Saturday, May 30, 2009

"Lest We Forget"

Last Monday, May 25, was Memorial Day and being an aging veteran it has long held special meaning for me. It's not that I'm particularly boasting about being in the service or my time spent in that Far Eastern "resort across the pond" in the mid-sixties that I say that. That respect goes back before the days I even contemplated signing up. That special meaning was in grained in me from an early age by family members that served in the last "big one", as they sometimes call WWII. It's something I tried to teach our children all the while hoping they would not have to experience the rigors of war. It's something that I consider a prerequisite to truly appreciating what those before us and those still today have done to make America the land of the free. Not everyone is meant to serve in the Armed Forces but the liberties we enjoy today would not be the same if it wasn't for those that answered the call to arms. American history would be entirely different if it wasn't for our veterans.

For the first time since I was a grade schooler I attended all the ceremonies organized and arranged by Wellsville's Memorial Council. "Go-for" Don Brown invited me to the breakfast the members of the Tommy Mackall VFW Post generously provided to everyone and anyone that was part of the day's ceremonies and that's where I started. By the way, I call Don that only because when asked what position he held with the Council he told me he was just a "go for". You have to look at the program to see his actual title. If you know Don...

Our Memorial Council is not unique to Wellsville but if there was a contest to judge the Memorial Day ceremonies I'd be willing to bet they would come out on top compared to any other across this nation. It's got to be one of the most impressive around. Reporter Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert did a whale of job with her coverage. That was also impressive. So, let me tell you about some of the things not reported that caught my eye.

I was impressed with all that showed up to be part of the ceremonies and the turn out of others at both the Square and the cemetery. There was the police officers all decked out in neatly pressed uniforms and hats. You just knew some of them were coming off the over night shift and some of them had the day off. Then there were the members of the Wellsville VFD that came straight from the Pits after spending all night on a search & rescue mission. They were still in turn out gear. There was the young ladies from the Glenmore American Legion Post 73 Junior Auxiliary. There was Jennifer Gooch and the WHS Band. There was the Croskey brothers providing the sound system both at the Square and up at the cemetery. There were the active members of the military in uniform, most of them already Iraqi veterans and will probably be going back for another tour. There was Judge Melissa Byers-Emmerling, the key note speaker, giving not one but two meaningful, heartfelt speeches. There were the high school students that recited the Gettysburg Address, Flanders Field & Hallowed Ground dressed up for their part that also participated with the band. One young lady had heels on and marched in the parade. There were the members of the Beaver Local Jr. ROTC pulling honor guard duty. There were the ladies and their soundman from Beaver County, PA, that make up the group Rivers of Joy. Their rendition of Lee Greenwood's God Bless the USA got people waving flags and even some shedding a tear or two. There was the young lady, the bugler from the WHS band, performing Taps waffing across the cemetery that always bring a tear to my eyes. There was Mel Boggs, a WWII vet that has been part of the council for 51 years, making the effort just to be there. There were the officers of the WPD that stood for at least an hour in the hot sun in those black uniforms waiting to give the 21 gun salute. There's the crew that obviously put in a lot of hours getting the cemetery in show case shape. There were all the flags through-out the cemetery memorising over 1,400 veterans buried up there. Then there was SGT Todd Farnsworth, USAR, presenting flags that have actually flown in Iraq to three different organizations in the village. He also reminded us to not forget what the troops on active duty are doing still yet since the wars in the Mid-east have started. "Tell a soldier thanks, fly those flags at home and keep those yellow ribbons stuck to your cars, lest we forget". Amen Sarge.

Pictured above is a couple of WWII vets waiting for the start of the ceremonies. Jim Stewart, on the right, served in the Pacific Theater and Meryle "Spec" Kenney served in Europe. That's SGT Farnsworth in fatigues with members of WPD. He's already pulled a tour in Iraq and will probably be going back. Then there's Mel Boggs with Judge Byers-Emmerling. Boggs was credited with starting the Memorial Council. The three guys standing together is, from the left, Mike Shepherd, ville native Craig Williams and Farnsworth again. Mike is one of the "hootches". Williams is a USAF recruiter in Steubenville and a veteran of two tours of duty in Iraq. Finally is a couple of parade viewers that were quite interested in all that was going on.

Everybody loves a parade, even our canine friends... Thanks to all that helped made this holiday truly memorial.

ole nib

Thursday, May 28, 2009

WVFD Homecoming Festival Underway

It's started and yea, I get excited about these things. If my grand kids lived closer I would probably be spending the better part of my pension check on spoiling them with yummy treats and ride tickets, not to mention those french fries. Just to aggravate their dad I'd even take them down to sign up for the free bikes. He'd have to figure out how to get them home if the Good Lord smiled down on them!

Stopped by last evening to check things out. I was very impressed with the midway. There is all kinds of rides and things to entertain the young ones. I was kind of surprised with all that Brown Amusements were able to fit into that space.

Pictured above are just some of the rides available. I'm tempted to try out that Vertical Reality one. It looks fun, sorta of like bungy jumping on a bench.

Oh Kareena, there's a picture of the FF concession just in case you get disoriented after that long drive. It's in the football booster's concession stand. Kareena and her family are coming in all the way from the Peachtree State. She's Lee & Karen Tice's little girl. For her and her family it is truly a homecoming. Lee was a long time volunteer with the ville's VFD and Kareena grew up with visions of red trucks with loud sirens and flashing lights dancing in her head.

Gates open at 5 P.M. Come on down and join us at the 20th St. ball field. Safe trip for all and especially the Harty family traveling all the way from Atlanta. We look forward to see y'all...

ole nib

SFAWC Rabies Clinic

Last Saturday's Rabies Clinic sponsored Wellsville's Chamber-of-Commerce and conducted by the St. Francis Animal Welfare Center in conjunction with the Community Animal Clinic turned out to be immensely popular with customers lined up around the building.

It was held at the old Sky Bank on Main St. Property owner Byron Carter, shown working his magic on some racks of ribs, generously provided the location for the clinic. Doctors Mike & Jennifer Sandy of the Community Animal Clinic on St. Clair Ave in EL provided the vaccine and professional services for the affair. They are shown above with one of their assistants. Marc Holt pictured in the blue shirt was in charge of greeting and explaining the procedures to the customers.

Biscuit the gray cat wasn't too sure about the goings on with all the dogs milling about. His owner Brandy Anderson kept reassuring him that he's all right. Maggie Skinner was struggling to keep her dogs Wheezy & Queen in line. As shown above Wheezy was trying to go one way while Queen wanted to check things out in the other direction.

The cost of the shots were $10 a piece and there were many customers with multiple pets. It was a huge savings for the shots even for those with just one pet. Doctors Mike & Jennifer and their staff were extremely smooth with the injections. From what I saw most of the animals were vaccinated before they realized what was going on. They didn't use any square needles!

This is just one of the events being planned by SFAWC. Coming out next week is a News Letter loaded with information about their mission, contact information and future events. Bobbie Holt tells me they plan to distribute the pamphlet in various stores around town. Next up is a yard sale in early June at the New Life Worship Center on Main. Bobbie was especially excited about raffling a hand made quilt being donated by the Edwardian Lady's Society from East Liverpool. We'll pass on more news about the quilt and future events as they become known to us. All events are intended to raise funds so this all volunteer group can do their rescue work of abandoned and stray animals. All such animals are immediately examined by a veterinarian and most of them are turned over to rescue leagues for adoption. Some are adopted before they even get to the rescue league. In a dog's eye it's a rags to riches story for them.

Thanks to the folks of SFAWC for putting on the clinic and all you do. Many of the animals vaccinated last Saturday would never have been treated otherwise.

You can right click on any of the pictures to enlarge. If you want you can left click to save a picture or print it. If you missed Byron's BBQ'd mouth watering ribs & chicken it was your loss.

ole nib

Business After Hours

Wellsville's Chamber-of-Commerce resumed Business After Hours this past Thursday, May 21, at Air Waves on Main Street. It's a social event aimed at getting better acquainted with members of the Chamber in a relaxed atmosphere.

Hosting this month's event was Beverly & Lonnie Hentzell, owners of Air Waves and Having Fun Karaoke & Disc Jockey For All Occasions. The Hentzells are shown here preparing the soft drinks.

There were some distinguished guests that stopped in to chat with members and other guests. EL Municipal Court Judge Melissa Byers-Emmerling and County Commissioner Jim Hoppel, both pictured above, were there. Did you know that Melissa is a ville native? I didn't realize that until this past Thursday. She's the daughter of Ed & Dorothy Byers and was raised "down on Chester" as she says. Also visiting was CC Commissioner Penny Traina. Now I knew she's a Wellsville "girl".

Also pictured above is Mayor Joe Surace sharing a table with BOE member Ed Bauer. Check out the mayor's new "do". Says he got a summer cut. Whattaya think? Should we start calling him Spike?!!!

Thanks to Chamber and Hentzells for inviting me. It was a pleasure breaking bread with you all.

ole nib

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Mystery Solved

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the Shoe Tree that mysteriously appeared on Commerce Street across from the old Sterling China offices. Nobody was fessing up. There were some scary speculations made. Doing a little research I found out that Shoe Trees are not all that uncommon around the globe. It was something new to the ville.

Well, last Wednesday evening I got a call inviting me to the official "kick-off" of the ville's Shoe Tree to be held Thursday afternoon. The Shoe Tree is the brain child of the "Sisters Carmichael", as their mother Pauline sometimes refers to them. Other than these two ladies it has no connection to any other organization in the village.

At the "kick-off" there were county officials, a judge from up the river, village officials, the press, members of various organizations in town and others. Most came with a pair of shoes ready to go. The tree is being called a community art project. You have to think abstract art. There is no special meaning. The "Sisters" came up with the idea that it would be a nice community project that everyone in the ville and area can join in. The Mayor said he was donating the shoes he wore in the Old Gray Mayor's Basketball Game hoping for a better outcome in next year's rematch. Some were tossing shoes in memory of a loved one. Whatever... The meaning is entirely up to the person leaving the shoes.

Shoes can be tossed over a branch or nailed to the tree or whichever way you can think of. Everyone and anyone is invited to stop at anytime to participate. It's a 24/7 open invitation to partake in this community project. Feel free to add to the collection.

Pictured above is the "Sisters Carmichael": Connie Carmichael on the left and Candy Carmichael Bangor to the right. Below them is a couple of young ladies with their shoes ready. They are Amanda Rearley, in the pink top, with her friend Antonia Lombardozzi on her right.

Can you imagine what that shoe tree will look like in the fall when the leaves are gone?


ole nib

Buckeye Water District Meeting - Thursday - 5/21/09

The regular monthly meeting of the Buckeye Water District Board of Trustees was held at Village Hall this past Thursday morning. Except for Jack Call & Dave Lloyd all trustees were present. Also in attendance was District Manager Al DeAnglis & Attorney Fred Emmerling.

Minutes of the previous meeting were approved as read. There was no Public Comment. The Board went in to Executive Session for approximately 30 minutes to discuss pending litigation.

A motion was made and approved to accept a $2.8 million grant from the Ohio EPA for planning, designing and construction of the Salineville water line. Total cost of the project is estimated at $3.4 million. Steps were taken by the Board to secure the matching share for the grant on behalf of the Village of Salineville.

A motion was also made and approved to accept an Ohio Public Works Commission grant for $80,000 to repair the slippage of the one million gallon Route 45 tank. DeAngelis remarked that is 49% of the estimated cost for that repair project. The ground around the water storage tank is beginning to slip.

The Engineering Committee reported that the OEPA has approved the final close-out on the new raw water pumping station and treatment plant. Everything is good to go. There is still litigation on-going with the construction of the water line for the new facilities. They expect to be ready to put bids out for Phase I of the Salineville project in July. Also they are doing an evaluation of a back-up water storage tank for Elkton. In the Treasurer's Report it was announced they are putting the reserve amounts into a Star Account for better interest rates.

Next regularly schedule meeting is June 18, 9:00 A.M., at Wellsville Village Hall.

ole nib

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Are You Ready?

The annual Wellsville Volunteer Fire Department's Homecoming festival opens at 5 P.M. at the 20th St. ball field tomorrow. Workers from Brown Amusements were busy this afternoon setting up the midway and the firemen were busy setting up their booths and french fryers this afternoon.

A couple of corrections from my post on Sunday: The two bikes in the picture from Sunday are being given away free. All that is needed to get a chance on them is to have your child register at the festival. Drawing for the winners will be held Saturday at 8 P.M.

Hours for the festival on Friday & Saturday is 5 - 11 P.M. Only Wednesday & Thursday has the 5-10 P.M. hours.

Also returning this year is the two man double elimination Corn Hole Tournament. Entry fee is $20 per team and the winners will get half the pot from the entry fees. The tournament starts at 7 P.M. Wednesday.

There's all kinds of events, rides and good eats. Friday's entertainment will feature the 316 Band and Rumors. Saturday night Wellsville's Route 45 band will be playing. There will be special events for each day and a 50/50 drawing each day. Come on down and join us.

Karenna, your fries with your special ingredient will be waiting for you!

ole nib

Monday, May 25, 2009

Mayor's Senior Breakfast

For the fifth year Welllsville Mayor Joe Surace, with the generous help of the First Baptist Church, hosted the "Breakfast With The Mayor" honoring the graduating seniors of WHS. The breakfast was held at the First Baptist Church on Center St. this past Wednesday, May 20. The church provided the food and put on the breakfast at no cost to the mayor. Guest speaker was Professor Paul Blevins. Blevins spent 23 years working in the Wellsville school system.

Next Sunday is graduating day for 57 of some of the finest young people in this nation. After graduation next Sunday the Class of 2009 will officially become alumni of WHS.

Surace told the seniors that no matter where they go in life the ville will always be home. Professor Blevins told them that nearly 70% of this year's class will go on to further their education. The Ohio State Superintendent of Education has named WHS a "School of Promise". Blevins noted that while enrollment has declined the quality of education at WHS has not. He told them they come from a good school system, a friendly school system and a solid, academically inclined school system noting that Wellsville will never leave you or foresake you.

Also offering remarks was Councilman John McMahon and alumni Mary Heaton. Before offering benediction Rev. Thompson remarked that his name was Thompson. His mother's maiden name was Young. He was wondering if he might be kin to Seargents Thompson & Young who were there to present the USAR National Scholar/Athlete Award. See the article below for that award.

Shown above is Mayor Surace and Prof. Blevins addressing the seniors. Also is a picture of some of the seniors present and the WHS Choir getting ready to sing us a song. Apologies to the guys in the back row. It was a bad angle to get you all.
Congratulations to the graduating seniors that make up the Class of 2009. We wish you the best of luck in all your endeavors.

ole nib

US Army Reserve National Scholar/Athlete Award

Part of the Mayor's Senior Breakfast is the presentation of the US Army Reserve National Scholar/Athlete Award to two senior members of the WHS Class of 2009. The award got started in 1981 and has been given to over 200,000 students through out the nation.

Presenting this year's award were SSGT. Michael Thompson and SGT. Gary Young. SSGT. Thompson is a 22 year Army veteran having severed in Desert Storm, two tours in Iraq, a tour in Germany and in Korea. SGT. Young is a Purple Heart recipient from wounds received while serving in Iraq. Both are presently serving as recruiters at the Calcutta Recruiting Station in Ogilvie Square.

Pictured above from the left is SGT. Young, this year's award recipients Lindsey Koontz, Ryan Crabtree and SSGT. Thompson. The seniors were described as "two of the nation's finest young people". Also pictured is a close up of the medal awarded. You can click on any of the pictures to enlarge them.

Congratulations to both Lindsey and Ryan...

ole nib

Thanks Folks

Pictured here with the Rev. Pastor Roosevelt Thompson are three members of Wellsville's First Baptist Church on Center St. These ladies were busy in the church's kitchen frying up the bacon and sausage at 3:30 in the morning getting ready for the 9 A.M. Mayor's Senior Breakfast. They were preparing for around a hundred and from what I could see they had enough to feed at least 150. The breakfast was scrumptious and if anybody went away hungry it certainly wasn't any fault of the folks at the First Baptist. The members of the church provided the breakfast at no cost to the Mayor. It's this kind of generosity and dedication to community spirit that makes the ville a great place to live. You ladies out did yourselves.
Jo Ann Bobby gave you a toast in this past Thursday's Morning Journal. To that I would like to add a big thanks and a tip of the hat for your efforts in honoring the WHS Class of 2009.

ole nib

Sunday, May 24, 2009

It's C O M I N G !

Just three more days and it will be here - the Annual Wellsville VFD Festival. With preparations well underway they are set to open Wednesday evening at 5 P.M. The firemen began setting up yesterday at the 20th St. Ball Field and Brown Amusements will be here Tuesday to set up the midway. Starting Thursday they will have live entertainment and karaoke. There will be food and soft drink stands that include those world famous french fries.
Hours will be 5 P.M. - 10 P.M. each evening except Saturday. Saturday will start off with the traditional parade from 3rd St. to the ball field at 3 P.M. Following the parade there will be a 6 Man Tug-a-war and a 5 Man Bucket Brigade contests. I've never seen the contests in person but the parade is always exceptional and one of the best you'll see in the area.

This year's festival will be capped off with a finale and return of a fireworks display scheduled at 10 P.M. at the ball field. Fireworks will be put on by Pyrotecnico, the same company that does the Memorial Day fireworks in Calcutta.

Again this year they will be giving away two bicycles that are pictured above. They are brand spanking new and the price is right to get a chance on them. All you have to do is have your child register at the festival. The drawing for the bikes is Saturday evening at 8 P.M.
It's a fun way to support the ville's firefighters. Bring the kids. Bring the grand parents. Bring the neighbors. Bring yourselves. There's something for everyone.

See ya there...

ole nib

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Wellsville Historical Society - May '09 Meeting

The regular meeting of the Wellsville Historical Society was held Tuesday evening, May 19, at the Society's museum on Riverside. Members have been busy getting the museum gussied up for this season. Regular Sunday hours will be starting soon for visitors.

Two new exhibits that will be on display this year are Bill Boyce's collection of brass cuspidors from all over the country and Lucille Hustons' collection of Jeanette Glassware. Both collections are hobbies of the owners and are on loan to the museum.

Cuspidors, commonly called spittoons, date back to the days when it was not unusual for a man to have a chaw in his back pocket. A chaw is a twist of chewing tobacco that was used to cut off a chunk for a "chew". Unlike today's pouches of treated chewing tobacco it was made of leafs of the tobacco plant braided into a twist. It was raw tobacco that was partially dried hanging in a barn, braided and saved for the pleasure of the chewer. Cuspidors were used indoors for the tobacco juice spitters. Accuracy was greatly appreciated by those that did the cleaning chores. Boyce's collection is amazing. You don't want to miss seeing it.

Jeanette Bottle Works began in 1887 in Jeanette, PA. In 1898 it became Jeanette Glass Co. and in 1899 with the coming of the semi-automated glass blowing machine Jeanette Glass began mass producing all types of glass products from kitchen ware to glass building blocks. Treasured by collectors all over is Jeanette Depression Glass. Lucille said she has been collecting Jeanette Glass for years and her efforts make another impressive exhibit that is a "must see".

The summer program schedule has been firmed up and I'm looking forward to seeing all of them. It is as follows:

Saturday & Sunday, June 13 & 14, will see the return of the 4th Armored Division Historical Group. There will be a WWII encampment set up with authentic GI tents, equipment, weapons and vehicles. Their program is called "Remembering Our Freedom". On Saturday at 1300 hours there will be a shooting display of all kinds of weapons that were used in WWII. This is the same group that set up camp at the Riverside location last year. If you haven't seen it you won't want to miss it this year and if you have seen it I'm sure you're eager to see it again. The 4th Armored is camped in Columbiana's Firestone Park this week-end from today through Monday.

On Sunday, July 12, author Wayne Cole will present a program on street cars and buses. Both modes of transportation played an important role in the development and history of the ville.

On Sunday, August 2, Bob Lloyd and Frank Dalonzo will present a program on the rail road which also played a big role in the developement of Wellsville. At one time the ville was a big transportation hub for moving goods and passengers to and from the region via the river and rail road. I think the first train in town was in 1857.

On Sunday, August 16, Jeff Weekly will give a program on the history of Wellsville schools. The history of our school system closely coincides with the history of the ville. The two go together and you won't want to miss this one either.

All programs in July and August begin at the museum at 2:00 and are open to the public and they are free. They are sponsored by the Historical Society for you're learning pleasure.

On June 2 there will be an antique car motorcade stopping at Salineville's Kiwanis Park at 10 A. M.

Pictured above is Historical Society President Brassy Beresford in an authentic Royal Deluxe Stetson hat that was one of this month's donations. The hat was given to one of the members father nearly 50 years ago and was never worn. That father kept it all these years thinking it was too good to wear except for very special occasions. The historical significance to Wellsville is that on the head band embossed in gold lettering is the name of Julius Goetz & Co. Goetz's was a men's wear store that for a long time was located on Main Street. It was "the" place to go for fine men's wear. I'm not sure but I think it was located somewhere on the square.

Also donated by Brassy was his grandfather's Civil War eating utensil. It was a one piece combination utensil with a spoon on one end and a fork on the other end. Brassy said it was carried by his grandfather all through the war. Brassy also donated metal buttons that were on his grandfather's uniform.

Next meeting is Tuesday, June 16. Come on over and join us...

ole nib

Memorial Day Activities - 2009

Monday, May 25, is Memorial Day and the Memorial Council has been very busy with preparations. From lining up this year's program, placing flags on veteran's graves and getting the square cleaned up they seem to be ready to go with Wellsville's annual observance. This year's program is outstanding. It is second to none other.

Starting at 9 A.M. with a musical prelude by the WHS Band the exercises get underway at the 4th Street Memorial Park. Master of Cremonies Nunzio Lombardozzi will issue the Call-to-Order and introduce the guests. Mayor Joe Surace will give the welcome followed by the Raising of Colors by members of the Memorial Council & the WHS Band. Rev. Troy Warner will offer the invocation followed by remarks from Councilman Joe Soldano & Todd Farnsworth. There will then be a Memorial To Fallen Veterans by the Memorial Council and a musical selection by the band. Addresses will be given by Memorial Council member Don Brown and Her Honor, Judge Melissa Byers-Emmerling. Remarks will then be given by the Master of Ceremonies followed by benediction offered by Rev. Bill Rudder.

After ceremonies at the Square a parade will form and proceed to Springhill Cemetery to continue this traditional observance. Anyone interested in joining the parade is welcome with no preregistration required.

At the cemetery a Call-to-Order will once again be issued followed by lighting of the Eternal Flame by Memorial Council member Dale Barnhart. The raising of the flag will be done by the Council and the WHS Band. All assembled will recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Invocation will be offered and the guests will be introduced followed by a welcome to all by WWII veteran and Council President Melvin Boggs. After a musical selection by the band Taylor Buzzard will recite Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. Emmalee McIntosh will then recite Flanders Field and Zach Koopman will present the Hollowed Ground Reading. The mayor will give some remarks and Rev. Rudder will give ministerial remarks. Rivers of Joy will be played by the band followed by a speech by Wellsville native Judge Byers-Emmerling. Following the speech rewards will be presented by the Council followed with remarks by Rev. Warner. All assembled will then sing God Bless America accompanied by the band. A silent prayer will be given for all veterans on foreign ground followed with Taps by the Firing Squad & High School bugler. The eternal flame will then be extinguished, followed with remarks from Lombardozzi and benediction by Rev. Warner.

If it's raining all ceremonies will be held at the WHS Auditeria.

The WHS Band is directed by Jennifer Gooch. Also participating in the exercises is Boy Scout Troop 29 & Scout Master Tom Eberhart. WFD Chief Bill Smith & WPD Chief Joe Scarabino will take part in the activities along with Major McGraft and the Beaver Local Marine Corp Jr. ROTC.

Memorial Day was originally called Declaration Day when it got started back in 1865 to honor fallen Civil War veterans and has grown over the years to include all veterans. It's a tradition rich in this nation's history to pay homage to all veterans that answered the call to service for our country. The people of the ville should well be proud of the efforts of the members of the Wellsville Memorial Council in organizing this traditional tribute to our veterans in a first rate fashion. It allows the rest of us to raise our heads with pride to be able to join in the tribute. You don't want to miss this year's observance.

ole nib

Friday, May 22, 2009

Council Meeting - Tuesday - 5/19/09

With Mayor Joe Surace calling the meeting to order and opening ceremonies, roll call was taken with all members present except Joe Soldano who was excused. Also present was FO Dale Davis and Village Solicitor Andy Beech. Minutes of previous meetings were approved as read.

Under the Public Speaking portion of the agenda Nunzio Lombardozzi, on behalf of the SOI, asked Council's permission to once again close the streets for the 13th Annual Italian Festival. This year's festival will be held Thursday through Saturday, August 6, 7 & 8. If memory serves me correctly they usually block off 3rd St. from Broadway to Main and Main St. from 3rd up past the 4th St. Square. One year they went to 5th St. for a Saturday Car Show. Council voted to approve the request.

Representing American Legion Post 70, Jack Cataldo ask for a decision on their request to do work on Mill St. which is beside the Post off Wells Ave. At the meeting of May 9 Cataldo asked permission for members of the Legion to strip off the pavement down to the bricks to make it smoother and more attractive. Stating they had the equipment to do the job, the work would be done at the expense of the Legion with no cost to the village. Cataldo advised Council that he and another Legion member met with Acting Administrator Rick Williams and Street Committee Chairman Joe Soldano. The Mayor said there may be a legal problem and Councilman Tony Cataldo stated they have not yet heard from the Street Committee. Council can't make a decision until it comes out of Committee. Jack Cataldo then remarked it's the old "Dragon Feet Policy" and it takes too long to get things done. He further stated it just goes on and on with trivial things.

WFD Chief Smith is on vacation and with no other Department Administrators present there was no Administration Reports.

For the Mayor's Report Joe Surace commended the Street Department employees for doing a good job with grass cutting and pot hole patching. Stating they have been trying to patch all the pot holes but they may have missed one, two or three... The mayor stated if you know of any that were missed to give Village Hall a call. They'll get right on it. Surace also commended employees of Kat's Kitchen for voluntarily cutting the grass at an abandoned house next door to the restaurant. That's the house one door down Main from Kat's.

Councilman Tony Cataldo was the only one to have anything to say for Committee Reports. He said that after a little over a year with repairs being done, the roof over the garage is leaking. Litigation may possibly have to be considered to make it right. Fiscal Officer Dale Davis said that when they did the job it was recommended that an old unused heater unit on the roof be removed. It wasn't removed and that is probably the cause of the leaks. They have a bid for around $800 to remove the heater and patch the hole. The roof work has a five year warranty. They will check into it more to see what can be done.

Cataldo also advised Council that the Village has gotten another bill from the EPA pertaining to the STAG fund situation. This bill is for a total of $222,531 which includes $1,634 for 90 days interest. Cataldo mentioned that it has already cost $30,000 to $35,000, with man hours and the engineering firm, going back 16 years for documents of expenditures on the village's share. Talk about Dragon Feet, the EPA still has not said a thing about the documentation given them for that share.

There was no new legislation to consider.

Under New Business Councilman Randy Allmon advised that the Chamber-of-Commerce wants to offer to cover the cost of materials to repair the gazebo at 4th St. Carpenter Local 171 and Labor Local 809 Unions have offered to do the work at no cost to the village as a gesture of good community spirit. Asking Council's approval to proceed with this project it was quickly granted.

Allmon also asked for approval to block Main St. from Shinglers Alley to past the 4th St. Square from 5 - 8 P.M. on the evening of June 12 for the Chamber to hold an auction at the gazebo. Proceeds from the auction will go to cover the costs of the gazebo repair project and other community projects. If it's bad weather that evening the auction will be held to Dalonzo's. Hoping for good weather a motion was passed allowing the Chamber to block off the street for that event.

Allmon also brought up Council may want to consider increasing fines for letting weeds and grass to grow on properties in town. Many lending institutions have locations that they neglect to the point of it becoming unsightly. Councilman Don Brown stated that the policy has always been to send a letter to the property owner advising them of such conditions and village ordinances requiring them to maintain the property. If the letter is ignored the village has the work done and sends a bill to Lisbon to attach to property tax bills.

Being no other new business the meeting was adjourned at 6:20 P.M. Next meeting is scheduled for June 2.

Now that gets me up to Wednesday of this week...

ole nib

Thursday, May 21, 2009

WHS Class of 2009 Top Ten Announced

As announced by retiring WHS Principal Greg Davis the final grade point averages were just tabulated the day before and it was his honor to announce the top ten students for this year's graduating class for the first time. The students, pictured above, were guests at the annual Chamber-of-Commerce Senior Luncheon. From number one through ten there was only a 0.7 difference in their gpa. Following is the WHS Class of 2009's Top 10:

10 - Sarah Hall, daughter of Ms. Heather Brown, plans to attend Kent State - Salem

9 - John Russell, son of Sally & Pete Russell, plans to attend either Ohio State or Wooster

8 - Kaitlyn Lyle, daughter of Diana & Gary Lyle, plans to attend Kent State

7 - Kaela Champ, daughter of Karol & Bruce Champ, plans to attend Kent State

6 - Haylie Tedeschi, daughter of Jackie Lawerence, plans to attend Kent State

5 - Brittney Rife, daughter of Brandy Giampietro, plans to attend Malone

4 - Ashley Lambo, daughter of Felipe Lambo, plans to attend California Univ. - Los Angeles

3 - Salutatorian Jacob Koopman, son of Rita & James Koopman, plans to attend Ohio State

2 - Co-Val. Blaine Patterson, son of Dorman Patterson, plans to attend Youngstown State

1 - Co-Val. Emily Raffa, daughter of Brenda & Tim Raffa, plans to attend Akron Univ.

As mentioned in the Chamber report below Superintendent Rich Bereschik was the guest speaker. He devoted his talk to the seniors and quoted extensively from Robert Fulgram's book All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten. It's amazing how many things are taught in kindergarten that apply to everyone all through life. It indeed would be nice if every afternoon we had a snack of cookies & milk and then cuddle up in a warm blankie for a nap. I could never find a job that had benefits like that.

Bereschik said it's like the old Joe Walsh song "Life Has Been Good" for him and hopes that the students do like he did, go on with your lives, find something you like to do and you'll be happy. He summed up his talk telling the students that no matter what you chose to do always remember Mom & Dad, school and church. You'll never go wrong.

We would like to congratulate these and all the graduating students. Best of luck to each and everyone of you.

Hey Mr. B - does your Maserati do 185?

ole nib

Chamber's May Business-of-the-Month 2009

Selected by the Chamber for Business-of-the-Month is the Beech Law Office located on Main Street. Attorney Andy Beech said he first hung his shingle nearly 24 years ago in Wellsville where Nick Dalonzo now has his restaurant. He later relocated down the street in what use to be Baker's Meat Market.

With the emphasis mainly being about students, teachers and education for the luncheon Attorney Beech recognized both Mrs. Marge Dysert and soon to be retired WHS Principal Greg Davis as being a couple of his teachers when he was attending Wellsville Schools.

Someone noted that Andy was Valedictorian of his WHS class, as was his mother Ann a few years before. Pictured above presenting the plaque to Beech is Chamber President-elect Diane Spencer and Chamber President Randy Allmon.

ole nib

Chamber-of-Commerce May Luncheon 2009

The monthly luncheon was held at Dalonzo's on Tuesday, May 19. It is usually held on the last Thursday of the month but this month's luncheon was changed to honor the Top 10 students of WHS Class of 2009. They will be back to the regular days starting June 25.

President Randy Allmon reminded all of the Business After Hours at Air Waves, Thursday, May 20. It is hosted by Air Waves owners Beverly & Lonnie Hentzell and starts at 6 P.M.

Allmon said he will be attending the OMEGA Informational Meeting in Lisbon later Tuesday afternoon. Reminder was given about the Rabies Clinic on Saturday. Also announced was Congressman Charlie Wilson's Small Business Seminar to be held at the EL Motor Lodge on Friday, May 29, from 10 - 11:30 A.M. The seminar is tilted "How to Get Through the Recession" with such topics as how to qualify and obtain loans, selling products, developing business plans and new tools from the SBA to get capital. It's a free seminar and reservations can be made through the Congressman's Wellsville office in Village Hall or by calling 330-532-3740. Deadline for registration is Tuesday, May 26.

The Chamber will be having an auction at the Gazebo on the 4th St. Square on Friday, June 12, 6 - 8 P.M. With Council's permission the street will be blocked off for traffic. They are looking for gift certificates or donations from area businesses or from anybody that wants to donate something suitable to be auctioned off. Proceeds from the auction will go to cover expenses for the repair of the gazebo and other community services. Seven "auction bucks" tickets are available for $5 and can be bought at Air Waves, Huntington Bank or Central Federal. Both Allmon and Auction Chairwoman Connie Bauer said they will provide pick-up service for donations for this worthy cause if needed. Just give them a call.

Business of the Month is Beech Law Office. More on that later.

The guess speaker was Wellsville School Superintendent Rich Bereschik. Pictured above is senior John Russell thanking the Chamber for having them to lunch and asking Mr. Davis if he was really going to treat them to a DQ. He did. It's a Greg Davis tradition...

ole nib

Busy Week

It's either feast or famine with this hobby of mine. Starting Tuesday with the Chamber luncheon I've been running. Along with my "honey dos" my calendar is full right up through Saturday. Before I start writing up some of those events there are a few reminders and announcements I wanted to share with you.

Tonight and Friday the Daw Middle School (grades 6 - 8) Choirs will be performing the Cinderella musical "Getting To Know" at the WHS Auditeria. Performances start at 7:30 both evenings.

No pet food give away this month. The "angels" advised they just aren't getting the donations as fast as they have in the past. Right now tentative plans are to have one on Saturday, June 20.

This Saturday, May 23, at the old Sky Bank on Main, is the rabies clinic. Proceeds are for the St. Francis Animal Shelter. According to this morning's paper it is $10 per pet. It is scheduled for 12 noon - 2 P.M. All pets must be either on a leash or in a kennel. While you're there you can get some of Byron Carter's mouth watering & delicious barbecue chicken. He tells me his recipe is an old family recipe and I can vouch that it is worth the price of admission. It's worth the trip even if you don't have any pets to be vaccinated.

Monday is Memorial Day. Ceremonies start at 9 A.M. at the 4th St. Square. The Memorial Council is holding a tag day on Saturday. Money raised will go toward the purchase of flags for the veteran's graves. There are over 1,000 vets buried in Wellsville. Supporting this worthy cause is the least we can do to honor the ville's sons and daughters that served our country.

In closing I would like to say congratulations to WHS Class of '07 alumni PFC Justine Warner. Warner is currently on a tour of duty in Iraq and is the son of Rev. & Mrs. Troy Warner. Justine was selected as Hero of the Week recently. He was cited for his work ethic and maintainance of three different vehicle platforms. He keeps them ready to roll within minutes. He was also cited for his dedication in keeping personally in top physical condition and encouraging others to do likewise. In his spare time he's furthering his education through correspondence courses. God's speed for a safe return Justine.

ole nib

Monday, May 18, 2009

Wellsville Legends Class of 2009 Introduced

Sponsored by Elks Lodge 1040 the 4th Annual Riverside Reunion is scheduled to be held Thursday through Saturday, July 2 through July 4, this year. The Riverside Reunion is held in the spirit of Wellsville's 5 Year All-Class Reunion. It's the brain child of Eric "Hootch2" Sheppard that caught on to sort of fill the void between the quinquennial reunions. It started out as a street party but has evolved into much more since that first year.

For the third year a committee has selected individual village natives that have all played a role in the ville's past to be honored as Wellsville Legends. All eight members of this years class have given of themselves in one way or another to serve Wellsville. Pictured above is seven of the eight members to be inducted as Legends on Thursday, July 2. Seated in front is Chuck Amato. From the left is Darlene Porter, Jean & Tom Broderick, Jack Gallagher, Tom Haugh and Frank Daniels. Not pictured is Frank "Frau" Carter.

The Riverside Reunion Committee is busy putting together videos of each member of this year's class. It consists of baby pictures and pictures from the various stages all through their lives. If anyone has any pictures you can loan them they would love to hear from you.

Also in the process for the third year is a video paying tribute to all Wellsville citizens that have passed away since last year's reunion. The committee members said they were extremely apprehensive about how it would be accepted the first time but it proved to be greatly appreciated by the many that viewed it. Last year they paid tribute to 108 folks. As of May 15 there are 107 that will be included in this year's edition. Believe me. It is a touching, heart felt tribute.

Mark you calendars. You won't want to miss this year's Reunion. We'll have more on what will be taking place as the activities become available. In the meantime you can check their web site at

I'm looking forward to it...

ole nib

Memorial Day's Special Meaning for Dominick

In my piece last week about the preparations for Memorial Day in Wellsville I showed Pack member Dominick Walker, pictured above with his parents, helping place flags at the cemetery. Talking to his father I learned young Dominick has an ancestry of veterans on his paternal side of the family all the way back to the beginning of our country. I'm sure there are other similar stories in the ville. This is just one of them. I'm sure there is a line of veterans on Dominick's maternal side of the family too. This is just one side of Dominick's family history of veterans.

Dominick's dad, Gerald Walker, told me that day that although he is not a veteran himself he felt it was his duty to help in honoring our nation's veterans because of the veterans on both sides of his parent's families. Starting with his dad Jerry, that was a nine year veteran of the US Air Force, uncles that served in Viet Nam and Korea, and grand parents in WWII, he felt it was the least he could do.

One of Dominick's great grandfathers was Harold Rutter, a WWII vet that served in the 3rd Army in Europe. While in Holland he met and married Maria Popping who's parents were members of the Dutch Underground. They helped American & English pilots shot down by the Germans escape back to England. Harold's brother, Lloyd Rutter, was in the Pacific and earned five Bronze Stars in the service of our country.

Farther back in Dominick's ancestry there was a Samuel Cox who served as a Major in the Civil War along with other relatives. Going way back there was an Edward Riddle that served with the Pennsylvania Artillery, 1st Co. in the Revolution. Riddle was born on a ship in 1753 while his parents were immigrating to the United States from England. He also fought in various Indian skirmishes in Western PA back when they were settling in the area.

The Walker family are mostly Pennsylvania natives. Gerald Walker was born and raised in the Hookstown area and is now a Wellsville resident. He told me that he has no family buried in Springhill. Besides feeling he has a duty to help he is trying to teach Dominick a sense of duty and honor for our nation's veterans. From what I saw that day young Dominick is doing well in that lesson. Let's hope when he becomes of age he'll never have to serve in time of war.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Gerald.

ole nib

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Notes From The Past Week

There's been a lot of talk lately of finding funds for repairing and building new streets in the ville. Village officials were looking at Stimulus funds with chances of getting any seeming to be less and less. Then the mayor went on his "mission impossible" to Cambridge and the OMEGA meeting. Help from that source doesn't seem likely. With the tight budget village officials are working with it is mostly cost prohibitive to get much paving done. They are working with the idea of a long term loan with payments over 20 years or so from the license plate permissive tax. Even that got quiet lately. It's frustrating for all concerned and just to give you an idea what they are facing a couple of officials recently got a bid on just a small portion of what they would like to do.

A paving contractor was in the ville this past week and gave the village a bid to pave 12th Street from Main to Riverside. That's just 292' X 23' width of street using 2 -2-1/4" of asphalt pavement. Total cost of the bid for that small portion was $8,750. It's easy to see why they are getting migraines over street rehabilitation.

A while back we mentioned that plans were being formulated to convert the Boy-In-The-Boot area into a mini-park to compliment the flood wall murals. This was going to be accomplished with a generous donation given to the village. Since then questions have arisen on who owns what land in that area. A professional survey would be required to answer any questions before they could proceed. The cost of that professional survey would just about wipe out the donation. That idea has been scrapped. Instead the money will be used to enhance the memorial on the square at 4th St. They are looking at a 9/11 memorial and new flag poles to commemorate each branch of the armed forces. I think that includes new lighting for the area. From the pictures I've seen it is really going to be a more attractive memorial. The Memorial Council does a heckuva job on that site and I believe they are working with those that are planning the renovations.

WHS will have new principal come August. At this past week's BOE meeting it was announced that Linda Rolley will be moving into that office. Linda has been with the school system for 35 years as a math teacher. With her rapport with the students that have passed through her class room and her dedication to providing a quality education I feel they couldn't have found a better person to fill that role. Congratulations and good luck Mrs. Rolley.

While on the subject of education the Penn Hills School District up around Pittsburgh recently found out that jamming cell phone signals would be illegal if they went that route. They were looking at that as a way to prevent students from "texting" doing school hours and class time. For safety & security reasons it is against FCC regulations to jam cell phones. Guess they will have to use other methods of discipline in the class rooms up there. Can you say "cell phones are not permitted" boys & girls?

With the downturn of the economy the doom & gloomers announced the demise of Social Security again in a recent AP release. They say the retirement fund will be broke by 2037 and Medicare programs will be insolvent by 2017 at today's rate of reduced payroll deductions. Social Security was created back in FDR days and those deductions were to be held in separate accounts for that and nothing else. Over the years the politicians in DC have been borrowing from those funds and now they're threatening it won't be there in the future. If they had left it alone like they were suppose to it would be one of the largest funds in the world. There would never have been a question of it going broke.

Coming up next Saturday, May 23, is the rabies clinic the Chamber-of-Commerce is sponsoring at the old Sky Bank parking lot. Proceeds for the clinic is going to the St. Francis Animal Shelter.

The Modern Striders Track Club will be holding registrations for their upcoming season this coming week at Nicholson Stadium. Registration will take place Tuesday, May 19, from 6 - 8 P.M. and again on Saturday, May 23, from 11 A.M. - 1 P.M. It is for children from age 4 up to age 18. They will need to see a birth certificate for age verification. The cost is $20 for the first child and $10 for each additional child in the family. You can call 532-1258 or 532-3473 for additional information.

Congratulations to Wellsville residents Frank & Rhoda Leyda on 65 years of wedded bliss. The Leydas celebrated their anniversary May 7. They were married in 1944 at the Covenant Presbyterian Church.

The parishioners at the Immaculate Conception Parish and St. Als have a new priest in town. He's Fr. Peter Holideaux and I was told that is pronounced holiday. Welcome to the ville Father. Look forward to meeting you.

In yesterday's MJ there was a report of a robbery at a gas station in town. They got a good description of the perpetrator and pictures from a surveillance tape. They need to get those pictures circulated in the newspapers and on television.

Finally, who says cops don't have a heart? In the Pittsburgh Trib-Review last week was a story of police executing a search warrant on a man's trailer home and found a prom dress in the process. Remembering the theft report on that dress and being the day of the prom, PA state troopers rushed the dress back to the rightful owner. I'm sure their heads up action made that girl very happy. Mom & Dad were probably happier!

ole nib

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Dillard Found Guilty

With no evidence ever presented that Jamie Farley had a gun, or any other weapon, on the night of his death in his confrontation with Eric Dillard, 31, of 906 Commerce, Dillard was found guilty of all charges.

After nearly two weeks of testimony the jury in the Dillard trial returned a verdict of guilty, guilty of murder, guilty of a crime with a gun specification and guilty of possessing a weapon under disability. Dillard was indicted last year on all three charges involving the shooting of Jamie Farley, 35, of East Liverpool, outside his residence on Commerce Street on April 22, 2008, over a clothing business partnership that went south. The business was on Main Street where the old Russell's Mini-Mart used to be located. The possessing a weapon under disability stems from a prior felony Dillard had for drug dealing.

Dillard claimed self defense and was released on a $250,000 bail with electronic monitoring which allowed him to remain at home while awaiting trial. That trial began May 5 and ended yesterday with Judge Ashley Pike reading the verdict at 11:45 A.M. The jury got the case this past Thursday and deliberated Thursday afternoon and returned yesterday morning to wrap things up.

Following the verdict the judge revoked the bail and sent Dillard to the County Jail to await sentencing which has been scheduled for 10 A.M. June 29. Dillard has the right to appeal and his attorneys were quoted in the papers as saying they would help in that but are suggesting that he obtain appellate counsel for that.

Dillard was offered a seven year plea bargain prior to going to trial which was turned down. Now he faces anywhere from 18 to 23 years to life in prison if no appeal is filed. In retrospect you have to wonder what the defense thoughts are on that offer now. It will take years for an appeal to make its way through the courts.

To be honest I was doubtful if Dillard would be found guilty on the murder charge. I did think he would get something for the gun charges and as stated a long time ago no one can take the law into their own hands. This whole tragic affair could have been avoided if Dillard had picked up the phone and called the police a year ago in April. Possibly one man would still be alive and the other would not be sitting in jail wondering when he will ever get back to the ville.

Some decisions one makes in life can be haunting...

ole nib

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mayor's Press Conference

After last Monday's meeting on May 11, the mayor invited those of us taking notes into his office to brief us on the OMEGA meeting he attended this past Friday in Cambridge. The Ohio Mid-Eastern Government Association, as previously mentioned, is sort of a coordinator for member government agencies to secure funding for various projects. Last Friday's meeting was conducted by OMEGA Project Manager Dana Soter.

Mayor Joe Surace attended in hopes to find funding for the newly proposed street from the Nevada St. rail crossing to the Port Authority land for trucks to use to safely egress the village. The proposed street will eliminate the heavy truck traffic through existing village streets and past Garfield school. It will be a dedicated truck street allowing the drivers to enter and exit directly to and from Route 7.

Surace advised that one of the key points OMEGA uses for deciding which projects get funded is the ability of the applying entity, such as Wellsville, has to pay their 45% matching share. The estimated cost of the new street is $1.2 million. For the ville our share would be $540,000 which is not presently available. Consequently this has to go to the back burner but Surace is still hoping for some stimulus money when Uncle Sam has the third round of spending. This is still a number one priority if Wellsville is looked upon favorably.

Not having funds for our share of the street proposal Surace said instead he turned around and applied for $300,000 to finish up the Sewage Treatment plant renovations on the digesters. That project has been held up with the STAG funds frozen by the EPA. The village has the funds to cover the matching share for the amount on the digesters.

Although we were misled last week that the remaining STAG money, some $600,000, was going to be released that is not the case. It is still unknown when that will be. Going after the amount planned for the digesters from OMEGA will free up money for another project whenever the EPA releases the STAG money. The conversion of the digesters will eliminate the sewage smell.

With Fiscal Office Dale Davis present the discussion evolved to talking about the STAG funds. This is a subject we've mentioned several times before. The total amount for that grant was $4.1 million and was arranged through the offices of former Congressman Jim Trafficant. It was awarded back in 2001. For our share the village was allowed to use amounts spent on previous sewage projects going back to 1992. Up until January of last year no documentation was required by the EPA for the amounts spent on the previous projects. Post grant expenditures have all been audited and approved.

Then in January 2008 the EPA, for the first time, demanded documentation with receipts and cancelled checks for the sewer projects completed prior to 2001. The EPA wanted repaid $1.2 million. With a lot of hard work by practically everyone in Village Hall that amount was justified with paper work except for a little over $12,000. Now, in spite of what we were misled to believe, it is found out that the EPA has not yet recognized or accepted the documentation for the amount that was covered. Davis said if and when that occurs the village will write a check for the remaining $12,000 if necessary to free up the remaining $600,000.

The EPA Office of Inspecter General has indicated that someone contacted them and accused the village of misusing grant money. That is what prompted them to require records going back 16 years. Through all this time the EPA never once accused Wellsville of any malfeasance. Nor has the EPA allowed village officials to know and face the accuser but because of whoever it is, basically all sewer projects have been put on hold. It is felt that whoever it was the intention was to embarrass the Surace and previous administrations. In truth what they did was to put at risk the health and safety of not only village residents but that of folks visiting and traveling through the village.

All matters investigated that involve public tax payer money is a public record. As a matter of public record it will someday become known who the accuser was. It is my wish that when that comes around I can get their picture. It's just a matter of time.

Mean while the mayor has pledged to continue looking at any and all possible sources for funding projects to improve our home.

ole nib

Village Ordinances & Resolution Meetings

What was suppose to be a meeting free week at Village Hall turned out to be three days of activities. There was an Emergency Meeting Monday, May 11, at 2 P.M., for two ordinances that were on first reading from last week's regular Council meeting. Another meeting was attempted on Tuesday morning for approval to apply for a FEMA grant for WFD that was cancelled for lack of a quorum. Two council members were working and a third had a family committment. That meeting was finally held yesterday morning.

Monday's meeting was short and sweet. Unanimous approval was given for Ord. 09-09 to hire two temporary part-time employees for the Street Dept. They will be primarily used for grass cutting. They will be scheduled for 24 hours a week at $8 per hour. The two employees to be hired worked for the village last year.

Also receiving unanimous approval was Ord. 09-10 authorizing the mayor to enter into another five year contract with United Water to operate the village Sewage Treatment plant. According to Water & Sewage Chairman Randy Allmon the contract is basically the same with a few minor wording changes. United Water bought Earth Tech last year and assumed the old contract we had with them. The on site operator for our plant is the same fellow that worked for Earth Tech. The new contract takes effect June 1 and the monthly bill remains the same at $20,259 per month.

The Wednesday morning meeting was called to authorize WFD Chief Bill Smith to apply for a Federal Emergency Management Agency grant for new turn out gear and air paks. Grant Source Professionals just learned of the availability of this grant and advised Smith that the dead line for applying was May 20, with lots of work to be done beforehand.

The total amount of the grant is $135,569.68 for a whole shopping list of new turn-out gear and air paks. The turn out gear includes coat, pants, boots, gloves and helmets with shields. Air paks are breathing apparatus that fire fighters don when it's necessary to enter a smoke filled building. It includes air cylinders that give the firemen 45 minutes duration, face pieces with harness, a voice amplifier and a heads up display to warn the firemen the air is running low.

Although the volunteers have up graded their equipment over the years the last time new equipment was purchased for the three full time and the 25 paid call out fire fighters goes back to the 1990s. With nearly two decades of wear & tear it is beyond time to upgrade and replace that equipment. The village share of the grant is 10% which will be applied to next year's budget. That is the standard share FEMA applies for fire departments in muncipalities with a population under 25,000. There is a $650 application fee for the grant writers that will be appropriated from this year's budget. If WFD fails to get the FEMA grant the application fee for the next one is free. If the grant is rewarded there will be an additional 8% of the total grant paid to the writers. It was thought this amount will be included in the total applied for which is permissable under FEMA regulations.

All in all it's a fairly cheap price to help insure the safety for those fire fighters that risk life & limb everytime they are called to a fire. They are a special breed that provide a service that is so very vital to our residents. Let's hope the grant is rewarded. Also, as alluded to in the MJ this morning, I'm glad that our elective officials made time to pass this resolution.

ole nib

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Buckeye Water District - Part 5

The computer technology employed in the new water plant is truly amazing to see. Since I came from an era when IBM was just getting started in the computer business and Billy Gates was a young high school nerd I was very impressed with what BWD is doing.

The whole system is run on PLCs - that's Programmable Logic Computers. To the layman the PLCs just look like a metal cabinet lined up against a wall. However, the program written to run the water system instructs and monitors the operation through the PLCs. That program also records various data to keep the operators informed. For instance when we were out there it was brought up the water level in the reservoir was a little low. Plant Supervisor Todd Brown punched up the records for the night before and discovered no water was pumped up to the reservoir in that time frame. With the reservoir capacity and the demand for treated water it is not necessary to pump raw water everyday. That's a cost saving measure in the program.

From the office of the Treatment Plant they can monitor the whole system on a desk top computer. The first picture is what the computer screen looks like for the whole system. From that screen they can pull up specific information such as the water level in the holding tanks as shown in the second picture. At just a glance they can see the amount of water in each tank.

The computer system also monitors water usuage and can alert BWD personnel if there is an unusual amount of water being use. It's an early warning system of leaks. The computer tells them this part or that part of the system is using more water than usual. Then the grunt part goes into action to physically go out and locate the cause.

The mixing and filtering part of the operation can all be controlled with a touch screen monitor actually located out in the plant. At a touch they can switch from one filtering bed to another if the situation calls for it. That's the screen in the third picture shown above. They can also check the history of what has been going on. To save wear & tear on the system they don't operate at full capacity and normally switch from one side to the other.

The last picture is the back-up generator for the treatment plant. It's enormous, about the size of, or bigger than a big UPS delivery truck. Maybe a little bigger... If the power goes out we'll still have water. That big sucker kicks in automatically if AEP is knocked out of business for some reason.

From the river to your faucet that's the story of how we get our water. BWD was created back in the days when the EPA threatened to shut Wellsville's water off because of antiquated systems. Updating with a new plant was cost prohibitive for this small river village. Al DeAngelis was quoted in the Mourning Journal as saying "we're the new kids on the block" for this type of water district. It's a model plant built to comply with ever tightening regulations in the industry and with an eye to the future. It is a sight to see.

As Jo Bob mentioned in her feature a few weeks ago there is going to be an open house so everyone can get a chance to see this "baby". As soon as we hear when we'll pass it on.

Once again I want to thank the BWD folks for their kindness and time to allow me a chance to see it all.

ole nib

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Buckeye Water District - Part 4

The Treatment Plant pictured above is a marvel to see. It's big time compared to what we had before the days of BWD. Water is constantly tested from the time the raw water enters the building until the time it is sent out to us customers. The next picture is one of the labs where some of the testing takes place. The water was tested and treated at our old treatment plant but not in the style like it is out in the new place.

When raw water first enters the building it is mixed with chemicals from a two story hopper. It is then put in "mixers" that are the blue gizmos you see above. They sort of look like small old fashioned gas pumps. The blue gizmos are the motors that turn the mixers. From the mixers the water moves to the filtering beds such as you see in the picture with the green fins sticking up out of the water. The water filters through a special sand and filters. There are several mixers and filtering beds. I didn't count them.

From the filter beds the water is fed into those blue pipe lines and out to a 400,000 gallon clearwell. The clearwell is that huge white tank you see in front of the building. When the water gets to that point it is the final stage before it is sent on to the customers.

Water flows out of that tank into our water lines that run through the streets and yards of our village to the lines that go to the individual houses. Treatment Plant Supervisor Todd Brown told me that once the lines are all filled any excess water goes to the holding tanks such as the one up off Route 45 that has been there for years.

That particular tank is the largest of seven holding tanks in the system with a capacity to hold one millions gallons of water. The next largest is the new tank out by the Red Brick Church with a 750,000 gallon capacity. There is a tank that supplies the Elkton prison, one on Irish Ridge, one in Oakmont, Russell Heights, and Springhill.

The plant has the capacity to treat 4 million gallons of water a day with the ability that can be easily expanded to six or eight million gallons. Currently the plant is distributing a little over one million gallons a day. Wellsville uses somewhere in the neighborhood of 300,000 to 350,000 gallons of water per day.

This is a rather simple explanation of how water is treated and I hope I got it basically correct. By the time I got to the Treatment Plant I was technically in over my head but was trying to get a lay man's understanding of the process.

In the final part we'll look at some examples of the computer systems that make life a lot easier for the people in the know that work out there.

ole nib

Buckeye Water District - Part 3

When last writing about the new facilities for the Buckeye Water District we left off at the new pump station. It was a little over a month ago and for that I apologize for taking so long to get back.

From the pump station a 36" outside diameter water line goes out through the Save-A-Lot parking lot and across Wells Avenue. From there it travels up Wells Hollow Road, makes a left on to Township Line Road and all the way out and across Route 45.

After crossing Route 45 the line enters the old Patterson Farm on the other side and goes up the hill to the new reservoir. District Manager Al DeAngelis told me a 36" line wasn't really necessary but the whole project was designed to handle future expansion. From the raw water intake to the finished product going out to district customers everything is in place. It will never have to be revisited for expansion. It was initially a little costlier to build but in the long run it will save the district money with future expansion. That will also save money for us customers.

A good example of that future expansion is supplying water to the Village of Salineville. Since going on-line BWD has picked up Salineville as a new customer. With the foresight put into building the new system they are already more than half way done with supplying that village with a new source of water. Instead of being years and years away it is estimated that Salineville is only 16 months away for the EPA mandated new water source.

The man made reservoir pictured above is now the highest spot on the old farm. It has a bottom made of fine clay that will prevent water from seeping out. Standing on the bank it appears only to be a moderately sized lake but that is visually deceiving. That reservoir is 35 feet deep and has the capacity to hold eight million gallons of water. To put that into perspective there are many places on the river that are only six or eight feet deep. Some two story houses aren't 35 feet tall from ground level to the roof top.

Behind the reservoir are two sludge ponds, also pictured above, that are holding ponds for sludge removed from the raw water in the reservoir. These are called five year ponds. They are so called because at least every five years they are cleaned out. What is cleaned out is taken to EPA approved disposal sites. Only one will be used at a time when it's time for cleaning.

From the reservoir gravity takes over for moving the raw water into the treatment plant on the other side. In fact, gravity is the only force used in moving treated water from the treatment plant to BWD customers. There are no pumps used once the water leaves the reservoir. That's the back side of the treatment plant as seen from the reservoir road.

One of DeAngelis' many pride & joys is that green roof you see on the treatment plant. It is constructed of stainless steel. The materials for the roof was produced by Follansbee Steel and other than an occasional painting there will never be any maintenance required for it. That was another touch of insight used in the designing and building plans.

Next up is the treatment plant.

ole nib

Shoe Tree

Here's a Wellsville mystery that has intrigued me. On an empty lot between 11th & 12th Streets on Commerce, stands the tree pictured here. It's next door to the Alley Cat Aid Brigade HQ.

In that tree there are a number of shoes hanging on different branches just blowing in the breeze. No one knows the intent or what the reason is for the shoes being there. No one knows how it got started. The angels of the ACAB say they don't know and swear it's not something they started. The neighbors deny any knowledge of how or why it got started.

Some I have talked to guess it might be a memorial tree for departed souls. Others suggested that maybe it's a "good luck" wishing tree for the owners of the shoes or the ones who donated the shoes. Others just give that "deer in the head light" look and shrug their shoulders. Still others say "what shoes?"

Whatever the reason it's a mystery. I'm stumped... If you're feeling frisky feel free to add to it. It may bring you luck!

ole nib