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Williams sworn-in as New Boston mayor ... Jul 6, 2015

With his wife of 36 years, Laura, at his side, William “Junior” Williams was sworn in as the village of New Boston’s 20th mayor Monday morning by Village Councilman Dan Fetty. Williams had been serving as acting mayor since Mayor Jim Warren became ill several months ago. Warren died last week leaving the need for an official ceremony.

“I’m excited in one way and sad in another,” Williams told the Daily Times. “It’s not the way that a person wanted to take this office. Jim and I were going to talk in the fall and see what we were going to do.”

Williams said, aside from the circumstances of his taking the oath of office, he is excited for the people of New Boston because they are putting the finishing touches on a year-long project that began with a new sewer project and has now evolved into repairs and paving of U.S. 52 (Rhodes Avenue) area of New Boston.

“We finished the sewer project – phase one and phase two,” Williams said. “It’s a $4 million project. We received $2 million in principle forgiveness loans and we ended up having to pay approximately $1.6 million at this point. There’s also a phase three that is going to be done with Glenwood Avenue and we also have the street project the state of Ohio has going on right now. It’s supposed to be finished some time in mid September. Those are things that are challenges to businesses and the public and that has brought some traffic problems but we hope to have them cleared up real soon.”

The Williamses have three children – Dustin, Amanda and Aaron. They also have seven grandchildren. Williams is employed as a superintendent for Tri-America Contractors, Inc. He has been the President Pro Tem of the New Boston Village Council budget director and Finance Committee Chairman for the last eight years.

“They (village council) are great guys,” Williams said. “We have some experienced councilmen and we have experienced employees, great employees and they’ll be fine. They’ll be fine. They’ve been great to work with. I’m sure they’re going to give me all the help I need.

Williams has also been certified by the state of Ohio to conduct Mayor’s Court for the last four years. Williams will return power to the Democratic Party after Warren, a Republican, had broken a 50 year Democratic hold on that post some 21 years ago when he was first elected.

Council will most likely announce at Tuesday night’s regular meeting that they are accepting applications for candidates to fill Williams’ unexpired term. According to the Scioto County Board of Elections, with four seats open, there are four candidates for New Boston Council on the November ballot. Running for election is Johnnie Steele, and incumbent councilmen Dan Fetty, Jon Mills, and Mike Payton. Vonald Patrick had also filed to run for village council but withdrew his name when he was named earlier this year to fill the unexpired term of Councilman Terry Salyers, who resigned his seat and then passed away. With four openings and an equal four candidates, council could simply choose to appoint Steele to finish Williams’ unexpired term, with the expectation that he will take the seat after the election — barring any write-in opposition.

The Scioto County Board of Elections said anyone wishing to be a write-in candidate for either a council position or mayor has until 4 p.m. Aug. 24 to file. If there is no write-in candidate for mayor, Williams will begin his first full-term in January of 2016.

By Frank Lewis
flewis@civitasmedia.com

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

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Area says goodbye to “Mr. Mayor” ... Jul 2, 2015

 

When well-known political figures pass away, those memorializing them usually talk about their political career. That was not the case at the funeral for long time educator and New Boston Mayor Jim Warren who died Saturday after an extended illness.

“When you have a career in education and in politics not everyone is going to agree with you,” Pastor Gary Heimbach of Cedar Street Church of Christ in Christian Union who delivered the sermon said. “But Jim truly loved others more than he loved himself.”

That was the central theme at the celebration of life held Thursday morning at New Boston Glenwood High School.

“Only heaven will reveal the lives he touched,” Heimbach said. “Quietly, without fanfare, without attracting attention to himself, he made a difference. “

Rodney Barnett, Co-chairman of the Scioto County Republican Party, who delivered the eulogy, talked of the similarities of their lives having both been in the education field for over 30 years.

“He was a great communicator, perhaps with a different style, a different approach, a different demeanor than some,” Barnett told those in attendance. “but was very productive, very much respected and I can attest to the fact I seldom, if ever, heard a disparaging word directed at Mayor Jim Warren.”

Just before the start of the service Barnett said the death of Warren would leave a hole in the Scioto County community.

“His impact will be felt for a long time,” Barnett said. “and, as I will stress in my eulogy, that I hope that our many friends and family members will reach out and honor the request of the Warren family to consider making a donation, be it small or great, to the establishment of the Jim Warren Memorial Park or to continue with the breakfast that he has established or to the church that he so deeply loved (Cedar Street Church). The impact will be felt for a long time.”

Village Councilman Mike Payton worked with Warren in the operation of the village government, said the New Boston Community Building even felt different to him.

“I had not been in the city building until yesterday (Wednesday) since he passed away,” Payton said. “It was just a strange feeling. There was something missing. Without getting religious, it was like a spirit thing.”

Hundreds of people from ordinary everyday citizens to national political figures packed the gym, each reminiscing about the man who had been the face of New Boston for nearly 21 years, seeing it through the process of transitioning from industrial to retail status.

“This job allows me to meet so many people who care about their community and put others ahead of themselves,” U.S. Representative Brad Wenstrup told the Daily Times. “I came here for Jim Warren and for his family and for the community. He’s the perfect example of what so much of America is made up of – people that care about the community and the people they live with and wanting to make it better.”

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

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Wreath Presented for Veterans Memorial ... Jun 9, 2015

A special thanks to Minford American Legion Post 622 and Bill Hutchinson for presenting the Village of New Boston with this beautiful wreath for our Veterans Memorial. Village Administrator Steve Hamilton is pictured with Mr. Hutchinson.

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Veterans Honored at Heritage Square ... Jun 6, 2015

June 6 marked 71st anniversary of the D-Day Invasion. A
ceremony was held for all veterans residing at Heritage Square
that afternoon. A plaque and appreciation medals were
presented to these great heroes living in our village.

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Memorial Day at Millbrook Park ... May 24, 2015

New Boston is so proud of its military veterans. In honor of those who are no longer with us is this beautiful memorial at Millbrook Park.  We hope you were able to stop by this Memorial Day and take a moment to remember those who have made it possible for us to live in this great country.

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Unity breaks ground for Fellowship Center ... May 15, 2015

New things are happening at Unity Full Gospel Fellowship Church in New Boston. A ground breaking was held Thursday on the lot for a new facility. Richard Stiles, pastor of UFGFC, said they will call it Unity Fellowship Center.

“We are breaking ground for a new facility. We’re going to call it Unity Fellowship Center,” Stiles said. “We’re going to have a full court basketball court and a platform, or stage for concerts. It will be fully accessible for handicapped people.”

Their first priority for the new building is to compel people to faith in Jesus Christ.

“Our main objective is to win souls, people in the community, or whoever will come around,” he said. “Hopefully we will help the community and enhance the looks of it. We are trying to help the community, trying to build confidence in the community. These houses that were torn down were in pretty bad shape, and I think that since we have been here we’ve tried to enhance the beauty of the street and community.”

Mike Payton, councilman for the Village of New Boston, said they are both thrilled and proud to have UFGFC, and welcomes them to the community.

“On behalf of the Village, we are just thrilled to have all of these people here,” Payton said. “They took down some houses that needed to go, and they did it with all of their own money, they’re not using any tax money or anything, and they have come a long way. We are very proud to have them here in the church community of New Boston, and we are especially proud of the young people.”

UFGFC began eight years ago with Jack Howard who served as pastor of the church until June 1, 2014. The congregation materialized when a few people met on a Wednesday night Bible Study Oct. 5, 2005. By Oct. 23, 2005, the group rented a church in West Portsmouth, and had 38 people in attendance.

As the gathering continued to grow, a much larger space was needed to accommodate their growing church. Fall of 2006, the church had set goals to acquire funding needed to relocate. By June of 2007, UFGFC moved to their present location of 4221 Pine Street in New Boston.

In April of 2014, UFGFC purchased five parcels, consisting of four houses and one vacant lot, which is the future home of the Unity Fellowship Center. The construction of the new center is scheduled to begin in 30 days. The project is expected to reach completion some time in the fall according to Stiles.

Services for UFGFC are Sunday at 10 a.m, and 7 p.m., and Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Stiles said getting to this point with the project is a great feeling.

“It makes you feel good about yourself that people put their time and effort, and money into this,” he said. “When we get it done it’s going to be paid for. It’s just a great feeling to know that you don’t have to put a burden on your congregation.”

Article by Portia Williams 5/15/15 in the Portsmouth Daily Times
Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.

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