Editor's Note: The 2008: Year in Review is a series continuing through January that highlights the news and headlines from the previous year. Check next week's edition to read about the news-making events from April, May and June.


* It was a historic move 40 years in the making. The Belmont County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution establishing the Belmont County Regional Airport Authority, an act that officials say will further the growth of the Barnesville-Bradfield Airport, stirring economic development throughout the county.

"It's a monumental day for Belmont County as it relates to the entire airport," said Commissioner Mark Thomas, at the commissioners' Thursday, Dec. 27 meeting. "We are proud to do it."

* It was a busy year for the Village of Barnesville in 2007. Many projects were on the village's agenda.

"If we didn't have two or three (projects) going on at once we had one right on the heels of the other," said Village Administrator Roger Deal at the Barnesville Village Council meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 26.

The village secured more than $1 million in grant funding for six projects last year. That funding included $449,000 for an Ohio Public Works Commission Small Governments Grant. That will be put toward an Environmental Protection Agency-mandated project at the Water Treatment Facility, which requires the construction of a new sludge storage facility and new lab building.

* Evelyn Sampson was chosen as one of the "People of 2007" for her many community-minded activities including 25 years of coordinating the Barnesville Alumni Banquet to serving the Bicentennial Committee. "Sampon embodies Barnesville's spirit of volunteerism."

* The Barnesville Bicentennial Committee's 15 months of plans for 2008 were to begin on March 15 with the Barnesville Bicentennial Kick-off at the Barnesville High School auditorium. The program was to include a historical presentation, a performance by the BHS chorus and the sharing of a Barnesville 200th birthday cake.

* A Barnesville High School graduate is the first baseball player inducted into the hall of fame at his college alma mater.

At a November ceremony, Barnesville High School Class of 1997 graduate John Hamilton was inducted into the Hall of Fame at Ohio University Zanesville.

* Two area residents were victims of separate pedestrian-vehicle accident recently. A driver hit a woman in downtown Barnesville on Friday afternoon, Dec. 1. A Barnesville man as also hit by a vehicle in St. Clairsville on Sunday evening, Dec. 6.

* Two grants were recently awarded to the Barnesville Exempted Village School District. Those funds will be used to educate students in literacy and nutrition.



* Barnesville Village Council discussed several potential paving projects as well as easement agreements from Rockies Express Pipeline. Deal presented council with easement agreements from Rockies Express Pipeline. The pipeline will be crossing through six parcels of village property. Deal had offers for five of the parcels as the village recently purchased the sixth in the last month.

* She's a sweetheart at Barnesville's Curves and on Valentine's Day she could be the sweetheart of the nation.

Betty Tucker was chosen as a finalist in the Curves Sweetheart Contest -- the only Ohioan among the 24 finalists. The winner of the contest will be announced on Valentine's Day.

* Landowners concerned about a high-pressure gas line, slated to pass through Guernsey and Belmont counties, heard Saturday, Feb. 2, from an attorney experienced in eminent domain law.

About 60 landowners gathered at the Crossroads Branch Library to air concerns and learn more about eminent domain from Columbus Attorney Bruce L. Ingram of Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP.

* In an effort to combat drug crimes in Belmont County, area law enforcement agencies have officially combined efforts through the Belmont County Drug Task Force.

* A Sunday afternoon fire completely destroyed a home between Barnesville and Bethesda.

Bethesda Fire Department was first on the scene at 39130 Old State Route 147, the home of Frank and Nancy Mayo.

* BELLAIRE -- A Barnesville man arrested by Bellaire police early Saturday, Feb. 2, has been hospitalized at Appalachian Behavioral Healthcare's Cambridge Campus for a mental evaluation.

Samuel Haught, 20, was charged with receiving stolen property and improper handing a firearm in connection with his arrest at approximately 12:29 a.m. following a foot pursuit involving Bellaire police officers.

* On the outskirts of Barnesville stands an impressive structure. What you can't see from the outside is its deep history -- and the efforts of several area residents who are trying to preserve it.

"Some of us were upset they were going to tear the house down. We felt it was important historically," Marie Bundy said.

The Ohio Yearly Meeting appointed those people -- including Bundy -- to the Plummer House Management Group in August 2007. The group, with the help of a Belmont Technical College historic preservation class, is researching what repairs are needed to preserve the building.

If successful, the group will keep alive a piece of history that is about as old as Barnesville itself. The house was built in the early 1800s, with additions and renovations made throughout the years. It first housed the Plummer family who traveled from Maryland and settled in the area now located just past Tacoma on State Route 147.

* Cheffy Drugs began another chapter of its long history in Barnesville in January 2007 -- a new owner, Pat Kovacs. Now as he settles into his second year at Cheffy, Kovacs said things are going well. He also has some ideas to expand the Cheffy's service to its customers.

* Repercussions from the closure of the Cambridge psychiatric hospital -- some of which haven't even been imagined yet -- will be felt far away and long into the future.

* For the last few years, the goal of the Barnesville Area Reforestation Kommittee (BARK) has been to reforest some of the strip-mined lands around Barnesville. Last spring, this effort took a giant leap forward with an experimental tree planting. Working with Oxford Coal, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Mineral Resources Management (DMRM), the Federal Office of Surface Mining, Belmont Soil and Water Conservation District, and the ODNR Division of Forestry, BARK was able to plant approximately 5 acres of ground reclaimed using the Forestry Reclamation Approach promoted by the Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative.

* Since Dana Carpenter began her postal career in 1988, she has found herself employed at 13 different post offices. Her most recent move -- to Barnesville where she has accepted the position as postmaster.


* It was a farewell that they have been looking forward to for years.

The Barnesville Exempted Village School District and the Financial Planning and Supervision Commission parted ways with the district's release from fiscal emergency. The commission passed the resolution disbanding the commission at its regular and final meeting on Thursday, Feb. 28.

* QUAKER CITY -- Three Quaker City volunteer firefighters were injured battling an early morning blaze Sunday, March 2, that caused extensive damage to a Broadway Street home.

Firefighters Jerry Kerns, Jesse Kehl and Robbie Patterson were injured when a 10- by 10-foot section of roof collapsed, striking them as they battled the fire from inside the home at 217 Broadway St.

* The village is just days away from Shamrock Day -- the official kick-off of Barnesville's celebration of its 200th anniversary. The event, named Shamrock Day, will be held Saturday, March 15, at 7 p.m. at Barnesville High School. The event will include a historical talk, picture show and the presentation of the Bicentennial King and Queen as well as entertainment.

* Lt. Col. Russell S. Lee-Wood, USAR, who is currently deployed with the U.S. Army has nominated Theodore J. Koler, executive director for Ohio Hills Health Services, for the Defense Department's "My Boss is a Patriot Award."

* At the March 15 event to kick off Barnesville's Bicentennial celebration, the town's oldest women's organization, the Mothers Club, will introduce the Bicentennial king and queen. Chosen for this honor are Martin Schumacher and Jean Palmer Davies.

* Nearly 30 vendors showcased their businesses at the Belmont County Business Showcase on Saturday, March 8. The Barnesville Elementary School gymnasium was lined with tables as businesses shared information with visitors. Many raffle prizes were also given away.

* Twelve Barnesville High School students will have their artwork featured in the Ohio Governor's Youth Art Exhibition this weekend.

Out of 32 pieces of art submitted to the exhibition, 25 were selected. This year marks the most BHS students whose work was selected for the exhibition, art teacher Luke Johnson said.

* An agreement that took months to reach is expected to be finalized soon. Barnesville Village Council authorized Mayor Tom Michelli to sign an easement agreement with Rockies Express Pipeline at its Monday, March 17, regular meeting.

* It was a celebration fitting for Barnesville. Community members young and old gathered at Barnesville High School on Saturday, March 15, to celebrate Shamrock Day, the official kick-off of Barnesville Bicentennial celebration. The evening included honoring notable citizens, speakers sharing the village's history of its 200 years and plenty of applause and laughter.

* Those attending the Barnesville Area Chamber of Commerce banquet will see a familiar face -- one from the local evening news. This year's speaker will be Eric Minor, anchor of NEWS9.

* Residents of Bethesda passed a levy earlier this month, ensuring that the village will have funds for maintaining village streets and alleys. The renewal and replacement levy is an important component for the village. It pays for necessary purchases such as salt, patching and cinders.

* The Shannons were among the village's earliest pioneers. George Shannon Anderson, a relative of George Shannon II who was on the Lewis and Clark expedtion, will speak about 19th century life of his ancestors and share artifacts from that time period during Shannon Day, in celebration of Barnesville's Bicentennial.

Anderson will speak to middle school students in the morning and visit the elementary school in the afternoon. He will make a presentation at the Watt Center at 7 p.m. for the public.

* True to its name, Toolz etc. is more than just tools.

The business, which opened at the beginning of March just east of Barnesville, offers many items -- whether you're looking for gardening supplies or breakfast -- in addition to its wide range of tools. Toolz etc. is also is a permanent location for Homier tools.