Alleged Sexual Assault in Woodsfield

A young Woodsfield woman reported to Woodsfield Police on Jan. 28 that she had been sexually assaulted. According to the woman, who has not been named, the sexual assault took place around 6:30 a.m. at her residence in Woodsfield.

The woman said her door was not locked, and a man was able to enter the home as she was in the shower. Upon exiting the bathroom, the woman was confronted by the suspect. The man allegedly grabbed her and that was when the sexual assault took place according to the victim.

Woodsfield Police Chief Chuck Hamilton said of what happened next, “She was able to push the suspect away. She then ran to her bedroom and retrieved a .410 shotgun.” The woman then said the suspect then fled on foot. 

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OVAC Girls Basketball Parings

Announced after this week's Beacon deadline were the pairings for the 2013 OVAC Girls Basketball Tournament. Both River and Monroe Central are within the top four seeds of Class 3-A and will participate in the semi-final round.

The River Pilots are the #1 seed in the class. The Lady Pilots will face Shenandoah (the #4 seed) in the semi-final round.

Ranked as the #3 seed are the Monroe Central Seminoles. The Lady Seminoles will face Fort Frye (the #2 seed) in their semi-final round match-up.

Semi-final games were originally scheduled to be played on Monday, Feb. 4 on the higher seeded team's home court. After cancellations, games were moved to Feb. 6. The 3-A championship game will be held on Saturday, Feb. 9 at 12:30 p.m. at the Ohio University Eastern Fitness Center.

Also participating in the tournament are the Beallsville Lady Blue Devils who will face Magnolia at home on Thursday, Feb 7 in the consolation pool.

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OUE Hoopsters Excel In The Classroom

Pictured, from left to right, are OUE academic and basketball starts Jessica Hunkler, Alexus Davis, Sarah Neavin, Kelsey Holloway, and Monroe Central grad Casey Digity.The Ohio University Eastern Lady Panthers are on their way to another great season.  The two-time defending Ohio Regional State Tournament Champions sport a fine 15-5 overall record and are in contention for a fourth regular season conference title in the last five years.

However, according to Head Coach E. J. Schodzinski, the most impressive statistic is the one that the team earned in the classroom.  For the record, the Lady Panthers achieved an average overall grade point average of 3.12 as a team for the fall semester that just ended.  “This is a remarkable accomplishment,” said Schodzinski.  “Our student-athletes compete in the classroom the exact same way that they do on the court and I could not be prouder of them.  They truly are students first and fine representatives of Ohio University and the Eastern Campus."

Union Local’s Alexus Davis and Monroe Central’s Casey Digity led the way and were named to the Dean’s List for their efforts.  To be named to the Dean’s List, a student must earn a minimum 3.5 grade point average on a 4.0 scale and take 16 hours or more during that semester.

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SRs 255 and 556 Now Open

According to two separate releases sent out on Jan. 23 from the Ohio Department of Transportation, SR 255 and SR 556 are both now open to traffic. The closed section of SR 556 was four miles west of Clarington. The closed section of SR 255 was near the road's intersection with Goddard Ridge

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New BCI Office Opens in Cambridge

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced today that a new regional office for the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) is now open in Cambridge.

The new office will serve as a drop off point for law enforcement officers who have evidence to submit to the BCI laboratories in London and Richfield.  The 1225 Woodlawn Avenue location will also house office space for agents investigating crimes in the area.

"It is important that BCI services are easily accessible to law enforcement," said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.  "The sooner we receive evidence, the sooner we can test it and get the results back to investigators."

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Bomb Threat at River High School

A bomb threat interrupted the the last two periods at River High School and caused the cancellation of a freshman basketball game on Monday, Jan. 14. The threat was reported by a student at around 1:30 to Principal Ed Trifonoff.

After the threat, procedure was followed including the evacuation of the building. The school resource officer was on-site when the threat came in and investigated the building. 

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County Signs Year-Long Economic Development Contract

The Monroe County Commissioners met for their weekly meeting on Jan. 7 with a full agenda.

New business addressed by the commissioners outside of their appointments was the consideration of a new service agreement with Jason Hammon and Silverlode Consulting out of Cleveland. Hammon was signed to a one-month contract in December to act as the county’s economic developer. Considered was signing Hammon and Silverlode to a one-year contract.

Commissioners seemed satisfied with Hammon’s work during the short-term contract. “He’s done a lot,” said Commissioner Pyles. “Jason is involved in several things right now, and he’s done a good job for us,” added Commissioner Price. Price made a motion to sign the one-year contract, and the motion was carried. The terms of the contract will be the same as those in the short-term contract, which includes a fee of $3,600 a month for up to 24 hours of economic development services.

Highlighting the appointments of the day was a decision to change the standard road usage agreement the county requires oil and gas companies to sign before using county or township roads.

Laborer unions across the state have been lobbying counties to require that those repairing road damage from oil and gas activity be paid prevailing wage. According to the unions, this helps guarantee that local workers will be used and that the work done on the roads will be high quality.

To bring the lobbying efforts to Monroe County, Daniel Kurczi of Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA) met with commissioners on Monday. Kurczi said to commissioners, “Of all the work that is done in the oil and gas industry, this is the part you have control over.” 

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Monroe County Commissioners Continue To Discuss 2013 Budget

The Monroe County Commissioners met on Dec. 24 in an abbreviated Christmas Eve session. The only scheduled appointment was with Gary Cook of the Monroe County Airport.

Cook reported that the airport had acquired 1000 gallons of fuel at a steep discount of almost one dollar per gallon due to mobilization of supplies stemming from Hurricane Sandy. Due to the large purchase, Cook requested that a portion of the airport’s 2013 appropriation be released early. A motion was passed to release the funding to the airport.

Cook also spoke to the commissioners about a jet being based at the airport. Cook said the company that owns the jet will be installing a tank for jet fuel at their own cost. According to Cook, having a jet based at the airport will make it easier for them to receive grant money.

The commissioners next addressed ongoing 2013 budget requests. Auditor Pandora Neuhart had submitted a request to include the Personal Property funding in her 2013 budget to raise it from $144,914.66 to $149,772.78. The commissioners noted that the Auditor’s office had not used any of the fund in 2012 and very little of it in 2011. 

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Budget Negotiations and Planned Improvements for Senior Center

The Monroe County budget was the main topic of discussion during the December 17 County Commissioners meeting. Jeanette Harter presented numbers to the commissioners showing an amount of $5,145,455.52 to be approved. This number came after budget cuts of $235,876. A significant portion of the cuts, $212,177, was from the Sheriff’s Department. Harter did stress, however, that prisoner housing had been raised by $100,000, so the actual cut was really $112,177.

Sheriff Chuck Black was on hand to dispute the cut for several reasons. The first reason was that it would leave the department anywhere between $16,000 and $20,000 short on 911 funding. Sheriff Black also stated that there was approximately $15,000 in bills that still needed to be paid. Harter suggested transferring the needed money for 911 and the bills from prisoner housing into a miscellaneous account and making payments from that.

Sheriff Black also told the commissioners that two deputies would be retiring at the end of the month. Their payout of $20,426 had not been factored into the budget, because their retirement was not official until December 14. The sheriff said the department would also have to hire two new employees to replace them and he stressed that the department would have to pay a decent wage. “We cannot hire someone at $8 or $9 an hour and expect them to do the level of work that these two people do”. 

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Monroe County Farm Bureau Goes To Columbus

Monroe County Farm Bureau members represented their organization during the 94th annual meeting of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation held recently in Columbus. Delegates established the organization’s policies on state and federal issues of importance to farmers and all Ohioans. The delegates, elected by their home counties, represent the interests of all farmers regardless of size of operation or type of commodity produced. Ohio Farm Bureau is the state’s largest and most inclusive farm organization. Representing Monroe County Farm Bureau were, from left, seated: Betsy Anderson, Organization Director; Charles Schaefer, Beallsville; Second row: Al Miller, State Trustee; Linda Schaefer, Beallsville; Pat Hulsey, New Matamoras.

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