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SciotoTech students lend hand in West Liberty

By WAYNE ALLEN

PDT Staff Writer

Out of the desire to help others, members of the SkillsUSA team at Scioto County Career Technical Center traveled to West Liberty, Ky., on Saturday to help with disaster relief.

West Liberty was one of the most heavily damaged towns among an outbreak of tornadoes to hit Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio on March 2.

“We are going to be helping with cooking at the Index Community Christian Church, the students will be helping to sort clothes and the picking up of rubble,” said Lynda Spittle, Skills USA Chapter adviser and cosmetology instructor at Scioto County Career Technical Center.

Spittle said members of the team came to her about a week ago with the idea of going to West Liberty to help.

“If things go well we may go back in two weeks. Through this trip we are hopeful the students will learn the importance of community service and helping others,” Spittle said.

According to Spittle, Skills USA is a national organization and student-parent-teacher-industry partnership to expand leadership, knowledge and skills for preparing to have careers in trade, industrial, technical and health occupations.

For cosmetology student Linsey Meadows, the decision to go on the trip was easy.

“I think it’s important for people who lost everything to have help. It’s always important to have someone help you in your time of need,” she said.

Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 208, or wallen@heartlandpublications.com.

via SciotoTech students lend hand in West Liberty.

Sturgill: Sell the Marting’s building or level it

Does anyone know if Portsmouth actually has an economic development plan? I’m involved with three cities in central Kentucky with very strong development activities going on right now. One, a very rural small town just had two major announcements this week bringing in two companies and an expansion of a third. They have all of their industrial space currently filled and are looking to find more. They actually had a job fair on Tuesday to help fill openings for these companies.

One of the other towns currently has an unemployment rate well below the national average and managed their resources well. In studying their labor force and future growth they realized they are very relient on big industrial companies where a lot of the employees live outside the area and travel in. So these people aren’t paying property taxes, or shopping at local establishments. This town is doing an economic development program to enhance local business, encourage buy local campaigns, and looking at how they can help the existing small businesses grow.

Portsmouth’s biggest obstacle to growth, is the very people who need to be helping it grow. The people running the government are at a loss when it comes to this, they are incapable of thinking creatively, they do not inspire confidence, and the constant bickering and clownish governing are not at all inviting to companies looking for a place to expand. But I’m not so sure most of the people in Portsmouth care, if they did they would demand better from their leaders.

© portsmouth-dailytimes.com 2012

City investigates improper vehicle uses

The administration needs to make a stand. If a police officer lives outside of city limits, the car stays in town and they drive in regardless of what the union says. People who live inside the city, who could possibly respond to emergencies should be allowed to take their car home.  No exceptions. Is there anyone in this government with common sense and who can make a decision and stand by it?

By FRANK LEWIS

PDT Staff Writer

Second Ward City Portsmouth Councilman Rich Saddler has asked Portsmouth Mayor David Malone to look into reports city employees are using city-owned vehicles for personal use.

In May of 2011 Malone banned most city employees from taking city-owned vehicles home with them. Among the highest-profile employees where members of the Portsmouth Police Department.

“I’ve had multiple complaints over the last few months ever since you enacted the city vehicles situation,” Saddler told Malone. “I’ve had a lot of people who have emailed me pictures, and I didn’t bring that stuff because I didn’t want to get into the employee affairs of it, but it’s where they will drop their kids off at school in a city vehicle and things like that. It might be in the best interest of yourself and everybody else in government to maybe re-address that with all of the employees – to clarify exactly who has vehicles which are for emergency purposes all week.”

When Malone ordered members of the Police Department to park those vehicles when they left at the end of the work day, Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Lodge 33 protested, bringing in the state FOP which also protested the decision. At that same time most other city employees were told they were not to take city-owned vehicles home. However, some workers who may be called out on emergencies continued to take their cars home.

Malone did not immediately respond to a phone message left for him Tuesday.

Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or at flewis@heartlandpublications.com

Second District shocker: Wenstrup upsets incumbent Schmidt

By FRANK LEWIS

PDT Staff Writer

In a stunning upset Tuesday, a Cincinnati area physician, soldier and businessman defeated incumbent 2nd District U.S. Rep. Jean Schmidt in the Republican primary.

Brad Wenstrup picked up 49 percent of the vote to Schmidt’s 43 percent, but more telling was Wenstrup’s garnering of 50 percent of the vote in Clermont County, Schmidt’s home county, where Schmidt got no more than 41 percent.

Wenstrup did not respond to an email request for an interview Wednesday, but Schmidt said she made contact with Wenstrup late Tuesday night.

“I called Brad Wenstrup to congratulate him, but couldn’t reach him. I left a message on his voice mail,” Schmidt said. “I said, ‘Congratulations. I wish you the best. God bless.’” However, later on Schmidt made contact, and Wenstrup thanked her for her service.

Schmidt told the Portsmouth Daily Times she wanted to thank everyone who supported her since 2005, when she became the first woman elected to represent southern Ohio in Congress.

“I want to thank them for their friendship. I want to thank them for their faith in me,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt said she plans to keep working through the remainder of her term.

“We are Republicans, and we have to move forward in November,” Schmidt said. “I will continue to work hard through the end of this year to represent the interests and the conservative values of the people of southern Ohio. I will continue to be their strong voice in our nation’s capital.”

In an email statement Wenstrup said, “I’m honored that the voters heard our message of change. Change that includes strong, ethical leadership. Change that also includes reforming government, cutting spending and unleashing small business owners so they can create jobs. This November, we have a unique opportunity to help defeat Barack Obama and bring real and needed change to Washington. I look forward to working with people across Southwestern Ohio on this important endeavor.”

Schmidt carried Scioto County with nearly 61 percent of the vote in a four-person race. Wenstrup finished third with 16.39 percent. In November, Wenstrup will face Democratic nominee William R. Smith, who defeated David Krikorian in that party’s primary.

“Thank you to all of my friends and supporters,” Krikorian said in an email Wednesday. “A bittersweet election last night as it appears I lost a very close race for the Democratic Party nomination. I would like to thank Hamilton County Democratic Party Chairman Tim Burke and Clermont County Democratic Party Chairman Dave Lane for supporting my nomination. I would also like to thank the Clermont County Democratic Party and the Cincinnati Fraternal Order of Police for their endorsements of my candidacy. Congratulations to Dr. Brad Wenstrup for winning the Republican nomination over Jean Schmidt.”

Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or at flewis@heartlandpublications.com.

Read more: Portsmouth Daily Times – Second District shocker Wenstrup upsets incumbent Schmidt 

via Second District shocker: Wenstrup upsets incumbent Schmidt.

County OKs new financial recovery plan

Looks like the county may have some light at the end of the tunnel. If only the Portsmouth City government could follow suit!

Portsmouth Daily Times

03.05.12 – 09:00 pm

By WAYNE ALLEN

PDT Staff Writer

Scioto County now has a 2012 Financial Recovery Plan in place. The plan serves as a road map for the county to get out of fiscal emergency with the state auditor.

The County Commissioners passed the plan Thursday and the Scioto County Financial Planning and Supervision Commission approved it Monday.

“This year’s recovery plan is the 2012 budget for the county,” said Skip Riffe, chairman of the Scioto County Commissioners. “It is based on expenditures from all of the departments from 2011. So, we are more or less holding the line in 2012,” Riffe said.

Read More Here

Review: ‘Sweeney Todd’ sends a message

Review_‘Sweeney_Todd’

By FRANK LEWIS PDT Staff Writer You may see Sweeney Todd School Edition at the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts on the campus of Shawnee State University, and know most assuredly, you will not s…Read More

via Review: ‘Sweeney Todd’ sends a message.

UPDATE; Southern Ohio Steel Mill Project Back on Track

FRANKLIN FURNACE, Oh (WSAZ) — After 5 years of planning and setbacks, developers say they’re back on track to bring a multi-billion dollar steel plant to Southern Ohio.

A plant and spin offs offering at least 25 hundred jobs.

Click here to find out more!

WSAZ.com has covered this story since the Russians were coming and we’re still talking about foreign investors.
That’s because this is a global economy project. It’s been in the works for a long time for Scioto County Ohio.

After much fanfare in 2009, a Russian steel magnate pulled out when the Russian economy tanked.
But with all the air and water permits in order, the effort never stopped
Thursday morning. The key players had a very revealing meeting.

The president of the developing company New Steel International did not say might or could. He said it would break ground.

“We will work with all the people in the room and some of the big utilities to get financing done,” John Schultes said. “We will break ground sometime later this year.”

Read more: http://www.wsaz.com/newsohio/headlines/UPDATE_Southern_Ohio_Steel_Mill_Project_Back_onTrack__140210573.html

UPDATE; Southern Ohio Steel Mill Project Back on Track.

Defending America’s Constitution from mandates

REP. BILL JOHNSON

Guest Columnist

The Constitution of the United States is brilliant in its simplicity. In fact, you can read the entire document in less than half an hour. Why is it so brilliant? Because it places control of the government in the hands of the governed, and it makes America a beacon of freedom and liberty around the world. It is, after all, the foundation upon which American Exceptionalism is built. At its core, the Constitution guarantees certain basic human rights to Americans that our Founding Fathers believed were essential to a democratic government and a free people. Among those rights is the right to religious freedom.

It is this most basic right of religious freedom that is being challenged by President Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services.


Read more: Portsmouth Daily Times – Defending America’s Constitution from mandates 

via Defending America’s Constitution from mandates.

Mayor fires development director

By FRANK LEWIS

PDT Staff Writer

Portsmouth Community Development Director Rebecca Steele has been fired.

Portsmouth Mayor David Malone said Steele had been put on a six-month evaluation in October, and “things just were not getting done.”

Malone said communications from Steele’s office to her community of contacts had not been followed.

“There’s no connection or contact from the community to the city as far as community development,” Malone said. “She wouldn’t return phone calls. People couldn’t get in touch with her. Even the state grant people from the CDC, the Department of Development, all of those state individuals that deal with our grants, she wouldn’t follow up with phone calls. She just wasn’t performing her duty.”


Read more: Portsmouth Daily Times – Mayor fires development director 

via Mayor fires development director.

Another Ohio Union Victory

When unemployment in the Canton, OH area is around 15%, United Steel Workers voted to reject a contract at Timken. An executive at Timken says they will look at investments elsewhere. Sometimes we are our own worst enemies!

Here is an article from Manufacturing.net:

CANTON, Ohio (AP) — Ohio workers for industrial components supplier Timken Co. have rejected a tentative agreement that included wage increases and would have secured $225 million plant expansion.

Various media outlets report the United Steelworkers of America Local 1123, representing workers at three plants, voted 917-608 Sunday to reject the agreement.

Local 1123 President Joe Hoagland said the contract offered job security, protected health care and provided decent raises. It would have run to September 2017. The current contract expires next year.

In a statement, a Timken executive says the company will evaluate other investment opportunities around the world.

The Canton-based company manufactures bearings and specialty steel products.

Hoagland says some union workers were unhappy with provisions involving early retirement offers and pensions and health care benefits for new workers.