When one door closes……

News that the physical Barnesville Enterprise office at 166 E. Main Street closed Feb. 28 quickly spread quickly through town. The home for our community newspaper for the past 91 years is now "For Sale," not the newspaper itself.

The current state of economics of the newspaper media in the United States is tenuous. In Washington, DC where I live and work, several community-based newspapers have ceased publication. One recently filed for bankruptcy hoping to reorganize. Another, weeks from shuttering, was purchased by a local investor and philanthropist.

During my several recent visits to the old home town, I heard many unsolicited comments about the newspaper, all, without exception, expressing hope that the paper will continue to fulfil its mission as the primary source of news and information for the greater Barnesville area.

To help the newspaper’s management navigate the present, the village, chamber of commerce, and several individuals have joined together volunteering time, talent, and office space as the owner plots a new course.

Our primary goal is ensuring a physical presence in the village and increasing local news content. Please contact me at bruce.yarnall@outlook.com if you would like to join our ranks. The biblical proverb, "many hands makes light work" clearly applies now.

We thank you our faithful subscribers, readers and advertisers for your continued support as we move forward.

This is not the first time of uncertainly for the Barnesville Enterprise. In 1922, editor Charles Lee died. His daughter, Dorothy, put the publication up for sale.

Realtor CM Cole, who coined the slogan "Bigger, Better Barnesville," posted a sale notice on the bulletin board of the Columbus Dispatch that caught the eye of a young reporter, Martins Ferry native Ray Palmer. Palmer knew Barnesville’s L.J. Taber, Ohio‘s first Secretary of Agriculture.

In an initial meeting between Palmer and Taber, a handshake formed a partnership that carried this newspaper for the next six decades.

I would not be writing this column almost a century later had fate not intervened connecting – Cole, Palmer and Taber.

This African proverb was shared with me at the time as last week’s press release:

"When the winds of change blow, some build walls others build windmills"

Let’s build windmills!


Tax Time Thoughts

One March "madness" is gathering papers together for the annual dreaded income tax filing deadline of April 17. Yes, the 17th thanks to the District of Columbia where I have toiled for the past 18 years.

In 2018, April 15 falls on a Sunday, and this would usually move the filing deadline to the following Monday – April 16. However, Emancipation Day – a legal holiday in the District of Columbia – will be observed on that Monday, which pushes the nation’s filing deadline to Tuesday, April 17, 2018. Under the tax law, legal holidays in the District of Columbia affect the filing deadline across the nation.

That said, not to suggest we don’t pay Uncle Sam his just due, there are ways to minimize taxes and benefit the old hometown or a specific cause.

The recent grant awards announcement by the Smith-Goshen Rice Enrichment fund is a good example of local citizens putting extra income to good use. Barnesville Hospital, Five Loaves Ministry, Belmont and Bethesda fire departments, National Trail Chapter of International Questers all benefited from the $50,500 grants announced in February.

In addition, there are several community foundations including the Barnesville Area Education Foundation, Barnesville Community Foundation, Barnesville Hospital Foundation and The Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley, to name a few, that will help families and individuals make wise community-investment choices.

Beyond the foundations, there are churches, cemeteries, parks, and educational institutions such as the Olney Friends School or the Barnesville Hutton Memorial Library, that benefit from donations and gifts. Again, most of these are ready to assist with the process.

In addition to local tax preparers, there are a variety of legal and financial service providers in the Barnesville area these days.

If you are able, please consider giving back to your hometown or your community as you file and consider options for 2018.


In 1943 while he was serving as Ohio Senator from Belmont County, Enterprise editor Ray Palmer started writing a column he titled "This Week - Here and There". Our modified version, "Here and There", launched in March 2018.