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Don Raike Becomes New Boston Village Councilman ... Jan 4, 2017

At the January 3rd meeting of New Boston Village Council, Don Raike was sworn in as councilman succeeding former Councilman Johnnie Steele who past away last month.

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Christmas Toy Delivery ... Dec 23, 2016

The Village of New Boston once again, due to generous contributions from local citizens, businesses and civic and church groups, distributed toys to needy children in the community December 21. Most all village employees, the mayor and council all assisted in some manner to make the day a huge success.

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New village officers sworn in ... Dec 20, 2016

At the December 20 New Boston Village Council meeting Mayor Williams swore in George Antonaros and Lisa Chinn as new police officers.

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Mike Payton elected President of Ohio Municipal League ... Dec 8, 2016

New Boston Village Councilman Mike Payton has been elected president of the board of trustees for the Ohio Municipal League after having served on that board for eight years.

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“Over the past eight years I have had the opportunity to represent New Boston with various village and municipal officials throughout the state and work with them to develop legislation best suited for our needs as a whole,” Payton said. “We meet with state legislators, state senators and the Governor as well as lobbyists.”

The Ohio Municipal league was incorporated as an Ohio non-profit corporation in 1952 by city and village officials who saw the need for a statewide association to serve the interests of Ohio municipal government. The board of trustees is the policy making body and appoints an executive director to manage the league under general direction. The trustees must include one mayor of a city or village, a city manager, a fiscal officer or finance director, a solicitor or law director, and councilpersons.

“They have always sent us up there (Columbus) for training. If you’re a new councilman, they sponsor the training that we go to once you get on Council,” Payton said. “They have ethics training and then they do the mayor’s court training as well as a lot with the solicitors and the legal end of it. That’s why I initially got involved with them. We work with the statehouse and the legislature. It’s been fun.”

Payton said any city or village, by proper action of its legislative body and payment of the annual membership fee may become a member. When a Ohio municipality becomes an active League member, all of the elected and key appointed officials are eligible to use the available services. Several of the villages in Scioto County along with Portsmouth and New Boston are members.

“We all have a lot of common issues, so it makes it good to be one voice,” Payton said. “We kind of revamped it this year. My year (which begins in January 2017) is going to be kind of the start of a different era with it. We’re going to get a little more aggressive with the legislature in trying to get some legislation done on some things that are advantageous to the cities and to the villages, especially the small ones.”

Payton said many of the cities involved in the League are large cities. That’s why he has made his agenda focusing on smaller municipalities.

“New Boston is one of the smaller villages,” Payton said. “I kind of want my year to try to represent some of them a little bit, and see if I can get some of their voices heard a little bit. That’s my goal, if I have one, for this year.”

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.

New Boston Councilman Johnnie Steele dies ... Dec 8, 2016

Sources at the D.W. Swick-Nelson Funeral Home in New Boston have confirmed they are in charge of arrangements for New Boston Village Councilman Johnnie Steele. Steele, 64, died Wednesday at his home.

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Steele served in the military, and ran 9 corporations.

“Shocked,” Village Councilman Dan Fetty said. “Johnnie was a New Boston resident, born and raised right here, serving his community, serving on Council. He was very dedicated to his family. He spent some time with his aunt in Florida after his uncle passed away, helping her with her wrap-up of her finances and things like that.”

New Boston Councilman Mike Payton also remembers Steele’s dedication to his community.

“I think he would do anything for anybody,” Payton said. “We knew Johnnie for a long time. I always thought, as far as the Council part goes, I think he had the community’s best interest at heart. He didn’t hesitate to take somebody to task if they didn’t answer a question the way he wanted. He had no hesitancy to dig deeper into something.”

Steele joined Village Council in 2016 and was serving as chairman of the Flood, Sewage and Service Committee. He is a 1970 graduate of Glenwood High School where he was instrumental in organizing and serving on the first Student Council.

“The people that voted for him got their money’s worth,” Payton said. “Johnnie didn’t back off. I liked him. He and I had our rounds – there’s no question we did – but that’s not all bad. I don’t think Johnnie held grudges. If he did, I didn’t know it. He never held any with me.”

Following graduation, Steele served in the United States Army. After completing his military service, Steele attended The Ohio State University, acquiring an Associate Degree in Business/Business Law/Management. He then began a period of employment with the Village of New Boston. During the three years he worked various positions within the village from operation of the sewage plant to other service oriented positions.

Steele ventured into the business world opening his first business in New Boston with Nationwide Insurance. Since opening that first business, he has owned over 9 corporations in Florida, New Jersey, Cleveland and the local area.

Steele had one son, Ryan a graduate of Clay High School, and one grandson, Parker who graduated from Glenwood High School. He was best-known for his involvement in the auction industry.

“My brother Terry and I go to a lot of auctions,” Payton said. ‘He used to run the auction up in Wheelersburg for a while on Saturday nights, and we used to go up there all the time and he was always a lot of fun.”

Fetty summed up Steele’s role in village business.

“He was gung ho about serving his community,” Fetty said.

Funeral arrangements are pending at the D.W. Swick-Nelson Funeral Home in New Boston.

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.

New Boston holds Breakfast With Santa event ... Dec 4, 2016

New Boston serves breakfast to the community with Santa as their guest

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New Boston Mayor Junior Williams, part of Breakfast With Santa for 17 of its 23 years, reminisced as he stood outside his office door. Williams was a member of Village Council and the late James Warren was mayor.

“I came to his (Warren) office prepared to volunteer to serve breakfast,” Williams said. “He said, ‘that box is for you.’ I opened it and it was a Santa suit. ‘Santa called in sick,’ the mayor said.”

It’s those kinds of fond memories that people have of New Boston’s Breakfast With Santa.

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“We continue it because it’s for the people who live in New Boston,” Williams said. “Mayor Warren started it back in 1994. I think we have served over 11,000 meals and handed out over 5,000 toys for kids. We just do it to see their smiling faces and to make everybody’s day, we hope.”

One of the people who is a fixture at this event every year is New Boston Councilman Mike Payton.

“This year looks like it’s one of the bigger ones,” Payton said. “Last year the weather was a little bit colder and there wasn’t as many. But this year we’ve got a room full. There’s probably about a hundred in here. They go out the door and we get more people in.”

It was announced earlier in the week that Sugg Hickman, operator of Hickie’s Hamburgers, was to be the grand marshal in the New Boston parade Saturday evening. But Saturday morning she wasn’t cooking hamburgers, she was serving breakfast to the New Boston community.

“I have the honor of being the grand marshal, so I thought, well, I’ll just give back to the community and come and help,” Hickman said.

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Out in the hallway Santa, who looked remarkably like New Boston Councilman Jon Mills, though it was only a coincidence, had a line of children who couldn’t wait to tell old Santa what they want for Christmas. As families enjoyed breakfast of pancakes and sausage, some orange juice and coffee, Willams’ smile said it all. This is a Mayor Jim Warren tradition that will go on in the years ahead.

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.


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