Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I Just Don't Know...

In both of our morning papers today there was front page articles about ELO officials planning to appeal the $30 thousand fine that the EPA has levied against the city. The fine was for the removal and illegal burying of asbestos from the old car barn in 2006.

In both articles EL Mayor Jim Swoger is quoted as saying "I just don't know how they can fine us". Is he serious? The mayor buried his head in the sand from making any public comment when S. H. Bell got into trouble with the EPA. He left it up to others to speak of their indignation on the disregard of the health and welfare of East Liverpool residents. There was a real health risk going on up there according to the EPA and Swoger fluffed it off. Now he is playing the "woe is me" card for a mere $30,000 when they - the city - admitted they screwed up.

Someone in East Liverpool had the intestinal fortitude to do the right thing with the wrong they did with the asbestos incident. They contacted the EPA for guidance to rectify the situation. As a result the former Street Superintendant was fined and the asbestos was dug up and disposed of as prescribed. Surely Swoger is not that naive to think the city was going to get away Scott free. The danger of asbestos has been known for a long time.

Thirty grand is a lot of money to most individuals but as EPA fines go it ain't much. In the old t.v. show Baretta, the main character's motto was"if you're going to do the crime you have to be willing to do the time". Folks up the river was trying to skimp on the costs and someone was wise enough to do the right thing. Elected officials have to be responsible for what goes on in their territory. It's unfortunate it happened the way it did in the first place but it did. It's done. It's time to quit whining and get on with the business of running a city.

Good luck with the appeal...

ole nib

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Mildred's Letter

Did you happen to catch the letter to the editor in today's ER from Mildred Eells? It was the same letter that the MJ published this past Thursday. The Review titled it "Combat pay". The MJ called it "The four R's". If Mildred is the same Mildred I'm thinking about she is retired and I think she retired after devoting many years to the field of education. If that is true then one can not argue with her credentials for her observations.

Those observations struck a chord with me. Last year I wrote a piece about what I call "boob tube babies" and the effects television on their ability to think rationally. The way children are raised and educated in this day and age have long been one of my concerns. Apparently it is a concern with Mildred too.

In brief Mildred says that kids today are not raised with the need to respect others and taught that the rewards in life have to be earned. It starts at home and continues throughout their school years. It's not just a local problem. It seems to be nationwide. Just look at the stories you see in the papers and mostly they are just the ones that are spectacular. There are wacko teachers that make the news too but those are few and far between compared to the number of educators that lack the desire to stimulate their students. To be fair I also have to say there are some teachers that excel in their job and truly make a positive impact on students that go on to make themselves responsible, contributing members of society. I could name a few right here in Wellsville that taught me and some that taught our kids.

Back in the sixties guys could get a draft deferment during the Viet Nam war if they went to college for an education degree. A lot of guys did that and went on to be teachers. There was a large influx of new blood looking for education jobs. Like any other place of employment some of those teachers took the job just for the pay check and really didn't have any desire to be real teachers. I had a coach in high school that also taught a health class. He loved his sports but his teaching plan consisted mainly of showing movies. It was an easy grade and a good time for napping.

I've was raised to believe that kids are a gift from God, not an accident from failing to used methods of safe sex. I was also raised in a home with a stay at home mom. Mom had a profession but she gave it up when the family started. Mom was the disciplinarian in our house and we all had our jobs that we had to do to help out around the house. Her reward system was a little skimpy. I mean when you're five years old who cares if you're allowed to eat supper at supper time. We had a t.v. but it was only allowed to be turned on mainly after the supper dishes were taken care of and the waste basket was emptied in the kitchen. Then we had to watch what Mom or Dad wanted to see. If you haven't done your home work even that viewing time was gone. A quick backhand to the cheeks was our reward if we said a bad word or showed disrespect to an elder. If I got in trouble at school I not only had to endure the meted punishment there but also was rewarded with Mom's ruler when I got home. I had a sibling that seldom failed to advise Mom of my indiscretions at school. Man, when I got the paddle at school I ran home when school was let out, changed into my play clothes and got out of there before my sibling got home that day. It only postponed the ruler but it took me awhile to figure that out. Mom finally got wise to it and eventually made me wait for the tattletale to get home before going out to play.

Our home wasn't abusive and the good memories far out number the bad ones from my youth. Some may argue with me but I don't think I turned out too bad. Times have changed and there are a lot of demands on couples today that mostly stem from economic necessities for them to support and house a family. The missus tells me I was an extremely fortunate kid. We always lived in a house with indoor plumbing!

Somewhere along the line before we started our family I read that for the most part you have your kids until they are six years of age. Maybe it's five years of age today but the point was once they started school your chance of teaching your children the necessary discipline and respect was just about over. If you didn't have those values instilled in them by then it would be a long, uphill battle to achieve once they got started in the education system.

Mildred said the learning of discipline and respect has to start at home and be continued in the school systems. There is far too much concern for a child getting hurt feelings if he didn't achieve his goals and didn't get the same recognition as their peers. The education system is losing track of their mission. Educators are getting more worried about law suits and such more than the quality of students they turn out. Of course there are exceptions to the rule but Mildred certainly gave us food for thought.

Mildred said "It's time the schools return to the basics of "reading, writing, arithmetic, and respect". I couldn't agree more. To that I might add it has to start at home.

ole nib

Friday, April 25, 2008

Wellsville's Spring Clean-Up

Last week I expressed hope that we would have sufficient notice for the proposed clean up so we could prepare for it. Councilman Tony Cataldo fulfilled that wish and it was announced in the local papers a couple of days ago.

There are two periods scheduled. The first is next Friday & Saturday, May 1st & 2nd. The second is still tentative depending on what they can negotiate with Dailey's Recycling & Refuse. If they can get a deal the second one will be the 8th & 9th. Times have been set at 8 A.M to 4 P.M.

They will have dumpsters behind Village Hall for whatever you care to haul there & dispose of. You'll have to get it down there yourselves. In the past they drove around with the village dump truck and picked up the stuff curbside. I'm guessing with the price of fuel these days they decided to change it this year. It's still a small price to pay and I can't find any fault with that.

They are even accepting old tires - up to 400 of them. It's a good idea to get rid of old tires. They are real mosquito havens if they are outside and fill with rain water. As a reminder they will not be accepting anything considered a hazardous waste such as paint, old t.v.s or refrigerators. They will have the WPD and WFD patrolling the dump site to make sure no one will attempt to sneak something hazardous into the dumpsters.

It's a good opportunity to get rid of junk out of your yards, off your porch and maybe even out of your basements. There are places around that pick up old refrigerators for free if you call them.
If you have any questions the papers said you can call Jim Saracco to check it out. His phone number is 330-532-2524 - extension 14.

So spruce up your place and maybe remind a neighbor there's an opportunity to do the same. Then you can enjoy your back yard this summer. I'm sure your neighbor will thank you.

Thanks Tony for the heads-up...

ole nib

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Dillard Arraigned

Eric Dillard of 906 Commerce Street was arraigned in CC Municipal Court today on Murder 1 charges for the shooting death of Jamie Farley this past Tuesday evening. Bond has been set at $2,000,000 and a preliminary hearing will be held on May 1st. Meanwhile Mr. Dillard is a guest of the county at the County Jail.

According to accounts from neighbors down that way Mr. Farley drove up to the Dillard residence and fired a shot at the house pictured above. It's the green house with the white trim and stockade fence in front. Reportedly Mr. Dillard returned deadly fire and hit Farley twice -once in the neck and one shot to the abdomen. Farley later died in the hospital emergency room. Police Chief Joe Scarabino was quoted in today's MJ saying he believes the murder weapon was a .40 caliber hand gun. If that is true that's a pretty powerful weapon to have around. We'll have to wait for ballistic test results to know for sure.

From the accounts in the newspapers the WPD did a commendable and professional job in securing the crime scene and gathering evidence. The BCII was immediately called in and the County's Prosecutors office was called right away. At the moment there is a paucity of more information on motives and such and that's the way it should be in spite of what former reporters think. As with any incident there is no shortage of rumors and baseless gossip. I could double the length of this piece if I wrote up all the gossip and rumors I have heard in the last two days about this particular incident. Law enforcement officers can not make statements of fact based on rumors. Eventually through the process of the legal system all pertinent facts will come out enough to satisfy any one's curiosity.

I try not to write about rumors and that is mainly why I waited a couple of days before commenting on this tragic story. I didn't know either of the individuals involved but county court records show they have both been in trouble previously for dealings in the drug scene. Right now all we know for sure is one man is dead from gunshot wounds and one man is cooling his heels in jail having been charged for causing that death.


ole nib

McGraw's Drive-Thru

Here's an almost new business that recently opened in the ville. The picture above says it all. They are located on Main Street in the square right next door to the Vets.

When I say it's almost new I'm referring to the fact that they operated the store on lower Main until an unfortunate fire last year forced them to close. Now they have reopened in a new location. You can drive in off Main and exit to the alley behind.

Stop in and check it out. Best of luck to Tracey & Jeff...

ole nib

Monday, April 21, 2008

Springtime In The Ville

We have been enjoying some beautiful spring weather these past few days. Some of the colors are eye catching. It just goes to show what a lot of has known. There is some beauty in Wellsville. This is a part that isn't hidden. Other than winning the lottery it don't get much better than this. Here are some pictures I got yesterday evening.

Hope I didn't just jinx the nice weather from sticking around...

ole nib

Friday, April 18, 2008

Edward Devore Stone House Update

A couple of Saturdays ago we wrote a piece on the Underground Railroad and devoted most of it to the old stone house up on Oak Grove Road. The pictures in that piece were loaned to me. The latest having been taken in 1987 by our friend "jws".

Being another beautiful spring day with some more summer temperatures I went up on that hill to check it out. Before today I have never been there. It's kind of sad as you can see in the pictures above. There's not much left of the place other than the two end walls. The roof and the second floor is entirely caved in. Most of the front and back walls are gone and Mother Nature is slowly reclaiming that piece of ground.

The first two pictures above are the front of the place from different angles. The third picture is of the left wall. You can see the growth that is taking over the place. You would need a machete to hack your way through to get into the place. The fourth picture is what I suspect is the remnants of a spring house. It is located a little up the hill to the left of the place. Further up the hill is a brick lined hole in the ground and you can see water running out of a clay pipe.

The ER is advertising they are going to do a piece in the Sunday Riverstyle section. Their teaser is "Just how old is this house?" Well, we already know that. The lady researching the Devore family through old census records tells me it took seven years for this house to get built. The stone in the walls is 18" thick and one foot long. Edward Devore completed this house in 1802. We going to do more on the Devore family later on but she told me Mr. Devore came here in 1793 and was the second man to settle in Columbiana County.

As "jws" say if only those walls could talk...

ole nib

Whitacre House Site Memorial Stone

A year ago on March 30th I did a piece on this historical marker and what happened to it during the renovation of the old Potters Bank & Loan building when they converted it to be the Slammers night club. Driving past the other day I noticed that it was finally back out in public view as you can see in the picture above.

There is a lot of interesting Wellsville history connected to that site that is now the Buckeye club. The plaque on the front is only part of it. I'll have to go back and research it again for another article.

For right now I would like to thank those responsible for getting it back out in public view and also thank those that did the work getting it there. That is one massive rock. I don't know who you are or when it was accomplished but thanks just the same.

If you're up by the gazebo sometime check it out.

ole nib

OEPA Permit Hearing 4-17-08

The first hearing held by the OEPA in regards to the Baard CTL proposed plant was held last night at Wellsville High School. This meeting was a presentation of Baard's plans in regards to how they propose to deal with the quality of water present in wetlands and streams on that hilltop. It was an informational session for what was submitted by the company to obtain just one of the many permits required before proceeding with the construction of the plant. It was also a hearing for public comment for folks to express their concerns and questions about the water quality. Both of our local papers gave very good accounts of the proceeding last night in today's editions and they are on-line. So, instead of boring you with repeating those details I'll limit my comments to some of my impressions.

It looked like a good turn out but it could have been better. If you eliminated the elected officials you would probably be left with about a third of those present. There was Baard representatives there along with Chamber-of-Commerce people from not only our village but from other areas too. If you didn't attend you missed an opportunity to rub elbows with many of our elected officials from village level, county level, state level and some folks representing Congressman Charlie Wilson on the federal level. I was impressed with their turn out and spent the first part of the gathering putting names to many of the familiar faces I have seen in the newspapers. I was also impressed with their show of support simply by being there. On a beautiful spring evening in the ville they gave me a feeling that there is hope for this place we call home.

Overall those that signed up to comment were very supportive and appreciative of Baard's efforts with not only the permit process but the potential they are giving us by wanting to locate in our area. For the most part it was a pep rally for the company. I only heard two comments on the negative side. One was from an 18th Street Heights resident expressing his concern on dust from dirt doing the construction and later on from coal dust once the plant gets into operation. That wasn't being covered last night. There will be another hearing at a later date for the air pollution permits but from what I'm seeing so far I'm betting Baard will have that covered.

The other negative comment was from a fellow with a Youngstown address who said he represented the Salt Springs Group which is part of the nationally known Sierra Club. He offered no credentials other than that and went on to speak of the negative impact the building and operation of the plant would have as far as he could determine. He was talking of mountain top mining, windmills and solar panels. First off Baard will not be mining the coal they will be using. Baard may be getting coal from such operations but that type of coal mining is an issue of a different nature. It doesn't pertain to the proposed plant and it's something that will have to be dealt with by other entities. From what I read Baard will be buying coal on the open market. I sure they will be going for the best price. That kind of mining is the responsibility of the suppliers. The hearing last night was about water and this guy is talking about electricity obtained from windmills and solar panels. Maybe he missed the notification on the purpose of the hearing. He lost his creditability of being knowledgeable with me when he said the fuel from this plant would not burn any cleaner that what is in use today. Evidently he has either not seen or chose to ignore the studies that have been done and the results that have been published proving otherwise. I'm not a scientist by any stretch of the imagination but I recall reading those studies last summer and being convinced of their results. If I recall correctly they were conducted by independent laboratories. Me thinks Mr. Salt Club was there just to confuse the issue. The purpose of the plant is to make liquid fuel in an environmentally friendly way.

Remember me saying I think Baard is showing a willingness to bend over backwards to be our good neighbors? Brought up last night was a plan change that will add millions of dollars to their costs that Baard has made to further protect some of the wet lands. To me this is just one example proving that good neighbor observation. There have been many others.

The comment period for this hearing will be open until April 24th. I have addresses if anyone wants them. The next meeting with OEPA will be at the high school on May 27th at 6:00 once again. That meeting will pertain to the Division of Surface Water, National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System draft permit. That's a mouth full. Above are pictures of a drawing of what the proposed plant will look like and of the audience listening to one of the public commentors. You can click on them to enlarge.

It's coming folks and the hearing last night seemed to me to be a good indication of that. Just hang in there.

ole nib

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A Few Thoughts

From accounts in this morning's papers the council meeting last night was rather unexciting. Even Jim Saracco stayed out of trouble. Erin Colella only got two columns on page 14A of the MJ but I notice she doesn't throw any zingers until later on. The last one I saw was in the "Loose Ends" column a couple of Sundays ago. Mr. Lydic of the ER did get his account started on the front page but that was only six paragraphs before we had to continue on page 5A. Could it be the administrative and legislative bodies of our fair village are getting on the same page these days?

A few high lights of last nights meeting for those of you that don't get the papers: Village Hall roof project is coming along with the contractors. I got the impression it will be wrapped up shortly. The fire chief reported that he has six active citations for "dilapidated structures". It would be interesting to learn which ones made the list so far. He said there will be more coming.
John McMahon asked that residents display numbers on their houses if they don't already have them. He said it was a requirement mainly for safety issues and that is easily understood. Is there an ordinance for this? I don't know. Legislation was passed authorizing the mayor to get a contract for "supplemental police services" with the CCMHA. I think this is for providing security mainly at Independence Square. It's something we have done in the past. The mayor made a plea for more people to get active in our Crime Watch and really it is something most people do maybe without realizing it. I know my family and I keep an eye out for the activity in my neighborhood. It's a way of protecting yourself, your property and watching out for your neighbors. More of us need to get involved with this worthwhile committee. Tony Cataldo announced there will be a village spring clean-up. They won't be taking anything with hazardous materials such as refrigerators, TVs or paint but they will be picking up old tires and furniture. Details will be forthcoming. They don't have a date yet but I hope they give us enough notice to get ready for it. It's an affordable way to get rid of unsightly stuff cluttering up the place.

Randy Allmon reminded us that the first OEPA meeting in regards to the proposed Baard plant will be held tomorrow night at the high school starting at 6:00. He asked that folks attend as a show of support. This meeting will be a two parter with an informational portion and a public hearing on the impact on Rocky Run and the river. As I said before I think Baard is bending over backwards to use the best technology in protecting our environment and insuring us that they will be good neighbors. We need to show our support and if you have any concerns this is the time to get them off your chest.

Last week the Rev. Tim Ginter announced he will be a candidate for State Senator in our 30th district. Although it wasn't spelled out it must be as an independent. After reading the article in the ER and checking out his web page I'm still not sure what his platform is. Both were filled with vague platitudes. He does mention getting more job opportunities but he didn't give any hint on how he intends to go about it.

A new lending program called GrowNow for small businesses was announced this week. It's a state program that allows a 3% reduction of the bank's interest rates on loans made for small businesses. It would be worth looking into if you're thinking about opening a business especially with the anticipation of Baard coming to the area. Off the top of my head I see the real need for three types of businesses in our village that I think will do extremely well in the near future. We need more eating establishments especially ones that provides a place for breakfast and lunches. I remember back when Crucible was running, the bowling alley up there would set up the whole bar for the construction workers at Shipping Port. They had a 30 minute lunch break, would come in, eat, put their money down and go back to the job. It was amusing to watch like it was in fast forward. We have a few places in the village but not nearly enough. We definitely need a hardware store that would be convenient for folks that buy up some of our available houses. Many of those are older and need some fixing up which construction workers will do. It would be nice if they didn't have to run all over the tri-state area to get the things they need. Lastly I think we need rental agencies for the folks that have rentals available or even have their own places. Again there are some people that have rental places but I don't see a lot of advertising. Most of it is currently done by "word of mouth". I feel that a business that pulls all that information together and at least gets available units listed on a web page would do a good business.

Jo Ann Bobby Gilbert blasted Wellsville's John Soldano in last Sunday's Loose Ends for using a recent drug abuse work shop as an inopportune chance to promote his candidacy for county sheriff. All I got to say is that a politician by any other name is still a politician. Besides he was invited to speak up by the county Prosecutor. Some may feel it was not the time or place but at least he waited until he was asked to speak. That does not seem so blatant to me.

The Ministerial Association is once again getting their Paint-the-Town program started for this year. The last couple of years they did a lot of good work helping some of us less fortunate with getting their house painted. I'm glad to see they are going forward with it for another painting season. It not only improves the appearance of a place I also think it gives the owners incentive in maintaining their properties. They are looking for some helpers if you can squeeze out some spare time.

I was saddened to see the announcement of the Museum of Ceramics losing their state funding. Hopefully those folks can find some way to keep going in spite of the lost of funding from the Ohio Historical Society. Once noted as the pottery capitol of the world I think it is a significant historical part of our area.

Finally I think Salem's Austin French was wise to withdraw his candidacy as an independent for county sheriff. He lost my vote even before the County Republican Party went after him with his vague answers and comments about his questionable qualifications and whether he knew that LaSalle was not an accredited school. In my opinion those matters should have been cleared up before he even considered filing for office.

Enjoy the beautiful spring weather we're getting...

ole nib

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Baard Public Meetings Begin

Most of you already know there was an open house meeting at the high school hosted by Baard and their engineering firm for their proposed power plant. It was in the print editions of both our local papers and also on their web sites. It wasn't well publicized. There was an article in the ER Thursday morning by Jeremy Lydic for the meeting that evening. That was the only thing I recall seeing about this particular meeting. In contrast, next weeks open house meeting for one of the EPA permits has been out there for quite some time.

Last Thursday's meeting was in accordance with the mandates of the Ohio Power Sitting Board (OPSB). It was for reviewing the plans for Baard's power plant and getting input from the public. According to Lydic's article on Friday it was attended by 45-50 folks. Not a bad turn out for such a short notice. Some of those that attended were residents that live close to the proposed site and expressed concern about emissions from the plant. I can't fault them for their concern and that is mainly what these meetings are all about, to address those concerns.

One resident recalled his days working at Crucible in Midland and was remembering how the city was coated with red iron oxide that came from the mill. I recall those days but times have changed. The EPA was created in 1970 and even before the mill closed in 1982 there was noticeable environmental differences in the emissions from Crucible. Now nearly four decades later the regulations and technology available is immensely improved over what it was in days of old.

One of the things that have impressed me with Baard is that they are showing us that they are willing and very well aware of environmental concerns and what is necessary to take care of it. From all I've read and heard about what they are doing and the processes they are intending to use I haven't found one thing to be worried about yet. Yes, there will be drastic changes to that hill top area but at an elevation of nearly 3,000 feet with smoke stacks going another 500 feet plus into the clouds I doubt there will be any cause to worry about what emissions there might be.

One of the engineers from the firm presenting the power plant plans expressed surprise at the lack of negative input from the public. With all the scrubbers and filters that will be used there doesn't seem much to be concerned about. As he said they are hiding nothing. The only quarter that might register a protest is the global warming alarmists and they have been falling out of grace a lot lately. Many of their predictions they threw at us back in the early 1990s have failed to develop. Farmers are still able to plant and grow crops. The east and west coasts are still above sea level.

Last Thursday's meeting was the first of many more to come. The permit they presented is just one of four pending. There is another one this coming Thursday that will pertain to one of the EPA permits. Baard has been commended for working with the various permit issuing agencies all through the applications process. It is an innovative approach to the permit process and eliminates many of the hurdles that could otherwise come up.

There may be protests to come. We'll have to wait and see what develops with the meetings coming up. I seem to recall the WTI antagonists didn't get into full swing until after construction began up there. Hopefully we won't see that happen here. Baard is showing us they fully intend to be good neighbors. I get the feeling they will be giving back more than what they will taking out of the area and making money doing it. It will be beneficial to all.

The above picture is from Google Earth and it is their latest satellite view of the area that will be taken up with the CTL plant. Imagine the view of the area you would be able to get atop of one of those 500 foot smoke stacks...

ole nib

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Dalonzos Coming Back To Town

Found this on Susie Haugh's site. Someone asked about Lil Es on another post. Here is a copy of Nick Dalonzos e-mail announcement:

"Hello to my many friends, family, customers and associates. Let me apologize upfront for the long
email. I'm not sure if you've heard the buzz around town yet, so I want to at last let you in on a big secret. I
have indeed decided to move the restaurant back in town. I have recently signed a lease with a nice guy
from Canfield by the name of Terry Mcarthy, who owns the big, tall Russell's Mini Mart building on Main
Street. This place has caught my eye on numerous occasions. It was completely remodeled to suit a
restaurant, with all the laws and codes needed. It has a new furnace, new AC, bathrooms, walk-in cooler,
fire ansil system, it's fully handicap accessible, etc. You name it, it has it. And did I mention that it is on
Main St., in town, and on this side of the floodwall? When I decided to do this some months back, I was
willing to give up all parties I could do up on the hill. But low and behold, this place has the room on the
side, which will hold about 100 people. So that was a big selling point for me. Mr Mcarthy is currently
finishing that side as we speak. It will have all new walls, floors, bathrooms, furnace, AC. It might be
finished within
the month. I must mention also, a big plus for me is Shoub Towers across the street. I've prepared a flyer
just for them, with some good ideas to help save them some money, which I'm sure they'll like. Believe me
when I say this, I've weighed all the pros and cons on this move, and the 20 or so pros win the race. A few
of the pros just for starters, festivals uptown, reunions, parades, visibility, signage that people can see,
heating, cooling. I won't mention that I can walk to work, or that three acres of grass to cut on the hill.
I just think it's time to get my butt back down that hill. We can still deliver out there though. So anyhow,
that's my story in a nutshell. I could go on and on, but I'll spare you that. However, I am hoping
for now, that you will try to stop out or call in an order, to kind of help me out a bit. This has proven to
be quite difficult to do, both financially and physically. It's causing a big strain on my funds and my back.
Currently the restaurant on the hill is for sale or lease. I have a few good prospects, and I'm keeping my
fingers crossed. The new place is almost ready, and will be opening very soon. To wrap this up, I want to
share my new slogan with you: "DaLonzo's, Your Home Away From Home Cookin".
Please send me back a quick email with any thoughts or ideas. Let me know how you feel about this.
Thanks so much for being there for me and for being a good friend and customer.
P.S. here's a new idea I've had about the pizza boxes. Let the young kids or old kids, draw their own design.
Each box would be unique and the kids loved it."

You can find Nick's e-mail on There's also a full menu displayed on there. As Nick said in his e-mail they deliver and they are the only restaurant connected to the ville that does so. Don't feel like cooking? Save your gas money and give Dalonzos a call.

I think it is exciting that Nick is coming back to town and we would like to wish him the best of luck in all his endeavors.

Hey Nick - How about putting on your mailing list.

ole nib

Soon To Be One Down

Recognize this house? It's located at 534 Washington Street in Wellsville and this is one place city officials won't have to worry about. It's in the process of being torn down and you can kiss it good-bye.

The owner of the house behind it bought this property and plans to make it part of his backyard. It will be a big improvement to that lot.

What is amazing is that the owner has Edgar Peck doing the demolition. Approaching his 81st birthday this year Edgar is amazing. He's been known before to take down a house piece-by-piece. It wasn't long ago I saw him tear down a two story house here in town. He's doing it again. Edgar seems hail and hearty and is truly a colorful character. He would put many younger men to shame with his drive.

Edgar has got his hands full this time. I don't know who the previous owner was but they left it full of junk. It doesn't seem to bother Edgar. He's like the Timex watch - he just keeps on ticking as he methodically goes about it. Won't be long this old place will just be a memory.

I got tired just thinking about it!

ole nib

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Wellsville Underground Railroad - Part II

Since writing an article about the Underground Railroad house this past March 15th we have learned much more about that particular house. Thanks in large part goes to our friend "jws" for furnishing us with copies of his snapshots, some information dug up at the EL library and sharing his knowledge of the place. Back in the 80s "jws" was looking into buying this land with the thoughts of restoring the house for its historical value. Unfortunately that fell through.
This house was built by a black man named Edward Devore 206 years ago on Oak Grove Road. Devore and Daniel Spires were two of the earliest black settlers in the tri-state area. Mr. Devore was a bonded servant and arrived in this area by flat boat. He earned money for his freedom driving freight wagons "across the mountains". In some of our sources he is said to have been a contemporary of town founder William Wells and he along with Wells and a Mr. Dobbins contributed money for the building and upkeep of the first school in Wellsville near the mouth of Little Yellow Creek. I can only presume Mr. Devore continued his freight hauling business after earning his freedom. He is said to have seventeen descendents.
Above are some of "jws"s pictures of what the house looked like in 1987. As you can see the painting on the floodwall is sort of backwards. Artist Gina Hampson has windows on the left side of the house. There were none on the left side. Below the "jws" photos is a picture by the late sketch artist Grace Burford she dated in 1979. Miss Burford's sketch appeared in Edgar Davidson's book and another unknown source found by "jws". Both write ups were nearly identical. The walls of the house were said to be "over a foot thick". "jws" tells us it was closer to 2o inches thick as he recalls. There is one other picture available from a 1948 news article but it is so faded we had trouble duplicating it.
From that 1948 newspaper article by Betty Weir we learned that the house remained in the Devore family except for a brief time back in the early 1900s when it was sold at a sheriff's auction. At that time Mrs. Emiline Collins lived there. I think Mrs. Collins was a granddaughter of Devore. In 1911 Mrs. Collins daughter Fredericka paid $4.50 for an option to hold the place when it again came up for sale. Fredericka Hurndon promised her mother that one day they would get the place back. Fredericka and her husband lived in McKeesport and after scrimping and saving eventually paid off the house. It was her desire to refurbish the house exactly as it had been in Colonial Days. She, her daughter Mrs. Grace Hammond and Grace's daughter would travel from Cincinnati each summer for the months of July and August to live there and work on the place. Until we can do some more digging we sort of lost track of the place from there. "jws' tells me he can remember someone living there until at least the late 1960s. Gina Hampson told me there's not much left of the place except rubble.
Precious little is recorded about the Underground Railroad in Wellsville that I have found so far but we are working on it. There was no mention of it in Wallace Fogo's 1903 book. Edgar Davidson only mentioned the Devore house. Francis Bush in his Wellsville Story made two mentions on the subject. He said "Many of the old houses along Riverside were stations for the Underground Railway before and doing the Civil War". However he didn't elaborate on which houses. Later on in his story he wrote "From 1850 onward, Wellsville was one of the stations on the Underground Railroad system, passing slaves from Virginia (across the Ohio river) on to Salem and Lisbon and to Canada and freedom". One of our commenters on the March piece said one of the houses behind Pizza Hut was another station. The owner of Dixie and Mary Jane Frontone's former home in Hillcrest said his house was another one.
I have no problem believing Wellsville was very active in the Underground Railroad. Back then Wellsville was a very active freight center just across the river from a slave state. Back before Stratton Dam was built there was a very wide shore along the river down over the railroad tracks. I've been told that up around the Silver Switch area the water level on the river would get very shallow in the summer months. That's before the locks were built. It's not too difficult to imagine escaping slaves just walking across on their way to freedom. That area is just down over the hill from the Devore stone house. Route 45 to Lisbon was one of the first roads out of town heading north. It the early days it was called "Mud Road" among other things. No sir, it's not difficult at all to imagine our humble village was very active in helping slaves escape back in those days. Passions ran high on both sides of the issue and eventually led up to the Civil War. Wallace Fogo did indicate that Wellsville folks were extremely proud of their anti-slavery beliefs.
We're still digging and maybe we'll someday have more information to share with you. We're also trying to dig up more information of the Devore and Spires families. From the little bit that I've seen so far it's quite interesting finding out who around town is in those family trees.
ole nib

Thursday, April 3, 2008

April 08's First Council Meeting

Council met Tuesday evening and from what I'm seeing in the write ups in both our local papers it was a smooth meeting. There were several items discussed.

The lady offered the job of assistant clerk has turned down the offer. With the controversy surrounding that move it is probably for the best. Council will decide what they are going to do with that position when they have their personnel meeting at a later time. At the suggestion of the fiscal officer they are going to leave that position open for the time being. If it is not needed to have someone in that position why fill it?

They tabled a request for a change order and payment of a $46 thousand plus bill on the roofing project on village hall. There are several items pending that will be addressed before wrapping this up. Right now they are working with the main contractor with a list things the various sub-contractors need to take care of. Looks to me they are handling it properly before they write an end to this chapter.

Street paving was brought up or I should say alley paving. Village administrator Jim Saracco said our alleys are too narrow for paving equipment. I would have to question that most of them are not at least 12 feet wide. However I would rather see them spend what money they have for this on the streets that are more widely used and visible. Mr. Saracco said we don't have money for it anyway. Alleys can be graded and slag used to fill the holes as he suggested. They already spent a significant amount on salt for this past winter. It wasn't mentioned but I'm sure that put a dent in available funds. Where's this global warming that gets all the attention?

In Fire Dept. news a rumor of doing away with it was squelched. They are looking into the department's budget which the mayor said "is way out of whack". This seems to be a continuing problem that needs to be fixed. I hadn't heard of the rumor but I do recall the volunteers threatening to pull out some years ago if it was done. Both the regulars and the volunteers are vital to our village. They are very dedicated individuals that put their health and welfare on the line every time they are banged out. They need to be taken care of for the benefit of us all.

Joe Soldano said that April is National Child Abuse Awareness month and got a motion passed to support the mission of East Liverpool's Shining Reflections which deals with child abuse among other things. Child abuse is an ugly thing that should never be tolerated or brushed aside. Creating a task force is one step in the right direction. Joe is looking for more to join in this effort.

Liaisons for the village zoning board and cemetery boards were announced with Tony Cataldo and John McMahon being appointed respectively. The mayor is looking for five people to serve on a Zoning Appeals Board. If you would like to get aboard give village hall a call.

They are looking into prices for a new police cruiser. I think the last new one we got was donated by the Chester VFW. Organizers for an Oprah Big Give block party were not present Tuesday night. It was announce earlier that they couldn't block off Main Street. They passed an ordinance to cover village expenses and "other expenditures". There was no elaboration on what those "other expenditures" were in the newspapers.

Best wishes go out to Councilman Don Brown for a speedy recovery from his recent surgery.

ole nib