Byesville Rotary

Meeting time: Tuesday 7:30 am--8:30 am.

Location: Stop Nine Senior Center at 60313 (GPS use 60299) Southgate Road, Byesville .

Club officers 2014-2015:

President--Chuck Fair

President Elect/Vice President--Shana Fair

Treasurer--Phyliss Jeffries

Secretary--Joe Waske

Master at Arms--Larry Miller

Member Chair--Jim Vaughan

Board members:
Jim Vaughan--term ends June 2015
Nellie Bichard--term ends June 2016
Tina Tonnous--term ends June 2017

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Rotarians learns lawyers need variety of skills

Pictured: Larry Miller, Speaker Host, and Bill Bennett, Attorney at Law.

In October Rotarians celebrate Vocational Service Month by inviting speakers to talk about their professions. Bill Bennett, a local lawyer, described to club members what he does during a typical year.

Mr. Bennett has been practicing law for 37 years. He explained that legal work in a small town is different from legal work in a big city. In large metropolitan areas, lawyers specialize in a particular branch of the law. In a small town, a lawyer is more of a generalist. For some lawyers, being a generalist is much more interesting than specializing.

Much of Bennett’s work involves real estate. His work in this area has increased due to the oil and gas boom. Real estate is one of the most labor intensive types of work because it can involve a lot of research such as identifying who owns the mineral rights attached to a specific piece of property.

For 18 years, Bennett has served as an acting judge in Municipal Court where he substitutes for Judge John Mark Nicolson. The Municipal Court handles misdemeanors such as speeding, domestic crime, and shoplifting.

Another aspect of Bennett’s work is divorce cases. Lawyers are needed to deal with complications caused by factors such as child and spousal support and child custody. Other factors considered in establishing the amount of support include length of marriage and difference of income earned by wife and husband. Bennett stated that no one is ever completely happy with the final decision.

Like most lawyers, Bennett also represents people who have been accused of a crime. He stated if the prosecutor, the police, and the defense lawyer all do their jobs the U.S legal system works. A defense lawyer does his or her job when they insure a defendant’s rights are protected.

Bennett summed up by saying that one of the challenges of being a lawyer in a small town is maintaining relationships with other people involved in practicing law. This is especially important since there are only about 20-30 lawyers in the county. Most work with one another frequently.

Bennett pointed out that people often think that most of a lawyer’s time is spent appearing in court and pleading cases. In reality, 90% of lawyer’s work is research. Another important part of being a lawyer is holding people’s hands when they are involved in an emotional situation that will affect their life drastically

Connect with Byesville Rotary at: or The club meets 7:30 am, Tuesday at the Stop Nine Senior Center at 60313 (GPS use 60299) Southgate Road, Byesville. Call Membership Chair Jim Vaughan, 740-432-5605, to learn more about how to join.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Byesville Rotary learns local agencies implementing new method to tackle drug and alcohol problems

Pictured: Karen Wiggens, incoming Executive Director Alcohol and Drug Services of Guernsey County; Linda Secrest, retiring Executive Director, and Chuck Fair; Byesville Rotary President.

Drug and alcohol related problems and crime have been increasing in Guernsey County. To deal with these problems, Alcohol and Drug Services of Guernsey County is partnering with Six Counties Mental Health and the Probation Department for Municipal Court.

These agencies are developing a program designed to reduce crime and other problems related to drug and alcohol abuse. Linda Secrest, retiring Executive Director of Alcohol and Drug Services of Guernsey County, and Karen Wiggens, incoming Executive Director, spoke to the Rotary about the new program.

The program will provide intensive supervised probation to individuals meeting specific qualifications. Non-violent, chemically-dependent offenders and people who have a high likelihood of becoming dependent will be given the opportunity to develop the tools and life skills they will need to live a drug and/or alcohol free life.

The program will be initiated by the judge of the Common Pleas Drug Court who will have the option of offering this program to specific types of offenders. If a person was arrested, the arrest must be for a non-violent crime. The offender must agree to go to Drug Court, wear an ankle bracelet, be randomly drug tested, and avoid bars or other places identified as dangerous.

In phase 1 of the program, the offender will be under intensive supervision every day for 30 days. They will be mentored by a Narcotics or Alcoholics Anonymous mentor, see a counselor every week, and attend weekly group counseling sessions. Anyone failing to meet these requirements will go back to jail. More significantly, they will lose an opportunity to turn around their lives.

In phase 2, supervision will be reduced. After a year, the offender’s case and the results of his or her efforts to comply with the recovery program will be evaluated. Depending on results, the offender’s sentence could be reduced and/or removed from his/her record.

The program is proactive. Drug and alcohol related problems will be identified early and steps will be taken to prevent problems from reoccurring or become more serious. Similar programs in other cities have proven to be cost effective. Secrest pointed out that, “…$3.00 are saved for every dollar invested in a drug court and $5600-$6208 is saved for every person who is not rearrested for a drug or alcohol related crime.”
The speakers for the September 23 meeting will be representatives from the Kennedy Stone House.

Connect with Byesville Rotary at: or The club meets 7:30 am, Tuesday at the Stop Nine Senior Center at 60313 (GPS use 60299) Southgate Road, Byesville. Call Membership Chair Jim Vaughan, 740-432-5605, to learn more about how to join.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Byesville Rotary gets short class in funeral planning

Pictured: Trent Black, Funeral Director, Black-Epperson Funeral Home, and Chuck Fair; President.

Trent Black, Funeral Director at Black-Epperson Funeral Home in Byesville, explained that funeral planning requires many choices. Family members, grieving over the loss of a loved one, often find that making these choices is difficult. Many people choose to preplan their own funerals in order to spare their family the stress. The preplanning process also gives family members the opportunity to share their ideas about what they want for a funeral.

Black stated that the most common questions include how much a funeral will cost, how people pay for a funeral, and what options are available. Costs can vary widely depending on the options chosen. Planners begin by deciding if they want burial or cremation. Decisions need to be made about where the service is to be held—at home, church, or the funeral home. Are flowers wanted or donations to a favorite charity preferred. Every funeral can be customized to meet the needs of the individual and the family.

Individuals can decide to have a “green” funeral. Black said that in a “green” funeral a biodegradable casket is used. The casket is not encased in a vault and no embalming is done. However, “green” funerals are permitted only on family owned property, and the grave site or family cemetery must be indicated on the deed.

Black pointed out that cremation is becoming more and more popular. When he started as a funeral director, about 10% of his clients asked for cremation. Today, cremation in the USA has risen to 45%. Cremation costs vary widely in the US. In Nevada, 75% of funerals are cremations.
In Ohio, only 30% chose cremation. Black thinks that the trend toward cremation may be influenced by the relative costs of cremation. A basic cremation is $1000. With extras the cost can rise to about $4500. In comparison, the cost of a traditional funeral averages $8300 which covers casket, minister, obituary, flowers, etc.

Black has been in the funeral business for 25 years. In order to qualify as a funeral director he had to have 2 years of college followed by two years of study at the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science. He then served a one year apprenticeship. Before he could practice on his own, he had to pass the state examination for an embalmer’s license.

The speaker for the September 16 meeting will be a representative from Alcohol and Drug Services of Guernsey County who will speak about the new HOPE program.

Connect with Byesville Rotary at: or The club meets 7:30 am, Tuesday at the Stop Nine Senior Center at 60313 (GPS use 60299) Southgate Road, Byesville. Call Membership Chair Jim Vaughan, 740-432-5605, to learn more about how to join.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Byesville Rotary learns NRO works 24/7 to protect nation

Pictured: Oziel Jeffries, Speaker Host; Major J. Russ Jeffries; and Chuck Fair; President.

Major J. Russ Jeffries spoke to the Byesville Rotary about his job in the National Reconnaissance Organization (NRO). A naval officer, Major Jeffries recently retired after 23 years of service in the Navy. He began his naval career 23 years ago as an intelligence analyst. At his retirement on August 15, he was serving as Chief Engineer for Signals Intelligence Systems Acquisition.

NRO stands for National Reconnaissance Organization. Maj. Jeffries explained that his job was to insure that the United States had eyes and ears in space. He was involved in designing and building equipment that was both durable and redundant as well as cutting edge. He explained that there have many changes in reconnaissance methods in the years he has served. Early on high altitude planes and cameras loaded with film were used. Unfortunately, even very high altitude planes can be identified and eliminated.

The next step was into space. Satellites were developed to collect data. Film was used to record the information. The film had to be returned to earth where it was captured in mid-air by a plane. Maj. Jeffries pointed out that evaluating film took weeks. Once the NRO began capturing information digitally, evaluation of the data became faster and more timely. Maj. Jeffries explained that today ground troops and pilots can be immediately linked with data streamed from a satellite.

Maj. Jeffries stated that the war on terror requires new thinking and new ways of collecting data so that the US can track lower signature targets such as small groups working under cover of forests or towns. This type of group is more difficult to track than armies which are accompanied with large pieces of equipment and supply lines.

Maj. Jeffries recommended that a young person wanting an exciting and challenging job needs to prepare him-/herself by taking science and business courses. His/her goal should be to get a degree in at least one of the hard sciences such as chemistry, physics mechanical, chemical, aero- or astro- engineering or a business degree.

Connect with Byesville Rotary at: or The club meets 7:30 am, Tuesday at the Stop Nine Senior Center at 60313 (GPS use 60299) Southgate Road, Byesville. Call Membership Chair Jim Vaughan, 740-432-5605, to learn more about how to join.