Sunday, July 22, 2007

Not Just Yet

Yesterday's news papers brought us news that Special Prosecutor Lynn Grimshaw has proclaimed that the Tonia Amato case won't be going to the Grand Jury next week. And who can blame him? I think we were all hoping to see some news next week but Mr. Grimshaw has stated that he will take his time and leave no stone unturned.

Attorney Grimshaw was in the county last week meeting with various people that have been involved in this case from the beginning. According to what I read in the papers his mission on this trip was to determine if there was anything else that needed to be done. He also advised the press that there are "results of certain tests" being done by the Ohio BCI that could take a couple of months before they determine their findings. Neither paper advised what these tests were or if it was determined that anything additional needed to be accomplished.

Mentioning the BCI tests probably gives us a timeline of what to expect before we get any additional news or determinations. Mr. Grimshaw wants to make sure all the Ts are crossed and all the I's are dotted. (I can use cliches too!) Like I said who can blame him with all the twists and turns we've seen so far? I may be wrong but I still think there will be some surprises yet to come with this investigation.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Wellsville Short Story

Check out Suzie Haugh's for a "short story" of our village written 34 years ago by Francis E. Bush. The story is a history lesson on how Wellsville got its start and I found it very interesting. It doesn't take long to read and you will get a little knowledge of our beginnings.

Thanks for your efforts Suzie.

Welcome Back To Wellsville Charlie

In yesterday's Review Lucille reported that the ville's mayor was given the green light to rent office space to Congressman Charlie Wilson to establish a district office at Village Hall. At the last finance committee meeting there seemed to be a pissing contest going on with nitpicking on what was going to be paid for by the good congressman and what Wellsville was going to absorb in costs. I don't know what occurred between then and now but I'm certainly glad the members of council came to their senses.

Having a Congressional District Office in town can be nothing less than a plus for this piece of God's country. Congressman Wilson is on record saying his top priority is the Ohio Clean River Fuels plant being proposed by Baard Energy. Charlie and Congressman Tim Ryan have already scrounged up $2.5 million for studies to be done for the plant. That is federal money to be used for the benefit of our region. That's money you & I paid to the IRS coming back to us.

The feasibility studies is just one of the benefits that's coming our way at Congressman Wilson's behest. Getting up close and personal with him and his staff having an office here in town is going to be good for Wellsville. You gotta know there are people up and down the river saying "dang it!" when they heard the news of the office coming here. They were all hoping the office would be established in their communities.

So, to Congressman Wilson and his staff, I say thanks for bearing with us while council got their act together. We're glad to have you. Make yourself at home. Let us know if you need anything.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Dang! They Moved The Floodwall

Yesterday saw the Phase I dedication of the floodwall murals in our fair village of Wellsville, Ohio. In a Review article by reporter Leigh Ann Kaiser in this morning's paper the dedication ceremonies were held on Seventh Street. Ms. Kaiser even had a couple of pictures of the flood wall in it's new location. Knowing that the reporters and editors of The Review are strict adherents for accuracy it must be true that the flood wall is now on Seventh Street.

I was thinking about attending the dedication. Glad I didn't make it. I would have gone to the wrong location. I would have gone to First Street. Ain't it great our local newspaper keeps us up to date?


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Morning Journal 2 - The Review 0

The death of Tonia Amato has held just about everyone's attention for more than a week now. As a few people have mentioned on ORL and here, Tom Giambroni reported that Tonia's husband admitted to killing his wife as revealed in court documents file yesterday in Columbiana County Common Pleas Court. It was also reported that a claim of self defense was made along with that admission.

Mr. Giambroni's article is front page, headline news in the Morning Journal. Other than the shooting itself this is the first real information we been given about this case as to why and what happened. The Review's headline story today is entitled "Mooving violation". It is a humorous ditty about a wayward steer that escaped a Madison Twp. farm and how it eluded capture yesterday around State Route 11. Pitiful... We didn't even get a news bulletin this time. It wasn't even in the Police & Courts reports buried on Page 6B of this morning's Review.

They wonder why they are losing subscribers. Wake up ladies. Your efforts are turning that paper into a daily society column. It's sad.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Special Prosecutor Appointed

Both of our local papers this morning had above the fold, front page headlines about County Prosecutor Bob Herron backing off the Amato investigation and requesting that former Scioto County Prosecutor Lynn Grimshaw be appointed to serve as special prosecutor. The reason stated was that there would be a conflict of interest since Dr. Jack Amato is president of the County Health Board and the prosecutor's office are their legal representatives. Dr. Jack was the victims father-in-law. Herron's request is as it should be. Mr. Grimshaw was Scioto County's prosecutor for some 28 years and since losing an election three years ago has been doing special prosecutor work throughout the state. Both Lucille Huston & Tom Giambroni reported he has a very good reputation around the state for this line of work.

As I stated in last Sunday's post this case has seen just about every imaginable twist there could be and there will be more to come. So far two things come to mine that I have observed. First off it seems that everyone involved in this case to date is jealousy guarding their reputation and cautiously guarding against any rash statements about others involved. Look at all the retractions and clarifications issued about what has or has not been said or done. Matt Stewart stated that "it is still very early" and my gut instinct tells me there is going to be even more twists thrown into the mix before all is said and done. Secondly, I'm finding that the code of silence, omerta, is still very much a part of life in our troubled village. I've heard some truly ugly rumors involving this case and no one wants to be associated with "what I've heard". When you hear a rumor you ask someone you know and trust if they heard anything about it. I'm getting more and more "I haven't heard that". So be it. There is a reason I hide behind anonymity in this journal.

I hope Mr. Grimshaw is tough and thick skinned. I fear he is going to need both qualities in dealing with this case. Stay tuned friends and neighbors. I suspect as this investigation unfolds it's going to shake up the whole village.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Thoughts Bouncing Off My Window III

Some may be wondering why I haven't written much on the Tonia Amato killing. Lord knows there has been plenty of material, rumors and such to get ideas from. However, my friend up the river, the author of Ohio River Life, has been all over it and I saw no need to duplicate his efforts. In fact I've been using up a lot of time reading Matt's blog and the newspapers. Being a professor he probably has a lot more free time than me.

"The Wellsville Zone"
We people of the ville have been getting some negative comments with unsolved murders that ORL has adapted the theme of Rod Sterling's old tv series The Twilight Zone when referring to us. I kind of liked it but there are probably some that take offense with it. So in defense I would like to say East Liverpool is not without their case files of unsolved murders. Three come to mind: The Tweed murders in the old used furniture store, Bernie Waters out on Dresden & Terry Weaver that was found beaten to death on the river banks. Someone wrote an article for The Review a few years ago listing them all. If they ever do an update on that I guess Wellsville could be included.

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back
The death of Tonia Amato has seen just about everything. Although I think it's time for a change of command at the WPD I think the Chief did a wise thing excusing himself from the investigation. We've seen statements retracted from local to state level authorities. We've seen lengthy explanations for this & that. What I would like to see is some charges filed. What are they waiting for? The Sheriff said they were looking for specific evidence and they found it.

The Mayor's Race
The County Election Board announced this week that Don Brown will not be on the ballot and that Dave Lloyd will be as an independent. Mr. Brown has a hard, uphill battle to wage if he decides to file as a write-in. The odds are against him. His best bet would be to educate the voters how to vote for a write-in candidate. I was disturbed to read that Dave Lloyd hasn't bothered to vote since 2001. What's up with that? Joe Surace would do well to concentrate on getting the WPD straightened out. Maybe it's good to hire outside lawyers to investigate and advise him how to get that task done. Let it all come out and let the chips fall where they might. The bad blood has been going on for too long.

The Fire Department
Looks like Fire Chief Smith is doing some politicking to get more men and money for the WFD. In a report of the last council meeting the chief said they have been busier so far this year than in the last two years and he needs an assistant and more full timers. In an article Mrs. Huston wrote that was published June 13th Chief Smith was quoted as saying "the volunteer fireman serves Yellow Creek Township, not the village". Is this true? Being called the Wellsville VFD I thought they fight fires in town and get paid by the village. Does Yellow Creek kick in on the expenses?

Susie Haugh's Web Page
A big "attagirl" should be given to Susie for creating and posting a web page for our fair village. It is a very professional cite and extremely well done. It is what the Chamber of Commerce should have done. At the least the Chamber should buy some advertising space on it to support Susie's efforts. You can click on the blue "web page" to view it. Thanks Susie. I was wondering who that lady with the barrel on the back of her truck was. Here I thought she was getting water out of the creek to take home! Some of you may remember Susie's pictorial of the 5th St. fire a little over a year ago.

Chester WV
Gee, Chester just turned 100 this year. I never realized how young the town is. In reality the town's history goes back farther than that but it wasn't incorporated until 1907. Happy Birthday Chester. I remember going on school picnics at Rocksprings Park. My older siblings thoroughly terrorized me on the roller coaster back then and to this day I will not even consider riding one.

New Street Signs
I like them. They are in Wellsville colors and reflect in the dark. They are eye catchers. It spruces up the place a bit.

Follow Ups
I've seen where the Port Authority is saying that the Baard Engery plant is looking more like a sure thing. They sent a wake-up call to the area business folks to get ready.
The "Paint the Town" crew did a bang up job on the house on 10th St. It looks like a new place. They are still looking for volunteers.
Did they ever find out what happened to the village truck that was stolen from Phenicie's? Rumor has it that it was stripped for parts.
Did we get the bids for the new roof on Village Hall?

Not A Job I'd Want
In a list of marriage license applications this past week the Morning Journal listed one man's job as a "boil maker". Yuck! I hope he doesn't work out of his home.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Shooting on Commerce

Allegedly there has been a shooting on Commerce Street in the ville this afternoon. The rumor mills are running in high speed. I'm sure there will be more specific details in the newspapers tomorrow. At present I haven't been able to find out if it was another murder, an intended shooting or accidental. Like I said the rumor mills are up & running. I've heard from three different sources and if any of it is true it is indeed another tragic story.