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Sinkhole forces closure of New Athens Post Office

Sinkhole forces closure of New Athens Post Office

By JD LONG NEW ATHENS – For the past week now residents of New Athens have been picking up their mail at the Cadiz post office because of a sinkhole that developed in front of the New Athens post office building. The hole, which reportedly has been present for at least one week is about one to two feet in width, but the depth varies from six to possibly as much as 10 feet deep, according to New Athens Police Chief Jason Simmerman, and spokesperson for Ohio’s Postal Service Dave Van Allen. The hole, which runs underneath the sidewalk to the right leading to the entrance has caused cracks in the pavement, which is only one year old, according to Simmerman. Van Allen said that the Lusk Group out of Kentucky would begin repairs Monday morning. The guess is it may only take a few days and they hope to open back up by Wednesday, according to Van Allen. The postal service owns the building, according to Van Allen but does not own the land. No one knows the cause of the sinkhole as of now and apparently some gravel and a Bobcat will be used to temporarily deal with the problem, according to Van Allen. Simmerman said he’s heard rumors of an old cistern or even a septic tank once there but it was only speculation. He added that the hole has only shown up recently and there were no signs of anything wrong when the new concrete was laid down last year.

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Lt. Governor Mary Taylor visits Freeport Press

Lt. Governor Mary Taylor visits Freeport Press

Calling the company’s achievements “impressive,” Ohio Lt. Governor Mary Taylor toured Freeport Press in Freeport, Ohio yesterday and acknowledged their significant growth over the past several years during the economic downturn. “I’m very excited to learn more about your business and see it first hand,” Taylor said. “It’s impressive what you’ve been able to accomplish.” Dave Pilcher Sr., President and Owner of the Freeport Press, gave credit to many who have assisted over the years including: the State of Ohio with a Pioneer Rural Loan; USDA backed expansions; the Tuscarawas Port Authority; and the Finance Fund. The Finance Fund, represented at yesterday’s event by Director of Public Affairs Andy Hardy, was introduced to Freeport Press by former Ohio Congressman Zack Space from the 18th District. Pilcher also acknowledged their banking representatives from Huntington Bank and several Harrison County officials who were part of the plant visit, along with the entire Freeport Press management staff and his two sons, David and James. Lt. Governor. Taylor recognized Freeport’s strong partnerships for success. “I appreciate the support you’ve gotten here locally,” Taylor continued. “That means a lot when you can get all the right people in the room working together, both in the private sector and the public sector, to make something like this happen and to keep it going when you face very difficult times.” The Lt. Governor took time to tour the facility and saw first-hand how Freeport Press is using some of the latest technology in the print industry to produce high quality cost effective magazines and catalogs. Dave Pilcher Sr. is proud of the success his team has accomplished, with the assistance of many of the organizations and leaders visiting yesterday. Look for a major announcement regarding Freeport Press corporate expansion plans in the very near future.

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BREAKING: Two arrested for steel theft

BREAKING: Two arrested for steel theft

On March 17  the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office had received a call that some steel valued at $94,000 was stolen from behind the Minova Building in Bowerston, Ohio. On March 18 at approximately 2 a.m. while on patrol a unit noticed a vehicle pull in behind the Minova Company and turn the headlights off. Two individuals exited the white pickup truck, and were both arrested for Aggravated Trespassing. John Maurice Gudnason age 39, (left photo) LKA Wheeling W.Va., and Dustin Lasuer Staff, age 24, (right photo) LKA Martins Ferry, Ohio were the two individuals arrested. John Maurice Gudnason was arrested for OVI. Through the course of the investigation it was found that they both had stolen the steel and sold it to scrap yards in Martin Ferry and Wheeling.

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Dowdel sentenced: 30 to life

Dowdel sentenced: 30 to life

By JD LONG CADIZ – This afternoon saw the end of a senseless crime come to an end as Matthew Dowdel, convicted earlier this morning of murdering Joseph Strother last year, received six sentences to run consecutively, which amounted to at least 30 years and up to life in prison. Four sentences were handed down after four charges were merged into two for sentencing purposes. Harrison County Common Pleas Court Judge, T. Shawn Hervey gave Dowdel only one slight break for leniency, the crime of grand theft of a motor vehicle (count four), which is a sentence of one year was imposed, where he stated that this crime was the least reprehensible of all that was committed. Count six, murder (merged with felonious assault), for which Dowdel was convicted carried a mandatory sentence of 15 years to life in prison leaving Hervey with no room to consider. But the other charges were all maximum sentences: Tampering with evidence and grand theft of a motor vehicle (count three), which was considered a lessor offense than aggravated robbery (count two) were  also merged. Dowdel began sobbing as he sat down and watched the last of his family members seat themselves in the gallery. It was the first emotion shown of any kind by Dowdel, which the lack of emotion was not missed by three Strother family members who read their statements shortly before Hervey commenced sentencing. Hervey admonished Dowdel for committing such an heinous crime within his own community and spoke of what a giving person Strother was and would have given Dowdel what he asked for instead of feeling the need to kill him and wrecking two families. More details forthcoming in the newspaper edition of the News-Herald, which will run Saturday, March 21, and will include interviews with Tami Strother, Defense Attorney, Aaron Miller and Harrison County Prosecutor, Owen Beetham, as well as two jurors who spoke briefly after the verdict was delivered.

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Dowdel found guilty of murder

Dowdel found guilty of murder

  By JD LONG CADIZ – After nearly nine hours of deliberations, the jury in the Matthew Dowdel murder trial returned a verdict of guilty on six of seven counts Friday morning. Dowdel was accused of the murder of Joseph Strother in Sally Buffalo Park last March of 2014. His former co-defendant, Eve Kelley had already pleaded guilty to three charges last October and appeared as a witness for the prosecution. In a shocking turn Harrison County Common Pleas Court Judge, T. Shawn Hervey read, “Not guilty” on count one of murder. There was no reaction in the courtroom, though, as Hervey continued reading guilty verdicts on the next six counts, including murder, which was listed as count six but was read last. That count’s description was slightly different in that it implied murder during the attempt at committing an offense of violence. Count one leaned more towards premeditation, which one juror said they had trouble with and was the reason they could not reach a verdict on Thursday. The other counts Dowdel was found guilty of were two counts of grand theft of a motor vehicle, one committed in Harrison County and the other in Jefferson; there was tampering with evidence, felonious assault and aggravated robbery. Harrison County Prosecutor, Owen Beetham was pleased over the verdicts but only slightly surprised over the one not guilty verdict. He added that there wasn’t too much concern over the jury locking up Thursday night without a verdict because of all the evidence and witnesses they had to sift through. Sentencing will commence at 2 p.m. Friday afternoon.

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Obituaries

Richard “Dick” Dean Harrison

Richard “Dick” Dean Harrison

Richard “Dick” Dean Harrison, 86, of Scio, Ohio went to be with the Lord on March 25, 2015 while remaining at home in the care of his family, aided by Tuscarawas County Community Hospice. Richard was a life-long resident of Scio. He was born October 20, 1928 to Byron William Harrison and Susan Crawford Harrison. He graduated from Scio High School in 1946. He was preceded in death by his parents, and his brothers Byron of Scio in 1931, Gene F. of Sugarcreek in 1982 and Robert of Cadiz in 1994. Surviving is his wife of 66 years, Mary Jean Simmons Harrison of the home. They were married October 15, 1948 in Scio United Methodist Church by Rev. Herbert Shiltz. Richard is also survived by one son Donald Dean Harrison and wife Elizabeth “Betty” Donohue Harrison of West Lafayette, two grandchildren Jean Ann Harrison Bowman and husband Alva Gregory Bowman of Port Orange, Florida and Byron William Harrison and partner Brian Klinksiek of London, England; one great grandson Alva William “Will” Bowman of Port Orange, Florida; one nephew James Harrison and wife Nancy of Sugarcreek. Richard was a member of the Scio Presbyterian Church where he was active over the years as Sunday School Superintendent, Deacon, Elder and Trustee. He was a rural mail carrier for 20 years and a member of the Rural Mail Carrier’s Association. He was also very active in the Dining Fork Ruritan Club of Scio for over 41 years serving as past President, Treasurer, Chaplain and on the Board of Directors. He attended several State Ruritan and National Ruritan conventions. In 2002 he was recognized as Dining Fork Ruritan of the year and in 2013 he received the Dining Fork Ruritan Citizen of the year. He was a past member of the Scio VFD, Scio Village Council and the Knights of Pythia. Richard was a stock car enthusiast and an avid NASCAR fan. Richard’s other employment included West End Motors, Harrison-Haun Motors, Schreiner Ford, Scio Motor Company, Harrison Auto Sales, Roger’s Sales and Service and Scio Pottery Co. A WWII veteran, he served in the US Army from July 9, 1946 to November 13, 1947 and subsequently in the US Army Reserves from 1949-1960. He was also a member of the Scio American Legion Post #482. Services will be held Monday at 11 am in Koch Funeral Home, 101 W Main St., Scio. Friends may call Saturday from 5-8 pm and one hour prior to the service on Monday from 10-11 at the funeral home. Interment will be in Grandview Cemetery, Scio. Military graveside services will be conducted by the Scio American Legion Post #482. Memorial contributions may be made to Scio Presbyterian Church, PO Box 363, Scio 43988 or Community Hospice of Tusc. Co., 716 Commercial Ave. SW, New Philadelphia, 44663

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Sports

Husky wrestling update

Husky wrestling update

Cadiz senior Hunter Pizzino is the only Husky wrestler alive in the OHSAA State Wrestling Championships in Columbus. Pizzino (138) won his opening match over Wes Fritz of St. Paul, but fell Friday morning to David Carr of Day Christian in the second championship round. He dropped down to the consolation round and will wrestle later today. Anthonly Risley (152) and Brandon White (113) were both eliminated on the first day. PHOTO: Hunter Pizzino.

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Gallery

Harrison East breast cancer awareness walk

Harrison East breast cancer awareness walk

Harrison East emptied its school Thursday afternoon for its second annual breast cancer awareness fundraiser. This year they held a mini-relay where the kids wore pink to help bring awareness, not only to breast cancer, but a drug-free lifestyle.

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Recent Stories

 
Sinkhole forces closure of New Athens Post Office

Sinkhole forces closure of New Athens Post Office

By JD LONG NEW ATHENS – For the past week now residents of New Athens have been picking up their mail at the Cadiz post office because of a sinkhole that developed in front of the New Athens post office building. The hole, which reportedly has been present for at least one week is about one to two feet in width, but the depth varies from six to possibly as much as 10 feet deep, according to New Athens Police Chief Jason Simmerman, and spokesperson for Ohio’s Postal Service Dave Van Allen. The hole, which runs underneath the sidewalk to the right leading to the entrance has caused cracks in the pavement, which is only one year old, according to Simmerman. Van Allen said that the Lusk Group out of Kentucky would begin repairs Monday morning. The guess is it may only take a few days and they hope to open back up by Wednesday, according to Van Allen. The postal service owns the building, according to Van Allen but does not own the land. No one knows the cause of the sinkhole as of now and apparently some gravel and a Bobcat will be used to temporarily deal with the problem, according to Van Allen. Simmerman said he’s heard rumors of an old cistern or even a septic tank once there but it was only speculation. He added that the hole has only shown up recently and there were no signs of anything wrong when the new concrete was laid down last year.

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Lt. Governor Mary Taylor visits Freeport Press

Lt. Governor Mary Taylor visits Freeport Press

Calling the company’s achievements “impressive,” Ohio Lt. Governor Mary Taylor toured Freeport Press in Freeport, Ohio yesterday and acknowledged their significant growth over the past several years during the economic downturn. “I’m very excited to learn more about your business and see it first hand,” Taylor said. “It’s impressive what you’ve been able to accomplish.” Dave Pilcher Sr., President and Owner of the Freeport Press, gave credit to many who have assisted over the years including: the State of Ohio with a Pioneer Rural Loan; USDA backed expansions; the Tuscarawas Port Authority; and the Finance Fund. The Finance Fund, represented at yesterday’s event by Director of Public Affairs Andy Hardy, was introduced to Freeport Press by former Ohio Congressman Zack Space from the 18th District. Pilcher also acknowledged their banking representatives from Huntington Bank and several Harrison County officials who were part of the plant visit, along with the entire Freeport Press management staff and his two sons, David and James. Lt. Governor. Taylor recognized Freeport’s strong partnerships for success. “I appreciate the support you’ve gotten here locally,” Taylor continued. “That means a lot when you can get all the right people in the room working together, both in the private sector and the public sector, to make something like this happen and to keep it going when you face very difficult times.” The Lt. Governor took time to tour the facility and saw first-hand how Freeport Press is using some of the latest technology in the print industry to produce high quality cost effective magazines and catalogs. Dave Pilcher Sr. is proud of the success his team has accomplished, with the assistance of many of the organizations and leaders visiting yesterday. Look for a major announcement regarding Freeport Press corporate expansion plans in the very near future.

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Richard “Dick” Dean Harrison

Richard “Dick” Dean Harrison

Richard “Dick” Dean Harrison, 86, of Scio, Ohio went to be with the Lord on March 25, 2015 while remaining at home in the care of his family, aided by Tuscarawas County Community Hospice. Richard was a life-long resident of Scio. He was born October 20, 1928 to Byron William Harrison and Susan Crawford Harrison. He graduated from Scio High School in 1946. He was preceded in death by his parents, and his brothers Byron of Scio in 1931, Gene F. of Sugarcreek in 1982 and Robert of Cadiz in 1994. Surviving is his wife of 66 years, Mary Jean Simmons Harrison of the home. They were married October 15, 1948 in Scio United Methodist Church by Rev. Herbert Shiltz. Richard is also survived by one son Donald Dean Harrison and wife Elizabeth “Betty” Donohue Harrison of West Lafayette, two grandchildren Jean Ann Harrison Bowman and husband Alva Gregory Bowman of Port Orange, Florida and Byron William Harrison and partner Brian Klinksiek of London, England; one great grandson Alva William “Will” Bowman of Port Orange, Florida; one nephew James Harrison and wife Nancy of Sugarcreek. Richard was a member of the Scio Presbyterian Church where he was active over the years as Sunday School Superintendent, Deacon, Elder and Trustee. He was a rural mail carrier for 20 years and a member of the Rural Mail Carrier’s Association. He was also very active in the Dining Fork Ruritan Club of Scio for over 41 years serving as past President, Treasurer, Chaplain and on the Board of Directors. He attended several State Ruritan and National Ruritan conventions. In 2002 he was recognized as Dining Fork Ruritan of the year and in 2013 he received the Dining Fork Ruritan Citizen of the year. He was a past member of the Scio VFD, Scio Village Council and the Knights of Pythia. Richard was a stock car enthusiast and an avid NASCAR fan. Richard’s other employment included West End Motors, Harrison-Haun Motors, Schreiner Ford, Scio Motor Company, Harrison Auto Sales, Roger’s Sales and Service and Scio Pottery Co. A WWII veteran, he served in the US Army from July 9, 1946 to November 13, 1947 and subsequently in the US Army Reserves from 1949-1960. He was also a member of the Scio American Legion Post #482. Services will be held Monday at 11 am in Koch Funeral Home, 101 W Main St., Scio. Friends may call Saturday from 5-8 pm and one hour prior to the service on Monday from 10-11 at the funeral home. Interment will be in Grandview Cemetery, Scio. Military graveside services will be conducted by the Scio American Legion Post #482. Memorial contributions may be made to Scio Presbyterian Church, PO Box 363, Scio 43988 or Community Hospice of Tusc. Co., 716 Commercial Ave. SW, New Philadelphia, 44663

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Faye Tonkovich

Faye Tonkovich

Faye Tonkovich of Adena, Ohio, died Tuesday March 24, At Harrison Community Hospital, in Cadiz, Ohio. Faye was born on September 13, 1959 in Martins Ferry, Ohio to the late Orion “Fats” and Marilyn (Hershey) Kellar. In addition to her parents, Faye was preceded in death by two sisters, Dorothy Milliken and Diane Kish. She is survived by her loving husband, Daniel Tonkovich of Adena, Ohio; three step daughters, Danielle (Jim) Sobleski, Doreen Tonkovich and Rhonda McHenry; four sisters, Mary Briggs, Joyce Allen, Iva Yoho and Freda Brown; three grandchildren, Tracy (Josh) Zido, Melanie Sobleski and Cory McHenry; three great-grandchildren, Evan, Max and Alexa and several nieces and nephews. Friends will be received to pay tribute to Faye and celebrate her life on Friday, March 27 from 4-8 at the Borkoski Funeral Home, Adena, Ohio. Funeral services will be conducted on Saturday at 11 a.m. from the funeral home with Fred Blackman officiating. Burial will follow at Pugh Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the family, 425 Blairmont Road Adena, Ohio, 43901.

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Thomas H. Cunningham

Thomas H. Cunningham

Surrounded by his loving family on the morning of March 17 , Thomas H. Cunningham, 85, took his last breath of earthly air and went on to breathe heavenly air in his eternal home with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Tom’s celebration service will be held at Faith Fellowship Church Marshfield, Wis., on Thursday March 26th at 11 a.m.. Visiting hours from 9:30-11 a.m. Lunch will be served afterwards. Tom was born on Oct. 20, 1929 to Stephen M. and Hettie L. Cunningham in New Rumley Ohio. He attended Jewett High School and enjoyed playing basketball and football. In his off time he worked at a local dairy and drove one of the last horse drawn milk wagons in Ohio in 1947. After high school Tom attended the University of Cincinnati for two years on a football scholarship. He then enlisted in the Air Force at the beginning of the Korean Conflict. He trained technical instructors for four years after which he returned to the University of Cincinnati to finish his degree in Business/Industrial Management. He also did graduate work in personnel at the University of Akron in Ohio and Cardinal Stritch College in Wisconsin. Tom married Jacquelyn Weiser his high school sweet heart in Jewett, Ohio on March 13, 1954. Tom worked as an Industrial Engineer at Westinghouse in Columbus, Ohio, and Sears Roebuck in Chicago. In 1973 Tom and his family moved to a farm near Pittsville, Wis., to start an adventure in raising veal calves which he did for seven years. He also began teaching at Midstate Technical College in 1975 and later held various positions there– Personnel Director and Marshfield Campus Director until his retirement in 1996. In his retirement he enjoyed being on the farm, making wood furniture for family and friends and biking on his recumbent bike with his wife on old railroad trails and back roads. Tom is survived by his loving wife Jackie, three children and five grandchildren who have given him much joy. His children, Kim (Mike) Knuth, Duluth MN; Kathy (Tim) Wunsch, Schofield Wis.; Tom Cunningham, Albuquerque N.M.; His grandchildren Thomas (Ashton) Knuth, Thomson Ga.; Sarah (Alex) Primozich, Hastings Minn.; Stephen Knuth, Grand Forks N.D.; Aaron (Fiancee Kristi) Wunsch, Wausau Wis,; and Kaitlyn (Casey) Krohn, West Bend Wis,; And sister Jeanne Wilson, Charlotte N.C.; He was preceded in death by his parents and two sisters. Gwen Rickenbacher and Joyce (Dick) Geisert. Tom’s sense of humor and giving spirit will forever be remembered and cherished. Those wishing to make a memorial gift may do so in Tom’s name to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Inc., White Plains, N.Y.,] or Faith Fellowship Church, Marshfield, Wis. The Hansen-Schilling Funeral Home is assisting the family with funeral arrangements. Online condolences may be made at www.hansenschillingfuneralhome.com for your convenience.  

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Charles McDevitt

Charles McDevitt

Charles Thomas “Tom” McDevitt was born in Wheeling, W.Va., on Nov. 12, 1941, to Charles “Chuck” and Edna McDevitt. He died of metastatic cancer on March 19. He was raised in Ohio and graduated from Jewett High School in 1959 at 17, and headed for the U.S. Marine Corps. He served his country faithfully in the Corps for eight years. He attended Ohio State University and shortly after moved to Chicago. He moved to California in 1973, and a few years later he met his lovely bride Lupe, and married in December 1980. He lived out his days in his Simi Valley home. His love of aerospace led him to his career as a sales-engineer in the aerospace industry where he managed others and helped lead his company to success. He was associated with well-known projects such as the space station, space shuttle, UAVs, and numerous other projects. He always had a great story to tell and he kept his sense of humor to the end. He rode a motorcycle until the age of 73, and took many cross-country trips. He also enjoyed diving the Channel Islands in his younger days. He had diverse interests from camping and fishing to astronomical photography and sports. He was born again in 1979 and became a faithful follower of Jesus. He led his family and countless others to faith in Christ by being bold and keeping the faith. We are comforted knowing he is at peace with our Savior. Tom was a loving husband and an amazing father. He was preceded by this father Chuck, mother Edna, and his sister Marilyn Maroni. He is survived by his wife Lupe of Simi Valley, their two sons Michael and Edward and his wife Carri of Camarillo, and his eldest sister Evelyn Giacobbi in Cadiz, Ohio. He will be missed each day and his memory will live on.

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BREAKING: Two arrested for steel theft

BREAKING: Two arrested for steel theft

On March 17  the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office had received a call that some steel valued at $94,000 was stolen from behind the Minova Building in Bowerston, Ohio. On March 18 at approximately 2 a.m. while on patrol a unit noticed a vehicle pull in behind the Minova Company and turn the headlights off. Two individuals exited the white pickup truck, and were both arrested for Aggravated Trespassing. John Maurice Gudnason age 39, (left photo) LKA Wheeling W.Va., and Dustin Lasuer Staff, age 24, (right photo) LKA Martins Ferry, Ohio were the two individuals arrested. John Maurice Gudnason was arrested for OVI. Through the course of the investigation it was found that they both had stolen the steel and sold it to scrap yards in Martin Ferry and Wheeling.

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Richard H. Mikesell

Richard H. Mikesell

Richard H. Mikesell, 93 of Cadiz, died Monday, March 16, at his home. He was born March 14, 1922 in Jewett, Ohio a son of the late Lawrence S. and Martha Wells Mikesell, Sr. He was a member of Scott United Methodist Church in Cadiz and was the retired Postmaster of the Cadiz office. He was past master of Harrison Lodge, #219 F.&A.M., a member of the Scottish Rite, Valley of Steubenville; Harrison Chapter, Royal Arch Masons; and Unionport Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star. He was the master of ceremonies of Coal Festival Parades and Stages; was the 1980 Cadiz Lions’ Club Citizen of the Year; and was involved with the Barbershop Chorus, Barb’s Boys, the Scott Methodist Church Choir.  He served as Chairman of the Cadiz High School Alumni Reunion Committee and the Scott Church Building Committee.  He attended The Ohio State University, was a WW II Veteran of the Air Force, and a 69-year-member of the American Legion. In addition to his parents, he was preceded by his first wife, Dorothy Jean Harmon Mikesell and a brother, Lawrence S. “Junie” Mikesell, Jr. He is survived by his wife, Leanna K. Parkinson Mikesell; two daughters: Jean (William) Wasko of Boca Raton, Fla., and Janet (Terrance) Davis of Wheaton, Ill.; three grandchildren; two great grandchildren; two step-children: Aaron Nelms and Susan Weatherbee; and five step-grandchildren. Calling hours will be held Thursday from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. at Scott United Methodist Church, 817 E. Market St., Cadiz where funeral services will be held Friday at 11 a.m. with Rev. Richard Hasley officiating. Burial will follow at Cadiz Union Cemetery. Masonic services will be held Thursday at 6 p.m. at the church. Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of the donor’s choice. The memorial guestbook may be signed at www.clark-kirkland.com.

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Edward Bell

Edward Bell

Edward L. “Ed” Bell, 88, of Wintersville died Friday, March 13, at Trinity West, Steubenville. He was born in Piney Fork, Ohio on July 28, 1926 the son of the late Louis R. and Lelah Sickle Bell.  He was preceded in death by his first wife, Dorothy Kistner Bell; two sons, James Bell and Victor Cingolani and a brother George Bell. Ed graduated from the class of 1944 from Smithfield High School and went on to enlist in the United States Air Force during WWII on December 26, 1944 and served as Flight Traffic Clerk with the 1504th AAF. He received the American Theater Ribbon, Asiatic Pacific Theater Ribbon, Victory Medal and Good Conduct Medal overseas service bar and was discharged on October 1, 1946. Ed went on to graduate from The Ohio State University and Penn State University where he received his master’s degree in education.  He was a retired educator from Franklin County School District where he taught science and math in Bexley, Ohio. Ed loved to travel in his ford pickup and 5th wheel travel trailer where he had the opportunity to teach outdoor education. He is survived by his wife of 26 years, Lena Corona Cingolani Bell; his children, Edward (Charlotte) Bell of Ashtabula, Ohio, Samuel (Laura) Bell of Hawthorne, Fla., Kathryn (Gene) Branham of Philo, Ohio, and Sandra S. (Ken) Reed of Richmond; 10 grandchildren; 19 great grandchildren and a great-great grandson; and sister, Opal Curl of Canton, Ohio. Friends may call at the Dunlope-Shorac Funeral Home, 215 Fernwood Road, Wintersville on Monday from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m., where funeral services will be held on Tuesday at 12:30 p.m.  Pastor Gene Branham officiating. Burial will be at Patterson Cemetery, Deersville, Ohio.  Full military honors will be held at the funeral home by Ohio Valley Veterans Memorial Squad. Memorial contributions may be directed to Friends of Smithfield, Ohio. Offer condolences to www.shorac.com

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Dowdel sentenced: 30 to life

Dowdel sentenced: 30 to life

By JD LONG CADIZ – This afternoon saw the end of a senseless crime come to an end as Matthew Dowdel, convicted earlier this morning of murdering Joseph Strother last year, received six sentences to run consecutively, which amounted to at least 30 years and up to life in prison. Four sentences were handed down after four charges were merged into two for sentencing purposes. Harrison County Common Pleas Court Judge, T. Shawn Hervey gave Dowdel only one slight break for leniency, the crime of grand theft of a motor vehicle (count four), which is a sentence of one year was imposed, where he stated that this crime was the least reprehensible of all that was committed. Count six, murder (merged with felonious assault), for which Dowdel was convicted carried a mandatory sentence of 15 years to life in prison leaving Hervey with no room to consider. But the other charges were all maximum sentences: Tampering with evidence and grand theft of a motor vehicle (count three), which was considered a lessor offense than aggravated robbery (count two) were  also merged. Dowdel began sobbing as he sat down and watched the last of his family members seat themselves in the gallery. It was the first emotion shown of any kind by Dowdel, which the lack of emotion was not missed by three Strother family members who read their statements shortly before Hervey commenced sentencing. Hervey admonished Dowdel for committing such an heinous crime within his own community and spoke of what a giving person Strother was and would have given Dowdel what he asked for instead of feeling the need to kill him and wrecking two families. More details forthcoming in the newspaper edition of the News-Herald, which will run Saturday, March 21, and will include interviews with Tami Strother, Defense Attorney, Aaron Miller and Harrison County Prosecutor, Owen Beetham, as well as two jurors who spoke briefly after the verdict was delivered.

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