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Commissioners' Meetings: Sheriff Discusses Need For Jail; Township Association Continues to Request Money

The Monroe County Commissioners had a short meeting day on Sept. 8, meeting only with Monroe County Sheriff Charles Black Jr. and Zane Daniels of the Columbia Pipeline Group.

Sheriff Black spoke to commissioners about the progress on talks on building a new jail. He said his office has been negatively impacted in various ways by the necessity of housing prisoners at other county jails and he is hoping for a decision soon.

According to Sheriff Black, his office is projecting a cost of $120,000 to $130,000 to house prisoners from August through the end of the year and have only $20,000 left in the prisoner housing fund. He said the prisoner housing fund isn’t the only part of his department being affected. “The overtime is killing us,” said Sheriff Black. He noted that most of his office’s overtime comes because of transporting prisoners to far-flung areas. He said transporting prisoners is also affecting fuel costs, case loads and patrols in the county.

Sheriff Black also gave specific examples of what his department must do to house prisoners. He said last week he had two female prisoners. He had to “practically beg” Licking County to house one. The other female prisoner was placed on house arrest at the Olive Tree Inn.

“I hate to be a broken record on this, but we’re going to have some significant issues by the end of the year on housing,” Sheriff Black said.

Commissioners told Sheriff Black that a meeting is scheduled between them and Prosecuting Attorney James Peters for the Sept. 15 commissioners’ meeting at 10 a.m. in regards to the jail. Commissioners also said they will soon be meeting with a representative of Ross, Sinclaire and Associates to discuss feasibility of the jail. 

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Network Operation Center Opens in New Sardis Community Center

Community residents meet with WVHotspot.net owner Thom Hinton (standing, left). Standing: Mike Bess, Larry Stewart. Seated: Lisa DeGarmo, Teako Bess, Britton DeGarmo, Brad Boggs, Helen Wycoff, Alisha Bess, Mariah Warrington, Keysha Bess.Investing in the future is the goal of the new Sardis Community Center and it takes a huge first step in that direction as WVHotspot.net opens a network operation center in the building, formerly the Sardis Elementary School. The internet service benefits residents of Monroe, Wetzel, and Tyler counties.

WVHotspot.net owner Thom Hinton is excited about the new location for his growing business, which has been in operation since 2006. It currently serves both the Ohio and West Virginia sides of the river from Proctor to Fly, also branching away from the river. It provides high speed, affordable internet to area residents, many of whom do not otherwise have access to service.  It most recently erected a tower on Long Ridge in Ohio Township. The expansion of the business into the community center and through towers will increase the number of people with the option of receiving the radio-based service.

Another exciting dimension is that WVHotspot.net is currently working on installing fiber-optic cables in the community center with some of their towers also migrating to fiber optic. WVHotspot.net also provides phone service and will be beta-testing television service this fall.

"We like to help the community, so that's why we will provide Dally Memorial Library with free Internet service. Patrons will have faster speeds in the computer bank and through free Wi-Fi," Hinton commented.  

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Job and Family Services Helps 363 Families in 2014 TANF Special Program

Two household need handout days were held on Aug. 27 and Aug. 28. Pictured are MCDJFS Director Jeanette Harter (right) and Monroe County Commissioners, John Pyles (left) and Carl Davis at the Monroe County Fairground on Aug. 27.Monroe County Department of Job and Family Services [MCDJFS] conducted a TANF special program in the month of August. This program provided $363,000 to income eligible families with minor children who reside in the county. Families were provided school clothing and school supplies as well as household needs like laundry detergent, cleaning supplies, etc.

Since 2008, MCDJFS has conducted programs like these for Monroe County residents. According to Director Jeanette Harter, this year’s program had over 100 more families qualify, partially due to the Ormet closing. The 2014 program served a total of 363 families.

In addition to this yearly special program, MCDJFS funds many other valuable programs for the community.  Partnering with GMN Tri-County CAC, MCDJFS funds the Project Partnership program in the amount of $124,000 as well as the YES (Youth Empowered for Success) program in the amount of $95,500. Also with GMN, MCDJFS funds the senior congregate and home delivered meal program and senior transportation in the amount of $$21,500.  MCDJFS funds the MCPT college student transportation program for low income families in the amount of 30,000 and also the NET (Non-emergent transportation) program for approximately $125,000. This program transports many income eligible Monroe County residents back and forth for medical appointments and treatments.  

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Muskingum Livestock 9/11/14 Results

September 3  Total Head 1152

Fed cattle 171; choice steers $128-174; good steers $127 & down; holstein steers $110-148; choice heifers $115-161; good heifers $114 & down;  184 commercial cows  $111-158; canners and cutters $110 & down; 33 butcher bulls $120-147.50; bred cows & C/C pairs: 16 cows & cow/calf pair BH $700-1885; feeder cattle 613; stocker steer & bull calves $92.50-310; stocker steer yearlings $100-221; holstein stocker steers $50-173;    stocker heifer calves $70-272.50; stocker heifer yearlings $112.50-220; calves 14; baby calves $270 & down; hogs  29; best barrows and gilts $67; heavier and lighter weights $64.50; sows $62-73.50; boars $25-75; feeder pigs by weight $77.50.

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Barnesville Livestock 9/6/14 Results

September 6 Total Head 402

Cattle 216 hd.; fats 2 hd. steers (2) $160-162.50;  cows 21 hd; good $95-120.25; medium $80-94.75; thin $79.75 & down; baby calves 2 hd BH n/a; WT $192.50-245; cow/calf pairs (2) BH 1400-1850; bred cows (3) BH $1280-1500; bulls (12) hd WT $129-151.

Feeders steers/bulls 114 hd.; med. 1 & 2  200-299 (6) $182.50-300; 300-399 (26) $180-312.50; 400-499 (36) $180-287.50; 500-599 (28) $180-260; 600-699 (8) $117.50-227.50; 700-799 (3) $150-190; 800-up (1) $200; Holsteins (6) $123-152.50

Feeders med 1 & 2 heifers 64 hd; 200-299 (8) $170-280; 300-399 (17) $140-277.50;  400-499 (20) $165-265; 500-599 (7) $152.50-240; 600-699 (4) $137.50-200; 700-799 (3) $155-200; 800-up (5) $132-150.

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Senior Nutrition Menu 9/15/14-9/19/14

The senior menu for the week of Sept 15 - Sept 19

Mon. - Chicken with Alfredo sauce, linguini noodles, broccoli, cucumber/onion salad, fruit cocktail.

Tue. - Taco salad with meat, cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes, refried beans, chips, mandarin oranges.

Wed. - Meatloaf baked potato, brussel sprouts, banana.

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Davey Crawford Light Pole Will Be Installed in South Island of Square

The long, twisty path followed by Woodsfield’s Davey Crawford pole has finally seen the pole meander back to its original spot, or at least a few feet from its original spot. During the Sept. 2 Woodsfield Village Council meeting, members of council voted to move the pole, which had been removed from its original location in the center of the square in the middle of the night years ago, to the South island of the square.

The Davey Crawford pole had recently been refurbished at no cost to the village [a savings of $5,000-$6,000] by Pioneer Pipe of Marietta. Throughout the process, Councilwoman Carol Hehr had plans to install the pole in the South island once it was finished. Measurements by Village Administrator Rick Schuerman indicated there would be plenty of space for the pole to be installed in the island. However, during the July 7 council meeting, Hehr’s motion to place the pole in the island failed after some council members expressed concerns over it fitting in its location as well as whether or not it would be a traffic hazard.

Flash forward to Sept. 2, and Hehr presented her fellow council members with correspondence between her and Ohio Department of Transportation engineer Eric Davis. Davis expressed that he was not concerned with the light dimensions as long as the base was four feet from the face of the curb, which was confirmed by measurements. Davis also said an expensive break-a-way base was not needed at the location.

After giving members of council the time to look at the correspondence, Hehr made a motion to place the Davey Crawford pole in the South island of the square. The motion was seconded by Councilman Bill Moore. During discussion Councilman Matt Vinskovich asked that a condition be added that if the pole is hit, council would consider a new location for it. The motion passed with Hehr, Vinskovich, Moore and Councilman Mike Cox voting “yes.” Councilman Dale English voted “no,” and Councilman Rick Shipp abstained. 

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SHCC Instructor Placed on Administrative Leave After Accusations

A Swiss Hills Career Center [SHCC] instructor has been placed on paid administrative leave after “accusations of professional misconduct.” Although district officials did not confirm it, sources indicate the accusations were of a sexual nature and involved students.

“We need to take these accusations seriously. That’s why the instructor is not in the building,” said Switzerland of Ohio Local School District Superintendent John Hall.  Hall also noted that the instructor is being paid while on leave, as required by the Ohio Revised Code.

Monroe County Sheriff Charles Black Jr. confirmed that the instructor was being investigated by his department. Sheriff Black said evidence was seized after a search warrant was authorized, and material is currently being examined by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation. 

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Monroe County Part of Columbia Pipeline Group's Plans For $1.75 Billion Project

A huge natural gas pipeline, dubbed the Leach XPress, is planned to be installed through Monroe County by Columbia Pipeline Group in upcoming years. The project represents an investment of $1.75 billion into a pipeline with a capacity of 1.5 billion cubic feet per day and would open up new markets to producers in the area trying to sell the massive amounts of shale gas being produced through horizontal drilling.
“This is really exciting for our company and for Eastern Ohio,” said Columbia Pipeline Group [CPG] community contact Zane Daniels.
All told, the proposed pipeline will travel 160 miles. Of that total, 22 miles will be installed in Monroe County, traveling the entire width of the county. Three new compressor stations will be built to coincide with the project, the closest one being west of Summerfield in Noble County.
According to Daniels, the pipeline will begin in Marshall County, WV; cross the Ohio River at the village of Clarington; travel west across Ohio to just southeast of Lancaster; then cut south and back to West Virginia. From there, the pipeline will connect with others already in place, leading eventually to the Leach Terminal in Kentucky, which connects to pipelines traveling to the Gulf of Mexico.
“We will see Ohio producers able to tap into markets they couldn’t access before,” explained Daniels. Daniels added, “Not only is it important for our company and our customers, but this is 1.5 billion cubic feet of new capacity.” 

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Antique Farm Display Helped Fair Goers Remember the Good Old Days

The tools pictured are, from left to right, are: a toaster, an apple peeler, and a cake tester.The 2014 Monroe County Fair has come and gone and good times were had by all in the Antique Farm Equipment Building. We had over two hundred visitors over the 6 days and talked 85 into guessing how many Jolly Ranchers were in the candy jar.  We also had 53 guesses on the three tool items we had on display.  It was wonderful to see so many families come in with their children and grandchildren and talk to them about the antique farm tools. Many remembered using some of the tools with their parents and grandparents and some remembered using things themselves. We even had a few who still use some of the items on display today.

Our winner for the candy guess was Thad Indermuhle. He guessed 203 and the actual number of Jolly Ranchers was 202. There were 3 other young people who guessed 200. Over all, children had better  estimates than the adults.  Mark that up to a current third grade standard in math.

Our tool guesses were varied and some just downright creative.  The  item for guess for adults was a whisk broom like object that was created by a broom maker especially for ladies to use as a cake tester. The cake baker would pull off one of the straws of the small broom and insert it in the cake when she thought it was done. If the straw came out dry the cake was done, if wet when pulled out the cake needed to bake longer. Today most of us use a tooth pick for this test. These broom-like cake testers are still available today in kitchen gadget catalogues and stores. Now are you thinking what this writer is thinking?  I wonder how many might have just used a straw from their floor brooms. Shirley Pfalzgraf was the first to guess it as a cake tester. Also guessing correctly were Angela Kerce and Marlene Moose.  Some interesting uses for the tester were for sweeping off table crumbs, ashes out of fireplaces and chimneys, dusting off hats or wool clothes, pastry brush, burr remover, early loofah, and corn silk cleaner. Undoubtedly if it works for another task, so be it.

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