April 20, 2014

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Monroe County Health Department: Oil and Gas Drilling and Monitored Process to Protect Drinking Water PDF Print E-mail
Written by Submitted   
Wednesday, April 16, 2014 10:30 AM

Modern oil and gas drilling is a highly technical and closely monitored process with regulations in place to protect underground sources of drinking water during and after the drilling process.  The chance of ground water contamination is small but it is possible that groundwater quality can be impacted, especially near oil and gas well sites. Homeowners near such sites may want to consider drinking water testing for contaminants commonly associated with oil and gas drilling.

The Monroe County Health Department can offer these testing services. A registered sanitarian on staff will collect the sample on site using EPA approved protocols. Water sample results are usually available within two weeks after testing. Please call the Monroe County Health Department at (740) 472-1677 extension 206 for more information such as prices and scheduling.

Highnotes and Brushstrokes 4/17/14 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Submitted   
Wednesday, April 16, 2014 10:30 AM

A variety of Spring events were discussed by Monroe Arts Council at the April meeting. The Monroe Artists are planning a first-ever Photography only show in May at the new Monroe Arts Center venue located at 118 S. Paul St. in Woodsfield. Photo entries accepted May 21 from 1-4 p.m. (must be 8x10 or larger, matted/framed). Any entries are accepted, however, the show theme is “Memories of Woodsfield.”

MC Players encourage actors of all ages to try out for a part in 2014 Summer Series. Three One-Act Plays will be performed June 20 and “State Fair” will be performed July 25. Auditions are April 25 and 26 from 6-8 p.m. at the Monroe Arts Center. The Monroe Singers Concert will be May 3 and 4 at St. Paul’s church.

The Annual Art Show and Open house for the new Arts Center were a success. The 2014 Best of Show was called “Swim with Me” and was created by Mary Moore. Plans for a new arts gift shop, Creative Expressions were discussed.

Monroe County Veterans Services Information 3/27/14 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Gary Lake, Veterans Service Officer   
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 3:32 PM

The past few years more than 1,300 veterans have enrolled from Monroe County into the VA Health Care System.  I know that the health care benefits have been a tremendous help to many county veterans.  With increased costs of private health care and changes in retiree benefits, every veteran should explore their eligibility to VA Health Care.  As of January 17, 2003, there were changes that affected those who had not enrolled into the VA Health Care System prior to that date.  Recent changes entitle certain veterans to health care benefits.  Those veterans who were a POW, received the Purple Heart medal or served “In County” during the Viet Nam War are able to enroll and receive VA Health Care.  I encourage all veteran’s that qualify to enroll and take advantage of their entitlements.

The VA established a system of 8 medical groups that veterans are categorized into for healthcare.  On January 17, 2003, the Secretary made the difficult decision to suspend new enrollments of veterans who are assigned to Priority Group 8.  This suspension allowed the Veterans Administration (VA) to protect quality care and reduce waiting times for other enrollees, including those who were disabled by their military service, have lower incomes, or have special medical needs.

The VA effective June 15, 2009, re-opened the Veterans Healthcare Enrollment with new income guidelines that would allow more category 8 veterans to possibly receive VA medical benefits..  Those veterans who applied for VA Healthcare before for medical conditions not service-connected and were denied because they had too much income can now re-apply since the VA established new income caps that is designed to allow more veterans to get into the medical system.  Those veterans who were denied can come into the Veterans Office and obtain a new application for medical benefits.

Veterans who are Priority Group 8 need to know that they are entitled the following even though they cannot presently qualify for the VA Health Care System.

Veterans are still eligible to receive care at no cost to them for: their service-connected conditions, conditions relating to military sexual trauma, conditions relating to exposure to Agent Orange, ionizing radiation, or environmental contaminants, or head or neck cancer related to nose or throat radium treatment while in the military.

Veterans with a permanent, severely disabling injury or condition that compromises their ability to carry out the activities of daily living and requires use of personal or mechanical assistance to leave home or bed or requires constant supervision to avoid physical harm, may be determined to be catastrophically disabled and placed in Priority Group 4.

Why Do You Open Up Your Home to a Foster Child? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Submitted   
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 2:33 PM

The Juvenile Court often hears, “I couldn’t do that,” when speaking about being foster and adoptive parents. “Won’t you be heartbroken if they go back home?” Why yes, but consider the alternative. Where else will these children go? An individual once said, “We don’t do it because we aren’t afraid of heartbreak, but because we are afraid of what would happen to them without us.”
There is nothing glamorous about being a foster parent. You voluntarily open up your home to all sorts of things like lice, sickness, anger, etc. Your name doesn’t end up on some billboard thanking you for what you do. Sadly, these children come with a trash bag for a suitcase, which is occasionally filled with roaches or other uninvited insects, and with limited clothing or property. These children come from parents that may be less than stellar. They cry out at night, soaking through their pillows, wishing that they could go home to their parents and can’t understand why they are at some stranger’s house.
Sadly, foster kids are generally at the bottom of the social ladder. Who really wants these kids? They are “the least of these”. These children aren’t our foster children. They are a little piece of Heaven, right here in our home and right here in our arms. They are a part of you and they will always hold a place in your heart.

Superintendent's Corner 3/20/14 PDF Print E-mail
Written by SOLSD Superintendent John Hall   
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 2:28 PM

Politics and Reality
During the 1948 Presidential election campaign (the one made famous by the Chicago Tribune’s mistaken headline “Dewey Defeats Truman”) Harry Truman delivered a speech attacking the Republicans. During his speech a Truman supporter yelled out “Give’em Hell, “ Truman replied, “I don’t give them Hell. I just tell the truth about them and they think it’s Hell.”
This past six months I know how Harry Truman, the winner of the 1948 election, must have felt. Some of my talking points with the community and staff have not always been “warm and fuzzy”. Sometimes the truth doesn’t sound very positive.
Today’s column will focus on school district finances and community choices.
From Switzerland Ohio Five-Year Forecast:
1,070 Total Revenue 2014 - $26,350,268; 2015 $25,220,118; 2016 $24,711,458; 2017 $24,440,501; 2018 $24,414,468.
4,500 Total Expenditures 2014 $25,322,432; 2015 $25,426,926; 2016 $26,204,658; 2017 $27,041,584; 2018 $27,917,092
15,010 Unreserved Fund Balance June 30  2014 $1,167,720; 2015 $1,210,920; 2016 ($152,711); 2017 ($2,493,950); 2018 $5,735,320)
As a district that needs to meet state minimum academic and staffing standards and that has already undergone large cuts, we have no other choice but to raise revenue or close buildings. All it takes is a look at our financial deficits in the above charts to determine this.
The board treasurer and I don’t want to close buildings but the district is teetering over the financial cliff now. We have been dealt cards that we are playing out to the best of our ability. In fact, because we are in fiscal caution, we submitted a required financial plan to the State Department of Education this week that includes running an income tax issue in November 2014.