Judge Starr's Spending Deemed Appropriate

A letter from William J. Owen of the Ohio Auditor of State’s office has declared Judge Walter Starr’s spending in the Probate/Juvenile Court as being “proper” and legal under the Ohio Revised Code. Judge Starr had been called into question by Monroe County Auditor Pandora Neuhart after using computerization funds and other funds to purchase a five-year Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) credit for two employees in the total amount of $269,840.71.

Owen’s letter, which addressed Judge Walter Starr with copies being sent to Auditor Neuhart and her legal counsel, referenced Bulletin 93-02 and Bulletin 97-019 to explain his decision. Those bulletins give appropriate computerization expenses.


Family Argument Ends With Man Being Hit By Car


A man was struck by a car on Saturday, Dec. 1 on East Court St. in Woodsfield in front of Biggins Restaurant and Bar. The man, Alan Davis (23), was life flighted to Morgantown with head trauma.

Allegedly hitting the man was his mother, Tina A Davis of Woodsfield. Reports indicate that Davis had allegedly left drunk, and her son was trying to keep her from driving. At some point, the car lunged forward and knocked Alan Davis to the pavement where he incurred head injuries.


Caldwell Resigns From SOLSD Board

The Switzerland of Ohio Local School District Board of Education held a special session board meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 21. Two big pieces of news came out of the meeting.

The primary news was that Board of Education member Rob Caldwell resigned from the board. Caldwell’s resignation comes because he was hired by the district as principal for Sardis and Hannibal elementaries.

Caldwell will replace principal Jana Thomas who resigned to return to teaching. Caldwell brings a wealth of experience after teaching special education at Tyler Consolidated for the past several years. Superintendent Larry Elliott said of the hiring (and Caldwell’s resignation from the board), “We’re very fortunate that we had a quality gentleman such as Rob Caldwell agree to leave his current position at Tyler Consolidated and take over the reigns at Hannibal/Sardis. He’ll be missed as a board member, but he’ll bring a lot of value as an administrator.”

The other big news coming out of the meeting is that the board is getting serious about moving River High School students due to the renovation process. The board directed administration to have a plan in place to move RHS students to the old Monroe Central campus at Swiss Hills Career Center. 

Bed Tax Coming to Woodsfield?

Woodsfield Village Council met on Monday, Nov. 5 to discuss several orders of business. The biggest news coming out of the meeting was the possibility of a bed tax being instituted in Woodsfield.

At this point, the tax percentage has not been stated. However, if passed, Ordinance 1148-12 will institute a tax for all stays within the village limits at a hotel, motel or bed and breakfast.

The first reading of the ordinance was passed. It will need the passing of two subsequent readings before it is officially made law. While the first reading passed, a lively discussion took place on how the ordinance was introduced during the meeting.

Councilman Dale English made the motion to pass Ordinance 1148-12 on an emergency basis. If an ordinance is passed in such a manner, all three readings could be done during the same meeting instead of being spread out among three separate meetings.

After the first reading of the ordinance was passed, councilwoman Carol Hehr was the first to take issue with passing the ordinance on an emergency basis. Hehr said, “I’m not against the tax at all. But I am against passing it on an emergency basis.” Hehr stated her belief that inn keeps in town should have the opportunity to discuss the issue during public session if need be. By passing the ordinance in one meeting, that chance would be lost. 


Unofficial Election Results: SOLSD Levy Fails, Tim R. Price Re-Elected


Reports from election officials indicated a good voter turn-out. Pictured above are Theresa (left) and Liz Schuerman as they exit from voting at the precinct at MACO. This was 19 year old Liz's first vote in a presidential election. Liz said, "It means a lot that I'm expressing my right to vote." Also seen were Rita and Lawrence Griffith (front slideshow picture). The couple has been voting every year since they each turned 18. Monroe County residents flooded to the polls on Nov. 6 for a pivotal general election that will decide our country’s fate for the next four years and beyond. Unofficial results follow. State and national races include Monroe County vote totals only.

School Board Levy Results

Permanent Improvement Levy:

For: 1,926

Against: 3,078


Monroe County Results


Tim R. Price (D) - 2,993

Timothy D. Price (I) - 1,775


Carl Davis (D) -  3,587

Prosecuting Attorney:

James Leland Peters (D) - 3,827


Clerk of Courts:

Beth Ann Rose (D) - 3,785


Ann Block (D) - 3,637


Judy Gramlich (D) - 3,631


Lonnie Tustiin (D) - 3,336

Monroe County

Court Judge:

James W. Peters - 3,761


Charles Black (D) - 3,787

Franklin Township Additional Tax Levy:

For: 82

Against: 111

Malaga Township

Renewal Tax Levy:

For: 273

Against: 194

Lee Township

Replacement Tax Levy:

For: 62

Against: 40

Sunsbury Township

Renewal Tax Levy:

For: 55

Against: 60

Graysville Village Renewal Tax Levy With Increase:

For: 21

Against: 20

Jerusalem Village

Renewal Tax Levy:

For: 43

Against: 11

Lewisville Village

Renewal Tax Levy:

For: 77

Against: 24

Woody’s LLC

Local Option:

For: 99

Against: 101

Tri-State Petroleum

Local Option:

For: 130

Against: 147


Ohio Results

Senator (30th District):

Lou Gentile (D) - 2,703

Shane Thompson (R) - 2,147

Representative of

96th District:

Jack Cera (D) - 3,412

Judge of Court of Appeals:

Mary DeGenaro (R) -  1,582

Mark Anthony Hanni (D) - 2,071

Justice of the

Supreme Court:

Robert R. Cupp - 1,261

William M. O’Neill- 2,067


Terrence O’Donnell - 2,034

Mike Skindell - 1,202


Yvette McGee Brown - 1,106

Sharon L. Kennedy - 2,211


Issue 1:

For: 1,089

Against: 3,310

Issue 2:

For: 1,332

Against: 3,196


United States Results


Barack Obama (D) - 2,299

Mitt Romney (R) - 2,620


Sherrod Brown (D) - 2,479

Josh Mandel (R) - 2,302

Representative to Congress:

Bill Johnson (R) - 2,232

Charlie Wilson (D) - 2,725



Economic Development Contract Signed By Commissioners

After years of going without an economic developer for the county and after months of proposals from two companies, the Monroe County Commissioners decided Monday, Oct. 29 to sign an agreement with Silverlode Consulting Corp. of Cleveland. A motion passed unanimously to sign the group to a two month contract to act as the economic developer for the county. Also approaching the commissioners within the past few months with an economic development proposal was the White Caps Creative Group of Sardis.

The main contact with Silverlode will be Jason Hammon, who had previously worked on an unsuccessful attempt to secure a large grant to rehabilitate the space left open by the old Ormet rolling mill. The contract will be for the months of November and December at the rate of $3,600 per month. Any new contract for 2013 would have to be negotiated at a later date.

For the monthly rate, Silverlode is required to offer up to 24 hours of economic consulting service per month. Any additional hours would be charged at a rate of $150 per hour. Other terms include a mandatory monthly trip to Monroe County. Travel time will not be charged towards the consulting service hours, but travel costs will be billed to the county in amounts up to $400 a month.

Silverlode will be expected to focus on several aspects of economic development according to the contract. Those aspects are, as listed: business retention and expansion, business attraction, maintenance of an available properties database, provision of economic development content on county's website; incentives and economic development finance tools, identification of funding sources and utilization of social media for promotion of county. 


Skyvue Elementary Bids Accepted, Multiple Building Sales Finalized

After a re-bidding process was completed, the Skyvue Elementary project will still be over budget. After all bids were accepted for the K-8 Project at the Switzerland of Ohio Local Schools meeting on October 18, the project is projected to be approximately $475,000 over budget.

Although the project is over budget, it is within the accepted 10% overage, therefore the project will move ahead as scheduled. Following are those companies with the lowest bid on each portion of the project:

General Trades bid: Grae-Con Construction, Inc., $4,774,000.

Fire Protection bid: Brewer & Company of WV, $316,200.

Plumbing bid: W.G. Tomko, Inc., $471,129.

HVAC bid: Martina Metal LLC, $1,247,777.

Electrical bid: Davison Electric Company, Inc., $1,032,286.

Technology bid: Horizon Information Services, $472,000. 

Commissioners Sign Lease Deal WIth XTO Involving 78 Acres

A deal that had been anticipated for weeks was finally struck between the Monroe County Commissioners and XTO Energy, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil, on Tues., Oct. 9.  The five-year deal encompasses 78.2694 acres of county owned land in Center Township and will give XTO the mineral rights and therefore authorization to extract oil and gas “along with all hydrocarbon substances” from the land.

Efforts were made by XTO representatives to hide the financial terms of the contract so that future negotiations with other municipalities would not be hindered. As a result, the motion made publically (and passed by a unanimous vote) at the Oct. 9 Monroe County Commissioners’ meeting stated only that the county would receive “$1 and other valuable considerations.”

After following the proper channels and making a written request for public information, the Beacon was able to obtain the contract detailing the financial benefit Monroe County will receive from the lease. The financial terms see the county receiving an amount of $5000 per acre for the initial signing bonus for a total of $391,347. Thereafter, the county will receive a royalty percentage of 20% on oil and gas extracted from the land. 


10/4/12 Beacon Posted Under E-Editions

Due to a computer malfunction, the 10/4/12 edition of the Beacon could not be posted online in the traditional way.  All information prepared for that edition was lost. However, it has been posted in its editorial entirety (minus full-page ads) under E-Editions. Sorry for the inconvenience.  Issues are now resolved, and the regular postings will continue as before.


Sunfish Creek Festival Donates Over $3500 to Clarington Baseball

Pictured during the check presentation are, from left: Tyson and Mason Randall, Emily and Derek Smith. Back row, from left, are: Martha Hoebe, Barbara Rush, Barbara Kocher, Marissa Eikleberry (2012 Chairperson), Christ Randall, Greg and Ashley Smith, and Mitchell Talbot.The Clarington Baseball Association recently received a 2012 benefit check from the Sunfish Creek Festival Committee members. The committee was excited to present a total of $3,510.20 to the association for the new baseball field project located on North Market Street.

In addition to the large donation, $925 had already been given to the baseball association as a result of the Sunfish Creek Festival. The brings the total benefit to $4,438.53. 



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