Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween '08

Happy Halloween to all you ghosts and goblins out there. The ville's trick or treating was last night. It was scheduled for the day before in case the WHS football team got into the play offs.

There were lots of 'em walking around and I even noticed a few out of town guests. One couple told me they had prepared for 600 treats and ran out way before it was over. Here are some pictures of the trickers and the treaters I caught around town last night.

ole nib

Drill Team

Pictured here is the newest addition to the floodwall murals. It's the renown Drill Team from the ville's American Legion Post 70. Back in the days following the Viet Nam conflict Post 70 had an award winning drill team that competed nationally. They were sharp as a whistle and their precision was impeccable. Those guys were good and put the ville on the map at those far away national conventions. They could make music with the taps on their combat boots. I always envied their discipline while they performed their routines when I saw them march in parades.

Once again Gina has done a tremendous job. If you ever saw that team perform you can just imagine the times you saw them in real life. I can still here those boots clicking and hear the slap of the rifles that sounded out.

ole nib

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Looking Back

Has anyone been flamingo'd? WHS Ebony & Ivory group is suppose to be conducting a fund raiser with plastic pink flamingos being placed in people's yards around the village. You can make a donation to insure you won't be subject to the gaudy plastic birds. You can pay to have them removed if your yard has been hit and you can pay to have someone targeted. It was suppose to start two days ago and Friday is the last day for the event. I haven't noticed any in my neighborhood but tomorrow I going to go around to see if I can find any.

The Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council filed an appeal last month with the state's Environmental Review Appeals Commission for the OEPA permit issued to Baard for the waste water discharge permit. According to the article in the MJ the appeal will not hold up the planned process and may take years for a decision from the independent commission. We're still waiting for a final decision on the air emissions permit. That one is the final permit pending before construction can begin.

Tomorrow is the ville's Trick or Treat night from 5:30 - 7 P.M. If you are passing out treats you're suppose to turn on your porch lights. Trick or Treaters are suppose to pass up houses with no lights on. Trick or Treating is an old custom that I'm thinking is beyond its time. It's expensive to participate and there are far too many horror stories associated anymore with the event. If I had youngsters I'm not sure I would want to take chances with them going to strangers houses in unfamiliar neighborhoods. You just never know anymore. Probably the best way to continue the tradition is for the different school organizations and clubs to hold organized events for the little goblins. That way the treaters are someone you know and can trust.

Speaking of that WPD is suppose to be treated with two new cruisers for Halloween. Have they got here yet?

Eric Dillard's trial has been pushed back to January 6. The county prosecutors asked for the delay after being overwhelmed with the list of defense witnesses. J.C. Amato remains in the county jail with no changes made in his bail requirement after a recent status hearing. His trial is scheduled for February.

Now here is something I would have loved to have witnessed. I was told I would be invited when a date was determined by the NASA folks. I was available when it occurred. The event that I'm talking about is the arrival of rocket parts from Cleveland being shipped to Cape Kennedy at the Port Authority's facilities downtown. It was history in the making for the ville and I think that transaction is the start of big things to come. I was excited I was going to get the opportunity to see that. Even the ship that carried to parts, the Delta Mariner, would have been something to see. From the pictures in the papers it's a ship the likes of which we have never seen plying the waters of the Ohio around here. It was very disappointing to miss. A quick and simple phone call could have easily determined if I was back from our trip south. Sadly I had to find out about it in the newspapers. Thanks Joe.

We got two new businesses in town. There's Floors By George up on Wells Avenue and Astra Minerals in the Port Authority's river terminal. Astra took over the space formerly occupied by Barrett Minerals. They will be transferring material shipped in on the river to other parts of the country. Floors By George can handle all your flooring needs. The two places are another step in bringing a few jobs to the ville. Welcome both.

The Farm Bureau along with the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation has upped the ante for rewards in the suspected arson fires. Between the two an additional $3,500 has been added to the the five grand offered by the Blue Ribbon Arson association. Hopefully something will soon break in this case. $8,500 is a lot of incentive for someone to come forward in these hard economic times especially since they can remain anonymous. Any tip might just be the one that leads to this being solved. Even if it seems ridiculous it could easily be something for the investigator to go on. Even though it has been quiet lately I'm sure our area farmers are still very much on edge. They shouldn't have to live like that.

Even though the "barrel beggars" are a pain for a lot of you some do do some good. Take for instance the ville's Knights of Columbus. Every year, rain or shine, they devote time to raise money for their Measure Up campaign. They then donate what ever was raised to MRDD. In my opinion that is a worthwhile cause.

Speaking of the K of Cs congratulations to Jack DiDonator for being chosen for the highly regard Columbianism Award. Jack is the Grand Knight of the local chapter. Also congratulations should go out to John Yanni for being selected to the ELHS Athletic Hall of Fame. John is now a Florida resident but prior to that he was a long time Wellsville resident. Both of these gentlemen are good guys.

The WHS Alumni All Star Lip Sync Group are currently in rehearsal for a performance scheduled for November 22 at the high school. This is a benefit performance for the Paul Sirianni family. Paul was a member of that group and he was extremely entertaining. Even with all his health problems he always gave what he could. He always could make me laugh and enjoy his great sense of humor. Sadly Paul succumbed to his long time battle with the effects of diabetes on October 17. Our condolences to the Sirianni family. Paul will be greatly missed. Even though he is gone if you knew Paul you would know that he would want the show to go on. Mark it on your calendar and help celebrate his life at the next show in November. Paul was a good guy too.

ole nib

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

One Step Forward - Two Steps Back

Lets get back to things concerning the ville. We're just about caught up on the newspapers.

Here's an item that got me out of my writing fugue since coming back to the cold temperatures and snow. In this morning's papers were stories about an alleged non-existent Italian American War Veterans Post 25, aka "Liquor Dick's", up in East End. According to that organization's National Commander the charter for Post 25 was rescinded about 10 years ago for lack of membership. There is no Post 25 and has not been one since then. The liquor license for that bar is in the name of Post 25 and the paper work for the license names Jim Saracco as president for Post 25. Saracco told the MJ reporter that he quit a "long time ago" but it makes one wonder. Saracco is our Village Administrator. The National Commander wants them to shut the doors and said he will pursue the matter until that business disassociates themselves as being part of that veteran's organization. According to both newspaper stories it ain't exactly legal to have a liquor license for something that doesn't exist. Liquor Dick's is getting a nuisance bar reputation up there. With past incidents the death knell has already started ringing for them with the city. This may be the final blow, especially if the state gets involved.

I have many questions about this but the only one I'll ask for now is: where was the now defunct Post 25 located?

It just makes you go hmmmm...

ole nib

Monday, October 27, 2008

Afternoon on the Ohio

Florida has a lot of beautiful scenes to take pictures of but it can't compare to scenes like this. I was driving around last Thursday afternoon looking for some scenes of fall colors. It was a cloudless bright sunshiny day. Didn't find anything that really grabbed me in that line but did catch this view coming down Koontz Avenue with the afternoon sun reflecting off the part of the river that runs past the ville. You really can't see it but the ville would be on the right.

Ain't it purdy?

ole nib

Clearwater Beach

Here's a couple of pictures of the beach I was talking about.

ole nib

We're Back

We're back in God's country. Got home a week ago and between going to work & trying to catch up we haven't done much else.

Florida was nice but the best part of the trip was visiting with family and catching up with the different folks. The missus & I wanted to lay back, walk on the beach and chill out by the pool. Seems like we did a lot of running and we were plain tuckered by the time we got home. In the four days we were there we only got one walk on the beach and was only able to catch one sunset. I'm a sunset viewer enthusiast. We stayed in a place right across the street from the beach. The beach is still one of the nicest beaches in the country in my opinion. It is well maintained by the city. Except for one rainy afternoon the weather was exceptional - moderate temperatures, no humidity and lots of bright sunshine. Generally the humidity is non-existent in the months of March & October down there with the temperatures just right to play in the water. Next trip down there I'm going to be like those pelicans pictured above - just sit around watching the world go by.

It was a nice trip but it always seems nicer to get home afterwards to sleep in your own bed. There's no place like home and there's no place we'd rather be than right here in the ville. Just wish the family wasn't scattered across the country in far away places.

Pictured above is a sunrise we caught on that one walk on the beach. The last picture is the sunset taken from the balcony of our motel on the evening of that rainy afternoon I mentioned. Got the pelican picture on the same morning. You can click on the pictures to enlarge.

ole nib

Friday, October 17, 2008

We're Off

Some of you all may have noticed that I've been kind of quiet lately. Truth is we have been busy preparing for a short vacation in the "Sunshine State" mostly to see & visit with family that lives down this way. It's been about 10 years since we were last here.

The ville has been kind of quiet with not much new news. Even the last council meeting was pretty much old business with items that have been discussed before and are still on the table. Sludge is still being hauled out of the sewage plant and they are negotiating with the new owners of Earth Tech to help pay for the clean up. One question came to mine when reading the newspaper accounts on that subject. Who is responsible in overseeing that the provisions with Earth Tech is adhered to? As I mentioned before the ball was dropped somewhere along the line. They are dealing with it now but from what I can see no one is owning up to allowing this mess to happen in the first place. I don't want to hang anyone but I do think it would be the mature thing for someone to say "hey, we screwed up. I'm sorry that it happened but we are taking care of it now".

Also at the last meeting the new cruisers for the WPD are on hold until the financial details can be taken care of. Seems no one got any figures to the Financial Officer. As I said, pretty much business as usual. It was in the ER yesterday we are going to get some new stop signs and directional signs for one way streets. Might be a good idea to put up some speed limit signs on the streets around the school areas. Maybe not everyone is cognizant of the fact that the speed limit is 25 mph on the majority of our village streets. Maybe some new, bright caution signs would nice too. Hopefully they can fit it in the budget.

In the meantime Mrs. Nib & I are on the west coast of Florida for a few days. We took off from Pittsburgh International in pouring rain and cool temperatures yesterday and landed in bright sunshine & 80 degree temperatures. One of the first things that got my attention was everything is summer green down here. It doesn't even look like fall and I was told it never does. Our piece of God's country at home in the tri-state area is presently awash in vibrant colors of red, yellows and orange. Gas prices look to be pretty much the same here that we got in Ohio. Florida is a nice place to visit but it's not home. I'm not a cold weather fan but nothing beats the beauty of fall in the Ohio Valley.

I'll try to keep up with any comments and discussions while we're here if I can find an Internet connection. In the mean time we're just going to lay back with family, sun, sand and maybe a little Jimmy Beam!

See ya next week...

ole nib

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Wellsville Mystery

Who is James Mallory and why is he buying up property along Navada Street and that portion of Riverside that runs parallel to Navada? That is a mystery that has intrigued us for eight years now. An article by MJ reporter Erin Colella in last Sunday's paper reminded me of that question. Colella's article dealt with a stripped down mobile home that neighbors have had to put up with for some time now. She did get into some background about Mallory and I thought I would do some digging myself. What little I found is much the same that Erin reported.

Since the year 2000 James Mallory Ltd. has bought up 17 properties in that neighborhood. Some were purchased for as little as $11,500 and up to $40,000 for five others. As Erin reported the county auditor shows a post office box address in Beaver Falls and State Street address in Columbus. Erin also reported that Bryer Realty represents them locally. They are the go to people for maintaining the properties. The last purchase was made in 2005.

Other than a city, a post office box is about as anonymous as you can get. A Goolge search on the Columbus address shows it to be the home of a law firm among other things. Checking out that law firm's web site leads me to believe that they are mostly legal representatives for commercial interests.

Checking out the Secretary of State web site shows that James Mallory Ltd. was incorporated in 2000 and names an attorney at that Columbus law firm as an agent for Mallory. They were incorporated as a domestic limited liability corporation for perpetuity. All contact information is for that law firm.

Checking out James Mallory, Beaver Falls, only told me that a James Mallory was a president of the Ohio River Chapter of the Lewis & Clark Heritage Foundation. Some of the Beaver Falls search results makes mention of Mallorys that date back to Revolution War times. As for James himself there was no connection to any type of business.

Colella reported that she was in touch with a spokesman for the company, maybe the agent at the Columbus law firm. He said Mallory is an investor and that's it. The spokesman didn't want to be named stating he was only the middleman. He was, however, familiar with city standards and the right of ownership of that trailer. Other than that Mr. Mallory wants everything else to be kept confidential.

So the mystery remains. There aren't many that know Mr. Mallory and those that do have been sworn to secrecy. I can only speculate about the reasons. Something in my digging lead me to think about oil and gas under that land but that seems kind of far fetched. It's close to the river. Is there a possibility that another river transportation spot is being considered? Maybe a housing development? A place to do Lewis & Clark camping re-enactments such as they did in Georgetown a few years ago? One of the popular rumors floating around town back when all the land was being bought up was the speculation of a riverboat gambling operation.

It seems like only one man knows and he ain't talking. He doesn't even want any personal information to get out about himself. It just makes you go hmmm.

What do you folks think?

ole nib

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Fall's Coming To The Ville

It's not in full color yet but the leaves on the trees in town are seriously at work getting ready. Got this picture the other day when I was up at the flood wall. It's Little Yellow Creek and you can just see a slight tint of yellow on some of the leaves. It was taken from the Wells Avenue bridge looking toward the river. Hope we have some of those bright sunshiny days when the leaves do get in full color. There are some really nice scenes around the ville when fall gets in full foliage.

Gotta go do some research.

ole nib

Monday, October 6, 2008

A Wellsville Icon

Here's the latest addition to the ville's floodwall murals. For most it doesn't need any explanation. If you were in the ville any time in the last 54 years you have to know about Nick's and have probably tasted some of his pizza. I know a guy from Chicago that gets to town every four or five years and one of his first stops is at the shop on Main Street.

Pictured in the mural is Nick Checkler with the cap and his grandson Patrick in the door. Walking down the street is Nick's daughter "Pinky" and his wife Gwen. This mural covers a few years in order to get all the family included. Patrick is Pinky's son and he wasn't even thought of back in '54. Pinky was still learning how to write her name in grade school at that point in time.

Nick was one of the Checkler brothers inducted into the Wellsville Legends this summer. I'm not sure but I think his shop was one of the first pizza shops in town. It's been at the same location at 349 Main Street since he opened in 1954. I can still remember filling up on those 10 cent slices of pizza and it was usually just out of the oven. It was a very popular spot and you usually had to wait in line to order. Then you had to wait for it to come out of the oven. It was worth the wait.

Once again artist Gina Hampson has done an outstanding job. From what I read in the MJ yesterday her next one will be WHS Class of '58. Don't know the details for that one and I'm not even sure she'll be able to do it this season. We'll just have to wait and see.

Thanks to the Revitalization Committee for brightening up the scenery. You all do nice work.

Who can tell me what Pinky's given name is?

ole nib

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Rewards Offered For Suspected Arson

Rewards are now being offered to find those suspected of being responsible for setting several suspicious fires in the area recently. The fires this past Thursday was too much of a coincidence to not call it the work of an arsonist. Authorities don't know if this is the work of one individual or more. Whichever it is these people have to be stopped.

The Ohio Blue Ribbon Arson Committee (BRAC) have posted signs near the sites of the suspicious fires offering rewards of up to $5,000. The Farm Bureau also has an offer for a reward of $1,500.

The BRAC was established in 1978 and is composed of fire fighters, police officers and insurance officials. They offer rewards for information leading to the identification of person (s) responsible for an act of arson according to their web cite. Any informant can remain anonymous. The Farm Bureau is part of Nationwide Insurance.

The loss of hay alone in Thursday's fires was much more than what was reported in the news. I've been told that the loss was in excess of 11,000 bales between the two places. That is a major portion of a year's livelihood for those two families. That's just the hay. That's not counting the loss of buildings, equipment and attacks on the folks that live and breath for their efforts they put into farming. You can't put a dollar value on that last part. Hopefully they will be able to recover with time.

In an article in this morning's MJ it was reported that the fire fighters from both Wellsville and Highlandtown wanted to thank all those in the community for their support and generosity. The Red Cross was the first and was there with coffee, water and donuts for the fire fighters. Later many businesses in the area along with friends and neighbors started showing up with food and refreshments. Their efforts kept the fire fighters going during the 20 hours it took to knock those fires down. Someone that was at the Boyd place throughout the whole ordeal said is was truly heart warming to see all those people walking down Route 39 bringing that stuff to eat and drink to the scene. Then there was the support of all the other fire departments from all over the area showing up with men and equipment to lend a hand. For such a tragic time it was awesome and gives proof that some of the best people in the world are right here in this area.

People in our rural areas are very nervous because of these sickos responsible. It shouldn't be that way. Lord help them if they are caught by some of the farmers. Those farmers are being extremely vigilant because of them. I don't think they will be very nice and I can't blame them. If you know of anything or see anything call it in. We really, desperately need a break in this and now there are rewards being offered. You can call the 800 number on the sign or any law enforcement agency in the area.

ole nib

Friday, October 3, 2008

WHS Tigers Win 21-12

On a road trip to Jackson-Milton the Tigers just got it going enough to squeak out a win. What should have been a blow out the Tigers just barely got by. From what I heard they were flat for just about the whole game. Jackson - Milton remains win less for this season.

Normally they have been playing this year as a "second half team". Going into the locker room at the end of the first half the Tigers were leading 8 - 0. Then they came out and let J - M score two unanswered touch downs and were down 12 -8 for the longest time. Finally in the 4th quarter they regained the lead and played just enough defense to not allow J - M back into the game. All in all they played about three minutes of good football. The rest of the game was just plain flat from my view point.

Details in the morning papers. Thanks to wkmx live for bringing us the game in real time.

ole nib

Just A Few More Thoughts

Last Saturday was this year's final work detail for the Fix Up, Clean Up crew. They do nice work that benefits us all. Hopefully they will be back next spring. Also busy last Saturday was the Shade Tree Committee and other volunteers mulching and getting the new trees on Broadway ready for winter. Among the volunteers were members of the WHS National Honor Society. Thanks to all who pitched in on both committees to help make our village a little nicer place to live.

Jo Ann Bobby Gilbert tells us they are trying to get Broadway Park designated as a historical site. The park was put in, I think it was 1895, after they rerouted the train tracks to run along Riverside. When the trains first came to town the rail line went down Broadway. The first train station was at 7th & Broadway.

While we're on historic subjects I saw in last Sunday's Pittsburgh paper that the Delta Queen will be making it's last trip in these parts this week-end. It's schedule to depart the 'burg tomorrow which means, if it hasn't already, it will pass by here sometime today and be coming back through tomorrow night. The exemption for it's wooden superstructure expires at the end of this month.

Still more history - congratulations to the Central Methodist Church congregation for celebrating 180 years of existence and the First Christian Church for surpassing 170 years. The property for the Methodist Church was donated to them from Joseph Wells, son of Wellsville founder William Wells. The Christian Church paid $1 to William Wells for their land. That was close to a donation even back in those days. There's a lot of Wellsville history associated with those two buildings and their congregations.

A hearty welcome to Tracee Murphy. She's the new director at the ville's public library.

Here's something I hope we see more of. This past week there were write-ups of two Wellsville natives that graduated from WHS, went on to get their college education and came home to work. They are Erin Orr, daughter of Bill & Vicky Roberts and Aaron Bunfill. Nice to have both of you back.

Have a nice week-end. Tonight's football game should be on wkmxlive. Kick-off is scheduled for 7 P.M.

Go Tigers...

ole nib

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Suspected Arsonists Hit Again

Normally I don't go much beyond the confines of the village limits or something that is personal to me when posting. However, early this morning all the sirens got the best of me. You kept hearing the sirens moving through town heading west. When you went outside you could smell something burning, even in town, but nothing was visible in the predawn skies. So I grabbed the camera & saddled up.

My efforts took me to the farm of Yellow Creek Township Trustee Dave Boyd at the corner of Route 39 & Oak Ridge Road out in the country. When I got there all you could see was billowing smoke and lots of fire trucks.

Sometime before daylight someone is suspected of setting fire to not one but two barns within a few miles of each other. Wellsville fire fighters were responding to a call to a barn owned by Dave McCoy in Madison Twp. on Forbes Road when they spotted flames spouting from the barn on the Boyd farm. Sources close to the Boyd family told me they got a call at 5:15 this morning telling them of the fire.

News 9 reported that both barns were a total loss. I was told the McCoy barn contained nothing but bales of hay. The Boyd barn also had bales of hay, eight or ten head of cattle and some sheep. They were able to get the equipment, the sheep and most of the cows out of the Boyd barn. I was told fire fighters had to go in with air packs and the jaws-of-life to free the other cows. Two of them got pretty badly burned and will be lost. I was also told that the Boyds lost somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,000 bales of hay.

News 9 also reported that there were 10 different fire companies responding to battle the blazes. From what I witnessed at the Boyd property the fire fighting efforts were purely professional. The different fire companies made continual round robin trips with their tankers to supply water. They had three pools set up on Rt. 39 feeding water to the pumpers with a hose running up Oak Ridge Rd. They were using two streams to fight the fire - one from the top of the ladder on the ladder truck and one at ground level that I could see. I think the ladder truck is the one we have here in the village.

Fortunately there was no one injured or worse. The potential is extremely frightening. Members of the Boyd family tried to get into their barn to free those cows and were forced back by the fire. Thanks to the Lord they got out without injury.

The lost of hay alone on these two fires and the other eight suspicious fires in the area is going to be an extreme hardship on those suffering the losses. That hay is grown, baled and stored to feed their live stock over the winter months. For some of them their livelihood depends on having that hay. Not counting the structures and equipment that was lost, the loss of the hay could well be devastating. The Boyd farm has been in that family for 135 years. To them that farm has been a way of life for generations going back to 1873.

According to the news fire marshalls and other officials are busy investigating these suspicious fires. The Sheriff's Office said they are going to increase patrols of the area. That's all well and good. However, I think there is a need to take this one step farther. I think it is beyond time for the Farm Bureau, the townships, the insurance companies, the county and granges to all get together and offer a healthy reward for the apprehension & conviction of those demented individuals, or individual, responsible for setting these fires. These people are sick with no regard for life, limb or welfare, whether human or animal, of the owners that have lost so much. They need to be stopped and stopped now. Maybe the offer of a reward would provide a break to make that possible.

My condolences to all that have suffered from these fires. I truly appreciate all that the farming community does for us and I deeply regret that these things have happened to you all. Thanks to all the fire fighters for their efforts. It is very heartening to once again see everyone pitching in to protect so many. Pictured above is a few scenes from the Boyd fire this morning. You can click on any of them to enlarge.

ole nib