Thursday, April 30, 2009


Here's a couple of old team mates reminiscing about when they played together. On the left is Darrell Shanks (WHS Class of '53) recalling his playing days with Bevo (WHS Class of '52) who is pictured to the right. Shanks is on the roster to play tomorrow.

When snapping this picture I heard Shanks say something to the effect about the night that Bevo set the high score record for the State of Ohio and it lasted only one night.

You wonder why they call the ville a "Basketball town"?

ole nib

Coaching Tips

Here's WHS Boys Basketball coach Dave "Bug" Thompson giving Mayor Joe Surace some coaching tips for tomorrow night's big game.

ole nib

One Night and A Wake-up

There's only one night and a wake-up for the big game lovingly called the Old Gray Mayor's Basketball Game. Although ticket sales have been going well there is still some available and they tell me what's left will be available at the door tomorrow night. They are only $5 each and $3 for age 16 and under. You can get tickets at Coffee Fusion in EL, Center Pharmacy & Air Waves here in the ville or from any Alley Cat Aid Brigade or Revitalization Committee member.

Went down to the high school to watch them practice for awhile this evening. Looks like they will be using the slow down strategy. From what I saw there will be no need for a stop watch to time any fast breaks. Actually a calendar might be more in order. A sneak preview of the program reveals that the Potter players are bringing the EL City Nurse along for their bench. The Tigers will have Physical Therapist Maria McNicol. Medicare Representatives will be available in the lobby for both teams and the cheerleaders.

Bud Ceneviva (WHS Class of '54) brought a scrap book of the 1951-52 basketball season for the Bengals as they use to call them back in those days. The Potters and Tigers were regularly scheduled opponents back then. Pictured above is a copy of the article written by EL Review reporter Bob Shaffer on a game that took place January 29,1952, Bevo's senior year in high school.

Shaffer described the 2,000 that packed the Memorial Auditorium that night as a "breathing space only crowd". Man you hardly ever see descriptive writing like that any more. Anyhoo, that evening Bevo had an off night and only scored 23 points. He was averaging 27 ppg at that time. In the picture to the left is Bevo shooting with number 7 Jim Manning going up with him. Number 12 squatting and watching was Eddie Oliver. Where have I heard that name before? Just barely seen behind Bevo is Potter Bob McCoy. McCoy was the high scorer for the Potters with 18 points that night. Was Oliver a Bill Booth winner in football?

The final for that game, as Shaffer reported, was "59 for Wellsville, 48 for Liverpool was the happy ending". It was a happy ending because the outcome could have been much worse for the Potters. I'll go out on a limb and predict that tomorrow night will be another happy ending for the Bengals/Tigers when the orange & black win the bragging rights in this first annual Old Gray Mayor's rivalry.

Proceeds go to benefit the ACAB & Revitalization Committee. Hope to see you there.

ole nib

Something Old - Something New

Through one man's ingenuity, resourcefulness and a little help from our friends what was looking like a bill for at lease $10,000 was reduced to a mere $295. I'm talking about the outside siren at the ville's Fire Department that quit working some months ago. Village officials had people check it out. They were told it's shot. It's obsolete. It can't be fixed. It was the original siren that was installed in the early '70s when the station was built at 12th & Main. Considering the age it wasn't hard to believe all that was true. That prompted seeking out bids to replace it.

It was around $10,000 to replace the siren with something similar to what we had. It was around at least $20,000 to get one with all the bells & whistles that the Chief would really liked to have. Being strapped for cash the siren replacement was put on hold by village officials. Liverpool Twp. VFD loaned us a smaller replacement to get us by in the meantime. That's part of the volunteer firefighters creed of covering for each other in times of need. It's nothing formal. That's just the way it is and that belief is one of the things that make the members of VFDs some of the best you ever cross paths with.

Then along came VFD member Greg Stanley. Greg told me he's the kind of guy that likes to tinker with things and take them apart just to see what makes 'em work. Back toward the end of February he got to looking at the old siren "in the dirt" behind Village Hall. He loaded up the scrapped siren into the trunk of his car and took it home just to see how it use to work. After tearing it apart he got to thinking "why can't this be repaired?"

Talking to Highlandtown VFD member Tim Roush one day Greg learned of a company out in Salem called Berger Electric. Tim told Greg that Berger Electric had done some work for Highlandtown and they found him to be very reliable. He suggested that Greg check them out.

So Greg hauled the siren motor out there and asked that they only check it out and let them know. Money was tight. Wellsville didn't really have any to spend on something that was obsolete. Two days later Lee Berger called Fire Chief Smith and said the motor is fixed. Come and get it. Smitty said he almost passed out afraid to ask what the "damage" was. They were only looking for an opinion and if it could be repaired. Then they would try to figure something out to cover the cost. Lee told them it was $295 and they could send the check when they got something worked out. Wonder if Lee is a fire fighter too?

Stanley then got busy putting the siren back together. Getting a donation of tin sheet from brother Rick "Big Beef" Stanley and the use of the maintenance shop over at Newell Porcelin Greg set out making a pattern to produce the megaphone cones and replace them. He then cut out and formed each one. Then he got it reassembled and painted up. The ville had something new out of something old.

This past Monday, April 27, the siren was re-installed and tested. Pusateri donated the use of their cheery picker to pick it up and set in place. Greg also told me this particular siren is called a Federal STH 10 and it was designed especially for hilly terrain. Other than for curfews hopefully we won't hear it too often but it shouldn't be any problem hearing it if the need arises.

Pictured above is the siren waiting for the crane. The next shot is Stanley guiding it into place atop the pole behind the fire station. Next one is Jamie McMahon at the controls of the aerial truck and Chris Vallera relaying tools up the ladder to Stanley. The last picture is Vallera congratulating Greg when all his ingenuity and work paid off with the successful testing of the newly re-installed siren. You can click on any image to enlarge for a better view.

Thanks should go out to all involved in this project, especially to Greg Stanley. Thanks also to Rick Stanley and the folks at Pusateri for their generous good neighbor contributions.

ole nib

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Commerce Street Fire

On Tuesday evening, April 28, there was a dryer fire at the Edison residence on Commerce Street. The fire spread to the adjoining wall and traveled to an upstairs hallway. Fortunately with the quick response of the Wellsville FD & VFD the fire was pretty much contained to those areas. According to the newspaper report the fire fighters were on the scene within two minutes after being called at 7:02 P.M. The Edison family all got out safely.

According to WFD Fire Chief Bill Smith the furnishings were "are pretty much shot" with smoke damage and oily residue. The house is insured.

The Wellsville fire fighters were assisted at the scene by Liverpool Township with Highlandtown providing back up at the station with men and equipment.

Thumbs up to our firemen and our good neighbors. Although there was some loss and some damage it could have been much worse if it wasn't for these dedicated men.

ole nib

Jim Kenney Center & Marina

There was a joint meeting last night, Tuesday, April 28, at Village Hall with six members of the FOP and four councilmen. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the 99 year lease agreement that the FOP/FOPA has for the "Jim Kenney Youth Center" as it is named on the lease papers. The lease was signed 33 years ago in 1976. The amount for the lease was $1.

Somewhere along the line it was brought up that up to nearly $1 million in grant money was available from the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources but only if the village had sole possession of the property. The money is intended to upgrade and refurbish the facilities. Such things as rebuilding the basketball court and adding lights, adding play ground equipment, dredging Little Yellow Creek and building improvements were mentioned.

Again village officials stressed that it is not their intention to take over the operation of the facilities despite rumors to the contrary that are circulating around town. They have been told that to be eligible for the grant money the village had to be the only ones shown as having possession of the facilities. One Property Committee member stated that the village can not afford to run things up there. Another told the FOP members present "It's your building. We do not want it. We just want to fix it up."

This past Monday members of the Property Committee and other village officials conducted an inspection of the buildings. They came away impressed with the condition of the main building according to newspaper reports. There are new sub-floors and one councilman indicated that it is structurally sound with a good roof and no signs of neglect.

One FOP member stated that over the years they have made many improvements and the village has shown no interest in it in the past 33 years. Their main source of revenue is from dock rentals at the marina. A couple of years ago that was drastically reduced when Buckeye Water was in the process of building the new pump station. It is hoped that now that is completed the renters will return. Both the Center and the marina are operated by the FOP. There is no sub-lease for a boat club.

One of the activities normally held up there is Senior Bingo that usually runs until the end of December. With the loss of the marina revenue and the average cost of $500 per month for heat and utility bills last year was the first time they shut it down in October. Also the annual Christmas toy drive and give-away is held there. The building is still available for other activities.

Back when they got started the village obtained a grant for them in the neighborhood of $100,000. It was with that and a lot of volunteer help that got them started. The lease was in effect when they got that grant and that prompted the question of why things have changed.

Now here is the kicker that came out of last night's meeting. The available grant money that is said to be there through all this is coming from year old information. No one has talked with ODNR recently to check if it is still available. That was the first time that was ever mentioned.

That brought a quick end to the meeting after it was decided that one committee member is going to have the newly hired grant writer to check things out and another is going to check with the folks at ODNR. Hopefully there is still money out there. I think FOP Trustee Ed Wilson summed it up best saying "Get the money, fix it up and let's go home."

Hopefully they can Eddie, hopefully they can...

ole nib

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Only Three Days To Go

The Old Gray Mayor's basketball game is coming this Friday. Although I pray nothing will happen it may be the last time you see some of these people on two feet after killing themselves! I wouldn't even wish that on the Potters team. For them losing will be humiliating enough.

Cheerleaders and players must be no younger than 50 years of age. I hear rumors that Geritol and Depends are two of the sponsors for the event. The knee replacement clinic has already signed on and various therapy departments from area medical facilities will have recruiters there following the game.

One of the main attractions for Friday evening's carnage of aging jocks is the appearance of Wellsville Legend Clarence "Bevo" Francis. It was 55 years ago this past February that Bevo set a college scoring record that still stands today while playing for tiny Rio Grande College. Playing against Hillsdale College on February 2 of that year Bevo scored an incredible 113 points earning him a spot in the NCAA/NAIA record books. That was in the days before the 3-point line. Even with the 3-point scores I doubt if that record will ever be broken. All of Bevo's trophies will be on display and Bevo has graciously agreed to sign autographs.

The proceeds of the game are going to benefit both the Alley Cat Aid Brigade & the Floodwall Committee. Doors open at 6:00 P.M. at the high school. Tip off is scheduled for 7:00 P.M. Bevo is going to toss the ball up for the tip off and then get out of the way. He doesn't want to get any blood on him. Tickets can be purchased in town at either Center Pharmacy, Air Waves or from any committee member.

Found the picture above on doing a Google search. Ran into Bevo yesterday. He looks like he can still get up there.

ole nib

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Wellsville Historical April '09 Meeting

The April meeting was held Thursday evening, April 22, at the museum on Riverside. Turning things around a bit this month's program was first on the agenda presented by Dr. Anne Baker from Austintown. Dr. Baker is an audiologist with the Salem Audiology Association. She explained the signs and symptoms of hearing loss and what can be done to help those with hearing problems. If I heard her correctly hearing loss occurs gradually over the years and is a painless affliction. Sometimes taking as long as 10 to 20 years to occur. Consequently many hold off on seeking treatment and a lot of folks are in denial of being hearing impaired. They are the people that accuse you of whispering and frequently ask you to repeat what you said. They turn up the TV or radio way too loud and often get defensive about their hearing.

Gradual hearing loss can lead to all sorts of behavioral problems from confusion, to loss of self esteem, to anger, anxiety, embarrassment and depression. Many of these problems can cause physical problems such as headaches, fatigue and increased blood pressure. Sometimes hearing loss can simply be a build up of wax in the ear. In those cases a lot of the time hearing can be fully restored once it is properly treated and the wax is removed.

Dr. Baker explained the spectrum of hearing loss from normal hearing to profound loss. From the chart she gave us I'm on the borderline of having mild to moderate problems. Whattaya say? If you think you having hearing problems get tested by a qualified firm. There's a big difference between hearing aid sales shops and an audiologist's office.

Moving onto the meeting, President Brassy Beresford reported he just finished up a genealogy research request for a family named Ryan from Tennessee and discovered they have kin still living in the ville that neither knew of. As a result Brassy did a little match making, sort of speak.

Also announced was the return of the 4th Armored Division Historical Group coming up in June. The exhibition is called "Remembering Our Freedom" and will be presented the week-end of June 13 - 14 at the River Museum. This is the same group that was here last year with their impressive WWII presentation. There will be a weapons demonstration on Saturday, the 13th, at 1:00 P.M. for this Second Annual WWII Living History Week-end. Tim Gains advised that they have some new members added to the group this year and will have some different attractions from what they had last summer.

The hours will be Saturday 10:00 to 6:00 and Sunday 10:00 to 4:00. Brassy asked if you have items from the 40s & 50s you could loan the Society for display for this event it would be greatly appreciated. If you do have any relics or photos contact Brassy at 330-532-3941 for more details. We'll keep you posted on any new details we learn of.

Other programs being planned is the history of boats, railroads and schools that were relevant to the ville. Each one will be a separate program. The annual Christmas dinner is being planned for December 8 at the museum. Next meeting is May 19. Come on down and join us.

ole nib

Looking Back To 1907

When I wrote up the March meeting of the Wellsville Historical Society I mentioned that the ville's Bob Lloyd presented a Power Point program on the history of floods in town. It was very evident that Mr. Lloyd put a lot of time and effort into that program. To start with his collection of photos had to be scanned onto a computer and organized. That in itself is very time consuming. He also mentioned that it was the his first time for this effort.

The program was extremely interesting and I got particularly excited seeing the pictures of how the ville use to look back over the years. It included pictures going back to 1884 and up to 1991. Many of those structures in those photos are long gone. It's a collection to be envious of for those that like to look into the past and imagine how we got to where we are today.

Before leaving that evening I ask Mr. Lloyd if I could get a copy of his program so we could share some of those pictorial memories. He responded that he would try. Then I got to thinking those pictures were probably huge and I probably wouldn't get my wish. I can't tell you how he did it. It's above my technical know how but true to his word he got somewhere around 158 pictures shrunk down and on one disc.

Sometime back I also mentioned that there use to be a church at 3rd & Lisbon where the BP gas station now stands. Here are couple of pictures of the front and back of that church taken during the March 15, 1907 flood. That flood crested at 38 feet. Our worse flood in recorded history was in 1936 when on March 19 of that year the waters were measured at 51.5 feet.

In the first picture you can see the front of that church facing 3rd street. It's long gone. In my earliest memory there has always been a gas station on that corner. Back when I was a kid it was called SOHIO - Standard Oil of Ohio. I think the house to the right of the church is the same one that is now between the BP station and Rich's. Looking at that picture I think that house is the only structure still there. Dominating the picture is the old Whittacre Apartments across the street that use to be on the lot where the Dairy Queen is today. They were still there when I was a kid and remained until they were torn down for Johnson's car lot.

The second picture taken from a different angle looking at the back of that church has a lot of interesting buildings that are also long gone. Again you can see the front of the apartments. However along 3rd Street I think the only structures beside the house next to the church that still stand today are the row houses on Broadway that start at the 3rd St. corner and the building in the top left that is now the Alumni Center. You can only see the top of that building. Across from the row houses is where Rite Aid now stands. The building with Coca Cola on it is where Tom Koontz's car lot is located. The building in front of it is where Rich's is now. Both of those buildings had small grocery stores. The Coca Cola marked building was Ricci's store and the only thing I remember about the other one is the penny candy that was always available if you had a couple of pennies for sneaking in a treat to ruin your supper. I don't know what the big building was at the top center where Kwik King is located today. When I was a kid I think that was another gas station. Those railroad tracks are still there.

From time to time I'll share more pictures with you all. Bob you did a whale of job and in my opinion that program is worth charging admission to see. I surely thank you for the copies. When I asked how much I owed him Bob told me I couldn't afford it. He's probably correct but I'll be eternally grateful for his generosity.

ole nib

Friday, April 24, 2009

Council Meeting - Tuesday - 4/21/09

Before the formal opening of last Tuesday's meeting Council Pro-Tem John McMahon announced that both Village Administrator Jim Saracco and Linda Surace were in the hospital. He was explaining why the Mayor & Jim were not present. No other details were available. God's speed for quick recovery to both.

All council people were present in addition to Fiscal Officer Dale Davis, Village Solictor Andy Beech, WFD Chief Bill Smith and Zoning Administrator Rick Williams.

After approval of the minutes on the previous meetings Chief Smith remarked that Senator George Voinovich's office has been in contact with him in regards to the flood wall projects. Smitty indicated that it was mostly a question & answer session. Maybe we might get some stimulus money to repair and rehabilitate the machinery & pumps. Lets hope.

Under the Public Speaking portion Mary Ann Cannon was there on behalf of the Wellsville Tree Board Committee. She announced that this year's Arbor Day commemoration will be held at Hammonds Park with a planting of a tree with the help of Garfield's third grade class. Ceremonies will begin at 9:30 Wednesday morning, April 29. They are also planning on having some games for the kids. Diane Dinch is the Project Manager for the Arbor Day events.

Mary Ann also passed out copies of the proposed brochure for the committee's programs this year. It includes information on what is being offered, costs and contact information along with an order form. For more information check out their web site at

ELO Council Members Sherrie Curtis and Brian Kerr presented a proclamation challenging the ville's officials to pass a resolution "declaring humble defeat & attest to the superior skill and dominance" of the ELO team if they win the Old Gray Mayor's Basketball game. The game is to be played May 1 at WHS to benefit the Floodwall Committee & the Alley Cat Aid Brigade. Cheerleaders and team players must be at least 50 years old. If the ELO team should lose the resolution will be put before their council. It will be posted for a month in the winner's home town. Word on the street yesterday was it's expected that the ELO team will be made up with a bunch of wrinkled ringers that get together every week to play b-ball.

Speaking of the game, former Mayor Nunzio Lombardozzi spoke on behalf of those involved with that fund raiser. He said that there are only 1,000 tickets available. Ticket sales are going well in the ville with 250 already being sold. They split the tickets with 500 going to ELO and 500 being sold in the ville. Tickets are available at Airwaves here in town, Coffee Fusion in ELO or from any committee members. Wellsville Legend Bevo Francis will be there to conduct the tip off to start the game. All his trophies will be on display and he has agreed to sign autographs. In addition to the game they are going to have food, entertainment and a 50/50 raffle.

Nunzio also announced this year's schedule for the Village Fix-up/Clean-up Committee. They will meet on the first Saturday of every month beginning May 2. The last session will be Sept. 5 and that will also be the date for their annual village wide yard sale. For more information you can contact Nunzio or Village Hall. If you got the time this is a great way to pitch in to make your home town a little more attractive.

Under Administrative Reports Chief Smith said that the old outside siren has been repair thanks mainly to the efforts of Greg Stanley. The motor for the siren was rebuilt at a huge savings to the village. I saw it yesterday. It's all painted up and will be re-installed tomorrow.

Under Committee Reports Finance Committee Chairman Tony Cataldo announced that there is a balance of $41,184 in the General Fund. He then made a motion to apply for an Appalachian Regional Commission grant for funding for the new proposed truck road they are hoping to be put in downtown. If awarded the grant amount will be a 50/50 deal with the ville's obligation being 50% of the amount. Cataldo also made a motion to send a letter to State Rep. Linda Bolen and State Senator Jason Wilson to propose legislation in Columbus to change the ville's Muncipal Court arrangement from Lisbon to ELO's. This is a cost saving move. Round trip to Lisbon is 46 miles versus around 10 miles to the 'pool. Last year it was estimated it cost us around $5,000 for mileage and over-time for WPD officers to testify in the County Municipal Court. If accomplished savings could be realized in both categories. Both motions were approved by vote of council. The court thing will be interesting. EL council not long ago passed a motion to abolish their Muncipal Court. That also requires state approval. Cataldo said he talked to both Mayor Swogger and Judge Byers-Emmerling and they have no problem with it. In this morning's paper County Judge Mark Frost was quoted as stating that he didn't think it would have much effect on the county court.

Under Streets, Lights & Parking Joe Soldano got a motion passed to request Ohio PUCO to eliminate a couple of unused railroad crossings at the request of school bus drivers. One is at 3rd & Commerce and the other at Anderson. Bus drivers are required to stop at all crossings and open the door for safety reasons. A Public Hearing will be required if the PUCO agrees to go ahead with it.

For Water, Sewage & Refuse Councilman Randy Allmon got approval to pay four invoices from our engineering firm GG&J for a total of $14540.63. Those invoice were for work performed dealing with the EPA on clearing up the problems with the STAG funds. The EPA wanted to be repaid $1.2 million and that has been brought down to a little over $12,000. Congressman Charlie Wilson has made a personal plea with the EPA to have that amount forgiven since there was no indication of anything being amiss. Allmon also advised he just got the finalized contract back from United Water for the operation of the sewage treatment plant. He also asked for a 30 day extension to operate under the old contract since they haven't had time to go over the new one yet. We've been working under an extension but that was due to expire April 29.

Under Personnel Allmon got approval to have an invoice for $5,260 paid to J.F. Lencewicz & Associates for work done on the police manual and negotiations with the village union. Fiscal Officer Dale Davis stated that should be it for the manual but negotiations for the new contract is still a work in progress.

John McMahon reported for the Property Committee that there hasn't been much movement on dealing with the FOP/FOPA on the Jim Kenney Center. That is where they are trying to get the Center back solely in the village's name to be eligible for grant money to make improvements. Randy Allmon remarked that we passed up nearly $1 million in grants last year for that and he thought the matter should be pushed ahead. At a meeting Thursday it was decided to inspect the premises this coming week and possibly audit their books. Both items are in the lease with the FOP/FOPA. As Allmon said getting out of that lease is for the benefit of the village. It's a technicality that would benefit all involved.

Under suspension of rules motions were passed to give the Ohio DOT village blessings to upgrade signs on Route 7, to agree to accept a generator on a trailer with telescoping lights and to take possession of a '94 two wheel drive GMC pick-up for fire department use. The equipment is from ODNR. We may still be in the running for another 4-wheel drive truck they hope to use for brush fires. The GMC has to be painted and lettered. Right now it's in camouflage colors.

Also under suspension of rules the ordinance to sign on with Grant Source Professionals was taken off the table and passed. It was tabled last month until some parts could get clarified and that has been done. Only grants that village officials request will be applied for.

There was $4,475 collected in back fines in March. There is still $58,869 outstanding. The Animal Control Officer had 31 calls last month. Three dogs were brought to the Village Pound, three dogs were transferred to the County and one was returned to the owner. Two of those calls were for Pitbull issues. Four calls were to investigate abuse and neglect of animals.

The meeting was adjourned at 6:29. Next meeting is May 5.

ole nib

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Child Abuse Awareness Month

April is nationally Child Abuse Awareness Month according to WPD Juvenile Officer Marsha Eisenhart at the Crime Watch Committee Meeting held Thursday, April 9, at Village Hall. Marsha presented an eye opener program on child abuse at this month's meeting. She gave us some national and state statistics but mostly concentrated on actual Wellsville cases she and other WPD officers have been involved in.

Child abuse occurs in three main types - neglect, sexual abuse and physical abuse. Nationally Ohio is ranked number 11 in child abuse cases. The number one killer is the Shaken Baby Syndrome. Wellsville had one case not too long ago where a six month old baby died. In that case the baby sitter was sent to prison for four years.

You don't hear much about cases in the ville but they are out there. Really the only ones we hear about are the ones that make it to court or indictments that are issued against some of the offenders. Some don't make it that far and some are pending for various reasons. As all across the nation one of the biggest problems in the ville is the people that don't want to get involved and for the abused child that is sad.

Marsha told us about the little girl whose finger tips were chewed raw because she was going hungry. In that case they found a refrigerator full of beer and wine coolers. She told about a boy with burns on his belly from a stove top burner. She told us about a little girl they found with her finger tip being black from lack of treatment when it got caught in a door. She would have lost that finger if gone untreated much longer. She told us about the four year old girl being allowed to watch porno because her mother thought she saw worse in school. She told us about the boy in kindergarten that wanted to commit suicide because he felt no one loved him. These are all cases that happened in Wellsville.

Most cases are referred to Children's Services and some are assigned a case worker for follow ups. Generally they have a good relationship with the folks over in Lisbon but sometimes things go awry. Marsha said she has invoked Rule 6 which allows the officer to pull a kid out of an abusive home without going through Children's Services. Some abused children are placed in foster care but most are returned home and that generates lots of repeat cases.

There's a lot of frustration involved in juvenile work but Marsha said there are some rewarding moments that make their efforts all worthwhile. She said they have a good relationship with Akron Children's Hospital that has a special unit dedicated to young abuse victims. They have a doctor over there that has just about seen it all and tells it like it is. She said most abuse cases come from homes where the parents are drug or alcohol abusers or a combination of both. In spite of all the efforts to combat this problem the drug abuse problem just seems to get worse. Regretfully for the children there are many stories of this type that just don't have a happy ending. It's an on-going problem.

On a brighter note Marsha told us about a program that Wellsville signed on with A Child Is Missing (ACIM). They are headquarted in Florida and their services are free. ACIM was founded in 1987 and they have the ability to place 1,000 calls in 60 seconds in a community such as ours when a child is reported missing. The calls are made to alert people to be on the look out for the missing child and they give a description such as age, what they look like and what they were last seen wearing. Every forty seconds a child goes missing in this country. The calling is all done with computers and recorded messages. It can also be used with people with Alzheimer's and others that may wonder off. You can learn more about this program by visiting their web site at It's an amazing program.

We're fortunate in the ville to have such devoted officers such as Marsha. The mayor commended her for her concern and generosity often digging in her own pockets to feed a kid. Marsha said many clubs in the ville make donations to help her with this. Feeding a child is a big aid in getting them to open up. Marsha donates her days off volunteering in the schools. Pictured above is Marsha with her presentation showing pictures of actual Wellsville cases the WPD has investigated.

The Crime Watch Committee have changed their meeting days to the third Thursday of the month. Meetings start at 6 P.M. Next meeting is May 21 at Village Hall. Everyone is welcome.

ole nib

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Alley Cat Aid Brigade Give Away Postponed

Went down to cover this month's pet food give away but only saw that the sign had been changed. This month's give away has been postponed until next Saturday, April 25.

There was no one around to ask about it and I couldn't get anyone on the phone a little while ago. They must all be out enjoying the beautiful weather.

Since last month they put a coat of paint on the front of the place. Think they must be promoting "going green". It's an eye catcher!

ole nib

Spring In The Ville

Ah, spring... Here are some of the prettier signs of spring I've seen around our village this year. With bright sunshine, temperatures in the seventies and very low humidity it don't get much better than this.


ole nib

Friday, April 17, 2009

For The Kids

Yesterday evening the Wellsville Carnegie Library sponsored a concert for the kids young & old. The concert was given by singer-songwriter Chip Richter as part of his Here Comes The Sun concert tour. Richter has been traveling and touring for over 10 years and specializes in music for kids and families.

He opened his concert with a number called "Hey There How Do You Do". With his mellow voice and smooth guitar playing it wasn't long before he had his audience fully involved with shaking hands, clapping and singing along. From what I observed the entertainment was enjoyed by all. For more info on Richter check out his web site at

This concert was in celebration of National Library Week and is just one of the activities planned for the kids from the Wellsville area. Coming next Monday and Thursday is a Family Craft Night from 6 - 7:30 each evening. An adult must accompany all children. Also coming up is the showing of the newly released on DVD movie entitled the Tale of Despereux on two different evenings. It's an animated movie about a heroic mouse who's name is Despereux. On April 30 they will be having a Scrap Booking event for the kids. In June & July they will be having more events with artists and musicians. You can call the library at 330-532-1526 for more details on these events.

All these activities are for the benefit of the kids and the folks at the library should be commended for their care and concern. From talking to the ladies it's evident it comes straight from the heart. Everything is free. Speaking of free, for the month of May the library will be having Food for Fines. For a can of food, which will be donated to one of the food pantries, all book fines will be forgiven.

Pictured above are photos of last night's concert. You can click on any of the pictures to enlarge.

Thanks ladies. You're the best!

ole nib

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Scattered Thoughts

Hope you all had a nice Easter and the Easter bunny was good to ya. We usually have a quiet celebration here but the missus seems to think I still need a basket filled with some of my favorite goodies. She's just that kind of gal. Even with no kids around we still have the treats and I'm blessed to have her even though it's a challenge for my sugar level. Don't get me wrong I really appreciate it but I'll strenuously avoid any blood tests for a month or two!

Moving on to other things around the ville and items that might interest you are subjects in no particular order.

Incumbent Councilwoman Rosie Goss has filed her petition with the Election Board to run as an independent in the November election. Remember her petition for the primary ballot got tossed out for lack of enough valid signatures. New comer to the political arena is the ville's Susie Haugh. She hasn't filed her petitions yet but assures me she is going to get over to the Election Board before the deadline. These two ladies will be challenged by Republican Bob Marcin and Democrat Jack Cataldo.

Columbia Gas announced they are beginning the upgrades in Ohio. It's a statewide project starting in the northwestern part of the state. This is the same upgrade that Columbia Gas representatives approached Council last fall in regards to fees charged for opening holes in the ville. When they are done they'll be able to do "drive-by" meter readings with the planned new gas meters that must have some kind of radio signal that is read by a computer in their vehicles. It'll eliminate the necessity of meter readers walking around entering numbers on their hand held gizmos that they use now. It'll probably eliminate some jobs once they get all the bugs ironed out. Maybe by that time attrition will kick in and those folks that work there will be able to move into other positions.

I haven't seen it being done but Buckeye Water announced they will flushing hydrants from one end of the ville to the other starting this week. It may cause some mucky tap water and low pressure but that will only be temporary. The piece in the paper said they were going to start Monday "on the north end of town" but we all know they mean "up town" as we prefer to call the north end.

Haven't been to a Tree Board meeting yet but that is going to change starting next month. Fortunately Jo Bob got there which is new for us residents. Seems like the Tree Board and the Board of Education meet on the same nights and the BOE usually got the press coverage.

The tree people are getting ready to get back into action this year. They are going to go to school to learn tree diagnosis in order to do a survey in the village to determine which trees are healthy and which ones have to go, for not only our safety but the safety of future generations of trees. They are taking orders for memorial trees, pavers and benches. If you are interested in getting a loved one memorialized you can get all the information you need at their web site at Believe there is price lists and contact information to found there. This group is another all volunteer committee and all money that comes in goes right back into projects they have lined up. They are a devoted group that improves the town's image and helps make our hometown someplace special.

Byron D. Beacom Scholarship applications are due by next Friday, April 24. Applications are available in the guidance office at WHS or on-line at

Only 147 days left until the Steelers kick off the '09 Season. They play the Titans at home on a Thursday evening, Sept. 10.

J.C. Amato's defense team was dealt a set back by visiting Judge Joseph Bruzzese yesterday on their petition to suppress evidence found in executing a search warrant last fall. His trial is still scheduled May 19 for the new weapons charge. The murder trial is scheduled for August. Amato's defense wanted the new weapons charges thrown out and the judge ruled that under the circumstances he finds everything in order and kosher.

There was a reminder in the paper yesterday that ATVs are not street legal. WPD Chief Scarabino announced they are going to be cracking down on any violators they catch. It's a dangerous activity since most people that drive their ATVs on the street are dashing around at speeds unsafe in order to avoid being caught.

I would like to keep up on the spring sports especially for the high school teams. However there seems to be a paucity of newspaper coverage. With all the cut backs the papers just don't have the people to cover everything. I'm not certain but I think they depend on school representatives to phone in game results and I don't think that is being done too much. If the coaches don't have the time to do it they should designate someone for that chore. These kids play their hearts out and deserve more recognition, win or lose, for their efforts. Even just seeing their names in the results portion is a morale booster. I remember back all those years when I was a high schooler. Back in those days there were a few more reporters. Whenever I saw my name in the paper I was secretly thrilled. I always pretended it was no big deal but that was just being a teenage macho tough guy.

Spanks & roasts go out to whoever has the job of putting the different schedules on the WHS web site. There is nothing in there for baseball, softball, track or golf - not one single schedule. It's hard to keep up on those things and to make plans. One of the boy's baseball coaches gave me a copy of the schedule for them. I tried to talk to the girl's softball coach a few weeks ago at a practice session but when he found out I was just a blogger he walked away from me.

From the papers the latest I've learned is that the boys are now at 4 -4 after taking a double header last Saturday from Jefferson Christian. It was like the Christians and the Lions, or in this case the Tigers. Wellsville recorded 32 runs in those two victories. The girls are struggling this year. I think they are still fighting for their first win. I have no idea how the track team is doing - no schedule, no coverage. Do we still have a golf team? See what I mean?

Heard on the news today that United Airlines has decided to step into a politically incorrect sensitive area of dealing with obese passengers. They announced if a passenger is too big to fit in a coach class seat they will have to either buy a ticket for an additional seat or have to upgrade to business class with the larger seats. If you have ever flown anywhere this has always been one of the hazards of flying if you don't have family members in the adjoining seats. Even in coach class you pay dearly for your seat and it's very unpleasant to have some stranger in the next seat overflowing into your space. It may insensitive of me but I don't want to be cheek-to-cheek with a total stranger when I fly. United said they had over 700 complaints filed with them last year. Wonder if the other airlines will follow suit or play the wait & see game?

The Giant Eagle grocery chain has long had their fuelperks! where a customer earns a discount on gas at their Get-Go stations from the amount they spend on groceries. Now they are going to have foodperks! where you can earn discounts on your grocery bill for buying gas at Get-Go. For every 10 gallons you earn a 1% discount on your purchases at Giant Eagle up to a maximum of 20%. Customers still earn foodperks! credit even if they are buying gas at a discounted price from the fuelperks!. Does anyone know if the East Liverpool & Calcutta stores are in the program yet?

Here's one for the tree huggers to chew on. Read today that noted astrophysicists Willie Moon at Harvard told the Harvard Crimsom that "most observed climate data can be explained by fluctuations in solar radiation. That is, sunspot activity, not carbon dioxide, is responsible for the earth's cyclical warming and cooling." Imagine that... Most activists on a mission are obsessive with their beliefs as is some of the so called environmentalist that are trying to get us to believe we are all going to die if Baard gets started. Bet the Sierra Club doesn't mention anything about Mr. Moon's observations.

ole nib

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Wellsville's VFW Easter Egg Hunt

Here is an effort put forth by a bunch caring folks that just reaffirms that the ville is truly a special place. The members of the Tommy Mackall VFW post and their Lady's Auxiliary here in town put in untold hours each year begging for donations and getting things lined up for the annual Easter Egg Hunt for the kids. Although I wasn't told this, I'm betting there was a lot of digging in their own pockets to help rather than relying strictly on donations. That's just the way these folks are with their love and wish to do something nice for the kids.

Mary Wright, the Auxiliary President, told me they spent yesterday from 8 in the morning until 3 o'clock in the afternoon coloring 3,000 eggs for today's hunt at the football field. Kids are divided in four different age groups from newborn - 3 years, 4 - 6 years, 7 & 8 year old to 9 & 10 years old. Coming in the gate each child is given a ticket and that is for a gift and a bag of candy for each and every one of them. Along with gathering enough eggs to feed the family for a week every child is given the candy & gift.

VFW Commander Bill Wolf told me there were a lot less kids this year than what they had last year. He was estimating this year participants to be around 150 - 200 youngsters. It looked like a lot more to me but then there were Moms & Dads, Aunts, Uncles, Grand Paps and Grandmas mixed in with the kids.

Pictured above are the egg hunters lined up around the track waiting for the start signal. Then they were off gathering the eggs. That's Wellsville native Jim Thirtyacre putting in his requests to the Easter Bunny. Jim is the son of Dale & Nancy Thirtyacre. The bunny role was played by the ville's Todd Farnsworth. The little lad tenderly holding the blue teddy bear is Jacob Williamson from Binghampton, NY. He is the great-grandson of ville resident Gene Williamson. I didn't get the name of the little lady with the football but she had her hands full. I think she was holding the football for big brother. That was one of the gifts that were given. Finally is VFW Commander Wolf and his wife Naomi looking on at one of the gift tables. You can click on any of the pictures to enlarge for a better view.

A hearty thanks to all those folks from the VFW for all their time and efforts they put in to organize and put this event on year after year for the kids. You all are special people too.

Again, Happy Easter...

ole nib

Special Council Meeting - Thursday - April 9, 2009

The special meeting was called for two reasons. The first was for the mayor to get approval on two appointments he wanted to make. The second reason was to authorize the mayor to apply for a Community Development Block Grant for a street paving project. Except for Rosie Goss & John McMahon all members were present.

In the first matter the mayor appointed Dan Saracco to a part-time patrol officer retroactive to February 22, 2009. That was approved without opposition. Saracco is actually rejoining the force. He was once a member of the WPD years ago.

The second appointment was naming Jack Whitacre to the Buckeye Water District Board of Directors. That too was approved without opposition. Whitacre replaces Bob Morehead who resigned earlier this year. Whitacre is a life long Wellsville resident. He's an Army veteran, was at one time a part-time WPD officer and is retired from American Electric Power. Surace stated he felt Jack would make a good representative on the board. Jack will join ville residents Jack Call & Dave Lloyd on the BWD board.

The second reason for the special meeting was to authorize the mayor to apply for a CDBG grant for $400,000 to be used for milling & paving and curb work on several streets in the village. The application dead line was Friday, April 10. They tried but could not get an extension on the application dead line. In addition to applying for the grant council also authorized Fiscal Officer Dale Davis to shop around local lending institutions for the best rates on borrowing a required grant matching amount for another $400,000. The loan would be repaid over a period of 20 - 30 years from the permissive tax the village receives for license plate fees. Councilman Tony Cataldo stated the permissive tax is for road maintenance and it would cost the village an estimated $20,000 a year to repay the loan. Cataldo stated that since the village did not get any stimulus money we had to make our own. Surace quickly chimed in that if that should change the improvement's schedule would be moved up and added to.

The preliminary list for the street improvements and curb works is as follows:
10th St. - up to the township line just past the Cemetery entrance
Commerce - from 9th to 15th
12th - from Main to Commerce
12th - from Main to Riverside
11th - from Main to Commerce
14th - from Commerce to Bengal Dr.
19th - from Chester to Clark
1st - from Wells to Fulton
Clover - from 12 to 14th
Broadway - from 3rd to 9th on both sides
Main - From 17th to Commerce

It was stressed this list is strictly preliminary. It won't be finalized until the grant is rewarded and all costs are in. If everything works out as hoped for, the paving will begin in 2010. With no federal stimulus funds that's the best that can be accomplished. In the mean time we will have to be patient and live with cold patch, hot patch and touch up jobs here and there. Surace stated 10th St. is a priority because of the safety hazard at the top on the curve just before the cemetery entrance. That's the dangerous spot previously brought to council's attention by WPD Chief Scarabino.

Wellsville has around 27 square miles of streets and alleys. Village Administrator Jim Saracco was quoted as saying he is continuing to work with the County Engineer's office on this years chip and seal program.

Next council meeting is schedule for April 21 at 6:00 P.M.

ole nib

Village Business

It was a busy week for village officials and those of us that like to follow and keep up with what is going on with our place we call home. Monday morning there was this weeks first Sewage Committee meeting followed Thursday morning with a second one. Also Thursday morning there was a Special Council meeting right after the Sewage Committee. The regular Council Meeting this past Tuesday was cancelled for what I think was a lack of a quorum. In addition to work schedules and medical leaves Councilman Joe Soldano is an assistant coach for the WHS Baseball team. They played an away game on Tuesday.

Monday morning's meeting was mainly to discuss the old reservoir and the findings of the ODNR inspection. The meeting was chaired by Councilman Randy Allmon with Tony Cataldo, Village Administrator Jim Saracco, GG& J Engineer Bill Boyle and Buckeye Water District Manager Al DeAngelis in attendence.

Mia Kannik, an engineer for ODNR, expressed concerns about the earthen structure of the dam and spillways if we were to have a 100 Year Storm Event. She estimates there would be a five foot breech of the dam in such an event. A 100 Year Storm Event is criteria required for dam safety. It is determined from getting an extremely heavy rain in a 24 hour period estimated to be the level of flood water expected to be equaled or exceeded every 100 years on average. For example the New Fowl River along the Alabama coast had three such events in recent times in an 11 month period. It came first from a heavy rain storm followed by rain from Hurricane Katrina and lastly from Hurricane Ivin.n It is also known as the 1% flood since it is a flood that has a 1% chance of being equaled or exceeded in any single year. Ms. Kannik also expressed concerns that there wasn't an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) in place should such an event occur. An EAP is a written plan on what steps to take for such an event to warn people down stream and prepare them for possible castastrophe.

BWD Manager Al DeAngelis quickly refuted both points. First off there is not all that great amount of water in the old reservoir. It has needed dredging for years but you can't pump water and dredge at the same time. Then there are three valves up there that can be opened to slowly drain the whole reservoir to the point there is no water being held behind the dam should such an event occur. What water is held up there can be slowly drained into Little Yellow Creek down to the river. Now with the new pump station and water treatment plant it would be possible to dredge the bottom of the old reservoir without causing a problem with our water quality. Currently the integrity of the dam is in good shape with no apparent danger factor present in the opinion of the BWD.

DeAngelis also related that having an EAP plan was required by law. There are such plans on file for both the old and the new reservoir. The folks from ODNR did not check with the water district for the plans.

Engineer Bill Boyle advised that presently there is no grant money available to convert the old reservoir property into a recreational area due to ODNR budget cutbacks. However there are grant funds available for dredging and spillway rehabilitation from Ohio Public Works Issue 1. As a result BWD will keep control of the old reservoir as a back-up. They will basically mothball the place and pump water once a week from there to maintain it. This will give village officials time to apply for the grants to make renovations that would enable it to handle a 100 Year Storm.

At the same meeting an old mystery that has been bugging the County Engineer, BWD, United Water, GG&J and village officials for some time now was solved thanks to the heads up observation of Village Clerk Nancy Murray. BWD reports supplying 81 million gallons of water annually to the village while United Water reports treating only 69 million gallons per year. According to Bill Boyle the 12 million gallon difference would average out to a lost of $120,000 a year for the village. Our sewage bills are based on the amount of our water usage. The mystery that concerned everyone was why there was such a difference. It was determined there were no leaks anywhere to cause that amount of lost water and that the homes in Russell Hts. and the surrounding area up there were not included in those figures. DeAngelis advised there are even meters on sewage customers that are using wells to determine their sewage bill.

Mrs. Murray mentioned that one thing that has bothered her was the fact that Quality Liquid Feeds downtown only gets billed for an average of 5,000 gallons of sewage a month. DeAngelis said that couldn't be correct. QLF is using much more water than that. In checking with the water district office it was learned that QLF has three different water accounts and are supplied on monthly average of anywhere from 175,000 - 307,000 gallons of water. Two of those accounts go into the production of mostly molasses and does not have any discharge into the sewage system. You can't bill sewage for that. So, it was good news/bad news for some village officials. The good news being that the village was not actually losing that amount of money. The bad news was those officials had plans for that money!

While there Bill Boyle advised that plans for the Highland Avenue project are moving along. They found a large storm drain that is feeding into the sewage system that will be corrected. The stream water that seeps out onto Route 45 will be corralled into a drain system and be eliminate. That hazard will be eliminated. Also, he told us that for two way traffic a minimum of 22 feet is required. When the drains are redone up there they will be widening the street to meet that requirement. Right now the street is only 18 feet wide.

The second meeting of the week was also chaired by Allmon with committee members Cataldo & Don Brown along with Saracco, Fiscal Officer Dale Davis, United Water's Greg Stewart, the mayor, Rick Williams and Joe Soldano present. Brown said he is still doing out-patient rehabilitation as a result of his surgery but is able to get out and about a little now & then.

The purpose of the meeting was to go over correspondence received from GG&J Bill Boyle between him and the Ohio EPA concerning sewage over flows and back flows. The result being that flow monitors will be placed at 18th & 20th Streets in the sewer system at a cost not to exceed $3,900 a month to check the situation. Since this is under the $25,000 limit it doesn't have to approved by the full council according to Tony Cataldo. As soon as Greg Stewart gets re certified for confined space work the meters will be installed and remain in place for a period of two months.

Fiscal Officer Dale Davis reported they have been fighting with BWD for some time now over exorbitant water bills for the sewage treatment plant that were caused by a malfunctioning meter. At a cost of $1,400 the meter has been replaced and that problem should go away. One month they were billed for 93,000 gallons of water. Also, at a cost of $407, a back flow meter will be installed at the plant. Since there is no one locally certified to install back flow meters they will have to go outside the community to find one.

Also, Davis related that GG&J have said the Highland Ave. project bills can get paid by them or the village can pay the bills and get reimbursed by GG&J from the grant. It was decided that to be sure to have records of all bills the village will go for the reimbursement option. They want to make sure they don't fall into a situation like they had with the STAG fund records.

Allmon also advised that the contract with United Water has been finalized with Village Solicitor Andy Beech having a conference with their lawyers. The items they were concerned about were standard items that were just stated in a different way. Everything has been worked out to the satisfaction of all and the village is only waiting for UA to provide a copy of the contract.

ole nib

Friday, April 10, 2009

Wellsville Community Good Friday Breakfast

The Good Friday Breakfast sponsored by the Wellsville Ministerial Association is an annual event that has been going on for quite a few years now. Until this morning the last one I attended was well over 30 years ago. I remember being told back then it had being going on for years.

This year's breakfast was hosted by Rev. Bruce Ballantine and the members of the Covenant Presbyterian Church. I must say they were gracious hosts and even though that was my first visit to their church I felt right at home. Several of us were still waking up when we got there. I heard several comments about the early hour and had to wonder about the folks in the kitchen. With the spread they put on I know they had a short night. You don't get all that food prepared getting there a half hour early. Except for a few pastry items and fruit it was all home made. I don't know who made the biscuits but they were award winning. That sausage gravy was to die for.

The menu consisted of fresh fruit, orange juice, milk, coffee, scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, biscuits and the sausage gravy. It was all delicious and if anyone went away hungry it was their own fault. I could have gone back two or three times for more of that biscuit and sausage gravy! It would put Bob Evans to shame.

Rev. Ballantine told me they were expecting 95 - 100 guests and I think he was pretty close. I didn't see very many empty seats. County officials were represented by Judges Carol Robb, Mark Frost, Dave Tobin and Ashley Pike. County Commissioners Penny Traina and Jim Hoppel were also there along with retired County Sheriff "Brassy" Beresford and County Treasurer Nick Barborak. Wellsville Mayor Joe Surace did the introductions. In addition to the folks already named Surace recognized several village officials.

Former Mayor Nunzio Lombardozzi put a plug in for the Old Gray Mayor's Basketball Game coming up May 1. Nunzi said tickets are going fast. So far they have players, cheerleaders and an ambulance company lined up.

Prayer of the Day was offered by Rev. Roosevelt Thompson of the First Baptist Church followed by scripture reading by Pastor Eddie Renfroe. Covenant Presbyterian Church Musical Director Erin Burke entertained us with a piano solo. Her selection was a beautifully played piece entitled How Beautiful arranged by Lloyd Larson.

Riverside Presbyterian Church's Rev. Bill Betteridge followed with more scripture reading. Did you know Rev. Bill is a WHS alumni from the Class of '55? Both ministers read scripture from the book of Luke Chapter 23.

Key note speaker was Pastor Bill Rudder of the ville's New Life Worship Center on Main St. His subject was "What's Good About Good Friday?" He gave a very inspirational talk on the meaning of the actions that took place on the first Good Friday over two thousand years ago and what it means to those of the Christian faiths. It was "awesome".

Following Pastor Rudder were two arousing numbers by the First Baptist Church's Men's Choir pictured above. These guys are good and that's not saying enough. It didn't take long for members of the audience to join in the singing and clapping of hands. They woke the place up with their inspirational renditions. They rock! The men were accompanied on the piano by Frances Youngblood. In the picture, from the left, are Rev. Thompson, Deacons Bruce Dorsey & Terry McCuen, Brother Greg Spann, Brother Scott Spann, and Deacons Roger Youngblood and Abdul Kalam.

Not to be outdone by Nunzio, Rev. Ballantine put a plug in for the Ministerial Association's Paint the Town Committee before closing. The proceeds from the breakfast goes to that program. They are planning to swing into action again this summer and are looking for volunteer painters, donations and recommendations of houses that can use a coat of paint. Although they can't get to every house they do as many as the amount of help and money available allows them to get to. Since the start of the program they have done an impressive numbere of 17 houses in the village. It's an extremely rewarding community project all accomplished with volunteer help and donations. If you have a day or so to help or a few bucks to spare get in touch with Rev. Ballantine or any member of the Ministerial Assoc.

Benediction was offered by Rev. Darlene Zanders and that closed out this year's edition of the traditional Good Friday Breakfast.

Happy Easter to all...

ole nib

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Just A Few Comments

Went up to talk to Dexter Thrasher last week to see what kind of response he was getting for the T-ball registration. Although he only had about 25 names when I was talking to him he tells me last year they had around 80 kids play. Dexter said it's not unusual for about half of them show up once the season starts in June. It's been that way for the last three years he has run the program. The T-ball league is open to both boys & girls from anywhere in the area. Although it is an organized activity they don't get too serious about scores. Their goal is to provide an activity for kids from ages 4 - 8. No one is turned away.

Dexter also told me that the Little League that Mandy Corbin is organizing is going to consist of teams from not only from Wellsville. Also included will be teams from the Edison Local area, Empire, Richmond and Toronto. They were trying to get a girls soft ball league going but haven't been able to get enough young ladies interested.

I think it's great that these people are giving of their time and for their efforts they are putting into this. It's all about the kids. Anyone wishing to donate, to help out or just have a question or two can call Thrasher or Corbin for more details.

Kudos to the mayor and EL's mayor for traveling to Columbus this week to put a plug in for their respective towns for some of the stimulus money. As they said in the MJ at least they are being proactive. From the gist of an article in yesterdays papers they didn't come home with a fist full of money but are optimistic that there is still a chance to get a piece of that pie. Lets hope so. I wonder how many mayors across the state didn't bother.

Speaking of being proactive did you see that the WPD rounded up 22 individuals that have been putting off paying fines. Now it's probably going to cost them more. Chief Joe Scarabino was quoted as saying if you owe something you can come in our your own to settle up without getting hit with additional fines.

I would like to mention next year's 5 Year All Class Reunion. The Alumni Association is starting to get ready and have been holding meetings to line things up. Chris McNicol and Doug Rose were named co-chairman for the big dinner. Ruth Gibson & Shirley Shanks have been named co-chairman for activities. The next reunion is scheduled for June 30 through July 3, 2010. Mark it on your calendars. The next meeting will be April 20 this year at 7:30 P.M. at the Alumni Center.

Have you noticed that you can no longer buy the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette daily editions in town anymore. From what I've been told you can't even get one in Beaver County, PA. We have been eliminated from their distribution routes as a money saving cause. You can go on-line but you have to go to Allegheny County if you want to get their ink on your paws. Another nail in the print media's coffin. Sad... People from two different outlets in town told me they are still going to get the Sunday edition.

It's a little on the chilly side but we're seeing a beautiful sunshiny day. Enjoy it. The forecasters say we have a chance of getting some snow accumulations next week. Sad...

ole nib

Buckeye Water District - Part 2

As promised here is the second part on BWD and their new facilities. Most of the articles for this series is going to consist of pictures so you all can see what I'm talking about. I have more pictures than facts. Being a simple layman I found myself many times feeling I was in over my head with all the details they were giving me. So bear with me. I'll try to keep it in layman's language.

I introduced the series showing you the outside of the pump station and the ville's version of the Lock Ness monster. Except for the back-up generator I'll show a few shots of what I saw inside.

One of the things that impressed me is the forethought put into the plans when they built the new facilities. When it came out that the district was applying for grants in preparation for Baard's ORCF plant I thought they would be building a new pump station somewhere around the Port facilities. Wrong. The pump station is nearly ready to supply Baard with all the water they need. Right now they are saying Baard is going to need 21,000,000 gallons of raw water daily and another 4,000,000 of treated water once they get started. That's a pretty staggering amount of water. I thought for that amount they would need another pump station.

District Manager Al DeAngelis told me that all they need to do to get ready to supply the ORCF plant is to run supply lines from the pump station and the treatment plant to the new plant's site. Other than that the BWD is ready for Baard.

The pump station is supplied by two 24" diameter lines that are 17 feet deep under the river. There are three pumps capable of pumping 3,100 gallons of water per minute. The water is fed into a 36" diameter line that goes nearly five miles to the new reservoir. That's nearly 4.5 million gallons of water per day they are capable of pumping. If that is not enough they are ready to set up a fourth pump.

Mark Allison explained to me that they only run the pumps at night due to the cost of electricity. Like our cell phone plans the electric company has off-peak hours. It costs $2.61 per kilowatt hour to run the pumps during off-peak hours versus $12.62/kwh during peak times. Even taking advantage of the less expensive rates the average monthly bill still averages $8,300. Before going on-line with the new station the bill was $14,000 for the testing phase. My average household bill would take me nearly 83 years to match what it costs them per month.

The green thing pictured above is the back-up generator for the pump station. It kicks in automatically if AEP fails to supply the juice. Then there is a section of 36" line that runs from the pump station up the hill to give you an idea of the size. Most households use a half inch line to supply their water. This particular piece of pipe has a hole in it that had to be cut out and replaced.

Then there is a picture of the intake lines and pumps that are nearly three stories down. The picture isn't the best. It was taken from ground level after I eyeballed all those steps to get down there. Remember the intake lines are 17' below the river surface.

The yellow thing is an over-head crane that enables them to get parts and equipment in and out of that hole.

The intake lines are periodically cleaned out with potassium that keep river snails and other aquatic creatures out of them.

Other than a few control panels and tanks for chemicals that is about it for the pump station. You can click on any of the pictures to enlarge for a better view. Next up is the treatment plant.

ole nib

Friday, April 3, 2009

Jim Kenney Youth Center, Inc.

Lots of questions, not many answers... Right now that is the status on the Jim Kenney Center and marina. In a Property Committee meeting yesterday with Committee Chairman John McMahon, Committee Member Joe Soldano, Councilman Tony Cataldo and Village Solicitor Andy Beech there were a ton of questions brought up and very few answers available. As Jo Ann Bobby said in her article in this morning's papers everyone involved has to get on the same page.

As mentioned last week the village is attempting to take sole possession of the Kenney Center and marina to be available to apply for Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources grants to rehabilitate the facilities. Andy Beech related that he seriously doubts that the village would be eligible for these grants with even a co-ownership. The village officials that were there yesterday told us that the Mayor in discussions with ODNR was advised that grants for substantial amounts are available for dredging the creek for the marina, fixing up the buildings, the basketball court and getting a play ground up there. Soldano confirmed yesterday that the Wellsville BOE is donating the play ground equipment behind the old McDonald School to the village. They would like to put that equipment at the Center. If ODNR grant money is available they might be able to get more to add to what is being given to the village. That would make a nice place for a play ground and that end of town has nothing for the kids. Sitting back in a corner away from any streets would make it ideal for safety reasons.

The lease for the center was signed by then Mayor Wayne Rose, Director of Safety & Service Glenn Mathess and Auditor James Haddock on March 12, 1976. Signing for the corporation was Emmett, Frank, & Perry Daniels and Jack Gallagher. It was for the princely sum of $1 for 99 years. Ten years later it was recorded by the County Recorder on June 5, 1986. If those that control the property don't co-operate the lease has 64 years still left to run.

From both the meeting last week and yesterday I'm getting the impression that there is no intent to run off those that control the property. The village officials that were there re-emphasised that they don't want to create any hard feelings or step on any toes. The idea behind this move is simply to get eligible for grant money to improve the facilities. Soldano mentioned that people are always saying that the village needs to make improvements and this is a good opportunity. It would be a shame to pass this up. With some co-operation I imagine a mutually accepted deal could be worked out with that corporation and the village. Just off the top of my head I'm thinking that the village doesn't want to control the facilities. No one said anything to that effect. That's just my impression. Other than changing the title back to the village I feel they are willing to continue with the organization operating the facilities. With the lack of funds available this would be a golden opportunity to upgrade and improve the place, especially for the youngsters and the boaters.

As a result of yesterdays meeting it was decided to set up a public, fact finding meeting in the near future and go from there. The meeting would be held at Village Hall and will be open to all. Pictured above is what the center looks like as of last week. It's obvious that there is lots that can be done. You can see how the basketball court is crumbling and the gutter on the main building is about ready to fall off. You can click on the picture to enlarge.

That building was built in the early 1900s as a pump station that supplied the town with raw, untreated water from the river. That was before the old reservoir was built in the 1920s. It's a stout well built structure that has stood the test of time. It would be great if it can be rehabilitated for continued use for years to come. It would make the ville just that more special.

ole nib

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April Fool Thoughts

Well, it's April Fools once again. Normally I would have some fun with this day but last years attempt was not well received by the commenters. So, this year I didn't bother. The ER did dig out a piece done by the late reporter Bob Popp back in 1965. I remember it well because he had me hooked back then right up to the last sentence. For those of you with a sense of humor it's worth a read.

When speaking at the C-of-C luncheon in February Sheriff Stone pledged he would do anything in his power to bring his staffing up to snuff. True to his word he will approach the County Commissioners to get a commitment to cover the cost for the fourth year for a COPS grant he is considering applying for. COPS is an acronym for the DOJ Community Oriented Policing Servicing program. It was revived as part of the federal stimulus package. The grant covers the cost of additional officers for three years with the fourth year being picked up by whatever community gets the grant. For the S.O. it would be the county. It's a good program that I always thought was worth going after & the Sheriff is going after it being realistic by presenting it to the Commissioners. The village is applying for two officers for WPD. Let's see what they do over in Lisbon. We should find out tomorrow. They were suppose to meet today.

While mentioning the WPD, did you see the article in last Sunday's Lifestyles section of the MJ? It was all about a demonstration a salesman presented on stun guns. Stun guns are used to subdue aggressive individuals that are in the process of being arrested. It's a less lethal way that literally stuns the individual long enough to permit the arresting officer to restrain them. WPD is ordering 10 of them for the department. By ordering 10 of them WPD only has to pay $150 for each one saving $349 for each gun. That's a heckuva of a savings. The whole package totals $7,018 which will all be paid for from donations to the department. Out of that amount the company will train one officer to be an instructor for other members on the force. The guns zap an individual with 55,000 volts of electricity. Ed Wilson & Shawn Bloor must have strong, healthy hearts. Neither one of them had to be rushed to the hospital after volunteering to be part of the demonstration. I have to go along with the Chief. I wouldn't have volunteered for that either. If memory serves me correctly I think the donations for this came from the Eagles & Vets Clubs.

Speaking of the Eagles, club President Bob Marcin & member Bill Cataldo presented the village with another check for $14,000 this past Monday. The check will be split up to cover the cost of the new lights at the 18th Street playground and for renovating the area around the Boy With the Boot into a mini park. The mini park will be a nice compliment for the floodwall murals. It is certainly nice that the members of the Eagles share the wealth and make it possible to make improvements for our crash strapped village. They have donated over $21,000 this year to the village. Thanks a million folks. As Clark Race, a DJ years ago on KDKA, used to sign off saying "it's nice to know so many nice people".

I was saddened to learn of the passing of Jim Heaton last Friday. Jim was the owner of Heaton's Tires here in the ville and was one of the nicest fellows I had the priveledge of knowing and dealing with. Jim used to sell Harley Davidsons years ago before he got into the tire business. He was a generous benefactor to many efforts in town over the years too numerous to recall. He'll be sadly missed by the members of the "coffee club" that gather up there on 2nd Street every morning to catch up on the latest news and commentary about current events. My condolences go out to the Heaton, Thirtyacre, McClelland & Burlingame families. Even though he was born nearly 81 years ago in New Waterford Jim was truly a Wellsville Legend. Rest in peace Jim.

How many of you remember that the site of Heaton's Tires use to be Katz's Junkyard way back when? When ever my dad got a new car one of the first things he would do was go there to get a weight on his car. He use to calculate what type of gas milage he would get on that vehicle. He would then budget his money to make sure he had enough for gas to get to & from work. Dad was always sensible with things like that.

Another round of generosity was displayed recently with a list of folks & businesses as long as my arm that made it possible for the Wellsville VFD to make definite plans for a renewed display of fireworks to cap off the annual Homecoming. This use to always be a part of the fireman's carnival but when they started back up last year it just wasn't affordable. It cost $5 grand to put on that display. The Homecoming is scheduled to run May 27 - 30 with the fireworks to begin at 10 P.M. on the 3oth. I remember back in the days when we had a St. Rocco's Festival and the fireman's carnival there seemed to be a sort of competition between the two to see who could have the biggest & best fireworks display. I can't say who did but I've always remembered both were very impressive with some very colorful displays. I'm looking forward to this years.

Another fun event coming up is a joint fund raiser for the Alley Cat Aid Brigade and the Revitalization Committee on the calendar for May 1. It's going to be an old timer's basketball game renewing the rivalry between the Tigers & the Potters. Mayor Joe Surace will be coaching the Tigers & EL Mayor Jim Swogger will be doing the same for the Potters. You can't be younger than 50 to play and they are even planning on having "senior" cheerleaders according to the newspapers. Wellsville Legend Bevo Francis with conduct the tip-off to get the game started. The event is appropriately called "The Old Gray Mayor's Basketball Game". Tip-off is scheduled for 7 P.M. at the high school. I think they are anticipating numerous time outs for the players to get their breath. They have a lot of other events planned. We'll have more on this later on but you better make plans now to get your ticket. Tickets are $5 and they are only printing 1,000 of them according to the papers. Although it wasn't mentioned they will probably welcome any donations of BenGay, Tylenol and Ace bandages. :-) I don't think "political correctness" is going to be much in evidence for this event. I'm just hoping those "old" fools don't need crutches & wheel chairs!

Finally, they will be having the second registration at Hammonds Park this coming Saturday from 1 - 4 P.M for t-ball. So far they have about 25 future all stars signed up. Practice begins around May 1 and games around June 1st.

ole nib