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Denise Bly

Denise Bly
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Denise Bly has been a correspondent for the Weekly Villager for five years. She also does the public relations for Garrettsville SummerFest and the Garrettsville Area Chamber. In her spare time, she can be found at most local events, especially J.A. Garfield’s, high school and middle school athletic and musical events. When not out and about in the community, she can be found at home reading, sewing, cooking and spending time with her family.

Garrettsville – After a three year hiatus, he’s back. Mr. King returns to the stage at James A Garfield School writing, directing and producing his play  “The Right to Bare Arms.” The play mixes modern day and ancient times together as a small island learns to overcome fear, to survive the curse that it has been said to be under. 

The modern day island is bound by ancient laws, such as no fishing with a shot gun, no bare arms in public, no milking their neighbors’ cow, one must only talk in the ancient language and butter is the only thing allowed on biscuits and muffins.  The islanders believe they are under a curse from Witch Golda, which causes the island to sink into the sea when anyone breaks a law. The town is so bound by the laws that no one is able to work, therefore they become dependent on the king for survival.   

Then, the cupbearer’s daughter, Maya, who doesn’t believe in curses, is determined to challenge the laws of the land and possibly be the source of the island’s demise. Maya encourages some of the young women to follow her point of view which lands them all in jail for challenging what she calls outdated laws.

The play has a king, a witch, knights, and even a jester to add humor and fun into the mix. The knights undermine the king and have a plot of their own, if only one could just figure out the good knight from the bad. The evil witch, who just wants to marry the king, has a naïve town believing in her curse as she plots against the town to get the king to love her. The king’s daughter falls for a commoner, women determined to rebel against authority all come together with one cause in the end and it is to overcome fear to save their island.

Mr. King does a great job intertwining the ancient times with the modern day and adding plenty of humor to the mix. The roles were cast well and the play was quite entertaining. Leaving an audience chanting bravo, bravo! 

Welcome back, Mr. King, we hope this is the “first” of many more to come

Windham – The WVFD Joint Fire Board met for their regularly-scheduled meeting recently at the fire station. Chairman Dann Timmons called the meeting to order. The board approved the October minutes as presented, the October expenditures and the bank reconciliation.

Fire Chief Mike Iwanyckyj said the FEMA grant opened November 1, 2014 and will remain open until December 5, 2014. Mike reintroduces Jack Breese, who has been the grant writer for WVFD.  Breese presented a contract to the board, for grant writing for the FEMA Grant. Breese also made a few suggestions on what the board should apply for with the grant. After some discussion, the WVFD Board agrees to have Breese write the grant and took his suggestions on what to apply the grant toward. The district has to identify specifically what it will be used on. Breese suggested using it for Scot Air Paks, fire hoses and thermal cameras.

The chief requested an executive session to discuss hiring and firing issues with personnel. After the executive session, the board decided to move David Belknap from active EMS to regular fire fighter, due to Belknap’s school schedule. The board discussed an application for basic EMT. In order to accept the applicant, the board had to waive their handbook rule of being on the department for six months. The board waived the rule and accepted the applicant as a basic EMT.

In new business, board member Deb Blewitt questioned the law on open burning and inquired what was being burned at Miller’s residence that required the fire departments assistance. The chief stated that in the Ohio Revised Code, there is no open burn policy in Ohio, however, if it is brush on their property the home owner still needs to apply for a permit. The chief will address the issue with the home owner.

In old business, the board returned to executive session to discuss the alleged breach of contract on the dispatching issue. After the executive session, the board appointed Jim Moore and Dann Timmons to represent the WFVD’s interest in negotiating the dispatching dispute with the village. One board member voiced some concerns over the appointment, but the motion carried.

The WVFD Joint Fire District Board meets on the second Thursday of each month at 7 pm at the fire station. The meetings are opened to the public.

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Windham – The Renaissance Family Center (RFC) in Windham was recently the recipient of a $12,000 grant from the ANH Foundation. The check was delivered to the center on November 3, 2014 by Allen Knight, head of press maintenance at the ANH Company in Windham, and Dave Apthorpe, plant manager of ANH, and Harry Amie, president of the United Steel Workers Union of ANH, Windham. On hand to receive the check were the director of the facility, Joe Hickman and board member, Crystal Hickman.

The ANH Company Foundation is a charity foundation that is a separate entity of the ANH Company which is derived from three refectories, AP Green Refractories, North American Refractories and Harbison-Walker Refractories. The foundation is run by a team of board members from the refractories.  Each year the foundation awards $50,000 to $60,000 in grants to organizations that show need and  also ANH employee involvement with the charity.  Employees from each company have an opportunity to nominate a 501(c) 3 charity that they are involved with. The board members of the foundation review the applications and determine who receives the grants.

This year RFC was the recipient of one of their grants. RFC was nominated by local resident and employee of ANH (Harbison-Walker) Allen Knight. Knight stated that the charity was important to him and his family. Knight said, “I am a strong believer of helping local folks who have fallen on hard times. At some point in time, each of us have or will need assistance either financially, spiritually and/or emotionally.” The facility meets all these needs and more.   He said he and his wife have donated many items to the center, so the center could resell the items and use the profits to keep RFC open.  Knight, in his letter to the foundation, listed all the employees that he knew at the plant who are involved in RFC, by either donating or volunteering at the center, the list was quite extensive.

Joe Hickman said they would use the grant money to improve the infrastructure of the facility. He said many times grants are given and they have stipulations to be used for programs and activities, rarely does one receive a grant that can be used for the infrastructure rather than programs and activities. The money would be a great help in maintaining the facility.

RFC was established five years ago  and is run by volunteers and donations. They are open to everyone, no matter where they live. Some of the services they offer are after -school tutoring, free meals, the second blessing shop where they sell used items to help those in need and it helps fund the center.  They also have men’s basketball, a weight room, indoor walking, seniors programs, free community meals and more. They host Al-anon, Alcoholics  Anonymous and  Narcotics Anonymous meetings, Salvation Army/ Red Shield program, Townhall II and Portage County Health Department Immunization Clinics. The center also houses the Windham branch of the Portage County District Library.

Since the inception of the facility they have become one of Windham’s greatest assets. The center is open Monday 10am- 4pm, Tuesday 10 am – 6:30 pm, Thursday noon – 6:30 pm and Friday 10 am – 4pm. They are closed on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. For more information on the facility one may call 330 326-3003 or visit then on the web at http://www.windhamrfc.com/.

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The beautiful weather we had the last few weekends made it hard to think of snow and all the issues it brings with it. The snow will fly and area municipalities have been getting prepared for the upcoming winter, but not without sticker shock over salt prices.

Last year, local municipalities in the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) Purchasing Consortium paid $27 per ton of salt and this year the price has soared to above $100 per ton. In fact, if a municipality was part of the ODOT Purchasing Consortium, then they were lucky, they are locked in at $108.01 per ton for this year. Others, who were not part of the consortium could see prices at $140 a ton or even higher.

The soaring prices are blamed on the supply and demand. Last year’s hard winter increased the demand which has given salt companies a limited supply. Even though they have continued to operate the mines at full capacity, including weekends, they are still struggling to keep up with the demand as communities try to ensure they have enough salt for the season.  According to Dane Roth, Ketchum Public Relations for Morton Salt, “Salt prices are determined by a complex system that is dependent on a variety of factors including, but not limited to the availability of salt supply in a given season, the time a community submits their bid, production costs and costs to source the salt from points that may be outside normal channels such as international destinations, and the freight cost to deliver salt.” All these factors determine what a municipality will pay for salt.

Each year, a municipality will estimate how much salt they will need and order accordingly, however they must take 90% of what they estimate and can use no more than 110 % of the estimate. Last year, when area municipalities exceeded their estimate, they had to go outside the state to purchase salt. This year they will probably do the same, especially if we have a winter like last year.

Many local communities have adjusted their budgets and ordered the same amount of salt they always have, while others have chosen to order less salt and mix the salt with grit, sand or cinders. Some municipalities, like Garrettsville Village were able to adjust their budgets to absorb the soaring prices and order the same amount of salt they always order, while smaller municipalities like Windham have no wiggle room for the inflated cost, so they have adjusted their salt usage by mixing in grit or sand. Townships are in the same boat, some were able to adjust their budgets, while most have chosen to reduce their salt usage and mix it with more grit. This could cause roads to be in a state that one hasn’t seen in a long time.

This winter, motorists will have to slow down, and use caution especially on the some township and some village streets, as many will be using less salt. If we have a hard winter, some areas will only be salting the intersections, hills, and dangerous curves. Motorist will also have to deal with dirty cars. The residue from sand, grit and cinders will leave motorists making more trips to the car wash if they want to have a clean car.

Garrettsville – The Garfield Stadium was a sea of pink Friday night as the G-men football team held a “pink out” night to pay tribute to those who have conquered breast cancer, those who are conquering the disease and those who lost the battle prior to the Mogadore-G-men game.

Earlier in the season, several of the football moms decided that since so many of the players families were touched by the disease, they would pay tribute to those family members. They chose October because it is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The group designed a t-shirt and organized the sale of the shirts for the game. The proceeds from the event will be split, with a portion of it going to the Melissa Knight to help with her on-going medical costs as she fights the fight and the remaining portion will go to the junior class. The shirt had a dark pink ribbon on the front laced similar to football lacing that had the slogan “Tackle Cancer” on it. The team sold over 100 pink t-shirts.

Friday night, prior to the game, they honored those who have won the battle, those who are fighting the battle and those who lost the battle by wearing the pink t-shirts and by giving recognition to those family members. The football players then escorted their family member a crossed the field prior to the game.

Those honored were, one year survivors Judy Blewitt, escorted by her grandson, Christopher Blewitt, and Kathie Lutz escorted by her grandson, Kyle Borelli and honorary grandson Christopher Blewitt.   Ante Dejanovic and his dad, Mio honored Ante’s mother and Mio’s wife, Kasenna who lost her battle five years ago. Devin and Dayne Karlovec escorted their grandmother, Rella Hoskins, who is a 30 year survivor, Brad Martin escorted his aunt, Jonnie Manista who just finished chemo, he also honored his grandmother Bonnie Nedelka who lost her battle 14 years ago, Hayden Nichols escorted his grandmother Janet Nichols who is a four year survivor. Chandler Stefanek escorted his grandmother, Pat Stefanek, who is a 20 year survivor, Noah Owens escorted his grandmother, Mary Anne Dunning and lastly, Melissa Knight was escorted by her daughters, Sierra and Alexis Knight, and Dalton Fall. Melissa is currently fighting the disease.

Although the stands and sidelines were a sea of pink, the game was all green as Mogadore defeated the G-Men 49-7.

Garrettsville - The week leading up to homecoming is always an exciting week as the student council held spirit week with various themes. Monday’s theme was camouflage, Tuesday was tie-dyed, Wednesday was class t-shirts, Thursday was pink for breast cancer awareness and Friday was black and gold. Besides the themed days, they had a bonfire night, hall-decorating contest, fence decorating contest, and float-decorating for the parade.

Friday night’s festivities began when the parade stepped –off at 4:30 followed by the coronation of the King Evan Beach and Queen Sara Petrie at the game.  The band was not left out of the festivities. The Marching Pride was joined by the 8th grade band and the alumni band members, boosting their numbers to 170 marchers as they performed the half-time show before a record crowd. The combined band played many of the band’s favorites like the “Garfield Fight Song,” “Cleveland Rocks,” “The Hey Song,” and “Land of a 1000 Dances,” bringing back memories for many of the alumni in attendance. The G-men came up short in the game, giving the Pirates a 13-7 win.

The class winners were as follows: Hall decorating, and float decorating went to the senior class, the junior class won the fence decorating, the sophomore class was declared the overall spirit week winner by having the largest percentage of their class participating in the class shirt day, pink for breast cancer awareness day and for black and gold day. The freshman class won the camouflage day.

The week-long festivities were capped-off by the “Winter in New York” themed dance Saturday night.

Windham – The Windham Village council met on September 22, 2014 with all council members in attendance. Mayor Rob Donham called the meeting to order and gave the guests an opportunity to address council. All of the guests preferred to wait until the end of the meeting before addressing council.

Council approved the fire, police and safety report, the minutes and the financial report before moving on to the lease/ purchase of new police vehicles.  A discussion on the lease /purchase of three new vehicles was held with two of the council members unsure if the lease/ purchase is technically considered a true emergency. They also questioned the need for three vehicles. The mayor reminded council that salt will be seven times more expensive than in previous years and they will be using a lot less of it. Therefore, all-wheel drive vehicles will be necessary to get around. One council member did agree that is would save on gas since the new vehicles have V-6 engines rather than V-8 engines in the cruisers they currently have. They also noted that there would be less money going out for repairs as well. A vote was taken, with one member voting against the measure. The council member who voted against the measure thought two vehicles would suffice. The lease /purchase option of the three vehicles has the village paying $30,000 a year for four years and $1 for the fifth year if they choose to purchase the vehicles at the end of the lease.

In other safety news, council appointed their village representative to the fire board. They voted to have resident Jim Moore represent their residents’ interests on the WFVD Joint Fire Board.

A long discussion on Ordinance O-2014-18 was held. This ordinance is to revise and amend the Windham utility code and adjust water rates for purchase of water from the village and declaring an emergency. This change would allow families who use large quantities of water,(6000 – 12,000 gallons a month) a rate reduction. There are approximately 70 household in the village that this affects. Mayor Rob Donham says this would save those families about $15/ month. The mayor claimed that many times this usage is due to car washing, lawn watering or hosting guests during the summer months. Council members not in favor of the rate reduction stated that for years the single person households paid more than their share of the water bills due to a minimum usage requirement that was once in effect. Now they have eliminated the minimum usage it is now a more fair way of billing and they object to giving large users a break. One council person wanted to know why they should reward those who use more water rather than reward those who choose to conserve water. A vote was taken and five of the six council members voted against giving large users a rate reduction.

In parks and recreation, council approved the appointment of Chris Collins to the Parks and Recreation Committee. They also approved  spending of , no more than $15,000 from the revolving loan fund to move and install playground equipment at the park. The equipment must be installed to the new safety mandates which are quite labor intensive and costly.

A resident questioned zoning policies and also asked why nothing has been done about an on- going problem in her neighborhood. Mayor Rob Donham will look into the problem. Another resident questioned what the plans were for the $676,000 in the sewer fund. $250,000 is planned for upgrades and $30,000 for capital improvement. Another resident in attendance inquired about when they would start campaigning for the Parks and Recreation Levy. The answer given was soon. The same resident wanted to know how much of the funds from that levy would be spent on the community center. The response was that $5,000-10,000 of the levy monies will be spent on the center. It was estimated that it would take $25,000 to get the community center up and running again. Then, it will take about $5000-10,000 a year for maintenance of the facility.

Lastly, another resident questioned when they expected to be in the new facility they bought last year. Mayor Rob Donham responded with spring 2015. Council approved the purchase of the building in October 2013 and made the first payment in January 2014 and as of yet do not have architect drawings for the renovation of the facility. The mayor expects the drawings soon.

The next scheduled meeting will be held on November 25, 2014 at 7 pm in council chambers.

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Windham – An organization that has always been there for those in need, find that they are in need of help themselves.  Their shelves are almost bare. Sandi Fordyce, head of the food pantry at Windham’s Salvation Army said it is a combination of things; the rising cost of food, more folks underemployed, making a larger demand for food, fewer donations etc. Currently, the Salvation Army in Windham serves about 200 families a month.  The Salvation Army generally obtains their food from the Akron Canton Food Bank but as of late, they have had slim pickings and the cost of the healthy food has made it nearly impossible to purchase enough to meet the demand.

The pantry needs our help. Here is what one can do to help, and it is simple. When you grocery shop buy an extra can or two and drop it off at the Renaissance Family Center at 9905 Wil-Verne Dr Windham, Oh 44288. RFC is open Mondays 8am 4 pm, Tuesday 10 am – 6pm, and Thursdays 12pm until 6pm and Fridays 10 – 4 pm. Please state it is for the Salvation Army Food Pantry.  Civic groups, school groups etc could also host food drives to help replenish the shelves. One can also donate cash as well.

The Salvation Army has an account set up at Sparkle in Windham. Monetary donations can be dropped off at Sparkle; tell them it is for the Salvation Army Food Pantry. These monies will be used to buy fresh meat and produce.  Top items they need are, noodles, canned soups, stuffing mix, any canned vegetables, baked beans, Jell-O, and pudding, pancake mix and syrup; just about any canned good is  needed. Wholesome breakfast cereals, peanut butter, and canned meats are also needed. They will accept any nonperishable food that is not outdated.

So let’s help our neighborhood food pantry which is always there when one is in need, so it can continue to be there, when it is needed.

Garrettsville – James A. Garfield High School’s Marching Pride Band took this past weekend by storm as they performed four times in 24 hours.

Garrettsville-James-A-Garfield-Marching-Pride-BandFriday afternoon, the band loaded the buses and headed to Waterloo for the football game. They performed what they refer to as their show one tunes, which were “Moves Like Jagger,” “Treasure,” “Pompeii,” and “Can’t Hold Us,” The band, as usual, really rocked it out. Besides the half-time show, the band played numerous snippets of tunes in the stands to keep the crowd in the game. The band returned to the school at 10:30 pm knowing they would be back in the morning for what many dubbed “the longest day.”

On Saturday, they went right back to it.  They loaded the buses and headed for Hiram College. The Marching Pride was scheduled to play the pregame and half-time shows for the college’s homecoming. The “Pride” took the college by storm as they played like never before. They played “Moves like Jagger,” Treasure,” “Pompeii,” “Hang on Sloopy,” and then the National Anthem.  Folks in the stands heard compliments from many of the fans sitting around them. Some even asked how does a band that size sound like they have 500 instruments rather than 100, and are you sure that is a high school band?  Etc. The Pride once again did Garfield Schools proud.

The band kicked it in high gear as they performed the half-time show at the college. They once again impressed the alumni and the fans with their performance selecting tunes they have played at the football games this season. The band was treated to lunch of hot dogs, chips and Gatorade before boarding the buses to return to the school.

The students then had an hour to rest before performing before the alumni at the annual alumni dinner. The band treated the alumni to the school’s Alma Mater, the Fight Song and “Hang on Sloopy.” The kids, chaperones and band directors had been at it all day and they were starting wear down, but were hanging tough.

2014 Marching Pride

2014 Marching Pride

Following the alumni performance, the band boarded buses to head to the Stow Band Show for their final performance of the night.  There were eight bands scheduled to perform in the program which appeared to be done according to band size. This put the Marching Pride third on the program. The Marching Pride wowed the crowd with their music and moves on the field, and once again the fans in the stands reported they had heard numerous compliments on the band’s performance.

The evening did not end with the bands scheduled slot time. The Pride and their fans were treated to grand finale of nearly 1000 instruments playing one song together.  The eight bands honored those who are serving and have served our country by performing Lee Greenwood’s hit, “God Bless the USA.”  The grand finale` sent chills down one’s spine and gave everyone an idea of what a 1,000 instrument band would sound like.  It was awesome, and a great way to finish off the longest day  — STRONG!

Windham – The WVFD Joint Fire District met on September 11, 2014. The meeting was called to order by the Chairman Dann Timmons. The board approved the minutes, the expenditures and the bank reconciliation. The board adjourned to an executive session to discuss personnel issues.

Following the executive session, a discussion was held on the current policy about the active firemen and EMS personnel. The current policy is that one must run eight hours a week. The board will look at updating the policy. One member has failed to meet the obligations to the district. The member will be placed on the reserve roster for 30 days giving them a chance to communicate with the board about the situation. Another member will be listed as regular fire fighter rather than an EMT.

The chief reported that he received a written warranty for hoses from Finley Fire. The warranty was not what the chief originally thought. The hoses have a 10 year warranty, with a 10 year return policy. After some discussion, the board decided to go with Warren Fire. Warren Fire’s hoses are less expensive, have the same warranty and are local. Chief Mike Iwanyckyj reported that he found a place that has blood pathogenic coats for considerable less money than the first company. The board tabled the decision until they had a full board. The board was missing two members, one member was on vacation and the other seat was vacated by death.

Another discussion was held on the tuition reimbursement policy. The big discussion was how to determine what an “active” member is for tuition reimbursement. The chief said it was eight hours of run time a week, with two training session a month and one business meeting a month. Dann Timmons and the chief will review policy to ensure it is used consistently with all personnel.

The chief also reported that the tires are on truck 2812 and currently they have had 519 calls for the year and are one call ahead of last year.

In new business, the chief reported that Ravenna dispatching wants to meet with him and go over their current MABIS System. This system is used for back up calling for mutual aid.

In old business, Dann reminded the board that the township still has the supplies for one dry hydrant and they need to find a place to have it installed. Timmons said the township will aid in the installation of the hydrant. The board will look around and see if they can find a pond on the west side of the township.

The village advertised for candidates to serve on the fire board and they received zero response. They will see about finding one on their own. The discussion on the alleged breach of contract on dispatching was again tabled until they have a full board.

The meeting was adjourned. The next meeting will be held at the town hall on October 2, 2014.

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Windham Board of Education (BOE) held their regularly-scheduled meeting on August 28, 2014 at the high school.

Melissa Roubic presented the Maplewood report.  The biggest news to report was the summer construction of the animal science lab, is now completed. This is a new program added to the Maplewood Career Center and it appears to be a hit with the students.

The superintendent Gregg Isler reported that the feed back from the animal science program at Maplewood Career Center has been good. He also reported that the district once again is trying athletic passes. Adult passes will be $40 and they will receive 10 passes to use at the sporting event of their choice. Student passes are $25 and again that will get them 10 passes to use at the event of their choice.  Passes are good until the end of the school year.

The enrollment is now down nine students from last year. As of August 28, 2014, there are 585 students enrolled in the district.

Jr. /Sr. high school report was summarized by Mr. Isler as Mr. Chaffee was coaching a volleyball game. Chaffee will email the board members a full report.  Isler stated that Mr. Chaffee has met with all the grades and went over the handbook. Students entering the 6th grade had all the changes mailed out to them.

Mr. Kujala was unavailable for the meeting and turned in a written report.  Kujala reported that they added Cori Morrison to the high school special education services team and added Miss Leah Kook to special education services as well. Kook will work in Katherine Thomas (KT) Elementary in the morning as a 1st grade intervention specialist. She will also work with Miss Kovach in the preschool department in the afternoon.

The spring OGT’s were in and students with disabilities scores had dramatically improved over the previous year. The special services will continue working with these students, helping them improve their scores.

In transportation, Craig Alderman reported that the bus radios are working out well  and have been a great help with communicating. One bus failed inspections over the summer and the district had to replaced door at a cost of $1593.82 in order to bring the bus into compliance. The bus now is in compliance and ready to roll.

In food service, Samantha Pochedly reported that she has met with the manager of Pizza Hut in Garrettsville and they have program that allows schools to use  Pizza Hut’s school-style pizza in their cafeterias. Pochedly says they are working out the details and the school-style pizza meets all the government standards for fat, whole grain and salt.

In other BOE news, the board approved the hiring list of certified substitutes, OAPSE Negotiated Agreement effective July 1, 2014 – June 30 2017, three supplemental contracts and the noncertified substitute list. Lastly, they approved the agreement with Robinson Hospital for athletic training services. The contract is for the 2014-2015 school year and will cost the district $4928.00.

The next BOE meeting is September 26, 2014 at 6:30 pm at KT Elementary.

Windham Twp. – Windham Township Trustees met for the regularly scheduled meeting with trustees Dann Timmons, Brian Miller and Rich Gano in attendance. The township fiscal officer Jayme Neikirk and zoning inspector Joe Pinti were also in attendance. The trustees approved the minutes from the last meeting and they approved the expenditures, before the chairman, Dann Timmons opened up the floor to the political figures who were in attendance.

Auditor Janet Esposito introduced herself and explained all the responsibilities her office handles. Esposito said she has an open door policy. If one has any questions about their property values for tax purposes feel free to give her a call and she will see if there is anything that can be done. Esposito is on the fall ballot for county auditor.

Vicki Kline, who is the current county treasurer and is running for county commissioner, Kline said, her experience as county treasurer will help her be a better commissioner as she now understands how government finances work.

The last political figure is Becky Doherty who is running to fill the seat of Judge John Enlow, who is retiring. Doherty has worked in other counties with prosecutors and believes she is up for the challenge. Doherty would like to establish a mental health and drug court in Portage County.

Former township resident Larry Cogley donated his time to evaluate what would be needed to fix drainage issues at the cemetery.  Cogley presented his findings but was unable to give a cost for the project because contractor’s pricing can vary. The trustees did not make a decision on the issue.

In roads, Brian Miller said salt prices could be an issue this winter.  The trustees voted to sell the old salt spreader.  They also discussed replacing tires on the small truck.  Miller reported that the road crew has been busy ditching and mowing along the roads. Timmons reported that the asphalt had been laid at the cul-de-sac on Frazier Road. When it is completed, the township will add the cul-de-sac to the dedicated road right-of-way.

Josh Johnston was at the meeting and passed out a copy of the townships’ home page of the new web site. www.windhamtownship.org. Johnston created and will maintain the site for the township. Zoning forms, zoning regulations, the minutes from the meeting and other valuable information is on the website.

In zoning, Joe Pinti said he issued two permits for the month of August. The zoning permits and such are available at the township website, but those who do not have internet connection may still get hard copies of the forms etc from the zoning inspector.

Rich Gano reported that currently the Move Ohio Forward Fund has not released any more money. Gano also suggested a tornado siren be installed out in the township near Bryant Road so residents in the area could be alerted. The cost for the entire project is $22,000. The trustees will consider it. Gano also suggested that they find a place to install the hydrant they bought a few years ago. Timmons said they will see if they can find a convenient place for it.

The chairman opened up the floor to the residents. One resident asked the trustees to consider changing their policy on rehiring employees each year and only offering a one year contract. The resident said it was unfair to the employees and it also made it difficult for the employees to obtain loans and such when they only have a one year contract. He also pointed out that none of the other townships in the area does that anymore. The trustees will take the idea under advisement.

The trustees meet on the first Thursday of each month at the town hall at 7pm.

sthelensunicycle

In days gone by, St. Helens Unicycle Drill Team was known for putting Newbury, Ohio on the map and they were the highlight in many parades all over the country.  The group traveled all over the United States performing in Richard Nixon’s and Jimmy Carter’s inaugural parades, Orange Bowl half-time, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and even at the Cotton Bowl. They were one of the most watched parade entries, besides the large balloons in the New York parades.

They were famous. They were seen on television shows like Good Morning America, Real People, Big Blue Marble, PM Magazine, To Tell the Truth and ASAHI Japanese Television. They had arrived, so to speak.

The unicycle team did more than just ride; they did many stunts as well. They would do ramp jumps over people, play football on the high rise ones, jump rope on a unicycle and do some juggling. They also did some choreographed riding and even  did some stunts with a basketball. Back in the day, they might hold a bar on the shoulders of the riders of two moving unicycles and have someone doing basic acrobatic moves, like hanging upside down on the bar while riding. They were very talented and were often sought out for parades and events.

The current team is young. Many of the riders have only been riding for a few months but have the drive and potential to develop into solid cyclists in time. They claim it takes 10 -15 hours to learn to ride a unicycle and longer to master the basic skills like step-mounting, and rocking. Both skills are needed to ride well. This team is not yet to the caliber of the team of yesterday, but they will get there. The team from the 1980’s had mastered 12.5 feet tall cycles and some could ride the 23 feet tall units, while today’s team highest is  9 feet. In the meantime, they keep practicing to advance their skill level.

A trip to visit the team at practice was enlightening. Some of the parents there were riders of the 1970’s. They shared memories they had, like traveling around the country and seeing things they never would have gotten to see. The long- time friendships were discussed as well as building teamwork skills and discipline. Nancy Newport Winters said she loved it and helps train the new members, along with the other parents of the young riders.

It all began in 1965, when the parish’s priest, Rev. James J. Moran aka Father Moran   purchased a single unicycle for physical education class. Every student who went through the school had to be able to ride a unicycle around the gymnasium at least once. The skill caught on and the children began riding them in parades, thus The St. Helen’s Unicycle Drill Team was born. Folks who saw them in parades began referring to the school as the “school on wheels.”  Fr. Moran founded and directed the team; he also set  the guidelines. His most famous saying that encompassed the spirit of the team was “ If you’re not here for the Glory of God and St. Helen,  then get off the bus!

The group began performing in 1965 and continued until 1993 when the group disbanded.

In 2013, a group of former students of St. Helens gathered for a reunion and  they decided to resurrect the unicycles. Steve Kekedy was one of the folks  interested in seeing this group return and helped organized a make-shift drill team that rode in the 2013 Maple Festival in Chardon of that year. They began practice and soon the children of the adult performers of the 1970’s and1980’s began cycling. Later in 2013, they appeared in the Newbury Memorial Day Parade and were spotted at Middlefield Summerfest Parade as well. They were making a come back.

The group has continued to grow and once again is being sought out for parades and such. In 2014, they were seen at the Maple Festival in Chardon, Garrettsville Summerfest, and Middlefield Summerfest as well. If you missed them and would like to see them again they will be at the Potato Festival Parade in Mantua, on September 7, 2014, Brimfest in Brimfield, on September 20th and at the Grape Jamboree in Geneva on September 27th and 28th. More information and questions about the team can be directed to Steve Kekedy at 440 708-6324.

Windham – Windham Village will place two levies on the ballot this fall. The first one  is a 1.38 mill levy that is expected to generate $25,000 for the parks and recreation. The second levy is a .83 mill levy that is expected to generate $15,000 to continue subsidizing the Portage County District Library (PCDL, Windham branch only.

The first levy, Resolution R-2014-19 will be primarily used to improve and maintain the park; however Mayor Rob Donham did say some of the funds may go to renovating the community center as well. This is a five year levy that will begin in 2015 if passed.

The second levy, Resolution, R-2014-18 is to help the village keep their commitment to the Library. The Village is already subsidizing the Windham Branch of the PCDL. They currently pay $2400 / quarter towards the Library’s rent at the Renaissance Center and have agreed to go to a percentage rate rather than a flat rate.  Earlier this year, the library asked if the village would help with the increasing costs by going to a percentage rate rather than the flat rate. The village agreed to do so up to a 5% maximum increase.  The levy is for five years and will begin to generate funds in 2015 if passed.

Next, council voted to memorialize the village’s policy on subsidizing the Windham branch of the PCDL. All this resolution does is to have the subsidizing of the PCDL in writing for the records.

Other council actions were accepting of the resignation of Jay Estabrook from the police department and the hiring of Larry Shackelford as part-time specialist for the water and sewer department. They also approved the minutes, expenditures and bank reconciliation for June. The liquor license transfer at Windham Tavern was also approved along with Ordinance O-2014-17, that would establish and revise the salaries of and wages of all full-time and part-time employees within the village.  A discussion on the proposed Ordinance O-2014-18 that would adjust the water rate for those in the village was held. The ordinance was on a first read.

The village council meets on the fourth Thursday of each month at Village hall at 7pm.

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DSCF1506Middlefield – Middlefield Activities Committee held their Annual Summerfest this past Saturday and it went off without a hitch. In past years, the event was held at the Municipal Center, this year it was moved to Harrington Square Mall Parking Lot. They roped off a section of the far parking lot for venders, creating a make- shift midway that housed plenty of vendors, an inflatable slide and a bounce house.

First thing, Saturday morning was the Amish Buggy Classic 5k Road Race. The race had 58 runners, who ran a fun course while dodging the road apples.

Later in the day, the parade stepped off from Jordak Elementary School with Middlefield Police Department’s Officer Erin Thomas and Sergeant Brandon Savage as parade marshals. The parade had a variety of participants including the AL Koran cars and motor bikes, Cardinal High School Marching Band, local businesses with decorated floats, Huntsburg Pumpkin Queen, St. Helen’s Unicycle Drill Team, fire trucks, veterans and more. It was a great day for a parade.

Following the parade, the midway officially opened, where one could find plenty of good food, crafts and locally grown plants. Amish made kettle corn was a hit as well as the lemonade shake-ups. One could also find fries, funnel cakes, pizza and just about any other fair type food that tickled their fancy.

The fun did not end with the parade. The kids could be found in the bounce house and on the inflatable slide or they were waiting their turn to ride the barrel train Mark the Magician was on hand to entertain the youngsters with his magic and Jungle Terry wowed the boys and girls with his wild  menagerie. If that wasn’t enough, they also had Petunia, the balloon artist, creating her magic with balloons, rocket car rides and later in the day, they had Dialed Action Sports BMX Show scheduled as well.

The adults could participate in or watch the corn hole tournament, listen to live music by “Round to Its” band and see who would be named Middlefield’s Most Talented Person.  Speaking of Middlefield’s Most Talented Person, Isabelle Macek took top honors in the contest and won $150 for her singing ability.

It was a great day for the community to come together and have fun, which they did. The grand finale` of the day was a wonderful fireworks display.

 

photo courtesy of Kim Breyley

photo courtesy of Kim Breyley

Middlefield –  Early Sunday evening, storms pounded Middlefield Village and the surrounding areas, drenching them with approximately five inches of rain in an hour and a half. The heavy rain fall caused flash flooding, that took residents by surprise, forcing nine families to be evacuated from their homes.

The hardest hit area was Grove Manor Apartments on Grove Street in Middlefield near Mineral Lake Park. Eight families were stranded by the rising waters, which called for immediate evacuation. The fire department was on hand with a boat to assist residents who needed to evacuate. According to Lieutenant Anderson from the Middlefield Village Fire Department,(MVFD) the firemen assisted eight families in the village and one in the township with evacuation, due to rising waters.  There were no injuries or loss of life, including animals. Anderson said the MVFD received assistance with the storm emergencies from Burton, Windsor, Troy and Parkman Departments.

Although the biggest area hit was the Grove Street region, the entire village suffered from flooding issues. The intersection of State Routes 87 and 608, in the heart of the village was under water for some time as well. Other area businesses that suffered minimal flooding:  Wal-Mart had flooding in the loading dock area, the Good News, Rite Aid, Great Lakes Outdoor Supply and Briar Hill suffered lower level flooding along with many other businesses. Also, many resident experienced severe basement flooding as well.

All day Monday, the County EMA, the state and the Red Cross were assessing the damage from Sundays’ storm, while residents and businesses attended to the clean-up.

 

mantua-tractor-pull-oxroastMantua – The gray skies didn’t deter folks from going to St. Joseph’s Ox Roast in Mantua this past weekend. Folks ventured out Friday night to watch the karaoke-style Ox Idol Contest and antique tractor pulls. Others took a stroll along the midway and enjoyed many fair treats, including ox roast sandwiches, ox dinners and ox sundaes. Ox sundaes consisted of mashed potatoes covered in roast ox and gravy, topped with sour cream and a cherry tomato.  It was delish!   The day was topped  off with fireworks, making it an evening to remember.

Saturday morning was rainy and dreary. The rain caused the cancellation of the ever-popular garden tractor pulls, which disappointed many fair-goers.  All day long folks were tent hopping trying to keep dry. Many day-time fair-goers enjoyed watching the bands and the dancers from the 8th Count Dance Center.

The highlight of Saturday was the semi/tractor pulls.  The rain did not prevent the featured event of the night from happening. Late day, the crowds began forming, looking to secure a prime seat for the semi/tractor pulls. Before too long, the stands were full and the pulls were ready to begin.

Those not into the pulls  could watch Ox Idol or listen to live music on the main stage. Now, it would not be a festival without politicians, food vendors, and, of course, rides, There were plenty to choose from, giving fair-goers their festival fix. There also was a casino, instant bingo and a beer garden to keep folks occupied.

There was plenty for the kids to do as well. They had the usual rides, plus they had activities in Oxland for the kids. On Saturday they held kiddie tractor pulls, which attracted many youngsters. Saturday and Sunday afternoon they had balloon artist, Jason Adkins on hand to entertain the kids with his many balloon characters.

The events slated for Sunday were a frog jumping contest, the four wheel drive pulls, live music by Tyrone’s Blues Sensation (T.B.S.) and the main raffle drawing. The main raffle was $5000 for first place and a $500 Kalahari resort gift card for second place.

The Ox Roast was started 51 years ago and was originally created to be a fundraiser for the parish school. Since the closing of the school, the parish uses the proceeds from the event to supports its many ministries.

The success of the event lies in the cooking of the meat. They trim, season and cook 3,500 pounds of sirloin for the event in brick-lined pits. It takes days to reach the proper temperature so the sirloins roast to perfection. Once the meat is roasted and cooled, they slice it and get it ready to serve in their dinners, sandwiches and sundaes.

 

Windham - The WVFD Joint Fire District Board met for their regularly scheduled meeting on July 11, 2014 with members Dann Timmons, Debbie Blewitt and Ron Kilgore, along with Fiscal Officer Jayme Neikirk in attendance. Two members were unavailable for the meeting.

The board approved the minutes, June bank reconciliation and expenditures before moving on to approve 2015 budget.  The board also approved the county certificate for placing a renewal 4 mill levy on the ballot in November.

In the chief’s report, Mike Iwanyckyj reported that they were awarded a grant for nearly $53,000, which has to be used for training.  Timmons suggested they develop another plan for purchasing new trucks, as it appears that grant money for large equipment seems to be drying up. The board will discuss this over the next few months and develop a plan of action for large equipment purchases. Chief Iwanyckyj said he will apply for the large equipment grant again in the fall. He said his sources say that they have a good chance to receive one. Iwanyckyj also reported that that truck 2815 had the shifter cable replaced and some electrical work done, truck 2818 had bad valve replaced and brakes done and the rescue unit had a windshield replaced due to  stone damage. He also reported that truck 2817 will need tires before winter.  The department is in need of new fire hoses and the chief will get estimates for that.

The board approved the chief’s recommendation of Jacob Bowden, and Tracey Rowe as EMT /fire fighter and Chad Mosier as firefighter.  Welcome to the WVFD!

Lastly, Iwanyckyj reported that they had eight calls on  July 11, 2014 and, as of July 11th, 398 calls year-to-date.

Residents asked about dispatching costs and it is estimated that with the current call volume they are on pace exceed last years call volume at an expense of about $25,000 for 2014.

The next fire board meeting is scheduled for August 14, 2014 at 7pm.

 

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Windham - Polly Brown is no stranger to the Special Olympics. She has competed in the Winter Games for several years now but this year she also qualified for the Summer Games, which is a new venture for the 27 year old Windham resident. Brown who has competed in Nordic Skiing at the Winter Games was able to qualify for bowling in the Summer Games.

In order to qualify for bowling, an athlete must have an established average by either bowling on Portage County Developmental Disabilities Bowling Teams or on regular league at a bowling facility. Miss Brown was able to establish her average by bowling in the King and Queens League at Skylanes Bowling Alley in Garrettsville.

Using her established 105 average, Polly was named one of the top four bowlers in Area 10 and was selected to compete in Columbus in the Special Olympics. Area 10 covers Summit, Medina, Portage and Stark Counties.

On Friday, June 27th the athletes boarded buses and headed south to the Ohio State University where they would reside for the weekend. After their arrival in Columbus, the athletes, got settled, they visited all the vendors in “tent town” and got prepared for Opening Ceremonies held at Jesse Owens Stadium. Opening Ceremonies at the Special Olympics includes the parade of regions just like the parade of nations at the Olympics.

The bowling competition began early Saturday morning at Saw Mill Lanes in Columbus. Each bowler was required to bowl two games. The total pins of both games were the athletes score. The bowler with the highest score would win the gold. Polly Brown missed the gold by two pins but was very happy to win silver.

Polly is the daughter of Paul and Wendi Brown of Windham, Ohio.

 

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Windham Twp. – Windham Township Trustees met for their regularly schedule meeting with all the trustees and fiscal officer in attendance. The meeting was called to order and the trustees approved the expenditures, and minutes from the June meeting.

Road Supervisor Brian Miller reported that Mr. Isler removed the electric poles on the green and thanked him for helping with the issues on Bryant Road. Miller met with the county engineer and received an estimated cost for the chipping and sealing of Colton Road. The township will take bids on the project. The road supervisor and road crew checked out a complaint on Wadsworth Road but did not find any issues on the road. A discussion was held about alleviating a drainage issue on Gotham Road. The trustees will work out a solution for the problem.  Miller reported that the road crew has mowed back weeds twice to give drivers better visibility at the ends of township roads.

A discussion was held on whether to vacate the unmaintained portion of Shanks-Downes Road that is shared with Nelson, Southington and Braceville Townships. Each entity will need to agree to vacate their portion of the road before it can be declared vacated. The portion of road they want to vacate has been closed for years. Once they vacate the road, the right-of-way will return to the property owners as if the road never existed. Dann Timmons said he has talked with the Windham residents who live in the area and they are ok with the trustees vacating the road.  Township legal counsel, Chris Meduri has drawn up a sample resolution for the township to use to vacate the road after they resolve the discrepancy on the official road name and number.

Timmons reported that Mr. Soinski has the cul-de-sac on Frazier Road all laid out, engineered and is ready for blacktop.   The trustees still have not seen the engineered plans for the planned cul-de-sac that they were promised. This brought up a discussion on a guard rail or some kind of barrier to show residents the road is closed and is now private property. No decision was made on a barrier. Timmons also reported that he hasn’t received any reply from the village about the maintenance issues on Horn Road. Horn Road is maintained by the village even though township residents live on the road.

Zoning Inspector Joe Pinti reported that there were no new permits written in the month of June. He also reported that he was keeping a close eye on the Horner property.   Trustee Rich Gano reported that he is searching for government grant money to demolish the old church on Silica Sand. The Community Block Grant money is not available any longer. A discussion was held on  the demolition of the church on Silica Sand without a grant but the trustees were afraid of what the costs would be and decided to do more inquiring on government funds for the project.

The trustees have received complaints about several abandoned, unsafe residential properties that might qualify for the Move Ohio Forward Program (MOFP). Pinti will check on them.

In cemetery news, Gano reported that they had leveled and filled in the low section and are currently working to get drainage issues resolved before paving the one road.

The floor was opened up to residents. One resident handed the trustees a petition signed by their neighbors protesting the “no parking” signs in the heights area that were recently erected. The trustees accepted  the petition and would take the it under advisement. Another resident questioned why the trustees were not doing anything about the village’s alleged breach of contract over the failure to provide dispatching for the fire district. Timmons responded that  the trustees forwarded Mark Finemore’s opinion over   the alleged breach of contract to WVFD Joint Fire District Board. Due to lack of quorum, the fire district has not been able to address the issue.

Another resident questioned what the trustees could do to help handle a situation on their street with a neighbor who has mental health issues. The resident claims their neighbor is harassing them and they can’t enjoy their property. The trustees said they have no authority to deal with such issues and the resident would have to try to resolve the issue through the court system. There being no other township business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned.

The trustees meet on the first Thursday of each month at 7 pm at the town hall.

Grand Marshal for the 2014 Summerfest parade is…  Mayor Rick Patrick. Each year, the committee selects a person who has tirelessly given back to the community, by donating their time, money and energy to see the community grow and prosper. Rick Patrick is that man.

RickPatrickRick Patrick has served this community tirelessly over the years.  He has served on the James A. Garfield Athletic Boosters, the Lion’s Club, Garrettsville Summerfest and was active in making the Bicentennial Celebration a success in 2004. He also has served 28 years on the Chamber of Commerce and served as president of that organization for nine years, and five years as the vice president. He was a Garrettsville Village council member five years and served as president of council for four years. He became mayor two years ago, when Mayor Craig Moser passed away suddenly.

Patrick said stepping into the role of mayor was hard for him. He had the utmost respect for the late Moser, who was also a dear friend and carrying on without him was going to be a challenge. Patrick rose to the challenge and with the assistance of the village solicitor he soon started to get the gist of his role as mayor. The challenges did not end there.

In the summer of 2013, the village experienced its worst flooding in over 100 years. Folks looked to Patrick for leadership once again as the village began to clean-up and moved forward. He was getting comfortable in the role of mayor when tragedy struck once again on March 22, 2014, when an entire block of Main Street was destroyed by fire. Patrick said it was one of his most challenging days. He said he was so overcome with emotion about the loss he was rendered speechless as he had to come to terms with the tragedy before he could even discuss the fire with the media. Since that time, he has continued to lead the village and is determined to see the Buckeye Block rebuilt.

Although Patrick is not  native to Garrettsville, he is pretty darn close. He was born in Akron and came to the area with his family when he was in his early teens. He is a graduate of James A. Garfield Schools and had his first job at Menough’s here in town. Because of his love for cars, he left his job at Menough’s and took a job at Patry Pontiac Buick here in town. He later went on and established his own business, Rick Patrick Auto Service and Sales. He later bought Village Motors Towing.

Patrick is not just a public servant and business owner; he is also a family man. He has been married to Linnette for nearly 29 years, they have three daughters and seven grandchildren. His three daughters and 6 of his 7 grandchildren will attend Summerfest this year.

Congratulations Rick!

 

Garrettsville - Garrettsville Summerfest is almost here and the Summerfest committee is busy tweaking everything to make sure everyone enjoys the weekend-long festival. Each year after the festival, the committee reviews the event and looks for ways to improve for the next year. New this year is a fourth prize to the car or cash raffle; a change to the Grand Parade time including a  fire truck extravaganza; the location of the rides  and  a new shuttle service has been established to offer additional ample parking.

Second Prize for the Garrettsville Summerfest 's Cash or Car Raffle will be a Husqvarna USA YT48XLS Lawn Tractor! ($2,899 Value) Stop by S&K Sales and Service to check it out!

Second Prize for the Garrettsville Summerfest ‘s Cash or Car Raffle will be a Husqvarna USA YT48XLS Lawn Tractor! ($2,899 Value) Stop by S&K Sales and Service to check it out!

This year participants in the Chamber of Commerce’s Car or Cash Raffle will have the chance to win a brand-new Chevy Equinox (courtesy Charles Auto Family) or $20,000 in cash.  The second prize is a Husqvarna YT XLS Riding Mower courtesy of S&K Sales & Service. The  third  prize is an iPad Mini with Retina Display and fourth prize is a Gas House grill.

Raffle tickets are $20 each or 6 for $100  and can be purchased at area businesses and restaurants prior to Summerfest and at the Summerfest Information Tent during the event. The drawing will be held at the close of the festival on Sunday, June 29 following Garrettsville Idol. The winner does not need to be present to win.

Though there have been no safety incidents, the Garrettsville Summerfest Committee has reviewed the concerns of parents and motorists regarding the placement of the rides and carnival games. We are pleased to announce that the Summerfest Kid’s Funland has been relocated to a larger location for 2014. Our Kid’s Funland, which features a variety of great rides, games, and food will be located near Sky Plaza IGA (sponsor of the 2014 Kiddie Pedal Tractor Pulls). Riders and parents are sure to appreciate the more spacious location, additional rides & games, and a position away from the traffic. Sky Plaza is only a short walk, or ride (via Summerfest Shuttle), from the Monster Midway & St. Ambrose Chicken Festival.

The committee has changed the start time of the Grand Parade. This year, the parade will step-off at 12:30 pm rather than noon, as it had in the past. Speaking of the parade, they have added a fire truck extravaganza to the event as a thank-you to all of the departments who helped during the fire.  The fire truck extravaganza will be at the beginning of the parade,  therefore, if your little ones love trucks this will be a must see event.

With over 25,000 people in town over Summerfest weekend, it can be a challenge to locate a parking spot close to the action.  This year we are alleviating parking headaches by working with the James A. Garfield Local School District to offer shuttle service from the Garfield High School (10233 SR 88), and Sky Plaza (8311 Windham St.) parking lots to the midway. Donations will be accepted aboard the buses to help defray the cost of drivers’ salaries with any proceeds from the shuttle service going to the #GarrettsvilleStrong Fund. The shuttle buses will run from 4pm until 11 pm on Saturday and 5pm until 11pm on Sunday.

To plan your weekend of fun be sure to check out the 2014 SummerFest Fun Guide located in this weeks Villager.

Garrettsville – Calling all kids ages 12- 18 years old, what time is it?  It’s Summer Wars time – a Monday night must!  This weekly event for teens features, learning about Christ through games, songs, and teamwork, while hanging out with other teens in the area and learning problem solving skills together. This year’s theme is Relentless 2014.

The event kicked-off Monday, June 9, 2014, at 6:30 pm, but do not despair, if you did not make it Monday, you can join the group all summer long. If you’re not available every Monday night it is ok. Come when you can and they will accept you with open arms.

Summer Wars has impacted many teens throughout the years here is what a couple of them have had to say about the summertime event.

Joey Miranda, a 17 year old from Windham says “Summer Wars” is much more than games to me. It’s a place, home to endless potential, a place that brings the opportunity to connect to one of many people that are on the right path. In a nutshell, “Summer Wars” is probably the best, most entertaining thing you could do with a Monday evening.”

Kaylee Martin from Garrettsville says, “This is a great place to be. Not only do you play amazingly-crazy games, but you meet people, who share common interests and stories with you.”

Robin Wadkins has two children, one who is now an adult and has “graduated” out of Summer Wars and another one who is still involved in the program.  Robin says that her children “have enjoyed the competitive and imaginative games with the inspiration coming back to learning about our Lord. It has been a safe place for kids to feel welcomed and to make new friends. They have basically come out of their shells and have always looked forward to the next Monday that they would meet.”

The program is good for all teens no matter what their religious affiliations might be. It is a youth group like no other. So are you ready for war? Come out and join them on Monday night starting at 6:30 pm at Life Church across the street from Garfield High School’s football stadium in Garrettsville.

Windham – Windham Township Trustees met for their regularly scheduled meeting Thursday June 5, 2014. The trustees approved the May minutes as presented, and the expenditures for that month as well.

Guest Josh Johnston presented rough ideas and cost for maintaining and updating the website. After some discussion the trustees unanimously agreed to award Josh the job of rebuilding the website and maintaining it. Josh currently does Hiram Township’s website and was recommended by trustee Rich Gano.

Road Supervisor Brian Miller met with the county engineers and after viewing the township’s roads the engineer recommended the trustees chip and seal Colton Road and then consider Bryant Road. After some discussion, the trustees decided to look at chip and sealing Colton, and crack fill Bryant, Wadsworth and Werger Roads. Next year, they will consider chip and sealing Bryant Road.  The Trustees will contact Hard Labor about the crack filling. Miller will get bid books from the county auditor for bidding out the chip and seal project.

A discussion was held on Mr. Soinski’s proposed the cul-de-sac, at the end of Frazier Road. Miller thinks the township needs to put some kind of barrier up to prevent township residents from using the vacated portion of Frazier Road for walking etc. Dann Timmons said, right now they really can’t plan to do anything until they see the engineered drawings for the project. Timmons will contact Mr. Soinski on the issue to see if he is planning a barrier for the road.

A discussion was held once again, about township residents living on village roads who are not having any success getting the village to answer to their complaints about road and drainage issues.  Currently the township’s hands are tied since they do not own the road or its right-a-way. Other road issues discussed were the lack of visibility at the end of Wadsworth Road and a few ditching issues.

In zoning news, Inspector Joe Pinti said he wrote three permits last month, one for a garage and two for decks. Pinti said he is continuing to monitor Horner’s property and they are slowly getting rid of the junk he has accumulated recently.

In cemetery news, the foundations are poured, and 78 new graves are laid out. The south drive needs some attention at the curve in the back. After some discussion, the trustees agreed to have the driveway repaired. A resident who has an engineering degree has offered to look at drainage issues and offer some suggestions how to solve the issue. Trustees agreed to take him up on the offer.

Timmons reported that the fire board approved the purchase of a lap top for the chief, and put the discussion of pursuing legal action on the table as there weren’t enough board members in attendance to have a quorum. Two of the members are not eligible to vote on the issue as they have a conflict of interest.  Timmons also reported that the WVFD was awarded the contract to service the Portage County and Trumbull County portions of Camp Ravenna. The chief is currently working on setting up mutual aid for Camp Ravenna.

A question was asked about the “No Parking” signs for Geneva Road. The signs are in and will be posted soon.

The meeting was adjourned and the next scheduled meeting is for July 3, 2014 at 7pm. All meetings are held at the Windham Town Hall.

 

Garrettsville – Garrettsville Summerfest is celebrating it’s tenth year and they are “Rockin’ to Rebuild” the section of Main Street that burned in the March fire. The theme this year is “Rockin to Rebuild” with a portion of the proceeds from this year’s festival going to the #GarrettsvilleStrong Fund which has been put in place to assist in the rebuilding.

Last year, Summerfest added a coloring contest, an essay contest and a photo scavenger hunt. They were so popular that they are back again this year. Some of these contests have early deadlines, so do not procrastinate.

The first one is easy. Grab a pencil, pen or key board and tell us what the past 9 years of Summerfest have meant to you  — or —  how the March fire has impacted you with regards to the changes our town has and will experience. (Choose one topic)  Be creative in telling your story. We have three age categories and word counts for each group. Ten – twelve year olds will need a 50 – 100 word essay; Teens 13 years old – 18 years old will need to write a 200 word essay; Adults, 19 and older will need 300 words.

You can mail or drop-off your essay at the Weekly Villager office located in downtown Garrettsville at 8088 Main Street Garrettsville, OH. 44231. Office hours are Monday – Wednesday and Friday 10 am – 5 pm, Thursday 12-5 and Saturday 10 – 2.  The last day to enter is June 20, 2014 by 5pm. All essays should be typed. No emailed essays will be accepted and we are not responsible for essays lost or delayed in the mail.

The younger kids will not be left out. We are offering a coloring contest for the kids 10 years old and under, broken down into the following categories, Preschool, 5 & 6 year olds, 7 & 8 year olds and 9 &10 year olds. A picture will be supplied and found on the Garrettsville Summerfest website at www.garrettsvillesummerfest.com. Colored pictures will be due on June 24, 2014 at the Weekly Villager at 8088 Main Street by 5pm.

Winning essays and pictures will be displayed during the festival and prizes will be awarded on June 27, 2014, during Opening Ceremonies of Summerfest.

Back by popular demand is the photo scavenger hunt. Gather a group of two, three or four friends or do it as a family, grab a camera or camera phone and snap pictures of items on our list. This is a festival activity and there is no charge to enter it. The list will be available at the information tent in the center of town and the contest will run all weekend long until 2 pm Sunday.  Stop by the information booth and register your group or family and pick up the list. Participants do not  need to attend the festival all three days to participate; there are bonus photos on the hunt that can replace specific events.  Most pictures will require at least one member of your group in them. You do not develop the pictures. When you have found all of them, bring your phone/ camera to the information tent, show us your pictures and we will verify them. Folks will need a minimum of 25 of the required items and then they will be entered into a drawing for festival bucks and for one free car raffle ticket for your group. Festivals bucks are tickets that can be used at any food vendor (excluding the  St. Ambrose’s Chicken Festival) during the festival.

We realize that not everyone can be here all weekend long and have made alternative pictures you can take to replace the scheduled events. Taking a picture of our many sponsors booth or team member with a logo can replace a special Summerfest event. Politician pictures can also replace a scheduled event.

Winners will be drawn at 3 pm on Sunday.

 

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Pictured above (left to right) are Eric Eiermann, Ryan Everett, Mark Butto and Nick Crawford.

Garrettsville – Last year, the Street Beats drum line made their debut at Garrettsville Summerfest using boom whackers and performing as an impromptu flash mob through out the entire weekend.  After a few performances, they developed a following and folks began to ask “Who are they? When will they perform again?” This led to a sudden rise in popularity until Summerfest ended, and the group sort-of disappeared as far as the public was concerned.

The Street Beats are a drumming group that was birthed when Nick Crawford saw a similar group at in 2012 while he was on vacation. Nick organized a group of fellow percussionists and began writing music, and doing the choreography for them to practice, with the ultimate goal of performing at Summerfest.  The group held organized practices bi-weekly with many impromptu practices in between and then debuted at Garrettsville Summerfest in 2013.

The original group was comprised of James A. Garfield percussionists, Nick Crawford, Eric Eiermann, Chad Curry, and Mark Butto, however this year they added Ryan Everett when Chad’s schedule no longer permitted him to participate.

Nick was the organizer of the group and has quite a music history. Nick began to show an interest in music at a very early age. He started off playing the piano. In fifth grade, he tried out for percussion for the school band and has been drumming on everything since. Since that time, he’s played with the Notre Dame Indoor Percussion Ensemble for two years. He’s performed in numerous piano recitals. He played at NEOUCOM for a business dinner, played in the high school musicals as part of the orchestra, and for local churches as a substitute pianist. And most recently, he became a member of the Bluecoats Drum Corp.

Mark Butto has been drumming on just about any surface he can find since he was about six years old, when his older brother Nick taught him how to play and he hasn’t stopped since. One time, Mark got four paint cans and practiced playing them (like the quads) and then decided to bring the paint cans in the house and dropped the cans and paint spilt all over our dining room floor. The family got it all cleaned up but he will never live that one down! His teachers say they have to tell him to stop drumming on the desk with his pencil. Mark plays quads in the marching band, drums in the jazz band and drums for the youth band and worship team at his church (Life Church). His newest adventure is playing the snare drum for the Geauga Highlanders Pipe and Drum Band.

Eric Eiermann is the third member of the group. Eric started off playing the trumpet in the school band. In his second year of band, he switched to the drums. He currently plays the snare drum for the James A. Garfield High School Marching Pride and will be a senior next fall.

Ryan Everett is the newest member to the group and will be a senior next fall at James A. Garfield Schools. Ryan is the son of Casey and Shelley Everett and has been involved in music since he was very young. He started with the keyboards; he now plays the drums, the ukulele and bongos. His mother claims it can be a little noisy at their house as he drums on everything, using whatever he can find including pencils, silverware and such. Ryan is unsure what avenue he will take when he goes to college in 2015.

The Street Beats will once again be performing at Summerfest in flash-mob style. Come out and watch these young men as they dazzle you with their drumming talents and choreography. The guys may march to the beat of a different drum but they easily mesmerize a crowd.

Garrettsville Summerfest will begin Friday night June 27th and runs until Sunday night June 29, 2014.

 

Calling all tractor lovers, owners, or those who have access to tractors, Summerfest is looking for you! That’s right — the Summerfest Committee is looking for  tractor owners for the Seventh Annual Tractor Parade held during Garrettsville Summerfest on June 28, 2014 in Garrettsville.

tractor-parade-riderThis year’s Tractor Parade Theme is “Breast Cancer Warrior” and will have everyone seeing pink on  Saturday.  The committee is asking participants to consider decorating their tractors in pink to honor those that have fought breast cancer, those who are in the middle of the battle and those who lost their battle.  Those who have a warrior might want to add a trailer to their tractor so they can bring their warrior along in the largest tractor parade in Ohio.

The parade will be Saturday, June 28th at noon with the line-up beginning at 9am. Once again, they will have the tractor preview prior to the parade’s noon step – off at James A. Garfield High School. One will want to arrive early and take some time to mingle with other tractor enthusiast and show off their “baby.”

Registration for the tractor parade has begun and can be done at Century 21 GoldFire Real Estate at 8028 State Street in Garrettsville. Registration can also be done on-site on parade day.  Just arrive early to get registered.  Questions may be directed to Kathie Lutz (330) 687-5900. Please be aware that drivers must have a valid driver’s license to operate the field tractors on State Route 88.

This year trophies will be awarded in the following categories:

1) Oldest Tractor

2) Most Unique Tractor

3) Best Decorated tractor to the theme “Breast Cancer Warrior”

4) Best Decorated “Warrior Wagon”

This promises to be an exciting event, when tractors of all sizes and ages rumble down the streets of downtown Garrettsville in an all-inclusive tractor parade. Let’s make this the best parade ever by exceeding the record for Garrettsville, which is 220 tractors.

The Tractor Parade is sponsored by Century 21 GoldFire Real Estate

Garrettsville Summerfest is traditionally held on the fourth full weekend in June at the intersection of State Routes 82 and 88 in downtown historic Garrettsville. This year’s festival theme is “Rockin’ to Rebuild”. www.garrettsvillesummerfest.com 

 

Aurora - James A. Garfield Senior, Anna Brigham was awarded the “Saved by the Belt Award” by the Ohio State Patrol at Aurora Farms Outlets in Aurora, Ohio Saturday, May 17, 2014 at their annual kick-off for the “Click it or Ticket” campaign.

brigham-aurora-garfieldstudent-seatbeltMiss Brigham survived a head-on collision during blizzard-like conditions on February 27, 2014 near the intersection of State Routes 303 and 88 in Freedom Township. Although Anna suffered minor injuries, she realizes she is here today because she wore a seatbelt.

This award was brought back this year after several years of hiatus and was presented to Anna by Ohio State Troopers Sergeant Bruce D. Zuchowski and Trooper Griffin Kelly; both troopers represent the Hiram Patrol Post, which serves an 82 mile stretch of the Ohio Turnpike.

The program that awards the “Saved by the Belt Award” is Safe Communities, which is an educational division of Portage County that is financed to raise awareness for seatbelt safety based on a three year period of fatalities within the county.

Here are some recent statistics on seat belt use or lack thereof:

1: 63% of fatalities are caused from not wearing a seatbelt

2: Data suggests education alone is just not doing the job, especially for males ages 16-25. They just don’t think they’ll be injured or killed in an accident

3: If  90% of Americans buckle up, we will prevent more than 5,500 deaths and 132,000 injuries annually.

4: The cost of unbuckled drivers and passengers goes beyond those killed and the loss to their families. We all pay for those who don’t buckle up ¬ in higher taxes, higher health care and higher insurance costs.

On average, inpatient hospital care costs for an unbelted crash victim are 50% higher than those for a belted crash victim. Society bears 85% of those costs, not the individuals involved. Every American pays about $580 a year toward the cost of crashes. If everyone buckled up, this figure would drop significantly.

 

Motorists who refuse to wear their seat belts – beware.  The 2014 national Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement mobilization kicked off May 19 to help save lives by cracking down on those who don’t buckle up.

The Hiram Police Department is joining with other state and local law enforcement officers and highway safety advocates across the country to help save more lives by strongly enforcing seat belt laws around the clock.

While this year’s Click It or Ticket enforcement mobilization runs from May 21 through June 3, motorists should know that officers are out enforcing seat belt laws year-round.

Garrettsville - Garrettsville Summerfest is one of the biggest festivals in Portage County with contests, parades, races, with live music and entertainment all weekend long. The event will be held on June 27th-29th at the intersection of State Routes 88 & 82 in historic downtown Garrettsville.

2014_chevrolet_equinox_equinoxThe year, the theme is “Rockin’ to Rebuild.” The theme was chosen to demonstrate that even though the village suffered a great loss in the Buckeye Block Fire this past spring, they are not broken, just bent a little, and Summerfest will go on as planned.  Because Summerfest is a big part of Garrettsville and the community is also a big part of Summerfest, the committee has chosen to donate some of their proceeds to rebuild the Buckeye Block after the festival’s bills are paid.

Every year the festival committee chooses a charity to bless and this year they have chosen to donate to rebuilding the Buckeye Block. In past years, they have donated to the food bank, military families, etc.

Garrettsville Summerfest is primarily supported by the proceeds from the Car Raffle and the festival t-shirt sales. This year the car will be a nicely-equipped 2014 Chevrolet Equinox. One may choose the car or $20,000 in cash. Raffle tickets are available at area merchants and can be purchased for $20 each or 6 for $100. Second prize will be an iPad and third will be a gas grill. The drawing will be held at the close of the festival on Sunday, June 29, 2014 following Garrettsville Idol. The winner does not need to be present to win.

Garrettsville Summerfest t-Shirts will also be sold to help pay for the festival. They are expected to be on sale by, if not before Memorial Day. They can be purchased at Middlefield Bank, The Weekly Villager, Miller’s Restaurant and Skylanes Bowling.  This year there are two colors to choose from, orange and safety green. The cost will be the same as last year, $12 each with extended sizes being $15. There will be a limited amount available and once they are gone, they’re gone.

Therefore, if you have always enjoyed the festival and want to see it continue to grow and be successful, consider supporting one of the fundraising efforts.

 Garrettsville Summerfest is held on the fourth full weekend of June each year at the intersection of State Routes 82 & 88 in historic downtown Garrettsville. For more festival information visit us at www.garrettsvillesummerfest.com 

 

Windham – The WVFD Joint Fire Board met on May 8th with one board member excused from the meeting. The board approved the minutes from the April meeting, the bank reconciliation and the expenditures.

Chief Mike Iwanyckyj stated that the WVFD was turned down for the Fire Marshall’s Grant, but were still in the running for the FEMA Grant. The chief also reported that the computer system will have to be switched over to EMS Charts. This system will allow all the reports to go directly to the billing company rather than the fiscal officer sending the information over.  He also reported that fire trucks 2811 and 2816 were repaired, truck 2815 need a shifter cable and has a minor electrical problem which is being repaired by John Sedensky in Nelson. Iwanyckyj also reported that he is working on the Mavis system for Camp Ravenna since the department has been contracted to cover the Trumbull County portion of the camp as well as the Portage County side of the camp.

In other board news, the board agreed to purchase a laptop for the chief’s use and a debit card for the fiscal officer to use. He also announced that the trucks were ready for the Memorial Day Parade.

Lastly, they held a discussion on Mark Finamore’s opinion on the dispatching contract with the village. Due to a lack of quorum of eligible board members to vote on the issue no decision was made. The three members that are eligible to make a decision on the issue were not all in attendance at the meeting. Deb Blewett  and Dann Timmons cannot vote on the issue, since they both have conflicts of interest.

With no other business to discuss the meeting was adjourned.

 

Windham Twp. – The Windham Township Trustees met for their regularly scheduled meeting on May 1, 2014 with all trustees, fiscal officer, five residents and one guest in attendance. The trustees approved the minutes and expenditures for the month of April.

This old church on Silica Sand  Road  has  been the subject of complaints and discussions over the course of the year, especially the last two trustee meetings. The trustees are looking into getting a Community Block Grant to have the structure demolished.

This old church on Silica Sand Road has been the subject of complaints and discussions over the course of the year, especially the last two trustee meetings. The trustees are looking into getting a Community Block Grant to have the structure demolished.

Mark Russell from Ellerhorst Russell Insurance was in attendance to review the insurance policy that is up for renewal. After some questions, and then a discussion, the trustees approved the policy with amendments. The fiscal officer will add the amendments before the policy is signed.

In roads, Supervisor Brian Miller said he has been in contact with the Portage County Engineers and it appears there may be some Ohio Public Works Funds available for the township to use for resurfacing roads. Miller suggested Bryant Road. After some discussion, the trustees thought Colton Road should be considered as well. Miller will also have a representative from the engineer’s office look at Colton Road and see if either or both roads would qualify for the funding. Dann Timmons reported that he is in the process of talking to the property owners on Frazier Road before they proceed with Mr. Soinski’s proposed cul-de-sac. In other road news, the township workers have been kept busy during the rain, by cleaning up trash, trimming back trees and brush along the sides of the roads.

In cemetery news, Trustee Rich Gano received the pins to lay out more graves and as soon as it dries up a bit he will get them done. They also have 20 graves that will need foundations poured this month.

The trustees are in charge of this year’s Memorial Day Services and will ask Lt. Col. Ed Meade from Camp Ravenna to be the speaker.  Timmons will contact Lt. Col. Ed Meade to see if he is available, along with the usual participants, Gano will handle the parade line-up and Miller will get the cemetery set up for the service.

In zoning, Joe Pinti reported that there have been no new permits written but many inquiries on decks, fencing and such.  The trustee received proposed zoning changes from the zoning commission and will hold a public hearing on the issues on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 at the town hall at 7 pm.

Timmons reported that they heard from Mark Finamore on a ruling on the alleged breach of contract by the village, when they discontinued dispatch services to the fire district contract. Finamore believes there is some village liability there and if they wanted to proceed with legal action they could. After some discussion on the matter, the trustees have decided to share the opinion with the fire board for review. In other safety issues Timmons reported that the fire board decided to go with a 4 mill renewal levy on the November ballot rather than increase it.

In old business, the township clean-up went well. Miller inquired where the township stood on the old church on Silica Sand Road. Gano said as soon as he determines who owns it he will proceed with trying to obtain a Community Block Grant to have it torn down. Timmons said the auditor’s records should be able to tell who owns it. Gano will start there and see if they can’t get the matter resolved.

In other township news, the trustees approved Bill Isler’s proposal to remove the light poles from the “Township Green” and they also approved the acquisition of a debit card for the township use.  The fiscal officer reported that due to the Affordable Care Act, the township now has to tax, the reimbursements to its employees for healthcare costs.

The meeting was adjourned and the June meeting will be held on June 5, 2014 at the town hall at 7pm.

 

pcdl-libraryWindham – Windham Village council met April 24, 2014 for their regular monthly meeting not held on the regular meeting night.

Council approved amendments to the agenda, the minutes, the financial report, and the police and fire report. Two guests had prior authorization to speak at the meeting. The first guest was Cecilia Swanson from the Portage County District Library PCDL. Swanson announced that April 23, 2014 was World Book Night and passed out a copy of Agatha Christy’s After the Funeral. Swanson also inquired about the way the village helps fund the library and requested that they consider going to a percentage rather than a flat rate. After some discussion it was determined they could probably do that but will have to add some language to the contract that would keep the costs from skyrocketing. Cecilia also had one library sign and will purchase another one if the village will install them.

The second guest was Angelo Battaglia Democratic candidate for county commissioner. Battaglia stated that he is a business owner and wants to serve others. His goals are to learn how townships, villages, sheriff’s departments, etc operate and see what the commissioners can do to help them. He claims he doesn’t have all the answers but is willing to dig in to find solutions.

Council then passed Ordinance O-2014-13 amending the current pay ordinance to establish and revise the salaries and wages of all full-time and part-time employees within the Village of Windham. This ordinance repeals all prior inconsistent ordinances and declares  an emergency. The changes are the base salary for the fiscal officer is set at $42,658.56 effective May 1, 2014. They also established and approved $600 a month salary for the zoning inspector.

In other council news, council approved the donation of eight yards of mulch from Doll Lumber, announced support for the Ohio Public Works Commission, and appointed Randy Slusher to the Planning and Zoning Committee. Councilwoman Rachel Barrett asked if the village administrator would get the paperwork filed so Windham could benefit from the community service workers this summer. The mayor said they would look in to it.

The next Windham Council meeting is scheduled May 29, 2014 at 7 pm in council chambers.

Garrettsville – In honor of National Dance Week, the 8th Count Dance Center participated in the nation-wide dance flash mob and “mobbed” their city. This past Sunday afternoon, the 8th Count Dance Center Dancers and their families learned the routine that all the studios were using for Dance Week. Miss Emily took time to learn the dance and then she taught it to the rest of the group. Following the practice, fifteen folks mobbed Garrettsville by performing the dance routine at Speedway, Save-a-Lot, McDonald’s and the parking lot in front of the movie theatre. The purpose of the event is to celebrate dance and to promote fun and fitness.

The dancers wore fluorescent colored t-shirts with the flash mob logo on it to promote the event. The group hit the streets and stores, surprising folks with their dance.  People stopped in awe and watched as the group performed. It was a day of fun and a great way to celebrate dance.

This is not the first time the dance center has participated in this event. Last year, they did this as well. This is the third year the National Dance Foundation has promoted the flash mob event during dance week.

This year, the 8th Count Dance Center has had a very busy dance season. This past weekend they had several of their competition groups qualify for Nationals which will be held later this summer. Their competition team has continued to be a strong contender at events all year long and hopes their success continues at Nationals.

Speaking of the competition team, they will have open calls for next year’s competition team on June 14, 2014 from 9 am until 11am at the center. Anyone who likes to dance but not interested in competition should check out the summer dance schedule and give it a try before committing to a full season of dance. They also will have a variety of dance camps throughout the summer one might like to try.

For more information on classes or summer camps, one can call the center at 330 527-0358 or visit their website for more specifics at www.the8thcount.com. The dance center is located in the Garfield Plaza at 8015 B State Street Garrettsville, OH.

Fifty folks “Got Their Groove On” Saturday at the Zumba-a-Thon held at the high school with Heather Kovac. Photo: Denise Bly

Garrettsville – It has been  30 days since the historic Buckeye Block of Garrettsville was engulfed in flames and reduced to a pile of rubble. The tragic event birthed #GarrettsvilleStrong which is raising funds to ensure the historic block is rebuilt.  Weekly, there have been various groups that have registered and are holding events to raise money to rebuild the town. This weekend was no different. One could feast on all the pancakes they could eat at the elementary school and then walk over to the high school and work them off at the Zumba-a-Thon.

The James A. Garfield High School Student Council, along with the Interact Club, middle school student council and two advisors Mrs. Frances Bell and Ms. Missy Petrie were up at the crack of dawn Saturday to get ready for their pancake and sausage breakfast at the elementary school to raise funds for #Garrettsvillestrong. Students waited on customers, while Superintendent Ted Lysiak, Principals Jennifer Mulhern, Michael Dobran and Don Long manned the griddles. They not only had great pancakes and sausage, but these were topped with local maple syrup donated by local producer and maple marvel, Mark Apple. It was delicious and a great way to start off a Saturday. The event raised $1,410 for the #GarrettsvilleStrong Fund.

After having your fill of pancakes, it was time to get one’s groove on at the high school with Heather Kovac, who was holding a Zumba- a-Thon for #GarrettsvilleStrong. For an hour and a half, one could shake ‘em down  with Heather and work off the pancake breakfast while helping out their community. Fifty- plus folks took advantage of keeping their hearts strong while raising funds for #GarrettsvilleStrong. Each participant paid $10 to participate in the event.

The Zumba-a-Thon also had a gift basket raffle.  Between the gift basket and the Zumba, they raised $800 for the #GarrettsvilleStrong Fund.

 

Garrettsville – This past Sunday, over 70 contestants competed in a closed audition, hoping to keep their dreams alive of becoming the next Garrettsville Idol. This was one of the largest competitions they have had in recent years and the judges, Danny Deakins, Wendi Brown and Jackie Rinearson were given the difficult task of selecting those who would move on to the semifinals. After some lengthy deliberations, 51 contestants’ dreams of being named the next Garrettsville Idol were still alive.

There will be two incredible shows for the semifinals on May 18th. The first show will start at 4pm and will feature the youth and teens, while the second show will start at 6 pm and will feature the adult contestants. Each contestant will perform an entire song with music accompaniment before a live audience at James A. Garfield High School’s Iva Walker Auditorium. The winners of the semifinals will advance to the finals held Sunday June 29th during Summerfest.

Advancing to the semifinals in the adult division (top photo) are Sara Apthorpe, Aimee Beelen, Bryan Bier, Tiffany Bolton, Christy Brown, Raelyn DeBevits, Tammy Doumanian, Stephanie Ewell, Ryan Hecky, Jeremy Keeney, Rachael Maddox, Russ Martin, Devin Maze, Josh Owens, Linda Perrault, Sarah Jane Ralston, Jackson Ramsey, Kristina Rossi, Ambur Scales, Selina Slaughter, and Jason Stachowski.

Advancing to the semifinals in the adult division are Sara Apthorpe, Aimee Beelen, Bryan Bier, Tiffany Bolton, Christy Brown, Raelyn DeBevits, Tammy Doumanian, Stephanie Ewell, Ryan Hecky, Jeremy Keeney, Rachael Maddox, Russ Martin, Devin Maze, Josh Owens, Linda Perrault, Sarah Jane Ralston, Jackson Ramsey, Kristina Rossi, Ambur Scales, Selina Slaughter, and Jason Stachowski.

 

Moving on in the teen division (center photo) are Molli Betters, Elisha Bly, Anna Brown, Taylor Brown, Emilie Clites, Corin Colton, Hannah Cottrell, Lexy Dall,  Jay Davenport, Jainequa Davis, Megan Duderstadt, Caitlyn Hallden, Kaylee Martin, Kaylee Maynard, Jasmine Nevaraz, Rachael Pelter, Mariela Ruschak, Kirsten Sellers, Hannah Simpson, Julie Simpson, Taylor Shuman, Kyle Stern, Haylee Tasker, Cody Tetting, and Kiley Weis.

Moving on in the teen division are Molli Betters, Elisha Bly, Anna Brown, Taylor Brown, Emilie Clites, Corin Colton, Hannah Cottrell, Lexy Dall, Jay Davenport, Jainequa Davis, Megan Duderstadt, Caitlyn Hallden, Kaylee Martin, Kaylee Maynard, Jasmine Nevaraz, Rachael Pelter, Mariela Ruschak, Kirsten Sellers, Hannah Simpson, Julie Simpson, Taylor Shuman, Kyle Stern, Haylee Tasker, Cody Tetting, and Kiley Weis.

Youth singers are Lillian Anderson, Alee Blohm, Makenzie Fink, Maria Roderick and Olivia Sheer.

Youth singers are Lillian Anderson, Alee Blohm, Makenzie Fink, Maria Roderick and Olivia Sheer.

Tickets for the semifinals are $3 for each show and are available at Sky Lanes Bowling Alley.  You can also reserve tickets and pick them up at the auditorium on the day of the performance by calling Aaron King at 330 524-2646.

 

Garrettsville Summerfest is traditionally held on the fourth full weekend of June at the intersection of State Routes 88 and 82 in downtown historic Garrettsville. For more information on the event visit the website, www.garrettsvillesummerfest.com 

 

Garrettsville Idol is brought to you by  The Middlefield Banking Company

Nelson Twp. – On Thursday, April 10, 2014 the Portage County Drug Task Force (PCDTF) visited the Nelson Community House for an educational forum on drug abuse in the region. Trustee Joe Leonard opened the forum and thanked folks for coming. He also explained why they were hosting the PCDTF. Leonard said, many of the area residents had requested that the township do an educational forum on the rising drug issues in the region, which is why Leonard invited Larry Limbert from the PCDTF to speak on the issue.

Lyndhurst – Last year the Manolio family, who had been creating the mosaic art pieces from real egg shells in their front yard for 55 years, announced it would be the last year they would do it. The unexpected death of Ron Manolio, in the fall of 2012, made the 2013 display a tribute to the creator Ron Manolio, make the end of an era; at least it was for the Manolio family. 

Windham  Twp. – Windham Township Trustees met for their regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday April 3, 2014 with all trustees in attendance, along with the fiscal officer, seven residents and two guests.

The first item on the agenda after approving March’s expenditures and the minutes, was roads. The Road Supervisor Brian Miller reported that the roads held up well during the harsh winter but there was still some work to be done. Werger Road and Horn Road have the usual problems that they will continue to work on.  Brian Miller said he received a suggestion that the township consider filling in the cracks on Bryant Road early rather than later to prevent them from getting larger. The trustees took the suggestion under advisement.  Dann Timmons said they had yet to hear back from Dale Soinski’s lawyer on the cul-de-sac, but expect to see some paperwork on the issue soon. Trustee Rich Gano asked what roads they would consider chipping and sealing this year. Timmons said they will evaluate the roads as soon the weather breaks. 

Garrettsville – The James A. Garfield Sports Boosters held the first ever “Love the Dress” prom dress sale at the high school on Sunday April 6, 2014. The sports boosters were able to collect new and nearly new dresses and then resold them at a fraction of the price they originally sold for, making prom more affordable for many. All the dresses were in a variety of colors and sizes with prices starting at $5 but were no higher than $50.

Friends of Melana (FOM) will hold their Fourth Annual Memorial 5k and 1 mile run/walk at Garrettsville Summerfest, Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 9am. Proceeds from the event are used to fund research for kid’s cancer specifically for Gliomas. Participants are asked to register at www.stopkidscancer.org and click on events. The cost is $25 per runner and $15 for the fun run/walk.

Windham – Hope springs a new with Windham Community in Action’s (CIA) Community Garden of Hope. This past Saturday, Windham CIA held a ground breaking for their community garden that they will plant when the weather breaks.  Prior to the ground breaking ceremony, they held a name the garden contest and Victoria Showalter won the contest with the name, Community Garden of Hope. The new garden will be located just north of the Cortland Bank on Maple Grove Road.

windham-community-gardenThere are two parcels of land they will use for the garden, one is owned by the Village of Windham and the other is owned by Portage Woods.  Windham CIA has lease agreements with both entities at a very minimal cost.

The stage was set, approximately thirty people were waiting for the actual ceremony to begin when all of a sudden right before the scheduled start time the skies opened up and it poured. The rain did not dampen the spirit and the show went on, which included several speakers. Mary Lou from the county extension office and Portage County Master Gardeners talked about how gardening is beneficial to the community and the future of Windham. Bill Kot explained the process of composting and how it will be used in the garden. Paula Daniels explained how the schools will be involved in the garden and how beneficial the garden will be to the students as they learn about plant life. Julie Kelley, pastor of the Nazarene Church in Windham spoke on hope and how it is a gift, that it is intangible, invaluable and never ending. Hope is the beginning of the future.

Following the speeches, the first shovel was inserted into the ground only to hit roots. Following the ceremonial first shovels, the event was then moved to the fire station for refreshments.

This year, they plan to have approximately 10 raised bed, fruit tree, grape arbors, black berries bushes, and strawberry plants, with more items being added each year. They plan to have lighting, benches, a walking path and more, making the garden a place to reflect as well as help meet the nutritional needs of the community. A tentative design was drawn, however Matt Sorrick, Director of the Center for Science Education at Hiram College will assist with the layout and a new design to ensure the plants are getting the right sunlight etc for optimum growth and production.

Windham CIA wishes to thank the following donors Maruf Awad, Windham    Hardware, Windham Historical Society, Stoney’s Pizza, Cortland Banks, Roubic Law Offices, Randy & Brenda Slusher, Sharon & Larry Eye, Kenny & Freda Shearer, Miller Sand and Gravel, Little Tikes, Dollar general, Bob Cline, Andrea Hostetler, Michael Wallace, Cliff McGuire, Tom Hickman, The Village of Windham and Portage Woods for all their donations. They also want to thank the Windham Garden Club who has come on board to assist with the project. A special thanks to Rita Mullenax for her monetary donation to the project. Speaking of monetary donations, folks can make monetary donations at  Cortland Bank in Windham. Please make checks payable to Community in Action.

 

After nine months of planning and raising funds, the James A Garfield Marching Pride saw their vision come to fruition last week as they took Disney by storm. On Saturday March 22, 2014 they began loading the buses with 73 instruments 73  marching band uniforms, 73 shakos, pairs of shoes, gloves spats, seven flag line flags, Marching Pride banner, two rifles, and honor guard flags. Next, came the luggage for 73 members, plus one director and 11 chaperones, all packed under the bus. It was like a life-size version of Tetris, fitting all the equipment in but they did it and did it well.   The buses were finally loaded and they were off to the “Happiest Place on Earth”, aka Disney.

Garrettsville – Can you sing? Do you like to be on stage performing before others? Are you available April 13th, May 18th and June 29, 2014?  If your answer is yes to all of the above, you need to consider auditioning for this years Garrettsville Idol. Garrettsville Summerfest announces the audition dates for this year’s Garrettsville Idol, the grand finale event that closes out the Summerfest Festival every year on the fourth weekend in June. Adults will compete for a $1000 cash prize awarded to the winner at the finals held during Summerfest, while the youth and teens will each compete for $500.  

Windham Twp. – Eight residents were in attendance at the Windham Township Trustees meeting on March 6, 2014 to see how the township conducts its business.

The meeting was called to order by the Chairman Dann Timmons. The trustees approved the minutes and the financial report before moving on to discuss the judge’s decision on granting Mr. Dale Soinski’s petition to have the trustees vacate an unused portion of Frazier Road. The trustees are disappointed with the judge’s decision and claim the ruling is a bit ambiguous, but voted 2-0-1 (Timmons yes, Rich Gano yes, Miller abstained) not to pursue an appeal. The residents in attendance also felt it was unwise to spend any more money on the issue and agreed with their decision.   

Garrettsville – James A. Garfield (JAG) Band has once again made the community proud by earning a superior rating last weekend at the Ohio Music Educators Association’s (OMEA) Northeast Regional Band and Choir Adjudicated Event held at Revere High School and advancing them to the State competition held in April.

The band performed “Gallant Marines”, by Karl King, “Kentucky 1800” by Clare Grundman and “Three Ayers from Gloucester” by Hugh Stuart. They performed before a live audience as well as the judges. Following their on stage performance, they retreated to a private room for the sight reading portion of the competition. The students were given a piece of music, and a few minutes to look it over, and then were expected to play the piece. When the performance was completed, the band was awarded a “1” which is a superior rating.  The band’s superior rating at districts advances them to state competition in April; once again making the district proud.

The band is under the direction of Theo Cebulla, assisted by Joe Gaither.

 

Windham – The Windham Board of Education (BOE) meeting was held on February 27, 2014 with all board members in attendance. Darryl McGuire, president of the BOE called the meeting to order. Melissa Roubic reported that Maplewood will add an animal science program to the career center.  Dawn Kilgore gave an update on Ohio House Bill 416, which is a bill that will add extra calamity days for Ohio schools for this school year only. Currently it has passed the Senate but has stalled in the Ohio House.  The sticking point appears to be the number of days being added, the senate wants to add four days while the house want to add only two.