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County Deputy Auditor Pleads Guilty To Theft

County Deputy Auditor Pleads Guilty To Theft

CADIZ –  After a two-year investigation into missing money from the Harrison County Auditor’s Office, Deputy Auditor Judy Heath pleaded guilty Wednesday to Theft of Office. County Auditor Patrick Moore called the situation “devastating” after the court appearance stating that he was informed of the problem and who was suspected back in March of this year. Heath has been on paid leave since that time but Moore stated that since her plea of guilty Wednesday, that that would officially end her employment in the auditor’s office. Sentencing was delayed until a later date due to certain conflicts, Judge, Linton D. Lewis Jr. stated, which was later set for Oct. 25th at 2 p.m. Special Prosecutor for the State Auditor Stephanie Anderson would not comment on the case until after sentencing but she and state investigator for the state’s auditor’s office Barbara Cannon said that the investigation has been ongoing since September of 2014. Anderson did add that for a felony of the fifth degree there is no presumption of jail time unless it involves public office “then that goes away.” For Heath, it was a possibility. The state’s recommendation, which was worked out with Heath’s attorney, Gerald Latanich, was for community control sanctions but no jail time. According to Anderson, Heath stole over $7,000 with the total she owes in restitution reaching over $9,000 after the state auditor’s investigation. Full details to come in our Oct. 1 print edition of the News-Herald.

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Second Annual Fall Smoke Out Cancer Benefit Pull

Second Annual Fall Smoke Out Cancer Benefit Pull

The second annual Fall Smoke Out tractor pull will be held Saturday, Oct. 1 at 3 p.m. at the Harrison County Fairgrounds in Cadiz. This year, the pull is to benefit the fight against childhood cancer. There will be a concession stand provided by the Harrison County Farm Bureau. This year’s categories are:   6200# V8 tractors (COTPA and USA East rules apply) 7700# Classic Super Stock Tractors (USA rules) 10,000# Open Tractor (20” hitch) 6200# Super Stock Trucks (PPL rules) 8000# Open Truck (26” hitch) 8000# Limited Pro Diesel Truck (PPL/OSTPA rules) 6500# Open Street 4×4 trucks (DOT tires, 26” hitch, hanging weight allowed) 12,500# Farm Stock Tractor (20” hitch, NO cut tires) Must have 2 of the following: 3 point hitch, working PTO, working remote hydraulics Proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society and the local Pulling for a Cure fund.   For more information call Jon Jones (740) 391-1246 (tractors) or Jeff Burton (740) 491-7596 (trucks)

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Board Of Elections Preparing For November

Board Of Elections Preparing For November

The Public Logic and Accuracy testing of (1) ICP voting machine for the November 8, 2016 General Election will take place on Wednesday, September 28, 2016 at 11:00 A.M. in the Board of Elections Office at 538 N. Main St., Cadiz, Ohio Also, a General Election will be held on Tuesday, November 8, 2016 in all Harrison County precincts. The polling places will open at 6:30 A.M. and will close at 7:30 P.M. Archer Township- Archer Twp. Bldg., 84624 Cadiz-Jewett Rd., Cadiz 43907(HH) Athens Twp/Vil – New Athens Fire House, W. Wheeling St., New Athens43981 (HH) Cadiz Twp/Vil NE Scott Methodist Church 187 E. Market St., Cadiz 43907 (HH) Cadiz Vil. SW- St. Teresa Activity Center, 143 E. South St., Cadiz 34907 (HH) Franklin Twp/Vil- Deersville Fire Station 107 E. Main St. Deersville 44693 (HH) (CV) Freeport Twp/Vil-Freeport Firehouse, 119 East Main St. Freeport 43973 (HH) German Twp. – German Twp Hall, 87888 Amsterdam Rd., Jewett 43986 (HH) (EL) Green Twp/Vil-Hopedale Fire Station, 1 Firehouse Lane, Hopedale 43976 (HH) (BL) Monroe Twp/Vil – Bowerston Fire Station 211 Main St. Bowerston 44695 (CV) Moorefield Township-Fireman’s Community Center, 33030 W. Main St., Piedmont 43983 (HH) (UL) North Twp/Vil – Spiker Fire Station 300 Main St., Scio 43988 (HH) (CV) Nottingham Twp – Nottingham Twp Bldg. 38465 Brushy Fork Rd., Cadiz 43907 (HH) Rumley Twp/Vil- Jewett- Firehouse 208 W. Main St. Jewett 43986 (HH) Shortcreek Twp/Vil – Harrisville Firehouse Rt. 250 Cadiz Harrisville Rd. Harrisville 43974 (HH) (BL) Stock Twp Stock Township Building 83955 Addy Rd. Cadiz 43907 (HH) Washington Twp – Tippecanoe Firehouse 81125 Gardner Rd. Tippecanoe 44699 (HH) Marjorie Findling, Chair Cindy Bear, Director    

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Cadiz lands 1000 MW gas-fired power plant UPDATED

Cadiz lands 1000 MW gas-fired power plant UPDATED

The Harrison County Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) announced that they have been working on behalf of Harrison County citizens, and in cooperation with the Village of Cadiz Administration to bring EmberClear Corporation of Houston, Texas, to Harrison County to construct a 1000 MW natural gas-fired electric power generation facility. The facility will be built on approximately 60 acres in the Harrison County Industrial Park. The CIC and EmberClear say they are committed to working closely together on all matters relating to the obtaining of federal, state and local regulatory permits along with local infrastructure and other matters necessary for the construction and operation of the plant. According to a press release put out by the CIC, the abundant natural gas production facilities in close proximity to the project site make this facility uniquely positioned to produce low-cost power. There are several natural gas pipelines operated by Dominion East, Spectra, Energy Transfer and Columbia within a few miles of the project site. In addition, several fractionation and gas distillation facilities within Harrison County have plans to expand production. The Harrison project is entertaining multiple proposals to source natural gas from the producers in the area. Nick Homrighausen, CIC Executive Director of Community & Economic Development said, “We have been working with EmberClear to move this project forward. We were in competition with other counties for this project and through the collaborative efforts of my office and the county commissioners we were able to land this viable project in Harrison County.” Homrighausen also said that this proves Harrison County’s ability to compete for large investments and win. He went on to stress that there is a long road ahead for the completion of this project and with the teamwork of the commissioner’s office, CIC and the Village of Cadiz, but he believes that this project will be seen through to completion and bring high paying jobs and long term investment to the county. EmberClear CEO Raj Suri said “The proposed generating facility will provide enough electricity to power 1 million homes and bring capital investment of over $900 million to Harrison County.” “I think it’ll be good for the area, the school systems, and good for jobs. It’s a huge windfall for the county,” said Cadiz Mayor, Ken Zitko. CIC President Dale Arbaugh said “The plant will bring 500 construction jobs for three years and about 30 skilled permanent jobs to Harrison County. In addition, the plant will utilize local natural gas and support significant job growth in the region.” The News-Herald reached out to MarkWest for comment. David Fitch, SVP Northeast Region, MarkWest Energy Partners, said, “MarkWest continues to actively support regional projects that help create in-basin outlets for our producer customers, and we look forward to working with all parties in the coming months to help bring further development to this exciting growth opportunity.” *Updated to include comments from MarkWest officials.  

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Obituaries

Brian Wayne Vernon

Brian Wayne Vernon

Brian Wayne Vernon, 64, of Cadiz, Ohio died Sept. 22, 2016 at Trinity East Hospital in Steubenville, Ohio after succumbing to a long period of illness. He was born to Neila (June) and Charles Vernon on Aug. 6, 1952 at Sumby Hospital in River Rouge, Michigan. Brian attended Adena grade school and Adena High School graduating in the class of 1970 majoring in college preparatory classes. He was active in sports playing football and baseball. Brain was currently retired and residing in Cadiz, Ohio. Upon graduating from Adena High he went to Detroit, Michigan and began a career working at Great Lakes Steel becoming an electrician while taking classes at Wayne County Community College. He married Ruby Tolson and had two daughters, Kyra and Daphane. After a breakup in his marriage with Ruby he moved around working various jobs. Along the way having a son, Divell Wilson with Tina Wilson of Cadiz, Ohio. He then settled in Battle Creek, Michigan where he worked for the water department and attended Battle Creek Community College attaining a certificate in Water Treatment Facility Operations and ran the water treatment plant for the City of Battle Creek. He married Patricia (Pat) Evans and had a son, James Mecos Vernon. Brian later divorced Pat and moved back to Ohio where he resided in Cadiz and married Lorna White helping to raise her two children, Ian and Alanna. Brian then took up plastering as a profession which he learned from his father Charles. He was a plasterer working many years until he retired. Brian is preceded in his passing by his parents, Neila and Charles Vernon, brother Rodney Vernon and former wife Patricia (Pat) Evans Vernon. He is survived by his daughters: Kyra Vernon-Walgos and Daphne Vernon both of Raleigh, NC; sons: Divell Wilson of Texas and Mecos Vernon of Battle Creek, Michigan; step children, Ian White of Cadiz and Alanna White of Akron, Ohio. His former wives: Ruby Tolson Vernon of Windsor, Ontario and Lorna White Vernon of Cadiz, Ohio. His brother, Charles and Annie Vernon of Macomb, Michigan; sisters: Judy Hocker of Fairmont, W.Va.; Trudy Vernon of Wheeling, W.Va.; Neila and Mike Bond of Browndeer, Wis.; and Ashley Vernon of Canton, Ohio. Eight grandchildren: Samantha, Cameron, William, Mecos Jalen, Lanyiah, Jaiden, Ethan and Aneesa; and a host of aunts, nieces, nephews cousins and friends. Memorial service will be held Tuesday, Sept. 27, at 2 p.m. with Rev. Erica Harley officiating. Arrangements by Clark-Kirkland Funeral Home, Cadiz, Ohio.

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Area News

County Deputy Auditor Pleads Guilty To Theft

County Deputy Auditor Pleads Guilty To Theft

CADIZ –  After a two-year investigation into missing money from the Harrison County Auditor’s Office, Deputy Auditor Judy Heath pleaded guilty Wednesday to Theft of Office. County Auditor Patrick Moore called the situation “devastating” after the court appearance stating that he was informed of the problem and who was suspected back in March of this year. Heath has been on paid leave since that time but Moore stated that since her plea of guilty Wednesday, that that would officially end her employment in the auditor’s office. Sentencing was delayed until a later date due to certain conflicts, Judge, Linton D. Lewis Jr. stated, which was later set for Oct. 25th at 2 p.m. Special Prosecutor for the State Auditor Stephanie Anderson would not comment on the case until after sentencing but she and state investigator for the state’s auditor’s office Barbara Cannon said that the investigation has been ongoing since September of 2014. Anderson did add that for a felony of the fifth degree there is no presumption of jail time unless it involves public office “then that goes away.” For Heath, it was a possibility. The state’s recommendation, which was worked out with Heath’s attorney, Gerald Latanich, was for community control sanctions but no jail time. According to Anderson, Heath stole over $7,000 with the total she owes in restitution reaching over $9,000 after the state auditor’s investigation. Full details to come in our Oct. 1 print edition of the News-Herald.

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Events

Spaghetti dinner at Adena Community Center

Spaghetti dinner at Adena Community Center

Adena Heritage Days Ladies are hosting a spaghetti dinner on Sunday, Sept.18 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Adena Community Center. Cost is $8 for adults and $5 for kids which includes spaghetti, salad, bread and dessert. Drinks are available for $1 extra.

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Recent Stories

 
County Deputy Auditor Pleads Guilty To Theft

County Deputy Auditor Pleads Guilty To Theft

CADIZ –  After a two-year investigation into missing money from the Harrison County Auditor’s Office, Deputy Auditor Judy Heath pleaded guilty Wednesday to Theft of Office. County Auditor Patrick Moore called the situation “devastating” after the court appearance stating that he was informed of the problem and who was suspected back in March of this year. Heath has been on paid leave since that time but Moore stated that since her plea of guilty Wednesday, that that would officially end her employment in the auditor’s office. Sentencing was delayed until a later date due to certain conflicts, Judge, Linton D. Lewis Jr. stated, which was later set for Oct. 25th at 2 p.m. Special Prosecutor for the State Auditor Stephanie Anderson would not comment on the case until after sentencing but she and state investigator for the state’s auditor’s office Barbara Cannon said that the investigation has been ongoing since September of 2014. Anderson did add that for a felony of the fifth degree there is no presumption of jail time unless it involves public office “then that goes away.” For Heath, it was a possibility. The state’s recommendation, which was worked out with Heath’s attorney, Gerald Latanich, was for community control sanctions but no jail time. According to Anderson, Heath stole over $7,000 with the total she owes in restitution reaching over $9,000 after the state auditor’s investigation. Full details to come in our Oct. 1 print edition of the News-Herald.

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Brian Wayne Vernon

Brian Wayne Vernon

Brian Wayne Vernon, 64, of Cadiz, Ohio died Sept. 22, 2016 at Trinity East Hospital in Steubenville, Ohio after succumbing to a long period of illness. He was born to Neila (June) and Charles Vernon on Aug. 6, 1952 at Sumby Hospital in River Rouge, Michigan. Brian attended Adena grade school and Adena High School graduating in the class of 1970 majoring in college preparatory classes. He was active in sports playing football and baseball. Brain was currently retired and residing in Cadiz, Ohio. Upon graduating from Adena High he went to Detroit, Michigan and began a career working at Great Lakes Steel becoming an electrician while taking classes at Wayne County Community College. He married Ruby Tolson and had two daughters, Kyra and Daphane. After a breakup in his marriage with Ruby he moved around working various jobs. Along the way having a son, Divell Wilson with Tina Wilson of Cadiz, Ohio. He then settled in Battle Creek, Michigan where he worked for the water department and attended Battle Creek Community College attaining a certificate in Water Treatment Facility Operations and ran the water treatment plant for the City of Battle Creek. He married Patricia (Pat) Evans and had a son, James Mecos Vernon. Brian later divorced Pat and moved back to Ohio where he resided in Cadiz and married Lorna White helping to raise her two children, Ian and Alanna. Brian then took up plastering as a profession which he learned from his father Charles. He was a plasterer working many years until he retired. Brian is preceded in his passing by his parents, Neila and Charles Vernon, brother Rodney Vernon and former wife Patricia (Pat) Evans Vernon. He is survived by his daughters: Kyra Vernon-Walgos and Daphne Vernon both of Raleigh, NC; sons: Divell Wilson of Texas and Mecos Vernon of Battle Creek, Michigan; step children, Ian White of Cadiz and Alanna White of Akron, Ohio. His former wives: Ruby Tolson Vernon of Windsor, Ontario and Lorna White Vernon of Cadiz, Ohio. His brother, Charles and Annie Vernon of Macomb, Michigan; sisters: Judy Hocker of Fairmont, W.Va.; Trudy Vernon of Wheeling, W.Va.; Neila and Mike Bond of Browndeer, Wis.; and Ashley Vernon of Canton, Ohio. Eight grandchildren: Samantha, Cameron, William, Mecos Jalen, Lanyiah, Jaiden, Ethan and Aneesa; and a host of aunts, nieces, nephews cousins and friends. Memorial service will be held Tuesday, Sept. 27, at 2 p.m. with Rev. Erica Harley officiating. Arrangements by Clark-Kirkland Funeral Home, Cadiz, Ohio.

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Chamber of Commerce announces Best of Harrison County Awards
Second Annual Fall Smoke Out Cancer Benefit Pull

Second Annual Fall Smoke Out Cancer Benefit Pull

The second annual Fall Smoke Out tractor pull will be held Saturday, Oct. 1 at 3 p.m. at the Harrison County Fairgrounds in Cadiz. This year, the pull is to benefit the fight against childhood cancer. There will be a concession stand provided by the Harrison County Farm Bureau. This year’s categories are:   6200# V8 tractors (COTPA and USA East rules apply) 7700# Classic Super Stock Tractors (USA rules) 10,000# Open Tractor (20” hitch) 6200# Super Stock Trucks (PPL rules) 8000# Open Truck (26” hitch) 8000# Limited Pro Diesel Truck (PPL/OSTPA rules) 6500# Open Street 4×4 trucks (DOT tires, 26” hitch, hanging weight allowed) 12,500# Farm Stock Tractor (20” hitch, NO cut tires) Must have 2 of the following: 3 point hitch, working PTO, working remote hydraulics Proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society and the local Pulling for a Cure fund.   For more information call Jon Jones (740) 391-1246 (tractors) or Jeff Burton (740) 491-7596 (trucks)

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Board Of Elections Preparing For November

Board Of Elections Preparing For November

The Public Logic and Accuracy testing of (1) ICP voting machine for the November 8, 2016 General Election will take place on Wednesday, September 28, 2016 at 11:00 A.M. in the Board of Elections Office at 538 N. Main St., Cadiz, Ohio Also, a General Election will be held on Tuesday, November 8, 2016 in all Harrison County precincts. The polling places will open at 6:30 A.M. and will close at 7:30 P.M. Archer Township- Archer Twp. Bldg., 84624 Cadiz-Jewett Rd., Cadiz 43907(HH) Athens Twp/Vil – New Athens Fire House, W. Wheeling St., New Athens43981 (HH) Cadiz Twp/Vil NE Scott Methodist Church 187 E. Market St., Cadiz 43907 (HH) Cadiz Vil. SW- St. Teresa Activity Center, 143 E. South St., Cadiz 34907 (HH) Franklin Twp/Vil- Deersville Fire Station 107 E. Main St. Deersville 44693 (HH) (CV) Freeport Twp/Vil-Freeport Firehouse, 119 East Main St. Freeport 43973 (HH) German Twp. – German Twp Hall, 87888 Amsterdam Rd., Jewett 43986 (HH) (EL) Green Twp/Vil-Hopedale Fire Station, 1 Firehouse Lane, Hopedale 43976 (HH) (BL) Monroe Twp/Vil – Bowerston Fire Station 211 Main St. Bowerston 44695 (CV) Moorefield Township-Fireman’s Community Center, 33030 W. Main St., Piedmont 43983 (HH) (UL) North Twp/Vil – Spiker Fire Station 300 Main St., Scio 43988 (HH) (CV) Nottingham Twp – Nottingham Twp Bldg. 38465 Brushy Fork Rd., Cadiz 43907 (HH) Rumley Twp/Vil- Jewett- Firehouse 208 W. Main St. Jewett 43986 (HH) Shortcreek Twp/Vil – Harrisville Firehouse Rt. 250 Cadiz Harrisville Rd. Harrisville 43974 (HH) (BL) Stock Twp Stock Township Building 83955 Addy Rd. Cadiz 43907 (HH) Washington Twp – Tippecanoe Firehouse 81125 Gardner Rd. Tippecanoe 44699 (HH) Marjorie Findling, Chair Cindy Bear, Director    

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Nichole Elisha Ossman

Nichole Elisha Ossman

Nichole Elisha Ossman, 23, of Cadiz died Thursday, September 22, 2016 in Cadiz, Ohio. She was born March 4, 1993 in Charlotte, NC a daughter of Gregory Scott Ossman and the late Katherine Sujka. She was a member of the Harrison Hills United Pentecostal Church near Jewett; was a four year letter winner in cross country and track; was a 2012 graduate of Warren Howland High School and was a member of 10th Planet Jiujitsu. She was preceded in death in addition to her mother, by her grandparents: William and Frances Ossman and Thaddeus and Jo Anne Sujka (nee Hennen). She is survived in addition to her father of Cadiz; by a sister, Elizabeth Ossman-Hanay of Scio; a brother, Michael Sujka-Ossman of Gahanna, Ohio; Nephews: Tyler, Michael Jr., Jaxxon and Layton; Nieces: Melody and Jillian; aunt, Debra Jo Sujka of Toronto, Ontario; several other aunts, uncles and cousins. Calling hours will be held Wednesday, Sept. 28 from 1 p.m. until time of funeral service at 6 p.m. at the Harrison Hills United Pentecostal Church, 87800 Cadiz-Jewett Road, Jewett with Rev. Phillip Spellman officiating. Burial will take place at the convenience of the family. Arrangements by Clark-Kirkland Funeral Home, Cadiz, Ohio. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to help the family to: Scott Ossman, c/o Amy Ossman, 155 Indian Trail, Cadiz, Ohio 43907. The memorial guestbook may be signed at www.clark-kirkland.com.

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Honnie Louise Smith

Honnie Louise Smith

Honnie Louise Smith of New Athens, went to her rest in eternity on Friday, September 23, 2016 at OVMC in Wheeling, WV. She was born December 13, 1931 in Harrisville, Ohio a daughter of the late Carl and Margaret Easthom Johnson. Honnie was a lifetime member of the New Athens United Methodist Church and Ladies VFD Auxiliary and enjoyed traveling with Gene and the Air Streamers. Her family was precious to her, a loving wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother. She was preceded in death in addition to her parents; by her husband of 67 years, Eugene “Gene” Smith on March 14, 2016 and her brothers: Melvin, Raymond, Kenneth, Carl Jr. and Jim Johnson. She is survived by a daughter: Jeanie (Jim) Stanco of Kidron; three sons: Mike (Colleen) Smith of Navarre, Ed (Patti) Smith of LaGrange, KY and Sam (LeeAnn) Smith of New Athens; grandchildren: Michael (Meghan), Stacy (Patrick), Scott, Matt, Chad (Mary Beth), Nikki (Kyle), Craig and Kurt (Breanna); 11 great grandchildren; two sisters: Libby Deaton of New Athens and Shirley Kull of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio and several nieces and nephews. Calling hours will be held Monday September 26 from 1-3 and 6-8 at Clark-Kirkland Funeral Home, where funeral service will be held Tuesday at 11 a.m. with Pastor Jon Little and Pastor William Burris officiating. Burial will follow at Longview Cemetery, New Athens, Ohio. Memorial Contributions may be made to the New Athens, UMC, c/o Anna Belle Watson, P.O. Box 67, New Athens, Ohio 43981 or New Athens VFD, c/o Tom Saffell, P.O. Box 65, New Athens, Ohio, 43981. The memorial guestbook may be signed at www.clark-kirkland.com

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Cadiz lands 1000 MW gas-fired power plant UPDATED

Cadiz lands 1000 MW gas-fired power plant UPDATED

The Harrison County Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) announced that they have been working on behalf of Harrison County citizens, and in cooperation with the Village of Cadiz Administration to bring EmberClear Corporation of Houston, Texas, to Harrison County to construct a 1000 MW natural gas-fired electric power generation facility. The facility will be built on approximately 60 acres in the Harrison County Industrial Park. The CIC and EmberClear say they are committed to working closely together on all matters relating to the obtaining of federal, state and local regulatory permits along with local infrastructure and other matters necessary for the construction and operation of the plant. According to a press release put out by the CIC, the abundant natural gas production facilities in close proximity to the project site make this facility uniquely positioned to produce low-cost power. There are several natural gas pipelines operated by Dominion East, Spectra, Energy Transfer and Columbia within a few miles of the project site. In addition, several fractionation and gas distillation facilities within Harrison County have plans to expand production. The Harrison project is entertaining multiple proposals to source natural gas from the producers in the area. Nick Homrighausen, CIC Executive Director of Community & Economic Development said, “We have been working with EmberClear to move this project forward. We were in competition with other counties for this project and through the collaborative efforts of my office and the county commissioners we were able to land this viable project in Harrison County.” Homrighausen also said that this proves Harrison County’s ability to compete for large investments and win. He went on to stress that there is a long road ahead for the completion of this project and with the teamwork of the commissioner’s office, CIC and the Village of Cadiz, but he believes that this project will be seen through to completion and bring high paying jobs and long term investment to the county. EmberClear CEO Raj Suri said “The proposed generating facility will provide enough electricity to power 1 million homes and bring capital investment of over $900 million to Harrison County.” “I think it’ll be good for the area, the school systems, and good for jobs. It’s a huge windfall for the county,” said Cadiz Mayor, Ken Zitko. CIC President Dale Arbaugh said “The plant will bring 500 construction jobs for three years and about 30 skilled permanent jobs to Harrison County. In addition, the plant will utilize local natural gas and support significant job growth in the region.” The News-Herald reached out to MarkWest for comment. David Fitch, SVP Northeast Region, MarkWest Energy Partners, said, “MarkWest continues to actively support regional projects that help create in-basin outlets for our producer customers, and we look forward to working with all parties in the coming months to help bring further development to this exciting growth opportunity.” *Updated to include comments from MarkWest officials.  

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Journeys To Hell And Back (pt-3)

Journeys To Hell And Back (pt-3)

Journeys To Hell And Back (pt-3) By JD LONG jim@harrisonnewsherald.com Read Part 1 HERE Read Part 2 HERE This is the third and final installment of a three-part investigation into the drug epidemic intoxicating the Ohio Valley, where this final part delves into the education system. HARRISON COUNTY – A story that began with the ambition of searching the education system for the current status of their drug education levels could easily have been turned into how a puzzling lack of communication flowing from school districts could be dangerously misinterpreted. Out of nearly one dozen school districts around Ohio and several in West Virginia, only three calls were returned. Call it a lack of interest or a subject that still can’t be faced, there’s no way of knowing but one fact is for certain: Not nearly enough is being done where drug education is concerned if one confronts the ones who actually tackle the problems and hear their stories. It’s there, but it’s buried in health books disguised like an ingredient in a cookbook for healthy living. The subject of drugs and what they do to the body; addiction and what it does to a human life is treated as part of something else-not to stand alone as the drug itself does, which dominates the news where it’s also disguised as robberies, petty crimes and seemingly nonsensical behavior where the roots are hidden, sometimes not so subtly. In Ohio, the state sets standards that each board of education must use as guidelines for their schools, as most if not all states follow. Superintendent of Harrison Hills School District in Cadiz, Dana Snider spoke thoughtfully on the drug education issue, touching on the D.A.R.E. program and the various speakers the area schools host throughout a school year. Then there is the Safe Schools Healthy Students’ grant that pays for preventionists who are trained counselors where they visit schools and educate students on the types of good choices they need to look at in life. “Health class is where drug education comes in, which is mixed in with other life choices (not just drug education.),” Snider said. “It’s a part of a bigger picture in lifestyle,” such as taking care of the body, food groups and smoking dangers. But is it enough? Snider wonders too. “I wonder if anybody is doing anything to curb drug use?” She asked apparently thinking beyond the norm of acceptance. “We’re doing superficial things,” she admits adding that they give the kids the knowledge and they take it where they eventually have to make their own choices in life. Snider said she would like the subject of drugs touched on “intermittently” and asked honestly whether there is enough material for a textbook that deals solely with drug education on at least a weekly basis, when asked. Snider admits that the “one-shot” deal doesn’t work and that more exposure to the dangers of drugs and abuse are needed. An educator in a central New Jersey school district basically repeated the same system found in Snider’s district regarding health class and a textbook where drugs are touched on only partially sprinkled in with speakers, such as the ones from D.A.R.E. for example. And Ohio and the Valley are not alone. He described the drug problem in Monmouth and Ocean Counties as “rampant.” Heroin is big and cheap he said. “It’s not good around here.” He also agreed that not enough is being done in school systems in general. Drug education, he said, is emphasized in freshman, junior and senior years (sophomores are given driver’s ed), which is included in their health curriculum. Professional development with speakers, forum talks, which include police officers, detectives and members of the prosecutor’s office all pitch in to talk to youngsters. “In our curriculum itself we go to professional developments…we have speakers come in or else we’ll go to a professional development where we’ll listen to a forum talking about the drug situation,” he said. “We try to tell them all about the bad and negative stuff about drugs which we’re kind of preaching almost every day in our health classroom.” He also knows of no textbooks in any of the area schools that deal only with drug education. He said just a couple chapters in their Glencoe health textbooks touch on drug education. “It’s more vague than it should be. [It] kind of touches on what type of drug it is, the definition of it…” the educator said, who like many wished not to be quoted by name. “But as a teacher most of us that teach health we kind of take it to the next step and we talk about the cons of taking or smoking marijuana, taking cocaine or heroin and we kind of go through all that.” He said they also show videos to supplement what is in the health books. “We’re trying to get the point across but from a curriculum standpoint it’s in there but our books I wouldn’t say are dealing with it the way it should be,” he said and added that he also feels there may be enough for a drug education text book but it would have to be approved by the New Jersey Department of Education. “I think that’s what is holding it up. “It’s going to have to happen because the drug epidemic is totally out of control now,” he continued the local newspaper is armed with articles concerning drug busts or an overdose case. He said he brings those articles into the classroom for discussion. Another educator in a Chicago suburb school district spoke of the same curriculum concerning the extent of drug education: Health class. He said only about one-quarter of the year is drug education dealt with in his middle school. A spokesperson for the Columbus City School District, though, painted a rosier picture for their drug education calling it “substantial.” They also begin with health education classes that he said start early on in the elementary system where they deal with the “practical rules for taking medicines.” As students their high school drug education becomes more specific with a whole unit within a semester on preventing drug abuse, according to the spokesperson. “What are some of those resistant skills to help them have that firm voice what they think they need to know to help others to even say “no” to abusing drugs,” he explained. “While we are not seeing that (drugs) directly in our schools, we know that many of our students they may be impacted by somebody that’s in their neighborhood, maybe a relative…” he said referring to opioid abuse. His statement is backed up by Lt. Larry Yates of the Columbus Division of Police narcotics unit regarding a lack of any open drug problem in the schools there. The most promising attack on the drug issue may have started in the little known district of Talawanda, Ohio. There, Health and Wellness Coordinator, Amy Macechko has worked tirelessly for the past 10 years. In her 13th year, Director of Communications, Holli Morrish proudly notes not only the health and wellness programs but their outreach programs that stretch far into the community. A coalition that is based at Miami University works closely with their program where Morrish called it, “Amy’s baby” where it has morphed into other wellness programs, and where Macechko explained that all grade levels address drug education. “We address drug prevention across all grade levels but in a very developmentally appropriate way,” she said adding that a “district adapted health curriculum” also addresses the drug issue. “We know that the research that is behind those (40 Developmental Assets) is that the more assets or the skills valued traits and relationships that young people have and support, the more likely they are to stay away from the risk-taking behavior…” Macechko explained while referring to either abusing or even just experimenting with drugs. She said they look, with the help of the coalition, to work to build assets in young people. “I would say that is the foundation of what we are trying to do,” Macechko said. Morrish spoke of a frightening practice many adults may not have heard of. It’s called “bowling.” “…If your kid says, ‘hey, I’m going bowling,’ you may want to ask a few more questions.” What Morrish was talking about is not rolling a ball down a hard wood floor but a group of kids attending a party where they toss a variety of pills into a bowl “and when it’s your turn you take something out of the bowl” without knowing what it is. Macechko called it “Russian Roulette” where Morrish emphasized how important it is for parents to know what their children know to better sharpen their radar. Regarding the textbook issue, Morrish took a different approach where she felt it was the wrong way to go. “I don’t think a textbook is really the way to approach that,” she said bluntly. “I don’t think that engages young people this day and age.” Morrish noted the age of technology where she feels textbooks, at least on this subject are an “outdated teaching tool in some regards.” She believes that their way, of multiple strategies is the way to approach the subject noting how different each person is and how they approach things. “I think that having all of these multiple programs, multiple strategies,” Morrish said, “I feel like there’s something, there’s a nugget, there’s a message that is going to get to every kid in this school because we’re not doing it just one way.”

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Spaghetti dinner at Adena Community Center

Spaghetti dinner at Adena Community Center

Adena Heritage Days Ladies are hosting a spaghetti dinner on Sunday, Sept.18 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Adena Community Center. Cost is $8 for adults and $5 for kids which includes spaghetti, salad, bread and dessert. Drinks are available for $1 extra.

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