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Articles by Estelle R. Brown

Estelle R. Brown

Estelle R. Brown is a freelance writer who lives in Garrettsville with her family. She has written and taken photos for newspapers, magazines and e-zines for the past 25 years. She also enjoys working on public relations projects, including web content, newsletters, posters, brochures, press releases, and other creative endeavors. She enjoys writing compelling stories about her community as a contributing reporter for the Villager.

Beyond the Blue Ribbon: Tracey Garrett’s Top Tier Pastry Earns National Acclaim

| Published on April 16, 2014

Garrettsville – Tracey Garrett is putting Garrettsville under the national spotlight… and it has nothing to do with the fact that she shares her last name with the village’s pioneer founder. Garrett — a pastry chef who owns and operates Top Tier Pastry from her home on Zupancic Drive — …

Cause of Garrettsville Fire Officially “Undetermined”

| Published on April 16, 2014

Garrettsville – The Ohio State Fire Marshal announced last week that the cause of the March 22 fire which decimated the Buckeye Block on historic Main Street is officially undetermined. 

Portage Park District Foundation Awards Environmental Heroes

| Published on April 9, 2014

Portage County – True heroes earn their place of honor by doing the hard work over the long haul and making repeated sacrifices for the benefit of others until the work is done… so to pause from their labors for a night of fine dining and a turn under the …

Fire Hits Garrettsville Area Again

| Published on April 9, 2014

Nelson Twp. – Black smoke rose up in plumes high above Garrettsville as a raging fire burned… again.
Just about a week after a block of historic Main Street went up in flames, a large storage unit leased by Hermann Pickle Farm burnt to the ground on April 2 along Norton …

A Time to Pray

| Published on April 3, 2014

GARRETTSVILLE – “We’re going to do all we can to rebuild this Main Street block, restore its businesses, and revive this community,” says Mike Maschek of Maschek Construction, owner of the historic Buckeye Block Building which housed eight of the 14 businesses affected by the Garrettsville fire of March 22.

Where Are they Now? Burned-Out Businesses Scramble to Resume Operations

| Published on April 3, 2014

Garrettsville – “We are committed to to staying in Garrettsville and going back to Main Street when we can.”
These are the words of Dan Myers, who owned and operated New Hearing Sales & Services from 8115 Main Street until fire destroyed it and nearly every other business from Center Street …

UP IN FLAMES: Historic Fire Devastates Garrettsville’s Historic District

| Published on March 27, 2014

“Garrettsville is burning!”
On Saturday, March 22, 2014, that message blazed out across phone lines, the internet and news agencies throughout northeast Ohio. Main Street’s newly-renovated historic Buckeye Block Building was on fire at lunchtime. Despite prompt and robust response by local and regional firefighters, the angry fire had devoured the …

March 29 & 30: The Right Time to Bring Overdue Honor to a Vietnam Vet

| Published on March 26, 2014

Time may not heal all wounds, but perhaps it gives us the opportunity to right some wrongs.
That’s what the nation has to offer Vietnam Veterans more than 50 years after they were swept into that conflict in January 1962. More than 3 million Americans served in the 11-year Vietnam War; …

Honor Environmental Heroes and Support Portage County Park District, All at Once

| Published on March 12, 2014

Portage County – There are heroes amongst us.
Five heroes of environmental conservation will be honored during the 16th Annual Portage County Environmental Conservation Awards Benefit Dinner on April 5. Recipients of the 2014 awards have been chosen for making a significant contribution to improving quality of life in Portage County …

Jerry Returns to Kehoe’s Used Cars

| Published on March 9, 2014

Garrettsville  – Jerry’s back!
Jerry Kehoe has returned to his namesake, Jerry Kehoe’s Used Cars, at 10755 South Street, just in time for the business’ 35th anniversary. Jerry and his wife, Lynette, have bought back the used car lot from Eric and Meredith Hedges after a year-long experiment in retirement.

3-2-1, Action! Coming Back Soon to Garrettsville Cinema

| Published on February 19, 2014
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Garrettsville – The lights are coming back on at Garrettsville Cinema at 8009 Main Street. The Garfield Plaza movie theater is now under new management, renovated and updated with digital projectors and surround sound. New tenant Justin Dlugokecki of Showplace Theaters plans to re-open “the new and improved Garrettsville Cinema” …

Make February Your Month for Fitness

| Published on February 12, 2014

Honestly. We are without excuse. We’re fresh into the New Year and the launchpad of New Resolutions. February is Heart Month, sponsored by the American Heart Association to build awareness that heart disease is the #1 killer among American men and women — and it’s largely preventable with a lifestyle …

Following Donations from Source to Recipients ~A Journey to Impoverished Nicaragua~

| Published on February 6, 2014

So often, we give anonymously to a good cause — whether it be a local food drive, national disaster relief effort or an international humanitarian mission — and we never really know the impact of our gift. Wouldn’t you love the opportunity to follow your donation across local boundaries, past …

NEW TENANTS Coming to a Theater Near You?

| Published on January 16, 2014

Garrettsville – It’s official. “Please be advised TBE Theatres Inc. closed the Garrettsville Cinemas effective Sunday, January 5, 2014. We thank you for your assistance and cooperation through the years.” This statement arrived in an email to The Villager from Ted Bare Enterprises/TBE  Theatres in Bath on January 7.

Restoration & Redemption for Garrettsville’s Buckeye Block Building

| Published on November 27, 2013

Garrettsville – The holidays are prime time for devastation-turned-redemption dramas. For a real-time example, look no further than downtown Garrettsville and its restored historic district on Main Street. A little before-and-after reminder is in order, now that buildings are beautiful, lights are twinkling, and businesses are bustling.

Community Cupboard Shutting the Door on Hunger from a New Location

| Published on November 21, 2013

Garrettsville – Neighbors helping neighbors.
That’s the basic premise that inspired local volunteers to establish the Nelson-Garrettsville Community Cupboard (NGCC) more than three years ago, in a storage area behind Isaac Mills’ Bakery at Nelson Circle. Now the NGCC has outgrown its original home and has moved into a new locale …

New Owners Take the Wheel at Kehoe Used Cars

| Published on October 9, 2013
erry Kehoe Used Cars has stood in the heart of Garrettsville at the intersection of Main Street, North Street, Center Street, Windham Street and South Street for the past 34 years. But the car dealership’s namesake quietly prepared for retirement by selling the business to Eric Hedge last February. Now Hedge and his wife, Meredith, want the community to know that their new ownership is resulting in a new way of doing business, as well.

Garrettsville – Jerry Kehoe Used Cars has stood in the heart of Garrettsville at the intersection of Main Street, North Street, Center Street, Windham Street and South Street for the past 34 years.  But the car dealership’s namesake quietly prepared for retirement by selling the business to Eric Hedge last …

Disaster Preparedness Month: A Local Look at the Technology Behind Preparedness

| Published on September 23, 2013

If you’ve been following this series of articles, you’ve learned about the purpose behind Disaster Preparedness Month, the increasing role of EMS (Emergency Medical Services) in preparedness and how it relates to the Affordable Health Care Act, and EMS milestones throughout history. This week, we’re looking deeper into the connection …

Disaster Preparedness Month: Obamacare Revolutionizing the Role of EMS

| Published on September 11, 2013

We know Emergency Medical Services (EMS) as the local firefighters, volunteer rescue personnel and regional ambulance transport services that respond to car accidents, at-home mishaps, heart attacks, strokes and other medical emergencies in public places. EMS   responds when we call 9-1-1, provides preliminary medical care while en route to …

Garrrettsville Woman Sews Up Quilting Category at the Fair

| Published on September 11, 2013

The fair isn’t just for kids! Linnette Patrick — who happens to be the manager of South Wood Apartments and the wife of Garrettsville Mayor Rick Patrick — swept the quilting category at the Portage County Randolph Fair last month. 

Shop for a Cause: Yard Sale Benefit to Help Rescue Injured Greyhounds

| Published on September 11, 2013

Garrettsville – Whether you’re simply looking for a great deal, or you’re passionate about rescuing injured greyhound race dogs, you’ll want to attend Freeway’s Greyt Escape Benefit Yard Sale & Raffle at 10555 South Street, 9am-3pm, the weekend of September 19, 20 and 21.

JAG Maintains High Score with New State Grading System

| Published on August 27, 2013

Garrettsville – School districts throughout Ohio finally learned their scores for 2012-2013 according to the new state report cards last week. James A. Garfield School District — which has achieved Excellent with Distinction for two of the past three years — maintained high scores for 2012/13 by earning an overall …

40-Something is the New 20-Something

| Published on August 21, 2013

I’m beginning to think that 40-something is the new 20-something. And no, it’s not because of medical miracles, cosmetic surgery or skin cream. Rather, it’s a strange convergence of rising college costs, a constricted job market and renewed outlooks as a result of the first two economic realities. 

Dr. Neely Establishes his Family Practice in Garrettsville

| Published on August 5, 2013

Garrettsville -  The (new) doctor will see you now.
Timothy R. Neely, DO, established his family practice at 8:30am Thursday, August 1, 2013 at University Hospitals’ Garrettsville Family Medicine. Fresh from his residency at Summa Western Reserve Hospital in Cuyahoga Falls, Dr. Neely is seeing the former patients of Armelle Jemmy-Noufo, …

Woodsy’s: A World of Musical Wonder for 41 Years

| Published on July 1, 2013

Kent – Woodsy’s is a world of music for a world of musicians. Self-described as northeast Ohio’s largest independent, family-owned-and-operated music store, the business has been a fixture of downtown Kent for 41 years. Now, with its online sales, it’s a global phenomenon.

A New Era: A New Superintendent for JAG Schools

| Published on June 24, 2013

Garrettsville – June 13, 2013 marked the beginning of a new era for James A. Garfield Schools. After 22 years under the leadership of Charles Klamer, the JAG Board of Education hired a new superintendent: Ted Lysiak of Garrettsville. 

James A. Garfield Class of 2013 Graduates with Distinction

| Published on June 9, 2013

Garrettsville – Threatening skies forced commencement exercises at James A. Garfield High School to be held in the gymnasium rather than the football field on June 2. But nothing could squelch the magnitude of the moment for the JAG Class of 2013.

The Image Consultants; a Cut Above the Rest

| Published on May 29, 2013

The Image Consultants is a perfectly-named hair salon at 149 S. Water Street in historic downtown Kent. Owned and operated by Cheryl Germano-Smith, the salon sets itself apart by providing free customized consultations for every new client.
People usually can’t answer the big question, which is, “What do you want to …

Trading Life in the ‘Burbs for Life in the ‘Ville

| Published on May 29, 2013

Garrettsville – I was awakened this morning to the sounds of carriage wheels rolling along and the clip-clop of horses’ hooves as an Amish buggy passed by on the road in front of the house. As I rolled over for a few more zzz’s, I smiled to myself, thinking, “Some …

SUE NELSON DESIGNS, Ltd. – Kent’s Antidote to Big Box Hardware

| Published on May 15, 2013

Kent – You just don’t find places like this any more.
Shops like Sue Nelson Designs, Ltd. in historic downtown Kent died off when big box hardware stores replaced family-owned interior design sales and services. But Sue Nelson has kept her shop alive at 156 South Water Street for nearly 25 …

Garrettsville’s Signature Boardwalk Turns Twenty

| Published on May 1, 2013

Garrettsville – On May 2, 1993, Garrettsville’s newest attraction — the Main Street boardwalk — was dedicated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Later described as “a wooden walkway to nowhere in particular except delight” in Ohio Magazine, the boardwalk held a promise of downtown revitalization and increased tourism for this historic …

“HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT” Designed to Shock Parents into Awareness

| Published on April 21, 2013

Garrettsville – Don’t get caught with your head in the sand. Parents have often been accused of being out of touch or naive when it comes to their children’s (mis)behavior. Here’s your chance to either redeem yourself or to get a rude awakening.
Looks can be deceiving. Don’t be fooled. This …

P&B Grinding and Machine Living the Dream

| Published on April 14, 2013

Garrettsville -  Bill Butto and his father-in-law, Pete VanPelt, shared a dream for 20 years. Precision surface grinders by trade, they worked together at a shop in Streetsboro. But they always talked about going into business together and being their own boss. The only thing keeping them from pursuing this …

Klamer Steps Down After 22 Years

| Published on April 1, 2013

Garrettsville – On March 22, James A. Garfield School District Superintendent Charles C. Klamer submitted his letter of resignation to school board president Guy Pietra. The school board is expected to accept Klamer’s resignation officially at its next regular meeting on April 11. When his resignation goes into effect on …

S&K Sales Breathes New Life into Building

| Published on April 1, 2013

Garrettsville  – Despite the obstinance of Old Man Winter, signs of Spring are adding up, from the blooming crocuses to the melodic calls of morning songbirds. There’s even a eye-catching red tractor in front of the old Paul’s Lumber building… and a new sign over the door which indicates a …

Part V: Books or Bytes? Looking at the Library of the Future

| Published on March 2, 2013

I like the way the pages feel and sound when you turn them and the way some books smell warm from decades of paper decay beneath the whorls imprinted from generations of turning, penciled notes in the margin small and fading. (Robert Andropolis)
Depending on how old you are, this little …

Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures: How to Respond to an Active Shooter

| Published on February 20, 2013

Portage County – What if a violent intruder showed up at your workplace or school, intent on shooting to kill? What would you do?
In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing …

The Problem with Print in a Digital Age: A Five-Part Series

| Published on February 20, 2013

“Wherever there is change and uncertainty lies opportunity, if you’re willing to take risks.” -Mark Cuban, owner of Dallas Mavericks

Undoubtedly, for newspapers to survive in this new environment of 24/7 digital information streams, they need to be nimble, flexible, experimental and bold.

Ultimately, the newspaper of the future may bear little resemblance to the newsprint you now hold in your hands. Newspapers have already become hybrids: part-print and part-internet. Eventually, they seem destined to become internet-only manifestations. Meanwhile, the transition from the printed page to its next embodiment is challenging, both for the newspaper industry and for its consumers.

Owner of Reinvented Welshfield Inn Gains National Attention

| Published on February 6, 2013

Troy  – Welshfield Inn is a historic landmark, familiar to anyone who lives in the Portage/Geauga County area. It’s been an elegant family dining destination for generations, first established in 1842 as the Nash Hotel. But if you haven’t been paying close attention, you may have missed the fact that …

Pasta House Brings Italian Home Cooking to Main Street

| Published on January 31, 2013

Garrettsville  – If you’re looking for comfort food, it’s time to come home to The Pasta House. This Italian restaurant is downtown’s newest addition at 8126 Main Street, owned and operated by Sherry Quiggle and her son, Jeremy.
If these names sound familiar, they should. Jeremy took ownership of Italian Garden …

Early Birds Give the Most

| Published on January 10, 2013

Ravenna – Some people started preparing for the Christmas holidays as early as Halloween. Others got a start on their shopping by Thanksgiving or Black Friday. But even these early birds were put to shame by a group of young kids known as the Chesty Pullers Young Marines. Back on …

2013 is All Yours ~ Now What?

| Published on January 9, 2013

On January 2, the long holiday season was freshly behind us and it was time to get back into a normal routine. My FaceBook feed was full of glossy and hopeful well wishes for the new year… until I landed on this one from an old pal from high school. …

JAG Earns A+ on State Report Card

| Published on November 5, 2012

Garrettsville -  The James A. Garfield School District has once again distinguished itself with highest honors. It earned the Excellent with Distinction (A+) status on statewide district report cards for the 2011-2012 academic year. JAG was one of only four among Portage County’s 11 school districts to achieve such a high …

Fire Truck Food Drive Helps to Shut the Door on Hunger

| Published on October 29, 2012

Garrettsville – It was cold, damp and grey outside Garrettsville’s IGA grocery store on Saturday morning, October 20. But Joe Leonard’s bright red antique firetruck with Santa on board drew curiosity seekers to the “Fill The Fire Truck Food Drive” and resulted in four truckfulls of food donations for the …

Jail Work Program Saves Tax Dollars While Equipping Inmates with Skills

| Published on October 22, 2012

Portage County – Democrat Portage County Sheriff David Doak is running an uncontested race for re-election this fall, so he is assured a second term. Nevertheless, Republican Portage County Commissioner Tommie Jo Marsilio is going out of her way to lend support to Doak.

Young Marines Return ‘Home’ to Serve Local Community

| Published on September 24, 2012

Ravenna – The Chesty Puller Young Marines unit recently moved back to Ravenna from Cuyahoga Falls, and the organization is spreading the word they’ve returned ‘home’ and are re-engaged with the local community.
The Young Marines is a youth education and service program for boys and girls, ages 8 through completion …

Friendship Mobile Food Pantry Takes a Bite out of Hunger

| Published on September 15, 2012

You’ve probably heard it said, “A friend in need is a friend indeed.” With poverty rates at an all-time high and one in six Ohio families struggling to put food on the table, more and more people need to rely on true friends who are happy to help when times …

It’s Back-to-School Season for Grownups, Too

| Published on September 1, 2012

It’s back-to-school season! The kids have got their new supplies, clothes and shoes, equipped for a new year of hopes, possibilities and goals.They’re taking new classes, playing on new teams, joining new clubs, meeting new friends. As summer fades into fall and we turn another page in the calendar, September …

900 Coalition: Restoring Garrettsville’s Historic Identity

| Published on August 23, 2012

GARRETTSVILLE – A new grassroots organization called the 900 Coalition is hosting their first community fundraising event: “Tools of the Trades Day” on Saturday, September 8, at the former Paul’s Lumber Yard at 8018 French Street (off of Freedom Street) from 12 noon to 4 p.m. Vehicles from many different …

Restoration of Buckeye Block Building Cues Revival on Main Street

| Published on August 23, 2012

Garrettsville – Restoration leads to revival. The renovation of downtown’s Buckeye Block Building is out to prove that.
Just a year ago, the village’s anchor Main Street building was in such a severe state of deterioration, officials feared it was a public threat and might need to be torn down. Along …