Fatal Pedestrian Accident on SR 7 Near Sardis

A woman was killed in a pedestrian accident involving two vehicles at 9:09 p.m. on Thurs., September 13. The accident took place on SR 7 at the 11 mile marker between Fly and Sardis.

Killed was 34 year-old Viola K. Stark, who was described as a temporary resident of Sardis. Before the accident took place, a female driver narrowly missed Stark. The driver said Stark had been walking on the white line. Other witnesses said they saw her walking “in the middle of the road”.

At some point, around 9:09 p.m., Stark was hit by Patricia A. Blake of Sardis who was travelling in the northbound lane in a 2009 Jeep Liberty. Stark was knocked into the southbound lane where she was hit again by Ruth E. Piatt of New Matamoras, driving a 2010 Chevrolet Impala. Stark was pronounced dead at the scene by Monroe County Coroner, Dr. Ronnie Williamson. 

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Commissioners Discuss Large Delinquent Tax Number

The Monroe County Commissioners met on Sept. 10 with a full agenda. The biggest conversation took place during a discussion of the delinquent real estate taxes. According to a report submitted to commissioners by Prosecuting Attorney James Peters, delinquent taxes currently total $828,663.83, a huge jump over last year's amount of $474,500.

“The number is large. No one is going to dispute that,” Peters said. He continued, “It's an issue that's a concern for the community.” Peters said not much action can be taken on several of the properties, because many of them only became delinquent in 2011 or 2012. However, Peters said once properties are in delinquency for more than two years, they are subject to further action beyond sending letters of warning.

If a property is delinquent for more than two years and, in an amount over $500, the county can take actions to foreclose on the property. Peters made reference to an upcoming sale of 30 foreclosed properties as evidence that action will be taken against those who do not keep up with their tax payments.

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Deceased Local Couple Still Inspiring Kind Acts

Pictured are Kathryn and Fred Abel.The Quispe family from La Florida, Peru, never knew Fred and Kathryn Abel, but they will never forget them.

Though the couple passed away 68 days apart last year, their legacy of serving others is the reason Domitilda Quispe and her three children soon will be able to escape their unsafe, one-room shack made of sticks, reed and scraps of plastic. They will move into one of 10 new Fuller Center for Housing homes being built in the community during the Millard Fuller Legacy Build Sept. 1-8.

While the entire Legacy Build project is the result of the volunteerism and donations of many people, the Quispe home is being sponsored by Linthicum Heights, Md., resident Robert Abel in memory of his parents - Kathryn, who died at age 90, and Fred, who was 93. Robert, who will help the Quispes build their simple but decent and safe home during the Legacy Build, said that it’s the perfect way to honor two people for whom building was a way of life. He said it’s especially fitting that they can be  honored during an event that honors another of his biggest influences, Millard Fuller, who died in 2009 after decades of helping hundreds of thousands of families leave unacceptable housing conditions and be empowered through home ownership.

“Because these three people were such amazing influences in my life, I discovered a perfect remembrance opportunity linking all three by sponsoring a home in their memory during the 2012 Millard Fuller Legacy Build,” said Abel, who will be joined by fellow Marylanders John Canterna of Linthicum Heights and Jon Bradley of Woodstock on the trip to Peru.

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Deal With Antero Means Digitizing of County Records

As the horizontal oil and gas well boom has entered into Monroe County, so too has the money that comes with the companies involved. Property owners are receiving larger amounts per month, tax revenues are up in the county and the village of Woodsfield, and business owners are seeing up-ticks in business. However, the biggest impact, from day one, has been felt in the Recorder's Office, and that continues as a valuable offer has been made to the office.

Antero Resources, based in Colorado, has been one of the most active companies in the area. From Antero came an offer that, if approved by Prosecuting Attorney James Peters, will change things forever in the Recorder's Office.

Recorder Ann Block announced to commissioners on Monday that she has been in negotiations with Antero to digitize all back records including deeds, mortgages and leases. According to Block, the value of such efforts is sure to exceed $100,000. In return, Antero has only asked for a copy of the records, to be used by their company. 

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Hill Out as MCCC/BrandyWoods Administrator

An emergency session held by the Monroe County Commissioners on Fri., August 17 ended with the dismissal of an employee in a prominent position within the county. As a result of the meeting, Kelly Hill will no longer act as administrator for the Monroe County Care Center and BrandyWoods Assisted Living.

The situation involving Hill is a complex one. Hill had been hired by the commissioners last year as the administrator for MCCC/BrandyWoods. At the time, Share Inc. was the management company of the care center, contracted by the commissioners. In January of this year, that contract was terminated after the relationship soured due to delays in the opening of BrandyWoods.

Upon terminating the contract with Share, the commissioners agreed to a new management company, Templeton Healthcare Management, LLC of Vincent, OH. In reality, Templeton was a company owned and operated by Kelly Hill who remained administrator. Hill then took on additional duties separate from those she held as administrator due to the change in management firms. 

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County Receives Flood Grant Extension

The Monroe County Commissioners met on Mon., August 13 to consider multiple orders of business. While no major news came out of the meeting, several decisions were made.

Discussed was the extension of the flood grant. Originally, the county had received $369,000 for the purpose of cleaning up flood debris. Recently, the county was awarded more funding to the tune of $185,483 in order to continue the program. While more funding was received, there were worries recently that it would not be able to be used due to a lack of sites to clear. However, Jeanette Harter, director of the Department of Job and Family Services who oversees the program, said the county was given permission by Wayne National Forest to clear debris from multiple sites on their land. Harter also reported that there is a probability that the county will receive funding to clean up debris from the June 29 Derecho storm that swept through the area.

Harter also sought authorization to change the department's PRC contract. The change is needed to allow for a new program, the Household Needs Program. The new program will give assistance to those who are income eligible. Those receiving assistance will be able to shop at authorized stores for needed household items such as hygiene supplies, school supplies and clothing. Resolution 28-12 was passed to approve the changes. 

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Neighborhood Revitalization Grant Application Turned Down

Disappointing news came out of the Monroe County Commissioners Meeting on Aug. 6. Announced during the meeting was that Washington Township/Graysville community was not chosen as one of the recipients of the 2012 Neighborhood Revitalization Grant (NRG). Receiving the grant would have meant around $300,000 for projects in the community.

This marks only the second time that a Monroe County community up for the NRG was denied. The competition was stiffer this year due to federal cuts in funding for the grant. While ten projects were funded last year, only seven were funded this year out of the 19 applications that were received.

Commissioner Carl Davis said of the application, “I felt good about our chances.” He commended Mary Jo Westfall of the OSU Extension office for her efforts in the application process. Westfall said of the disappointment she held, “I feel bad for the people that attended the meetings.” The meetings she spoke of were held in the Washington Township community earlier this year to determine what projects they wished to be funded in their community.

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Dayshift Paid Service Set to Begin at Woodsfield EMS

After weeks of discussion, a motion was passed by the Monroe County commissioners during their July 30 meeting to authorize the  initiation of paid service at  Woodsfield Emergency Medical Services.  Monroe County EMS Coordinator Dave Kuhn and EMS President Jay Chaplin had met with commissioners several times before to discuss the possibility. However, each time a hurdle presented itself. After all was sorted out, Monroe County EMS is now set to begin paid service for the first time in its history.

Woodsfield EMS lobbied for the transition to paid-service for the day shift after recent difficulties with staffing day time runs. Of late, several calls coming into Woodsfield EMS could not be responded to due to the lack of volunteers available. Squads such as Antioch have had to pick up the slack since they have day time volunteers available.

Under the new system, one full-time employee and multiple part-time employees will staff the squad room from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The full-time employee will hold the title of Paid Service Supervisor. The supervisor will be responsible for scheduling and for acting as a liaison between the paid-service employees and volunteers. While multiple part-time employees will be hired, only two employees will be on-staff per shift. 

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Layoffs Coming at Ormet

It was announced on Monday that layoffs will be hitting Ormet’s plant in Hannibal. According to Ormet President and CEO Mike Tanchuk, 30-50 employees will be laid-off. When asked about what led to the decision, Tanchuk said, “The primary reason for this change is that metal prices are fairly flat at this time.”

The company submitted a WARN notice last week that announces the layoffs. Under regulations, the layoffs cannot be carried out until 60 days after the WARN notice pushing the action to Sept. 18.

Due to the layoffs, one of the six potlines at the Hannibal plant will be shut down. The shut down process takes approximately two weeks and was initiated on July 23. Tanchuk said of the decision to shut down the pot line, “You don’t do this lightly.” It can take three to four months to re-open a potline, and it is an expensive process. 

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Debris Removal Funding Requested

The Monroe County commissioners met on July 16 with a full agenda. Once again, a portion of the business dealt with the aftermath of the June 29 storm. As reported last week in the Beacon, the Beallsville EMS e-squad had been heavily damaged when a tree fell on it during the storm. Dave Kuhn, EMS Coordinator, reported to the commissioners that the insurance company had totaled the squad.

Kuhn said the amount received from the insurance settlement was disappointing. However, CORSA, the insuring company, made the decision to leave the squad with Monroe County EMS. Kuhn said they would be able to acquire costly equipment and other parts from the wrecked squad to supply other squads throughout the county.

In a race to get Beallsville EMS, who is currently operating with only their back-up squad, a   primary squad, efforts were expedited to purchase a new squad for Clarington EMS. The purchase was planned for the year, but for closer to the end of the year. The commissioners were able to secure a six-month note in the amount of $39,239.19 from Citizens National Bank that will allow the squad to be purchased this week. When Clarington secures their new squad, their current squad will be transferred to Beallsville EMS who is scheduled in the rotation to receive a new squad next year.

Also discussed was debris clean-up for the storm. Larry Hivnor, Local Rapid Response Coordinator, reported to the commissioners that Monroe County will likely receive disaster money from the state. The requested amount is $369,150. If the county receives the funding, a carry-over of $100,000 from the flood clean-up funding would be available as well. The program would run until Sept. 30, 2013 and operate under similar guidelines as the flood clean-up crew.

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