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Erma Howard

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Erma Jean Howard, 74, of Jewett, formerly of Canton, Ohio, was called home to be with the Lord on Sept. 3, 2021. She was born on Feb. 8, 1947, a daughter of the late Estella V. and John R. Howard and Charles Poland.

She was a loving mother, aunt, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Her boys, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren were the loves of her life. She enjoyed spending time with family, traveling, and shopping at Goodwill.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her late husband Bruce Howard Sr.; son, Johnny Wise; and brother, Lester Poland.

She is survived by her children Michael (Debbie) Howard of Waco and Jeffrey (Amanda) Howard of Hopedale; grandchildren Ashely (Jesse) Gayheart, Roger (Amanda) Howard, Kaylee Howard, Anthony (Bailey) Harris, Derek Rogehlia, Keely Wise, Angel Wise, and Johnna Wise; 10 great-grandchildren, whom she dearly loved; her significant other, Daniel Boyer, and numerous other family members and friends.

Friends and family may call on Tuesday, Sept. 7, from 5-8 p.m. at Clark-Kirkland-Barr Funeral Home, Cadiz, Ohio. Graveside service will be held on Tuesday at 2 p.m. at Evergreen Memorial Gardens in Canton, Ohio.

The memorial guestbook may be signed at www.clark-kirkland-barr.com.

COVID cases spike for 5th consecutive week

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Photo by NIAID

HARRISON COUNTY—Another week brings another rise in COVID cases. Harrison County health administrator Garen Rhome reported 34 new cases since last week — seven more than the 27 reported last week that accrued. Total cases in the county now tally 1,286, with active cases rising to 48; the presumed recovered is now at 1,214. 

Another tidbit Rhome offered was that out of 137 total cases, 14 were in the pediatric category (17 and under), but interestingly, what affected the older crowd is not the case now as only 24 of the 137 positives were of people 65 and older. Rhome said it’s because 75% of that demographic has been vaccinated. But Rhome and the health community do not feel that COVID is something society will have to live with, as it’s been suggested. With enough people getting vaccinated and taking proper precautions, the health community feels COVID will be eradicated.

What Rhome felt hurt that cause was Senate Bill 22, which passed earlier this summer, overriding Governor Mike DeWine’s ability to mandate mask-wearing and other restrictions. Rhome called the move an “incredibly serious blow to public health.” He added that the move by Ohio’s general assembly would impact the state’s public health for a very long time.

Rhome again emphasized the need for universal masking for grades K-12 but called it a “tough situation,” where the schools are attempting a balancing act between health administrators and angry parents who feel their rights are being taken away. But Rhome said the relationship with the Harrison Hills City School District has been good, and he thanked them for their support. He said mask-wearing will help keep kids in school and keep them healthy, as well. 

An astounding figure Rhome quoted mentioned that Harrison County now sits at 253 cases per 100,000, which is one-and-a-half times greater than the CDC’s benchmark for “high transmission.” Rhome also stated that 50 cases are considered substantial, making Harrison County five times more virulent. 

“Transmission in the community is so rapid. It’s really hitting people hard and faster, making them sicker,” Rhome explained. And certain areas of the country are beginning to push vaccinations harder as the U.S. Department of Defense has mandated all service members to receive vaccinations, according to Tricare Newsroom. 

Pennsylvania leads in death ratio numbers for the three area states with 2.1% (1.3 million cases vs. 28,235 deaths). Ohio follows with 1.7% (1.22 million cases and 20,866 deaths), and West Virginia is not far behind at 1.6% (190,000 cases and 3,084 deaths). For the U.S., 39.3 million cases have been recorded, with 640,000 deaths. In world figures, 218 million people have been infected, leading to 4.53 million deaths.

Tuesday’s court sees a light session 

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Photo by Anne Worner

CADIZ—For the first time in months, Harrison County Common Pleas saw light activity Tuesday as two cancellations and one no-show left just three adult cases to be heard. The first canceled case was the 32-year-old Andrew Hill of Uhrichsville, facing two aggravated burglary charges, both first-degree felonies. He is also facing an abduction charge, a third-degree felony, and a violation of a protection order, a first-degree misdemeanor. Two more misdemeanor charges include domestic violence and resisting arrest. His attorney, Anthony Koukoutas, was granted a continuance.

The other canceled case from Tuesday was for the 31-year-old Gage Gardner of Brilliant. Gardner is facing a charge for aggravated possession of drugs, a fifth-degree felony.

Eric Sanchez was first among the defendants who did appear, but he called in via video conference from the Jefferson County facility. Sanchez was charged with violating registration rules for his unlawful sexual conduct with a minor conviction several years ago. 

Sanchez, represented by public defender C. Adrian Pincola, pleaded guilty and accepted prosecutor Lauren Knight’s offer of one year in prison with credit for time served. Sanchez’s charge was a fourth-degree felony, and he received 53 days credit against his sentence. According to Pincola, his client had requested the offer be changed, but it was rejected.

Also, Rodney Gaydos was arraigned on a charge of possession of cocaine, a fifth-degree felony. He is facing a possible 12 months in jail, but Judge T. Shawn Hervey said there was a presumption for community-based control sanctions if convicted. Knight told the court Gaydos previously had six warrants for failure to appear. He is out on a $20,000 bond issued from county court.

Facing a domestic violence charge (F3), Jacob O’Hara was taken into custody after a $25,000 bond was set. Leander Brooks IV, the Tuesday no-show, is facing aggravated burglary (F1) and tampering with evidence (F3) charges.

EZ Does It: Cadiz’s veteran-owned, family-oriented handyman business 

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Harrison News-Herald Photo/SHAWN DIGITY. The Zeiglers: Eric, Mandy, Zane, and Zyla (and dog Dutchie, who had wandered off) are enjoying an August evening out at the farmhouse.

It’s all in the name: EZ Does It. It’s a local veteran-owned business that was founded in 2020. Yes, COVID was a factor in its founding, but it’s been something that owner and founder Eric Zeigler has “wanted to do for the better part of a decade.” 

According to Zeigler, EZ Does It is best described as a “maintenance solution business that specializes in handyperson projects.” And while his handyman operation typically deals on a smaller scale, he does both commercial and residential work. He doesn’t hire crews of construction workers or subcontractors — it’s mostly a one-man band. And that matters because Zeigler is experienced enough to complete any number of different projects on his own. “I’m well-versed in a lot of different things that are construction-related and repair-related.”

COVID was the stepping stone for EZ Does It; it left Zeigler unemployed and looking for work, so EZ Does It came out of necessity. The know-how was already there, though. He couldn’t reach through to Ohio in 2020 after getting laid off and couldn’t receive unemployment. So he felt like it was the best time to kickstart the business despite the challenge of turning a pandemic profit. But he found a flexible system that allowed him to get the work done quickly and stay vigilant to COVID: “A come-to-you business seems to really resonate with people that’s trying to social distance, as well. It’s worked out fairly well. It’s filled the void. Things are picking back up, and [I’ve] done a lot of projects and been able to keep the lights on and food on the table.”

“EZ” comes from Eric Zeigler’s initials, but the play on words also encapsulates what he wants the business to be: convenient — for everyone. And while the convenience is a huge advantage, keep this in mind: The handyman venture is more than just doing odd jobs; it’s a reflection of Zeigler’s life and a culmination of the knowledge he’s gathered.

For starters, he mentioned that his upbringing — what he calls a “blessed upbringing” — has helped contribute tremendously to the knowledge that he can and does showcase through EZ Does It. Growing up, Zeigler gained valuable hands-on experience with commercial and residential construction by helping his father, a master carpenter. And he continued that if he wasn’t working construction, he was probably “turning wrenches on a vehicle” with his grandfather, a master mechanic. 

That upbringing paid dividends long before EZ Does It, and it also helped Zeigler while serving in the Marines. He worked in telecommunications as a field radio operator with a battalion landing team. While honorable service to one’s country isn’t built into the EZ Does It name, it is very much built into the brand. And he’s proud to use his business as a way to pay it forward. Any veteran who identifies themselves is eligible for a discounted rate — and even police officers and firefighters are included. “I always give the best rates, period, but I’ll go out of my way to do a discount for a veteran.” 

Zeigler won’t blindly accept every job thrown his way. It has to be an ideal marriage of schedule flexibility and skill versatility to maximize convenience. For example, he realizes that weeks-long projects will likely not be a good fit for EZ Does It. Ideally, his projects are measured in days. However, he made a note of his willingness to work with any potential customers: “I will entertain any phone call.” And as mentioned, that doesn’t necessarily mean that Zeigler will accept every job that comes his way, but he’s also not going to run the risk of missing out on filling the schedule. 

Moreover, Zeigler already has a collection of equipment that plays off his proficiencies. He has already amassed various tools and machinery that broaden the horizons of jobs he can accept — which is convenient for any handyman. And he already has the momentum, which allows him to optimize his schedule, live in the rural community he wants to live in, and support his family. “The great part about Ohio is that subcontractors and handymen do have the right to be able to go in business for themselves and capitalize on their skills to be able to provide for their families, and that’s huge.” 

Out on Lamborne Road, Zeigler has set up his base of operations for EZ Does it, but more importantly, it’s his home, and it’s where the Zeiglers live, so family is just as much a driving force for EZ Does It as anything. The business is run by a handyman, a military man, and a family man, all bringing different aspects to the table — and those three roles are all one person. That’s Eric Zeigler, and that’s EZ Does It.

Harrison Hills City School District mandating mask-wearing

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CADIZ—At an emergency meeting held Thursday evening (Sept. 2), the Harrison Hills Board of Education announced that mask-wearing will now be required for all students and faculty, beginning Tuesday, Sept. 7.

Mask-wearing will be required for all indoor events and inside the school building for class and everyday business.

Masks are being required whether or not a person has had the vaccination.

HARRISON COUNTY: Weekly Construction Update

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WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 6, 2021

New Philadelphia, Ohio (September 2, 2021) – The following construction projects are anticipated to affect highways next week in Harrison County. All outlined work is weather permitting.

U.S. 22 pavement repair project:  This work includes pavement repairs along  a three-mile section of U.S. 22 from one mile west of U.S. 250 to County Road 51 (Bakers Ridge Road). One lane of traffic is maintained in each direction. The completion date is October 31, 2021.

State Route 151 slide repair project: Slide repair project located 1.5 miles north of U.S. 22. During this work, traffic will be maintained via temporary traffic signals. The completion date is October 31, 2021.

Scio Dining Fork Ruritan Club receives thanks from Florida foundation

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SCIO – The Scio Dining Fork Ruritan Club received a letter of thanks and brochure from the Baptist Health Foundation of Coral Gables, Florida thanking the club for it’s donation in May, 2018. 

The foundation operated the Fisherman’s Community Hospital, an all-purpose critical access hospital in Marathon, Florida that was substantially damaged due to Hurricane Irma in 2017.   

In the letter they stated, “We are incredibly moved and inspired by your commitment to give a new home to healthcare in the Middle Keys.”  The club sponsored a benefit that raised $813.00 for the cause that overall raised more than $16 million.  The new hospital opened on June 7th.

Harrison Central Emergency COVID Meeting

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The Harrison Hills City School District released the following statement on Thursday, Sept. 2: “The Harrison Hills City School District Board of Education will be holding an emergency meeting today (Sept. 2, 2021) at 5 p.m. in the auditorium of Harrison Central. The purpose of the meeting is concerning COVID guidelines and procedures. Action may be taken.”

Robert Smith

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Robert Lee Smith (Bob), 81, passed away Sunday, August 8, at his home in Canal Winchester (suburb of Columbus), Ohio, surrounded by his family.  Bob was born April 18, 1940, in Wheeling, West Virginia and grew up in Cadiz, Ohio. He was the only son of the late Clinton Robert Smith and Muriel (McMannis) Smith of Cadiz, Ohio. He is survived by wife Jeri (Geraldine) Smith, daughters Kimberly Kilgore and Bobbi Sue Cornwall, sons Steven (wife Kim), Michael (wife Lisa), Bryan (wife Michele), Joshua (wife Maghen), and Jason, and his only sister Vivian Pickering (husband Tom).    

Bob graduated from Cadiz High School in 1958. He spent much of his adult life in the Cadiz and St. Clairsville areas. He had a career in business, managing and later owning gas station/convenience stores in St. Clairsville and the surrounding area. Later he moved to Destin and then Cocoa Beach, Florida, where he also owned a business. He and Jeri moved back to Ohio in 2010.

Bob was an astute businessman with a strong work ethic who worked hard to provide for his family. He enjoyed the beach, cheering on the Cleveland Indians and Browns, and eating good food. Bob played as hard as he worked and had many friends. He was friendly and outgoing, one who “never met a stranger.”  Everyone who met him was drawn in by his outgoing personality and charm. He could always be counted on to help any of his friends in need.

Bob passed away after a four-month bout with lung cancer. He will be sorely missed by family and friends. A memorial service is planned for next August (2022), where his ashes will be spread in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida.

Ruth Jenkins

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Ruth Ann Jenkins, 84, of Cadiz, was called home to be with the Lord on Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021. She was born on Sept. 5, 1937, a daughter of the late Mildred R. and Raymond R. Springer. To all who knew her, Ruth Ann was a loving wife, mother, sister, aunt, grandmother, great-grandmother, and great-great-grandmother. She was very active in anything that involved her family and was very proud of the fact that she, just like her mother, was always going to a sporting event and never missed a family gathering if she could help it. Ruth Ann was also an active member of Word of Truth Church in Jewett, Ohio, and was a gentle soul that did her best to help anyone in need. She loved spending time at the ball fields, spending time with one of her many family members, volunteering for Gables Care Center, helping at the Cadiz Senior Center, and a multitude of other activities.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Donald Jenkins; a sister, Jean Yervelli; two granddaughters: Kimberly Bishop and Kaytlin Marie Garrett; a grandson, Shawn Jenkins; a great-great-grandson, Thane Garrett; and most recently, her son, Raymond Jenkins and half-brother, Richard Gilver.

She is survived by her children, Ronald (Charlene) Jenkins of Cadiz, Ralph (Christine) Jenkins of Leesville, Robert (Tammy) Jenkins of Cadiz, Donna (John) Bishop of Hopedale, and Rodney (Lisa) Jenkins of Richmond; daughter-in-law, Paula Jenkins, all of Ohio; 22 grandchildren; 33 great-grandchildren; and seven great-great-grandchildren. Also surviving is her brother, Joseph Springer, of Harleysville, Pennsylvania, and many nieces and nephews. Her family was the most important thing to her, along with her faith in God. Ruth loved God with all her heart and had such great faith. She wanted people to know Jesus as their Savior. She was very active at her church, Word of Truth, sending cards, taking people anywhere they needed to go, and helping with anything she could.

Family and friends will be received on Thursday, Sept. 2, at Clark-Kirkland-Barr Funeral Home in Cadiz, from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. The service will be held on Friday, Sept. 3, 2021, at the Word Of Truth Church (88000 Amsterdam Road in Jewett) at 10 a.m., with pastor John Bishop and pastor Larry Hostetler officiating. Burial will take place at Cadiz Union Cemetery. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Word of Truth Church (88000 Amsterdam Road, Jewett, Ohio 43986). 

Share your thoughts and memories of Ruth with the family at www.clark-kirkland-barr.com. The family asks that you use your discretion during this health crisis by wearing a mask or if you have been subjected to COVID.

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