Sunday, March 30, 2008

Exciting News

From confidential sources we have stumbled upon some very exciting news for the ville. Everyone is expecting big things with the development of Baard Industry's CTL plant but this news will precede the Baard proposal. This news will knock your socks off.

It seems worldwide hotel chain Marriatt Inc. has taken an interest in our area especially with the expansion of Mountaineer and the coming of Baard. Officials from the hotel chain have been in negotiations with village officials for some time now. They have an agreement in place and Mayor Joe Sirace is suppose to put this proposed agreement before council in this week's meeting.

The agreement is to lease the village owned land along Main Street from 12th to 18th Street to the hotel chain for development of a 500 unit combination apartment, hotel and resort site. Construction is to begin within days after council votes in favor of the struck agreement. The company wants to be ready to go with the rooming portion by early summer. If all goes well with Baard they might be breaking ground sometime this year.

Being planned is a 200 unit muti-story apartment building along with another 300 hundred unit hotel. With limited space they are planning a five story parking garage to be erected between the two units. The hotel will have a 24/7 buffeteria restaurant, conference rooms and a mini-theater. The restaurant will also feature a sit down menu for those that liked to be served while they are dining out. Space will also be reserved for a bar to be opened once a liquor license is obtained.

In addition to the apartment/hotel they are planning on putting in an indoor/outdoor swimming pool with a retractable roof for seasonal use. Also being planned is an exercise health facility with just about all the amenities anyone would want to see. There'll be treadmills, weight lifting equipment, steam rooms and other exercise equipment. Outside they are going to have tennis courts, basketball courts and a track for walking and jogging. It was also hinted that they are looking for available land somewhere close by to put in an 18 hole golf course. As part of the agreement Wellsville residents will be given very reduced rates to enjoy these facilities.

A spokes person for the company said they are always looking to expand and have had an eye on this area for sometime. With the prospect of Baard and the expansion of Mountaineer they decided to go ahead with plans and selected the ville. They commended the village officials for being so receptive to their plans and said they wished more people had their progressive thinking.

Although it seems incredulous it's like a dream come true in starting to getting our little sleepy village out of the economic doldrums. Other than top management village residents will be given preference for employment at the new facility. Even the top management positions will be available to our residents once they go through the Marriatt training program and serve an internship. Hopefully our council members will put legislation for the agreement on the fast track so things can get started right away. Personally I don't see anything negative about it and could see no reason why anyone would object the proposal. It would certainly be an improvement to that area.

Wouldn't it be nice... April Fools!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Yesterday's Papers

It's been a slow week in the ville for news. I guess that is mostly due to it being the end of the month and most of the organizations have all of their meetings out of the way for this month. Seems like our hooligans are behaving themselves or at least laying low. Of course I wonder how much attention is paid to police activity in our fair village. Both of our local papers have police reports just about daily but to me it seems Wellsville is seldom mentioned.

Yesterday's papers were filled with pictures and what little news was available about the bomb threat over in Lisbon Thursday. If I was betting I would put my money on the perpetrator being some jerk that was suppose to be in court over there and was attempting to put it off. Did you catch the Aaron Rudolph picture on the front page of the MJ? I couldn't help but thinking that the Sheriff was saying "Can you hear me now?" into his cell phone as he stood on the Court House steps. Then standing behind him was Lisbon Police officer Mike Abraham. Is it just me or is there anyone else that can see a striking physical resemblance to Curley of the Three Stooges? I've never seen or heard of Officer Abraham and there is no insult intended. It was just a first impression I had before I even read the caption. Seriously though I hope they find the person/s responsible and get him into the justice system quickly. Terroristic threats are no joking matter. Thankfully it was just a hoax and no one got hurt.

Perry Twp. Chief Ray Stone picked up a few more votes to be the Republican candidate for sheriff in November's election in the official vote count. However the difference in vote totals still requires a recount by law to finally determine a winner. In an another Rudolph photo buried on page 12A of the MJ was pictured the ville's Kim Meek looking all official working at her new job at the Election Board. If Chief Stone holds on after the recount he will be facing off with Wellsville's John Soldano.

Zane Carter continues to rack up the honors for his basketball talents. He was named Player of the Year and given a first team position in the ER's All-Review Teams for high school round ballers for this past season. It was a nice write-up. Younger brother Jeremy was breathing down his back for those honors according to Mr. Glavies. Congratulations to all those from WHS that got mentioned and to Coach Thompson for being named Coach of the Year. It was all well deserved in my book. By the way, Zane said he is kicking around either Mount Union or Rio Grande. We had a WHS girl that played for Rio Grande not too many years ago and then, of course, there was Bevo Francis a couple of years before that.

The Alley Cat Aid Brigade got into action this week. With the help of the CC Humane Society it was reported that they set out traps at the old Sterling China for their initial TNR mission. According to their web site it was very successful. We been told that the old Sterling China is a very popular gathering place of the feral felines. They like the shelter that does not have a lot of humans around. If you see any stray cats with one of their ears partially lopped off in the near future you'll see one of the patients that went through the program.

Chamber-of-Commerce member Lucille Huston resigned as secretary at this week's meeting. Lucille use to cover Wellsville before she retired from The Review. No reason was reported for the resignation but I'm guessing she is lining up more time for gardening and her grandchildren. The kids are year round blessings to enjoy and it's fast approaching time to play in the dirt. Enjoy it all and our best wishes go out to Mrs. Huston.

In yesterday's ER there was a multi-extra section titled Focus on Business. It covered various businesses from all over the tri-state area. Five Wellsville businesses and the Chamber-of-Commerce were honored among the many pages. Two of the five that I'm counting have headquarters in East Liverpool but have a very viable presence as entities in town. Those are the Port Authority and Martin-Maclean Funeral Home. The other three were Robert's Funeral Home, Central Federal Bank and the Dairy Queen. Although there are many other businesses in the ville I can't help but think of businesses we no longer have. It's kind of sad but really it's a story that can be applied to communities all over the area. It's been said that the economy runs in cycles. Let's hope we get an up swing in that cycle soon.

Enjoy the bright sunshine today.

ole nib

Friday, March 28, 2008

State of Ohio vs. Amato Jr., Jack C

In CC Common Pleas Court Jack Carl Amato, Jr. plead innocent to murder charges this morning. Amato has been accused of murdering his wife Tonia in their home back in July of last year. After months of delays and all kinds of twists and turns he was indicted and arrested back in early February. He was immediately bailed out to await his arraignment which was originally scheduled for Feb. 28th and then rescheduled for today at the request of Special Prosecutor Lynn Grimshaw.

This morning in Judge Ashley Pike's courtroom the arraignment, the pre-trial and motions were heard. According to on-line court records there will be a telephone conference on April 17th, a status conference on Sept. 5th and a jury trial on Sept. 16th. On Amato was quoted as saying "I'm innocent. I am innocent, that's all I can say on the advice of my attorney." I wonder if he recalls he freely admitted to Wellsville police that he shot his wife on the day of the shooting?

Not being present in the courtroom that's all I can relay to you at this time. I'm sure it will be well written up in tomorrow's local newspapers. Since Channel 9 is already reporting it on the web site it may be on the evening news. J.C. could be looking at 18 years to life if found guilty in September. I'm curious to see what the reporters have to say on what motions were made and what comments to those motions were.

To be continued...

ole nib

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Lake Marwin

Here's a picture of an old post card that brought back a flood of memories that I thought I would share with you. Back in my school days from grammar to high school I spent a lot of time at this place. Our friend "jws" told me of a web site that has an East Liverpool section with a real treasure trove of historical pictures. Most of them are in and around the ELO area. Also in his post today Matt Stewart mentioned a new site called Point of the Beginning which has many of the same pictures and a few others that I didn't see on the Cleveland Memory pages. Just about all of the pictures are of old post cards. This picture was found on the Cleveland site.

Lake Marwin was opened sometime in the 1950s I think. It was owned and operated by the late Doc Irwin, an ELO dentist. It was named after Doc's wife Mary and they took the "win" from their last name. Located at the top of the hill off Shadyside Doc had them take a corner of the lake and built a huge swimming pool. The pool was nearly the size of a football field. It went from three feet deep at the shallow end to eight or ten feet deep at the other end. The shallow end gradually sloped down to five feet where there was always a rope across the pool to let patrons know there was a sharp drop off to the deeper end. Although the high dive isn't shown in this picture there was at one time both a high and low diving boards. In addition to the big pool there was a fairly good sized baby pool. I was one of the regulars at the pool in my grade school days and if I could bum a ride was usually there waiting for them to open the gate at 1 P.M. If Mom would let me I would be there until they closed at 9 P.M. but I usually had to be home in time for supper.

I don't know how many acres were involved but there was a lot of land inside the fence. There was one big pavilion with several picnic tables and on an adjacent side there were areas with individual picnic tables scattered about the hillside. There were two concession stands, one by the pool and another over by the main entrance. The hillside by the pool was reserved for people to lay out their blankets and beach towels. If you got bored with swimming, sunning and picnicking there was a miniature golf course on the grounds to keep you amused. They also rented row boats and paddle bikes if you wanted to cruise around the lake or go fishing.

In the white building you see in the upper right hand corner was a dance hall on the second floor where every Friday evening they would have a d.j. spinning records for a dance hop. Back when I was in high school that was the "in" place to be on Friday nights. You weren't with it if you didn't go to "The Lake" on Friday. I remember Stan Scott and ELO's Tom Edgell spinning records there in their best Dick Clark fashion. Kids would come from all over the tri-state. I think it cost a dollar to get in and they would stamp your hand if you had to go outside for a moment. There were rumors of a lot of hugging and kissing that went on in that parking lot.

Looking back on it the Friday night record hops were a hoot. Friday nights at "The Lake" usually meant going stag. If you had a steady Saturday was date night. Most of the guys stood around watching the ladies dance with their girl friends during the fast dances. Once in awhile they would slow it down and call a "lady's choice" were it was permissible for a girl to ask a guy to dance. This would go on until nearly closing time when all they played was slow numbers and the guys and gals would usually pair up to finish off the night. There were a lot of romances started there and a few that were terminated if you were caught dancing with the wrong partner.

I haven't been up that way for ages but I don't think there is much left of the place. That picture of the post card brought back a lot of memories. At one time Lake Marwin had something for just about every member of the family to enjoy, especially in the summer time. It was a popular spot and I remember times when it was extremely crowded. It was a part of my growing years. I think it closed down in the early 70s but I'm not sure of the exact time. It's a shame it's not still in operation.

ole nib

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Easter

Easter is an annual Christian festival to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is observed on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox. Just this past week we observed the vernal equinox or what we call the first day of spring. Christians believe after dying on the cross Christ arose from the dead. Although we have overcast weather and we can't see it the full moon is today.

Christ rising from the dead is suppose to be a symbol of new life and hope for all our salvation. After being commercialized over the centuries a lot of us see this symbol in Easter eggs, Easter flowers, brightly colored chicks, baby bunnies and candy. It's a fun way of saying there is hope after the cold winter months. For that I am very grateful.

Hope you all have a joyous & happy Easter. Don't pay any attention to the snow. It will go away. I hope & pray...

ole nib

Friday, March 21, 2008

Who Is Accountable

In both of our local papers yesterday was reports of 15 JVS nursing students that were supposed to be given Mantaux tests for tuberculosis and instead were given injections of polio vaccine. The Mantaux test is mandatory before the students can go out to hospitals, nursing homes, etc. for the clinical part of their training. The amount of polio vaccine was an extremely low dosage. The test is to determine if any of the students have been exposed to or have any trace of tuberculosis.

The test were administered by a nurse from the Lisbon Community Health Center a week ago. The nurse did not notice the error until after all the tests were completed. When told of the mix up the officials at JVS immediately reviewed the students health records and notified the parents on what occurred. They also checked with health experts for any ill effects to look for. Fortunately none of the students reported any adverse reactions.

Even though this turned out to be no problem I have to ask where is the accountability and what is being done to insure this carelessness will not happen again. That polio vaccine did not come in an unmarked container. The whole incident could have been avoided if someone took a brief moment to read the label. Like I said it didn't turn out to be a problem but the fact that it did happen is scary enough. Was that nurse having a bad day that she neglected to perform a very basic inspection of the labels? Where is the assurance that this should not be tolerated and won't happen again?

The only hint of accountability in both reports was some back pedaling by CC Health Commissioner Bob Morehead stating that the county health department had nothing to do with the incident. The Lisbon Community Health Center is part of the Community Action Agency. That's a different department altogether.

An incident like this should not be sluffed off.

ole nib

Thursday, March 20, 2008

One or Two Other Things

There were a couple of other things I wanted to mention. First off I want to extend our congratulations to WHS senior Zane Carter for being named to the AP's Div. IV All State second team for basketball. He also was named the MJ Player of the Year. Of all the high school round ballers in the state we got a fellow from the ville getting noticed. Not only is Zane an outstanding basketball player he's a heckuva wide receiver in football. Hopefully he can parlay some of that talent into a nice scholarship. Good luck Zane.

The annual VFW sponsored Easter Egg Hunt is this Saturday from noon to three at the football field. Hope the field isn't buried in snow. Does anyone know if they have an alternate site?

There's been a lot of Jim Saracco bashing going on from some of our commenters. Considering the lack of funds and the lack of personnel he has to work with I don't think he's doing too bad. In case you haven't noticed the village is still operating on a very strict budget. They are patching some of the pot holes as weather, manpower and money permits. Even the t.v. is gone!

In some other Council Meeting news this week Dale Davis reported that there is over $131 thousand balance in the General Fund. That's a huge amount to me personally but when it comes to running a village it ain't a whole lot. At least we're in the black and that is good news. They're even looking to adding some summer help to the street crew. They are also looking at some pot hole patching equipment that can be used year round. The much maligned Mr. Saracco asked if anyone knows of old, abandoned cars or piles of garbage that need attention to give him a call. He can be reached at 330-532-2524 - Ext. 14. See, he's trying. You can report pot holes too. Finally there's a Main Street lady trying to organize a block party in the spirit of Oprah's Big Give program. Council is going to get back to her. Wonder if Oprah will show up?

It's spring now. Don't pay any attention to the wintry weather...

ole nib

A Couple of New Web Sites

At this week's council meeting Eric Sheppard was granted permission to block off "Riverside Avenue from the museum down to Seventh Street" according to the MJ's Erin Colella. Why they would want to block off Riverside from 9th down to the museum is beyond me. At any rate in the ER report Mr. Lydic made mention of a site for the Reunion. It is and it has all the information you would want about the reunion. This is a nice annual event and a lot of hard work is done by the all volunteer crew to make it possible. This year they are featuring Queens of the 70s and the classes of '78 and '93. Check it out. Oh, one other thing, I've been told that the class of '58 is holding their 50th that weekend too.

The other web site I was asked to mention is one for the Victims of Homicide folks. This is the organization that sponsors a support group for families and friends of unsolved homicide victims. Their web site can be found at

ole nib

Here We Go

Dang, I knew I should have quit my job so I could attend council meetings. Last Tuesday's council meeting ended with a shouting match over the fiscal assistant clerk's job that was given to Kara Chevront.

From accounts in both our local papers yesterday and today it appears the mayor told Nancy Murray she had the job and even gave her a starting date. It also appears that council members did an "end around" play on the mayor and picked one of the other applicants which was Ms. Chevront. It's also abundantly clear that there was a serious lack of communication between the mayor and those council members that voted for the winning applicant. Not only did it make everyone look like fools it was a great disservice to Ms. Murray. Nice job people!

When that job was created the mayor was given the authority to hire Ms. Chevront's predecessor. Apparently Joe was operating under the assumption that it would be the same. I can't fault the mayor for this if he was not made aware that certain council members had other thoughts on the matter. That's where the miscommunication comes into play. However, I do feel that the mayor should have told Ms. Murray that the decision was taken out of his hands and there was a possibility that someone else might get the job. I feel that Joe didn't consider this possibility since Ms. Murray is a village resident. Soldano tried to fluff that off saying Ms. Chevront had a Wellsville address. The only Chevront I could find in three different phone books with a Wellsville address was one with a Route 45 - Madison Twp. address. That's out in the red brick church vicinity.

The only thing I read that I could agree with about the whole thing was Randy Allmon's reason for voting against the selection. He said he wasn't given the oppurtunity to see the resume before it was brought up for voting. What's up with that? That made it dirty politics.

So now the line has been drawn in the sand. Matt Stewart said it's a game played with knives. There definitely appears that some back-stabbing took place and the power plays have begun. As history repeats itself I doubt it will be the last skirmish we'll witness.

Although a few of days late maybe Surace should have been aware of the Ides of March...

ole nib

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Erin Go Bragh

Happy St. Patrick's Day to all you Irish and wannabe Irish. I've been told that is the only two kind of Irish on the face of the earth. Whatever the case it's the time for wearing of the green once again.

Did you know that "Erin Go Bragh" is actually an incorrect spelling of the popular greeting? It should be "Erin Go Brea" and translates into English that Ireland is beautiful. My research source figures the bragh is an Americanization of the phrase. He's probably right but it just wouldn't sound right saying erin go breee..
Have a safe one.

ole nib

The Underground Rail Road

In this morning's Review was an AP article about the state's Division of Tourism and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center joining up to promote some of the places that were part of the escape routes for slaves. They got a web site ( as part of their efforts to promote the places in Ohio. Prior to the Civil War slaves made their way out of the southern states along the underground railroad to freedom. Usually their destination was Canada where slavery was prohibited. The travel was mostly done during the darkness of night and along the route were homes where they let the travelers stay for a day or so until it was safe to move on. Many times there were bounties put on them and bounty hunters pursuing them.

The article reminded me of one of the newer murals on Wellsville floodwall which I was told was one of the stops on the underground railroad. I borrowed the picture above from the Revitalization Committee's site. Hope they don't mind. I was told this house was located at the top of Campground Road and about all that is left of it is the foundation. One of these days I'm going to try to located it, when I get roundtuit.

I'm sure there are other places in Wellsville that served as stops but this is the only one I know of. A few years ago I was looking at a house on Riverside with a realtor and there was some unusual spaces dug out in the basement that put me in mind of the railroad's hiding places. There are places over in Lisbon that I heard of but this is the only one in the village.

Anybody know of any others?

ole nib

Thursday, March 13, 2008

It's Coming!

Today in Wellsville was the kind of day that gives one hope. Yep, it was a sunshiny 60 something degrees. By the time I got the picture of the Central Federal electronic sign it was down to 60. Even the late Pete Amato's daffodils are popping out of the ground as you can see in the picture of the front of his house on Main. People were out walking and PYTs were strutting up and down the street enjoying the day.

Hope you enjoyed it too. According to Weather Underground the next couple of days are forecasted to be a bit cooler with rain. The sunshine will be back Sunday but the temperature is only suppose to be a high of 38. That's March for you.

One week from today is the first day of spring. After the weather we had last Friday & Saturday I'm ready for spring. Although we escaped the brunt of the snow like they had in Columbus & Cleveland I'm still eagerly anticipating the coming change of seasons.

ole nib

The Television Is Still There

A concerned citizen brought up this t.v. at the last council meeting that has been sitting on the sidewalk since, I think, the dawn of time. It is unsightly and the response was that it would be removed. Of course they didn't say when. Guess it wasn't going to be done right away, huh?

Then it could be used as a landmark. "Go down Main Street past the t.v. and turn at the next right.."

ole nib

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Who's Fault Is It?

In this morning's ER in their "Thanks & Spanks" column someone was spanking a Calcutta gas station on Rt. 170 who didn't set the computer to stop at the pre-paid amount and it cost them an extra $10. If I'm reading this correctly the customer was paying $10 in cash. Most stations around here demand that you pay in advance if you're not using a debit or credit card. If you're buying $10 worth of gas, you go in and pay, they set the pump to have the computer system to stop at $10 and you're on your way. When I do that I don't pay attention to the pump until I hear the thing shut off. I while away the time taking in the sights. When I hear it shut off I make sure I got what I paid for and go on from there.

If I already paid for what I wanted and get double the amount then who's fault is it? Obviously the clerk screwed up through no fault of mine. For the sake of argument I'm not obligated to pay for their mistake. In my way of thinking it's the same principle as finding something mispriced on the store shelves. Sorry for your loss pal. Your loss is my gain. Evidently the reader that sent that into the Review felt sorry for that clerk. For the record I would've too. I wouldn't have been happy about it. Good customer service would have eaten the loss with no questions asked but that clerk would've probably had the loss taken out of their pay. That's the part I would've felt bad about. Those jobs are not high paying. So the question would be do you be a jerk and stick the clerk for the snafu or take pity on the poor thing?

Incidentally, last week I stopped at a station and prepaid for $20 worth of gas. The pump stopped at $19.85 and I had to coax the thing to give up that last 15 cents worth. Made me wonder if there was a scam going on. It wasn't a station in town.

Oh for the days when an attendant actually came out of the building to wait on you...

ole nib

Friday, March 7, 2008

Wednesday's Council Meeting

Instead of the first Tuesday of the month Wellsville's council meeting was held on Wednesday because of the elections. From accounts in both of yesterday's news papers it was a tranquil one with no new business brought to the floor. None was reported other than a couple of Fire Department personnel items. In a way that's good to see. It's an indication that our elected officials are following up on items.

Evidently there was a completion clause in the Village Hall roof repair project which is still yet to be completed. It was scheduled to be done by Dec. 16th and some think the contractor is giving us the run around. I don't know if the delays had anything to do with some of our wintry weather but how much you want to bet that the contractor is devoting more time to inside projects that they may have going on? It's not uncommon for some contractors to get your money tied up and start a project only to move onto starting a new project so they won't lose a contract. Then they play around leaving you hanging. I've seen it done more than once with some small home improvement contractors we have in the area.

They reported Jennifer Allen is making a dent in back taxes owed the village with close to $9,000 collected and suspended the driving license of 63 other recalcitrant obligators. She's got another $21 plus grand to work on before starting anew after the 15th of April. I wonder how many of those 63 with a license suspensions even realize they are not driving legal? I know the state doesn't notify them. Does the village? Most time folks don't find out until they try to renew their license or get stopped for a traffic offense. Surprise, surprise...

They have narrowed 22 applicants for the assistant fiscal officer's job down to eight and will be starting to interview those folks. That's the job Kim Meek left to go over to the Election Board. They say they are looking for a "people" person. Kim left a tough act to follow in both job performance and being a heckuva nice person.

Jim Saracco advised that residents have to renew their handicapped permits in person. He must be talking about the parking spaces. The permits are issued by the state. It wasn't reported what proof is needed. Help me out here.

Chief "Smitty" from the Fire Dept. said he is getting busy with properties that need to be demolished in the village. After he gets some legal advice he said he will start condemning some places and notify the owners. They must have got some funding for the project. Smitty said they can tear down six condemned structures at a time. I was wondering, is there a waiting period after the notification is sent to the owners and before the demolition can be done? Also if the notified owners do not respond does the property become village property? I'm not trying to start anything here. I'm just being nibby. That's how I got my name. There are too many neglected places around the village that have fallen into disrepair. I'm glad to see the project getting started.

Not related to the reports on the council meeting I saw a couple of items in this morning's Review I wanted to mention. Tomorrow the St. Francis animal shelter folks are hosting a chilly cook off contest at the SOI. Weather permitting it is a worthy cause. Even if you don't have an entry I think you can stop by and have a bowl. What a great way to warm up a winter day. Judging begins at 5 P.M.

The second item I wanted to mention is that the Crime Watch Committee is holding their regular meeting at Village Hall Monday evening at 7 P.M. In my opinion this is another worthwhile cause that can only benefit our village. We need to support it.

Hopefully by the next council meeting spring will be in the air. Think spring. Think sunshine and warm...

ole nib

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Thursday Afternoon Musings

Mother Nature is being good to us. Once again we safely made it past a flood threat. According to the National Weather Service the river crested at 29.9 feet this morning at New Cumberland and the water level is slowly falling. At 1 P.M. it was 29.8 feet. With the near 70 degree high this past Monday there was a lot of snow melt and then on top of that was over 2" of rain fall the last couple of days. The missus was betting the flood wall would be going up this time for sure. Glad she lost that bet. Wellsville's flood stage is 11 feet. Fire Chief Bill Smith was quoted as saying we would crest at 9.6' around seven this morning. The first picture you see above is the train tressel over Yellow Creek. The second one is looking east toward the ville from old Route 7. At the top you can see the new crane at the Port Authority site. You can click on either picture to enlarge.

If you're following the Div. IV boys basketball tournament then you already know that Malvern knocked Shadyside out of the tournaments by a score of 75-60 this past Saturday. Shadyside was the team that sent the Tigers home last week in the first round of the Districts. In the first game of the Regionals this week Malvern put a big time whupping on Columbiana beating them 103-67. Malvern plays Bedford Chanel tomorrow and the winner of that game gets to go to Columbus. One of these days it's going to be the WHS Tigers leaving a trail of beaten teams in their wake on their way to the capitol. Huh, Bug?

The Primaries are all over for us Ohians except for the counting of the provisional ballots at the end of the month. We're all familiar with those provisional ballots. This time the Republican nomination for Sheriff hangs in the balance. Right now Perry Twp. Police Chief Ray Stone is leading that race by a mere five vote edge over former deputy Jerry Herbert. I was kind of pulling for Skip MacLean. It would have been interesting to see two Wellsville boys facing off in the November election.

I have to agree with "Read-My-Lips" . I think the majority of the voters sent a loud and clear message to all concerned that any new levies are going to find it increasingly difficult to get them passed. The proposed new JFS levy for the care of foster children was voted down nearly two to one and the levy for the JVS operations fund was worse than that. When it comes to something for the children we Columbiana County voters are usually generous with our hearts and our wallets. Maybe the County Commissioners, all those school boards and council members all over should step back and take a hard look at the way they do budgets before asking for more money and threatening us with deprivation of services. On a rainy day the voter turn-out was nearly 46%. Voting down those two levies and John Soldano getting over 15,000 complimentary votes for sheriff should be telling somebody something. Can you say times, they are a changing, boys and girls?

The Buckeye Water District at their last meeting February 21st voted to appeal Judge Pike's decision to award East Liverpool $9.7 million in their contract dispute. Late this past Tuesday they filed that appeal in the 7th District Court of Appeals. I wonder what genius up there in East Liverpool decided to ask for prejudgement interest from BWD? Talk about a waste of time. Ain't no way the water district would even consider paying that. Wouldn't that be like an admission of guilt? Helloooo...

For the life of me I've been trying to figure out what County Health Commissioner Bob Morehead has up his sleeve. Last week he announced his retirement effective the last day of February and then turned around saying he would be would be back on the job Monday morning on a voluntary basis. Huh? The timing is right? Come on... For a fellow accused of allegedly buying gas on the company credit card and then filing an expense report to be reimbursed for the cost of that gas I find it extremely difficult to believe that altruism is the motive here. With over 30 years in public service he's entitled to his P.E.R.S. pension. Is he setting himself up to be a double dipper if he clears his name in August. With the generous County Health Board behind him that is very possible. Maybe it's just me but I can't get that nagging feeling out of my head that something is amiss here. It's a feeling I get when we haven't been told the whole story.

The Baard people came to town last week for the Chamber dinner. From all accounts is was SRO by the time everyone got inside the door. ER reported Jeremy Lydic likened the attendees to a who's who in Columbiana County. Of course Mayor Joe was there and one commentor told us he witnessed three of our council people present. Even the company's name sake, John Baardson, was there. Key note speaker Steve Dopuch explained the process they will be using and encourgaged everyone to write our congressmen asking for their support of the Ohio River Clean Fuels project. Baard Industries are currently in the process of obtaining EPA approvals. They got one permit application filed and I believe they got two more to go. The first OEPA public hearing is scheduled for April 17th at the Wellsville High School. Mayor Joe Surace was quoted as saying "why would you protest 4000 construction jobs and 400 on-site jobs?" Joe might not have been around when the WTI circus was in full swing. They even brought in Hollywood personalities for that one. It was quite a show. Maybe I'm being overly negative but I foresee much of same. We'll see.

Don't forget to "spring ahead" sometime Sunday. We go to Daylight Savings Time on Sunday. For those of you that have Sunday off the adjustment should be a little smoother. However, from an article in the USA Today, experts in chronobiology say it takes most of us several days to adjust to losing that hour. You may be able to change the clock with a twist of the dial but our bodies take a little longer to catch up to the change. So, next week be aware of those of us that are groggy especially on the highways. Especially vulnerable are people who are sleep deprived anyway, like new mothers. So spring ahead and try to stay awake...

ole nib

Monday, March 3, 2008

Primary '08

Tomorrow - Tuesday - March 4th - is Primary Day in Ohio. The only contested races we will see in Wellsville is who you want to see run for President or who you want to see run for County Sheriff. Other than that there are a couple of levy issues to be considered. Everybody else who filed for office is unopposed as the candidate in their party in this years primary. We'll see them in November.

On the Republican side we get to choose between John McCain, Mike Huckabee or Ron Paul according to the Youngstown Vindicator. The Democrats get to choose between Barack Obama or Hilary Clinton. According to the talking heads the results of the primaries here in Ohio and in Texas will be a make or break time for the Democratic hopefuls for President. It seems like Hilary's people have been calling all day. She must be worried about us.

On the Republican side there are three candidates for us to consider for County Sheriff. There is Wellsville's Dan MacLean, or Raymond Stone or Jerry Herbert. One of them will be opposing Wellsville's John Soldano in the November elections.

There are two levies to be considered by us village resident voters. The first is a new levy for the CC Vocational school or what most of us call JVS. They are asking for approval for a 1 mill levy for five years for permanent improvements. This is the same levy that got voted down this past November. According to Superintendent Edna Anderson a lot of their nearly 30 year old equipment is falling apart and because the equipment is so old there is no longer replacement parts available.

The other levy to be considered is the one for CC Job & Family Services for their foster care programs. It is a new 1.5 mill levy and will replace the current 0.75 mill levy we are paying. Director Eileen Dray-Barton was quoted as saying they will discontinue the 0.75 mill levy if we voters improve the new levy. It was reported that in 2006 they were short $700,000 in what was spent for care for foster kids. They borrowed from Peter to pay Paul to make ends meet. There was nothing in the papers about how they made out last year. Somewhere I read Ms. Dray-Barton promised that income generated from this new levy will all go to foster care. None of it will be spent for the new offices they are hoping to get out on the hill.

Both levies, if approved, will mean an increase in our property taxes. And that dear friends is all we have to consider when we go do our patriotic duty. The polls open at 6:30 A.M. and will be open until 7:30 P.M. Remember to take I.D. with you. The easiest to use is a driver's license or a state issued i.d. card. You can also use a current bank statement, utility bill, government issued document or pay stub that shows your current address. Any one of those will get you a ballot.

See you at the polls...

ole nib

Saturday, March 1, 2008

MClelland Batting 0 - 2 With OEC

As anticipated the Ohio Election Commission (OEC) reviewed former Wellsville politician John McClelland's complaint against Mayor Joe Surace and did not find any probable cause to proceed with it. Probably the only one surprised at this finding is McClelland.

When I first wrote about this back in November I indicated that the complaint was based on assumptions and speculation. From what was presented in the newspapers McClelland did not have any solid evidence to back up his complaint. I don't know who was advising him, if anyone, but he was mislead. Now all he got out of it was more ill feelings toward him and bills to pay.

As you recall John-boy filed an incomplete complaint against Surace back in November with the OEC. That was promptly returned. The complaint was claiming that the mayor's insurance card was part of his campaign and that the mayor used campaign funds to buy postage stamps to mail them out. John-boy was quoted as saying he thought the OEC should have accepted the original complaint and ignore the legal requirements for filing such complaints. In his bull headed fashion John-boy gets a lawyer to correct the complaint, got his signature notarized and refiled the complaint in January. I'm guessing John-boy was assuming that he had the mayor in his sites and his smear campaign was dead to right. Well, John-boy, you know what they say about assuming. You can go to the head of the class with a big "A" pasted to your forehead. You undoubtedly proved that old adage.

Not only did you make a horse's patootie out of yourself you will forever more have the reputation of stooping to smear tactics. I, for one, will have to question your integrity if you ever decide to get back in the political arena. I could almost bet I'm not alone with this line of thinking. Think about it John-boy. You brought this all about because you got mad about a state audit from six years ago being brought out. Was it worth it?

I must apologize. I compared you to Mighty Mouse a while back. I was wrong. Mighty Mouse is a hero standing up for all that is right and honorable. People of your ilk put me more in mind of a common river rat. My apologies to Mighty Mouse.

Good night John-boy...

ole nib