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Local Archived News September 2007

 

9/29/07

     Man found dead at scene of accident

     Beightler family upholds military tradition

     Honoring a hometown hero

9/28/07

     City to study previous studies

     Hospital looks to July opening of Mill Valley building

     Jury finds man not guilty of theft

9/27/07

     Residents help police locate fleeing suspect

     Businesses pop up around  Marysville

     Corn maze opens for sixth season

9/26/07

     Battling bullies

     Car thefts believed to be series of joyrides

     Westfall sponsoring solutions workshop

     Middle school project ahead of schedule

9/25/07

     School board talks cuts

     Plain City prepares for opening of bypass

     Body found  at U.S. 33 rest area in Logan County

     Richwood Council discusses cost of putting officer in school

9/24/07

     Authorities investigate fatal crash, suicide

     MFD offers seasonal fire safety tips

9/22/07

     Local doctor pleads guilty

     City to begin leaf pick-up

9/21/07

     Two theft convictions; two very  different sentences

     Liggett-Pelanda to run for common pleas court judge

     Triad board shown  new reading assistance program

9/20/07

     Jerome Twp. officials take PSO issue to residents

     City distributes first payments for sidewalk program

     Local man pleads to charges of sexual contact with minor

9/19/07

     Suspect has long history of voyeurism

     Teen given three-year sentence for theft

9/18/07

     Effects of Bayly Pointe explained to Fairbanks Board

     NU board hears  building project update

9/17/07

     Plans show 2,000-home project

9/15/07

    Two  enter guilty pleas

    Area horse groups to raise funds

9/14/07

     Judge requests more room, help

     City brought up to speed on Town Run project

9/13/07

     Mail carrier pleads guilty to stealing gift cards

     United Way campaign in full swing

9/12/07

     City, county, twps. setting up taxing district for Glacier West

     Marysville may enhance Town Run

     Unionville increases pay for mayor, clerk

9/11/07

     Plain City lays out economic incentives

     Officials  get serious about saving Richwood Village Hall

     JA plans for second phase of building project

     Milford Center boy honored for use of seat belt

9/10/07

     Area woman saves baby

     Local man killed in  motorcycle accident

9/8/07

     County  is Ohio's fourth fastest growing

     Program aims to assist families of children with disabilities

9/7/07

     Stolte won't run again

     City, county move forward with port authority idea

     Tri-County Jail Commission approves budget

9/6/07

     Families helping families

     Richwood police begin new program

9/5/07

     North Lewisburg short changed?

     Dept. of Job and Family Services  plans for soothing  surroundings

9/4/07

     Karen Westlake Haller to run for Union County Clerk of Courts

9/1/07

      Plain City officials plan for growth

      Hodnichak earns rank of Eagle Scout

      Scam warning issued by police dept.


Man found dead at scene of accident
From J-T staff reports
Details were sketchy before press time Friday on the death of a Marengo
man after a scooter crash near the Logan County line.
According to the Union County Sheriff's Office, at about 2 p.m. Friday,
deputies learned that driver Paul Morse, 60, was pronounced dead at
Memorial Hospital of Union County as a result of injuries sustained in a crash.
Sheriff department public information officer Chris Skinner said what
was known by Friday at 3:30 p.m., was that Morse was traveling down
Perkins Road at 12:15 p.m. on a scooter in the northwest section of Union County.
At some point, Skinner said, Morse crashed the scooter but he did not
know if the man had been struck by another car, lost control and went
off the road, or had suffered a medical emergency while driving.
Skinner said the sheriff's office would provide a full report on the
crash for Monday's paper.

In retrospect
Beightler family upholds military tradition

Editor's Note: The following article was written by Mary E. Behrens,
former editor and owner of the Journal-Tribune, and was taken from the
Aug. 21, 1969 edition of the newspaper in conjunction with the original
dedication of Fifth Street to honor Major General Robert S. Beightler.
---
Fighting for one's country has become a tradition for the men in the
Beightler family in every generation. The record was held in World War I
when the three Beightler brothers, Robert, Donald and Charles left
Marysville at the same time to serve in the Army and Navy.
Robert started the war as a 2nd Lt. of the 166th Infantry, 42nd
(Rainbow) Division, came out as a Captain then rose through the ensuing
years to the rank of Major General, which he still holds. In World War
II, he commanded the 37th Division. He and his wife, Claire, reside in
Worthington. Marysville has planned an all day celebration in his honor,
to be held Sunday, Aug. 24.
Charles kept pace with his older brother. He was attending the US Naval
Academy at the outbreak of war. Along with the third and fourth year
men, he was assigned to a ship as a Lieutenant for the duration. He
returned to the academy after the war, graduating in 1920, then rose in
rank to Rear Admiral. He is now retired and living with his wife,
Bonita, in El Cajon, Calif.
The other son, Donald, enlisted in the Navy, went to Great Lakes
Training Station and became an Ensign.
He returned to Ohio State University, graduated in the College of
Commerce, then to the University of Cincinnati where he received his law
degree. He moved to Chicago and practiced law until his death in 1955.
His wife Betty, survives. Born in Marysville, her parents were Mr. and
Mrs. Joseph Bainer. They had one son, Charles S. Beightler II, now
chairman of the math department at the University of Texas in Austin.
Charles fought in World War II in Germany.
Gen. Beightler's daughter, Marjorie, married Richard I. Taylor, now a
retired Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force. The Taylors live in
Fullerton, Calif., where Col. Taylor is associated with Hughes Aircraft.
They have two children, Rich and Melinda Ann.
Robert S. Beightler Jr., son of the General, is now a full Colonel
stationed in the Canal Zone. He received an honorary appointment to West
Point School and graduated with the first accelerated class in 1943. He
served as a paratrooper during World War II. He received his M.A. from
Ohio State University in 1950. He and his wife, Marilyn have four sons,
Robert Sprague Beightler III, twins, John and Reid Beightler,
Christopher Beightler and one daughter, Vicky.
The general's sister, Mary is married to Robert Wallace and lives at
Ridgeway Rt. 1 in northern Union County.
Her first husband, Robert Dodge, died in 1961. Dodge was a Major
stationed in Panama City in 1942. Their son, Robert M. Dodge of
Columbus, was an Air Force pilot in World War II. He attended Greenbriar
Military School and graduated from Ohio State University after the war.
General Beightler's maternal grandfather was Franklin B. Sprague, a
Captain in the Civil War and later a judge in Delaware County. He
established a grain business in Marysville after the war which was known
as Sprague and Perfect. Later it was sold to Spurrier Brothers. He
served for many years as president of the Marysville School Board until
his death in 1895. Judge Sprague's mother and Commodore Olive Hazzard
Perry's mother were twin sisters.
On the Beightler side, the genealogy goes back to Abraham Amerine
family, first settler of Paris Township. And the war record goes back
into the Revolutionary Days. Yes, there is definitely a military
tradition in the Beightler family, no matter which war or what
generation is involved.

Honoring a hometown hero
By RYAN HORNS
"Today we have honored a man. We have honored a generation,"
Marysville's the Rev. Jack Groat said to the crowd.
On Friday at 11 a.m. the city officially re-dedicated Uptown's East
Fifth Street as Maj. Gen. Robert S. Beightler Way with a new marker
granted by the Ohio Historical Society.
Union County Chamber of Commerce CEO Eric Phillips also declared that
from now on Sept. 28 would serve as "Maj. Gen. Robert S. Beightler Day."
"He is a model of service to one's country," Marysville city councilman
David Burke added. "He is not from some far off place, but from the city
in which we now stand."
The event was attended by more than a hundred residents, as well as
state and local officials. But the focus was on the 15 relatives of
Beightler who were able to take part in the ceremony.
Phillips said that in August 1969 the city first named the same portion
of East Fifth Street after Beightler. By 1999 the sign had become
decayed and it was eventually removed as the Uptown district was given a facelift.
"Today we make it official," he said.
"Enjoy you marker and your place in history," Ohio Historical Society
Marker Program's Betsy Hedler told the crowd.
In the crowd, relatives of Beightler looked at the marker and some put
their arms around one another.
Beightler was born in 1892 in Marysville. A graduate of Marysville High
School, he began his career as a soldier in 1911, when he enlisted as a
private in Marysville's guard unit, Company E, Fourth Ohio Infantry
Regiment. He went on to serve in Mexico from 1916-1917, World War I from
1917-1919, and World War II from 1940-1945. From his stint with the Ohio
Infantry, he rose in rank to command the famous 37th Ohio National Guard
Buckeye Division as Major General during WWII.
Beightler was one of the most successful National Guard generals and the
only National Guard General to lead his troops through both training and
combat in WWII. He was with his troops through 700 days of fighting in
the South Pacific Theater. Fighting occurred on Bougainville Island and
in the islands of New Georgia and the Philippines.
At the end of World War II, Beightler was commissioned in the regular
army. After processing his troops home, he returned to Ohio in December
1945 with the 37th Ohio National Guard.
Beightler also served in international, national, and state leadership
roles, including the military Governor for Okinawa, United States War
Department General Staff, head of the Ohio State Highway Department, and
director and board member of the Ohio Turnpike Commission. Robert
Beightler died in February 1978 and was buried in Oakdale Cemetery.
Ohio's Adjutant General Gregory Wayt announced one of the highlights of
the day, explaining that the Ohio National Guard recently brought back
its 37th Buckeye Division, which had been deactivated in 1968.
Not only has the division been reactivated, he said, but  3,400 soldiers
will soon be sent overseas to serve in Operation Iraqi Freedom. He
expects there will be plenty of 37th Division veterans coming back to
carry on the heritage.
From the perspective of those who knew Beightler personally, such as his
family and friends, many said they were in awe of the man.
Speaking on behalf of the Beightler relatives, LTC (ret.) Richard I.
Taylor III thanked the citizens of Marysville for recognizing his grandfather.
Taylor provided a quote from Sir Isaac Newton, saying, "We can see
further because we are standing on the shoulders of giants."
In his memories of Beightler, he said, the family similarly "stood at
his feet and tried to see what he could see."
Since the death of Beightler in 1978, he said the family has since gone
on to produce distinguished engineers and servicemen who represent 100
years of active service for the United State Army.
Long retired from both the National Guard and the Army's 17th Airborne
Division, Cyril Sedlacko said his job these days is to help the 37th
Division Veteran's Association talk to young people about history.
He said he did not serve under Beightler, having moved to the 37th after
his time, but recalled fondly the general's speeches and leadership when
he addressed the division.
"What did pop do and what did grandpa do in the war?" Sedlacko said he
often hears the current generation ask. "This is a perfect example."
The 83-year-old veteran said a great leader can make you do something,
but with a smile on your face.
"Beightler was that kind of a person," Sedlacko said.
During the ceremony 37th Buckeye Division's Col. (ret.) Charlie Fisher
said he served under Beightler and that he owes his life to the training
he received from him. He described a highly intelligent man who devoted
his life to the service of his country.
"He was one of the great leaders of our generation," he said about
Beightler, then joked, "If anyone disagrees I'll see you after the ceremony."

City to study previous studies
Will create  master study at a cost of $152,000

By RYAN HORNS
Marysville plans to spend more than $150,000 to study existing traffic
studies in order to come up another study that will serve as the city's
master traffic study.
Discussion of the study of studies was held at Thursday night's
Marysville City Council meeting.
The first reading was held on an ordinance to appropriate $152,526 from
the city's general fund to pay engineering/architecture/planning firm MS
Consultants, Inc. to come up with a master report on the state of all
roadways within the city. The firm will then propose what can be done
about congestion brought on by development and growth.
The idea of the study has been discussed by city leaders for years, but
more recently service committee members Dan Fogt, John Gore and Mark
Reams, have held meetings over the past several months to discuss the
issue of traffic with city administrators and street department officials.
A draft of the traffic study plan, handed out to council and city
administrators in August, showed its scope.
"This study should be done primarily due to the population growth and
the additional demands placed on the city's street infrastructure," the ordinance states.
More discussion is expected to be held during the second reading and
public hearing of the ordinance. But the draft of the plan calls for three sections:
Task One consists of gathering existing data in the form of studies
already completed on Marysville roadways and the concept of traffic impact studies.
Task Two calls for spot studies at the Route 4/Route 31 interchange, the
Route 4/Milford Avenue intersection, the Milford Street/Maple Street
intersection and the Delaware Avenue corridor, and to develop Five
Points (Delaware Avenue/Cherry Street/Columbus Avenue) alternatives.
Task Three amounts to a traffic signal study to determine if the flow of
traffic could be formatted in other ways throughout town.
An additional Task Four calls for a one-way road to tie Marysville's
uptown and west side neighborhoods to the east side.
City engineer Phil Roush said during an August public service meeting
that the study also calls for an impact fee to be placed on new business
in order to generate funds to use on specific traffic improvement projects.
The public hearing on the traffic study will be held at the Oct. 11 council meeting.
Regarding other significant plans in the works, local leaders have been
mulling over a comprehensive Strategic Plan for the city, laying out the
city's vision statement, 21 Objectives and numerous Action Steps to
follow into the future. The result of a city council work session was to
introduce an ordinance to council at the Aug. 23 meeting asking for its acceptance.
But Thursday night the third and final reading of the Strategic Plan
failed after councilman Dan Fogt voted against it.
To pass the ordinance, council needed at least four members to vote in
favor of the plan. Council members Leah Sellers, Mark Reams and Ed
Pleasant voted for it. However, council members John Marshall, John Gore
and David Burke were unable to attend the meeting Thursday night and
therefor council lacked a four-person majority vote.
In the Aug. 23 council minutes Fogt said he was going to vote against
the plan because he "is supportive of the Vision Statement and the
Strategic Objectives, but not supportive of all of the Action Steps. By
passing this legislation it would imply that (I am) in favor of all of the Action Steps."
Gore and Pleasant had explained that the plan is a "living document"
which can be changed and reviewed at any time.
The next step for the Strategic Plan was not discussed.
Other news:
. Resident Phillip Gill of Creekview Drive asked council to look into
keeping the park toward the rear of the Mill Valley development safer.
At first the problem was large amounts of dust, but the city has since
taken care of that with gravel.
But recent problems have more to do with crime and unruly drivers doing doughnuts.
"There's a lot of things going on back there that I don't want to say,"
Gill said. "Something has got to be done."
Council members agreed to look into what they can do for the park.
. Council reviewed its Enterprise Tax Zone agreements, in which various
local companies are given tax abatements for meeting terms with the city
in regards to payroll levels and hiring new staff members to ensure
growth. Premier Printing was listed as not fully in compliance, and a
separate resolution called for the existing abatement on the company to
be reduced by 10 percent.
. The city recently underwent an audit and Pleasant reported that other
than very minor points, there were no federal noncompliance issues found.
"The city finances are well and being kept and we appreciate that," he said.

Hospital looks to July opening of Mill Valley building
By CORINNE BIX
Memorial Hospital of Union County plans to break ground on the new Mill
Valley medical building within the next several months as final
contracts on the project have all been officially signed.
Spence Fisher, vice president of physician relations and business
development, reported at Thursday night's board meeting that the grand
opening of the building is tentatively scheduled for July.
Fisher said a group of three pediatricians are currently working with
the building architect to finalize the design for their office space.
Chip Hubbs, president/CEO MHUC, gave an update on the search for a
consultant group to evaluate the financial, legal, cost, benefit and
organization of a possible change in legal structure.
Last month the board decided along with the county commissioners to
explore the possibility of MHUC becoming a private non-profit charitable organization.
Board members Chris Schmenk and Rick Shortell along with Hubbs are
serving as the hospital's representation on the selection committee
along with all three county commissioners.
Schmenk, Shortell and Hubbs reported that two consulting firms have been
selected to be interviewed by the selection committee. The first firm
was interviewed earlier this month and the second is scheduled for Oct. 9.
"The process is going along slowly but steadily," Hubbs said.
Hubbs said as of yet no decisions have been made but the committee is
taking the time necessary to bring on the appropriate consultant to
explore the idea of restructuring the hospital as a whole.
The hospital will meet with Employer Resource Association (ERA) to
discuss possibly creating an employee survey in specific regard to the
possibility of both restructuring and expansion at the current site or at a new location.
In addition the administration is looking at teaming with the Ohio
Hospital Association (OHA) on a statewide grassroots campaign in which
hospital employees would take a more active role in the health care
organizations where they work.
Hubbs and Carman Wirtz, vice president of human resources, would work
with the OHA to create an education component to better inform MHUC
employees about possible future changes at the hospital. This, in turn,
would arm employees with the information they need to intelligibly speak
on the hospital's behalf and become the organization's greatest advocates.
Fisher reported that the hospital is currently working at recruiting
physicians in four areas including cardiology, orthopedic surgery,
neurology and pediatrics.
The Physician Web Portal is up and running. The portal allows
physician's offices within the area to directly connect with the
hospital's lab. Hubbs said this provides a valuable resource in terms of
efficiency and better customer care.
The board adjourned into executive session to discuss a trade secret of
a county hospital. No action was taken. The next regular board meeting
will be Oct. 25 at 8 p.m.
In other news, the board:
.approved standing items and committee reports for finance and joint conference
.reviewed customer service data
.approved the credentials manual 2.1-1 ? back up coverage
.approved the following rules and regulations: 6.8 ? special orders;
7.8-1(d) discharge summary; par six (6) ? orders; 7.2 ? history and physical exam
.approved the core and non core revisions for cardiology and radiography
.approved completed practitioners application for Dr. Sudhathi Reddy-
hematology/oncology ? dept. of medicine ? consulting provisional
.approved privilege modification for the following: Dr. Yun You Li, ?
requesting CT angiography privilege; Dr. Douglas Magorien? requesting CT
angiography privilege; Dr. Charles Muncrief, DO ? requesting CT angiography privilege
.approved conclusion of provisional for the following: Dr. Ahmed Jakda,
? urgent care ? dept. of medicine ? ER urgent care; Maureen Mantin, PA-
? ED - dept. of medicine ? allied health; Dr. Michael Miller - urgent
care - dept. of medicine ? ER urgent care; Dr. Mark Stover, DO ?
orthopedics ? dept. of surgery ? consulting; Stephanie Young, PA ? ED ?
dept. of medicine ? allied health
.took a tour of the newly opened four bed sleep lab.
.heard an update from the hospital auxiliary board. The annual
fundraising gala is scheduled for Nov. 3.

Jury finds man not guilty of theft
By MAC CORDELL
Despite an ill-timed cashed paycheck and a sarcastic admission of guilt,
a Union County jury found a local man, not guilty of stealing cash
deposits from a local fast food restaurant.
The jury found Anthony Wayne Boggs, 38, of 701 W. Mill St., lot 4, in
North Lewisburg, not guilty of one count of theft. Following a full day
of testimony and an hour of closing arguments, it took the jury two and
a half hours of deliberation before returning with good news for the defendant.
As the verdict was read, Boggs bowed his head between his knees and began to cry.
"Finally, an innocent man goes free," Boggs said after the jury left the courtroom.
His attorney, Louis T. Dye, elaborated.
"I think we got the right verdict," Dye said. "The state was not able to
prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt."
During closing arguments, Dye said he state had not proved its case
beyond a reasonable doubt.
"The state is using insinuation and innuendo to get you to infer guilt
in this case," said Dye. "That is not enough to prove this case beyond a reasonable doubt."
He added that with the restaurant's system and no video evidence from
the bank, a conviction would be impossible for the jury.
"Without knowing who physically took the money from the safe, you can't
say beyond a reasonable doubt that anybody did this," Dye said.
The jury, five women and seven men, agreed, at least that it wasn't
Boggs. If convicted, Boggs would have faced a year in prison.
During the trial, prosecutors argued that in the summer of 2005, Boggs,
then the general manager of a local fast food restaurant, took money
from a restaurant cash deposit. He delayed making that deposit until he
could take money from another deposit to make the first deposit whole.
The state argued that he continued to take money from subsequent
deposits in an effort to make up the difference in the previous deposit,
a scheme known as kiting.
The trial's final witness, Boggs then took the stand in his own defense.
He testified that he took over as general manager of a failing
restaurant. He said he wasn't hired to do the paperwork and the banking;
he was hired to turn the business around and make it profitable.
"Which I did," Boggs said.
Dye finally got to the point.
"Tony, I've got to ask this, did you take the money?" Dye asked.
"I did not take this money from (the restaurant)," Boggs said.
When Prosecutor Terry Hord questioned the defendant, the dialog quickly
became heated.
Boggs told the prosecutor he did not remember a lot of details, "because
you guys waited two years."
Hord asked if his plan was to use the missing weekend deposits to pay
off the remainder of the late deposits.
"Wasn't it your plan?" asked Hord.
"Yeah, that was my plan," Boggs said, sarcastically.

Residents help police locate fleeing suspect
Citizens point lawmen in the right direction

From J-T staff reports
A man trying to run from police Wednesday never had a chance once
members of the community decided to get involved.
Marysville Assistant Police Chief Glenn Nicol said the department
appreciated the help of the community in the capture of James A.
Beswick, 25, of 741 Kenny Lane.
Reports show that at 5:55 p.m. police located Beswick, who was wanted on
an outstanding felony warrant issued by the Union County Sheriff's
Office, in the city. Upon seeing police, Beswick reportedly started running.
For 15 minutes officers reportedly chased Beswick throughout
neighborhoods on West Fifth, West Fourth, North Maple and Cedar streets.
Police chasing him identified themselves as officers and he still did not stop.
But Nicol said that as Beswick ran through the neighborhoods, residents
watched and told police exactly where he was going.
"It really helped," Nicol said. "Everyone who pointed the way."
He said that residents not only told officers the right direction to
follow the suspect, but other residents called into dispatch to help as well.
Because of their aid, Nicol said, officers were able to use a Taser to
stop Beswick in the 600 block of West Fourth Street, where he was
finally taken into custody.
He was charged with obstructing official business and was turned over to
the Union County Sheriff's Office.

Businesses pop up around  Marysville
By RYAN HORNS
As construction picks up across the city of Marysville, the announcement
of new businesses has too.
From the ongoing Coleman's Crossing and City Gate Commercial Park
developments, to the Mill Valley Office Park and Uptown Marysville, work
is underway on many new buildings.
City Gate Commercial Park
Drivers headed along U.S. 33 may have noticed how construction work has
begun for future tenants on the city's east side.
According to Marysville administrators, future tenants of City Gate
include White Castle and Walgreen's (both currently have zoning permits
approved), as well as Boston Gourmet Pizza, the new Bob Evans location,
Delaware County Bank, and Liberty National Bank (all of which are under
construction) and finally there are two medical office buildings being planned.
Coleman's Crossing Boulevard:
No matter which way residents enter Coleman's Crossing Boulevard, either
at Delaware Avenue or at Industrial Parkway, there is new construction expected.
One of the largest recently announced additions to the area will be MC
Sports, a sporting goods outlet store to be built near Best Buy. Office
Max is another large retailer expected to go in the same block.
Already under construction is future restaurant Buffalo Wild Wings,
expected to be part of a 12-unit strip center called The Shoppes at
Coleman's Crossing going in front of Murphy's USA Gas Station.
Other businesses set for the area are the Asian-inspired restaurants
Empire Buffet - Hibachi Grill & Sushi Bar going in next to Maurice's and
the Asian Café Buffet, which has already had its zoning permit approved.
On the city's north side, the most progress in new development has been
made toward the Mill Valley Plaza (located between Woodside Veterinary
and the new McDonald's on Route 31). New businesses such as the San
Francisco Hofbrau Restaurant, the MVP Food Store, Fratelli's Pizza and
the re-located Radio Shack have all opened for service.
In addition, the future Cold Stone Creamery's location in the plaza has
already submitted its zoning permit to the city.
Located nearby is the Mill Valley Office Center, which is to include
medical offices on Route 31 at Millwood Boulevard.
Regarding the city's Uptown area, Union County has submitted its plans
for the renovation of the old Heilig Meyers building that will be used
for county office space.
Plans have also been approved for the rehabbing of 211 and 225 East
Fifth Street, formally a game room, and the Stepping Out Bar. Local
business owners Bob and Liz Meeder are currently remodeling these
buildings and restoring their historical features.
In other new restaurants and retail stores expected:
. Cue Stick Café, to be located on Columbus Avenue next to Infinity Grill.
. First Federal Community Bank, to be located at 251 Coleman's Crossing
(behind Applebee's).
. Winn Warehouse, a 5000 square feet to be located at 14250 Industrial Parkway.
. Two office buildings, consisting of 13,000 total square footage at 504 E. Fourth Street.

Corn maze opens for sixth season
By MAC CORDELL
Tucked away amid a sprawling cornfield in southern Union County is an
amazing twisting, turning adventure.
For the sixth consecutive year, the Rausch farm on Axe Handle Road in
Milford Center will host a corn maze and all the family fun associated
with it, and while the signs make it easy to find your way there, it's a
lot harder to find your way out.
"We try to make it a family thing, so families can come out and have a
good time," said Randy Rausch, a fifth-generation farmer who along with
his wife, Jayne, and their two children, Mitchell and Ashley, own and
operate the maze.
In addition to the corn maze, visitors will have the opportunity to
enjoy a variety of other farm and autumn related activities including
hayrides, a pumpkin patch, a cow train, corn cannons, mini mazes (no
left turn straw maze, rope maze and colored board maze), slides, a
petting zoo, greased poles, hay jump, rubber duck races, corn tire, sand
mountain, pedal carts and goat mountain.
"A lot of the folks we get are from the city," said Rausch. "They are a
generation or two removed from living on a farm, but they remember their
parents or grandparents talking about it and they want to come out and
show their kids about a farm setting. We get a lot of people like that
and we think this kind of agritainment really lets them do that."
The farm used to be a dairy farm, but the family patriarch realized that
maybe Mitchell and Ashley did not have the desire to be tied down to a
working farm. Several years ago, Randy saw a magazine article featuring a corn maze.
"We thought it was kind of intriguing," Rausch said.
He said his children enjoy the season and help out with the maze.
"We kind of hope maybe it would be something they might want to continue
to do and keep the farm going," Rausch said.
Each year the family chooses a design and works with a group in Utah
that specializes in corn maze design.
This year the family chose to have the likeness of Rascal Flatts etched in the corn.
"We are trying to pay tribute to these guys because they are local," Rausch said.
He said a local theme attracts more people to the maze. He added that
Rascal Flatts' CD going on sale this week could help the maze with
publicity and hopefully he could do the same for the album.
Though the correct pathways can be walked in under 30 minutes, most
visitors should expect to be among the corn for at least an hour, trying
to navigate the more than two miles of twists and turns and 85 decision points.
"We usually tell people 30 to 60 minutes," Rausch said. "For some people
it is less, and it depends on how directionally challenged they are.
Some people get completely turned around in there."
In an effort to make the experience as easy or as hard as visitors want,
the maze has been divided into two parts. Maze goers who make it through
the first section will have the option of exiting or pushing on into the
second section which offers an even greater challenge.
To help with the maze will be "corn cops" armed with maps and some
advice milling around inside the paths. Also available is a passport.
The passport has a series of questions. The questions are numbered and
correspond with marked stations inside the maze. A correctly answered
question guides participants toward the finish. A wrong answer buries
them further in the corn. Passport questions are available in at least a
dozen themes including sports, television and movies.
Rausch said the observant can also follow the worn paths to the exit, a
task that gets easier as the season wears on and more people walk the
path to the exit.
Friday and Saturday nights in October, the maize will cater to those
seeking a thrill.
"The maze is haunted," Rausch said.
But he quickly assures visitors, "its nothing gory or gruesome. It is
more of a scare thing."
He said the Field of Screams and Trick or Treat Weekend (Oct. 20, 21, 27
and 28) are very popular.
"It seems to work pretty good," Rausch said. "We get quite a number of
people that wait to go through it just for that.
From 2 to 4 p.m., during Trick or Treat Weekend, kids wearing costumes
can pick up candy along their way through the maze and around the farm.
The maze will be open through Oct. 28. Hours are Fridays 5 p.m. to 10
p.m., Saturdays from noon to 10 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 6 p.m.
Field trip hours, during weekdays, are available by reservation.
Discounts are offered for families, groups and field trips. For more
information or to make reservations, call 937-349-4781 or visit
www.cornfieldmaze.com.

Battling bullies
Triad kicks off prevention program

By CORINNE BIX
Triad Local Schools want district students to be a buddy, not a bully.
This week the elementary officially kicked off its Bullying Prevention
Program with a special assembly. Students were introduced to the program
during a morning assembly and parents were invited to participate in a
celebratory lunch.
The district has adopted the Olweus (pronounced Ol-Vay-Us) Bullying
Program which is a research-based school-wide systems change program
that deals with bullying at every level, including the individual, the
classroom, school-wide and in the community.
The elementary hosted a theater group Thursday that presented an
anti-bullying play for all the students. Two students were asked to help
participate and get the message out that bullying is wrong.
The district plans on kicking off the program at the middle school and
high school in January.
Jennifer Reminder, behavior intervention specialist, is the district
program coordinator.
"We trained our committee early last spring before the state legislation
passed requiring anti-bullying programs in public schools; therefore, we
are ahead of the game," Reminder said.
The total cost of the Olweus program was approximately $2,000. Total
cost for the program was funded through the state's Ohio Integrated
Systems Model (OISM) grant.
"In addition, several local merchants donated money to sponsor the
project," Reminder said.
Last year as part of the grant, the district created a 10-person
behavior committee at the elementary. The committee included teachers,
intervention specialists, a bus driver, the transportation coordinator,
the district psychologist, a principal and two parents.
Angie O'Brien is one of two parents who serve on the committee that has
been meeting twice a month in preparation for the kick-off.
O'Brien said she thinks it's great that the district is implementing a
program since her family has dealt with bullying firsthand.
"I feel the program is a good thing," she said. "It's important that the
kids get the program early in their schooling."
The initial goal of the committee was to help implement behavior
strategies for the district. The committee came up with three
district-wide rules  - Respect Yourself, Respect Others and Respect Property.
In addition, the committee created a matrix which specifies behavior
expectations in each setting within the elementary school.
Reminder said the next step became introducing the anti-bullying program.
"We are giving kids the tools they need to step into their own courage," she said.
The core of the program involves empowering bystanders to intervene on
behalf of the victim.
Reminder said there are four anti-bullying rules: 1. We will not bully
others. 2. We will try to help students who are bullied. 3. We will try
to include students who are left out. 4. If we know that somebody is
being bullied, we will tell an adult at the school and an adult at home.
She explained that the program is not a curriculum that students
participate in for only a few weeks but rather a coordinated effort by
all adults in the school to supervise and intervene when bullying happens.
Based on a study published in the Journal of the American Medical
Association, researchers found that 17 percent of more than 15,000
students in grades six through 10 said they had been bullied "sometimes"
or more often during the school term. Eight percent had been bullied at
least once a week.
Nineteen percent had bullied others "sometimes" or more often and 9
percent had bullied other students at least once a week.
Those who are bullied may become depressed and have low self-esteem.
They might suffer from health problems such as stomach aches or
headaches and in extreme cases contemplate suicide.
Those that bully are often involved in other "anti-social" behaviors
such as breaking rules, shoplifting or vandalism. Although more
prevalent in males, they may also be at higher risk of being involved in
crime when they are older.
Students at Triad Elementary will begin participating in weekly class
meetings to learn the about the effects of bullying and what they can do
about it. Parents will also be invited to participate in meetings so
they can reinforce the message students are getting at school.
Those who would like more information about the program may contact
elementary principal Lee Claypool or Reminder at Triad Local Schools.

Car thefts believed to be series of joyrides
From J-T staff reports
A reported car theft "ring" which occurred across Union and Delaware
counties, instead turned out to be a literal circle of crime.
Marysville Assistant Police Chief Glenn Nicol said this morning that a
man and woman seemed to go on a "joyride" of sorts, doing a circle
across the county Tuesday and leaving car theft reports in their wake.
Marysville police reports stated that Tuesday at 6:47 p.m. a Delaware
County Sheriff's deputy found a 2002 silver Acura TL in the 400 block of
North Main Street. The vehicle had been reported stolen earlier in the
day from Delaware County.
Reports also state that at 3:40 p.m. employees of Marysville's Carroll
Motor Sales in the 100 block of North Plum Street said that a man drove
a vehicle off the lot for a test drive and never returned it.
Police reported that the suspect came into the business and was not
asked for his identification in order to do the test drive, so the man's
name is not known. But employees were able to get his description for investigators.
Law enforcement officials are now looking for a white male in his
mid-20s with blonde hair and multiple facial piercings and tattoos. He
was reportedly traveling with a white female.
Nicol said the car stolen from Carroll's was later found on East Ottawa
Street in Richwood.
After another car theft in Richwood, the two suspects allegedly left the
area and got away.
Richwood Police and Delaware County officials were unavailable for
comment before press time on the thefts.

Westfall sponsoring solutions workshop
From J-T staff reports
A group known as American Solutions for Winning the Future is sponsoring
a workshop in Marysville to be held Saturday. The workshop, which is
free, is part of a nationwide effort to bring American citizens into the
political process to help solve problems. It is called "Solutions Day"
and will be held at the Marysville Public Library, 213 S. Plum St., from
1 to 5:30 p.m.
Jim Westfall is hosting the event. He says that American Solutions was
founded by former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, who is acting as
its general chairman, and is a new, non-partisan organization dedicated
to creating solutions in addressing the challenges facing America.
Westfall said that these workshops are being held in all 50 states and
will be broadcast on DISH Network channel 219 and on DirectTV channel
577. "American Solutions' goal is to help create a new wave of
transformational change which will move government into the 21st
century," Westfall said.
During the workshop, citizens will have the opportunity to discuss new
ideas for change which are designed to strengthen and revitalize core
values and help protect America against its enemies. Gingrich will kick
off the teleconference at 1 p.m., and during the course of the
afternoon, participants will have a choice of several different
conference subjects in the areas of the environment, Social Security,
energy, taxation, immigration, healthcare and more, all led by
experienced leaders.
For example, some of the segments are titled, "Rediscovering God in
America," "The Fair Tax: Saying Goodbye to the Income Tax and IRS,"
"America's Public Schools: A Crisis and an Opportunity," and "Defending
America Requires Fixing our Intelligence System."
"I am proud to work with citizen activists all over the country to
develop a bold new generation of solutions," Gingrich said. "The
Solutions workshops are the beginning of a process to talk about ideas
and transform all levels of government."
 Westfall advises that reservations are suggested since there is room
for only 20 people in the room. To register for the workshop or for more
information, those interested can e-mail westfall1217@columbus.rr.com or
contact him at 220 Mulberry St., Marysville, OH 43040-1476.

Middle school project ahead of schedule
By KARLYN BYRS
The dry summer of 2007 has been good for one thing. It has allowed the
construction workers associated with Marysville School District's newest
school to stay ahead of schedule.
All summer long, Emily Wieringa of Thomas & Marker has been giving board
members good reports on the intermediate/middle school, news that
continued Monday evening during a tour of the 164,000 square-foot facility.
Wieringa took Marysville School Board Vice President Jeff Mabee,
superintendent Larry Zimmerman, Marysville High School Principal Matt
Chrispin and MHS assistant principal Shawn Williams throughout the
facility that will house 450 pupils in each of its two wings.
"It looks like it is coming right along," Mabee said.
Wieringa said the goal now is to have all exterior work completed by
Thanksgiving, so interior work can be completed when the weather will be
less cooperative.
The building is scheduled to open in August of 2008. It is located along
Route 4 on 162 acres the school district purchased from the Edgar Bunsold trust.
Each academic wing will feature 10 classrooms on each side of a long
hallway. The middle school wing will feature labs for Family and
Consumer Science and technology classrooms, as well as band and music rooms.
Each also will have its own gymnasium, administrative areas and separate
entrances/bus drop-off points. Locker rooms will be located on the
middle school side only.
One cafeteria will serve the entire student population, as well as one
heating/cooling system, one media center and one 500-seat auditorium.
Certain special education classrooms also will be shared - those which
can accommodate multi-ages, Zimmerman said.
The auditorium, which also will act as an auxiliary auditorium for high
school activities, will feature seats provided by local seat installer
Jerry Poe at less than his cost, Zimmerman said.
That will be a "huge" savings, Zimmerman said, adding "It's really nice
to have him close at hand."
The brick building features poured concrete walls - a first in central
Ohio, according to Zimmerman - and Direct Exterior Finish - a
stucco-like finish used to add visual interest and keep the cost down.
The gymnasiums and the center of the building will have flat roofs,
while the wings will feature pitched tops.
The site features roughly 40 acres of woods, along with a retention pond
about two acres in size. Soccer, baseball and football fields will be
located outside the middle school wing.
The Marysville FFA is farming the outskirts of the construction site,
providing planting/harvesting experience to students enrolled in the FFA program.
Zimmerman estimated that in roughly 10 years the new intermediate/middle
school will reach capacity. When that happens, the new building will be
converted to a middle school building and a second intermediate school
will be constructed on the same site, a location also large enough to
handle a second high school.

School board talks cuts
Marysville  superintendent  spells out possible cost saving measures

By KARLYN BYERS
Superintendent Larry Zimmerman affixed price tags to anticipated budget
cuts in the school district - cuts that could save the district roughly
$3 million but could impact "potentially every student."
The information Zimmerman handed out at the end of Monday's night's
regular school board meeting was in response to requests by school board
members at the Aug. 27 board meeting, a meeting at which budget cuts
were first discussed.
The district has a 4.75-mill, five-year operating levy on the Nov. 6
ballot. That levy is a duplicate of an operating levy defeated by voters
Aug. 7 in a special election. The millage is needed, school officials
say, because of unprecedented growth in the school district and the lack
of additional school funding.
If the operating levy fails, budget cuts are anticipated. The largest,
roughly $1 million, would reduce the number of staff members hired.
"We have some classrooms which in ordinary years would require an
additional staff member be hired due to growth. I am suggesting those
class sizes be monitored and only filled if state minimum standards are
not met," Zimmerman explained on the handout.
Zimmerman also suggested pay-to-play fees could be increased to $150 per
activity. Currently, the cost is $25.
However, he said, even $150 does not begin to cover the expenses of
certain activities.
"We may want to consider allowing the fee to reflect the true cost of
the activity or part of the fee. We may also want to cap the fee for
each family. There are many options with this fee," he wrote.
Zimmerman also suggested the school district charge the actual cost of
transporting pupils involved in extra-curricular trips.
"This fee is very straightforward and easy to determine. It would be
designed to cover 100 percent of the cost of the transportation to
offset costs," he wrote.
Zimmerman discussed this option earlier in the meeting, and board member
Scott Johnson voiced opposition to it. It discriminated against pupils
who were less affluent, Johnson said, and could set up a "caste system."
Other cuts/savings listed include:
.Limit computer usage and purchases. Also, to conserve energy, all
computers would be turned off when not in use. Savings: $550,000.
.Eliminate/postpone planned school bus purchases. Savings: $400,000.
Related to this is a recommendation to make fewer bus routes and
pick-up/drop-off stops.
.A hiring freeze except for essential positions. Savings: $200,000.
.Reduce/postpone textbook purchases. Savings: $150,000.
.Reduce the number of educational tutors hired to assist pupils in
preparation for specific course work and testing. Savings: $100,000.
Would impact mostly pupils needing extra help.
.Operate buildings at higher air conditioning temperatures and furnaces
at lower heating temperatures. Savings: $100,000.
Also to reduce utility costs, buildings could be closed during non-school times.
.Increase school lunches by 15 to 25 cents. Money generated: $90,000.
.Increase facility rental. This would net about $80,000.
.Eliminate field trips/class trips. Savings: $70,000.
.Eliminate all "second team" opportunities at the middle school level. Savings: $50,000
.Reduce classroom paper usage by 25 percent. Savings: $50,000.
.Reduce copier usage. Savings: $50,000.
.Reduce direct mail expense by 50 percent. Savings: $20,000.
Limit overtime. Savings: $20,000.
.Limit the number of extra-curricular events, especially those away events. Savings: $5,000.
In other business, the board:
.Heard from Marysville resident Dave Creviston who said he was "Tiffed
off." Creviston wanted information about the board's TIF (Tax Increment
Financing) agreements with the city of Marysville. Zimmerman and
treasurer Delores Cramer said they would confer with Union County
Auditor Mary Snider and get back to Creviston.
.Heard from parent Dave Perry who was concerned about the Thanksgiving
weekend scheduling of basketball games. He said Thanksgiving was
considered a family holiday and the scheduling of athletic events made
out-of-state visits with family difficult.

Plain City prepares for opening of bypass
By MAC CORDELL
The U.S. 42 bypass around the northwest corner of Plain City is "moving
along," Plain City Police Chief/Village Administrator Steve Hilbert
reported to council at its Monday night meeting.
The bypass is actually open, 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.
Hilbert said the entire bypass and the bridge are expected to be open
the first week of October.
Mayor Sandy Adkins said the village is planning a pair of celebrations.
She said a ribbon cutting is set for Wednesday, Oct. 10, during the day,
"so the dignitaries will come." She said the ribbon cutting is being
planned by the Ohio Department of Transportation.
A less formal celebration is being planned for Saturday, Oct. 13,
"specifically for the village." That event is still in the infancy of its planning.
Council has given its blessing to the public library's levy request.
Plain City Public Library Director Chris Long informed the group about
the levy, a three-quarters mill property tax for five years, to be used
for operations only. If passed, the tax would cost the owner of a
$100,000 home about $23 per year.
"We are not planning any type of expansion, we are seeking to reinstate
programs that have been cut over the last five years," Long explained.
She said library funding from the state has been dramatically cut the
last five years, adding the library is working at funding levels similar
to 1998. Programs, budgets, contracts and staff have already been cut to
maintain budget, Long said. If the November levy does not pass,
additional, more noticeable and dramatic cuts will be necessary.
"Some of our hours and our personnel will be cut, starting next year," Long said.
Long said cuts will strain library services, which are seeing an increase.
"Madison and Union Counties are rapidly growing and as the community
grows, we have seen quite a bit of increase in demand for services," Long said.
She said book circulation has not increased as much, "its been mostly
other materials, audio-visual, technology."
Council President Pro-Tem Bob Walter questioned the library's service
area and who would vote on the levy. Long said that when the library was
established in 1946, it was created using the Jonathan Alder School
District's boundaries. She said that while it is a school district free
library, the district does not fund the library in any way. She said
being a school district free library actually limits, by law, the
ability of the library to raise funds.
"Unfortunately, about 50 percent of our registered users are outside the
Jonathan Alder School District," Long said.
While she is uncertain about support from the surrounding areas , she
hopes to receive strong support for the levy from inside the village.
Walter said he supports the library and appreciates the help the village
has received from the library in the past.
Adkins echoed those thoughts.
"Certainly, we understand the position you are in and support you in
your efforts," Adkins said.
She added that she personally uses the library, "quite a bit."
"I really appreciate it," she said of the library.
The group promoting the levy's passage will meet at 6:30 p.m., Thursday,
Oct. 11, at the Plain City Historical Society.
"It will be a limited campaign," Long said of the groups efforts,
adding, its budget is, "very small."
Long said those wishing to help can contact her at the library and she
will connect them to the group.
Council also discussed the transfer of a local business' liquor permit.
Big George's Bar and Grill on Bigelow Avenue has new ownership. The name
will also be changing. As part of the purchase, the liquor license is to
be transferred. That transfer must undergo state review. Village
officials have the opportunity to object to the transfer.
Hilbert said there had been no issues at the bar.
"From a police standpoint, we don't have any (objections)," Hilbert told council.
Walter said it was difficult to know if he had any objections since he
did not know the new owner or their history.
"I would really like to see a resume or something," Walter said.
Hilbert explained that can't be done and that problems at another
location can not be grounds to object to a liquor license transfer.
"I realize that can't be a basis for our decision, but it certainly
weighs heavy in my mind what kind of business it is going to be in the
future," Walter said.
Councilman Mark Hostetler said he had spoken to the new owner, who lives
near Groveport. Hostetler reported the new owner has said he would like
top move into the Plain City area.
Walter said that was better than an owner never in the community.

Body found  at U.S. 33 rest area in Logan County
From J-T staff reports
The body of an Indiana man was found at a U.S. 33 rest area Monday,
although foul play is not suspected.
The Marysville Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol is currently
investigating the death of Larry J. Wolfe, 46, of Auburn, Indiana.
"(He) was discovered this morning (Monday) in the restroom of the east
bound rest area on U.S. 33, near milepost 13 in Logan County," the
patrol reported Monday afternoon in a press release.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol investigates incidents and criminal
activity on state owned and leased property, such as United States
highways and routes.
Marysville Post commander Lt. Rick Zwayer said that his office received
the initial call and his district investigator was called to the scene.
Most likely, Zwayer said, Wolfe's body was expected to be transported to
Mary Rutan Hospital in Logan County and then the autopsy will most
likely be conducted by Miami Valley coroners for further investigation.
The post also stated that the cause of Wolfe's death is pending until an
autopsy is performed by the Logan County Coroner's Office. However, the
patrol office stated that the preliminary investigation points toward
the "likeliness of natural death."
According to a Monday press release on the death, troopers said that at
approximately 9:53 a.m. the Logan County Coroner's Office notified the
Marysville post that the Bellefontaine EMS squad had been dispatched to
the east bound rest area on U.S. 33 for an unresponsive person.
The EMS personnel then discovered the body of Wolfe, Zwayer said, who
was already deceased upon their arrival.
He explained that his deputies had checked the rest area at 4 a.m. and
again at 7 a.m. and there was no body found at those times. He said it
indicates a more than two-hour period when Wolfe may have gone into the
restroom - between 7:30 a.m. and 9:58 a.m.
Zwayer said the Marysville Post and District 5 Investigations Office
responded to the scene and are handling the case.
The Logan County Coroner's investigator was also on the scene and
Wolfe's family has been notified of the death.

Richwood Council discusses cost of putting officer in school
By CHAD WILLIAMSON
Who should foot the bill to put a Richwood Police officer in the North
Union High School?
That was a question raised, discussed and left unanswered during Monday
night's Richwood Village Council meeting.
Richwood Police Chief Monte Asher told council he has budgeted to put an
officer in the school three days per week. He is also submitting a
proposal to the district to fund the remaining two days per week.
Council member Von Beal said he has a problem with the expenditure.
While he agreed that having an officer in the school was a good idea, he
questioned burden on the village.
"The village of Richwood foots the entire bill and I don't like that," Beal said.
Though the schools location is inside the village limits, it serves
students from across northern Union County. Beal noted that children
from Essex and Magnetic Springs attend North Union, but only the village
is paying to keep them safe.
Asher said that while the schools benefit from having an officer in the
school, his department benefits as well.
"We learn from it," Asher said.
Beal said he believes the village needs to meet with school officials to
discuss the issue. Councilman George Showalter added that perhaps
township officials should also be included in the discussions.
In other business, the board:
.discussed whether an annexation of 23 acres of land in the area of
Hoskins Road had been annexed. Although the process was initiated,
council members could not recall if the process was finished. Village
solicitor Victoria Stone-Moledor said she would research the matter.
.received two sample ordinances regarding prohibiting feeding of water
fowl in the village. Council opted to table the issue.
.heard from the solicitor that a vandal at the Richwood Park was caught
and is being made to pay restitution to the village for damages.
.learned from village financial officer Don Jolliff that he and
administrator Larry Baxa are taking steps to lower the village's workers
compensation premiums. Despite the efforts it could still be more than a
year before the village can hope to lower its payments. The village
currently pays $18,000, which is nearly double what the village paid
before two large claims were made by village employees.
.set Trick or Treat for Oct. 31 from 5-7 p.m.
.learned that the police department needs to purchase two new batteries
for the village speed registering sign.
.learned that the village plans to continue brush pickup until the end of October.
.heard that the village was notified that it did not qualify for grant
funding for Veteran's Way improvements.
.learned that the village will be spraying for mosquitos on an as needed
basis. The first application will be Wednesday. Residents who see the
spray truck coming should go indoors for a few minutes, according to
Baxa. He said homeowners should also close windows facing the street as
the truck passes.
.held and executive session to discuss pending litigation.

Authorities investigate fatal crash, suicide

By RYAN HORNS
A pair of tragedies has rocked a local family following a Friday night
crash that took the life of a woman and may have led to the apparent
suicide of her mother.
Sgt. Kevin Knapp of the Delaware Post of the Ohio Highway Patrol said
that Friday at 9 p.m. a 1990 GMC Sierra pickup truck was traveling on
Donovan Road in Thompson Township, Delaware County, when the driver lost
control, went over the left side of the roadway, rolled and stopped
upright on its wheels.
As a result of the crash, Courtney A. Nibert, 22, of Richwood died at the scene.
Knapp said Nibert was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected through
the window. He said medics arrived on the scene and tried to resuscitate
her, but were unable. She was then transported to Grady Memorial Hospital.
Reports state that the second victim of the crash was Geraldine Keeton,
41, also of Richwood.
Knapp said Keeton was wearing a seat belt, but suffered injuries and was
transported to the Ohio State University Medical Center by MedFlight.
The main issue troopers are trying to establish in their continuing
investigation is who was driving, Knapp said.
"The woman we believe was driving is claiming that she was not," he explained.
Knapp said troopers have a significant amount of evidence to prove that
Keeton was the driver; however, the investigation reportedly will not be
complete until later in the week.
"We believe that drugs and alcohol were a factor," he said.
Investigators believe Courtney Nibert's mother, Marta Nibert, of
Richwood, took her own life a night later.
Marta Nibert, 50, was found unresponsive in Courtney's former bedroom -
Courtney had moved from her mother's home. Marta Nibert was found about 2 a.m.
"Due to past medical history, we are thinking it was a suicide, due to
overdose," said Union County Coroner Dr. David Applegate. "The autopsy
is being done today and in a month or so, we should have the toxicology report back."
Applegate added, "there is no evidence of foul play or suspicious behaviors."
Obituaries for both women can be found on page 2 of today's newspaper.

MFD offers seasonal fire safety tips
Information supplied by the Marysville Fire Department
The Marysville Fire Department recently released information on seasonal safety.
Every year at this time we are confronted with fire safety issues,
particularly in the areas of utilizing open flames (i.e. candles), and
the use of decorative material. Business owners and members of the
community sometimes unknowingly erect unsafe displays and decorations.
It is our goal, and part of a continuing effort, to educate the public
in these and other areas of fire safety. Many of the issues addressed
below are found in the Ohio Fire Code (section noted in parenthesis). We
are always available to assist those who may have questions regarding
the fire code and related safety issues.
The following is provided in the interest of public safety:
1. It is unlawful to utilize or allow to be utilized, any open flame,
burning candle or candles in connection with any public meeting or
gathering or similar purpose in assembly or educational occupancies
without first obtaining a permit (308.3). Candles are not permitted in
areas where occupants stand, or in an aisle or exit (308.3.4d). This
includes  auditorium aisles, entrances to businesses/places of assembly,
etc. With the approval of the local fire official, and when adequate
safeguards have been taken, participants in religious ceremonies are
allowed to carry hand-held candles. Hand-held candles are not to be
passed from one person to another while lighted (308.3.5e).
2. The use of combustible decorative material in a manner, which is
inconsistent with the intent of the Ohio Fire Code, is a serious
problem. All decorative materials must be either noncombustible or
flame-resistant. No decorations or other objects shall be placed to
obstruct exits, access thereto, egress therefrom, or visibility thereof
(806.1.3c and 1027.4). In applicable businesses and occupancies,
curtains, draperies, hangings and other decorative materials suspended
from walls or ceilings shall be flame resistant (805.1). There is a
particular problem with the use of decorative material (such as straw,
hay, corn shocks, and live Christmas trees) during this time of year.
Such material should never be placed inside a building or against the
side of a building. Each year we are called to, or discover a business
in which these types of materials are placed against a building, and
often next to an entrance/exit. This is a particularly dangerous
practice. Carelessly discarded smoking materials could very well lead to
ignition and subsequent destruction of property, including the resultant
fire blocking the exit of people within the building.
During the holiday season, and at other times throughout the year, we
are confronted with the use of candles, decorative materials, and open
flames in inappropriate areas. The Marysville Division of Fire is always
ready to assist and inform the public on fire safety issues. Our
"perspective" is based on professional experience as well as tragic
historical events, many of which fostered these and other sections of
our nation's fire codes. Not only are many of these issues common sense,
they are also the law. Let us work together to protect our community and
increase general fire safety awareness, particularly during the upcoming
holiday season.

Local doctor pleads guilty

By MAC CORDELL
A local pediatrician is facing prison time after admitting to writing
illegal prescriptions for her husband and children.
Her husband was sentenced Friday to four years in prison for his role in the scheme.
Erin Sue Harris Wallace and her husband Timothy John Wallace, both of
404 Park Ave., each pleaded guilty Friday to drug charges.
Erin Wallace, 35, has been a doctor of osteopathic medicine since 1999,
and most recently served as a pediatrician with Marysville Pediatrics.
Friday, she surrendered her medical license in the moments following her
guilty plea to six felony charges, including three counts of illegal
processing of drug documents and three counts of deception to obtain a
dangerous drug. All charges were fifth-degree felonies.
Timothy Wallace, 39, pleaded guilty to 12 felony charges, including
eight counts of illegal processing of drug documents and four counts of
deception to obtain a dangerous drug. All charges were fifth-degree
felonies. He was sentenced to four years in prison.
According to court documents the pair were married in December of 2005,
but even before that, Erin Wallace was writing prescriptions for Timothy
Wallace for pain killers.
"There was no physician - patient relationship there," Union County
Prosecutor David Phillips confirmed. "She was not treating him or any of
the children."
Despite not being their physician, records from the investigation
indicate the doctor was writing the illegal prescriptions as early as
May 15, 2005. The activity did not come to light until April 12, 2006,
when Timothy Wallace tried to fill a prescription for Ultram, a pain killer.
"During the process of filling the prescription, the pharmacist noticed
that Dr. Erin S. Harris Wallace did not authorize the original
prescription for Ultram, so Dr. Erin S. Harris Wallace was contacted,"
according to court documents.
Erin Wallace explained that maybe her husband had the wrong pharmacy, so
the pharmacist checked another local pharmacy.
"The pharmacist learned that Timothy Wallace had picked up the exact
same type of medication on April 10, 2006, and Dr. Harris Wallace was
the prescribing physician."
The Union County Sheriff's Office was contacted and an investigation
began. Investigators found dozens prescriptions for pain killers written
to Timothy Wallace or one of the children. The husband and children were
the only people Dr. Erin Wallace ever wrote prescriptions for these pain
medications to.
"The prescriptions included schedules II, III and IV controlled
narcotics, as well as non controlled substances," according to court documents.
Some of the prescriptions were written by Timothy Wallace on Dr. Erin
Wallace's prescription pad. It is unclear if the doctor knew about all
of the prescriptions.
Phillips credited Det. Michael Justice, the case investigator, with
uncovering much of the abuse.
"This was a difficult case and the detective did an significant amount
of work to find the underlying activity," Phillips said.
In court, both the doctor and her husband took responsibility for what
happened. Timothy Wallace said the pills were not being sold, but that
he was consuming them because he has a problem. Union County Court of
Common Pleas Judge Richard E. Parrott sentenced him from the bench. He
ordered the man to serve four years in prison. However, as part of a
sentencing agreement, between prosecutors and the defense, Parrott will
not oppose an early release, possibly in as soon as 80 days. Timothy
Wallace was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and to pay court fees and the
cost of prosecution.
"Given his lack of record, we thought this was an appropriate
resolution," said Chief Assistant Union County Prosecutor Terry Hord.
Prosecutors did indicate Timothy Wallace has a misdemeanor drug
conviction in his distant past.
Parrott ordered a presentence investigation for Dr. Erin Wallace. He set
a sentencing hearing for Friday, Jan. 4, 2008.
A joint sentencing recommendation suggests a three year prison term for
Dr. Erin Wallace. She could be

City to begin leaf pick-up
From J-T staff reports
The City of Marysville plans to begin the leaf pick-up the first week in October.
As a result, brush and tree limbs will not be picked up after Friday
until further notice. There are a number of things the homeowner can do
to help provide better service for all city residents.
. The last brush pick up for the city will be on the normal trash day
the week of Sept. 23. After Sept. 28 brush will not be picked up until
the brush truck starts again in late December or early January.
. Please do not rake leaves into the street.
. All sticks, limbs, and foreign materials including bedding plants,
wires, rocks, nails, animal waste, etc. must be out of leaf piles.
. All parked cars must be away from pickup areas.
. All bags must be free of garbage, animal waste, and dirt.
. All bags must be under the 50-pound limit.
. All leaves must be raked away from storm drainage inlets. They clog storm sewers.
. Bagged leaves must also be in the paper bio-degradable bags.
. Countryside, Marysville Estates and Hillcrest areas must have leaves
bagged year round in paper bio-degradable bags and must be in the
central located pickup point. Leaf vacuums will not be run in these areas.
During normal operating conditions, the city's vacuum crews will make a
citywide cleanup on a weekly basis. The city would like to insure that
all residents receive service fairly, so please be patient.  For any
questions, contact the city at 642-4767 or 642-7305.

Two theft convictions; two very  different sentences
By MAC CORDELL
Two women, both in positions of trust, were convicted of unrelated theft
related offenses earlier this year. One of the women, however, is going
to prison and the other is not.
Wanda Bright and Cathy Hall pleaded guilty in August to separate
offenses and were each sentenced earlier this week. Bright, 47, of 11117
Askins Road, Marysville, pleaded guilty to one count of misuse of credit
cards, a fourth-degree felony, and one count of theft, a felony of the
fifth degree. She was sentenced to 16 months in a state penitentiary.
Hall, 42, of 225 Redwood Drive,  Marysville, pleaded guilty to one count
of fifth-degree felony theft. She was sentenced to 10 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
"I think the loudest voice in your mitigation statement is that you have
made fairly regular restitution payments, which needs to be done," Union
County Court of Common Pleas Judge Richard E. Parrott told Hall.
Bright had not made any restitution payments, a fact that did not go
unnoticed by the judge.
According to court documents, between October 2006 and February of this
year, Hall was employed at a local farm supply store as a cashier. She
made 26 separate transaction where she entered a merchandise return and
issued a cash refund for merchandise that was never returned. She would
pocket the refund money. The company caught her when it installed video
cameras in the store.
"When she was caught, she immediately confessed,"  defense attorney
Frederick Johnson told the judge.
He added, "she understands that was a violation of the trust they put in
her as a cashier."
The transactions totaled $1,674.58. Since the company caught Hall, she
has made five restitution payments and has $850 left to repay.
Bright has made no restitution payments.
"I fully intended to pay that money back," she told the judge.
She said she lost her job and life has kept her from doing so.
"I just want to say that I am a single grandmother, taking care of my
grandson," Bright said. "I am doing it all on my own and I don't want
him to go back to foster care or back in the system."
Bright was hired by an agency to care for a local disabled adult. Last
year, Bright helped the man acquire a credit card from a national
department store, with a local branch. A second card was issued in
Bright's name, but on the victim's account.
The card was used, and Bright continued to pay the bill until she was
released from her position with the agency. When the man received the
bill, police were contacted.
"(The victim) told Marysville Police Department that she did not have
permission to use the card and he did not even know that it existed
until he got the last bill," according to court documents.
Bright was contacted and voluntarily went to the police department to be interviewed.
Bright admitted to police that she used the card and that, according to
court documents, "almost all" of the charges were for her and not the victim.
"I, Wanda Bright, did use (the victim's) credit card with his
permission, but was willing to pay for it until I lose my job," Bright
wrote. "But I knew it was wrong for me to do so. I really wasn't trying
to take advantage of him."
According to the police report, "Bright also admitted to knowing that
(the victim) is not capable of making decisions in regard to money and
that is why someone else has to care for (the victim's) financial matters."
Parrott commented on that wrongful recognition. He said she showed no
remorse while she was committing the acts repeatedly, only when she was caught.
"You had time to think about it, so you knew what you were doing was
wrong and you kept doing it," Parrott said.

Liggett-Pelanda to run for common pleas court judge
From J-T staff reports
Dorothy Liggett-Pelanda has announced her candidacy for judge of the
Union County Court of Common Pleas.
Liggett-Pelanda, 51, whose ancestors were one of the original pioneer
families to settle in Union County, was raised on the family farm in
Allen Township. After graduating from Marysville High School in 1974,
she earned a bachelor's degree from Miami University and a law degree
from the University of Akron. She returned to Marysville in 1981 to
practice law with her father, Luther Liggett, a former Union County
judge and practicing attorney.
Liggett-Pelanda said her 26 years as an attorney have given her
extensive experience in every aspect of common pleas court, most
predominately in the domestic and criminal areas of the law. Her current
practice dictates her presence in the courtroom almost every day.
"The judicial position presents an exciting opportunity to serve the
community I love," Liggett-Pelanda said.
Her desire to serve the community led her to initially explore the
office of Union County Treasurer, however, her experience in the
county's courtroom makes the judicial office a better fit for her.
Liggett-Pelanda said she believes that Union County needs a judge who
has a deep respect for the county's history and who also has a vision
for its future. The rapid growth in the county and constant changes in
the law and technology require that the next judge be one who can
embrace change, according to Liggett-Pelanda. She noted that the
incoming judge must also be able to work with other county officials to
implement change.
Liggett-Pelanda said she has immense respect for current common pleas
judge Richard E. Parrott, who instilled in her the importance of
professionalism, integrity and fairness in dealing with people. She said
she aspires to maintain Parrott's timely management of the court docket
and his vigilance over the court's budgetary needs.
Liggett-Pelanda has served as president of the board of trustees of U-CO
Industries, two terms as president of the Marysville Library Board and
has served as a member of the Charter Review Committee for the City of Marysville.
Liggett-Pelanda resides with her daughter, Zoe, in Marysville. She also
has two grown sons, Brian and Doug.

Triad board shown  new reading assistance program
By CORINNE BIX
Triad Local Schools have implemented a corrective reading program to
better target Tier III students who require additional resources and
one-on-one instruction to improve their reading skills.
Meredith Ford, Title I reading tutor, spoke to the board Thursday night
with the help of a student.
Ford and the student demonstrated a corrective reading session which is
currently being used at the elementary to help third and fourth grade
Tier III students.
Programs also are in place to help Tier I and Tier II students.
Ford explained to board members that the 90-minute sessions are scripted
and work at a fast pace to encourage fluency in the student.
Students have a book and workbook to follow along during the sessions.
Signals are used between the teacher and student to help create a
comfortable rhythm to the learning. Ford used the tapping of her pencil
during a "word attack" exercise.
Ford said the corrective reading tutors have also added a reward
component to the sessions, which help keep the student involved and focused.
Sue Hughes, district psychologist, presented to the board the newly
created Strategic Intervention Notebooks.
The notebook is a handbook to help teachers intervene on behalf of
students who are struggling with reading, the foundation of all learning.
The notebook is divided into several sessions, including the research
based "five big ideas that children need to know to be readers" which
include phonemic awareness or the breaking down of initial sounds of a
work, letter/sound coordination or phonics, fluency, vocabulary and
comprehension.
The notebook also includes an extensive resource file, which includes a
description of each type of intervention that could be used on a
student's behalf.
The description includes the purpose, the time needed, the maximum
number of students per exercise, preparation and suggested progress
measurement tools.
Hughes gave an example of a rhyming exercise to give board members a
better feel as to how the notebook could be utilized.
Scott Blackburn, middle school principal, updated the board on reading
intervention strategies being utilized among the middle school students.
Currently five staff members are meeting with 65 students each day
during fifth period to target those students who fall in the Tier II category.
It is estimated that students who fall in the second tier will only need
one or two months of intervention to be brought up to grade level.
Brenda Boyd, curriculum coordinator, informed the board that the
district is currently making the final decision in regard to a new
science textbook. The final recommendation is planned for November.
Boyd also reported on the various types of professional development
occurring district wide. The district is introducing a new focus this
year, which will center on differentiated instruction.
Lee Claypool, elementary school principal, reported that students will
start being counted as tardy at 9 a.m. as opposed to the former 8:55
a.m. and early dismissal will begin at 3:15 p.m. as opposed to the
former 3:10 p.m. Both changes were made to better accommodate bus schedules.
The next regular board meeting will on Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. in the middle
school library.
In other business, the school board:
.Accepted the resignations of Nancy Dunham as 2007-2008 high school
yearbook advisor and Becky Creighton as 2007-2008 high school department
chair (science/math), both effective Aug. 21.
.Accepted the resignation of Kyle Huffman as Triad learning community
and junior class advisor, effective immediately.
.Approved Lois King, CPR instructor; Will Nichols, sophomore class
advisor; Erick Grasley, high school department chair science/math;
Alicia Daugherty, newspaper advisor and high school student council;
Becky Creighton, high school yearbook; Michael Phelps, freshman boys
basketball; Kyle Huffman, one-half junior class advisor (non-prom
duties); Karen Dunn, one-half junior class advisor (prom duties); and
Brad Sowers and Mike Wagner, football volunteers.
.Approved Patrick Johnson, Doug Kitchen and Will Nichols as the Virtual
Learning Academy (VLA) and study island coordinators with compensation
to be divided equally.
.Approved certified personnel in the OISM grant funded positions - Jane
Runyan, intervention coordinator; Lindsay Quirk, Jane Janet Mroczkowki
and Becky Carpenter, OISM elementary behavior team; Jennifer Reminder,
OLWEUS district coordinator; Meredith Ford, extended day coordinator;
and Deb Alltop, Sherri Crowder, Meredith Ford, and Carol Nance, extended
day tutors.
.Approved the following classified personnel in the OISM grant funded
positions for SWIS data entry - Kathy Packman, elementary; Cheryl
Coleman, middle school; Kim Kerns, high school; Carole Combs,
transportation office.
.Approved a transportation agreement with Kenneth Horn to transport his
child to and from Triad Elementary. The board of education has declared
that transportation by school conveyance is impractical for this
student. The parent will be reimbursed $10 per day.
.Approved an overnight trip for the FCCLA to attend the National Cluster
meeting in Minneapolis, from Nov. 14-18. All costs to be paid for by the FCCLA.
.Approved the student activities handbook for the 2007-2008 school year.
.Approved a contract with Paula Lancaster and Joe Fisher to provide
professional development in strategic tutoring. Services to be paid from
Ohio Core Grant.
.Approved a contract with Consolidated Care Inc. to provide services for
during the 2007-2008 school year.
.Approved the following classified personnel - Diane Dabbs,  substitute
secretary; Jackie Hayes and Kim Geer, substitute cooks; and Janice
Turner, substitute custodian.
.Approved the voluntary transfer of Darlene Rice from two-hour middle
school cook to two-hour high school cook effective Sept. 4.
.Approved an initial one-year contract to Deb Castle as two-hour cook
effective Sept. 10.
.Approved Triad PTO use of the elementary library on the first Thursday
of each month during the 2007-2008 school year from 6-8:30 p.m. for the
purpose of conducting PTO meetings. The fee has been waived, as meetings
will be held during regular custodial hours.
.Approved Good News Club use of the elementary cafeteria each Monday
from 3:30-5 p.m. from Sept. 24 through Oct. 29 for the purpose of
conducting meetings. The fee has been waived, as meetings will be held
during regular custodial hours.
.Accepted $125 from Liz Russell (student) to the athletic department;
$4,500 from Marysville Eagles to the athletic department; Steve Castle
(Castle Homes) for five game footballs; $250 from Consolidated Care
Inc., $40 from Clayton Tire and $40 from C&C Oxygen Co. towards the
OLWEUS anti-bullying program; and office supplies from an area
businessman to be used by school staff and students.

Jerome Twp. officials take PSO issue to residents

By MAC CORDELL
Jerome Township officials are making plans to educate the public about
the need for a 1.2 mills levy to fund a trio of public service officers
and they are looking for some help from township residents.
The levy committee will meet tonight at 6 p.m. in the township hall. The
public is welcome to attend. Officials are specifically looking for
residents from each of the five township precincts to help educate the
public and promote the levy in their neighborhood.
"I hope this levy gets kicked off with some good information," said
township trustee Andy Thomas.
He said he was "tickled" to see the amount of public participation the
levy committee has already received.
"This will help us maintain the coverage we have," said township trustee
Ron Rhodes.
Currently, law enforcement in Jerome Township is covered by three Union
County Sheriff's Officers.
"For the last three years, the full amount of the funding has come from
the general fund reserves," Township Trustee Bob Merkle said. "The
general fund reserves are not going to carry that much further. If we
are going to maintain that program, which we hope to do, it is going to
take additional funding."
The 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.
Last year, the township placed a 2.2-mills levy on the ballot to fund
and expand the program. That initiative failed by about 10 percentage
points. Township officials believe the failure was the result of a lack
of information, not a lack of support for the program.
"I think their services are valued and appreciated, by the residents,
but I think there is little understanding," Merkle said.
Thomas said there was no committee organized last year to promote the levy.
"I think this group is going to employ the help of a lot of people to
get the word out about this levy," Thomas said, adding that he was
pleased to see the amount of public participation.
He said the group will likely go door-to-door telling people about the
PSO program and the levy as well as passing out flyers and discussing
the issues with residents in other formats. He said he believes getting
information to the public will be the largest factor in the levy's passage.
"I think once voters understand the program and that we have our own
dedicated first responders in addition to what the sheriff provides, I
think they will support this."
The trustees are uncertain what will happen if the voters turn down the
request.
"We have not made a firm decision on that," Merkle said. "At this point,
we are operating on the assumption that the levy will be successful. The
need is there."
Jerome and Millcreek Townships formed a Public Safety District in 1999
and currently, all three public service officers patrol and respond to
emergencies in both townships. The public service officers' coverage is
in addition to regular patrol deputies that the Sheriff's Office has on duty.
The PSO program is a joint public safety initiative between the Jerome
and Millcreek Township Trustees, the Union County Commissioners, and the
Union County Sheriff's Office. The townships are responsible for the
salary and benefits of the public service officers and the commissioners
and the Sheriff are responsible for all equipment, training, fuel,
maintenance, supervision and human resource matters.
Jerome Township pays for and receives 75 percent of the public service
officers' coverage, while Millcreek Township pays for and receives 25 percent.
"That pretty much equates to the population and the budget for each
township," Merkle said.
In Millcreek Township, voters will be deciding on an additional 2-mills
tax levy to help fund the officers. 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.
"They will probably have some meetings that we will be able to attend,"
Merkle said. "At least one of the commissioners will attend. All three
of us can't be there, and we can't really participate."

City distributes first payments for sidewalk program
By RYAN HORNS
Marysville's pilot Sidewalk Repair Program started off to a slowly, but
it may get a little boost after the first two projects were recently
completed and the results can be seen by residents.
Checks were presented Wednesday to the owners of a large historic home
at 315 W. Fifth St. in the amount of $450 and later to Mike Casella, the
owner of 244 W. 7th St. in the amount of $475. The two families took
part in the program, in which the city provides 50/50 matching funds up
to $500 to residents after repairing their sidewalks within the
boundaries of the Historic Uptown Design Review District Map.
Marysville is currently going through the 2008 budget process and
evaluating whether the program will be renewed for another year. A total
of $10,000 was originally put into the sidewalk pilot program and they
recently agreed to add the same amount to the 2008 budget.
Marysville City Council member David Burke said the work done to the 101
year old home on West Fifth Street can only help the burgeoning sidewalk
program. The house is often a highlight for its leaded glass doors and
stately presence, and the hope is that more people will see the effects
the program has and more city residents will want to take part.
Homeowner Carolyn Litten said she has spent the past 11 years renovating
the inside of the house with her husband Joseph. The two plan to repair
the sidewalks, refurbish the solid oak front door and install new front
retention walls with ornate post lighting.
"(The workers) did a super job," Litten said, standing outside her home
looking at the sidewalk Wednesday afternoon.
But Marysville city leaders are trying to figure out ways more residents
can become involved. A recent press release stated that the whole idea
of the program was to "provide for pedestrian safety and reduce property
owner liability for trip and fall incidents. Well maintained sidewalks
also improve the appearance of neighborhoods and increase property values."
City administrator Kathy House said the old sandstone used to make the
older sidewalks has worn away over time and the more it rains the more
dangerous the walkways become for pedestrians.
At the Monday Public Services meeting she provided an update on how
residents are taking to it and how the city can help the program along.
"Three applications were received and all have been approved," House
said, according to the meeting minutes.
She said that feedback from the residents indicates that quite a few
business owners would also like to take advantage of the program, but it
was set up for residential properties only. There is no money in the
budget for that, and she said with the slow response from residential
homeowners they should look into making some changes.
"The goal is to get sidewalks in," council member Mark Reams said. "We
need to get those sidewalks in. This is an incentive, but eventually it
could become a mandate."
For residents who would like to determine if their sidewalk qualifies,
an application form is available in the Marysville Engineering
Department, located on the second floor of City Hall at 125 E Sixth St.,
or go to www.marysvilleohio.org and click on "Resident Info" and
"Sidewalk Repair Program."

Local man pleads to charges of sexual contact with minor
By MAC CORDELL
A local man has pleaded guilty and avoided trial on a pair of felony
charges that he had sexual contact with a minor.
Abraham M. Shears, 40, who listed his address in court documents as 166
Jasmine Drive in Marysville, pleaded guilty in Union County Court of
Common Pleas to one count of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, a
third-degree felony. In exchange for the guilty plea, prosecutors
dropped a second count of the same offense. He faces as many as five
years in prison.
Union County Court of Common Pleas Judge Richard E. Parrott informed the
man that with the admission of guilt he would be classified as a tier
two sexual offender and as such would be forced to register with the
sheriff in any county he lives in, works in, goes to school in or visits
for more than three consecutive days, for the next 25 years.
Additionally, he must tell law enforcement officials about any e-mail
addresses he has or computer screen names he uses.
According to court documents, during the autumn of 2005, Shears was
staying in Marysville with his girlfriend and several family members,
including a 12-year-old girl.
"Mr. Shears stated that while he was staying there, that (the victim)
was very friendly with him and sexually provocative," according to a
report from the Marysville Police Department. "Mr. Shears said that she
would always be around him and would behave in an inappropriate manner
in his presence."
Shears told police that he and the girl were alone on the evening she
turned 13. He said the two were on opposite ends of a couch watching television.
"Mr. Shears said (the victim) started kicking him and touching him and
one thing led to another," according to the police report.
Court documents indicate a similar incident occurred the next night.
"Shears confessed to consensual sex with the victim," according to the
police report. "Shears also admitted to knowing the girl was 13 years of age."
Following the guilty plea, Parrott ordered a presentence investigation
and set a sentencing hearing for Tuesday, Oct. 16.
A joint sentencing recommendation between prosecutors and the defense
suggests a three year prison term. Shears told the judge he would
probably live in Columbus when he was released. Parrott reminded him the
reporting requirements would apply there also.
Shears remains in the Tri-County Regional Jail in Mechanicsburg in lieu
of $20,000 bond.

Suspect has long history of voyeurism
In Pennsylvania he repeatedly broke into womens' homes, hid under beds
By MAC CORDELL
A Marysville man with a long history of hiding under women's beds is
facing burglary charges in Union County Court of Common Pleas.
Aaron M. Kastein, 27, of 561 Dove St., was arraigned Tuesday on one
count of burglary, a felony of the second degree, punishable by as many
as eight years in prison.
Kastein was released from a Pennsylvania Prison earlier this year.
Kastein was arrested in Marysville on Aug. 14. Marysville Police were
called to a home on Rainbow Drive. A neighbor called 911 after hearing
the female victim call for help. 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.
While being interviewed by police, he said he was scared because in the
past, police have "tricked him" and used his words against him.
He admitted to breaking into the home, but said he was only in the home
a few minutes before being caught.
"Kastein said he had been doing well for the last six months since
moving to Marysville," according to the report from the Marysville
Police Department. "He reported that he had been in prison for five
years in Pennsylvania for similar acts and was released in February of
2007."
Kastein said he did not want to steal anything.
"Kastein denied that he was there at the house to commit a sex act or
cause harm to anyone; and that he had never harmed anyone before,"
according to the police report. "He stated that he has a problem with
voyeuristic behavior. He said he just likes to look."
Kastein said he liked to watch women when they didn't know he was there.
Sometimes he would fantasize about them later.
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 when
he snuck into a girl's dorm to watch her. He said he was not caught
initially, but on a subsequent trip back to the dorm room, he was seen.
He said that was the incident that led to his prison term.
However, 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 doing the same thing at another woman's home
in the area. He was also connected to a similar incident a week earlier,
but never charged.
He pleaded guilty to both incidents and on May 8, 2000, began serving
two years' probation.
A month later, Kastein was found hiding on the basement stairs watching
the living room of suburban Pittsburgh area woman's house. The victim
had caught Kastein watching her sleep from the same steps several weeks
earlier, but did not report the incident to police.
On Aug. 17, 2000, Kastein was found hiding in the back seat of a woman's
vehicle.
In 2000 he was sentenced to jail and probation for charges including
criminal trespass and stalking.
He was released on parole after serving 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 a New Lebanon, Pa. home after
he was found hiding under the bed of a 13-year-old girl.
Kastein remains in the Tri-County Regional Jail in Mechanicsburg in lieu
of $50,000 bond.

Teen given three-year sentence for theft
By MAC CORDELL
An attempt to show off for a buddy, coupled with an extensive juvenile
record, is going to cost a Marion man three years in prison.
Nathan M. Jolley, 18, of Marion, was sentenced Tuesday to three years in prison.
Jolley pleaded guilty in August to one count of grand theft, a third
degree felony. In exchange for the plea, prosecutors dropped a
fourth-degree felony charge of receiving stolen property.
A joint sentencing recommendation between the defendant and the state
requested a three-year term of probation and a $1,000 fine.
Defense attorney Cliff Valentine urged Union County Court of Common
Pleas Judge Richard Parrott to follow the recommendation. He said his
client does have a juvenile record, but in this case, he took his
girlfriend's parents gun simply so he could brag to a friend.
"He was waving it around, showing off, which young men are prone to do,"
Valentine told the judge.
The defendant also requested community control rather than prison.
"I know what I did was wrong," Jolley told the judge. "I really don't
want to go to prison. This is a big headache, which I caused myself."
Parrott then explained that while Jolley had no adult record, he had an
extensive juvenile criminal history, which included five thefts, two
violent crimes, assaults and 18 violations of probation or court orders.
"I don't remember the assaults, but the rest of it sounds right," Jolley
told the judge.
"And you think you should stand here and tell me you are so sorry and
you made a mistake, again, and I should let you walk away and tell you
never to do it again?" Parrott asked.
"No," Jolley responded.
"Then what are you telling me?" the judge queried.
"I know I shouldn't get away with what I did," Jolley said. "I know it
was wrong."
The judge said Jolley, "hit it on the head."
Parrott ordered the three-year sentence, then ordered Jolley to pass the
General Education Development (GED) test within 365 days.
"If you have any hope of ever getting out of prison, you better be
making all sorts of progress on your diploma, GED actually," Parrott
told the defendant. "If you want to spend three years in prison, don't
work on your schooling. If you want to get out earlier, then get your GED.
The conviction stemmed from an incident which took place at his
girlfriend's Union County home on May 21 of this year.
"I got the .22 from her parents room and put it in the trunk of her
car," Jolley wrote in a statement to law enforcement. "I wanted to be a
show off and show my buddy. I took it thinking I'd be able to put it back."
After showing the gun to his friend, he declined an offer to sell it to
the friend for $50, because he knew he needed to return it. When the
friend went to leave, Jolly hid the gun in a sweatshirt outside. At some
point, Jolley either lost the gun or it was taken.
"I checked on the gun when we were about to leave and that is when I
realized it was gone," Jolley wrote.
He said the girlfriend did not know the gun had been taken from her
parent's home.

Effects of Bayly Pointe explained to Fairbanks Board
By RYAN HORNS
"I think it could be positive for the district," Fairbanks school board
treasurer Aaron Johnson said. "This is the type of development that
seems the right size."
Monday night Glacier West representatives stopped at the Fairbanks Board
of Education meeting in their tour of explaining the impact of the
commercial/residential development Bayly Pointe on the county. Their
reception was met with curiosity and positive words by board members.
"It's not like you're going to get 1,400 students in a year," Glacier
West and Forest City Land Group representative Paul Wenig said. "These
things happen over time."
Wenig said the development is expected to have a "positive cash flow
affect" on the district over a 20-year projection period. He said higher
density housing would be constructed first, and history shows that high
density housing usually yields fewer students per household. The later
phases to be constructed in the northern end of Bayly Pointe would bring
the majority of students.
School board member Star Simpson wondered what the timeline is going to
be for construction.
Landowner representative Bill Schrader said the hope is to have
construction begin in late 2008. By late 2009 the first students would
gradually begin entering the district. He said the first phase of the
construction is slotted to go in the southern areas of the project near
U.S. 42, because that area is already prepared and is "under served"
commercially. From there, the remaining five additional phases will
construct the west and east sides of the acreage, and then the remaining
inside portions are filled in.
Glacier West representative James Wynowski said 2,086 residential units
will make up both sectors of Bayly Pointe in Jerome and Millcreek
townships. The housing will be a mixture of condominium homes and other
residential styles. There are no apartments planned at this point. The
cost for the homes will span anywhere from $150,000 to $350,000. The
average of those would be $230,000 homes.
Board member Dave Huber asked about the acreage for the school and what
it could support.
Schrader said the 17.5 acres set aside for a school could be used for
something like an elementary school to house 400-450 students. But they
can work out any other ideas.
Fairbanks Superintendent Jim Craycraft said that currently the district
sees 20 to 30 new students a year. That is based on scattered individual
new homes being built on the west side of the district and not as a
result of development-type growth.
Wenig then went over the "major assumptions" of how Bayly Pointe may
effect the Fairbanks school district in terms of growth. He said the
increased funding from property taxes would increase gradually as homes
are constructed and purchased within Bayly Pointe. This means after the
first several years there would be small increases, anywhere from
$50,000 to $250,000. Then at 10 years they expect a peak
of $350,000 to $380,000.
Several board members inquired about any challenges or roadblocks the
development faces from the townships.
Schrader said so far their discussions are going well. The trustees
understand the growth projections. He said emergency services for the
school and the rest of Bayly Pointe are still under discussions. The
main key is how the public responds.
"You said commercial and we've heard the rumors," board member Kevin
Green said. "Is (Bayly Pointe) going to be a mall?"
Schrader said they will start out by offering smaller individual lots for businesses.
"We're certainly not looking at anything like a mall," he said. "A mall
would require a significant amount of residential development in the
area to support it. Assuming that occurs at some point in the future, we
are talking considerably into the future."
"It could be potential down the line," Wynowski said.
They would be looking at creating more of what is now called a
"Lifestyle Center," he said, which is essentially what can be found at Easton.
Regarding financial aspects of Bayly Pointe's impact on the Fairbanks
district, Wenig said they would be happy to sit down and go over more of
the details at a later time.
Schrader said an open house will be held Sept. 24 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at
the Millcreek Township Hall. Experts on the development will be present
to help explain the issue to any residents who wish to attend.
"We'll have an accountant, an engineer and a lawyer there," Schrader
joked. "So we'll try to let you get a word in edgewise."
Earlier in the week, Union County Engineer Steve Stolte reiterated the
time frame of Bayly Pointe. He said the sketch plan for the development
was reviewed on Sept. 6. The next step is to file the zoning request
with Millcreek Township. That is expected to be done tonight. At some
point the preliminary plat application will be the focus, but that is
six months away.
For a good example of the time frame, Stolte said, the Jerome village
development presented its first sketch in the summer of 2006. That final
sketch plan was approved in July 2007.
"This is a pretty lengthy process," he said. "It's not done quickly."

NU board hears  building project update
By CHAD WILLIAMSON
North Union School Board members are preparing for the high school
renovation project to go out for bids.
On Monday the board learned that despite being slightly behind schedule
the project is ready to come to a final price. If the bids come in on
the low end, board members may have other decisions to make.
Dave Zeller of MKC Architects went over a list of 14 bid alternates that
the board could look into. The alternates involve better materials or
additional items for the high school.
While several of the bid alternates simply mandate a certain type of
material, such as flooring or locks, others involve items that the
general public may notice more readily.
Site work for an expanded parking lot on the northwest corner of the
building was one alternate, while refinishing the gym floor was another.
Also in the gym, a fold-up basketball goal to replace a fixed rim was
included as an alternate. A similar alternate offers the same goal with
a  motorized folding unit.
Another alternate calls for a portable handicap ramp for the stage while
a separate alternate looks at pricing for replacement curtains for the
stage. Motorized wall units for the stage is another alternate.
While the new school will include four Smartboards - interactive
computer driven touch-screen units that replace chalkboards - a bid
alternate involves purchasing additional units.
The high school renovation could come in more than $300,000 under
budget. While some of that money is already slated to be used for
predetermined alternates, the remaining money could be used for some of
the remaining alternates. While some of the alternates could qualify to
be covered by state money, others, such as the stage wall and basketball
goals, would have to be covered by local dollars.
The board also heard from Paul Mullens of MKC who said the
60,000-square-foot middle school project is on schedule. Final
construction documents should be completed by early next month and the
project should be put out for bid by early next year.
The building will accommodate 400 students with room to expand by four
classrooms which can house another 80 to 100 students.
In other business, the board:
.heard that there will be a four-hour class on record keeping for board
members on Nov. 13.
.heard a description of Project More, which give assistance to
elementary students who are behind on their reading skills.
.heard and update from superintendent Rick Smith on the opening of the
2007-08 school year.
.set the financial review task force meeting for Sept. 21 at 7:30 a.m.
and the next regular board meeting for Oct. 15 at 7:30 p.m.
.heard a request to allow an out-of-state overnight trip for the eighth grade class.
.approved documents for the high school renovation bid package.
.accepted the resignations of middle school teacher Nancy George due to
retirement and special education director Ed Kapel. Kapel's resignation
will take effect at the end for the school year.

Plans show 2,000-home project

Bayly Pointe is to be at the ntersection of U.S. 33, U.S. 42
By RYAN HORNS
A sketch plan recently dropped off at the Union County Engineers office
has brought the first image of the future plans for Glacier West.
The developer plan shows that Bayly Pointe will be the chosen name for
the 2,000-acre upscale development, to be situated south of Marysville,
bordering U.S. 33, Harriott Road and U.S. 42. It will rest within both
Mill Creek and Jerome townships and Marysville will provide sewer and
water services.
Within the entire Bayly Pointe there are 2,086 residential units
planned, 262 acres of open space, 17 acres for school use, 34 acres for
senior care living, 577 of residential acreage and 330 acres for
commercial and office space.
Jeff Stauch, with the Union County Engineers office, reported the
drawing is the most recent version of the plan.
"There will certainly be changes as (developers) work through the
reviews," he said.
One aspect of the sketch plan shows more than 12 acres being allotted
for a future Fairbanks school site. This will be situated near the
middle of Bayly Pointe and located just south of a new 120-acre senior
care facility.
As a result, Fairbanks school board officials are scheduled to meet
tonight in order to discuss Bayly Pointe and how they will deal with the
expected growth of its district.
According to the Fairbanks Local School District Board of Education,
Bayly Pointe representatives Paul Wenig and James Martinowski will give
an update of the development. They will be joined by landowner Bill Schrader.
Both the school and the senior care facility will be located in the 441
acres set aside for the Jerome Township portion of the area. Other
highlights of this section show plans for 292 acres in commercial and
office space, just under 121 acres of residential space and 105 acres of
open land.
Glacier West also detailed the plans for the roughly 519 acres to be
built in Mill Creek Township.
Located within this section of Bayly Pointe are 38 acres of commercial
and office space, 456 acres of residential space, a 19-acre senior care
facility, five acres set aside for school space and 157 acres of open land.
Also included within the sketches was a rendering of bio-rentention
facility details, such as proposed storm water management facilities,
Big Darby and Scioto watershed areas, sanitary tributary areas,
placement of proposed water lines, gravity sewer spots and the proposed
project boundary.
More information such as further upcoming meetings to discuss the sketch
plans and any proposed changes that have been made to the original plans
was not available this morning from either the Union County Engineer's
Office or the Glacier West/Forest City Land Group officials.

Two  enter guilty pleas

By MAC CORDELL
A pair of Union County men could be headed to prison following
admissions of guilt to separate offense.
Henry David Bussard, 27, of 61 E. Park St., in Magnetic Springs, pleaded
guilty to unlawful possession of a dangerous ordinance, a fifth-degree
felony. He faces as many as 12 months in a state penitentiary.
Joseph Anthony Miller pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated
burglary, three counts of robbery, one count of possession of drugs and
escape. He faces as many as 34 years in prison. A joint sentencing
recommendation between the state and defense attorney Perry Parsons
offers an eight year prison term for the burglary, robbery and drug charges.
A prison sentence on the escape charge, a second-degree felony which
carries a maximum sentence of eight years in prison, would be served
consecutive to the other sentence.
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.
Following the guilty plea, Parrott ordered a presentence investigation
and set sentencing for 0ct. 16.
Miller, 36, of 140 Hemlock Drive, said he was ready to be sentenced immediately.
"I want to look at this case," Parrott said. "To be fair to you, I need
to at least wait until the 16th of October."
Miller questioned what a presentence investigation was. The judge
explained that a member of his staff would sit down and talk to the man
about the incident and his background to help the judge make a better
informed sentencing decision.
"It is the only way to be fair and I want to be fair," Parrott said. "I
do not know what you think of judges, but I want to be fair."
Miller offered what he would like to see investigated.
"If you want to investigate, investigate the escape charge, because it's
one I didn't do."
"Purposefully," added the jailer watching Miller at the Tri-County
Regional Jail.
"Purposefully, anyway," Miller agreed.
Parrott said that would be examined during the presentence investigation
Miller was arrested about 2:55 a.m. Tuesday, July 17. He allegedly broke
a window in the rear of the home in the 200 block of West Third Street.
An occupant of the home heard the man and went to the front of the house
to call for help. While the resident was on the phone with law
enforcement officials, Miller allegedly came through the front door.
After a brief scuffle, Miller allegedly grabbed medication, including at
least two prescription medicines, from a drawer and ran from the home.
Neighbors told the officer it was Miller who broke into the home. They
pointed Miller out to law enforcement officials who, after a brief
chase, eventually caught the man.
Miller was being held at the jail during the duration 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.
Bussard's conviction was the result of an incident that occurred five months earlier.
Sheriff's deputies responded to Bussard's home about 1:15 a.m. Saturday,
March 17, after neighbors reported hearing noises. When deputies
arrived, the home's door was open. Law enforcement officials entered the
home and found spent shell casings littering the floor and a large hole in the wall.
"Law enforcement found Bussard passed out holding a sawed off shotgun in
his right hand and wearing a 9-m.m. pistol in a shoulder holster,"
according to court documents.
The deputies were able to wake the man, though it was clear he was
heavily intoxicated. Officers learned Bussard's two stepchildren were
asleep in an upstairs bedroom
"Bussard never denied shooting the guns and admitted to law enforcement
he knew the children were in the bedroom upstairs," according to court documents.
Officers recovered 31 spent handgun shells and six shotgun shells.
Bussard is currently serving a 180 day sentence in Tri-County Regional
Jail, stemming from a misdemeanor conviction from the same incident.
No sentencing agreement has been reached. Defense attorney Cliff
Valentine said his client wanted a presentence investigation followed by
a sentencing hearing.
Parrott ordered both, setting the sentencing hearing for 0ct. 16.
Bussard asked that his bond be reduced so he could go home once his
misdemeanor sentence was concluded.
"I just ask that I get home to get with my family," Bussard said.
He added that while he is in jail, his veteran's administration
disability check decreases by 90 percent.
He said when he is not home, his family struggles financially.
Parrott did not reduce the bond.

Area horse groups to raise funds
By MAC CORDELL
Jim had cancer.
Despite the infirmity, he never got down. His friends call him, "the
nicest guy you will want to meet."
A round of radiation and some love from his friends and Jim is back on his feet.
Now, Jim and some of his barn mates are trying to help others with cancer.
See, Jim is a horse and today he, along with other horses at Avalon Farm
in Plain City, the Central Ohio Riding Club, the Stirrup Some Fun 4-H
club and other friends of the farm, will be raising money for St. Jude
Children's Research Hospital.
The farm and the two clubs will be hosting a ride-a-thon in an effort to
raise funds for the hospital's pediatric cancer research.
"St. Jude is a fabulous organization," said Avalon Farm friend Evonne
Segall. "What they do is just wonderful."
And while Jim the Horse is 30, most of the 4H club members and riders in
today's event are teens or younger.
"To pick an organization that specifically benefits children was where
we were going and what we specifically wanted to do."
The ride-a-thon had been done in the past, but not for several years.
Its renewal was a dream and a hope of several 4-H club members since the
year began.
"After the fair, we kind of got together and decided we had time to do
this, this year," said Theresa Fauver, of the Stirrup Some Fun 4-H club.
Event organizers contacted the hospital and made the arrangements to
make the ride-a-thon happen.
Riders gathered pledges and donations.
"For every hour they stay on their horse will bring in donations," said
Segall. "Some people have just pledged a flat donation."
Fauver said riders can get down to use the restroom, then it is right
back on the horse. Even lunch will be on horseback. A local business has
provided some of the food and participants are asked to bring a side
dish, salad, desert or something else to add to the meal.
"It is a fun thing, but it is also a challenge for them to stay up there," Fauver said.
Riders, Segall joked, will having varying levels of commitment to the saddle.
"Some of them will be riding all day, some of them will not," Segall
laughed, adding that the younger riders are looking forward to the
marathon ride, while many adult riders simply gathered flat donations.
Organizers are unsure of how many riders to expect or how much money
will be raised.
"I don't know. I don't have any idea," Segall said. "It is just one of
those things where every little bit helps and we just did whatever we could."
Fauver said she hopes the event will raise at least $1,000. She said
she's been impressed with the generosity of the community, both
businesses and individuals. She's also been encouraged by the spirit of
community service shown by club members.
"People have been wonderful and I am real proud of the dedication of
these kids to help the community."
To be fair, the event isn't just about helping others.
"We are excited. It is going to be a blast," Fauver said.
Segall knows it is last minute, but said anyone who wants to participate
is invited to come to the farm at 16830 Middleburg-Plain City Road.
"We would be happy to have people come over," said Segall. "The more the
merrier. Just bring something to help St. Jude."
Those that do not want to ride, but would like to help the local riders
help the hospital may call Avalon Farm at (614) 873-6644 to make a donation.
"Or just call St. Jude and donate," Segall said. "St. Jude helps so many
and you never know when someone you know and love is going to need their
help. We just urge everyone top do something to help."

Judge requests more room, help
By MAC CORDELL
Union County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard E. Parrott is requesting
additional space and a pair of new faces.
Thursday Parrott informed the Union County Board of Commissioners that
he will be hiring two additional people.
He said he has needed one new employee for "quite some time" but was
"limping along" to see who his successor would be.
"I haven't made any hires," Parrott said. "I haven't made them."
Health issues with several common pleas  court employees, however, have
forced the judge to look at hiring.
"It won't be just one, I need two," Parrott confirmed.
He added the time when more employees become a necessity rather than a
luxury, "is going to creep up on me quick."
He said his office is looking into the possibility of hiring an intern,
at least temporarily.
Parrott told the commissioners he did not think he would need to request
additional funds from them to pay for the new employees, at least not
this year. He said he has a pot of money, funded by a portion of court
costs assessed to defendants, available to use which should be
sufficient to pay the new employees at least through the end of the year.
The judge said criminal cases are increasing this year. He said the
court has 147 new cases already this year, compared to 180 total last
year. He said domestic relations cases are holding even and civil cases
are declining. Parrott credited increased filing fees for the drop in civil cases.
"That put the brakes on some of that filing $1,000 and $2,000 cases they
can file in Municipal Court," the judge said.
He added that foreclosures are on the rise. He said that in August
alone, 44 new foreclosure notices were filed.
Parrott used that as background information to support his request for new space.
"I need space and I need it bad," Parrott said.
He asked the commissioners if there would be room for some people from
his office to be moved to the county's building on Main Street.
Parrott said he wanted to move the probation department and the director
of the community control program to the other building. He would then be
able to expand the mediation department.
Commissioner Tom McCarthy questioned the judge about the possibility of
leaving the probation department in the courthouse and moving mediation
to the new office building.
"Because mediation uses the same files as we use in Common Pleas, right
there at the clerk of courts," Parrott said. "That's not to say
probation doesn't use them. It does, but only initially."
The judge added that the director of the community service program
needed to be moved with the probation department because she is a woman.
Parrott explained that his probation department consists of four male
probation officers. Random drug screens are part of the probation
process, and those tests, urine based, must be witnessed.
"I can't have those four guys do that," Parrott said.
"It is a bad problem," he added.
McCarthy questioned whether the probationers would need to go through a
metal detector at the new building.
"We have never had an incident, but on the other end of it, there is
always a first time," Parrott said.
He said he has been charging a $5 a month supervision fee to
probationers. He said he could use some of that money for security.
Commissioner Gary Lee said the county was hoping to "isolate" the cost
of security to the courthouse.
The commissioners suggested the judge submit his proposal in writing,
then the group can look at building plans together to see if space can be found.
McCarthy said, "everybody needs more room all the time," but added he
and the other commissioners would, "do our best to look at that

City brought up to speed on Town Run project
By RYAN HORNS
Thursday night's Marysville City Council meeting was full of talk about
sprucing up the city's Uptown district.
Economic Development Director Eric Phillips spoke more about the issue
of improving the Marysville Town Run, which runs straight through the
Uptown area. He recently brought Union County Commissioners up to date
on the issue, but wanted to include city council on the discussions as well.
Phillips said, "We have had meetings with city staff (and) with business
owners in the area to discuss the revitalization of the Town Run between
Fifth and Fourth streets. We're identifying potential grants that are
available. We have no idea where that's going to go. It's just a hope
that someday we can identify some grants out there - EPA grants and the
Transportation Enhancement Grants, maybe some CGBG funds that we can
utilize to revitalize that. That's at least the game plan."
Phillips said that he will meet with councilmen Ed Pleasant, John
Marshall and John Gore on Sept. 24 in order to further discuss the issue.
"We're trying to work together," he said.
Councilman Dan Fogt wondered who owns the Town Run property in the area
they propose to renovate.
"Well, there are a multitude of property owners," Phillips said.
He said that National City Bank owns two small portions of it, the
former BP gas station owners have a portion in their control, and other
pieces are owned by a family and an automotive company.
Marysville city administrator Kathy House said that the city owns 16 1/2
feet of the Town Run.
Phillips said that they may try to restore the Town Run all the way up to Mill Creek.
"We just don't know exactly what it's going to entail. We're just trying
to get a grasp of what is all there and what we can do and how we can do
it," Phillips said. "We do know one thing. It looks bad."
In a related issue, House talked about the first reading of a resolution
supporting the revitalization of Uptown Marysville and the submittal of
a Main Street application through Heritage Ohio. She said the eventual
goal is to become an Ohio Mainstreet Community.
Heritage Ohio is a statewide partner with the National Trust for
Historic Preservation. Main Street, under Heritage Ohio, helps
communities revitalize their downtown areas, both economically and aesthetically.
The legislation goes on to state that "the city recognizes the
importance of the Uptown area, as it relates to the economic health and
quality of life of the community and that the continued improvement and
development of Uptown Marysville is a primary focus."
House said that, once the city becomes a Main Street community, they
could secure up to $400,000 in grants to be used for Uptown projects.
The resolution states that in 2006 the city adopted the Uptown
Marysville Revitalization Plan and the Marysville Uptown Renewal team
was formed to help that process along.
"That requires $400,000 out of the city budget then?" Fogt said.
House said it only requires some matching funds from the city, but it is
not a 100 percent match to secure the grant.
Phillips said the city can also use private sector funding, meaning if
someone invests in an Uptown building they can count that toward the
match. They can also use in-kind services.
In another related issue, Fogt said he heard Marysville may be included
within a 12-county area bike trail.
"It's not a done deal," he said. "It's just a plan that may or may not
get fulfilled, but other cities have done well."
Fogt added that his "pet peeve" with the bike path issue is that there
are new school buildings being constructed along Milford Avenue that
have no sidewalks or bike paths included at all.
"I think we've been shortsighted in the past not installing bike paths.
I think we need to get into gear within the city as well as connecting
to other areas outside the city," he said.
In other discussions:
.House said that the Marysville Fire Department is expected to hire its
new assistant fire chief. His name is Jay Riley, and he previously
served as a lieutenant in Green City for seven years and as captain in
the Holmes County Fire District, among other years of service.
"We're very excited that he'll be joining us," House said.
She said Reilly is expected to begin his role in Marysville on Oct. 1.
.Gore inquired about the progress of the East Fifth Street railroad crossing issue.
"There's been no word from CSX," House said. "They are working on the design."
.The first reading was held on an ordinance to issue $2,100,000 of notes
in anticipation of the issuance of bonds to pay costs associated with
the designing and engineering of the southwest trunk sewer project.
City finance director John Morehart explained that it is "new money"
from the city's sewer fund.

Mail carrier pleads guilty to stealing gift cards

By MAC CORDELL
A pair of women, not from the area, pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges
stemming from separate offenses in Union County.
Jessi J. Holcomb, a former West Mansfield mail carrier, has pleaded
guilty to stealing items from the mail intended for residents on her route.
Stacey Lynn Pertuset admitted to traveling from doctor to doctor and
pharmacy to pharmacy in Marysville in an attempt to acquire pain medication.
Holcomb, 42, of 154 Walnut St. in Rushsylvania, pleaded guilty Wednesday
to two counts of theft, both felonies of the fifth degree.
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.
Following Holcomb's guilty plea, Union County Court of Common Pleas
Court Judge Richard E. Parrott ordered a presentence investigation. As
part of the deal to have Holcomb plead guilty, prosecutors and defense
attorney Michael Streng each agreed to request a 12-month prison term, a
$2,000 fine and an order to repay $130 restitution to the two victims. A
maximum sentence would include a 24-month prison sentence. Holcomb is
set to be sentenced Tuesday, Oct. 16.
Postal officials in West Mansfield would not comment on the matter.
Pertuset, 38, of 4699 Centerville Green Camp Road in Prospect, pleaded
guilty to four counts of deception to obtain dangerous drugs. One of the
counts was a fourth-degree felony and the others were fifth degree felonies.
The charges stemmed from incidents between Feb. 27, 2006 and June 19.
Pertuset went to four physicians in Marysville in that time. The doctors
did not know the others were treating Pertuset, who told them each they
were her only doctor. Over the less than five month period. Pertuset
filled prescriptions for 40 Oxycodone, 220 Ultram and 120 Darvocet. The
prescription for Oxycodone resulted in the fourth-degree felony because
it is classified as a more dangerous drug than the others.
Each doctor told law enforcement officials they would not have
prescribed the medication if they knew the woman was seeing other
physicians for other pain medications.
Pertuset filled the prescriptions at three different pharmacies.
According to court documents, prosecutors are recommending a 44-month
prison term for the woman. A maximum sentence would be 54 months.
Parrott ordered a presentence investigation. Pertuset is set to be
sentenced Tuesday, Oct. 16.

United Way campaign in full swing
Editor's note: The following information is supplied by Dave Bezusko of
United Way of Union County.
Volunteers around the county are helping United Way of Union County
achieve an $800,000 fundraising goal during this fall's annual campaign.
Traditional workplace campaigns, where associates have an opportunity to
give to United Way via payroll deduction, are being conducted in 49 area
workplaces. In all, more than 300 area businesses are projected to
support United Way with corporate gifts or donations before the campaign
ends in November.  A flier providing all area residents an opportunity
to give from home was mailed out this week.
More than 3,400 individuals made their charitable impact via United Way
of Union County last year, as the organization surpassed its $750,000
goal, raising $775,201. Money raised here is used within the county to
help the organization achieve its mission of bringing neighbors together
to improve lives, meeting social service needs of area residents.
Funding requests from United Way's 24 Member Agencies for 2008 top
$640,000. Money is also needed for United Way's own programming and initiatives.
"We're off and running," said Dave Bezusko, United Way's Campaign & PR
Director. "It's encouraging to see so much support throughout the
community. Union County is truly a generous community where neighbors
reach out to help one another. We take care of our own."
A major objective of United Way's volunteers this fall is to increase
donor participation rates countywide. The agency hopes to accomplish
that by increasing awareness and education of what United Way does and
by asking as many people to give as possible.
"Research shows that the number one reason why people don't give to
United Way is because they're not asked," Bezusko said. "If you're
reading this article, consider yourself asked. It doesn't take a big
gift to make a big impact. We can make a dollar a week go a long way."
Bezusko cited the fact that United Way and its agencies can leverage
donor dollars with other resources to make an even greater impact in the
community. For instance, a pledge of $1 a week can provide two families
with a week's worth of toiletries and household items that cannot be
purchased with food stamps. A pledge of $2 a week can provide a full
month of meals-on-wheels to a senior citizen. A pledge of $5 a week can
provide a working family with a month of child care for one child. And a
pledge of $10 a week can keep a family from becoming homeless by
providing rent assistance to a household that would otherwise be evicted.
United Way is hoping to achieve a boost through a pair of special events
this fall. The inaugural Game Day 5K and Fun-Run presented by Jerome
Village will be conducted Oct. 6 at Glacier Ridge Metro Park in Jerome
Township. The family friendly event includes a pre-race concert by the
Ohio State University Alumni Band and a post-race breakfast catered by
Der Dutchman.
"Even if you aren't a runner, you can come out and walk with your
family, take in the pep rally, and enjoy a breakfast," Bezusko said.
"The Buckeyes play at Purdue at night that week, so you won't miss a play."
United Way will also conduct an eBay-like online auction on its Web
site, www.unitedwayofunioncounty.org., from Oct. 8 through Oct. 30. Last
year's auction raised $13,165 selling in-kind product and service
donations from area businesses.
"We had over 489,000 hits on our auction Web site last fall, making it a
great way for small businesses to spotlight what they have to offer
while giving back to the community at the same time," Bezusko said.
"Even though 95 percent of the bidders were local, we did ship some
items to California and Maine. It was literally coast to coast!"
Bezusko encourages individuals who plan to donate to do so through work
if their workplace conducts a United Way campaign, because United Way
often benefits from a matching corporate gift. Equally important, he
says, is making sure that people designate to Union County on their
pledge forms. About 25 percent of United Way's donations come from
workplaces beyond Union County's borders from area residents who commute
to work outside the community.
"We ask people to give where they live," Bezusko said.  "Commuters may
be participating in the United Way campaign at their workplace outside
of Union County. But they have to review their pledge form and designate
their gift to United Way of Union County. It won't be directed to help
here at home unless they specifically request it to be forwarded here."
Individuals who are retired, self-employed, or work at a workplace where
no United Way campaign is being conducted may give online at
www.unitedwayofunioncounty.org or via mail by writing a check to: United
Way of Union County, P.O. Box 145, Marysville, Ohio, 43040.
Businesses wishing to support United Way by conducting a first-year
workplace campaign, making a corporate gift, or sponsoring an upcoming
event can contact United Way at 644-8381.

City, county, twps. setting up taxing district for Glacier West

By RYAN HORNS
A Tuesday night meeting at Marysville City Hall moved the process
further along in the future Glacier West development.
Marysville ad hoc committee council members John Gore, David Burke and
Leah Sellers, were joined by the developer's attorney Dave Fisher,
Forest City Land Group Vice President of Planning and Construction James
Martynowski, Mill Creek Township Trustee Keith Conroy, landowner Bill
Schrader and city planner Greg DeLong. The purpose was to talk about
four letters that are relatively unfamiliar to this region - JEDD.
A JEDD, or Joint Economic Development District, is when contiguous
municipalities and townships enter into a contract to form a territory
to be governed by a board of directors made up from a member of each
entity. In this case, it means Marysville teaming up with Mill Creek
Township, Jerome Township and Union County to make the Glacier West.
According to Columbus-based attorneys Bricker and Eckler, LLP, the
powers of a JEDD are not clearly defined in the Ohio Revised Code. The
board of directors can levy an income tax within the district no higher
than any existing highest rate among the partners.
Much like a Tax Increment Financing plan (TIF), the tax would then be
set aside for the long-term maintenance of the JEDD. The board also
defines the territory's zoning, land use regulations, building codes,
public improvements and other regulatory matter for public purpose. The
remaining details of what each entity will control in the JEDD remains under debate.
As Sellers said, a JEDD is anything they make it.
In 2005 Glacier Ridge developers, now known as Glacier West, were ready
to begin developing 2,000 acres south of Marysville bordering U.S. 33,
Harriott Road and U.S. 42. Glacier West would be located in both Mill
Creek Township and Jerome Township, with Marysville providing sewer and
water services.
The vision included upscale shopping similar to the Easton mall complex
located near New Albany. Plans called for the creation of restaurants,
entertainment, education facilities, hotels, offices, a place to live,
work, shop and play. However, sometime during 2006 the discussions
disappeared until this summer.
Schrader said that the sketch plans for Glacier West have been submitted
to the Union County Engineers Office, and on Sept. 18 the development
will go before the Mill Creek Township Zoning Board.
Fisher said he has met with Marysville Mayor Tom Kruse, city
administrator Kathy House and councilman Burke. Together they came up
with a list of 21 agreed terms to put together the "framework for the JEDD."
The terms are a "byproduct of those meetings," he said, fully realizing
they did not have the input from the townships yet.
"This is a work in progress," Fisher said.
The meeting ultimately turned out to be a forum for debate on the 21
terms, as issues such as the overall cost, taxation, annexation,
building design, police and fire services, sewer and water costs,
traffic flow, and more were touched upon.
As long as the group does not get bogged down by the small issues,
Sellers said, they can keep discussions moving forward.
"I think we are open to explore the JEDD concept," Conroy said. "We have
a lot of concerns, but we are open to it. The devil is in the details."
"The cost is the number one thing," Burke said, adding that he plans to
work with the city to make it happen.
Gore also stressed that just because the Marysville city administrators
agreed to the 21-terms, does not mean it has the full support of city council.
Burke said Jerome Township officials are aware of where the JEDD
discussions are right now, and they have requested that once discussions
are further along they would like to be included.
Conroy put the evening in perspective, when he said, "I don't think we
have to solve anything tonight . I see this is an exploratory process."
He also stressed that he is there to make sure there is no unnecessary
burden of taxation on township residents.
Gore said a big issue with the agreement will be dealing with the
public's general fear of the term "annexation" and making sure people
understand the intentions of the JEDD.
"At one time the city went crazy with annexation and it's coming back to
haunt us," he said.
DeLong said that a JEDD is not set up to promote annexation.
"With any good functioning JEDD there would be no need for annexation," Burke said.
Regarding the agreement terms, Conroy said he hoped the JEDD would last
up to 50 years, instead of the 20 years listed. He referred to numerous
JEDD agreements that are set up to last anywhere from 50 years up to 99.
He said if the development takes 10 to 15 years to become a reality,
then the township would only be able to take part in tax sharing for
another five years.
"It's a point of concern," Conroy said.
Other issues were discussed, such as how the JEDD agreement will be tied
to the land. In this way, if Glacier West leaves the development down
the line, which it doesn't intend to, the terms of the JEDD remain.
Gore also wanted to be clear that the city would be interested in the
developers using a gravity sewer line to reduce the odor.
Martynowski said the hope was to use a combination of pump stations and gravity sewers.
"If the city won't accept that, it creates a heck of a problem," Gore said.
"It's a big expense," Martynowski said.
The cost just to lay the sewer and water line mains is expected to be $40 million, he said.
Sellers said there is also the issue of who provides fire and police
services and what that cost would be.
"Every one of those services is on the table," Conroy said.
Sellers said that the biggest issue is the price tag of the project, but
first they need to know the overall scope of the development. These
issues need to be outlined before much work can be made on dividing up
the JEDD agreement.
At the end, officials at the meeting agreed that the process is still
early on and more work will need to be done to clarify all the issues.

Marysville may enhance Town Run
By MAC CORDELL
The City of Marysville is considering a park along the Town Run,
reported Eric Phillips, executive director of the Union County Chamber of Commerce.
Phillips told the county commissioners Monday that city officials are
looking at making a park area along the stream between Fourth and Fifth Streets.
"We want to redo the stream," Phillips said. He added that would mean
opening up the stream and landscaping the area. He said a bikeway or
walkway could also be added.
Union County Commissioner Tom McCarthy said the area has become
overrun with trash.
"I think if you just cleaned it up," said the commissioner.
"You can't just clean it up," Phillips said. "The bank is failing."
He said grant money is being sought for the potential park.
Phillips said the Mid Ohio Regional Planning Commission is attempting to
connect bikeways in seven counties, including Union. He talked about
connecting to the Plain City bikeway, "so we would have a direct link to Columbus."
He said the county is looking to create comprehensive maps for parks and
bikeways in Union County.
"It is important to have that on paper so if some funding options do
come available, we have a shot at that," Phillips said.
Additionally, Union County officials are seeking input from local
property owners regarding potential bikeways within the county.
"They need to understand what that means for them and what it doesn't
mean for them," Commissioner Gary Lee said of a bike trail.
McCarthy said land owners tend to look at maps, like the ones proposed,
and immediately look to see how their property will be effected. He said
people become nervous when they learn a bikeway is proposed to approach
their land. He said farmers are forced to deal with trespassers on their
property and many feel bike trails will simply add more people on their
land and easier access for trespassers.
"They have a real fear and I understand that," McCarthy said.
However, he said, historically farmers have found that bike trails
reduce the number of people making trouble on their land.
"They need to understand the evidence is totally different," McCarthy said.
He added that many bicyclists carry cell phones and are likely to call
police if they see something suspicious.
"The people on bicycles tend to be the type of people you want policing
the area," McCarthy said.
Lee also said many farmers fear liability issues. He said the property
owner could be held liable for any injuries, even if the injured party was trespassing.
Lee said property owners would want to know what type of trails are
being contemplated, citing the difference between a bike trail on an
abandoned rail bed, and a walking trail along the Mill Creek.
"Those (trails off the rail bed) are tougher because there are no
natural boundaries," Lee said.
The commissioners recommended that Phillips seek the guidance and
assistance of the farm bureau to help keep farmers and other
property owners informed.
"The agenda needs to be one that is mutually determined, not dictated," Lee said.
McCarthy said community support is important for a bikeways project to be successful.
"You have a lot of potential over the next five years or so, to do
this," McCarthy said. "But you could also kill it right out of the gate
if they (property owners) feel they don't have a voice."

Unionville increases pay for mayor, clerk
By AUDREY HALL
Tuesday night's Unionville Center Village Council meeting was opened
with the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag and a moment of silence in
observance of the 9/11 attack.
Council approved pay increases for the clerk-treasurer and the mayor at
the beginning of the new terms of office. The clerk-treasurer's salary
will increase from $1,000 to $1,400 per year on April 1. The mayor's
salary will increase from $500 to $900 per year on Jan. 1. Current
clerk-treasurer Tracy Rausch and the current mayor Denver Thompson are
running unopposed in the November election.
Jeremy Buskark, an auditor with the state auditor's office, reviewed the
recommendations of the biennial audit with village officers immediately
prior to the meeting.  Within a few days, council will be receiving a
draft copy of the audit for management use only until the final audit is
issued.  During the meeting, payment of $2,024 was approved for the cost
of the required audit.
Wednesday, Oct. 31 from 6 to 8 p.m. was designated as trick or treat night.
The Pleasant Valley Fire District purchased a new copier.  The old
copier was offered to the village and it was accepted.
An ordinance accepting the Golf Cart Inspection Program as submitted by
the Union County Sheriff's Office was signed.   The ordinance defines an
underspeed vehicle as a four-wheeled vehicle, other than a truck, that
is originally designed and constructed with a top attainable speed of 20
mph or less or  is not designed and constructed for operation on a
street or highway.
Underspeed vehicles must be inspected, titled and registered in order to
operate on a public street or property.
The person operating a golf cart, also described as an underspeed
vehicle, must have a valid operator's license and show proof of
insurance on the golf cart.
Operators of golf carts must follow all motion vehicle laws.  Golf carts
and operators not complying with the Ohio Revised Code and the Code of
Federal Regulations subject themselves to citation and impoundment at their expense.
Once licensed, golf carts may only be in operation in incorporated areas
where the appropriate governing body has an approved ordinance allowing
their use. Golf carts may only be operated on streets and roadways with
a posted speed limit not greater than 25 mph.
Contact the clerk-treasurer to review the inspection criteria for golf carts.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has revised the flood
insurance study and maps for Union County.  A copy of the study and maps
is on file at the council building.
A permit to build a new home at 445 Railroad Street was issued to
Wendall Beachy.
There is a vacant seat on council. Those interested should contact the mayor.
Council members present were Ron Griffith, Mary Lou Morris, Phil
Rausch,  Brenda Terry and Peggy Williamson.
The next regular scheduled meeting will be Tuesday, Oct. 9 at 6:30 p.m.

Plain City lays out economic incentives

By MAC CORDELL
The village of Plain City took initial steps Monday to implement
community reinvestment areas inside the village.
Village council approved an economic development incentive policy and a
pair of community reinvestment areas. The issues still need two
additional readings. Council president pro-tem Bob Walter suggested a
second reading take place during council's work session so they could
receive final reading and approval at the council's next regularly
scheduled meeting, Sept. 24.
"We have talked about it for a long time and I think we are where we
need to be," Eric Phillips, executive director of the Union County
Chamber of Commerce, told council.
Having the economic development incentive policy shows potential
businesses the village is taking, "a professional approach" he said.
"It shows that we've got our stuff together," Phillips added.
One change in the economic development incentive policy, which has been
discussed by council in the past, involved the investment of real
property improvement. Because the state is gradually reducing taxes on a
businesses personal property - furniture, fixtures, vehicles and
inventory -the economic plan and the community reinvestment area
requires a business to invest a minimum of $400,000 in real property improvements.
"That protects everyone in this agreement," Phillips said.
He also said the Jonathan Alder Board of Education has already approved the CRAs.
The first of the CRAs is in the village's historic downtown to encompass
retail, residential and commercial growth.
Residential property owners in that area will also need to make a
investment in their property to take advantage of the tax incentive,
though that dollar figure will be significantly less.
The second reinvestment area is adjacent to the soon-to-be completed
U.S. 42 bypass. That area will be dedicated to industrial and office
growth, rather than retail. Phillips said retail jobs are traditionally
low paying and retail businesses do not make the long term investments
to make real property improvements that industrial and office complexes do.
"This is hopefully setting the village up very nicely," Phillips said.
He added the village was creating the CRAs at "the right time" to
protect the village.
Tax incentive review councils will need to be established to create
specific incentives for specific businesses and make sure the business
is honoring the terms of the agreement.
Because the downtown CRA lies in both Union and Madison counties, tax
incentive review councils will need to be created for both counties. A
housing council will also be created for the village to make certain the
properties receiving tax incentives - residential and business - are being maintained.
Walter said the village has received a revised zoning application for
Eagle's Landing, an approximately 167 home development planned for the
newly annexed land at the northwest corner of Plain City-Georgesville
Road and Converse-Huff Road.
He said the economic benefit for the village is, "very back-end loaded."
"It takes a while for that to start coming in," Walter said.
Once that development is built out, "over a 10 year period, you are
probably looking at a million and a half in property tax and income tax" Walter said.

Officials  get serious about saving Richwood Village Hall
By CHAD WILLIAMSON
It's one thing to want a beautifully restored village hall.
It's another thing to pay for it.
The deterioration at the Richwood Village Hall has been discussed at
council meetings recently and the topic has been addressed randomly for
several years. A fund was also set up to allow individuals to leave
money for the project after they die.
With the fund growing very slowly, the high cost of a renovation may be
out of the village's reach.
But council member Jim Thompson wants to take the issue to the people.
Thompson said he does not feel the issue should be decided by only six
council members. He said he believes the issue should be put on the
ballot so the entire village can weigh in on the decision.
Thompson said if people say they want to save the building, a second
ballot issue would address how to pay for it.
"We ask 'do you want to spend the money voter?'" Thompson said.
Several council members felt this was not the way to go.
Councilman Scott Jerew said he believes the village must put a dollar
figure for the repairs in front of the public. Mayor Bill Nibert said
putting the issue on the ballot as a tax issue will allow voters to
decide the fate of the building.
Councilman George Showalter noted that in 2001 an estimate for
renovation of the building came in at $675,000. Just a few years later
that figure had jumped to more than $1 million and no one knows what
such a project would cost now.
Showalter said whatever happens will need to be done quickly. He said
the clock tower is leaning eight to 10 inches to he east and leaks in
the building are deteriorating the structure.
Showalter admitted that the village may not be able to afford to save
the building. Council woman Peg Wiley agreed, noting that the village
has been told that no grant money is available for such projects.
"There is no way we can afford to redo that building," Wiley said.
Showalter said the village might be able to lose the village hall but
save some type of clock tower.
"The clock is what is important not the building," Wiley said.

JA plans for second phase of building project
By CORINNE BIX
Jonathan Alder School District plans to begin phase two of its building
project next year, which will complete the updating of all five district buildings.
Superintendent Doug Carpenter said the district anticipates state
funding for the project between July and December of 2008. Once the Ohio
school funding commission approves funding, then construction can begin.
He explained after the board meeting that the 2002 bond issue covered
funding for both phases of the $50 million project. The district was
responsible for 46 percent of the project cost and funded its portion
during phase one. The state's 54 percent portion will fund phase two.
Components of phase two include building a new Plain City Elementary
building, taking down the old section of Canaan middle school and
rebuilding, and finally remodeling the junior high building.
"All five buildings will then be updated and brought up to code," Carpenter said.
The board agreed to hold a work session Sept. 29 to discuss when it will
put on a renewal levy next year.
Carpenter explained that this would be for a renewal only and not
increase taxes. The 2.4-mill permanent improvement levy was passed in
2002 and became effective in 2003.
In addition, the board will discuss land purchase needed for the new elementary.
Jamie Pund, director of teaching and learning, reported to the board on
the summer school intervention summary.
Pund said this was the first year the district chose to hold summer
school in August as opposed to June.
Overall, the change proved to be positive.
"The kids came in fresh and ready to go," Pund said. "It also helped to
ease them into the new school year."
The district had 13 teachers and three aides work the summer program.
Pund said a total of 175 students participated which allowed for smaller
classes of 10-15 students.
In math, the program focused on building basic skills that are the
foundation for more complex concepts, while in reading, students worked
on creating better reading strategies.
Pund also reported on the state achievement test scores in grades three
through eight. She said that Alder students scored higher than the state
average across the board in all subject areas.
The board approved the revised open enrollment policy as presented at
August's meeting. The only additional change would be that those wishing
to open enroll for the next school year can begin doing so no earlier
than Nov. 1 of the current school year.
The other revisions require that all high school students seeking open
enrollment show a transcript and/or report card before being accepted.
Also, the district reserves the right to remove an open enrolled student
from the school if the district is given incorrect information from the
parent about the incoming student's skill set.
Carpenter said total enrollment in the district is 1,995 students in 13
grade levels. The district projected 1,958 students last spring which
put the estimate within two or three students per grade level.
The board adjourned into executive session to discuss the evaluation of
employees. No action was taken.
The next regular board meeting will be Oct. 8 at 7 p.m.
In other action, the board:
.Accepted the resignations of Jennifer Danner as eighth grade spelling
coach and Brett Miller as freshman boys basketball coach.
.Accepted the employment of Laura Phipps (Canaan) and Denise English
(Plain City Elementary) as playground supervisors for 185 day contracts.
.Accepted the employment of the following teachers as PAT's - Shelley
Bope, Cheryl Manbeck, Katie Grindrod, Stacey Sayer, Laura Hipp, Hazel
Williams, John Glatz, Janet Johnston, Nancy Patterson, Terri Stahl, Kim
Sinkhorn, Evie Williams and Sandy Day.
.Approved the employment of the following teachers as pathwise
evaluators - Molly Sperlin, Meghan Hearlihy, Cheryl Manbeck, Harriet
Merriman and Libby Krummery.
.Approved employees for their respective positions - Gwen Troyer,
freshman volleyball; Gail Bates, competition cheerleader advisor; Erin
Lybeck, assistant fall and winter cheerleader advisor (stipend); Jessica
Obringer, girls soccer volunteer; John Hostetler, James Ford, Jeremiah
Justice and Josh Wurschmidt, football volunteers; Rick Hutton and Curt
Thompson, boys basketball volunteers.
- Approved Harry Croghan, Nichole Perry, Catherine Tindal, Hazel
Williams, Harold Huffman, Penny Pierson, Jennifer Donovan, Phillip
Powers, Tina Fisher, Adrian Bailey, Theresa Knox, Heather Zimmerman,
Shanna Ninke, John Sullivan, Marcia Bolenbaugh, Jonathan Dodge, Melissa
Nunamaker, Harry Shade and Carolyn Wonn as substitute teachers for the
2007-2008 school year.
.Approved Gregory Manning, Katherine Zimmerman, Dorothy Miller and Kent
Roby as classified substitutes for the 2007-2008 school year.
.Elected board members to the health insurance and business advisory
task forces. Tom Bichsel will serve on health insurance. Steve Votaw and
Dr. John Adams will serve on the business advisory committee.
.Commended National Merit Scholar semi-finalists Tommy Kellett and
Kendalyn Schrock.
.Approved the request from Amy Baker for her daughter, Madison, to
attend Plain City Elementary.

Milford Center boy honored for use of seat belt
By RYAN HORNS
On the front page of the June 5, 2007 Marysville Journal-Tribune, a
photo shows area firefighters cutting the roof off a car, while a
MedFlight helicopter hovers overhead, waiting to transport victims.
As Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers worked to save the crash victims
that morning, many said they were not optimistic everyone would be all right.
But on Monday afternoon, Samuel Vollrath, the now 7-year-old victim from
that crash, was alive and well, shaking hands with Ohio State Highway
Patrol Marysville Post Commander Rick Zwayer.
Zwayer said he credits Vollrath's use of a seat belt as the reason the
Milford Center juvenile is still alive. That is why Vollrath was
officially presented the Department of Public Safety's "Saved By The
Belt Award" for setting an example on the importance of seat belt use.
"We don't give too many of these out," Zwayer said about the award.
"He's joining a pretty elite group of people, especially for a 7-year old."
Since 2004, he said, only 23 similar awards have been presented to Ohio
crash survivors. Statewide statistics show that in 2006, of the 1,239
people killed in traffic crashes in Ohio, 599 were not wearing their
seat belts at the time of the crash.
"Samuel Vollrath is a living example of the effectiveness of wearing a
safety belt," Zwayer said.
On June 5 Vollrath was the right front seat passenger in a 1993
Chevrolet pickup truck, driven by his father Daniel Vollrath, as they
both headed north on Route 38.
According to OSP reports, the two had just left their home and were
driving toward Marysville, when the driver of a 2003 Saab failed to
yield at a stop sign on Middleburg - Plain City Road.
The Vollrath's pickup collided with the Saab in the intersection and
their truck overturned along the roadside, ejecting Daniel Vollrath,
causing serious injuries. The Saab rolled down the hillside, trapping
driver Jin Hae Park and his passenger Sang Sun Han inside.
"Samuel Vollrath was wisely wearing his safety belt and escaped the
crash with only (a) minor visible injury," Zwayer said. "Wearing his
safety belt undoubtedly prevented Samuel from suffering more serious
injury or death."
In the meeting room at the Marysville Post of the Ohio State Patrol
Monday, the Vollrath family gathered to watch Samuel accept the award.
"On behalf of the family, I think we're very proud of Sam," grandfather
Philip Vollrath said.
Later, watching the smile on Samuel's face as he sat behind the wheel of
a state patrol cruiser, Philip said, "Maybe he'll be a trooper some day."
Also at the ceremony was Marysville Fire Chief Gary Johnson, whose
medics helped transport the injured Vollraths after the crash.
"Wearing seat belts saves lives and we see it on a daily basis," Johnson
said. "He sets a good example for other children and adults."

Area woman saves baby
By CORINNE BIX
Most would consider bungee jumping to be the pinnacle of an adrenaline
rush, but for Kathy Marsh it couldn't come close to saving the life of a
4-week-old baby.
Marsh, 47, and her family traveled to Pigeon Forge, Tenn., over Labor
Day to catch one last summer weekend trip. However, on the way to go
bungee jumping, the Marysville Surgical Center nurse found herself in
the right place at the right time when an infant's life hung in the balance.
Marsh explained that she and her 16-year-old daughter, Sarah, had
spontaneously decided Sept. 1 to try bungee jumping at "The Track"
Family Recreation Center in Pigeon Forge.
The mother and daughter had always wanted to try the daredevil activity,
so when the opportunity presented itself they took it.
Marsh said this came after a day of shopping. They arrived back at their
hotel and Marsh's husband and sons wanted to order dinner.
"I felt like it we don't do it now it''s not going to get done," Marsh said.
Despite protests, Marsh and Sarah headed out. She commented that all
weekend the main roadway through Pigeon Forge had been bumper-to-bumper
traffic and Saturday night was no exception.
Upon arriving at The Track, Marsh said there was no place to park.
"I could barely get into the parking lot to park because there were cars
to the left and the right," Marsh said.
While deciding what to do, she noticed a woman crying by her car.
Marsh said she put her van in park and told her daughter to say in the car.
When she reached the woman she saw the woman's husband holding a very
young and very blue infant girl in his arms.
Marsh said years of CPR training clicked into place and she immediately
responded by saying, "I'm a nurse, let me help."
After assessing that the baby had a blocked airway, Marsh set into motion.
"I started CPR and started to ventilate the baby," she said.
When that didn't work she began administering five gentle back blows
while holding the baby backside up in her arms. She then started chest thrusts.
"I then noticed a small blue bulb syringe in their car and asked if I
could use it," Marsh said.
She used the syringe to suction the baby's nose and mouth, and the baby
began to cough and cry.
"It seemed like only 10 seconds went by but in reality it was one or two
minutes," Marsh said.
Once the baby began breathing again, Marsh recommended the parents take
the child to an Urgent Care Center to seek further medical attention.
Marsh said she has worked in nursing for 23 years; however, this was the
first spontaneous situation in which she helped save a life.
"It wasn't a controlled situation like in a hospital," she explained, "I
was in charge and there was no physician."
Sarah said her mom is a hero.
"It brought tears to my eyes," Sarah said. "I remember looking over at
the Mom and Dad and they were crying and it was really scary."
Sarah said she is very proud of her mom and the way in which she handled
the situation, very calm and collected.
Marsh said she and Sarah spent most of the evening and weekend amazed at
what they had witnessed.
The two decided to celebrate the amazing moment by completing their task.
Both Marsh and her daughter said that bungee jumping was a lot of fun.
"It was very exciting and just as exciting as I anticipated," Marsh
said. "The hardest park was making the initial leap but I am so glad
that I did it and I would do it again."
Sarah said that before she jumped, she became nervous but what got her
through was thinking the fear felt by the parents who almost lost their child.
"I know I was supposed to be there, and God put me in that situation," Marsh said.
Marsh and her family reside in Green Pastures.

Local man killed in  motorcycle accident
From J-T staff reports
A Marysville man died as a result of injuries sustained in a motorcycle
crash this weekend.
According to Marysville's post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Chad
Allen Rowe, 30, of Marysville died at Ohio State University Hospital
Sunday at 12:04 a.m.
Reports show that at 8:21 p.m. Saturday Rowe was riding his 1979 Honda
motorcycle south on Route 4 when he failed to negotiate a curve near
County Home Road. He went off the right side of the roadway and struck a
guard rail. Rowe was ejected from the motorcycle in the crash, which
stopped in a ditch along the road.
He suffered serious injuries from the crash and was transported to
Memorial of Union County by Marysville medics. He was later transported
to Ohio State University Medical Center.
The state patrol reported that Rowe was not wearing a helmet at the time
of the crash and "alcohol was suspected as a contributing factor to the crash."
The Marysville Police Department and Marysville Fire Department and EMS
crews assisted at the scene. The crash remains under investigation

County  is Ohio's fourth fastest growing

By MAC CORDELL
A recently released study reveals Union is Ohio's fourth fastest growing county.
The study, released by the Ohio Department of development, indicates
Union County's 2.14 percent annual growth between 2000 and 2006 ranks
only behind Delaware (5.83 percent), Warren (3.96 percent) and Fairfield
(2.19 percent) Counties.
"I think that is a reflection that this is a great place to live," said
Union County Commissioner Tom McCarthy.
Eric Phillips, executive director of the Union County Chamber of
Commerce, agreed.
"It is better to be in a growing situation than the alternative by far,"
said Phillips. "I think that shows we are an all-around great community."
McCarthy said the pace of Union County's growth has slowed some, saying
it, "is probably at a more manageable rate than it was two years ago."
Phillips credited the outstanding communities and schools for drawing in
new residents. He also said employees at many of Union County's
industries are making the move.
"We have lower land costs, lower housing costs, compared to the Columbus
market, and I think they get tired of the drive," Phillips said.
Phillips said growth, not only is an indicator of economic strength, but
also its protector.
"I think the growth supports our business community and allows more
business to move in and expand," Phillips said. "More people moving in
means more spending money, more disposable income."
He added that when retail and industry thrive, government and the
population do as well.
Phillips said a growing population keeps its residents for a lifetime.
"A lot of times, a growing population keeps you from brain drain, where
your college graduates move out of the area," Phillips said, noting that
many communities are losing their educated citizens.
As a whole, Ohio has grown by 0.18 percent a year since 2000. By
contrast, the United States population has grown 1.00 percent a year in
that time. Just 12 Ohio counties are exceeding the national average.
"Looking at the map is kind of depressing, see that we are not growing
much as a state," said Phillips, adding again that it is nice to be in
one of the state's few growing counties.
Phillips added that while the benefits of growth, far outweigh
stagnation, there are some risks and "challenges."
"I think we need to be aware of good growth policies as we move
forward," said Phillips. "If we don't plan well, it could have a very
negative impact, so we need to continue to work together and make sure
we manage growth."
He said increased population can cause a strain on existing services,
"growing pains," he calls it.
"With growth, there is a hunger for services," Phillips said. "We need
to find ways to support the growth and provide services for these new people."
McCarthy said the growth is a positive, but added that it is also
beneficial that Union County's population has not continued to grow at
what he called, "a torrid pace."
"Growth can create a lot of challenges for the local community,"
McCarthy said. "We need to make sure we don't grow broke. It is possible
to grow too fast."
Phillips said the increased tax base caused by the increased population
can help, but added that often it is the new ideas brought by the new
residents that help the most. He said "innovative thinking" coupled with
strengthened partnerships will likely provide the key to managing the
growth efficiently.
McCarthy said that even with its growth, Union County has not lost sight
of its identity as a small county.
"There are some challenges, but they are good problems," he added.
"There are an awful lot of communities and counties that would trade
places with us in a minute

Program aims to assist families of children with disabilities
From J-T staff reports
The Council for Union County Families is offering a free education
program for families of children with special emotional needs.
The eight-week course, titled Hand-To-Hand Family Educational Program,
offers a dual focus on education and personal insight for the parents
and families of children with disabilities.
"This program will be helpful to any parent, caregiver, or relative with
a child, under the age of 18, who has a mental, emotional or
neurobiological disorder," said Brenda Rock, executive director of the
Council for Union County Families. "The program provides information on
the diagnostic process, understanding the specific diagnosis,
medication, counseling and other therapies, coping skills and educational issues."
Program participants will learn about major depression, bipolar
disorder, childhood schizophrenia, attention deficit hyperactive
disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and anxiety disorder, among
others, along with current treatment information.
"Professional guest speakers will be addressing each individual topic
area," Rock said. "Parents Kim Chapman and Mary Beth Merklin have been
trained by NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) to facilitate the workshops."
Included in the curriculum, developed by the National Alliance for the
Mentally Ill, Ohio Chapter, is biological information about medications,
side-effects, and problems with medication compliance, the biological
basis of mental illnesses, treatment options and recovery.
Another portion of the program is dedicated to learning how to advocate
for your child and specifically with regard to their individualized
education plan at school. Understanding special education needs and
working with the juvenile justice system are addressed in separate classes.
The program will begin Thursday, Sept. 13, and run each Thursday through
Nov. 8 (excluding Oct. 11). Classes will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
at the Agricultural Center of Union County.
Rock said group participants can also act as a support group for one another.
"In addition to getting a lot of valuable information, parents will be
able to provide support to each other as they learn and share
information about their own journey," said Rock.
For more information on the Hand-to-Hand program or to register, contact
Rock at (937) 642-8990 or e-mail brock@co.union.oh.us.

Stolte won't run again
Six terms is enough for Union County Engineer
By MAC CORDELL
Union County Engineer Steve Stolte will not seek re-election in 2008.
"I feel good about what we've accomplished the last 23 years," said
Stolte. "I have enjoyed it and it has been a good run."
Stolte said he has been contemplating the move since the beginning of the year.
"I just thought 24 years is long enough as county engineer," Stolte said.
Prior to his election as engineer, Stolte was a partner in a private
engineering firm and served two years as Marysville's city engineer. In
1984, Stolte unseated incumbent Don Hart. That was the only time, in six
successful elections, he had an opponent. He said he feels he is
finishing the job as engineer on a strong note.
"I think we've done a lot of good for the roads and bridges and the
community as a whole," Stolte said. "We have accomplished a lot since
then. This year was a good year with the two covered bridges and I just
thought next year would be a good time to bow out."
In a written statement announcing his decision, Stolte added, "In our
first campaign in 1984, our slogan was 'Its Time For a Change.' I think
maybe now is a time for new leadership with new vision and new goals in
the county engineer's office."
 Stolte will be 62, when his term is up at the end of 2008 and says he
doesn't know what's next.
"I guess at this point I have not decided if I want to retire yet,"
Stolte said. "I have just decided not to run for county engineer."
"At this point, I don't know," Stolte said. "That is 16 months away. I
am just keeping my options open."
He has not ruled out running for another public office.
"It is a possibility," Stolte said. "You never want to say "no" to
anything. You just never know what might come along."
Regardless of what is next for Stolte, County Commissioner Gary Lee said
he will be missed.
"I think Steve has been one of the best examples of a public servant
that really cares about his community," Lee said. "His vast knowledge
and understanding of issues and people have been an asset that this
community will reap benefits from for years to come."
In his written statement, Stolte credited his employees for his success.
"As I look back at the goals we laid out in 1984, we've accomplished
almost all of those goals," Stolte wrote. "But remember that everything
we've accomplished has been through the efforts of all our employees.
"I just start the ball rolling in the right direction," he wrote. "Our
employees keep the ball inflated and make sure it gets across the goal
line. We have been blessed with many dedicated and hardworking employees."
Lee said that is the kind of leader Stolte is.
"Obviously, the community and the county will miss his strong leadership
as he goes into retirement," said Lee. "The admiration I have for Steve
Stolte is second to none."
Stolte said he will remain busy until his last day on the job.
"We, every year, lay out a pretty aggressive list of goals we want to
accomplish for the next year and we are in the process of putting that
together for 2008. Once we get that accomplished, that will be our
charge for next year."
He said one of his goals for 2008 will be the passage of the one-quarter
percent sales tax, to be placed on the March ballot. The anticipated
revenue of between $1.7 and $1.9 million per year would be used equally
for senior citizens in the county and for the engineer's office.
"I will be working just as hard as I can work to get that passed," he said.
While Stolte is not certain what he would like to do when he leaves, he
does know who he would like to succeed him.
"There is a young man named Jeff Stauch who works for me and has for 21
years," said Stolte. "I think he would be an excellent choice for county engineer."
Stolte said that while he knows it is time to move on, he has enjoyed
his time in the position.
"There is always highs and lows, but most days, I have jumped out of bed
and looked forward to going to work early," Stolte said.

City, county move forward with port authority idea
By RYAN HORNS
Marysville and Union County officials plan to move forward on the
concept of creating a joint port authority.
City council members and Marysville Mayor Tom Kruse met Thursday in a
work session with the county commissioners to discuss the issue. The
group decided to start drafting a sample agreement.
Economic Development Director Eric Phillips joked that it wouldn't mean
barges would start trying to fit up Mill Creek anytime soon.
Stephen Grassbaugh, an attorney with Columbus-based firm Peck, Shaffer
and Williams, explained the concept of port authorities.
Grassbaugh said upwards of 40 port authorities have been created in
Ohio. He said the most important aspect is that it can finance large
projects and businesses can take advantage of its tax-exempt status to
do their work cheaper.
"I can see some creative ways to use this right off the bat," Kruse said.
Grassbaugh said it is just another financing option, much like Community
Improvement Corporations (CIC), Joint Economic Development Districts
(JEDD), or Tax Increment Financing (TIF) to help benefit area business
and government progress.
"There is no cost to the city to set it up," Grassbaugh said. "It's not
a panacea. It's just another tool in your bag."
Councilman Dave Burke wondered what the next step is.
Grassbaugh said he and Phillips would get to work on the draft sample
agreement. City and county attorneys will review the draft and
negotiations about how everything is split up will follow. Once an
agreement is reached, a formal proposal will be created. Once they agree
upon the details, two ordinances would come before Marysville City
Council - one asking to approve the agreement and another to approve the
port authority. At that point the document would need to be signed by the mayor.
Burke said the city and county would need to meet again at some point to
go over the progress.
Grassbaugh said that the authority would be headed up by a board of
directors, which essentially would take over the role as the leader in
economic development for the county. The authority could be created to
run specific things like airports or railroads, or it could be used to
help other entities to do projects.
"Powers are very broad for a port authority," Grassbaugh said.
Port authorities can also levy a tax and have the power of eminent
domain, Grassbaugh said.
Phillips said those are sensitive issues, so they would want to make the
agreement state that nothing could be done on either issue without the
approval of both the city administration, council and county.
"That way there are some checks and balances there," Phillips said.
Grassbaugh said it would not be likely for the authority to create a tax levy.
"You're not going to get the citizens to vote a new tax for themselves," he said.
Councilman John Marshall wondered if revenue is generated by port
authorities and how that money is spent.
Grassbaugh said the irony is that some people have accused some port
authorities for being created solely to make money. But he said the
reality is that most make just enough to pay for the staff to run it.
The idea is to promote economic development and then funnel the rest
back into the community.
He said the closest comparison to what Marysville and Union County could
model themselves after would be a port authority set up between
Zainesville and Muskingum County.
"That's been a very successful one," Grassbaugh said.
The largest Ohio port authorities are in Toledo and Cleveland, he said.
Councilman John Gore asked what happens if the loans default, who pays?
Grassbaugh said the city or county would not be liable, only the
borrower. He said the risk is that a company that borrows money through
the port authority, but can't afford to pay it back, could "go belly up."
"I understand it's a nice tool," county commissioner Tom McCarthy said.
"But what's the compelling case for this?"
Grassbaugh said if the local hospital needed $9 million  for a project,
the port authority would be able to secure that funding, whereas cities
have limits at the amount of debt they can accrue. A city cannot borrow
more than $10 million.
Marshall said that if he were the devil's advocate on this, he'd assume
"this all sounds too good to be true."
"Obviously the details of an agreement ought to be worked on," Kruse
said. "We need to have this tool available."
"Without any ongoing cost, there's no reason not to," Grassbaugh said.
"My goal is to have it done by the end of the year," Phillips said.

Tri-County Jail Commission approves budget
By RYAN HORNS
The Tri-County Regional Jail Commissioners added one sanitary detail to
its 2008 annual budget, before members agreed on its approval.
At the Thursday afternoon meeting in Mechanicsburg, jail director Bob
Beightler said the commission had talked about the 2008 jail budget at
the meeting in early July. He said it previously submitted a budget of
$3,938,564, but that needs to be changed.
"The new revised one we have in front of you today has been increased by
$60,000," Beightler said. "We did have an engineer come out and do an
evaluation of the sewer system and for $65,000 we can (repair that) . So
that's the change that I'm recommending and I feel that would help to
resolve our sewer problems."
Union County Commissioner Gary Lee said he was ready to approve the
budget and move forward on the extra costs for sewer repairs. He said
the committee does not meet again until November, so they may want to
approve the budget now.
After some discussion the members agreed to that.
"To be honest, it would make it easier for us," Champaign County
Commissioner Bob Corbett said, about getting the budget approved before
November. "If anyone has a concern they need to voice it."
Corbett said that he may not be happy about the extra money, but he
understood the need, simply because some projects were not done right
when the jail was initially built and opened in 2000. Sooner or later
those faulty projects were going to need attention.
"The equipment is wearing out," he said. "The sewer system was not
installed properly when it was built new."
Beightler added that there "are some big ticket items" needed next year,
one of which includes another expensive project of having to resurface
the parking lot.
Corbett said that project wasn't initially done right either.
"I think the bottom line is that for the past two years we've been
saying that these expenses were going to start to hit us," Lee said. "I
think what we've asked the director to do is to start to formulate a
plan to make needed repairs and replacements. It's the cost of keeping
this jail in the shape that I think our constituents would expect us to keep it in."
Lee said he would also like to see the budget lower, but maintenance is important.
"The one thing that we've always been good about is that we have stayed
under budget," Lee said.
"I'm very satisfied with the efficiency of the jail," Corbett said.
In other topics discussed:
. Commission members discussed the issue of inmates using phone cards.
The topic was previously addressed in the early July meeting. At that
time, members decided to keep mulling over the phone card issue.
Ultimately, members said they would like to move forward on it and they
were optimistic that the phone cards could be efficiently monitored to
prevent abuse by the inmates.
. Beightler said that a Faith and Community Re-entry Forum will be held
at the jail on Sept. 28. He said the Tri-County Regional Jail will be
the first in the state to host the forum. He expects upwards of 60
people to attend. The event concerns the issue of providing inmates with
mentors, who can help the inmate's transition from jail, back to the
community.

Families helping families
Merger brings together two family-owned funeral homes in Richwood

By KARLYN BYERS
Though they're still settling in and learning each other's styles, Kyle
Stofcheck and Greg Ballinger of Richwood have determined that the recent
merger of their funeral home businesses is a winning situation.
"My family and I win and the community we serve wins," Ballinger said.
Both men grew up in funeral homes, living with their parents in the
second stories. And both were from families who operated an ambulance
service. In fact, Stofcheck's parents, Ed and Barbara Stofcheck, still
operate the family ambulance business.Ballinger and Stofcheck also share
the same goal - to better serve the Richwood, Prospect and LaRue communities.
"Truly, what gets you out of bed in the morning and gets you to work is
that thought of helping people and that is what has kept me going, is
the responsibility to the people you serve," Stofcheck said.
He said he had envisioned a partnership between the two Richwood
businessmen for "awhile."
"I had through the years a couple different times broached the subject
... " Stofcheck said.
But the timing and business climate were not quite right until recently
when Ballinger and his wife, Gina, purchased the business from Greg's
mother, Janet Ballinger, who was retiring.
"We decided that the time was perfect to take Kyle up on his
long-standing offer to bring the two businesses together," Greg Ballinger said.
The men are finding that their business styles complement each other.
Stofcheck, for instance, really values the fact that Ballinger is much
more computer proficient than he is. Ballinger had a Web page featuring
the new business name and logo designed in no time.
"One of the things I greatly appreciate about Greg is his knowledge
about that," Stofcheck said.
Ballinger, on the other hand, respects Stofcheck's ideas.
"He's a thinker and someone who is ready to come up with a new idea to
get things done. My management style has always been much more passive,"
he said. "I have benefited greatly from watching Kyle work ... from the
way he handles inventory to the way he handles families."
Ballinger, who previously had the sole responsibility of running
Ballinger Funeral Home, also has gained an assistant.
"(Greg was) the only person he could trust to do things right and now
that has all changed," Stofcheck said.
"Kyle and I have someone to depend on," Ballinger said. "Kyle's father
is still on staff and not looking to retire. He enjoys being a funeral
director, and we enjoy having him. He's a valuable part of our business."
Because of the elder Stofcheck, the Stofcheck-Ballinger business will be
able to handle funerals at each of its funeral homes - Richwood,
Prospect and LaRue - at the same time, if need be.
Greg Ballinger is the fifth generation in the Ballinger family to serve
as a funeral director, following in the footsteps of his
great-great-grandfather, B.C. Ballinger, great-grandfather Cletus
Ballinger, grandfather Bert C. Ballinger, and father Richard Ballinger.
In 1902, B.C. Ballinger established a funeral home in West Mansfield.
Cletus Ballinger continued the operation and was succeeded by Bert
Ballinger who purchased the former Hastings Funeral Home in Richwood in
1952. He died in a traffic accident in 1969.
Richard and Janet Ballinger continued with the business and even
expanded it with the purchase of the former Gehm Funeral Home in
Prospect in 1972. When Richard died unexpectedly in 1988, Janet
Ballinger kept the business going, and Greg took over as funeral director in 1993.
Greg Ballinger is a 1989 graduate of North Union High School and a 1993
graduate of the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science.
Stofcheck Funeral Home began in 1969, when Kyle's father and mother
purchased the former Ford Funeral Home in LaRue. In 1973, they also
purchased the former Cheney Funeral Home in Richwood. In 1992, Kyle
Stofcheck, a 1984 Elgin High School graduate and a 1987 graduate of the
Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science, purchased the LaRue and Richwood
funeral homes from his parents.
The old Ballinger Funeral Home at 23 E. Ottawa St. is for sale. The
Ballinger monument business at 22 E. Ottawa St. will remain in
operation, and the old Ballinger hearse will remain in use until it is
"retired." Richwood funerals will be held at the old Stofcheck Funeral
Home at 201 S. Franklin St.
New signs have been erected in front of the Richwood, LaRue and Prospect
funeral homes announcing the name change, and a home behind the
Stofcheck-Ballinger Funeral Home was recently purchased to make way for
a larger parking lot, the better to serve the community.
The two men said their wives and families have been supportive, as has
the community itself.
"Overwhelmingly, it has been so positive," Stofcheck said.
"I have been made to feel very much at home here," said Ballinger. "Just
by coincidence, one of the very first funerals Kyle and I did here was
my wife's grandmother's, and my wife said she felt very comfortable and
at home here. That is the kind of atmosphere it has been for me since day one."

Richwood police begin new program
By MAC CORDELL
The village of Richwood Police Department is getting some new faces.
Actually, they are old faces.
They are the faces of everyday residents who want to help the police
department make Richwood a safer place. Citizens on Patrol is an
initiative of new police chief Monte Asher.
"We are trying to get this police department to get more involved in the
community," said Richwood Police Sgt. Rebecca Frazier.
One of the ways police officials want to do that is by having more of
the community involved in the police department. Sometimes called a
block watch or a community patrol, Citizens on Patrol uses community
residents to help watch the community and hopefully, with the increased
presence on the street, reduce crime.
"People know when we are on a run or when we are on the other side of
town," said Frazier. "We want the town to be safer. Maybe they can be
our eyes when we are on a call. Maybe they can be our eyes when we are
on the other side of town."
She said there is an additional, less obvious benefit to the program as well.
"It gets the community involved in what we do," Frazier said. "A lot of
people don't realize what we have on our plate and this will let them
see what we do everyday."
Participants will be trained in matters such as traffic control,
emergency management, park watch, downtown watch and other community
patrol issues. They will be given a vest and a flashlight. Community
members will patrol in pairs and on duty police officers are to monitor
them, always knowing where the pair is.
Sign-ups began at the Richwood Independent Fair and are continuing.
Frazier said once the police department has enough recruits ? she is
hoping for 10 ? a meeting will be called. Participants will be informed
further about the program. Background checks will also be done.
"We can't have them working with us if they have felony arrests," said Frazier.
Once background checks are completed, the department will begin training
its new volunteers. Frazier said there will be no set schedule or
routine for the patrol, but volunteers will be able to work on their
schedule at their convenience. She added that the village could really
use additional help between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m.
"We are hoping before the end of September we can have this in place," Frazier said.
She realizes this is an ambitious goal, but as winter approaches,
"that's when you get more burglaries."
The police department has a ideal candidate in mind for its program, and
many villagers fit the criteria.
"We need mature people, people who care about our community, who have
the same goals we do - to see a safer community," said Frazier. "We
can't have a bunch of young kids doing it, when that is our main
problem. We need people who are serious about it. We don't want someone
who just wants to play cop. We don't want vigilantes."
Those wishing to get involved with the Citizens on Patrol program are
invited to stop at the police department between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.,
Tuesday through Friday.
"We welcome them," Frazier said. "We want people to come in and
volunteer. This is a good program and we want to see the village come in
and get involved with us."

North Lewisburg short changed?
Officials won't sign off on fund distribution

By CORINNE BIX
North Lewisburg plans to once again contest the distribution of
state-funded local government and revenue assistance.
Council voted 4-2 that the village should not sign off on the current
distributions, which are based on relative need versus population or acreage.
Steve Wilson and Curtis Burton voted to sign off on the mandated
distribution form as required by the Champaign County auditor.
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.
Barry First, village administrator, said last year that it was his
understanding that the method by which funds are disbursed countywide
has not been reevaluated 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.
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.
Wilson said due to the fact that other townships and villages countywide
would not likely sign off on receiving less funding, North Lewisburg
should sign off on the disbursement form and avoid any financial penalties. Burton concurred.
Council president Jason Keeran and fellow members Susan Spain, Dave
Scott and Gwen Beech agreed that risk of financial penalty should be
considered but the village should fully explore the issue with the state
auditor's office before agreeing to the current disbursement of funds.
The village is due to sign off on the form as required by the county auditor's office by Oct. 1.
Andy Yoder, water and sewer superintendent, sat in for Barry First,
village administrator, who was not in attendance at Tuesday's meeting due to vacation.
In August, Yoder was appointed the new village administrator upon
First's retirement in October.
Yoder reported that the wastewater treatment plant is almost finished,
with the majority of the mechanical construction complete. The crews are
working to finish the electrical components.
Bids for the park rest room 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 project will completely refurbish the bathrooms with $27,000
received in Community Development Block Grant  (CDBG) funds.
The grant has to be used by the end of the year and the village is
exploring options as to how best to utilize the funds towards the rest room project.
Amy Longberry won the village slogan contest. The new slogan, "Where
Family, Friends and Traditions Stay for a Lifetime," will be featured on
the village Web site. Longberry will be awarded a gift certificate.
In other news, council:
.Heard Deputy Glenn Kemp give the Champaign County Sheriff's report for
the month of August. It included nine traffic citations, nine warnings
issued for traffic violations, 16 incident reports, 14 cases of
assistance given to citizens, 10 arrests, six civil and criminal papers
served, 32 follow-up investigations, three open doors, three instances
of juvenile contact, one civic activity completed and one auto accident report taken.
.Was introduced to new Champaign County interim Sheriff Brent Emmons.
Emmons was appointed interim sheriff for outgoing Sheriff David Deskins.
Emmons hopes to be officially appointed to complete Deskins' term which
ends in 2008. He would then seek re-election to the post.

Dept. of Job and Family Services   plans for soothing  surroundings
By MAC CORDELL
The Union County Department of Job and Family Services offices could be
getting a new look soon and county officials are hoping the department's
clients won't be too excited about it.
UCDJFS director Joe Float said he had discussed the possibility of
changing the look in several department rooms including the waiting
rooms, interview rooms and other areas.
He said that he would like to add color and other room accessories in an
effort to "minimize agitation," by clients.
"We have found that green, beige, tan colors actually tend to calm,"
said Marie Dixon, with UCDJFS.
She said that in addition to changing the room's color she would also
like to be able to add some plants, possibly some wall hangings and
change the florescent lighting in the room.
Float said the idea of changing the room came from a distraught child in
the department's waiting room. A receptionist went to the child and its
mother to see what had provoked the child. The mother answered that the
child thought they were in a doctors office.
"I think the sterility of the room frightens some kids," Float said. "We
don't want to change everything and we don't want to spend a whole lot of money."
He added that there are other times when the department's offices can
become the scene of high tension between family members.
The commissioners agreed that a rooms ambiance can have a calming effect
on its occupants, though commissioner Tom McCarthy said some changes
would be easier and more cost effective than others.
"Paint is cheap," McCarthy said. "Lighting changes can be very expensive."
He suggested changing the light bulbs, moving from a cold light to a warmer tone.
McCarthy also suggested some new flooring, saying he had recently seen
the office's carpet in some disrepair.
"I think the life of that carpet should have been longer," McCarthy said
"We didn't buy cheap carpet."
He suggested possibly not installing carpet or using carpet squares that
could be easily replaced.
Float said many of the rooms in his office needed new chairs, ones without fabric.
"We need some surface that can be cleaned quickly and disinfected," he
said, adding the chairs will be able to come from his department's current budget.
Float said no budget had been developed for the other renovations.
"We wanted to talk in the abstract first," he told the commissioners..
The commissioners said some money could be allocated next year for the
renovations, but they wanted to be able to work from a project budget.
"I think we need to get our arms around what it is going to cost," McCarthy said.
A delayed initial budget meeting will lead to expedited budget hearings
the county commissioners informed Float and other county officials Tuesday.
At the county's monthly meeting of elected officials and department
heads, the commissioners reminded them of the budget meeting scheduled
for Sept. 24. The meeting had initially been scheduled for Sept. 13, but
was delayed to accommodate the schedules of county officials.
Representatives from the sheriff's office, which represents the largest
portion of the county budget, will not be able to attend the Sept. 24
meeting because of a priory scheduled Ohio Attorney General's Office conference.
"We are going to start on budget hearings  soon after the Sept. 24
meeting," said Commissioner Gary Lee. "So instead of having two or three
weeks between our first meeting (and the hearings), it is going to be
compressed because of moving that meeting back."

Karen Westlake Haller to run for Union County Clerk of Courts

Karen Westlake Haller, a native of Marysville, has announced plans to
run for Union County Clerk of Courts on the Republican ticket.
She presently serves as mediation administrative assistant for the Union
County Common Pleas Court as well as executive director of the community
service program. In June of this year, she earned a degree with honors
in applied business, paralegal studies, from Marion Technical College.
Prior to her court position, she worked for the Union County Board of
Developmental Disabilities, and has amassed 26 years as a county employee.
Calling herself a conservative Republican, she is active in the party
and serves on the Union County Republican Party Executive Committee as
volunteer coordinator. She has also served on the GOP Lincoln Dinner and
county fair booth committees, and assisted Cong. Deborah Pryce with her
July Fourth parade committee. She was elected in 2004 to represent
Marysville's seventh precinct on the county Republican Central
Committee, and is a member of the county Republican Century Club.
Haller is an eighth generation member of the Westlake family which
settled in Marysville in the early 1800s. She was raised on a grain and
sheep farm and gradauted from Marysville High School in 1972.
Her volunteer activities include the Union County Fair Board, 4-H
advisor, FFA judge and Farm Bureau membership campaign recruiter. She is
a member of the Hannah Emerson Dustin Chapter of the DAR, Paralegal
Association of Central Ohio and Columbus Bar Association.
Her campaign pledge is to serve a growing Union County in a role which
includes thorough filing, docketing, indexing and preserving court
pleadings for civil, criminal and domestic cases. She says she would
like to make the system a little more user friendly for the public.
She and her husband, Dave, attend Calvary Baptist Church. She has a
grown daughter, Emily Masters Kahrs of Lebanon, and two grandchildren.

Plain City officials plan for growth

By MAC CORDELL
Plain City Council President Pro-tem Bob Walter has told his fellow
councilmembers that he is nearly done with revisions to the village's
zoning code.
He said he had three more sections, each about three-quarters of a page,
yet to complete. Walter said he believes he will be done with the
changes within the week. Once those revisions are complete, he will give
them to council for review.
Completion of the zoning code is reportedly imperative to village growth
because the planning and zoning commission has tabled a motion to lift
the four-year moratorium on sewer taps for all development in the village.
The halt was placed on the taps in 2003 as officials realized they had
reached maximum capacity for the village's waste water treatment plant.
The community had seen rapid growth, but residents were growing
increasingly frustrated. Voters had just passed a referendum to a zoning
change that would have paved the way for hundreds of new homes. They
also affirmed a mandate for village government to create a comprehensive
plan and officials were working through that process. Environmental
Protection Agency regulations and a change in acceptable standards had
slowed construction of a new water treatment facility. Council reserved
less than 10 exemptions to the tap moratorium and additional growth
ground to a halt.
Earlier this summer, the waste water treatment plant was completed,
though a punch list of small items to be completed remains. Council has
since repealed its sewer tap moratorium. The planning and zoning
commission has decided to not to lift its moratorium. It won't even
review applications until council has approved the zoning code
revisions. Walter said once those revisions are passed, the commission's
moratorium will be lifted and applications reviewed and forwarded to
council with recommendations.
Village Administrator Steve Hilbert said that is the kind of planning
that has allowed Plain City to manage its growth.
"Council and the mayor have done a really good job of having an open
mind about things, but also having their eyes open that they saw this
coming and prepared for it. None of what has happened is a surprise to
them," Hilbert said.
He added that village officials have been proactive in their preparation
for village growth, rather than reactionary to it.
"A lot of how we are handling this is we anticipated this and we planned
for it," said Hilbert.
Part of that proactive approach was a $6,000 investment about 18 months
ago. Village officials consulted with the Ohio State University's
graduate school for public policy and management, which completed an
assessment of the economic health of the village.
Walter said the village was "not facing an eminent financial crisis,"
but wanted to have the study prepared and completed before the
moratorium was lifted. He called it "a baseline to work off."
The study praised Plain City for its economic equilibrium between
residential, commercial and retail growth. It indicated that the
village, as it stood 18 months ago, could sustain its services, given
the then-current mixture of land uses.
Officials decided to continue on the path they were on and now the
village has several projects in the pipeline to be considered as soon as
the moratorium is lifted.
A pair of planned residential developments are planned. Oak Grove is an
approximately 220-home development, to be built in phases over about
eight years. It is to be located in the south end of town, west of U.S.
42 near Lovejoy's Plaza. Eagle's Landing is an approximately 167 home
development planned for the newly annexed land at the northwest corner
of Plain City-Georgesville Road and Converse-Huff Road.
Walter said the homes will offer more return to the village than many
housing options since they would be "middle to upscale," averaging
between $250,000 and $350,000. He said the homes would bring more
revenue into the village through property tax and likely income tax,
than more moderately priced homes.
"We really wanted to monitor this because, in the past, its been said
that residential growth doesn't pay for itself," Walter said. "We think
their (the two housing developments) contribution will be a little bit
greater than housing in the past."
He added, "the cost of services wouldn't necessarily increase."
Mirroring the housing developments will be two community reinvestment areas.
"The study said we were at a nice balance," Walter said. "If you are
going to grow residential, we also need to stimulate commercial. You
can't do one without the other. That's why we are trying to do these
both about the same time."
Walter said pairing the projects together maintained the village's
pledge to balanced and quality growth."
The first of the CRAs is in the village's historic downtown. Walter said
village officials want it to be "a revitalization of retail, residential
and commercial growth."
"In a couple of months, these trucks are going to disappear and we want
to be able to revitalize that area," Walter said.
The second reinvestment area is adjacent to the soon-to-be completed
U.S. 42 bypass. That area will be dedicated to commercial and office growth.
"Commercial drives a higher economic return to the village than retail," Walter said.
Hilbert credits much of the growth management with the willingness of
village officials to stay true to the public's wishes in the
comprehensive plan.
"We put together the comprehensive plan and there were a lot of people
who said this would never be anything more than just paper," Hilbert
said. "I think the mayor and council have done a really nice job staying
with the comprehensive plan and realizing the validity and importance of
it and how it can really help us out in the future."

Hodnichak earns rank of Eagle Scout
From J-T staff reports
Adam Hodnichak, the son of Jim and Dina Hodnichak of Marysville, will be
honored as an Eagle Scout in a Sunday ceremony at Our Lady of Lourdes
Catholic Church.
Adam joined Cub Scout Pack 560 of DeBary, Fla., as a Tiger Cub. As a
second year Webelo he earned the Arrow of Light then crossed over to Boy
Scout Troop 560, also of DeBary, in April 2000.
As a Cub Scout he earned the Catholic Religious Parvuli Dei, and then in
Boy Scouts in Troop 634 he went on to earn the Ad Altare Dei and Pope
Pius XII religious awards. He has held positions such as troop
historian, quartermaster, patrol leader and junior assistant scoutmaster.
In the fall of 2001, after he moved from Florida to Marysville with his
family, he joined Troop 634. When he transferred, he was already a First
Class Scout. While a Boy Scout with Troop 634 he was initiated into the
Arrow (OA) Mkw'alakwa Chapter where he has obtained Brotherhood and
participated in the Ceremonial Team.
Adam is also a member of Venture Crew 2037 participating in reenactments
of World War II. During Adam's time in scouting he has earned 38 merit badges.
Adam has attended various summer camps such as Camp LaNoChe in Florida,
Camp Thunder in Georgia, Sky Mount in Tennessee, Woodland Trails and
others in Ohio, and even National Jamboree at Fort AP in Virginia in 2005.
His Eagle service project consisted of designing and building permanent
wooden trash can holders at Camp Keckley that will be used for campers,
but will keep animals out. He had to build them elevated off the ground
and make heavy hinged lids. Trash cans are housed inside the containers,
along with extra trash bags to keep Camp Keckley litter free. Adam
raised the majority of the money needed through candy sales, doughnut
sales and other monetary donations.
Adam graduated in June from Marysville High School, where he was
involved in cross country, swimming and baseball, along with serving on
Student Council, as class president, in National Honor Society and a
member of the band.
On Aug. 24, he packed up and left home to head to Latrobe, Pa., where he
is attending St. Vincent College with an undecided major and swimming
for the Bobcats.
Adam has been an active member of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church
and involved in the Senior High Youth Group, as well as the summer
softball league.
He joins an Eagle Scout tradition in the Hodnichak family - his father,
along with his father's two brothers, George and Mike, became Eagle
Scouts in the 1970s. Then Adam's brother, Josh, became one in 2003. His
grandfather, George, is a Silver Beaver recipient from his council in Akron.

Scam warning issued by police dept.
By RYAN HORNS
Marysville Police Department detectives are looking for some help
fighting e-mail scams. But the only way to do it is to get the public involved.
"I just want people to stop losing money," Detective Doug Ropp said.
In the past eight days, he said, police have been called to investigate
more than a half dozen victims from scams that may originate in other
countries, such as Canada, Nigeria or Europe.
"If you have to send anything out of this country - it's a fraud," Ropp
said. "If you are winning a lottery you didn't enter - it's probably a fraud."
Ropp said that not only have recent scams become more involved and
realistic, but they are targeting people using every means possible. The
criminals may put a sign up on a highway, pay for an ad in the local
papers, send out blanket e-mails to hundreds of potential victims, or
set up a fake Web-site.
"There are so many ways they can get to you," Ropp said. "They will go
to a lot of lengths to appear legitimate."
He said people fall victim to the frauds because they are desperate to
pay off bills or earn more money for their families. Many scams end up
affecting elderly residents living on fixed incomes.
"A lot of the people are at a point in their lives when a little extra
money would help," Ropp said. "But they don't have the ability to pick
up another 40 hour a week job."
The scams offer large amounts of money with little effort involved, he
said. It is a lot easier to fake the Web site of a major corporation
then it was years ago.
"If it sounds way too easy or too good to be true - it is," Ropp said.
Secret Shopper Scam
Ropp explained that a resident may answer an advertisement by a company
claiming to help earn them extra money. Time slips may be provided and
the promise of thousands of dollars, to help "check on" the business
practices of local companies. The victim's "job" is to buy several
low-cost items with funds the company provides.
A fake company called Master Research Inc., told victims to go to an
area store. A work sheet explained to victims that, "The objective of
this assignment will be to evaluate their effectiveness and efficiency
of a payment system called 'Money Gram' which is available."
The company claims it will provide anywhere from $2,000 to $3,000. The
victim is supposed to cash the check, keep $300 for training and
services, and then send the remaining money back to the company through
Western Union (or any cash service).
Ropp said the forms and the checks the company sends look very legitimate.
"But 10 to 12 days later that check is going to bounce - and you're
liable for it," Ropp said.
The victim is ultimately out upwards of a thousand dollars.
Re-Shipper Scam
Ropp said this scam essentially has two variations. The first involves a
victim answering an advertisement, or finding a job posting online,
associated with helping a small warehouse. The company will ship the
victim packages, which in turn are supposed to be mailed to another
location - usually out of the country.  The company pays the postage and
offers to pay $50 for each package shipped out.
"Here's the bummer," Ropp said. "Those items were purchased on stolen
credit cards."
He said when the credit card thefts are investigated the thefts are now
directly linked to the victim's address.
In another version of the fraud, someone may go online to buy a Dell
computer, or some other brand. But they find a site that sells the same
computer for half the price. The victim buys the computer online and the
item shows up at their home.
"The next week eight more items from Dell will come to your doorstep,"
Ropp said. "When you contact the company, they say 'We made a mistake.
Could you send those back?'"
He said the victim is asked to mail the items to another address out of
the country. Much like the other version, the items have been purchased
with stolen credit card information and the victim is now tied to the thefts.
International Lottery Scam
Ropp said he had two calls on Thursday from residents reporting
International Lottery scams. These frauds tell random people over e-mail
that they have won large amounts of money in lotteries overseas. The
company claims it cannot send the money without the victim first sending
money to help with the transfer of funds.
In one version, Ropp said, the victims are sent a check for a couple
thousand dollars and then are asked to send a certain amount back to
"process the winnings." But when the checks arrive, they soon bounce -
leaving the victim liable.
Another version of the International Lottery Scam does not ask the
victim for money, Ropp said. Instead the victim has to open up a bank
account to receive the money, and then provide the company with the bank
routing and bank account numbers.
"Now they have the ability to write checks in your name," Ropp said.
"The international lottery scam plays on everybody's dream: You just won
the lottery."
Prevention
Ropp said if any residents are suspicious of a money-making opportunity,
contact their local law enforcement agency.
According to police reports, banks are sometimes able to spot suspicious
activity and have thwarted the scam. If an elderly resident comes in
hoping to mail large amounts of money out of the country, they may look
into it further. But many fraud checks look too legitimate for banks to notice.
Ropp said that if people are suspicious, they should talk to their bank
tellers first before sending any money.

 

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