Dems vie for Sixth Congressional seat
Two Democrats are hoping to win their party's vote in the May 6 primary election for the opportunity to run against Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson for Ohio's Sixth Congressional District seat.
Marietta resident Jennifer Garrison and Albany resident Greg Howard are both focused on job creation. Both challengers hope to bring change to what they say has become a dysfunctional Congress.
Garrison, 427 Fifth St. in Marietta, already has some experience in the political realm, serving the 93rd District for the Ohio House of Representatives from 2005 to 2010.
She formed the Southeast Ohio Landowners Association and currently is the president of Jennifer Garrison LLC., a legal practice she opened in 2011.
Garrison has played roles in local economic development already and plans to carry those focuses to office.
Washington County polling places
BELPRE 1A: Belpre Church of Christ, 2932 Washington Blvd.
BELPRE 2A: Belpre Church of Christ, 2932 Washington Blvd.
BELPRE 3A: Belpre Church of Christ, 2932 Washington Blvd.
BELPRE 4A: Belpre Church of Christ, 2932 Washington Blvd.
MARIETTA 1A: First Church of the Nazarene, 100 Mill Creek Rd.
MARIETTA 1B: First Church of the Nazarene, 100 Mill Creek Rd.
MARIETTA 2A: Washington Co. Jr. Fair Building, 103 Fair Ave.
MARIETTA 2B: Washington Co. Jr.Fair Building, 103 Fair Ave.
MARIETTA 3A: First Church of the Nazarene, 100 Mill Creek Rd.
MARIETTA 3B: Washington Co. Jr. Fair Building, 103 Fair Ave.
MARIETTA 3C: Washington Co. Jr. Fair Building,103 Fair Ave.
MARIETTA 4A: Knights of Columbus Hall, 312 Franklin St.
MARIETTA 4B: Knights of Columbus Hall, 312 Franklin St.
MARIETTA 4C: Washington Co. Jr. Fair Building,103 Fair Ave.
LOWELL/ADAMS: L-A Fire Department, 223 Lock Street
AURELIUS: Macksburg Town Hall, School St.
BARLOW: Lighthouse Baptist Church, 8135 State Route 339
VINCENT: Lighthouse Baptist Church, 8135 State Route 339
LITTLE HOCKING: Porterfield Baptist Church, 39 Hollywood Dr.
ROCKLAND E: Belpre Church of Christ, 2932 Washington Blvd.
ROCKLAND W: Porterfield Baptist Church, 39 Hollywood Dr.
DECATUR: Cutler Community Center, 4550 Two Mile Run Rd.
DUNHAM EAST: Veto Presbyterian Church, 4574 State Route 339
DUNHAM WEST: Veto Presbyterian Church, 4574 State Route 339
FAIRFIELD: Lighthouse Baptist Church 8135, State Route 339
FEARING: Stanleyville Community Building, 1995 Stanleyville Rd., Whipple
MATAMORAS/GRANDVIEW: New Matamoras Public Library, 101 Merchant St.
INDEPENDENCE: Township Building, 929 Archers Fork Rd.
LAWRENCE: Little Muskingum Fire Dept., 15113 State Route 26
LIBERTY: Dalzell Comm. Building, 7530 Dalzell Rd.
LUDLOW: Township Building, 8540 State Route 260
MTTA EAST A: Souls Harbor Baptist Church, 115 Caywood Rd.
MTTA EAST B: Marietta Twp Rec. Ctr., 260 Sandhill Rd.
MTTA EAST C: Marietta Twp Rec. Ctr., 260 Sandhill Rd.
MTTA EAST D: Marietta Twp Rec. Ctr., 260 Sandhill Rd.
MTTA WEST: Knights of Columbus Hall, 312 Franklin St.
MUSK EAST A: Marietta Bible Center, 4070 State Route 60
MUSK EAST B: Devola Fire Department, 1286 Masonic Park Rd.
MUSK EAST C: Marietta Bible Center, 4070 State Route 60
MUSK WEST: Oak Grove Community Bldg, 535 BF Goodrich Rd.
NEWPORT: Newport Community Center, 38350 State Route 7
PALMER: Communtiy Building, 7163 State Route 676
SALEM: Salem Twp. Building, 9320 State Route 821
WARREN NE: Pinehurst Christian Church, 20307 State Route 550
WARREN NW: Pinehurst Christian Church, 20307 State Route 550
WARREN SOUTH: Warren Fire Department #1, 17305 State Route 550
BEV/WATERFORD: St. Bernards Catholic Church, 307 Seventh St.
WATERFORD A: St. Bernards Catholic Church, 307 Seventh St.
WATERTOWN: Watertown VFD, 12725 State Route 676
WESLEY: Bartlett Masonic Lodge, 2024 State Route 550
In coordination with jobs and finances, Garrison said she will support saving Medicare benefits, and said she will also support any extension of unemployment benefits that result from company lay-offs.
Garrison also said she has plans to look into Citizens United, a court case that ruled in favor of the concept of a corporation having the same First Amendment rights as an individual, an act that she believes has clouded transparency in Congress.
Howard, of 41329 Gibson Ridge in Albany, currently runs a farm in Meigs County and manufactures the Gibson Ridge Portable Egg Washer, along with past work as an mechanical and civil engineer for power plants and government bases.
Howard said his main focus is the lack of jobs, a problem that he says is just one symptom of a Congress that is too afraid to act because of the money tied to their campaigns. Howard said he plans to look into ways to build jobs in the area through local and small partnerships, rather than just relying on corporations to provide jobs.
Howard also said he wants to focus on infrastructure in the area in order to move toward a better local economy. Bringing roadways and bridges all up to highway standards, along with bringing more high-speed Internet and up-to-date technologies into rural areas to foster economic growth are all points that Howard wants to look into if put in office.
Other issues, like Medicare and Social Security, Howard said, are non-negotiable.
Two Republicans challenging Phillips
Two Republican challengers hope to unseat three-term State Rep. Debbie Phillips, D-Albany, in the November election for the 94th Ohio House District seat, which includes Meigs County and parts of Athens, Washington and Vinton counties.
Yolan Dennis, a registered nurse from Fleming, and Dan Lantz, a lumber buyer from Pomeroy, each have their own individual plans for representing the 94th District.
Dennis, 59, of 457 Salster Road in Fleming, is a registered nurse who decided to throw her hat in the ring for the 94th District seat now that her five children are grown up.
"I'm not a politician by any means, but people have told me I have common sense and I'm very involved with the community," she said.
By running, Dennis said she hopes to bring a conservative voice to the area, with plans to focus on bringing in jobs and improving education. She said she also wants to be an advocate for farmers, small business owners, skilled workers and energy producers in Ohio.
Dennis said she recognizes that many people across the state, and the Southeast Ohio region in particular, are hurting when it comes to jobs. In addition to jobs, Dennis said though her own five children received an excellent education in the Warren Local district, there is still room for improvement on the state level.
"The Common Core is a big issue right now and even though I still have research to do on it, there is a big concern because it takes away the local decision-making powers of our educators," she said. "Parents need to be involved and have choices, too."
Dennis is a graduate of Waterford High School, Washington Technical College School of Practical Nursing and Bethesda Hospital Nursing School in Cincinnati.
Dan Lantz, 49, of 40216 State Route 643 in Pomeroy, currently works as a lumber buyer at DJM Hardwoods & Veneer in Henderson, W.Va., and is also hoping to bring jobs and new entrepreneurs to the district if elected.
Lantz said he feels that the high joblessness rates that exist in the area could be helped by creating relationships with the oil and gas industries.
He said he has heard from opposition saying that the process of fracking will have a negative effect on the water quality.
The spark to run for office came when Lantz organized a town hall meeting in fall 2013 that helped lead the Ohio Department of Transportation to keep sections of Ohio 684 and 692 near Pageville in its jurisdiction after initial plans to abandon them.
With residential, business and employment ties in all of the counties in the district, Lantz said he knows he can represent everyone well, and plans on making sure all views are taken in when making decisions.
Lantz is a graduate of Marietta High School, and obtained a sawyer certificate from Hocking College, where he eventually went on to co-own Albany Lumber for five years before getting involved in the opening of DJM in 1998.
Belpre emergency levy on ballot
The Belpre City Schools District will ask voters to approve a renewal emergency levy on the May 6 primary. The 3.65 mill levy generates $825,000 annually for the school district and, if passed, will continue to generate the same amount while not having taxpayers see an increase in their taxes, said Superintendent Tony Dunn.
The board recently chose to amend the original emergency levy from five to 10 years in order to save the district and taxpayers money in another renewal election.
Last year, the state Legislature approved to allow school districts to seek 10-year levies as opposed to five-year and, while it will not change the amount of money a taxpayer puts forth, it will allow the district and, by proxy the taxpayers, to not have to pay for two elections.
On the current levy, the owner of a $100,000 owner-occupied house pays $111.78 a year, which will not change with the renewal in May. The $111.78 annually works out to $9.32 a month or about 30 cents a day.
The levy was originally adopted in March 2000 and was renewed for a third time in November 2009.
"Our entire (yearly) budget is just over $11 million, which makes this levy a significant amount to our district," Dunn said.
School officials have said the five-year budget forecast shows a significant negative balance for 2015 and without the money the district could be lost because the district would be $1 million in the hole and the state would take over.
Napoli's in Belpre seeks liquor license
The owners of Napoli's Italian Feast are asking voters in the restaurant's district to pass two issues.
During the upcoming primary election on May 6, voters in Belpre's 2A voting district will have the option to allow the restaurant, located at 713 Main St., to add liquor to its menu as well as sell alcoholic beverages on Sundays.
Five years after becoming the first establishment in the city of Belpre to legally sell alcohol since the United States instigated Prohibition in 1920, the Wal-Bon Corporation is asking to expand on what it is allowed to sell.
Currently, the restaurant is licensed to sell beer, wine and pre-packaged malt beverages, such as wine coolers.
The ballot issues include the option for a D-3 permit to sell spirituous liquor, which the State of Ohio lists as any intoxicating liquors containing more than 21 percent of alcohol by volume, and the option for a D-6 license that will allow the restaurant to sell alcoholic beverages between 11 a.m. and midnight on Sundays.
According to the Ohio Revised Code, the D-3 license is for a retail food establishment or food service operation to sell spirituous liquor by the individual drink, for consumption on premises. The D-6 permit, if passed, will allow all of the intoxicating beverages sold at that location to be sold on Sundays.
Since the locally-owned restaurant was the first to have the approval of voters, several more businesses including Kroger on Washington Boulevard, Speedway stores on Farson Street and Washington Boulevard and Go-Mart at the intersection of Washington Boulevard and Main Street have added alcohol sales.
Two seek to fill commissioner spot
Two Republican candidates are vying for outgoing Washington County Commissioner Tim Irvine's commission seat. The candidates, Rick Walters and Jeremy Barton, both from Coal Run, do not have a Democratic challenger for the primary winner to face in the November election.
Irvine has served as commissioner for three years and has said he decided not to run again in order to focus his time toward his business.
Walters, 57, wears many hats in the Beverly area, serving as chairman for the Muskingum Valley Area Chamber of Commerce, chairing the National Federal Independent Businesses Area Action Council, working with Dietz Futrell & Walters insurance agency and serving as a partner with the River Cities Financial Services.
He wants to take an active role in assisting small businesses in the area if he wins the commission seat, Walters said.
Walters said he wanted to accomplish this by promoting the area.
This is the first run for office for Walters, who has been a small business owner for 34 years.
This primary is also Barton's first foray into politics.
Barton, 34, is a member of the American Legion and served in the military for four years as a heavy equipment operator. He also works as a barber and said he's trying to set a good example for his 7-year-old daughter.
Barton said he's running because he feels there is a need for increased awareness of duties. Barton said there is transparency with the office currently, but that the people of Washington County should be more aware of what's happening around the office.
Warren levy renewal seeks approval
VINCENT - Warren local schools is seeking the renewal of a 5.54-mill emergency levy that will generate $1.75 million for the day-to-day operation of the district's schools.
Renewal of the levy will cost $169.67 a year for the owner of a home appraised at $100,000, according to board treasurer Melcie Wells. Warren Schools Superintendent Kyle Newton said if approved this would be the fifth time the emergency levy has been renewed by the community at the same rate since 1995.
State funding amounts to another 60 percent of the district's budget, and most of the rest comes through federal funds that are tied to specific needs. Newton noted one change this year is that the board is asking for a 10-year levy renewal instead of a five-year renewal as in the past. He said new state legislation has allowed districts the option of renewing their emergency levies for more than five years.
Board member Willie Holbert said the emergency levy does not go for teacher raises or benefits.
Absentee voting ends today
Absentee voting at the Washington County Elections Board office, will continue today, Saturday, May 3, from 8 a.m. until noon. Absentee voting ends at that time.