JoAnn in Real Life

Jackson Star News Updates and Other Nonsense

Archive for June, 2009

JSN Update – A Random Act of Kindness

Posted by JoAnn on June 23, 2009


Often in my Jackson Star News Updates, we get a mixed bag of good news and bad news, as well as some just plain random stuff.  Being a displaced West Virginian, I really enjoy providing these updates as a way for me and others to stay in touch with the homeland. Having said that, I can honestly say that this update will certainly go down as one of my favorites.

Sara Beth Jett Montgomery, class of ’98, alerted me to a letter to the editor that appeared last week in the Parkersburg News and Sentinel, which appears below. Be sure to read the letter in its entirety.

I have often heard of “angels among us,” but never personally encountered one until recently. Traveling to St. Albans, to attend the memorial service of a friend, I encountered my angel. Although she looked like an “ordinary” person, she was anything but.

I had traveled approximately 50 miles when I began having car problems. Before I knew it, my car had completely lost all power. There I was on the side of I-77, just north of Charleston, not knowing what to do. I decided to walk to the nearest exit. I started walking when a van pulled in.

A lady got out to see if she could be of help. Come to find out, she lives in Ravenswood and was on her way to work in Charleston but took the time to stop to see if she could help. She offered to take me onto St. Albans, but by this time I just wanted to get the car running enough to get back home. She used her OnStar, located a car parts store and took me to get a battery. Neither of us had installed a battery before, but she had confidence she could do it. So, battery and socket set in hand, (neither of us had tools) we left the car parts store ready to tackle the task. Things didn’t go quite as well as we expected, but with the help of two kind gentlemen and a state police officer, two hours later, I was finally ready to attempt returning to Parkersburg.

Nothing doing! Angel Liz, (that is the way I have entered her number in my cell phone) was not going to let me travel alone. She insisted on following me all the way to the Mineral Wells exit. I have never seen anyone go to the great lengths this dear lady went to help someone else in need. She gave new meaning to the saying, “going above and beyond.” On top of that, she would not take anything for her time and trouble, not even gas money.

God did not cause my car to breakdown, but He knew it was going to happen and orchestrated everything and everyone who was involved in His intricate plan. I appreciate her sacrificial acts of kindness and give all the glory to God.

Barbara Beatty
Elizabeth, W.Va.

The story in itself is a great one and should be a lesson for all of us. What makes it all the better is that most of us actually know Angel Liz. She is none other than Liz Rardin Dauch, RHS class of ’95. Now, Liz will say her actions were no big deal. But in reality, her actions go far above and beyond what many people would do and she should be commended for her kindness and selflessness.

Thank you to Sara Beth for alerting me to the letter.

And thank you to Liz for giving us all such a nice model to follow.


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JSN Update — Special Report for Class of ’94ers

Posted by JoAnn on June 23, 2009

RHSThe Ravenswood High School Class of 1994 will be celebrating their 15-year class reunion this Saturday, June 27.  


The day will begin at 9 a.m. with a round of golf at Green Hills Country Club. 


A family picnic will begin at 12:30 p.m. at the Ravenswood City Park located next to the middle school.  Hot dogs and hamburgers will be provided; guests are asked to bring a side dish or dessert.  


A reunion party, featuring food, drinks and DJ music will begin at 6 p.m. at Green Hills Country Club. For information, please contact Matt Moresea at or Scott Hunt at


Donations, to help cover costs, would be appreciated.



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JSN Update – 6/22/09

Posted by JoAnn on June 22, 2009

Ricky Good

Ricky Good

* It appears one Mr. Ricky Good, class of … well, should’ve been ’95 but he was in my class for awhile and to be honest, I’m not sure what year he graduated, but anyway … he has gotten into a little trouble with the law. Ricky, along with an unidentified accomplice, allegedly beat and robbed a man at the Super 8 Motel in Ripley, stealing more than $500 in cash, the victim’s checkbook and prescription medications.  The man was treated for lacerations and contusions at Jackson General Hospital. Ricky didn’t end up quite as well. He was arrested and currently is being housed at South Central Regional Jail. In October 2008, Ricky was arrested for petit larceny and obstructing an officer. Note to self … criminal behavior is never a good idea. Neither are repeat offenses. I’d also advise against unnaturally blonde tips. But I digress.

* A special shout out to Jackson Newspapers and ace reporter Jared Hunt, class of of ’00, for making the effort to write “under way” correctly on the front page last week. This is the point in which I reveal my complete geekiness. For years, Jackson Newspapers has been writing under way as one word, which is incorrect except for rare exceptions. Yes, I like correct grammar and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Anyway, kudos and tip of my hat to those who made this feat possible.

A colorful golfing quartet and law enforcement goodness

A colorful golfing quartet. Baltic is on the left.

* Jason Baltic, class of ’97, and three other fellas participated in the annual DARE golf tournament at Green Hills Country Club. The quartet was hard to miss in their loud and matching golf attire. Baltic is a deputy state fire marshal as well as the chief of the Sandyville Volunteer Fire Department. His golfing buddies are all law enforcement officers with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department.

* In belated congratulatory news, a special and heartfelt congratulations goes out to Cynde Boston, Hurricane High grad but forever a member of the RHS class of ’97, and her beau Jonathan Hardman, who welcomed a beautiful baby girl into this world a little more than a month ago. Kaiya Leigh was born prematurely, but has been quite the little fighter and gets more beautiful every day. Congrats to the growing family. May we all pray that the little tike gets to go home soon.

* Congratulations also go out to Olivia Hudson, class of ’97, on her recent marriage to Michael Balas, an entrepreneur in Richmond, Va. From the looks of Olivia’s picture, the wedding was absolutely beautiful, just like the couple.

Stay thirsty, my friends.

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Seinfeld Moment – The Elevator

Posted by JoAnn on June 19, 2009

Booking_Jerry_SeinfeldSo I’m waiting for the elevator the other day when I noticed a man get out of his car and start his approach to the elevator from the other side of the parking garage. He clearly sees me standing there waiting on the elevator. Yet he maintains a leisurely pace, a lighthearted stroll, if you will. The elevator arrives with its normal ‘ding’ to alert those waiting that it has arrived. I know he can hear it.  But at this point, the guy is sandwiched between the point of being too far to merit an elevator hold and too close really to just blow him off and let the doors close. This zone of approach creates quite the predicament.

I could hop on the elevator, hit the ‘door close’ button to expedite my departure and be on my way. Or, I could sigh heavily, hit the ‘door open’ button and wait for Mr. Takes His Time. However, if I expedite the departure of the elevator car and get the hell out of dodge, I run the risk of an awkward moment on the off-chance Mr. Takes His Time arrives just as the doors close. Plus, does he then cuss me under his breath or go home and tell his friends (presuming he has any) that some wench wouldn’t hold the elevator for him? And if he does, do I care?

But, if I wait and hold the elevator, I run the risk of setting off the annoying buzzer that goes off when the elevator door is being held open too long. If that happens and there’s someone on another floor waiting for the elevator, then those people will probably give me dirty looks because I’ll be the girl who was holding  up the elevator. And what if this guy is maintaining a leisurely stroll because he doesn’t want to be rushed. Maybe he hopes to avoid the weak “Hi” followed by the “Have a good evening” remarks that are customary when sharing an elevator car. If I hold the elevator, does he sigh under his breath and think, “I wish she would just go on. There’s three elevators here.”

Obviously there are a variety of factors to put in play here. Distance. Pace. Does he make eye contact? (He did not, by the way.) Is he carrying any packages? (He was not.)

Problem is, I live in the same building as this guy. We park on the same level. If it were someone I’d probably never see again, no problem. You can take your leisurely stroll on to the next elevator car. But this guy, I’ll probably see again. So when you’re in that zone of approach, what is the appropriate etiquette?

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JSN Update – 6/15/09

Posted by JoAnn on June 15, 2009

Michael Ward

Michael Ward

* Michael Ward of Millwood was arrested last week after breaking into two Jackson County residences. In the first incident, Ward gained access to a woman’s home while the homeowner was home. Ward asked the woman for a beer, which she denied. He then made inappropriate advances toward the woman’s granddaughter, leading the woman to order the man out and he left. I would’ve ordered him out after the beer request, but that’s just me. Ward then went to another mobile home, where in white trash fashion, used his welfare card to try and break in. When that didn’t work, he just kicked the door in and loaded up some stuff. At that point, the husband of the woman in the first residence arrived home, grabbed his shotgun and went looking for Ward. After cornering him, the local man was able to delay Ward until police arrived. Being less than cooperative with law enforcement, Ward ended up in a little tangle with several officers and ended up cutting his head on the mirror of a patrol car. Enjoy the mug shot. We’ll just file this under things that seemed like a good idea at the time.

* Two years in the making, Gilmore Elementary‘s playground has gotten a much needed facelift with asphalt painting, new swings, a new fence and paint for playground equipment.

* In a look back at RHS history, 10 years ago this week the Ravenswood High School Red Devils won their first AA state baseball championship under the heavy hitting of Brian Archer, Chris Claudio, Corey Kruk, Daniel Curry and Luke Salmons, all of which were named to the All-State Team. So in Where Are They Now fashion, if you know what any of these fellas are up to these days, drop us a comment and fill us in.

* To all you Class of ’99ers, I heard form Beverly Yeager who said she is working on pulling together some plans for your class reunion. Hang tight as more information will be on the way soon, but no details have been finalized as yet.

* With school out for the summer, we’re replacing the school lunch menu segment with a new segment I am stealing from Stephen Colbert — Tip of My Hat, Wag of My Finger. First up is Jackson Newspapers. When most newspapers make a mistake, they often run a correction in some conspicuous section of the newspaper usually under a story about widget making or some other lame thing that puts you to sleep before you ever have a chance to read the correction. Not Jackson Newspapers. After making an error in a story earlier this month, the newspaper ran a correction on the front page. So tip of the hat to you, Jackson Newspapers, for doing your best to get the right information out.

As for Ravenswood Grade School, you get a wag of my finger after the Jackson County Health Department found one “critical” and three “non-critical” health code violations. Snack Shack, a restaurant that recently opened in Evans, received three non-critical violations. Ravenswood High School and Skate-A-Rama received none.

Finally, tip of my hat goes to Ravenswood’s Pampered Paws Pet Salon and its owner, Beverly Southall, for donating her time and energy to give puppy makeovers for dogs that were rescued last month from the home of a hoarder in Sandyville.

Stay Thirsty My Friends

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JSN Update 6/5/09

Posted by JoAnn on June 5, 2009


Angela Morrone and Lupe

Angela Morrone and Lupe

* If you were wondering whatever happened to the little Canadian chihuahua that was lost in Jackson County, we have a happy ending. As you may recall, Canada resident Angela Morrone was driving along I-77 when she lost control of her vehicle in the rain near the Medina Road exit. The wreck overturned the car, and Angela’s teacup chihuahua, Lupe, jumped out a window and ran off. Morrone received minor injuries in the accident, but was distraught when she was unable to find the pup. Her family came down  from Canada to pick  up Angela and search for the missing Lupe, but to no avail. Several days after the accident, the family received a call from Jackson County resident Nina McVey who said Lupe had been spotted on a farm near the crash site. Angela’s mom and brother returned to Jackson County to resume the search. After several days, and with the help of Nina and James McVey, the Morrones found the dog, who was malnourished and obviously scared. Lupe has been returned to Angela, and in her words, being given the royal treatment. I’m a sucker for happy endings! My favorite quote in the story came from Anegla’s mother who said, “The kindest people live in West Virginia.”  Well put, Mrs. Morrone.


* Ravenswood High School boys’ basketball coach Mick Price was honored as the Sportswriters’ West Virginia Coach of the Year. Among other honors, his basketball team won the AA state championship this year. Many kudos to the 31-year coaching veteran!

* David Wallen is getting hitched to Pt. Pleasant native Brooke Jones. I don’t know David, as he is a Ripley high grad, but we all know his lovely mama, one Mrs. Carolyn Wallen. Always one of my favorite teachers, Mrs. Wallen retired from the Jackson County school system in 2006. Anyway, congrats to the entire family on the upcoming nuptials!

* Speaking of teachers, Ravenswood Grade teacher Betty Nuzum received a Target grant so she could take a gaggle of fourth graders to the Columbus Zoo for a field trip. Sounds like fun. I always liked Mrs. Nuzum too. Though all I really remember of her now is she had really long hair and she was the first person I ever knew that had a nose ring. But I’m sure I learned something in her class, and I’m sure I use that knowledge every day, because all my teachers said I would and that’s why I had to pay attention. Anyway, hope the trip was a success!

* And in exciting news, the school lunch menu has been turned into “Cooks’ Choice” for the end of the school year. No word on what those final meals were for the 2009 school year, but I’m hoping they did not include whole wheat. Health food be darned! This is the time of year where kids should eat junk and watch movies all day in class like the forever classic, “Nothing But Trouble.”

And with the end of the school year, I’ve grown tired of my Anchorman sign-off.  So for the summer, I’m stealing the line from the Most Interesting Man in the World.

Stay Thirsty My Friends.

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Take Note University of Other

Posted by JoAnn on June 2, 2009

According to a study out of Marshall University, changing the name of a college or university apparently does little to boost enrollment. The study examined data from more than 160 institutions across the country that changed their names. Most of his research focused on institutions in West Virginia, which had the largest percentage of “college-to-university” rebrandings of any state. Since 1970, 11 West Virginia schools have changed their names. The impetus behind most changes was to gain prestige and boost enrollment and fundraising efforts. But in most cases, enrollment slowed. At schools where enrollment grew, the rate was not as great as before the name change.

As noted in a previous blog entry, WVU-P is considering a name change. According to Mr. Owston, it’s probably best to stick with what you’ve got.

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