of that biome into the picture and then draw
lines to create the correct food chain for that ecosystem.
Thaman said the Smart Boards are being used in math classes because
students and teachers can take advantage of the virtual compass and
protractor features.
Finally, in language arts teachers can use the board to demonstrate
editing techniques and teach punctuation. It has also been used for
interactive story writing, collaborative writing and revising.
Terzis said he couldn't think of a subject area where the Smart Board
couldn't be utilized.
"I've been talking to the art teacher about how the board could be used
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
Fall festivities for families are planned Friday from 5 to 9 p.m. on the
square at Fifth and Main streets.
Activities include:  music, strolling entertainment, food, trick or
treating at businesses in Uptown Marysville, the Big Mac Train, pumpkin
decorating sponsored by the Marysville Public Library and Union County
Humane Society, costume contest for adults and youths and a haunted
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 include Honda
Marysville, Nelson Auto Group, Roby Chevrolet, Chapman Ford, Union Rural
Electric, Dayton Power & Light, Dave's Pharmacy and S & G Rental.
Additional information may be obtained by contacting the Union County
Chamber of Commerce at 642-6279.

Local teen at forefront of fight against diabetes

Austin Ellington wants students at Marysville Middle School and Navin
Elementary to 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.
The 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.
Ellington was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, formally known as
juvenile-onset diabetes, 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
an endocrinologist.
"We 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 swim.
He said living with diabetes is a lot easier than it used to be.
"They are coming up with a lot of new things to make it easier,"
Ellington commented.
Before he got the pump in late 2005, he had to take seven to eight shots
of insulin daily which were very painful.
Ellington changes the pump every three days and is thankful for the new
spring-loaded inserters, which are a lot faster versus inserts that have
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.
Devorah Kermisch 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 area.
"Austin is very active in the schools through his family," Kermisch said.
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 community.
Ellington's mom just recently completed a Section 504 plan, or student
accommodation strategy, for her son. The plan allows children with an
illness to have more flexibility in terms of attending school and
completing assignments, which can sometimes be hindered by their disease.
"It gives him an opportunity to not be penalized, for example, if he has
to excuse himself from class," Kermisch explained. "Marysville (schools)
have been very accommodating to Austin's disease."
Ellington said he hasn't decided for sure what hat he will wear for Hat
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 small.
In addition to increasing diabetes awareness, Ellington is working to
become an Eagle Scout.

Burglar given 10 years in prison
A burglar's victim has said she hopes he get help. If he does, it will
be from inside a prison cell.
Joseph Anthony Miller was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in prison. In
September, Miller pleaded to one count each of aggravated burglary,
possession of drugs and escape and three counts of robbery.
He faced a maximum 34 years in prison. In exchange for the guilty plea,
prosecutors dropped an aggravated robbery charge and two theft of drugs
charges. The dismissed charges could have added another 13 years to the man's sentence.
During the sentencing hearing, the victim told Union County Judge
Richard Parrott that she was a recovering alcoholic.
"I feel 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 explained.
She said the fear eventually turned to anger.
Miller was 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 door.
"He almost knocked her (the occupant) over when he came in," Marysville
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 officer.
"He was ordered to stop repeatedly," Golden said.
Basinger eventually caught the man after a short chase on foot. The
officer held Miller to the ground until back-up arrived to assist him.
Medications taken from the home were found in Miller's pocket.
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.
While Miller pleaded guilty to the escape charge, he has said it was a

Charges, including kidnapping, get man four years
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 second degree.
The plea came moments after Union County Common Pleas Court Judge
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 attorney,"
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.
"Mr. Lawhorn has had issues in the past, including this incident, where
he frequently blacks out and does not remember his actions," said Valentine.
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.
With the recommended sentence, Lawhorn agreed to forgo a presentence
investigation and 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 lenient.
"Take it easy on me," Lawhorn told the judge. "I am a good guy. This is
my first time getting in any trouble of this degree."
The victim, in the courtroom, said she did not want to make a statement.
The judge wished Lawhorn well
"I guess I'll probably see you before too awfully long," Parrott said,
referencing the man's ability to apply for judicial release in 180 days.
The convictions stem from a July 21 incident. The victim was trying to
get Lawhorn, her boyfriend, into her vehicle so she could take him home.
Lawhorn was angry about being made to leave and he resisted getting in
the car. When Lawhorn finally did get in the car, he began to threaten
the victim. He told her he was going to punch her in the face. While the
woman was driving, Lawhorn grabbed her in a headlock and began punching
her. The defendant punched the woman about a dozen times, giving her a concussion.
"When the victim was finally able to bring the vehicle to a stop,
Lawhorn got out from the passenger side, walked around to the driver
side, opened the door and pushed and continued to hit the victim until
she moved over into the passenger seat," according to court documents.
When Lawhorn was in the driver's seat he drove to a Columbus gas
station. The woman told deputies she feared Lawhorn would intentionally
wreck the vehicle in an attempt to kill both of them. She said he has
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 escape.
"While he was pumping the gas, the victim was able to exit the car and
went inside the station, asked to use the phone to call for help and
dialed 911," according to court documents. "Lawhorn left the station in
the victim's car, but returned a short time later, came back inside the
station, took the phone from the victim's hand and threw it at the
station clerk. Lawhorn then pushed and dragged the victim by her hair
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 towards the
house, but turned around back towards her and flicked a lit cigarette at
her face. (The victim) yelled at (the stepmother) to get away from him
before he hit her. Eventually (the stepmother) said she looked up and he
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 she wanted
any type of court order forbidding Lawhorn from contacting her. Despite
the events of that July night, the woman said no and explained that she
and Lawhorn were still together.

Triad schools eye Web site upgrade
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, West Jefferson
Local Schools and Mechanicsburg Exempted Village Schools.
Cost for the standard package is $3,500 for the first year and $2,900
for each subsequent year, with a five-year contract. In addition there
is a one time $500 start-up fee.
Triad's current district Web site is maintained internally by teachers
and students at no significant cost.
The School Pointe representative showed the board many of the company's
Web site features, including news and events links as well as security parameters.
The company works to build functionality and ease of navigation into its
Web sites, the representative said. The representative also assured
board members that the company had never had any issues with hacking or
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 early.
The district will make a decision at an upcoming board meeting if they
choose to sign a contract with the company.
Craig Meredith, treasurer, presented the recommended five-year forecast
for the board's approval. The forecast included an allocation for an
additional science 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 year.
Superintendent Dan Kaffenbarger said there is a need to create a
maintenance specific space to house the district's truck, tractor and
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 receives state
funding for 985 students. The reduced number takes into account open
enrollment students and that the state only funds 50 percent for each
kindergarten student.
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 district has
recently added back one route; however, the two fewer routes will save
about 3,102 miles of driving each year which will garner additional
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.
Board members were invited to stop by the middle school's Night with the
Ancient 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
observe various 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 board:
.Accepted the resignation of Harry Alltop as eighth grade boys
basketball coach effective immediately.
.Approved certified 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; Bob Davidson,
softball volunteer; Matt Alexander, track/field assistant; and Mike
Zizzo, wrestling assistant as classified supplemental personnel.
.Approved Haley Smith as a classified substitute, custodian, and aide
for the 2007-2008 school year.
.Approved the 2007-2008 bus routes as presented by the transportation
supervisor and superintendent.
.Approved the superintendent and treasurer as Triad Board of Education
designees to receive public record training as authorized by the Ohio
Office of the Attorney General.
.Approved the five year forecast (A) as presented by the treasurer.
.Approved amended appropriations and amended certificate of estimate resources.
.Accepted $92.50 to Triad Elementary from Target Inc.; $5,852 to Triad
Elementary for Houghton Mifflin level readers from the Triad PTO; and
$150 for Red Ribbon Week materials from Conway Freight.

W. Mansfield mail carrier sentenced for theft

A former West Mansfield mail carrier is headed to prison, but for how
long is the question.
Jessi J. Holcomb, 42, of 154 Walnut St. in Rushsylvania, was sentenced
Tuesday to 12 months in prison, stemming from her September guilty plea
to two counts of theft, both felonies of the fifth degree. The year long
prison sentence was part of an agreed sentence. A maximum sentence would
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 Parrott said.
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 felony's presumption
for probation. He said Holcomb was placed in a position of trust with
the U.S. Postal Service and the public trusts the post office.
"You violated the trust of the public in that," Parrott explained.
Holcomb was employed as a postal carrier for the West Mansfield Post
Office. On Dec. 18, 2006, Holcomb was to deliver a Visa giftcard to one
of the Union County residents on her route. Instead, she kept the card
and used it at a Marysville retailer so she could buy her husband a
wedding ring. When she used the gift card, she signed the receipt with
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 local department
store. Holcomb took the card and used it a store in Bellefontaine.
Surveillance footage from the store shows Holcomb in the store, using
the card. Again, Holcomb signed the intended recipient's name to the
purchase receipt.
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
genuinely remorseful."
"I am just sorry," Holcomb told the judge. "I will never do it again. I
have learned my lesson."
Parrott said he could tell from the letters he received that the theft
was out of character for the woman and that she had the support of her
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.
"It has to be a deterrent to others from doing the same thing," Parrott
said. "We can't have people turning around doing the same thing."
Defense attorney Michael Streng presented the court a $130 check for restitution.
Postal officials in West Mansfield would not comment on the matter.

Memorial Hospital  showcases sleep lab
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 Center.
"The new location is optimum because it's secluded, quiet and a low
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.
MHUC knew it was time to expand due to excessive wait times.
The hospital 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
the new underground location is that there is less noise and no external
light 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.
Each of the four rooms boasts around 200 feet of space and features full
size Select Comfort or "sleep number" beds. In addition there is a flat
screen TV, Internet access, an in-room refrigerator stocked with bottled
water and a large closet.
All of the rooms have a sleeper sofa to accommodate a patient's guest or
in the case of an adolescent, a place for a parent or guardian to sleep.
"We do conduct studies on children as young as 7 years old," Gleeson said.
Each room also has its own private bath and shower - in the previous
sleep lab patients shared bathroom facilities with the wellness center.
The flooring throughout the lab is a vinyl-sheeting product suitable for
heath care institutions; however, it has twice the padding to compensate
for the concrete slab underneath. Gleeson said the result is a spongy
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.
In addition to the three registered sleep technicians, the lab relies on
the input of several physicians when diagnosing and treating patients
with any variety of sleep disorders, including sleep apnea, cessation of
breathing as 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," he said.
Gleeson said between the new facility and the array of medical doctors
and staff the hospital has many different avenue  in which the needs of
patients can be met.
For more information, individuals may contact the sleep lab directly at
578-4001 or contact their family physician.

Presentence investigation ordered for alleged voyeur
A Union County judge has ordered a presentence investigation in an
effort to get a handle on the criminal history of a defendant.
Moments after pleading guilty to burglary, Aaron M. Kastein, 27, of 561
Dove St., 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 sentencing recommendation
between the state and the defense, suggested a four year prison term.
The charge carries a maximum eight-year prison term.
When asked if he was certain he wanted to waive the investigation,
Kastein said, "yes, your honor, that would be fine."
Union County Court of Common Pleas Judge Richard Parrott then asked the
question Kastein was likely trying to avoid.
"What kind of record do you have?" the judge queried.
"I have been in trouble in the state of Pennsylvania, your honor,"
Kastein responded. "It was a similar offense, criminal trespass."
The judge questioned further, "so you have had one prior?"
A quick laugh later, Kastein confirmed, "no, your honor, it's been more than one."
Parrott said despite Kastein's waiver of rights, he wanted to see the
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.
"You are not going to be out anything going through the presentence
investigation, because you will get credit for the time you are serving here."
Kastein 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 there for
a few minutes, before being caught.
"Kastein said he had been doing well for the last six months since
moving to Marysville," according to the report from the Marysville
Police Department. "He reported that he had been in prison for five
years in Pennsylvania for similar acts and was released in February of 2007."
Kastein said he did not want to steal anything.
"Kastein denied that he was there at the house to commit a sex act or
cause harm to anyone; and that he had never harmed anyone before,"
according to the police report. "He stated that he has a problem with
voyeuristic behavior." He said he just likes to look.
Kastein said he has a habit of watching women when they don't know he's
there. 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.
Kastein pleaded guilty to hiding under a girl's bed in a Pittsburgh, Pa.
house June 16, 1999. He said at that time it was not the first time he
had done so.
On July 5, 1999, he was arrested for breaking into a home in the same
area. He said he noticed the girl and another woman at the library and
thought they were pretty. He followed the girls on several occasions
before breaking into the home. At that time he admitted into doing the
same thing at another woman's home in the area. He was also connected to
a similar incident a week earlier, but never charged.
He pleaded guilty to both incidents and on in May of 2000 and began
serving two years probation.
A month later, Kastein was found hiding on the basement stairs watching
the living room of suburban Pittsburgh area woman's house. The victim
had caught Kastein watching her sleep from the same steps several weeks
earlier, but did not report the incident to police.
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 stalking.
He was released on parole after serving 11 and a half months of a
23-month sentence.
In January 2002, Kastein was caught hiding under the bed of woman in
Pittsburgh. Kastein fled and the three women who lived in the home did
not call police. The next day, Kastein and his father went to the home
and apologized. Kastein told the women at that time that he had issues
with rejection and was only there to look at them because they were pretty.
According to police reports, there was a series of other similar events
in that neighborhood.
Later that month, Kastein was arrested in New Lebanon home after he was
found hiding under the bed of a 13-year-old girl.

Couple re-indicted in Clark County
Are accused of 'torturing'  foster children

A couple accused of repeatedly "torturing" their five children with
belts, hammers and burning them with irons and a stove have been
re-indicted in Clark County, facing the exact charges they previously
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.
James Ferguson, 46, and his wife, Vonda Ferguson, 43, of Springfield,
had previously pleaded not guilty to 20 counts of child endangerment,
five counts of permitting child abuse and five counts of felonious
assault. Vonda 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 August 2006.
By March of this year the charges were dismissed by Judge Richard
Parrott of Union County Common Pleas Court at the request of Phillips,
who said the case was filed in Union County under the theory that all
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 issue."
The Fergusons are expected to be arraigned in Clark County Friday at 8:30 a.m.
Residents who have previously expressed outrage over the alleged crimes
have been vocal about seeing the charges filed again in Clark County.
The Union County Prosecutors Office reported that the process took time
because the files had to be copied and Clark County attorneys needed
time to gain knowledge of the case against the Fergusons.
In the Bill of Particulars of the original Union County case against the
couple, the files include a list of beatings and acts the two allegedly
committed toward 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.
The Fergusons 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) was bleeding
. she was put into a clothes dryer and the dryer was turned on as
punishment; (all of the victims were told that if they told anyone they
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 the belt
before moving, duration was approximately 15 minutes); food was withheld
from all victims for sometimes two days at which time the victims would
eat cat food."
Numerous other charges concerning the additional children listed additional allegations.

'Daddy hid really good upstairs'
Toddler's confession leads to prison time  for father

The braggings of a toddler has led to prison time for her father and
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.
Defense attorney Cliff Valentine said his client had agreed to a
sentencing recommendation and would waive a presentence investigation to
get the matter settled quickly.
"I would prefer that," Beswick told the judge.
The drug 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 apparently felt
prison was still the best option, sentencing him to 10 months.
As Beswick was sentenced, his wife, Aldenia Sue Beswick, looked on from
the front row. She could be joining him in the penitentiary.
Aldenia 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 charges.
According to court documents, Marysville Police went to Beswick's home
about 7:45 p.m. that evening, looking for James Beswick. The man's wife
said James Beswick was not home, but that he had gone shopping with his
mother. She told officers she would let James Beswick know they were
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.'"
Findley requested additional assistance and a canine unit to search the
apartment. The officers gave James Beswick several opportunities to give
himself up. When they got no response, officers released the dog to
search the apartment.
"The canine found Mr. Beswick hiding in a box, with a few items on top
of the box in a storage area," according to court documents.
James A. Beswick was arrested on the warrant and additionally charged
with obstruction of justice at that time.

Ash borer found here
Union County has been added to the list of counties quarantined by the
Emerald Ash Borer.
It joins 26 other counties in which the exotic wood-boring insect has
been identified, including neighboring Delaware, Franklin, Hardin, Logan
and Marion counties.
The emerald ash borer (EAB) infests and kills native North American ash
trees, including green, white, black and blue ash.
"Department officials have quarantined Union County to help stop the
spread of the devastating insect via ash trees and firewood," states a
press release from the Ohio Department of Agriculture. "It is illegal to
take ash trees, parts of ash trees, and all hardwood firewood out of a
quarantined county into a non-quarantined county. Violators face fines
up to $4,000. It is also illegal to take these items out of the state of
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.
The infested ash tree was discovered in a fencerow near the intersection
of Collins Avenue and Linden Street. Hixson said he and George McVey,
Master 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. When the
borers emerge as adults, they leave behind characteristic "D-shaped"
holes one-eighth inch in siBy Kze in the trunk and ma in branches.
Trees infested with EAB typically die within three to five years. Adult
female ash borers will produce about 50 to 100 eggs, depositing them
individually on the bark surface or within cracks and crevices of an ash
tree. Higher branches and upper portions of the trunk are colonized
first, making it difficult to detect early infestations, according the
OSU Extension.
Only living trees are colonized. Residents should be on the lookout for
EAB larva and the D-shaped exit holes year round. Adult EAB are
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 trees.
Additional information on the Emerald Ash Borer or the Union County
quarantine, call Hixson or McVey at 644-8117 or (800) 589-8584 or e-mail
Hixson at

Slump at the pump
Local Shell stations are out of gasoline

Plastic bags cover the pump handles and handmade signs read "Out of
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 around.
"We heard that too," said Nicol Lee, manager of the Shell/Burger King
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 weekend."
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 manager Nancy
Nienhaus said she heard the reason was bankruptcy.
"It has 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."
Gas prices at Marysville Shell stations have also been a point of
discussion 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 competitors.
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 media.
"We're not supposed to make any comments," one female employee on East
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 related death
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 trial.
Monday, Union County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard E. Parrott said
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," Parrott said.
Defense attorney Cliff Valentine said he had reviewed the evaluation and
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 deal,
prosecutors and the defense recommended an eight year prison term for
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 know you."
The judge explained that a member of his staff would sit down and talk
to the woman about the incident, her background, her family, her
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 two got
together at May's Plain City residence. May had prescriptions for
morphine, Oxycodone and Fentanyl, which she gave to the victim, who also
drank alcohol.
"The combination was enough to cause his death," according to the autopsy report.
The pair fell asleep during the evening. According to court documents,
May woke sometime before 6 a.m. and made several calls in an attempt to
get someone to take her to the hospital. Ultimately she dialed 911 for an ambulance.
"At that time, Mr. Amend was either in distress or already expired and
she didn't say anything about him having been there," Union County
Prosecutor Dave Phillips said.
About eight hours after the woman was rushed to the hospital, a member
of May's family found Amend dead in the woman's bed and called police.
Initially, May told police Amend was taking mushrooms, but a toxicology
report revealed he was not. The woman eventually admitted the drugs were hers.
May was released on her own recognizance following her indictment;
however, her bond was revoked in September after she failed to appear
for court dates in both Madison County and Marysville Municipal Courts.

NU may hold mock critical incidents
North Union schools could be the location of not one but two emergency
situations in the coming year - if the school board approves them.
Paul Slaughter of the Union County Local Emergency Planning Committee
(LEPC) discussed two mock critical incidents that could be carried out
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
of anhydrous ammonia crashes into one of the school buildings and then
runs inside making threats.
The second phase of the incident would focus more on law enforcement
officer training  and would involve an "active shooter."
Slaughter said that prior to the Columbine school shootings, the
prevailing theory was to attempt to get students out of the building
before going after the shooter. Since that incident, lawmen have been
trained to enter the building and move toward the gunshots.
Slaughter said the Pickerington School District recently went through a
training incident involving a shooter in the building. Local officials
are trying to work with representatives of Pickerington to help plan the event.
Slaughter said local officials had originally hoped to carry out the
training this fall, but additional planning is needed, and the event
probably will not take place, if approved, until  May.
Smith also 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 the program.
Smith said the district would begin accepting applicants in December. He
added that if either employee decides not to take the position the
program will not move forward.
In other business, the board:
.Handed out the district's academic awards for high school students.
.Set a policy committee meeting for today at 8 p.m.
.Set town 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
administrative offices.
.Voted 5-0 to accept the amounts and rates as determined by the budget
commission and authoring the necessary tax levies and certifying them to
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 elementary cafeteria
worker/cashier effective Oct. 19.
.Approved a list of certified and non-certified substitute personnel to
be called on an as-needed basis.
.Voted 4-1 to approve an eighth grade overnight trip to Chicago. Board
member Don Tumeo cast the dissenting vote.

Jerome Township Trustees discuss record compliance
Jerome Township 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 filling up
quickly. Caldwell said trustees who want to be compliant, even if they
are up for election in November, need to schedule to take the course.
He added that many townships are designating their clerks to take the
training for the township trustees. Caldwell said he was already
scheduled to take the training in December. Township Trustee Andy Thomas
asked whose job it was to fill public records requests.
Caldwell said the township has a written public records policy and it is
"the responsibility of every employee of the township," to fulfill
public records. He added that the policy does recommend bringing the
requests to the clerk.
Thomas then suggested the trustees designate Caldwell as their
representative to go to the training. He asked if that would cover the
trustees responsibility.
"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 Arnold to
work on the railroad tracks. The road will be closed beginning Monday.
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.
"When we 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 Merkle.
He suggested the sheriff pick the winning name rather than any of the trustees.
Trustee Ron Rhodes suggested the trustees purchase a savings bond and
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 meeting, township
resident Mike Bing thanked trustee Ron Rhodes for removing his campaign
sign from the township park. Rhode's sign was a point of contention at
the last meeting when Bing said the sign violated the townships
ordinances. Bing was informed that many of the rules governing campaign
signs were no longer valid since court rulings said they were an
extension of free speech. Monday, Bing said he understood the signs were
protected as free speech, but appreciated Rhodes removing them anyway.
Bing added that he would like to see the code, which is included on the
township's Web site updated to reflect the new less restrictive
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 visualize lessons
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 will
run each Monday.
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 objects.
For example, teachers can enhance their lessons by connecting to the
Internet via a computer and projecting real-time web pages using an LCD
projector. In the case of a document camera, an instructor can connect
to a microscope and project images of live specimens.
Many local 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 content standards.
"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.
Kacy Moore, 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
enhance her lectures.
"The software is phenomenal because it's in line with Ohio curriculum
standards," she said, "I can print off the PowerPoint notes, make
changes if I want and then the kids can fill out the notes during the lecture."
Shawna Cardoza, Triad seventh grade math teacher, wrote the grant that
awarded the middle school four LCD projectors this year.
She said she uses a LCD projector at least two or three times a week and
would 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 display.
In addition to LCD projectors, North Union has purchased seven ELMO
brand document cameras, which prove very useful in various subjects.
Wenning-Earp gives the example of projecting an actual animal heart
using the document camera during a biology lesson. In the case of math,
a teacher can project math manipulatives like blocks when teaching a counting lesson.
She said it eliminates everyone trying to clamor around the teacher's
desk so they can see what the teacher is trying to demonstrate or share
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 classroom."

Mystery of missing M.C. pastor  solved
From staff and wire reports
Skeletal remains have been found, ending the mystery of the
disappearance of a former Milford Center pastor and her friend.
Major John Newsom of the Warren County Ohio Sheriff's Department
reported late Sunday that the remains of two women found in a Kentucky
field were identified as those of former area pastor Mary Ellen Walters,
68, and her friend Ada Wasson, 80. The two have been missing from the
Otterbein 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 of Louisville.
The two were reported missing after telling friends they were going to a
J.C. Penney outlet store in either Carrollton, Ky., or Columbus, Ohio,
authorities have said. Kentucky Forensic Anthropologist, Dr. Emily
Craig, said autopsies will be performed on the women today.
Wasson and Walters were likely traveling to an outlet mall in the
Carrollton area 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 miles in
Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana by land and air for the missing women.
Investigators studied store videotapes, checked under bridges and passed
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 after the
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

The jury was seated and the trial was underway, when the state and a
Marysville criminal reached a compromise.
James R. Brown, 20, of 1024 Coventry Place, Apt. C, in Marysville,
pleaded guilty, shortly after  lunch Friday, to one count of assault, a
misdemeanor of the first degree. Acting Marysville Municipal Court Judge
Robert Parrott wanted to make certain the whole matter had not happened
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 fine
and 40 of the days in jail. Since Brown has been in jail since his May
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 prison.
Brown and another man, Jason Allerton, were each initially indicted by a
grand jury on one count of felonious assault and one count of complicity
to felonious assault, felonies of the second degree.
According 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 close.
During testimony of the trial's first and only witness, one of the
females, Assistant Union County Prosecutor sensed the jury would
struggle to convict Brown and offered the defense the misdemeanor charge.
"After a witness' testimony was inconsistent with a statement she had
previously given to police and prosecutors, based on the testimony we
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.
The witness, which took the stand for the prosecution, testified that
she struggled to see the fight and credited Allerton with the blows to the victim.
Following the girl's testimony, the judge dismissed the jury. During the
break, Hord and Valentine decided to settle the matter in municipal
court with the misdemeanor charge. As part of the agreement, Brown
agreed to pay court and jury costs in the felony cases now dropped
against him. Hord recommended a suspended fine, informing Parrott that
since the jury was already impaneled, jury fees would likely reach, "a
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 reports
The Union County Health Department in partnership with Memorial Hospital
of Union County announced its adult flu clinic schedule.
This year's adult clinics offer two options for flu immunization, flu
shots and FluMist nasal spray. To date, the Centers for Disease Control
(CDC) has not set any restrictions on who is eligible for flu shots.
However, restrictions may be established by the CDC at any time during
the flu season.
To be eligible for FluMist nasal spray, individuals must be age 9 to 49
years, 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 until
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 Parkway; Friday,
Oct. 26, 10 a.m. to noon, First English Lutheran Church, 687 London
Ave., Wednesday, Oct. 31, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Union County Fairgrounds;
Tuesday, Nov. 6, 4-6 p.m., First English Lutheran Church; Friday, Nov.
16, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Union County Health Department, 940 London
Ave.; and Wednesday, Nov. 28,  2-4 p.m., Union County Health Department.
The cost for Union County residents is $20 for flu shots; $24 for
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 Department.
For additional information on child flu vaccinations, contact the health
department at 642-0801 or 333-9461.
For additional information on flu clinics, call the health department's flu hot at 645-2028.

United 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
The online auction is a supplemental fundraiser to the organization's annual campaign.
Items posted in the online catalog are the result of in-kind product or
service donations from area businesses. To date, more than 125 items
totaling more than $16,000 in value are up for bid. Items vary in value
from as much as a $2,500 membership to Corazón Club & Spa to a $10
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 County.
Last year, United Way received more than 489,000 hits on its auction Web
site in the event's first year, raising $13,165 to be used for the
programs and services provided by the non-profit organization.
Participating businesses receive online exposure with their posted items
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 for everybody."
United Way is working to raise $800,000 in its fall campaign.  To date,
officials report that about half that amount has been achieved via
workplace campaigns and community-wide fundraisers.
For more information about United Way of Union County's Online Auction,
visit the Web site at or call (937) 644-8381.

Sewer lines may need work
Former county pipes could need $81 million in upgrades
When Marysville took on Union County's wastewater utilities, it may have
also taken on upgrade projects totaling up to $81.7 million.
At Thursday night's Marysville City Council meeting, Tom Bulcher,
Malcolm Pirnie senior associate, presented the Wastewater Master Study
Update to members.
In his executive summary, Bulcher explained that Marysville used Malcolm
Pirnie, a Columbus engineering firm, to complete a Wastewater Master
Study in August 2004. The study recommended a new water reclamation
facility be constructed in the southwest portion of Marysville's
existing service area. Property was then purchased, a permit obtained,
the facility was designed and it is now currently under construction at
the intersection of U.S. 33 at Beecher Gamble Road.
The executive summary shows that since completion of the 2004 Wastewater
Master Study, the city took over the Union County wastewater system,
which services 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
collection system infrastructure to serve the area."
"Why were we not told about this when we originally purchased the
lines?" Marysville city councilman David Burke asked.
He said he wondered if council had been misled about the system's condition.
"I'm wondering at this time if we were given the appropriate
information," Burke said. "My understanding was that the lines were adequate."
Other council members agreed with his point.
Marysville 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 purchased from
Union County. Marysville used to be under contract with the county,
which it made development options "very limited" in that area. But once
the contract was gone the "doors were opened" for new development. This
will lead to needed upgrades in the system.
"Obviously, we're hoping that the developers will help front that cost," Davies said.
Burke 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 development.
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. 6.
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 official ordinance
on a future agenda, but he personally offered his support.
"I think the work you do is outstanding for the county," councilman Ed Pleasant said.
The other council members also vocalized their support.
.The first reading of an ordinance was read to appropriate $575,000 from
City Water Fund, to put in the Water Incremental Capacity Fee Fund to
pay for the raw water line at Maple and Main streets for the water reservoir.
.The first reading was held on an ordinance to appropriate $967,000 from
Water Improvement and Replacement Funds to pay for construction
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.
.The second 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 Ohio.
Councilman Mark Reams said he remains skeptical that this land should be accepted.
"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 morning.

The rules of adulthood
Prosecutor talks with students about consequences for
offenders over the age of 18

The judicial system has drawn a line, treating adult offenders vastly
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
seriousness of 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."
Phillips spent Thursday at North Union High School helping to educate
students about the law.
Marcia Livingston, family and consumer sciences teacher, coordinated the
presentation as part of the life management class that is mandatory for
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.
"These kids 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 offenders.
The juvenile court system, Phillips said, looks at the offender and
tries to implement a plan to change that individual's thought process and behaviors.
"The juvenile system is basically set up to be restorative," Phillips
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 younger girl.
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," Phillips said.
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 also drug
trafficking, even as a gift. What I am trying to impress upon them is
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 key.
"Hopefully, by informing them of the law, and ignorance of the law is no
defense, we can deter some of that behavior," Phillips said.
Phillips 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 to
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.
"We do have a lot of young offenders who do not understand the gravity
of their 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 effective.
"When things get to my office or to the coroners office, it is too late
to educate kids," Phillips said. "Young people tend to regard
prescription drugs as safe and they are not when they are abused.
Hopefully we can educate them on that."

Escapees captured, arraigned

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 years each
in maximum security prisons for the escape charges. Additional charges
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 toward Richwood.
Union County Sheriff's Office public information officer Chris Skinner
said this morning that at 11:33 a.m. Wednesday, a Bellefontaine police
officer saw the stolen car - a silver 1999 Chrysler Sebring, with a
distinctive white driver side door - and followed it until the drivers
stopped outside of a Goodwill store in the city. He said that Kaim was
driving the vehicle and Deleon was inside as well. There were no other
"They did not attempt to flee and they did not attempt to resist,"
Skinner said.
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 with escape."
Parrott said escape is a third-degree felony offense, punishable with
anywhere from one to five years in prison.
Prosecutor Rick 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 that other
charges are expected and the two will be brought back into court for
arraignment on those at a later time.
Skinner explained that the two could face burglary, theft and grand
theft auto charges as well.
Deleon and Kaim reportedly cut the screen to a garage in the 16000 block
of Moore Road Tuesday night and were thought to have taken two bikes.
While the 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 Bellefontaine, he
Skinner said it is important to note that West Central remains a "very
safe and very professional" facility.
"We don't want the actions of two men to reflect on the West Central
Community 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 release.
Skinner said Union County Sheriff Rocky Nelson acknowledged residents
for their participation in the Code Red program, which notified citizens
near the escape area via telephone to be on the lookout for Deleon and
He said a call went out Tuesday at about 11 p.m. to notify 800 to 900
residents of the escape and another went out Wednesday at about 6 a.m.
to notify 1,400 residents of the vehicle description as well as the
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 northern
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 this week.
Menke is organizing the project for three brothers from the Netherlands
who will take control of the dairy farm once it has been constructed.
The group filed an application in January requesting permission to
construct a large confined animal feeding operation on the Orleton Farm
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 Snyder.
Menke said he hopes to break ground on the dairy in late winter or early
spring 2008, with some cows hopefully on the ground later that year.
"Hopefully this time next year, there will be a chance to have animals
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 the livestock.
"It does look like they are going to use environmentally sound manure
management practices," Snyder said. "Even with the manure management
plan, they have, we all know there are going to be some smells."
According to information from Menke, the manure and water will not be
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 ground
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 says will
be 1,700 feet from Monroe Elementary, could pose health concerns to the
elementary students due to pollution and sewage disposal.
Commissioner 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 friendly way,"
Menke said.
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 point.

Police look for pair who broke into Dave's Pharmacy
From J-T staff reports
Two suspects are on the loose after breaking into a local pharmacy
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 West Fifth
Nicol said that the two were only in the store for a few minutes.
When the alarm sounded officers were only a few blocks away," Nicol
When police arrived on the scene, the two were gone. They made off with
an undisclosed number of pharmaceuticals.
He said typically, those who break into pharmacies often steal drugs
like Percocet.
Nicol said that after hitting the Marysville Pharmacy, the same couple
is believed 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.
If any residents know the suspects or see them, they are asked to
contact the Marysville Police Department.

County's financial picture said to  be good
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 commissioners.
He said through three quarters of the year, the county is at 79 percent
of expected revenue and 69 percent of appropriated expenses.
He added he was not looking at more than two to three percent increase
in 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 year.
The commissioners reminded him that last year, Union County had to
return $800,000 in sales tax revenue to the state to reimburse a
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."
On the expenses side of the ledger, Fry was nearly as pleased. He said
that while 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.
"Now that's not bad at all," Fry said.
McCarthy credited the county office holders.
"It is just the office holders holding everything down," he said.
Commissioner Gary Lee said that over the last six years, office holders
have spent less than 95 percent of their appropriated funds on average.
He said he appreciated that "responsibility." Lee said that in many
counties, office holders will spend every dollar allotted to them,
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.
McCarthy said 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 the year.
"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.
The Union County Commissioners asked Fry if he would be willing to
continue evaluating the county's financial status.
"This is invaluable to us," McCarthy said.
Lee said the county could have an employee do the appraisal, but they
would be more likely to sugar coat the  results. He said he appreciates
having an "independent view," that he knows, "isn't going to skew it."
Fry said he enjoyed the task because it keeps him active in the county
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.
The commissioners said they would present a contract for Fry's services
to the prosecutor's office for approval

Two inmates on the run
Lawmen are looking for pair  who left West Central Community
Correctional Facility
UPDATE: The two inmates that escaped from the West Central Community
Corrections Facility were caught in a stolen vehicle in Bellefontaine
shortly after press time. Read Thursday's paper for follow up story.

A manhunt has been under way since Tuesday evening for two inmates who
escaped from the West Central Community Corrections Facility.
Union County Sheriff's Office public information officer Chris Skinner
said this morning that Tuesday at 9:45 p.m., inmates Eliberto Deleon
III, 19, and William Kaim, 19, both walked out the door of the minimum
security facility located at 18200 Route 4, just north of Marysville.
Sheriff's deputies and a helicopter sent from Franklin County assisted
in the search Tuesday night and this morning. Many officers were on the
scene until well after 2 a.m. for the initial search.
If caught, 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 sentences.
"We have no speculation as to what they were thinking," Skinner said.
West Central director David Ervin said that when the two are caught,
"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.
He explained 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.
Residents are asked to keep a look out for both escapees, Skinner said.
Deleon is 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 brown hair.
Skinner said Deleon and Kaim left wearing Phase II prison issue
clothing, which consists of green button down shirts, blue jeans with a
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 reported which
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.
Skinner said the two bikes were later found near where the car was
stolen, just inside a corn field.
Law enforcement officials advise residents to look for a silver 1999
Chrysler Sebring with the license plate EBJ5019. The car can be spotted
easily because the vehicle is silver, except for one white driver side door.
Skinner said the crimes occurred within walking distance of the
correctional facility and were in line with the northern direction the
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 Richwood.
Skinner said the escapees may have made contacts with people in that
area and could be seeking them out for help.
Unconfirmed reports have also indicated that the two escapees may have
stolen another car in Newark.
Ervin said that over the years, there have been five or six escapes from
West Central, a facility organized to accept non-violent offenders. He
said some have been sent to the prison to serve out the remaining six
months of their sentence in minimum security after good beaver at
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 found and
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
sexual offenses."
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 found.
Ervin was also asked if the two had been showing any recent signs that
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."

Unionville Center  deals with fall, winter service contracts
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.
The guidelines for the estimates for services are as follows: leaf
pick-up is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 17. Pick-up will be on one day
only. Snow removal is expected when there is a snow fall of two inches or more.
Estimates should include salt for designated major intersections. There
are approximately 40 storm sewer drops in the village.
The annual resolution accepting the amounts and rates as determined by
the budget commission and authorizing the necessary tax levies and
certifying them to the county auditor 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 District,
reported that Fire Safety Week will be celebrated with an open house on
Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. at the fire station. There are a variety of
activities planned for the day. The Me Flight helicopter is scheduled to
be present from noon to 1 p.m.
There will be fire extinguisher classes, vehicle extrication
demonstrations, station tours, Union County EMA demonstration/display
and the Smoke House will be on site for children and adults to practice
exiting safely from a burning building.
Tracy Rausch 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 write-in candidate.
 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.
Council members present were Ron Griffith, Mary Lou Morris, Phil Rausch,
Brenda Terry and Peggy Williamson.
The next scheduled meeting will be on Tuesday, November 13 at 6:30 p.m.

JA board asked to oppose megafarm

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 Plumwood.
Alan Garcia, Darby Creek Matters representative, said it is estimated
that if the CAFO is built, 40 acres will be devoted to sewage lagoons
and 383 tons of sewage will be disposed of each day. In addition, the
prevailing winds blow southwest from the proposed site directly towards
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 Indiana.
Another primary concern is to protect the Darby Watershed, which is
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 issue.
"We believe your part is vital to our cause," Garcia said.
Monroe Elementary was back open today after a water pump unexpectedly
burnt out early Monday morning, causing the school to close for the day.
Carpenter 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 today.
Carpenter said he feels issues like this will only become more frequent,
because of how highly technical internal systems such as water are becoming.
He said, in part, the high-tech systems are a reaction to EPA mandates
which require everything from more involved systems to hiring a
certified water operator at a cost of $18,000 per year.
Chris Long, 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 members.
However, Long reiterated that all budgets and operating costs are
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.
.Approved the resignation as retire/rehire for Bill Dulgar as bus
mechanic, effective Jan. 1.
.Approved the employment of Rick Hutton, boys basketball varsity
assistant coach; Ryan Swinehart, boys basketball freshman coach; Darin
Curtis, boys basketball volunteer assistant; Laura Hipp, Title 1 tutor
at Monroe elementary for up to 10 hours per week, effective Aug. 28; and
Maggie Gates, home tutor for one hour per day of absence of student.
.Approved classified substitutes Lisa Kaltenbach, Sheila McNichols and Rebecca Kutz.
.Approved certified substitutes Sharon Berry, Relva Blackstone, Dorothy
Branham, Jennifer DeWitt, Jeremy Hartman, Jennalee Lafferty, Rita
McCray, Jami Oyster, Linda Roberts, Sharon Shoaf, Andrea Todd and Hazel Williams.
.Approved in-lieu of transportation requests.
.Reviewed the summer repair and improvements report, the state report
card for the district and information on the Plain City Reinvestment Area.
.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 test; Luke
Benedict and Clayton Greenbaum for scoring a "5" on the calculus test;
and Dusty Bollinger and Adam Bollinger for scoring a "4" on the calculus test.
.Commended Gehres Landscaping for the new plants, grass seed and mulch
for the front of the Plain City Elementary building.

Zoning change  considered to lure soccer club
Council members are considering changes to Plain City's zoning code in
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 facilities, with
outdoor fields possible. Kay said the facility would draw several
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 designation.
"You better be careful what you ask for," McCarthy said.
"Once it is changed to less, getting it back to more can be difficult,"
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 industrial zoning."
Council president pro-tem Bob Walter suggested the possibility of
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.
Kay said the group initially wanted to sign a lease by Oct. 15 and they
are looking at other sites. He said he had not really gotten involved in
the negotiating process with the soccer club, choosing to leave that to
the real estate agents.
"But they weren't getting anywhere and I said, as the owner, I better
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
will likely 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, the 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 idea."

Flames claim 150-year-old house
From J-T staff reports
Area firefighters were unable to save a 150-year-old house which burned
to the 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 was engulfed
in flames. No one was inside at the time and no one was injured.
Neighbor Steve McDulin said he woke up 20 minutes before 5 a.m. to the
sounds of what seemed like someone trying to break into his home. It
turned out to be his only warning that a fire was going on next door.
"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 owners first.
As crews rolled up water hoses before leaving, he said he did not know
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 said.
Hall said firefighters remained on the scene until 9 a.m. trying to make
sure the fire stayed out.
"I fully expect it to rekindle," Hall said.
Because of the age of the house, he said, the wooden beams making up the
structure consisted of thick old wood. As a result, it may take a some
time to fully go out.
After calling for fire crews, McDulin said he stepped outside and was
surprised that there was very little smoke.
"It 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 born.
Hall said Leesburg was helped by Northern Union, Marysville and Battle
Run fire departments. The Union County EMA also was on the scene.

Richwood residents ask for property repairs after sewer project
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 summer.
East Ottawa Street resident Jim Inskeep approached council Monday night
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 driveway has
cracked because of the settling ground beneath it.
Inskeep said he has talked to the contractor three times about the
problems and 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.
"It's low," Showalter said. "I hate to be a constant complainer but it's low."
He said 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 building.
The building is a former doctor's office that is owned by the hospital.
Memorial Hospital is willing to sell the property to the village at a
reduced price if the village will grant the organization an easement to
place a permanent sign near the industrial park entrance on Route 47.
Hospital officials approached the village about the issue several years
ago but details were never finalized. As part of the agreement the
hospital would sell the property to the village for $10,000. Village
solicitor Victoria Stone-Moledor said the hospital would be willing to
accept a $1,000 down payment and a $1,000 payment each year. Village
financial officer Don Jolliff said the village would rather build the
full payment of $10,000 into the 2008 budget.
Stone-Moledor and 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 purchase
candy for trick-or-treat night. Last year officers paid $90 for candy.
.Heard that the haunted shelter house at the park will only be open on
Saturday, Oct. 27 from 6-10 p.m. The attraction was to have been open on
Friday also, but those plans have been scrapped.
.Discussed eliminating parking on the north side of East Bomford Street
between Pearl and School streets.
.Learned that the village will continue chipping brush until the end of
the October. Pick-up of bagged leaves will begin soon. Only leaves are
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 ones.

Family removed from court during sentencing
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
County Sheriff's Deputy.
The jury found John R. Bailey, of 67 Commercial St., in Milford Center,
guilty of one count of assault, a felony of the fourth degree.
Moments after the jury read the verdict, Union County Common Pleas Court
Judge Richard E. Parrott sentenced the 36-year-old Bailey to 12 months
in prison, and while family members were on hand to hear the verdict,
they were not in the courtroom when sentence was pronounced.
As the jury foreman read the verdict, Bailey's family began to weep and
call out, slamming their fists together and throwing themselves onto the courtroom benches..
"She (Bailey's wife) is to go out of the courtroom," Parrott said. "I
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 several law
enforcement officials, a desperate 911 call from the defendant's wife,
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.
While the man was out of the house, the defendant's wife made a call to
911 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 attempting to
apprehend Bailey, he shoved one deputy and attempted to choke another
deputy, ripping a pin off his shirt. Bailey said he may have bumped one
deputy as he was falling after losing control once he was Tasered. He
said he did not intentionally choke the officer.
At one point in direct examination, Bailey volunteered that he had no criminal record.
Moments after the prosecutor began questioning the defendant on cross
examination, 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
"You lied 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 said.
The defendant said he did not know he had a criminal record and when
pushed further, he said he thought the prosecutor meant "recently."
"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 right," Rick
Rodger, assistant Union County prosecutor, said.
Defense 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.
She then 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 ailments.
"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 wife.
Roger rebutted Gaba's arguments for leniency. He said he's been dealing
with the Baileys for "some time." He said the defendant's wife is "very
capable of functioning on her own" and her ailments are not new.
"I would ask you not to take that into consideration, her care," Rodger
said. "She certainly has other family to take care of her other than Mr. Bailey."
The defendant said he has always cared for his wife.
"I love my wife tremendously," he said, adding the couple just
celebrated their 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
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 assault a
law enforcement officer can do so and say, 'well judge, you don't do
anything when that happens.' And I am not going to be a party to that."
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 said.

Business lends a hand to special needs class
It's so much more than a new refrigerator for the eight special needs
students in Josh Montgomery's class at Marysville High School.
When the classroom refrigerator broke earlier this month, a good portion
of 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," Montgomery said.
Students in Montgomery's class have a variety of special needs ranging
from autism, mental retardation and hearing impairment.
The students in the class work every day to master all aspects of making
meals for themselves.
The students go grocery shopping every Monday with money provided to
them by their families.
Before they leave to shop they prepare grocery lists based on meal plans
for the upcoming week.
Everyday around 11 a.m. the students start preparation for that day's lunch.
Montgomery said by noon most students are eating and a portion of the
afternoon is devoted to properly cleaning up after the midday meal.
"We use all the appliances, including the oven, stovetop, microwave and
toaster oven," Montgomery explained.
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 August.
It was the local Home Depot that ended up donating a new refrigerator to
Montgomery's classroom.
"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 Montgomery's students.
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 three years.
Basil said she could still remember tears rolling down her face the
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 said.
She said that for a special needs child each step in a routine daily
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 students

Sex offender arrested
Was living in area of Marysville middle and high schools, had failed to
report to sheriff's dept.

A convicted child molester out of Indiana has been arrested in Union
County, 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 offense.
The legal process is not new to Jenks. According to the Indiana
Department of Corrections, Jenks was ordered in Howard County Indiana to
serve six years in prison following a 1991 conviction for criminal
confinement, eight years in prison for a 1997 conviction on child
molestation stemming from a relationship with a 15-year-old girl, five
years in prison following a 2001 conviction for burglary during which
the victim was stabbed, and one year in prison for January 2006
convictions for resisting law enforcement and neglecting a dependent.
According to Union County Municipal Court documents, three of Jenk's
prior convictions involved class A felonies, Indiana's most serious
level of offense.
Despite the one-year sentence on the most recent charges, Jenks was
apparently released from prison in March 2006 and placed on Indiana's
version of post release control or parole. As part of that parole, Jenks
asked his supervising officer for permission to leave the state in July
and come to Marysville. That permission was granted.
According to 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 alleged
fight. After police released Jenks, they performed a routine criminal
records check which revealed his past as a sexual offender and his
requirement to register.
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, law
enforcement officials believe he was living at the property on Meadows
Drive. That property abuts Marysville High School and Middle School
properties, though investigators do not believe Jenks targeted that
property because of its proximity to the schools.
"We believe it was simply for convenience to his mother and girlfriend," said Nicol.
Nicol said the arrest should stress to sexual offenders and others that
law enforcement officials will force offenders to comply with reporting requirements.
"I think it show we are enforcing compliance with sexual offenders,"
Nicol said. "The law is no good if no one is following up with
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.
A portion of the law in Ohio became effective July 1, and a portion will
not be effective until January 1, 2008.
For a list of sexual offenders registered in Ohio, go to

Missing 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 years, who
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 judge's seat
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 firm.
 He received a bachelor of science degree from the college of
agriculture at The Ohio State University in 1975 and his Juris Doctorate
from Capital University Law School in 1979. He is admitted to practice
law by the Ohio Supreme Court, United States District Court for the
Southern District of Ohio, United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals
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 estate administration.
In addition, he and partner Michael Streng serve as general counsel to
Union Rural Electric Cooperative Inc.
 Fraser is 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 tenure.
 On the position of common pleas judge, Fraser said: "If elected, I will
strive to meet and exceed the standards of excellence, professionalism
and integrity set by the judges that have presided in our court before
me. We should demand from every judge the strength of character
necessary to make hard decisions, enforcement of the law as it is
written, patience to give every person a fair hearing and commitment to
justice. The hallmark of a good judge is measured by how the judge
treats the high office to which he or she is elected, as well as how he
or she treats the lawyers who practice before them and every person who
is part of the quest for justice. A judge must remain fair and impartial
throughout the proceedings and make sound decisions based on common
sense and the law."
 Fraser added: "In my eight years of service as Union County
Commissioner, I established a public record demonstrating to the
citizens of this county that I can be such a judge. I would consider it
an honor to serve as Union County Common Pleas Judge and to be held
accountable by my fellow lawyers and the public as to how well I measure
up to these standards. I have demonstrated my ability to work
hand-in-hand with the Union County Commissioners and other elected
county officials to make the Union County government offices the most
efficient, friendly and service-oriented offices in the state. I have
experience managing an office and a budget accountable to the public
trust. We have a great team of elected officials in this county that
realize they are here to serve the needs of the public that put them in
their position. I want to once again become a leader on that team."
 Fraser is the current chair of the Union County Public Defender
Commission, a member of the Ohio Public Defender Commission and a member
of the Board of Trustees of the Union County Foundation. He is a member
of a number of expert and professional organizations including
WealthCounsel, LLC, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Medicaid
Practice Systems, Academy of Special Needs Planners, The Ohio Forum of
Estate Planning Attorneys, Elder Law Answers, and Union County, Logan
County, Columbus, and Ohio State Bar Associations.

Deputies looking for missing Allen Twp. resident
From J-T staff reports
The Union County Sheriff's Office is requesting the public's help in
looking for an elderly Allen Township man.
Billy Ray Stewart, 74, of the 16000 block of Allen Center Road, was
discovered missing Thursday, about 10:40 a.m. The man's wife of 55 years
discovered him missing. Stewart was not reported missing until the early
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 forearm.
He was last seen wearing blue jeans, a white shirt and a red baseball
hat. The man's vehicle is also missing. Skinner said Stewart will likely
be driving a dark green, Ford F-150 pick-up truck, license plate ER81KK,
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 any help."
Anyone with information on where Stewart or his vehicle are, or have
been since Thursday morning, is asked to call the Union County Sheriff's
Office at (937) 645-4110.

Bypass a long time coming
Route around Plain City was first proposed in the 1950s

"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
cool, windy 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 making.
Union County Engineer Steve Stolte told the standing crowd assembled at
the intersection of 42 and Route 736 in Jerome Township, that a bypass
around the village was first suggested in the 1950s following an Ohio
Department of Transportation study. He said it was again proposed in the
1960s by an ODOT hired consultant. Finally in 1994, the village
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 George, L.H.
Murphy and Freeman Yutzy for their persistence in pushing the bypass to
both state and local officials in Union and Madison Counties.
"It is only through the perseverance of these four mayors, this project
stayed on the radar, stayed a number one priority."
Construction 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 progress."
Wester said the bypass was, "constructed to insure safety to the Village
of Plain City and built to bring commerce to this corner of Union and
Madison Counties."
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 blooming metropolis."
"Over the years, all the trucks kind of took the wind out of our sails
and the downtown kind of took a beating," Adkins said.
Trucks have caused parking concerns because many can not make the turn
from Main Street on to Chillicothe Street, and vice versa, without
coming onto the sidewalk. The presence of semi trucks on the sidewalks
has also discouraged pedestrian traffic in the downtown. Additionally,
curbs and cutouts have been destroyed by the weight of the trucks and
their trailers. According to ODOT, recent vehicle counts indicate more
than 12,000 vehicles travel through Plain City on an average day. Of
that number, ODOT indicates more than 2,000 of the vehicles are semi
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 encourage new
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 see it.'"
She said seeing it made her want to yell "Yahoo."
Union County Commissioner Tom McCarthy said the bypass was good
economically, not 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 said.
Following McCarthy's comments, Plain City resident Rev. Dr. Charles
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 the new
bypass. Main Street in the village is expected to be closed for another two weeks.
Village Administrator/Police Chief Steve Hilbert, took time following
the ceremony to thank the residents again for their patience.
"We have really appreciated the understanding of the residents and the
businesses in the area of the bypass," Hilbert said. "We know these
people have put up with a lot. They have put up with dirt, mud, broken
water pipes, noise, and they have been very understanding."
After the ribbon cutting, Adkins said the bypass ushers in an exciting
period for 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."
Adkins said 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 said.
He added that next spring and summer, ODOT will be repaving N.
Chillicothe Street in the village. After that, he said, it should be
some time before any major roadwork is needed in the village.
"That will be really nice," Hilbert said.

Absentee voting a changing practice
This is not your grandfathers absentee voting.
In years past, absentee voting was something largely done by the elderly
and those that would be out of the county on election day. Today, it the
practice of many would be voters who are simply too busy to get to the
polls on the first Tuesday, following the first Monday of November, or
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 something
may come up election day, avoiding the lines or saving time.
While no reason is needed, there are still a few rules to be followed.
Those wishing to vote absentee may do it one of two ways - either in
person or by mail.
To vote absentee by mail, registered voters must submit a letter
requesting the absentee ballot. The letter must include, in handwriting,
the voter's name, address, birthdate, signature and either a driver's
license number or the final four digits of a social security number.
Requests by mail must be received at the board of elections no later
than Saturday, Nov. 3, 2007, by Noon. The ballot will be sent to the
requeste. It must be returned to the board of elections office before
7:30 p.m. election day. Even if the ballot is postmarked before election
day, if it does not reach the board of elections by 7:30 p.m. election
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 another benefit.
"When they come in to vote, if they have a question, we can just answer
it for them," said Theresa Hook, deputy director.
An absentee application can be downloaded from the board of elections'
web site 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
elections clerk.
In person absentee voting may be done from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday
through Friday, 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 building.
The Board of Elections will also be open Saturday, November 3, 2007,
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.
"We just want to encourage everyone to get registered and be sure to
vote," said Herron. "People can come in here and vote absentee and be
confident that their vote will be counted."

Village may sue Champaign County
N. Lewisburg officials to meet with attorney today

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 disbursed
countywide has not been re-evaluated since the 1940s.
For 2008, North Lewisburg has been allocated $28,000 in local government
funding, while Mechanicsburg is set to receive close to $67,000, and St.
Paris will receive $61,000. All three municipalities have comparable populations.
Andy Yoder, the new village administrator, along with First and Mayor
Dick Willis, will meet with Ray Cox, an attorney from Dayton, to discuss possible litigation.
Yoder said that at this point the village is only making contact with an
attorney to discuss the issue. Attorney Harley Davidson of Urbana, the
village's standing legal counsel, recommended Cox.
"They (Davidson and Cox) both think we have valid rights to go farther," First said.
Last year the village council passed a resolution, which was sent to the
Champaign County Budget Commission, contesting the way in which funds are disbursed.
The Champaign County Budget Commission is comprised of the county
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.
The village has since streamlined the building design to help conserve costs.
The project will completely refurbish the bathrooms with $27,000
received in Community Development Grant Block (CDBG) funds.
In addition, the village is working to apply for funding for the Bike
Path Bridge Project which will be in large part funded with CDBG funding.
The project should see $68,000 in grant funding with a local match of
$23,600. The local match will be paid through various funds already in place.
In other news:
.deputy Glenn Kemp gave the Champaign County Sheriff's report for the
month of September. It included 21 traffic citations, four warnings
issued for traffic violations, 16 incident reports, 28 cases of
assistance give to citizens, 15 arrests made, nine civil and criminal
papers served, 46 follow-up investigations, three open doors, seven
instances of juvenile contacts, one civic activity completed, and one
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
.approved the agreement with the county to provide legal counsel for
indigent persons
.heard the wastewater treatment plant start-up date is set for Oct. 22
.received information from the Champaign County Health District about
the 0.4-mill levy for operating expenses on the November ballot. It is
estimated that the owner of a $100,000 home will spend an additional
$12.60 in property tax per year if the levy passes.

Jerome Township considers crackdown on election signs
A Jerome Township resident addressed the board of trustees Monday
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 site.
"I was just wondering if, I wanted to know if the zoning code on the Web
site is up to date," Bing said, adding that some sections have not been
changed recently.
Township Clerk Robert Caldwell said he was not sure the entire code is
online, but believes the only sections not up to date are in reference
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 township now."
He specifically cited a sign already placed near a township park.
"How can we put our faith, as the voters, how can we put our faith, when
people are either unaware of the laws, or vagrantly disregarding them?" asked Bing.
Township Trustee Ron Rhodes said, "it is a matter of free speech."
He said a zoning code similar to the townships has been tested in court.
He specifically referenced a court case regarding a law in Marysville
prohibiting campaign signs earlier than 14 days before the election.
Rhodes said the city's rule was challenged several years ago in a
contest for county prosecutor.
"The law was struck down," Rhodes said.
Bing responded saying, "maybe you ought to change the Web site."
Township Trustee Bob Merkle thanked Bing for his concerns and for
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 violation."
Rhodes said after the meeting that even with the code being in conflict
with the courts, it cannot be remedied before the election. He said
because a zoning code change would be needed, it would take a minimum of
90 days to reconcile the township's rule with the court's apparent ruling.

Unionville Council hears audit results
The biennial audit was the topic of a special meeting held Tuesday by
the Unionville Center Village Council.
The signatures of all council members are required on the draft audit
report received by clerk treasurer Tracy Rausch.
Rausch said that the report needs to be returned to the auditor of state
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.
Jeremy Buskirk, assistant auditor, audit division, Columbus region of
the auditor of state's office, conducted the audit. Buskirk found two
improperly posted amounts.
Motor vehicle license tax funds in the amount of $595.61 were posted in
the general fund when they should have been posted to the street
construction maintenance and repair fund. General fund expenditures of
$129 were posted to the street construction maintenance and repair fund.
The adjustments were between funds and corrections have already been
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.
The next regular meeting of the village council will be  Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.

Latest community concert was 'sparkling'
Editor's note: The following review of the initial production of the
2007-2008 Union County Community Concerts Association is submitted by Kay Liggett.
"On Broadway" was indeed the "sparkling revue of show-stopping moments"
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.
A remarkable, tireless four-man orchestra of drum, keyboard, bass and
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 seen."
The vertical stage creation and lighting was interesting, creating three
levels for actors to romp up and down, creating an illusion of a bigger
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 dame did.
Popular numbers included "If I Were a Rich Man," "Oklahoma," "People
Will Say We're in Love," "River City" "Tonight" and more and more.
The costuming was colorful and creative. And what energy!
The full 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

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 jury.
"Do you want to tell me what happened to get here today?" asked the judge.
"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 did.
Francisco told the judge he runs several businesses and often is forced
to carry large sums of cash to be deposited. He said he has a concealed
carry permit and carries the gun for protection.
Defense attorney Jeffrey Merklin elaborated. Merklin said stores in the
vicinity of Francisco's had been robbed. He began carrying the gun for protection.
"I 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 divorce"
at the time. He said it was the soon-to-be ex-wife who contacted police
to tell them the coach had been carrying a gun and it would be on school property.
"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 team.
"It really hurt my daughter and a bunch of other girls as well," Merklin
said. The attorney's daughter was on the basketball team Francisco coached.
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 time.
Parrott ordered a presentence agreement. He said that he would likely
follow the sentencing recommendation, "assuming everything is as
advertised," indicating Francisco had no prior record.

Murder suspect unfit for trial
According to a journal entry filed Monday morning, an accused murderer
will not stand trial any time soon.
Robert Timothy Conley, 46, of 220 Greenwood Blvd., Apt. 1D, is charged
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.
Last week, prosecutors and the defense had a hearing regarding the
"defendant's inability to understand the nature and objective of the
proceedings against him and assisting his counsel in his own defense,"
according to court documents.
At the hearing, prosecutors agreed with defense counsel and mental
health evaluators that Conley was still unable to stand trial as he did
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) for further
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 and competency.
Parrott initially ordered Conley to undergo an evaluation as an
outpatient at Twin Valley's facility in Dayton. However, officials from
the treatment facility requested the evaluation be done both as an
inpatient and at the maximum security facility in Columbus, "given the
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 facility."
Parrott ordered Conley detained at Twin Valley's maximum security
facility for treatment and evaluation. The judge ordered periodic
reports on the defendant's mental condition. He also noted that a final
evaluation must be submitted no later than 14 days before the
anniversary of the initial incompetence finding. He ruled the case
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 personnel believe
Conley is psychiatrically ready to stand trial.
According to court documents, Conley and neighbor Charles E. "Butch"
Frazell had been feuding during the autumn of last year. On Nov. 23,
Conley saw Frazell exit his car. Conley allegedly picked up a
.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 verbal altercation
in front of the apartment complex. Frazell began to walk away when
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 County.
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

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 under
detention, a first-degree felony, and assault, a fifth-degree felony.
At her arraignment Friday, Jenkins pleaded not guilty and requested a
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 did.
"Will ya'll bring me to Union County for this, or are you going to do it
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 serving a
20-year-to-life sentence stemming from a conviction in 1998 of one count
of aggravated murder in Cuyahoga County.
About 11:45 a.m., Jenkins was by the entrance of the women's prison and
began walking towards the fence. A corrections officer ordered Jenkins
to stop and get down on the ground. Jenkins told the officer that she
wasn't going to stop. She became aggressive and charged at the officer.
Jenkins allegedly punched the officer in the face. That officer wrestled
Jenkins to the ground and handcuffed her.
As he was pulling Jenkins off the ground, she allegedly kicked a second
officer in the thigh.
The first officer, after Jenkins was off the ground, found a shank
laying where Jenkins had been.
According to court documents, Jenkins admitted to investigators the
shank was hers. She told them she used it for protection in the prison.
She could be paroled in 2021 on the murder conviction, but would face a
mandatory additional three years for a gun specification from the murder
charge. Parrott set no bond amount since the defendant has no
opportunity for release anytime soon.
If convicted on all the new charges, she faces another 19 years in prison.


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