Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Property Committee Meeting - 9/28/09

Yesterday Wellsville Village Council's Property Committee met at Village Hall to consider temporary office facilities for the Springhill Cemetery. Committee members are Chairman John McMahon, Don Brown & Joe Soldano. Along with those three Village Administrator Jim Saracco was also present.

Up until last month cemetery records and office space was located in the old Wilson house adjacent to the cemetery entrance road. It was also a village furnished residence for the cemetery caretaker and his family. Back in late July problems with the structure were made public. With Council's unwillingness to fund upkeep of the house the village's insurance carrier advised they would have to drop the property from insurance coverage. Consequently the cemetery caretaker and his family had to move out.

Since then arrangements were being made to provide office space at the cemetery in a newly purchased trailer. With costs mounting up Village Administrator Jim Saracco put a hold on any farther spending until approved by Council. According to Saracco a total of $7,136 has been spent so far. It was estimated that an additional $5,300 would be required to get the trailer in code and ready for use. Money spent so far covered the cost of the trailer, running water & sewer lines to the trailer, labor and tapping into the sewer. Although being spent prematurely Saracco advised the committee the money is not wasted. It is eventually planned, when funds become available, to build a garage for cemetery equipment with office space included on the spot where the trailer sits. The trailer will then be used for record storage at Village Hall.

Additional work to get the trailer ready includes constructing 2X2 concrete piers for the trailer to sit on. It would also be necessary to install heat and restroom facilities. Installing a handicap ramp and widening the entrance door to make it handicap accessible would also be required plus installing electricity. Right now the trailer is an empty shell.

In the conversation following Don Brown stated he felt the trailer was wasted money and skirting & insulation would also be needed. Saracco replied he admitted it was premature but money spent on the trailer is not wasted. Because of the dampness in the Village Hall basement where records are presently stored it is necessary to make other arrangements for them. Joe Soldano remarked the village has got to stop spending unnecessary money at the cemetery. Someone questioned since the cemetery caretaker is covered under workers comp if he couldn't work out of the old office. Fiscal Officer Dale Davis stated even though covered under workers comp he thought any claim would be challenged for being in an uninsured building. He advised that it should be checked with the Village Solicitor.

After even more conversation it was decided to refer the whole matter to the full council at the next meeting. It will be recommended that the cemetery office & records be relocated to Village Hall. Except for funerals and other special needs at the cemetery the care taker can be utilized as an extra on the street crew during the winter months. The trailer then can be moved downtown for record storage without any additional expenditures. If approved by full council Soldano remarked that all utilities can be shut off at the old house. There is no idea what will be done with the old house.

Before closing the meeting Soldano noted he has been told there is some interest being shown in the 9th St. property. During a recent survey by Dallis Dawson Engineering it was discovered a neighbor's garage is partially on the village property. The matter is currently being researched by the Village Solicitor.

Next Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, October 6, at 6 P.M. Council meetings will return to the first & third Tuesday of the month in October.

ole nib

Notes From Last Week

Well sir, here we are at the end of September. Another summer has passed and we're facing the heating season. For those of you that are thinking about cranking up the furnace please do not take any chances with safety and don't overload electrical lines with space heaters. We want you around for a while yet. Please use all precautions.

Went up to see the quilt display last Sunday at the Thompson House put on by the EL Historical Society. It was our first visit up there. Not only were the quilts impressive the Thompson House itself is worth the trip. It offers an excellent look into the past when this area was the Pottery Capitol of the World. Historical Society Treasurer Bill Gray tells me they hope to have two discs ready for the Christmas season. One is a digital CD of the early 1900s book Hills & Kilns. From what I've seen it's an excellent recount of the early pottery industry in the area. The second is a DVD collection of the works of the late artist Hans Hacker. A German native Hacker came to EL just before the days of WWII. He is noted for his warm paintings of many area scenes. He was the chief artist at the Commercial Decal Co. and did paintings as a hobby in his free time. Many times Mr. Hacker donated a painting to help out a charitable cause. Since I'll probably never be able to afford one I'm excited about getting a DVD along with a digital reproduction of Hills & Kilns. Gray says the CD of the book with have searchable reference links.

Crime Watch Committee Chairwoman Janet Taggart tells me WPD Officer Jeff Weekly will be at the next meeting. He is going to speak on the village drug scene. That meeting is Thursday, October 15, at 6 P.M. at Village Hall. WPD Officer Shawn Bloor has agreed to be the liaison between the committee and the PD. Volunteers are still being sought for the "orange hand" safe house program for villages youngsters. If interested in providing a refuge from danger for the kids call the WPD at 330-532-1522 to register.

In the papers last week it was reported that the Port Authority is getting ready to apply for EPA grants to clean up abandoned industrial sites for rehabilitation once again. Wellsville was mentioned as one of the possible sites. Wonder if the old Sterling China property is on that list?

Tom Giambroni reported that CC jobless rate declined in August by 1%. We haven't seen a decline in that rate since last March according to the MJ article. Still there are 7,400 CC folks out of jobs. The US House of Representatives is getting ready to vote on extending unemployment benefits for another 13 weeks for states with unemployment rates of 8.5% or higher according to a related AP story. Ohio came in at 10.8% for August.

A village woman was recently given a six month expulsion from town as part of her sentence after being found guilty of charges against her. That's a new twist.

It was reported in the papers last week the mound of dirt along Main Street is going to be removed on the Wellsville Terminal property. Not true according to the Mayor & Village Administrator. It will be cleaned up and renovated with new top soil to approve the appearance.

We're going to see a couple of gambling issues on the ballot in November. One is for a vote on the slot machines Governor Strickland authorized to help with Ohio's budget. The other is once again to consider allowing casinos to be built & operated in some of the bigger cities.

The CC commissioners recently authorized additional funds to the Sheriffs Dept. to cover insurance costs for that department. The Sheriff has been after them all year & now the Prosecutor's Office is also asking for more money. Unfortunately I think it is only the beginning as we head in the year's final quarter. I don't envy the Commissioners.

Some good news for the area was offered up by the Homer Laughlin China Co. last week. It was announced that they are recalling some employees and even hiring new ones. There is an increased demand for their Fiesta Ware. Although they suspect it's all because of the approaching holidays it is nice to see that those happy colored dishes are keeping some people busy. Hopefully it's a trend and not just a spurt.

Seeing the press release and hearing Ergon's V.P. Neil Stanton speak last week about "cap & trade" made me wonder about the tree huggers. Bet they are in hog heaven with that legislation as it's written. Let's hope cooler more sensible heads prevail.

Did you see WHS Mikyla Tipton's letter in the paper this past Sunday? This bright young lady was alerting us to the excitement of volley ball & girl's basketball. Although they don't get much press some of those games are intensely played and very entertaining. She's right. Those ladies work just as hard as anyone and contribute to Tiger Pride just as much too. You're missing it if you don't get to their matches.

Seems there's a internet scam making the rounds lately. Hackers are getting into computers and e-mailing friends in the address list asking for financial help after losing their wallet while traveling in England. I got one of those not too long ago and last week I was told about some one else in town that got hacked. It sounds realistic. If you're like me your first impulse is to help out a friend in need. It's a rip-off. Use common sense and get in contact with your friend that the hackers are trying to get you to think it's them. Even if you haven't heard from them for a while they ain't in England. It's just a phone call away to verify.

Here's an opportunity to help out Wellsville Boy Scout Troop 29. For the whole month of October the Ponderosa restaurant in Calcutta will donate 10% of the cost of any meal to the troop. All you need to do is tell the cashier you want the 10% designated to the Wellsville Boy Scouts. It doesn't cost you any extra and the scouts appreciate it very much.

Next week is the annual Fire Prevention Week. It goes from October 4 through the 10th. It's a good time to teach your young ones about the hazards involved with any kind of fire or heat sources. It's also a good time to refresh your memories on all you learned about fire prevention over the years.

This coming Saturday, October 3, is going to be a fun filled and entertaining day in the ville. Starting off is the Howlin' Harvest Moon Festival. It's being jointly sponsored by the Alley Cat Aid Brigade & Wellsville's Chamber-of-Commerce. It starts at 11 A.M. at the ACAB's facilities on Commerce. There's a pet food give away, crafts, games, raffles and lots of other stuff. They will even have a money haystack for the kids to search through. Then at 6 o'clock there's the Dash for Mat's Bash that starts at Village Hall on Main Street. It's a Halloween costume dash with door prizes and goodies for the kids. Proceeds go to the Matugh Johnston Scholarship fund. Tim Long said as of yesterday he still has about 40 XL t-shirts left for late registrations. Costumes are optional. Organizers for the Dash will be on-hand at 3 P.M. at Village Hall for your race packets.

Sunday is the first "Thank Your Clergy" gathering starting at 2 P.M. at the New Life Worship Center on Main St. There will be food & refreshments available. All area clergy & their congregations are invited. It's a non-denominational social get together just to meet & greet each other and a way of thanking clergy members for all they do.

The WHS Alumni Committee is currently taking reservations for an evening of entertainment by Irish tenor Cahal Dunne. Dunne is a well known Irish singer plus he's an accomplished piano player and comedian. Reservations are $20 and they will have refreshments at intermission. It's scheduled for October 28 at 7 P.M. Get your reservation in early by calling Carmelia at 330-532-1932, or Carrie at 330-843-6338 or Toni at 330-532-1517. Seats are limited and they expect them to go fast.

Finally is this sage observation on life from the American Legion magazine that goes "By the time a man's son realizes his dad was right he has a son of his own that thinks he's wrong". How true, how true...

ole nib

Monday, September 28, 2009

Blessing The Animals

Yesterday, Sunday, September 27, Wellsville's St. Francis Animal Center sponsored a blessing of the animals at Thompson Park. It's an annual event that they hold sometime around the feast of St. Francis. SFAC is an all volunteer group that rescue stray animals and then try to place them with loving families. If that is not possible they turn them over to rescue organizations. According to an article in Saturday's ER they currently have six dogs in foster care. Wellsville is blessed to have two volunteer groups that humanely deal with the village's animal problems. SFAC will take in any animal but concentrate on dogs. The Alley Cat Aid Brigade, as the name implies, focus their attention on cats.

St. Francis of Assisi is widely known as the patron saint of animals. Assisi is a town in Italy. The son of a wealthy cloth merchant St. Francis died in the year 1226. Against the wishes of his father he gave up his claim of wealth to serve the needs of the poor, sick and downtrodden. He founded the Order of Franciscans.

You often see statues of St. Francis with birds perched on his outstretched arms. He was known to have a special relationship with all animals. With the gentle power of his voice there wasn't an animal that feared him. He believed all animals were God's creatures and deserved sharing life on earth. He even taught villagers that if you feed a wolf that was killing off farm animals that the wolf & their live stock could coexist with each other. It is said that on his deathbed St. Francis thanked his donkey for carrying him for so long. They claimed the donkey wept. The Feast of St. Francis is celebrated on October 4.

The blessing at yesterday's event was done by Rev. Steve Cramer. Rev. Cramer is pastor of both Trinity Presbyterian in EL and Longs Run Church in Calcutta. He bestowed St. Francis' blessing on 43 dogs and one cat. Even with the wet weather it was a fantastic turnout according to SFAC member Bobbie Holt. Many of the animals that got blessed were ones adopted from various rescue leagues. I fell in love with Tabitha, the English bulldog, shown here. They look mean but are one of the gentlest dogs you'll ever meet.

If you missed yesterday's blessing there will be another chance next Sunday, October 4. The Alley Cat Aid Brigade will be sponsoring the second one at Wellsville's Immaculate Conception Church on 11th St. It will begin around 11:30 A.M. following Mass in the church's parking lot. Any animal of any kind is welcome to be blessed by Father Peter. Each animal will be given a St. Francis metal.

Coming up next for the SFAC is a dinner at the Alumni Center. There'll be speakers, dinner and entertainment. We'll have more on that later but keep it in mind. The price is right at $15 per person or $20 per couple. The dinner will be Saturday, October 24, at 6 P.M.

ole nib

Sunday, September 27, 2009

WHS Tigers Slip To 4 & 1

In a disappointing game last Friday evening to ITCL rivals, the McDonald Blue Devils handed the WHS football Tigers their first lost of the season. Except for a few flashes of hope the Tigers were simply overwhelmed with speed on both offense & defense. Seemed like every time Wellsville's fleet footed Jeremy Carter got the ball all he saw was a wall of blue jerseys. Carter was held to 31 yards rushing from the line of scrimmage for the night. The Blue Devils keyed on him big time from the opening kick-off and all night long. Carter did score the Tiger's second touch down on an 85 yard kick-off return with 4:26 left in the third quarter. Nunzio Lombardozzi scored Wellsville's only other TD with an 18 yard pass reception in the first quarter. That pass came from "Mr. Everything" Bubba Dowling. Dowling led all WHS ground gainers with 40 yards. He also went 5 for 12 picking up 77 yards passing with one INT.

The final score was McDonald 50 - Wellsville 12. In a battle of unbeatens it just wasn't Wellsville's night. McDonald is the reigning ITCL champs in the division and are now 5 & 0 overall.

Not being able to go to the game we did listen in to the guys from wkmxlive on the computer. Let me tell you with one year under their belts broadcasting the games Roger, Joe & Bud make you feel you're right there in the booth with them. Roger does an excellent job of calling the play-by-play and the color commentary by Joe & Bud keeps you in the game. You can also sign in and chat with them while the game is going on.

Besides the announcers the games are worked by engineer Terry Brown and on the computer by Sparky Miller. Dave Miller does the camera work. With surgery upcoming for Terry the games are available through the WHS Alumni site at www.wellsvillealumni.com. Just follow the links from there. Once you're on the broadcast page make sure you click on the play button on the video screen. That starts the audio.

OHSAA doesn't permit showing the games live on video but they are allowed to down load it on the computer for later viewing. It's usually ready to go later on and at least by Saturday sometime. We really appreciate them and the sponsors for broadcasting the games live. We can follow the Tigers no matter where they play or where we are. Even if we were over seas all we need is an internet connection.

It was a tough loss for the Tigers and those of us hoping for the best. Next Friday they travel to Western Reserve to get back on the winning track. It'll be an upset special. You just wait and see.

Good Luck Tigers!

ole nib

BWD Special Board-of-Directors Meeting - 9/25/09

In a special meeting last Friday at the new Water Treatment Plant members of the BWD Board-of-Directors met to consider two special requests concerning Part A of the Salineville water line project. All members of the Board were present along with District Manager Al DeAngelis. At the regular monthly meeting last week Southern Local School District Superintendent James Herring asked that the water district reconsider the tap-in fee for that school system. Highlandtown VFD Chief Tim Roush made the second request saying the distance between planned fire hydrants in his community was unacceptable.

Part A of the Salineville water line covers nearly eight of the ten miles needed to supply an EPA demanded new water source to that village. The contract to install the pipe line for Part A has been rewarded to Dave Sugar Excavating and the notice to proceed is expected to be given this week. The first phase is the installation of over 40,000 feet of 16" diameter water line from the Red Brick Church on Rt. 45 across country to just past the Southern Local School complex on Rt. 39. It is a $2.7 million contract.

The tap-in fee for Southern Local is based on an industry wide accepted EPA formula using a daily usage of 20 gallons of water per day (gpd) on average for each student. That 20 gallon figure includes restroom usage, cafeteria, locker room showers plus other things like getting a drink of water. Superintendent Herring advised the Board that based on actual usage tracked by the school district 20 gpd is excessive and consequently means an excessive tap-in fee. He asked that the Board reconsider the tap-in fee based on actual usage instead of the applying the EPA formula. Southern Local has 960 students in the school district.

At a Rate Committee meeting this past Tuesday it was decided to stick to the EPA formula and to offer a three year payment plan at 0 % interest to the school. Rate Committee Chairman Jack Call, along with Committee members Gene McGaffick & Chuck Bibbee, proposed that recommendation to the whole Board at Friday's meeting. Call stated they do not dispute Herring's numbers but felt the Board has to stick with established policy on tap-in fees. The recommendation was approved by a unanimous vote of all Board members.

Engineering Committee Chairman Chuck Bibbee advised the Board that since last week's regular meeting they have had a BWD inspector out in the field double checking the placement of the planned 36 fire hydrants originally called for in the installation contract. He also stated that at a Committee meeting held last Tuesday it was decided to stick with the AWWA standard of hydrant placing plus adding up to six additional hydrants maximum to help in the Highlandtown area. Bibbee announced that the inspector found that with the movement of some of the planned 36 hydrants and adding a few more that no house in the Highlandtown area would be out of reach using the amount of hose that VFD has on hand. The changes would nearly eliminate the need to shuttle water by tanker truck in that area. With that in mind Engineering Committee Chairman Bibbee along with Committee members Tim O'Hara & Gene McGaffick proposed those recommendations to the whole Board. The only discussion on the recommendation was made by member Jack Call saying he took offense of Roush's comment in the newspaper that the Board "brushed him off" after being told his request would be referred to the appropriate committee. With no other discussion the Engineering Committee's recommendation was passed with only Cal Carney dissenting. Carney offered no comment on his reasoning for voting against the recommendation.

After the vote it was noted that in the future should any housing developments or commercial interests be built in that area additional hydrants can be easily installed. Board President Mike Ryan remarked that with the elimination of six or seven turn-on/shut-off redundant valves in the original plans the cost of the additional hydrants would be acceptable. Those valves were incorporated in the original plans in consideration of future development. Again if that were to occur in the future they can be easily installed.

It's also interesting to note that if it wasn't for Salineville's problems with the EPA neither one of these issues would have every come up. In a survey two years ago by the BWD only 5% of the residents of the nearly 100 households along the path of the Part A of this project indicated they were interested in getting their water from the district.

With the money released for the first part of this project the BWD district is busy getting the required signatures on all the documents. Once that is accomplished the Notice to Proceed will be given to Sugar Excavating. When that is happens Sugar has up to 150 days to have it completed. Bids for the second part is expected to go out in the very near future.

The next regular meeting is scheduled for Thursday, October 22, 9 A.M. at Wellsville Village Hall.

ole nib

Friday, September 25, 2009

Chamber-of-Commerce September Luncheon - 2009

The monthly Chamber-of-Commerce Luncheon was held yesterday, Sept. 24, at the Dairy Queen on 3rd St. in Wellsville. The luncheon was kicked off with Chamber President Randy Allmon welcoming everybody & Paul Blevins offering the invocation.

A special welcome was given to new member Tony DeAngelo. Tony has recently retired from the State Auditor's Office and has offered his expertise with grants to the Chamber. DeAngelo said his job mostly consisted of auditing federal grants. He is vastly familiar with the ins & outs of grants.

Several announcements were made beginning with the upcoming meeting with Heritage Ohio officials and Wellsville's Revitalization Committee. The Heritage Ohio Foundation is a state wide non-profit organization. They are located in Columbus and are dedicated to the historic preservation and revitalization of Main Street Ohio. They coordinate various projects throughout the state. That meeting is scheduled to take place October 1.

A reminder was given for the October 3rd Howlin' Harvest Moon Festival at the Alley Cat Aid Brigade facilities on Commerce Street. It is jointly sponsored by the Chamber and will be held from 11 A.M. to 7. See my article dated Sept. 9 for the details.

A date will be set for the October Citizens of the Year Dinner once an available date can be confirmed with the key-note speaker. There's still time to get your business' name in the new County Chamber's CC Visitor's Guide. It's an all new glossy booklet to be published and made available in the near future. If interested contact Diana Spencer at 330-532-5062 for rates and details.

Holley Development will be hosting a Taste of the Holidays event on November 7 from 11 A.M. - 7 P.M. There will be cookies, cakes, candy and crafts available to fill all your holiday needs. It will be held at their facilities on Main St. That's the old Perpetual Bank location.

Air Waves will be hosting a Halloween party at DaLonzo's on Saturday, Oct. 31. from 8 P.M. til ???. Beverly & Lon will be spinning tunes and have the karaoke set up. Lite snacks & refreshments will be provided. There will be a 50/50 drawing and door prizes. Awards will be given for the funniest, the scariest & the most creative costumes. There will be three awards for each category. Nick & his co-workers will also have their kitchen in full swing. Tickets are $5 in advance & $7 at the door. Advance tickets are available at Air Waves next door to Holley Development.

Mary Morse representing the Potter Players Community Theater announced they currently are in rehearsals getting ready to put on the Robert Harling play Steel Magnolias. There will be two week-end performances starting Oct. 17 at the theater on 15th St. The last announcement was that the annual Christmas Parade will be held December 12 starting at 6 P.M.

Martin, MacLean, Altmeyer was selected as Business of the Month. See the article below for that and Ergon's Neil Stanton was the guess speaker. Stanton is V.P. - Refining at the WV facility across the river. As you can see below he discussed the controversial American Clean Energy & Security Act commonly known as the "cap & trade bill".

Next Luncheon will be October 29 at Kat's Kitchen located at 1025 Main St. Who said there's nothing to do in Wellsville?

ole nib

Ergon V.P. Speaks Out Against Cap & Trade

Ergon V.P. -Refining Neil Stanton was the guest speaker at yesterday's Chamber-of-Commerce September Luncheon. Introduced by Chamber Speaker's Chairman Paul Blevins, Mr. Stanton has been at the Ergon-West Virginia plant across the river in Congo since 1997. His main topic was the controversial legislation known as the "cap & trade" bill. It is currently going through the legislative process in Washington, D.C.

Apparently Mr. Stanton has been very busy with this legislation. He announced that he has twice traveled to our nation's capitol in recent months dealing with the bill. In this morning's ER there is a lengthy, comprehensive report of a recent press conference conducted by Mr. Stanton on the "cap & trade".

This bill has, not only refiners, but manufactures and other businesses across the country quite worried. House bill HR 2454 narrowly passed by a vote of 219 -212 in the House of Representatives. It is a voluminous 1300 page bill that was hastily put together just before that vote. It was noted that our U.S. Rep. Charlie Wilson was one of those 212 nay votes and with good reason.

According to Mr. Stanton the main goal of the bill is to reduce green house gases and dependence on foreign oil. As it is now written it will put many businesses out of work and only increase our dependence on foreign fuel producers because of the manufacturing cost advantages. Their fuel will be cheaper and American refined gas & diesel fuel will go up at least 20 to 30 cents per gallon. Companies such as Ergon would not be able to afford staying in business with the increased costs of producing fuel under the "cap & trade" requirements. Simply put it is too much too soon complying with all the restrictions put on them.

Ergon is a privately owned refinery business headquartered in Jackson, MS. In 1997 they bought the Quaker State refinery in Congo. Combined with their operations and the Shell Motor Oil division over there they employ nearly 500 people. Many of them are Wellsville area residents. Their annual payroll for just their Ohio resident employees is around $8 million. Between West Virginia & Ohio they pay close to $18 million a year in taxes. In 2008 they spent $250 million for Ohio produced crude oil alone. That does not include the $130 million spent on WV crude.

Mr. Stanton is a Struthers, OH, native and a graduate of Youngstown State with a degree in Chemical Engineering. He came to the facility 12 years ago when Ergon bought it. Before that he worked in Louisiana, Mississippi and New Jersey. He told us that replacing many of our energy sources with renewable energy would not work well in our region. With our climate conditions and location wind mills and solar energy have been scientifically proven to be the least effective in this region. A large portion of green house gases is carbon dioxide and 95% of that is produced by nature. Ergon takes great strides in their environmental responsibilities and meet or exceeds all EPA permit requirements. Since taking over the WV facility Mr. Stanton says that you rarely see that flame across the river anymore. That is a safety item that releases dangerous gases that use to light up the whole valley before they took over.

As written the "cap & trade" bill will be mostly ineffective and extremely costly creating huge bureaucracies to run it. It was hastily thrown together mostly by politicians. It needs to go back to the drawing boards and done right. Now is the time to contact our federal officials expressing your concerns.

ole nib

Chamber September '09 Business of the Month

The Martin, MacLean, Altmeyer Funeral Home & Crematory was named the Business of the Month at the Wellsville Chamber-of-Commerce Luncheon yesterday, Sept. 24. Before becoming Martin-MacLean-Altmeyer the MacLean Funeral Home on Riverside has been serving Wellsville going back to the 1800s. Back before my memory the MacLean FH was located in a building that use to stand on what is now the Eagle's parking lot. Since I can remember it is now located in Civil War Gen. Riley's home a couple of blocks down the street.

The Altmeyer family of funeral homes got its start in 1917 when James P. Altmeyer opened his first place of business in Wheeling, WV. It is privately owned and operated. In 1990 they bought both the Martin Funeral Home in East Liverpool and MacLeans in Wellsville. One of their newer locations is the home and chapel in Calcutta. They offer a full range of funeral services from pre-arrangements, counseling, embalming, cremation and conducting the funeral. A couple of years ago they began offering burial arrangements for pets. Altmeyers now own and operate 16 funeral homes in three states.

Shown above, from the left, presenting the Business of the Month plaque is Chamber President Randy Allmon, Chamber Member Mary Morse and MMA Funeral Directors Debbie Koffel, Matthew Watson and Mike Sigler. Koffel is very familiar in Wellsville activities. Not only active in the Chamber she is also a member of the Veterans Memorial Council.

ole nib

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Wellsville Antique Appraisal & BBQ

Last Saturday, September 19, 2009, Wellsville's Historical Society held their first ever antique appraisal and barbeque. State certified appraiser/auctioneer Harry Bowker came down from Salem to advise customers on the value of their prized possessions. Bowker is the owner of Bowker Auction & Appraisal Services located in Salem. Out in the parking lot "Master Chef" & Wellsville resident Byron Carter was cooking up his mouth watering BBQ chicken & ribs. It was a double delight day at the River Museum.

According to Historical Society President Robert "Brassy" Beresford it was a huge success with 68 customers having treasures appraised by Bowker shown above in the blue shirt. The picture of the puppy dog is a cast iron piggy bank believed to be over 100 years old. It was not only cute it was heavy. The bank was property of the owner's uncle who died prematurely in the early 1900s. Many of the items appraised were heirlooms.

Is was a nice event arranged by the Historical Society. It was one of those things that make the ville some place special.

ole nib

"Dash for Mat's Bash" - October 3

It's being billed as "the costume based fun run". What it is - is a fun time that everyone in the area can enjoy for a very worthy cause. It's an easy six block round trip marathon, walkaton, stroll-a-thon or whatever you want to do-a-thon. There are prizes for the first ten male and first ten female runners. After the dash there will be a costume contest for the younger ones. The choice to dress in a Halloween costume is entirely up to the runner/walker. Each child will get a bag of candy and the first 100 to register will also get a pumpkin. There will be door prizes with the winners being randomly selected using the running bib number. Door prizes will be drawn after the race. Everyone pre-registered will get a t-shirt. As of last Monday there were only an additional 50 XL sized shirts left.

Registration is $10 for adults and $3 for children. The race/walk will start at Village Hall in Wellsville at 6 P.M. on Saturday, October 3. The route goes up Main St. from 12th to 6th, over to Riverside on 6th, down to 9th, back to Main finishing up at Village Hall. Organizers will be on hand at Village Hall starting at 3 P.M. for issuing race packets and additional registrations. Pre-registrations can still be made by calling Tim or Annie Long at 330-532-3336 or 412-735-0418. All proceeds go to the Mathugh Johnston Scholarship Fund. This is the first annual "dash".

Mathugh Johnston has been described to me as the All-American kid by folks in his old neighborhood. In 2003, at the age of 11, he was diagnosed with bone cancer. He underwent chemotherapy and radiation through much of 2004. He was declared cancer free for nearly two years. Then in August, 2006, he was diagnosed with leukemia. At the age of 15 God called Mathugh home on March 27, 2007.

Mat liked sports of all kinds but his main passion was football. He deeply loved football in any way, shape or form. A scholarship was established in Mat's memory and is awarded annually to a Wellsville senior football player at the yearly awards assembly. The first two recipients were Jeff Hanselman and Ryan Crabtree. Hanselman attends YSU and Crabtree is enrolled at Cleveland State. The organizers are hoping to increase the annual scholarship awarding one to a senior football player and a second one to a senior female athlete. They are hoping this celebration of Mat's life is a huge success with lots of registrations. That's where you can help. You can register and you don't even have to run or walk. I jumped on that right away!

Mat, pictured above, would have been 17 on October 26. Don't you know he's up there cheering on his Tiger team mates that are now 4 & 0. He'll be smiling down with pride on all that take part in the "dash" too.

You can bet your sweet bippy he will. See you October 3,,,

ole nib

BWD Considers Special Requests

Two meetings were held this past Tuesday, September 22, to consider a couple of special requests. At last week's regular Board-of-Director's Meeting two individuals addressed the Board in regards to Part A of the Salineville Water Project. Southern Local Superintendent James Herring asked for consideration be given to lower the tap-in fee and Highlandtown VFD Chief Tim Roush asked that more fire hydrants be installed in that village.

The first meeting was the Rate Study Committee chaired by Jack Call. Present at that meeting was Call, Board members Mike Ryan, Chuck Bibbee & Gene McGaffic plus District Manager Al DeAngelis. With all facts & figures rechecked they met to consider the tap-in fee for SLSD. That fee is going to cost the school district $156,000 and as stated before it is based on an EPA formula used consistently throughout the water district. The formula includes the number of students in the facility. There are 960 students in that facility. Herring argued the determined gallons per day usage was excessive using that formula.

Brought out at the meeting was the extra costs involved meeting requirements to supply the school district with required "fire flow" and water pressure. This is for fire fighting purposes. It is required that water pressure be capable of supplying 750 gallons per minute (gpm) be used for the school complex. To meet that demand requires that 16 inch diameter pipe be installed and much of that has to be ductile iron pipe instead of PVC. The required pressure for residential areas is just 250 gpm and could be supplied using 12 inch diameter pipe. Sixteen inch ductile pipe currently costs $60/foot compared to $33/foot for 12 inch PVC. Part A of this project involves running 16" pipe from the Red Brick Church on Route 45 across country to Southern Local. That is a total of 40,264 feet or nearly eight miles of 16" pipe. Because of requirements for the school district this part of the project is adding $656,782 to the total costs.

The Rate Study Committee feels that to be fair to other water district customers and to be consistent they must stick with using the EPA formula for determining tap-in fees. They are going to recommend that the Board decline Southern Local's request. In consideration of the school's financial condition they are also recommending that the school district be offered a three year payment plan at 0% interest. They will also suggest that the school district check into stimulus grant funding or maybe applying for a low interest loan from some of the state agencies.

The second meeting this past Tuesday was the Engineering Committee chaired by Chuck Bibbee. Present at that meeting was Bibbee, Board members Mike Ryan, Tim O'Hara & Gene McGaffic plus District Manager Al DeAngelis. They met to consider the request for additional hydrants for Highlandtown.

Chairman Bibbee advised that there are a total of 36 fire hydrants in the plans to be installed in Highlandtown where currently there is none. The planned hydrants were in accordance to standards set by the American Water Works Assoc. that state hydrants should be no farther apart than 1000 feet to be able to furnish sufficient water pressure consistent throughout the area. AWWA standards are widely used and accepted in the water industry and meet government requirements. It was also noted that property values along the water line will be enhanced and home owner's insurance rates will be favorably effected once the line is installed. Roush stated at last week's meeting that he was using ISO insurance standards which are more restrictive than AWWA.

There are approximately 100 residents located along the nearly eight mile portion of Part A. Two years ago BWD sent out a survey to see how many of those would be interested in getting on the system. Out of those 100 only five responded that they would be interested. Shuttling water to fight fires using tanker trucks will be mostly eliminated with the planned 36 hydrants. The distance and time required, if shuttling water to a fire scene, will be greatly reduced. Presently Highlandtown fill their tankers at the bottom of Rt. 39 in Wellsville or along Rt. 45 depending where they are. All water furnished to fight fires is free of charge. Any additional hydrants added will have to be paid for by the water district. The $2.7 million contract has been awarded. Of that amount the BWD already has to come up with or borrow 20% for their share.

The Engineering Committee will recommend to the Board that up to an additional six hydrants maximum is all that can be afforded to help in the Highlandtown area. They already have project inspectors in the field double checking for areas where those six would be needed.

A special meeting of the Board has been scheduled for tomorrow, Friday, Sept. 25, at 10:30 A.M. at the new Water Treatment Plant to consider both requests. At one of the two Committee meetings it was noted that in over two years of planning not one representive from either SLSD or Highlandtown approached any official of the BWD. The grant has been awarded to the water district and the project has been contracted out. They can't go back for additional funding now. The Notice to Proceed is expected to be issue by the EPA this week for Part A. Part B bids for the Salineville water line is expected to be put out in the near future.

ole nib

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Notes From Last Week

Last week was a killer for this "wannabe". As Jo Bob remarked, not long ago, you wouldn't believe all that goes on in this little river village. Trying to follow what's happening with the School District, the Water District, the Historical Society, a car cruise and throw in a football game keeps you running. It's Tuesday and I'm just getting caught up with last week. Thankfully, there wasn't any Council Meeting last week!

Last month I wrote about Wellsville's Immaculate Conception Parish Picnic. This past Saturday there was a couple of pictures of that picnic in the ER. Guess that affair was a joint parish picnic for both ICC and East Liverpool's St. Als. You think someone would have told me when I was taking all those pictures. At least that explains why I was seeing all those folks from up the river!

J.C. Amato's trials have both been rescheduled again. His murder trial is now scheduled for January 19 and the additional weapons trial rescheduled for February 9 according to a Mary Ann Greier piece in the MJ last week. It all started July, 2007, when J.C. shot his wife. J.C. was first arrested in February, 2008 for that and also for having weapons under disability. He was released on bond and was arrested a second time in September, 2008, for another weapons charge & an alleged bomb making offense. Since the second arrest he has been in the County Jail and they are still trying to dot all the Is etc...

In the Pittsburgh Trib-Review last Wednesday there was a report the Federal Reserve Chairman said that recession that started back in 2007 is "very likely over at this point". Then the next day there was an article about Steve Forbes, of Forbes Magazine, saying he's not so sure about that. In reality only time will tell who is correct but at least they both agree all the problems started in the last President's time in office. All that federal money diverted to the Middle East wars on terrorism is proving more costly in more ways than one.

In the Review last Thursday there was a notice from the WPD about a check scam making its rounds. Some folks are getting checks for hefty amounts from strangers asking to cash them and buy money orders for a portion of that cash. As a reward the person getting the checks get to keep the rest of the cash. It's an old scheme that's been making the rounds and it is all fake. Don't get suckered in. When they say it's too good to be true it usually is.

Nice story about the STAG funds finally going to get released in yesterday's papers but I think it is a bit premature from what I've been told. That grant goes back to 1992 and there was over $600,000 remaining that is being held up by the EPA for verification on other expenditures. Village officials have ear marked the portion held up for the Highland Ave. project and some much needed sewage work. All the documentation required by the EPA has been submitted but no final official determination has been issued yet. The Village Fiscal Officer told me a few months ago when a similar announcement was made that he will not be authorizing any expenditures for this fund until he has official EPA notification in hand.

Speaking of waiting for funds...WFD Chief Bill Smith told me today he is still waiting to get word from the County about proceeding with the derelict housing demolitions. I have a feeling the money for that program is being held up on the State, or possibly Federal level. The County was told they would get the money and they, in turn, have split it up with the different applicants such as Wellsville. I can't think of any earthly reason why the folks over in Lisbon would hold on to the funds. The money can't be used for anything else.

The Mayor told me we should be getting word on a grant from OMEGA for nearly $134,000 in the very near future. On a list of nine priority applications for OMEGA funds the Village is number four. That money is intended to be used for finishing up the Sewage Treatment Plant's digestors.

Also out of Village Hall is word on the mound of dirt that goes from just about 12th Street to 17th along Main, on the Wellsville Terminal property, is that it's going to be cleaned up. In discussions with owner Chip Muse the Mayor & Village Administrator Jim Saracco have been told it will be cleaned up with weed killer, new top soil and reseeding. They wanted to plant trees along there but have been told that dirt won't sustain the growth after having the soil tested.

The folks on the Alumni Activities Committee are going to have a concert toward the end of October with Irish tenor Cahal Dunne. It's to raise money for next year's 5 Year All Class Reunion. We'll have more on it later but it's scheduled for Oct. 28 starting at 7 P.M. at the Alumni Center on 3rd St. It's $20 for a ticket and they expect them to go fast. Reservations can be made by calling Carmela Boyce at 330-532-1932, or Carrie McMahon at 330-843-6338 or Toni at 330-532-1517. Carm says the doors open at 6:30 and there will be refreshments during the intermission.

The folks from the St. Francis Animal Shelter are seeking a zoning variance to use an 18th St. Heights building for a kennel. That area is zoned residential and the Village Zoning Office is busy checking all the regulations before holding a hearing. The building was offered to be used by the St. Francis group by the owner.

A week from Saturday, October 3rd, is going to be entertaining for two good causes. The "angels" from the Alley Cat Aid Brigade along with the Chamber-of-Commerce will be having the Howlin' Harvest Moon Festival starting at 11 A.M. down on Commerce. Then at 6 P.M. the Dash for Mat's Bash begins at Village Hall. Both events are going to be a lot of fun. The ladies on the ACABrigade do the trap-neuter-release humane cat program and the "dash" is a fund raiser for the Mathugh Johnson Scholarship Fund. We'll have more on both later on.

My football teams were 2 & 1 again this week-end. Wellsville had an impressive win on Friday. The Buckeyes walked all over Toledo on Saturday. Only the Steelers let me down at their game in Chicago on Sunday. Jeff "Gerella" Reed missed two field goal attempts that would have been six points. More than that Big Ben pumped faked so much he hurt the gold & black in my opinion. The Bear's won the game by three points late in the 4th Quarter.

We're hoping for 3 for 3 this coming week-end...

ole nib

Calcutta Health Care Car Cruise

This past Thursday, September 17, the Activities Dept. of CHCC held their 2nd Annual Car Cruise. It's a party for that department to raise funds to finance activities for the patients and long term residents of that facility. That department arranges different types of entertainment for the residents. They are an enthusiastic group that try to make life a little more enjoyable. Just because you're going through rehabilitation therapies or are there needing help in some of life's needs doesn't mean you're cut off from some entertaining diversions once in awhile. Betsy and her staff at CHCC are dedicated to making that possible and sometimes bringing activities in requires a little more cash than what is in their budget.

This year the theme for the Cruise was the 50s. It compliments the older cars that you see at such events. The staff dressed up in styles of the 50s with jeans & rolled up sleeves on t-shirts. There were ladies with poodle skirts and bobby socks. A lot of the residents got a kick out of just reminiscing the day away.

There are a lot of Wellsville people that both work and live in that Calcutta facility. I tried to get pictures of all the ones I could and some of the more impressive cars. There were even ladies from MurLynz Catering cooking up and serving food & refreshments. That's a Wellsville catering outfit that specialize in receptions, showers, and other type of parties. There was even a dunking tank that a few of the nursing managers and office staff volunteered to be targets to get dunked.

It was a beautiful day filled with sunshine and it appeared a good time was had by all, even the ladies getting wet. If you need any catering services keep Wellsville in mind. You can contact MurLynz by calling 330-532-9036 or 330-532-2762 after 4 P.M. You can click on either picture to enlarge for a better view. You might recognize some of those folks.

ole nib

Monday, September 21, 2009

WHS Tigers Earn 1st Black & Blue Brawl Trophy

In winning the football game that has become to be known as the Black & Blue Brawl the WHS Tigers earned the honor of being the first to get the traveling trophy. The trophy was established in memory of the beloved late Southern Local Coach Dan Saling who left us this past summer. Saling was 46 years old when he passed on. He was the head football coach at Southern who dedicated himself to his family and that included the whole student body at that school. He is now being remembered as the 12th Man on the Indians' team.

The trophy will forever go to the winner of the annual Route 39 football rivalry between Southern Local and Wellsville. The Tigers earned the privilege of being the first name on the plaque that accompanies the trophy by downing the Indians 20 - 0 this past Friday. It was a great game and a great honor.

Shown here is a beaming Tiger Coach Dave Skinner accepting the trophy from Nancy Saling, wife Dan Saling. With Skinner being a SLHS alumni it was extra special to him.

Congratulations to both teams for playing a good, clean, hard fought football game.

ole nib

Thrilling Half-time

The half time show at Friday's game was something special. Dedicating the show to the memory of the late pop idol Michael Jackson, Music Director Mrs. Jennifer Gooch choreographed a spectacular bit of entertainment. Using hundreds of students from all three Wellsville schools a memorable rendition of Jackson's hit Thriller was performed.

When they took the field they had kids entering from all four corners of the stadium. They all performed to perfection and even had Jackson's trade mark single glove. All of them had the ghoulish make-up and costumes that were part of Jackson's video.

It was quite a feat putting it all together and all members of the cast & crew should well be proud of their performance. I'm sure Mrs. Gooch was quite tense and probably wasn't breathing right getting ready all last week. When it was all over she appeared visibly relieved.

It was something to see. You did good Jennifer. You can breathe now...

ole nib

WHS Tigers Now 4 & 0

After getting over some early game jitters the players from both the WHS Tigers & the Southern Local Indians settled down to play a good game. Although the Indians put up a valiant struggle in the end the Tigers proved to be just too much for them to handle.

In a game that had nine fumbles between the two teams the Tigers held on to take home a 20 - 0 victory. The defense stifled the Indians holding them to just 45 yards total for the night. The Tigers rolled up a total of 290 yards with 247 of them on the ground. The offense was changed up a bit but it appeared that the "Power I" worked well for them again. Jeremy Carter once again took the honors picking up 185 yards and three touch downs. It was all made possible with some stellar blocking by the offensive line and his fellow backs opening up some great running lanes. Carter even completed a 34 yard pass along with Bubba Dowling completing one for a nine yard gain. DeShon Pullie was on the receiving end of both passes picking up all of the 43 yards Wellsville had through the air. Carter had 94 yards on a heads up play recovering a fumble and taking it 94 yards to score the final TD.

Wellsville now goes on the road for the next two games. This week they travel to McDonald and the week after that to Western Reserve. They return home October 9.

ole nib

Little Town - Big Heart

Last Thursday evening, September 17, there was a "Spirit Parade & Bonfire" here in Wellsville. It was a pep rally in preparation for Friday's big game known as the "Black & Blue Brawl" against the Indians of Southern Local. The black & blue is play on words referring to school colors plus some hard nosed football. The parade formed up on Center St. in front of Daw Middle School and went to the stadium.

What appeared to be just about the entire student body and many of the ville residents turned out to cheer the Tigers on. It looked like half of the student body was in the parade. The parade was led by the flag girls and the WHS Band. There were football players and cheer leaders from every team in town from varsity to midget league younger ones. Members of the WPD & the WVFD were also present providing security and fire safety while escorting the parade participants.

The area behind the stadium was just about filled to capacity with not only students but many of their coaches, teachers, parents and other members of the community supporting and cheering on the hometown team. It was heartening to witness especially after most have been going all day either in the classroom or on their jobs. The enthusiasm was contagious. Obviously there was a lot of work in organizing the well orchestrated event. That's the way folks are in the ville, always finding the extra time to pitch in with support for younger members of the community.

It truly is a town with a big heart...

ole nib

Sunday, September 20, 2009

BWD Engineering Committee Meeting - 9/17/09

Following the regular meeting the BWD Engineering Committee met with all interested parties for Part A of the Salineville waterline extension. The meeting was mostly conducted by Dallis Dawson and John Blair from the engineering firm of Dallis Dawson & Assocs. The purpose of the meeting was to go over the recently awarded contract and addressing any concerns.

There were township trustees there from Madison, Yellow Creek & Washington Twps. Officials from Dave Sugar Excavating were there. Sugar Excavating had the winning $2.7 million bid and will be installing the water line. The water line for Part A will go from the new reservoir to out around the Southern Local School on Rt. 39. Representatives from Comcast, AT&T, Dominion Transmission and Marathon Pipelines were also present. All these entities are either directly or indirectly involved with Part A. Most of the utility companies present have existing buried cable or pipelines in the path of the new water line.

Dave Sugar advised he has the ODOT permit for the work along Rt. 39. They will be using two mainline crews, one boring crew and a clean-up crew right behind the construction crews. Most of the pipe line will be dug out with only state roads and one spot on a county road to be bored under the highway. Any road surface damage will be repaired by the construction company. Trenches dug across roads will be refilled with aggregate along with 8" of concrete and an additional 2" of asphalt on top of that. The line will be around four feet deep.

Once started it is expected to have Part A complete within 150 days. Sugar announced he is planning to use a red light system for traffic control in addition to flagmen. BWD will provide the primary inspectors with BWD employee Mark Allison & private contractor Dane Dysert handling that aspect. Dysert is a retired pipe fitter with extensive certifications for all types testing and pipe line inspection techniques. His brother use to refer to him as the "pipe surgeon".

After a 21 item list of stipulations was reviewed and all questions and concerns were answered the meeting was adjourned. Next step is to get the Notice to Proceed from the appropriate government agencies.

ole nib

Buckeye Water District Meeting - September '09

The regular monthly Board of Trustees meeting was held this past Thursday at Wellsville's Village Hall. All board members were present except David Lloyd. Also in attendance was District Manager Al DeAngelis and Fiscal Officer Sara Crouch. Tracy was there too.

Two resolutions were passed without any opposition. The first was to amend this year's Operating/Construction budget to make adjustments that are in the best interest for the district's fiscal policies. The second resolution approved was to accept the bid from America's Body Co. to supply the body for the district's new crew truck.

In the Public Comment portion of the agenda both Southern Local School Superintendent James Herring and Highlandtown VFD Chief Tim Roush addressed the board in regards to the new water line to Salineville. Herring was asking for reconsideration for the tap-in fee for the school district. Presenting a detailed study of actual water usage to each board member he stated that the tap-in fee is much higher than what it should be. Although his request will be referred to the appropriate committee board members stated that the fee was determined on a standard EPA formula that has been used consistently through out the district. That formula determines a standard tap-in fee based on the number of students in the school system. Southern Local has around 900 students on average.

Chief Roush asked that the board reconsider the number of fire hydrants that are planned to be installed in Highlandtown. Stating that although he hasn't actually measured the actual distance between planned hydrants some are 1,000 feet apart and in many spots won't allow using their water hose lines to reach some structures. Roush had previously met with district officials. District Manager DeAngelis stated that their request for additional hydrants will cost an extra $160,000 over the nearly $3 million contract to install the first ever water line through Highlandtown. Board President Mike Ryan stated the request will be referred to the Engineering Committee and commented any addition to the planned contract would be over and above what is already financed. It would be up to the district to find money to cover the extra costs.

Highlandtown mainly uses tankers to get water to fires for areas where there are no hydrants or water lines. If they have access to an existing hydrant they do tap into it. Not too long ago they had such an incident using over 400,000 gallons of water to fight that fire at no cost. BWD does not charge for water used to fight fires.

For Committee Reports Chuck Bibbee commended the work performed by the County Engineer's Office when they recently did the chip & sealing on the road from Rt. 45 to the new Water Treatment Plant. At a cost of $6,472.50 they scrapped, graded and applied the chip & seal. BWD personnel provided the labor for the job. District Mgr. DeAngelis reported the early August water line breaks cost the district lots of over-time. He reported that it is believed the break along Hibbets Mill was suspected of leaking into the creek for some time. Stating the refilling of the Rt. 45 holding tank takes a lot less time than it did before the breaks were repaired. District officials are now checking into grant funding to replace that aging main line into the village. Hopefully everything will be in place and contracts can be awarded to do that in 2010. DeAngelis also reported that the bond for the new reservoir should soon be released.

Personnel Committee Chairman Tim O'Hara advised that long time employee Marc Allison is contemplating retirement in the 1st quarter of 2010. Allison started out nearly 30 years ago with Wellsville's Water Dept. Stating it was felt prudent to have a line of secession in place O'Hara recommended that Water Treatment Plant Mgr. Todd Brown be named to District Superintendent and Marcus Dalrymple be named District Distribution Superintendent. Both appointments were made on an interim bases at appropriate pay scales. Allison currently has both jobs.

DeAngelis advised that the new security surveillance cameras are partially installed. The work at the new Water Treatment Plant is completed and AT Video Surveillance is in the process of completing the installation at the new Pumping Station. One BWD employee recently told me those cameras are so powerful you can see the hair on a man's arm standing on the WV shore. I've seen the monitors and the cameras are remarkably powerful with very impressive clarity when you zoom in on something. There are several cameras in both locations covering all angles at the reservoir, the treatment plant and the pumping station.

Next scheduled meeting is October 15 at 9 A.M. at Wellsville Village Hall. Next Tuesday, September 22, both the Rate Study Committee and the Engineering Committee will conduct meetings.

ole nib

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Tastee-freez Part II

Back on July 29 I showed a couple of pictures believed to be from the Bucky Moore collection of the old Tastee-freez. It was located on Wells Avenue across the street from the car wash. That building and a whole row of houses on that side were all taken when they built the four lane highway.

Someone donated this picture to the Historical Society and I apologize for not getting more information on who it was. The Tastee-freez was owned and operated by former Wellsville residents John & Irma McGarey. It was built sometime in the early to mid 1950s.

This is a much better picture than what we showed before and we're hoping some will enjoy taking a trip down memory lane with us. Wonder if that was Fred Frost's car sitting along side his childhood home?

ole nib

Wellsville Historical Society Meeting - 9/15/09

The Wellsville Historical Society resumed their regular monthly meetings this past Tuesday evening at the River Museum. President Robert "Brassy" Beresford announced that three new members have joined since last meeting in July.

Beresford also reported that the bell that originally was in the old Central School will soon have a permanent place for display. When the first school was built on 9th Street it was first called Central. Later on it was renamed McDonald. That first building was razed in the 1950s and a new one was built in the same spot. The bell from from that first building was then placed in front of the new one. When the School District sold McDonald earlier this year the new owners donated the bell to the Historical Society.

The bell will be displayed in front of the museum's Country Store in front of a wheel that was part of the bell assembly when it hung in the old building. The wheel is already mounted on the Country Store wall. Beresford related that as a youngster he used to get delegated to climb into the bell tower to grease those wheels so the bell would swing freely when the rope was pulled.

Beresford also announced that a large number of loose photos were found in desk drawers in the museum's office. Efforts to organized them into photo albums are currently taking place. When completed the albums will be accessible for viewing.

Member Bob Lloyd reported the tale of the museum getting a treasure trove of railroad pictures. Totaling 725 photographs the pictures were found in plastic bags on the caboose. It is not known where the pictures came from or who put them there. They are believed to be a collection of the late Bucky Moore. Moore was a retired railroader that lived on Main St. He was noted for always having a camera with him whether working or just going around to different places in his free time. We have shown some of those photos of scenes of what Wellsville looked like in the 1950s. Several of them were used for the program on railroads at the museum earlier in the summer. Lloyd said he has scanned all 725 and now has the collection on discs.

Susan Haugh, shown above, and Jeff Haugh explained the mission of the recently organized Wellsville Digital Archive Group (WDAG) to the membership. That group is made up with the Haughs, Charles Franklin, James "Sparky" Miller, Bob Lloyd and Mike Lynn. The goal is to digitally archive and chronicle all the items in possession at the River Museum and therefore have a history of everything. By doing that future generations will have a record of the historical significance of the museum's possessions. One member related that a fire in Salineville some time back destroyed everything they had and it is now all gone.

The members of WDAG met with the Society's trustees in August seeking their approval. The proposed program is in the early stages. All records will be the sole possession of the Historical Society and different ideas were exchanged on possible commercial ideas to benefit the Society. Once digitalized DVDs could be produced for sale, advertising CDs and other possible applications would be possible. It appears it's going to be a busy winter on Riverside. It is hoped to have something ready in time for next year's 5 Year All Class Reunion.

Next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, October 20 at 7:30 P.M.

ole nib

Friday, September 18, 2009

Elks Grand Exalted Ruler Dines In East Liverpool

The Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks is a 141 year old organization with 2,180 lodges across the USA. Wellsville's BPO Elks Lodge 1040 has been a charter member for nearly 100 of those years. The Elks have long been noted for their "benevolent" deeds throughout their history. They yearly sponsor the Hoop Shoot Contest for budding basketball players. They have what they call the National Foundation which gives out scholarships in numbers second only to the U.S. government. They honor and help veterans. They even have a retirement home in Virginia. In Ohio they have yearly drives to raise funds for research in combating cerebral palsy. I could go on and on about the good deeds the Elks render but I won't. It would take entirely too much time.

In each of those lodges across the country the president is call the Exalted Ruler. That stems from historic ritual tradition. It started out as a fraternal organization but membership is now open to brothers and sisters from all walks of life. The ritual tradition solemnizes the members dedicated commitment to community service. Their slogan of "Elks Care - Elks Share" says it all.

On a national level the "big guy" is called the Grand Exalted Ruler (GER). He is elected to serve for one year, after years of dedicated service to promote the cause of Elkdom. It's a demanding position that honors not only the GER but Elks everywhere. During his year in office the GER will travel all over the USA encouraging the mission of Elks.

This past Tuesday I was privileged to shake hands with this year's GER. He and his Executive Secretary, Jeff Durant, stopped at East Liverpool's Elk Lodge 258 for a bite to eat. This year's GER is Martin Ferry resident James L. Nichelson. It was the first time for nearly 30 years that this district had the honor of having a GER to visit. The last time a GER visited was in 1980 in EL. The last time there was an Ohio GER was in 1972.

Shown above, on the right, Nichelson is the first time ever GER elected from the Ohio SE District. He was born in Ada, Harding County, Ohio. He's a retired Belmont County Prosecutor and an alumni of Ohio State. His year as GER began in July at the Elks' Grand Lodge Convention in Portland, Oregon. Wellsville's Dane Dysert was Chairman of Nichelson's Inauguration Committee. His goal for his year in office is to encourage Elks' members to renew and continue their community efforts. Pictured with Nichelson is EL Exalted Ruler Joe Shemasek.

I'm proud to say I've been an Elks member for 30 years now. It was nearly that long ago I first met Jim at a District Meeting. After renewing our acquaintance this week I can say he's not changed over the years. With that firm hand shake and warm smile he still gives you the impression we've been close chums forever. Ask Dane. Jim is a heckuva a guy.

Congratulations Jim on being elected GER. Best wishes and travel safe. Stop by and see us again. Maybe Mary Catherine can play hooky the next time..

ole nib

Wellsville Board-of-Education Meeting - 9/14/09

The regular monthly meeting was held at Garfield Elementary this past Monday. All Board member were present. Also in attendance was Superintendent Richard Bereschik, Asst. Supt. Lisa Ferguson, Treasurer Colleen Wickham, former Board member Margery Dysert and 15 high school seniors from Mr. Meek's government class.

For the Treasurer's report Wickham stated that $13 million plus appropriations for the school year has been approved. The district earned $4,900 in interest for August and finished out the month with $2.7 million balance on the books.

School Board President Tom Brophey announced the state school board association is beginning a grass roots network aimed at helping districts deal with the new two year state budget. Reporting for the CC Career & Technical Center Mike Cook announced they did not get awarded the grant for the Convergence School program. He also noted that getting a GED will now cost $55. Previously there was no fee for obtaining an equivalency high school diploma.

For the "Good News Report" on the agenda Bereschik announced that the district has been awarded a two year deal from the American Revitalization & Reinvestment Act. This award pays for a variety of programs and Wellsville will be using it to hire eight new members to assist teaching in the district. Two people will be hired for Garfield, four for the Middle School & two for the High School.

Asst. Supt. & Garfield Principal Lisa Ferguson then took over with an extremely impressive demonstration of Garfield's new Promethian System. As previously reported this system is a computer generated method of interactive teaching. It allows the teacher to use computer programing for all lessons included in the three RRRs, track attendance, and show educational movies. Second grade teacher Darlene Allison and reps from Logical Choice Technologies took us through the paces. It's called a whiteboard system.

Mrs. Allison explained she starts the student's day with having them sign in on the white boards to track attendance. She explained the "surround system" with the speakers located in all four corners of the classroom that eliminates any hearing problems and also helps the teacher to hear student responses. They showed us all the things that can be done with the system with just a touch of the magic magnetic wand or the click of the computer. That includes allowing budding Picassos drawing pictures in different colors. It has hand held "Activotes" that are individually numbered and resemble computer mouses. Each student is assigned a number and the computer keeps track of their responses for anything from classroom discussions and test taking answers. It even tallies up the grading numbers eliminating the need for the teacher to go through a stack of papers. It also eliminates the embarrassment for the student that flubbed an answer or is having trouble. Only the teacher can see what each student is answering.

The new system was installed in all the classrooms at Garfield this year. It is certainly a step into the 21st Century. It's a cost saving and time saving system that frees up time for both students and teachers. Mrs. Allison said her second graders love it. It's the first school in the county to have it and President Brophey said that both Wellsville students, as well as the district tax payers, should be proud of. Bereschik stated the Middle School is scheduled to get the system next year and the High School will be two years from now.

Several resolutions were voted on. The resignation of former Daw Middle School Dave Buzzard was formally accepted "with regret and best wishes." Appropriations for the 2009-2010 school year were approved. New High School Principal Linda Rolley was approved for a $1,000 maximum limit credit card with stipulations it is only to be used for school needs. Each principal in the district have one and the approval was just a formality that had to have the Board's okay. A sliding scale fee for pre-school students above the income guidelines was approved. Participation in the drug abuse resistance education program D.A.R.E. was also passed. State & federal requirements for special education model polices & procedures were adopted. The annual field trip to New York City was approved for band & choir members in grades 9 - 12. Five band volunteers were approved pending receipt of all necessary paperwork. Payment was approved for 22 open enrollment students to four different schools in lieu of providing actual transportation. Parents will be paid a fee to help defray their cost of providing transportation. Contracts were accepted for nine different programs that will be provided by the CC Educational Service Center. It is basically a co-op program that the district shares with others for such things a speech therapy and special needs students that the district can not afford to have a full time staff on hand. An October 9 field trip for third graders to Midland's Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center was given the thumbs up. Also okayed was a field trip for district high school special needs students to Robinson Twp. Mall on December 4. Also improved was an agreement with the CC Health Dept. for Wellsville schools to be used as a point of distribution for any pandemic emergencies. It the need ever arises it will provide the Health Dept. a central distribution point for medications.

Last on the list of resolutions were personnel approvals. John Dalrymple was given the nod to return as Head Baseball Coach and Tom Dalrymple as Assistant Baseball Coach. Gabrielle Burns was named the new Head Softball Coach and Bill McComas the new 7th Grade Basketball Coach. McComas replaces Mike Cook in that position. Pending receipt of all necessary paper work Megan and Matt McComas was approved as vounteer basketball coaches.

Ed Bauer recognized Marge Dysert as being influential for him getting involved with the BOE. Karen Dash noted the Government Class students and encouraged them to come back. Mrs. Meek commended Band Director Jennifer Gooch for all she has done getting the "thrilling" half time show ready for Friday night's game. Tom Brophey advised that until the Swine flu vaccine is available all areas of the district's staff & students are being provided with hand sanitizer and encouraged that they use it often.

Before closing Marge Dysert presented President Tom Brophey with a Tiger mouse pad saying it was in recognition of Tom's long time dedication and work on the Board and his love of the Tigers. Dysert quipped that Brophey was on the board back in the her days and she always appreciated his fairness and thoroughness in anything he did.

The Board went into Executive Session for personnel matters before adjourning. No action was taken after returning. Next meeting is October 12 in the Superintendent's Office in Daw Middle School. Shown above is Mrs. Allison demonstrating the Promethian boards and one of the students answering a quiz on the story of Henry & Mudge and The Starry Night.

ole nib

Baldwin Decendents Tour Museum

One of the second floor rooms in Wellsville's River Museum is called "The Riverboat Room" and it is loaded with riverboat models & memorabilia. Two of those impressive models were made years ago by a fellow named Frank "Skipper" Baldwin. He was a riverboat captain and about three or four generations ago he built two riverboat models - one each for his two sons Paul & Harold.

On Sunday Wellsville's Historical Society members Brassy & Bonnie Beresford hosted 15 descendants of Skipper Baldwin for a tour of the museum and specifically for younger members of the family to learn a bit of family history. The group was led by Richard Baldwin of Lisbon. Richard is a grandson of Paul Baldwin. Skipper was his great-grandfather.

Skipper's son Paul donated his model boat to the museum sometime ago. His brother Harold followed suit a while later thinking that would be the ideal place to display and preserve the second model. Today both of Skipper's models are prominently display in the Riverboat Room. Harold is an retired EL history teacher. Wellsville's late Allen Baldwin was also related to this family.

Shown above is Beresford greeting the Baldwin clan at the museum's front door. The second picture is Skipper's model of the boat named Republic. Wellsville was a big riverboat city with both manufacturing and transportation in our early history.

Even though regular hours for touring are over, tours can be arranged for any group wishing to see the many historical treasures on display at the museum. Advanced arrangements must be made by calling 330-532-3941.

Don't forget tomorrow's antique appraisal sponsored by the Historical Society. It will be held from 1 - 3 P.M. at the River Museum, Saturday, September 19. Professional appraiser Harry Bowkow will be on hand and that BBQ grill gourmet Byron Carter will be cooking up ribs & chicken too.

ole nib

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Crime Watch Committee Meeting - Thursday - 9/10/09

Meet Officer Allen and his handler, Norfolk-Southern RR Security Officer Tyler Holland. They were special guests at this month's Crime Watch Committee meeting last Thursday at Village Hall. This $22,000 dog came from Czechoslovakia and is a mixed German Shepherd-Malinios. Malinios sounded like mal-a-mar to me.

Eighteen month old Officer Allen has been teamed up with Holland for 11 months now. They first got together with an initial 900 hours of training. Being an alpha male dog Officer Holland related it took 600 hours for Allen to begin liking him. Once it was decided who the boss is the training went smoothly with sessions lasting anywhere from eight to 12 hours per day. Now he is a very protective of his partner.

Officer Allen's specialty is bomb sniffing but his list of talents go much farther than that. He is a multi-purpose dog. With his super sensitive nose he can track anything until the trail runs out. He can detect skin cells that are constantly being shed by a human. He can sniff out drugs just about anywhere. He can find someone hiding. He can read body language and if Holland is threatened he'll latch onto the offender, holding on until given the command to let go.

Demonstrating with the assistance of WPD Officer Shawn Bloor Holland showed how he can pick up the dog by the tail without letting loose. If he is sniffing out something he sits next to it once it is located telling Holland it's there. He's a ball driven dog and getting a toy ball is his reward for doing good. Holland said Allen loves to retrieve the ball and will play 36 hours a day if he could.

The training didn't stop with the first 900 hours. Holland runs Allen through the paces everyday. Once a month they travel to Harrisburg, PA, for 16 hours of refresher training. One day is spent training on patrolling and one on explosives. Once a year they are tested for renewal of their certification. Out of 13 dogs in his first training group Officer Allen graduated first in his class. Being a slightly smaller dog he is extremely agile and is able to leap over cars or through a window that larger dogs can't make.

Officer Allen & Holland travel in a special equipped SUV and work out of the Greensberg office of Norfolk-Southern. They cover anything from Pittsburgh to Morgantown, WV, and all points in between. Allen has no problem walking on a train trestle with the open spaces between the railway ties. Home is in Jefferson County and they have been selected to work as part of the security detail for the G-20 Summit of world leaders in Pittsburgh later this month. Holland said they often lend a hand to other community law enforcement agencies. It was an amazing demonstration.

In other business Chairman Janet Taggart announced that anyone wanting to participate in the "orange hand" safe house program for area children should contact the Wellsville Police Dept. at 330-532-1522. Once a background check is done participants will be contacted to get a bright orange hand to be displayed in a window.

Next month meetings will go back to the third Thursday of the month. Next scheduled meeting is October 15 at 6 P.M. at Village Hall.

ole nib

Wellsville Version Antique Road Show

Got an antique you think could be valuable but are not sure? It could be something you picked up at a yard sale or found in Grandma's attic. It could be something that's been in the family for years handed down from one generation to the next. Here's your chance to get it appraised by a state licensed professional.

On Saturday, September 19, at the River Museum, from 1 - 3 P.M., the Wellsville Historical Society will host Appraiser/Auctioneer Harry Bowker. Mr. Bowker will be on hand to give his appraisal for small antique items for only $3 per item.

As an added bonus Wellsville's Master Chef Byron Carter will be there too, cooking up and selling his famous BBQ chicken and ribs. Carter makes all his own sauce and those ribs & chicken are "oh, so good" as that fellow on television likes to say. You won't be disappointed. That man can cook.

Grab that old vase and take it over to get an idea of the value. Enjoy some barbecue and have a good time.

The museum is located at 1003 Riverside behind the Central Methodist Church on Main. The museum & Country Store will also be open. See you there...

ole nib

Notes From Last Week

We are sooo far behind. With home work and all the things I try to cover it's all I had time for. It started Thursday with a special Crime Watch Committee meeting & the Steelers game. Then there was the football game on Friday. By the way, my teams were 2 & 1 this past week. Steelers pulled one out in OT. The Tigers clawed out an impressive win Friday. Only the Buckeyes let me down. At least it wasn't a conference game. Saturday was the Robert's Family Evening of Entertainment. Sunday I did a little on-the-job training at the River Museum. Then Monday it started all over with a Board-of-Education meeting. We'll have something on each later on.

In a piece in Sunday's newspapers WPD Lt. Ed Wilson was found not to be in any violation of department policy with actions going back to the 2007 Yost murder investigation. I won't go into details and only say it was closure on this matter. As Chief Scarabino was quoted as saying "the department is moving forward now" and that is good news. Wilson, a long time member of the department, is a good guy & a good cop.

Not happy with AARP and their endorsement of the health care changes? According to a piece in last Tuesday's Pittsburgh Trib-Review there is an alternative with the American Seniors Assoc. They have "stood firm against national health care" according to the report. AARP members have been leaving in droves over this issue. Check it out for yourself at http://www.americanseniors.org/.

Recently released & former Congressman Jim Traficant seems to be making noises for another possible run for office with all the press he has been getting. I could be wrong but I'm getting that feeling. Even though he was convicted of wrong doing and served a prison sentence he can still run for office.

Nice write-up by the MJ's Chuck Greenwood last Friday on WHS senior Marcus Allison. This outstanding student & athelete was sidelined with a spinal injury and can no longer play football. He's getting along ok but the risk of additional injury keeps him on the sidelines. Although greatly disappointed he hasn't let it stop him and still participates with everything and anything he can do with the team. He can play basketball. His positive attitude & determination is inspiring, even to an old goat like me.

Wellsville's first case of prosecuting a pit bull owner for failure to have liability insurance on his dog went through Magistrate Court last week. He was found guilty, fined $150 and given a suspended 10 day jail sentence. State law requires that owners of a pit bull or any mix of pit bull have liability insurance for their dogs.

Village employees were treated to lunch last Friday by Rev. Darlene Zanders on behalf of Wellsville's Ministerial Assoc. It was in appreciation for all that village employees do in their line of work. Zanders has been the ministerial liaison to the village for the last six years according to Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert's report in last Saturday's newspaper. That was a nice gesture by the association providing a little thanks for all they do.

Homer Laughlin's Fiesta ware was written up in another Pittsburgh Trib-Review article this past Monday. The brightly colored dinner ware was born doing the Great Depression and proved popular back then to brighten up tables doing those hard times. It's just as popular today for the same reasons.

According to an article in yesterday's MJ natural gas prices are the lowest since 1999. It will gives us people who heat with gas a break on our bills in the coming months.

Got a hankering for spaghetti? According to Gibby of Gibby's Mini-Mart you can never get enough. Tonight the Alumni Activities Committee is holding a spaghetti dinner at the Alumni Center from 4 - 7 P.M. Friday the Volley Ball team is holding a fund raising spaghetti dinner at the high school before the big game against Southern Local. It's 4 - 7 too and carry outs will be available at both. Good time to get out of the kitchen and support these two good causes.

Big car show tomorrow out at Calcutta Health Care at their 2nd Annual Car Cruise. It starts at 5:30 and promises to be bigger & better than last year.

Also on tap for tomorrow in Wellsville is a Spirit Parade & bonfire in anticipation of the "Black & Blue Brawl" Friday night against the Indians of Southern Local. The Spirit Parade will form up and get started at the Daw Middle School at 7 P.M. It will end up at the stadium where they will have a bonfire to heat things up. Join in and lend your support to the Tigers.

Half-time at the game Friday is going to be special. Students from Garfield, Daw Middle & the High School will be performing Michael Jackson's Thriller dance. I've been told it is all being brought together by Band Director Jennifer Gooch and it will be something you won't want to miss.

Football t-shirts are being sold at all the schools this week for only $10 a shirt. You'll be wanting one for the parade, bonfire & game.

At the game Friday night will be your last chance to be guaranteed a shirt when you register for the "Dash for Mat's Bash" to be held October 3. The Longs will be on hand to sign you up.

The Historical Society will be holding a Wellsville version of the Antiques Road Show Saturday at the River Museum form 1 - 3 P.M. We'll have more on that as soon as I finish here.

The monthly Buckeye Water District meeting is tomorrow morning at 9 A.M. at Village Hall. There will be an Engineering Committee meeting following the regular meeting for the Salineville project.

October is National Clergy Month and Mary Heaton is sponsoring an Appreciate Your Clergy Gathering on Sunday, October 4. It will be held from 2 - 4 P.M. at the New Life Worship Center located at 1329 Main St. It is open to all area churches, their members and ministers. Food and refreshments will be provided and it is a good opportunity to get together with each other and our spiritual leaders from the community.

Now we can get on to other things...

ole nib