PDT Staff Writer
State Rep. Dr. Terry Johnson, R-McDermott, is seeking to honor three Scioto County residents by naming area highways after them.
If enacted, House Bill 325 would designate 30 memorial highways across Ohio, with three in Scioto County.
The bill would designate a portion of U.S. 52 in Scioto County as the Boone Coleman Memorial Highway; a portion of U.S. 52 in Scioto County as the USMC LCpl Jonathan Etterling Memorial Highway. That bill would also designate a section of U.S. 23 in Scioto County as the Branch Rickey Memorial Highway.
Johnson calls the designations a fitting tribute.
“Boone Coleman was a construction man, truck driver, bulldozer operator, and he provided jobs and hope for Scioto County. He never quit giving back to the community. His heart was as big as his trucks,” Johnson said in a released statement. “Jonathan personified everything that is great about Southern Ohio. He was an uplifting figure who inspires us still. And Branch Rickey was a hometown hero for us in Southern Ohio.”
If enacted the bill will name the stretch of road between mile marker 17 and 19 on State Route 52 after Boone Coleman.
Coleman, a longtime business owner, died in February 2011 while on vacation in Bradenton, Fla. He was 77. He founded Boone Coleman Construction and had been in business for 56 years in West Portsmouth.
The bill also would name U.S. 52 between mile markers 26 and 31 the “USMC LCpl. Jonathan Etterling Memorial Highway.”
Etterling, 22, of Wheelersburg was killed Jan. 26, 2005, while serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Etterling died when the CH-53E helicopter in which he was riding crashed near Rutbah, Iraq. Twenty-nine Marines and one sailor were killed in that crash.
The bill will name the U.S. 23 between Portsmouth and Lucasville the “Branch Rickey Memorial Highway.”
Rickey was a Major League Baseball scout who signed Jackie Robinson. A major motion picture is planned that will feature Rickey’s role in breaking the color barrier in professional baseball. The film is planned to be released in 2013.
House Bill 325 will now be considered by the Senate. If approved there, the bills would be sent to Gov. John Kasich to be signed into law.