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Benjamin Coll

Benjamin Coll
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In addition to his roles as reporter and graphic designer at The Weekly Villager, Benjamin is involved with a number of local organizations and events including G-Men Unite and Garrettsville Summerfest among others. Currently serving as President of the Garrettsville Area Chamber of Commerce, Benjamin has worked hard to develop the 'Think Local' campaign which promotes awareness of what our community has to offer. He is also a member of the GarrettsvilleStrong Board of Directors.

Photo courtesy The Harlem Ambassadors

Photo courtesy The Harlem Ambassadors

Garrettsville - The fun begins at 7:00 PM on October 25th (doors open 40 minutes before tip-off), when the internationally acclaimed Harlem Ambassadors take on the Garrettsville Inspectors (Garfield High School Alumni) in a fun-filled, family-friendly evening of basketball showmanship featuring high-flying slam dunks, ball-handling tricks, and hilarious comedy routines at Garfield High School Gymnasium.

Bring the whole family to this event and experience laugh-out-loud comedy basketball for a good cause. There will be an opportunity to win an autographed basketball, purchase Harlem Ambassadors souvenirs, meet the Harlem Ambassadors during a free post-game autograph session, and snacks and beverages will be available for purchase.

A limited number of tickets are available for this event, which benefits the Garrettsville Area Chamber of Commerce’s  #GarrettsvilleStrong fund, and Phase II of the James A. Garfield Stadium Improvement Project.

Advance tickets go on sale Monday, August 18th and may be purchased online at garrettsvillearea.com/tix or at one of many area businesses including: The Villager (8088 Main St); Charles Auto Family (10851 North St); Miller’s Family Restaurant (8045 State St); Garrettsville DQ Grill & Chill (8013 State St); and the James A Garfield School offices when school returns.

Ticket prices are as follows: Adults – $10; Students (12 & Under) – $7; Seniors – $7; Family 4 Pack (4 Tickets & 2 Bags of Popcorn) – $30. Call 330-527-5761 for ticket information.

Stay up to date by visiting www.garrettsvillearea.com/basketball or by joining the event on Facebook.

Learn more about the Harlem Ambassadors at www.harlemambassadors.com

This event has been brought to you by the Garrettsville Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Garfield All Sports Boosters.

Sponsorship Opportunities for this event are available. Call 330-527-5761 to learn more!

 

Nelson Twp. – Officials present at the July 16, 2014 trustee meeting were fiscal officer J. David Finney and township trustees Joe Leonard, Mike Elias, and Tom Matota. Also present were, Roads Supervisor Chuck Vanek, Zoning Inspector Anna Mae VanDerHoeven, and Community House Caretaker James Cmunt.

Elias made a motion to accept the minutes from the previous  meeting as presented; the motion was seconded by Matota, and all approved.

Finney presented the trustees with bills and wages to be paid totaling $14,557.73. A motion to pay the bills and wages was made by Elias and seconded by Leonard. The motion carried unanimously.

Vanek reported that the tractor is done; the dealer will be running it for approximately two hours on July 17th to ensure nothing breaks on it. Vanek also informed the trustees that the waterline on the old tractor, that is slated to be auctioned off, started leaking on July 14th. Repairs will be made in-house prior to the auction. It was also mentioned that the playground area at Pixley Park has been seeded and mulched.

Elias reported that Vanek had brought the booth for the county fair down, but there is some work that needs to be done on it. As of now, Elias does not feel that he would put it up. Elias plans to spruce it up, and update pictures and content.  Elias also relayed information he learned while attending the Solid Waste Management District meeting. A plan for the district has not been finalized, but it remains pretty similar to the old plan. In the new plan communities could participate in a consortium, allowing them to participate in curbside pickup for both trash and recyclables. In regards to the Nelson racetrack, Elias has spoken with the County Health Department; which has filed suit agains the racetrack, calling the tires and other debris refuse. As of last year, the owners of the racetrack were looking at a fine of $100/day per day they were in violation of regulations.

Leonard informed everyone that the Salt Barn is slated to be finished by the 28th; and on an unrelated note mentioned that he would like to come up with some simple rules for Pixley Park. Over the last few months Leonard has noticed that pet owners are not cleaning up droppings from their dogs‚ leaving feces scattered throughout the grassy areas near the ball field and playground. He would like to propose a no pet policy for the park.  More research will need to be done on establishing policies for the park, and he will be working with Finney to find some examples that could be built upon.

Finney provided the trustees with suggested supplemental appropriations to the Township budget that will free up $85,000 for use on the chip & seal project. By dropping part 5 from the project, only $84,576.20 would be needed for chip & seal work on Township roads. Matota made a motion to change the appropriations as listed, Elias seconded. The trustees also voted to award  Hughes Contracting the contract for parts 1 through 4.

Nelson Trustees meet on the first and third Wednesdays of the month at 7 p.m. in the Community House.  Meetings are open to the public and residents are encouraged to attend.

 

Nelson Twp – Officials present at the July 2, 2014 trustee meeting were fiscal officer J. David Finney and township trustees Joe Leonard, Mike Elias, and Tom Matota. Also present were Roads Supervisor Chuck Vanek, Zoning Inspector Anna Mae VanDerHoeven.

Elias made a motion to accept the minutes from the previous meeting as presented; the motion was seconded by Matota, and all approved.

Finney presented the trustees with bills and wages to be paid totaling $18,178.74. A motion to pay the bills and wages was made by Elias and seconded by Leonard. The motion carried unanimously.

Finney reported that he had received three bids from the advertisement of the chip & seal projects. The trustees opened the sealed bids at the meeting and briefly reviewed each. The first bid received came from Hughes Contracting Incorporated who submitted a bid totaling $109,042.60.  Of that figure, Norton Road accounted for $24,466.40. The second bid was received from H. Luli Construction Company whose bid came in at $118,449.27, of which the double chip & sealing of Norton Road comprised $26,739.80. The final bid was received from Ronyak Paving Incorporated and totaled 166,194.20; Norton comprised $38,559.30 of that bid. Finney recommended that the trustees hold off on making any decisions about the bids until the next meeting so that he can take a look at the numbers and see how they fall in line with the budget. In a worst-case scenario, the conversion of Norton Road from a gravel road to a chip and sealed road would be put off for another year.

Following the opening of the sealed bids for the roads, Finney walked the trustees through a comparison between the budget appropriations and the budget. Finney stated that he feels that his estimates for the year have been “pretty close” as the Township is at about the point he predicted it would be for the first half of the year. Around 57% of revenue has been received, and the Township’s expenditures are currently around $238,000 with a $280,000 unencumbered balance.

Matota asked VanDerHoeven to clarify some notes in her report for him. Matota also asked VanDerHoeven whether there have been any applications for home business permits; there have not. Elias expressed an interest in having new home construction tracked to see how quickly the Township is growing.

Vanek reported that the new mower is shipping out and should be attached to the tractor soon. He informed the trustees that Cope would charge $450 for delivery of the new tractor. Matota asked if any progress has been made on getting the current tractor into the auction. Vanek replied that Chalker’s Auction just needs a photo to be able to list it, as the rest of the information, including reserve price, is ready to go. Matota informed those present that he had met with an ODOT Rep, and that the rep spoke very highly of Vanek. Matota then asked about the playground concrete work; he is concerned that there are some sharp edges in the cement footers, and asked Vanek to have his guys break down some of the ridges before they are covered with fill & mulch.

Matota reported that he reached out to the parties involved on Shanks-Down Road. Everyone seems to be on board at this time. Meduri will be taking the lead on creating a document for all parties to sign. Trumbull & Portage counties both want to move on the vacating of Shanks-Down Road.  Matota also attended a meeting with the solid waste District and their plan for recycling. Portage County is in a situation where the Portage County Solid Waste District is going to have to invest resources and become a viable waste management system, or they will have to work with private haulers. There will be a public meeting on July 16th at 11:00 AM in the County Administration Building with the County Commissioners and representatives of the Waste District for public input. Anyone curious or concerned about the changes to the waste management program should attend. According to Matota the Solid Waste District would like to push communities to a curbside recycling program that is paid for by the residents.

Elias reported that Larry Limpert had mentioned that putting No Parking signs along Bloom Road would be beneficial to helping curb problematic activity at the Quarry Park.  Limpert brought the issue to Elias’ attention because people are parking on the road and walking over to the Quarry Park. If signage prohibiting parking was present, citations could be issued, and the issue would likely resolve itself. Matota recommend getting Meduri involved as there may be legal hoops that need to be jumped through. Possibly a resolution to prohibit parking. On the subject of the abandoned house, unkempt property, and scrapped car on Nelson Circle,  Meduri recommended that the Township send a letter. Elias will work with Finney to draft a letter for the trustees to sign.  Elias also brought a concern about mosquitos at the Nelson Racetrack to the attention of the other trustees. Elias will notify the Health Department who will then notify the current property owner.

Leonard reported that the salt barn is running behind schedule due to the wet weather, and Finney mentioned that Vanek had suggested sealing the concrete before filling the barn with salt. Vanek has also put together a rough estimate for the materials necessary to install the drains and floor of the building. Leonard informed the other trustees that the trees for Pixley Park will still be received, however this year’s excessively wet weather has delayed their transport until autumn.  Leonard also reported that the Portage County Sheriff’s Department, local police forces, and the Portage County Drug Task Force would have a very heavy presence in the area through Sunday. They are working to curb the drug activity surrounding events at the Quarry Park.

Following the signing of checks to pay bills and wages the meeting was adjourned.

Nelson Trustees meet on the first and third Wednesdays of the month at 7 p.m. in the Community House.  Meetings are open to the public and residents are encourage to attend.

Nelson Twp – Officials present at the June 4, 2014 trustee meeting were fiscal officer J. David Finney and township trustees Joe Leonard, Mike Elias, and Tom Matota. Also present were, Roads Supervisor Chuck Vanek, Zoning Inspector Anna Mae VanDerHoeven, and Community House Caretaker Michelle Cmunt.

Non-violent inmates from the Portage County Jail worked alongside township employees, and a PlayWorld Systems specialist to erect the township’s playground equipment at Pixley Park on June 19th. The playground is expected to be ready for use by the second week of July. Photo: Benjamin Coll, Staff Reporter

Non-violent inmates from the Portage County Jail worked alongside township employees, and a PlayWorld Systems specialist to erect the township’s playground equipment at Pixley Park on June 19th. The playground is expected to be ready for use by the second week of July.

Photo: Benjamin Coll, Staff Reporter

Finney presented the trustees with copies of the minutes of their June 4th meeting. Matota made a motion to accept them as presented; Elias seconded the motion. Finney then made the trustees aware of the bank reconciliation for the month of May and that there were “no surprises inside.” Finney then presented the trustees with $13,342.80 in expenses documented in the bills and wages to be paid. Matota moved to pay the bills as presented; Elias seconded the motion, and all voted in favor. Matota asked about a charge from Buckeye Bulk to which Vanek replied. Buckeye Bulk is the trucking company used by the township for small-batch orders of aggregate. The trustees also received renewal information from Medical Mutual for healthcare coverage in 2014. There was an 8% increase in premiums, however the coverage offered will remain the same.

In township Zoning news, an open hearing has been scheduled regarding the rezoning of the Bonner property (site of the old turkey farm). The meeting will be held on July 2nd, at 6:45PM to discuss the change from R1 to R2.

Finney mentioned that the township’s Financial Audit has been posted on Auditor of State’s website. FInney also had a physical copy available at the meeting for anyone who wanted to take a peek at the report.

Non-violent inmates from the Portage County Jail worked alongside township employees, and a PlayWorld Systems specialist to erect the township’s playground equipment at Pixley Park on June 19th. The playground is expected to be ready for use by the second week of July. Photo: Benjamin Coll, Staff Reporter

Non-violent inmates from the Portage County Jail worked alongside township employees, and a PlayWorld Systems specialist to erect the township’s playground equipment at Pixley Park on June 19th. The playground is expected to be ready for use by the second week of July.

Photo: Benjamin Coll, Staff Reporter

Vanek reported that he had received a request for a slow sign for the curve by old Christmas Tree Farm on Hopkins due to increased traffic, and cars travelling at excessive speeds. The speed limit for non-signed roads in the township is 55 MPH, so setting a speed limit was not an option. Matota recommended a 25mph advisory plate. However it was ultimately decided that 35mph advisory warning plate would be purchased instead. Vanek also reported that asphault patching on Prentiss is underway.

Matota volunteered to take the helm of vacating Shanks-Down road. He will reach out to all of the involved entities to see what their intentions are.

Leonard reported that non-violent inmates from the Portage County Jail would be helping with the installation of the Pixley Park Playground on June 19th.  He also mentioned that work on the Salt Barn should start back up the week of June 23rd.

Following the signing of checks, the meeting was adjourned. If you would like to know more about what is going on in your community, plan to attend township meetings. The trustees meet the first and third Wednesdays of the month at 7:00PM in the Nelson Community House.

 

Garrettsville – Almost three months after the fire that devastated a portion of downtown Garrettsville, the charred remains of what once was, have been removed.  Fill dirt and fencing, banners displaying  support and hope now line a portion of Main Street.

As the cleanup process was taking place, the Garrettsville Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors  have been working to establish guidelines on how the monies raised and held  in the GarrettsvilleStrong fund will be distributed.

Working with a Cleveland-based business attorney (who donated his time), Portage County Auditor Janet Espisito and the Ohio Attorney Generals office, the board  finalized the disbursement guidelines for the fund – which as of June 13th was sitting at over $65,526.

While multiple businesses were affected, there were four property owners whose buildings were lost or damaged on March 22.  On Wednesday, June 18th the board met with those property owners to sit down and review the GarrettsvilleStrong disbursement guidelines, answer any questions and address any concerns that they may have regarding the fund prior to the information being made public.

The #GarrettsvilleStrong Fund is comprised of monies acquired by direct donations or through fundraising efforts and earmarked for the rebuilding of the Main Street area destroyed by the fire on March 22, 2014.

These monies will be made available to the property owners of record at the time of monetary request for the sole use of rebuilding. Each Current Property Owner received a letter stating how the funds will be allocated, how payments shall be processed and their options should the owner decide not to rebuild.

Monies from the fund  will be  allocated based on the ground level lot size per the Portage County auditors office tax map.  With fundraisers scheduled to continue throughout 2014 it is the Board’s hope that these funds will help defray some of the expenses that the property owners will incur as they rebuild Main Street.

The entire document is available online at http://garrettsvillearea.com/library.html

 

Nelson Twp – Officials present at the June 4th, 2014 trustee meeting were fiscal officer J. David Finney and township trustees Joe Leonard, Mike Elias, and Tom Matota. Also present were, Roads Supervisor Chuck Vanek, Zoning Inspector Anna Mae VanDerHoeven, and Community House Caretaker Michelle Cmunt.

Dave Freiss, chief of the Garrettsville Freedom Nelson Joint Fire District, requested use of the Nelson Community House on September 21st. The building will be utilized as a meeting location for the fire district’s training exercises in nearby Nelson Kennedy Ledges. The Community House will also be utilized as the location for lunch, and bathrooms so people can get cleaned up. Parkman, Troy, Hiram, Windham, and Mantua fire departments have also been invited to attend the training session. Helicopters will be landed in the archery field, and  water rescue training will be held in the Quarry Park. Leonard made a motion to allow use of Community House on September 21st at no charge. Matota seconded the motion, and it was unanimously approved.

Finney presented the trustees with the minutes of the May 21st meeting. Matota made a motion to approve them as presented, which was seconded by Elias.  Finney then presented the trustees with bills and wages to be paid totaling $15,214.63. Elias made motion to pay them as presented, and the motion was seconded by Leonard.

Finney provided the trustees with information he had received from an “incentivizer”. An incentivizer tracks down financial incentives from electric companies in exchange for a percentage of the incentive money received by the township. After presenting the information to the trustees, Finney offered no advise either way. Leonard suggested tabling the issue until it could be researched further. All trustees were in agreement.

Finney then presented the information required for the hiring of Richard Bailey as a part-time township employee. Leonard made a motion to hire Baily at the same $12.25 rate as the previous part-time hire. All voted to approve the motion.

Matota reported that he has spoken with the township’s insurer regarding volunteer projects on township property, and that they recommended the township put a “hold harmless” agreement in place. Meduri provided feedback, and a few examples of hold harmless waiver for the trustees to build on. It has become a township policy that any time the township has people get involved with township projects, a hold harmless waiver must be signed.

Vanek received the revised information for township chip and seal projects. The specifications for the road project are still incorrect, despite Vanek sending the requirements for the projects to the County Engineer’s office multiple times. The incorrect information is causing a delay in bidding out road projects. Matota offered to make a trip to the County Engineer’s office to get things straightened out in person. Vanek also reported that the new part-time employees have been working well. His crew made first total pass of 2014 on all township roads, and they will be working alongside the crew from Garrettsville to birm Brosius Road.

VanDerHoeven handed in the zoning report, and reported that she had been in touch with Lisa at Regional Planning. No asbestos is present at any of the four properties listed in the latest Move Ohio Forward project. After the two week notification process, demolition can begin.

The trustees approved making an attempt at selling the boom mower for a $15,500 minimum on consignment at Chalker’s Auction in August. The funds from the sale could then be used to pave the way for the purchase of a much-needed replacement.

Leonard would like to order $600 worth of infield dirt from Brugmans. All trustees voted to approve the expense

An estimate on the fuel tank has been received in the amount of $17,615 but does not include tanks or electrical hookup. Leonard would like to rethink the installation on the project and have the road crew perform the installation. The project, as bid, would exceed $24,000 by the sole outside bidder (it’s a small job, and based on the estimate the bidder knows few others want the gig). The trustees reviewed the estimate. Elias will be getting in touch with the company that was supposed to be finding bids, and see where they are at in the process.

Leonard reported that 10 prisoners, courtesy of the Portage County Sheriff’s Office, would install the Pixley Park playground equipment on June 19th.

Following the signing of the checks the meeting was adjourned.

 

 

chamber-scholarshipGarrettsville – On June 4th the Garrettsville Area Chamber held their annual Scholarship Luncheon at Cal’s Restaurant.  Each year the Chamber awards three scholarships to graduating Garfield High School seniors.

Pictured above are the 2014 recipients of the scholarships.  Amber Wenger (right) will be attending Kent State University to study Nursing; Trevor Chambers (left) will be pursuing a degree in Safety Management at Slippery Rock University; Laura Wilburn (center) will attend Youngstown State and NEOMED  where she will be working towards her medical degree.

Congratulations and best of luck to all!

 

Nelson Twp – Officials present at the May 21, 2014 trustee meeting were fiscal officer J. David Finney and township trustees Joe Leonard, Mike Elias, and Tom Matota. Also present were, Roads Supervisor Chuck Vanek, Zoning Inspector Anna Mae VanDerHoeven.

After the meeting was called to order, Finney asked the Trustees whether there were any additions to the evening’s agenda. With no additions made, the meeting proceeded as scheduled.

Eric Thoren, Assistant Chief of the Garrettsville Freedom Nelson Joint Fire District, informed the trustees that the department had been elected to host a water shuttle training session. He was in attendance to request permission to make use of the Pixley Park parking lot to setup the equipment and pump water off. The department plans to shoot water off into the swampy area. Training would be scheduled for 8am on Sunday, June 8th and would last about 2 hours. Matota made a motion to allow the fire department “to do whatever they need to do” for their training exercise. All trustees voted in favor of the motion.

As the next order of business, Finney presented the trustees with copies of the May 7th meeting minutes, as well as the bills & wages to be paid, totaling  $52,103.24. The trustees also received copies of the fund status report; at the time of the meeting the townships pooled funds totaled over $353,584.77. Matota asked Finney to elaborate on a few items in the bills & wages. Elias made a motion to pay bills and wages as presented. All voted in favor.

Finney reported that he will need to make an appointment with the county engineer, as there seems to be a gap in communication regarding the road projects. The township is waiting on the engineer’s office to provide specifications for the roads, a wait that is impeding the township’s ability to set dates for advertising, receiving and opening job bids. Finney also mentioned that the mower and tractor purchase have been moving along thanks to assistance from Matota. Finney spoke with the tractor dealer who said the tractor has arrived and is being prepped. The mower should arrive for it by mid-June.

VanDerHoeven has talked to Lisa at Regional Planning about demolishing the structure (known locally as “the feral cat house”) on Newell Ledge Rd first. The vermin and numerous feral cats in the property are posing a great concern for neighboring property owners. Lisa also informed VanderHoeven that asbestos testing is currently being conducted at all properties. The results should be received by the end of May.

Vanek reported that Pure Ionics had no knowledge of selling the township the equipment in place at the Community House. The company had no record of the equipment. Matota would like to see the old equipment removed, especially if it’s not being used/not hooked up. Vanek also mentioned that his crew was getting things prepped for Memorial Day. They have also begun patching soft spots in roads. Matota asked about the new part-time positions, and Vanek responded that the first new hire is working well.

Elias reported that he had spoken with ODOT regarding Speed Limit on SR 305. He was informed by an ODOT representative that the amount of traffic on SR 305 is insufficient to change the speed limit. They are aware of the Amish population along the road, and the increased foot traffic, which was taken into account when setting the speed limit. ODOT will, however be putting up signs along the road to alert motorists of the presence of pedestrian, and buggy traffic.

Leonard reported that the playground equipment for Pixley Park has been delivered, and is ready to assemble. The goal is to have the equipment assembled sometime in June, and Leonard would like to have as many many volunteers from the community as possible.

Matota reported that he attended the County Engineer Association meeting. He presented the other trustees with information from the meeting.

Leonard reported that the Salt Barn footers are scheduled to be poured during the first week of June. He also reported that there has been some trouble getting people to quote the fuel tank project due to its small scope. The design for the fuel paddock has also changed slightly, which has the bollards moving to the face exterior.

The meeting was adjourned following the signing of checks.

Garrettsville - Garrettsville United Methodist Church is launching a new outreach mission this summer. ‘Camp Read-a-Lot’ will be held Wednesdays, June 25, July 2, July 9, and July 16 from 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM; lunch will be served from 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM. The ages for the children will be K–3rd grade.

The UMC is looking for adults willing to help 2 to 3 children one day a week. They will be asked to move between reading stations, working on the activity for the different skills needed to become a better reader. Each reading station will have directions and the materials required to complete the activity. The UMC encourages those volunteering to stay for lunch with the children to build a good relationship. There will be a training session for all volunteers on Monday, June 2nd at 6:30 PM.

For more information about this program, or to volunteer please call or speak with:

Kristina Cupples – (330) 527-0180
Christina Shaefer – (330) 274-0572
Pat Singelyn – (330) 592-1170
Glenna Spaur (lunches) – (330) 577-6575

For those interested in supporting the reading program but unable to volunteer time, donations are also being accepted at this time.

Garrettsville UMC is a member of the Garrettsville Area Chamber of Commerce. Your continued support of member businesses and organizations helps promote the local economy, and funds many of the community activities you enjoy.

Garrettsville – At Wednesday’s meeting of the Garrettsville Area Chamber of Commerce, the Board of Directors provided a fund status report for the fund. Erika Frankel, Treasurer, announced that as of May 6, 2014 the GarrettsvilleStrong fund stood at $46,370. This number reflected the total amount deposited as of the meeting date, and did not include anticipated deposits not yet received.

In an effort to improve transparency Chamber President Benjamin Coll announced that beginning Friday, a weekly fund status would be provided on the GarrettsvilleStrong page of the Chamber’s website.

Following the Chamber of Commerce meeting, the board of directors entered into executive session to review proposed guidelines for distribution of GarrettsvilleStrong funds. These guidelines are being established  with  the guidance of the Ohio Attorney General, and will  be reviewed by legal counsel prior to a  formal announcement of how fund distribution will occur.

The Garrettsville Area Chamber of Commerce board of directors established the GarrettsvilleStrong fund on Monday, March 24th to raise funds, which will be utilized to facilitate the rebuilding of the northeastern block of downtown Garrettsville affected by the fire March 22, 2014. This area is located on Main Street between Center and High Streets.

Garrettsville – Last December the James A. Garfield Local School District was awarded a $5 Million State of Ohio Straight A Fund Grant. The funds from this grant have been used to create a “Campus of Excellence” our community can be proud of for generations to come enhancing education for local school children, and expanding opportunities within our community.

As you may have noticed during your travels along State Route 88, construction of the 17,000 square foot addition to the elementary school is under way. This addition will facilitate the consolidation of the James A. Garfield Schools, allowing all 1,500 students to be located on one campus – resulting in over $300,000 in annual operational savings, and increasing the ability to share resources.  A professional development center has also been included in the addition, and will be used as a multi-purpose space for training, and public use.

The grant was not limited solely to physical construction projects, as upgrades to the District’s technology infrastructure are also being made. Students in grades 7-12 will be issued laptop computers, and students in grades K-6 will have increased access to laptop carts.

In an effort to bring even more great resources to Garrettsville and our surrounding communities, partnerships were established to make use of the Park Avenue Building. The Greater Cleveland YMCA will bring before and after school care, as well as management of youth sports. The Portage County Educational Service Center will also make use of classroom space at the building to offer a new public preschool option.

A groundbreaking ceremony at the site of the Elementary School’s new fifth and sixth grade wing is scheduled for May 8th at 6:00 PM. Area residents; parents/guardians and students are invited to attend. The rendering above illustrates what the completed project will look like when students arrive on campus at the start of the 2014/2015 school year.

 


 

Artist’s Renderings

Artist’s rendering of the elementary school  addition as seen from the main entrance (left) and from the driveway (right).

 

Nelson Bisard, owner of Waterfall Antiques & Collectibles in Garrettsville

Nelson Bisard owner of Waterfall Antiques & Collectibles in Garrettsville. Photo by: Krista Peterson, Staff Photographer

Garrettsville - For over twenty years, husband & wife team Nelson and Judy Bisard have owned and operated one of the area’s premier destinations for antiquities and collectible items. Their multi-dealer shop, Waterfall Antiques & Collectibles, carries a general line of antiques and collectibles, including furniture, accessories, glassware, pottery, jewelry, kitchen items, Victorian smalls, cranberry glass, coins, toys, dolls and so much more.

Located along the Garrettsville boardwalk, Waterfall Antiques and Collectibles is a perfect fit for a community where President James A. Garfield once walked the streets and held meetings in the rooms nearby.

Shoppers are always pleasantly surprised to discover there is so much more to see beyond the main showroom when first entering the 1870’s building. Hidden beyond the first room, treasure seekers find additional nooks and crannies packed with fine furniture, Lee Middleton dolls and smalls. As an added bonus, shoppers who venture to the lower level of the store can explore an exceptionally large basement with exposed rafters and original stone foundation. The basement holds many other pieces of antique furniture and memorabilia. Visitors to the shop also enjoy viewing Eagle Creek and Garrettsville’s scenic waterfall from the deck off the main shop floor.

Located at 8130 Main Street in Garrettsville, Waterfall Antiques and Collectibles is open from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM Tuesday through Saturday. This weekend take a drive to beautiful Garrettsville, and discover why our historic village is truly a good place to visit and a great place to live.

 

Garfield-Elementary-Kids-PTO-Rock-Wall

Garrettsville – Gym Teacher Mark Rado and his students expressed their appreciation to the James A. Garfield PTO, which recently donated a rock-climbing wall to the Elementary School for use during gym classes. Spanning the width the gymnasium, this multicolored climbing wall will provide Garfield students fun new opportunities to be physically active while having a great time.

Nelson Twp – Officials present at the April 16, 2014 trustee meeting were fiscal officer J. David Finney and township trustees Joe Leonard, Mike Elias, and Tom Matota. Also present were Roads Supervisor Chuck Vanek, Zoning Inspector Anna Mae VanDerHoeven, and Community House Caretaker Michelle Cmunt.

After the meeting was called to order, Finney asked the trustees whether there were any additions to the evening’s agenda. With no additions made, the meeting proceeded as scheduled.

As the first order of business, Finney presented the trustees with copies of the April 2nd meeting minutes, as well as the bills & wages to be paid totaling $14,241.29. The trustees also received copies of the fund status report; at the time of the meeting the townships pooled funds totaled just over $399,000.

A request was made by VanDerHoeven for a new set of tax maps for the zoning department. The trustees approved the purchase of the maps.

Finney presented a quote made out to the township for the playground equipment that has been approved for purchase. The playground to be erected at Pixley Park will be a $15,752 project. The trustees also received a formal proposal for financing of the tractor totaling $39,897.54  with financing approved for a 3 year term at a rate of 2.29%. Elias made a motion to proceed with financing the tractor per the series of steps outlined by Finney. Matota seconded the motion. All trustees voted in favor of the motion.

Finney also informed the trustees and those present at the meeting that the fieldwork for the biannual audit was completed. The data from the audit still has to be looked over and sent off to the Auditor of State, but Finney stated that it looked good.

After receiving no contact from Robert LoConti of The Agora and Evan Rae of Nelson Ledges Quarry Park in regards to the Special Meeting that had been scheduled to discuss the pairs plans for summer liquor sales, the trustees canceled the meeting.

Vanek reported that the road crew is working on several roads that have exhibited some mud bleed through. He plans to dig up problem spots so they can be filled with aggregate and topped with asphalt.  He also reported that he is looking into working with Garrettsville on a chip and seal of Brosius Road. Vanek has idenified about 5 miles of roads for chip & seal repairs. A motion was passed to have Finney contact the County Engineer to get specifications for chip & seal on the roads specified in Vanek’s report.

Rodger Pettit presented information about the Veterans Memorial. Plans have been drawn up and submitted to the Building Department. He also inquired about the feasibility of having a compatibility study done on the site as each memorial weighs about 3,000 pounds. VanDerHoeven informed the trustees that she had drafted a thank you letter on behalf of township to the Bonners for their donation toward the war memorial project.

Members of the Pixley Park committee reported that they are looking for volunteers to help setup for the annual yard sale.

Matota reported that the plumbing issue which was discovered at the last meeting has been resolved. The corner has been replumbed. Finney volunteered to look into the reverse osmosis system and find out if it can be fixed. Matota also stated that he would like to see the township move forward with Meduri’s resolution for vacating Shanks-Down road. All trustees were in agreement on that subject. Matota also reported that he spoke with the County Engineer and a representative of ODOT to ascertain ownership responsibility of Nelson Circle. Everything that can be found states that ownership reverts back to public lands. The ODOT representative was pretty sure they had no claims over it. Matota reported that Meduri has laid out a process for the trustees to obtain a deed for the land.

Elias announced that the township cleanup has been scheduled for May 3rd & 4th.

The zoning committee is working on a statement that can be run in the newspapers to educate voters on Issue 13. Once the statement has been prepared and approved it will be incorporated into an informative announcement and included in local papers.

Leonard reported that the salt barn project can commence after the final paperwork is received. The fuel tank project is still being bid on. He also gave a recap of Larry Limpert’s Drug Task Force presentation. The Portage County Drug Task Force will be back in the area on April 30th at 6:30PM. The presentation will be held at Iva L. Walker Auditorium inside of Garfield High School 10233 SR 88 in Garrettsville.

Leonard reported that the wiring in basement of the Community House was “really scary”. He has received a bid of $960 fix the wiring in the basement. A discussion amongst the trustees followed after Matota asked for a synopsis of the repairs. All trustees voted in favor of having the wiring straightened out.  Leonard also sought approval to pay for a booth and possibly a banner at Summerfest that would be used to promote the township, #Garrettsville Strong, Pixley Park, and the Nelson War Memorial. Booth space is priced at $75. The motion carried with affirmative votes by Leonard and Elias. Matota voted against.

Following a discussion about employment opportunities within the township, the trustees voted to approve advertising for part-time positions with the potential to become an offer of full-time.

The meeting was adjourned.

 

Garrettsville – On Monday night over sixteen concerned Portage County residents gathered for the first of many community meetings with the Portage County Drug Task Force. Led by Village Councilwoman Becky Harrington the meeting was a “barebones” version of the presentation delivered at a special meeting in Nelson Township on April 10th (coverage on page 6 in this week’s Villager). The evening’s meeting was the starting point for the establishment of a community group focused on coming together to address the growing epidemic of drug use in the area.

Nelson Twp – Officials present at the April 2, 2014 trustee meeting were fiscal officer J. David Finney and township trustees Joe Leonard, Mike Elias, and Tom Matota. Also present were, Roads Supervisor Chuck Vanek, Zoning Inspector Anna Mae VanDerHoeven, and Community House Caretaker Michelle Cmunt.

As the first order of business, Finney presented the minutes of the special meeting & regular meeting from March 19 for approval.  Matota made a motion to accept the minutes as presented;  Elias seconded the motion. All trustees voted to approve the minutes

Rachel King and her team of stylists at Facet Salon & Day Spa held a “Cut & Pedi – thon” last Saturday to raise money to help rebuild Garrettsville’s historic district. The salon was thrilled to announce that they had exceeded their goal of $1,000, and would be donating $1,260 to the GarrettsvilleStrong fund at the Garrettsville Area Chamber of Commerce’s April meeting. Facet Owner Rachelle King (left), and salon Intern Amber Burnworth (right) pose for a photo between haircuts.

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Garrettsville - Main Street Grille & Brewing Company’s Brewmaster Mike Mallone (left), and Head Brewer Brian Koptis (right) are brewing a special GarrettsvilleStrong Pilsner. The beer goes on sale April 26th at $5 glass. 100% of proceeds benefit the GarrettsvilleStrong fund established to aid reconstruction of the block of shops and offices lost to the fire that ravaged Garrettsville’s Historic District on March 22nd.

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Nelson Twp – Officials present at the March 19th, 2014 trustee meeting were fiscal officer J. David Finney and township trustees Joe Leonard, Mike Elias, and Tom Matota. Also present were, Roads Supervisor Chuck Vanek, Zoning Inspector Anna Mae VanDerHoeven, and Community House Caretaker Michelle Cmunt.

Finney made copies of the NOPEC annual Report available on a first-come first-serve basis. 

Garrettsville - After months of intensive refurbishments and upgrades, the new owners of Garrettsville Cinema, Justin & Desiree Dlugokecki, held a weekend-long Grand Re-Opening celebration at their cinema. The owners were joined Saturday afternoon by Garrettsville Village Mayor Rick Patrick and Chamber of Commerce President Benjamin Coll for a ribbon cutting commemorating the event. 

Nelson Twp – Officials present at the March 5th, 2014 trustee meeting were fiscal officer J. David Finney and township trustees Joe Leonard, Mike Elias, and Tom Matota. Also present were Roads Supervisor Chuck Vanek, Zoning Inspector Anna Mae VanDerHoeven, and Community House Caretaker Michelle Cmunt.

As the first order of business, Finney presented the minutes of the February 19th meeting for approval.  Matota made a motion to accept the minutes as presented;  Elias seconded the motion. All trustees voted to approve the minutes.

Garrettsville - O’Henry, O’Malley, O’My! Grab your friends and neighbors, and follow the road to Garrettsville on March 17th for a fun-filled St. Patrick’s Day you won’t soon forget. And that’s no blarney!

The historic village of Garrettsville knows how to celebrate, and it will start first thing in the morn’. Start off with a hearty breakfast, and a beer if you are so inclined. Sean’s Pub, Miller’s Restaurant, SkyLane Lounge to name a few are serving up morn’ meals that will help get you started for the daylong celebration.

Nelson Twp – Officials present at the February 19th, 2014 trustee meeting were fiscal officer J. David Finney and township trustees Joe Leonard, Mike Elias, and Tom Matota. Also present were, Roads Supervisor Chuck Vanek, Zoning Inspector Anna Mae VanDerHoeven, and Community House Caretaker Michelle Cmunt.

As the first order of business, Finney presented the minutes of the February 5th meeting for approval. Matota made a motion to accept the minutes as presented; Elias seconded the motion. All trustees voted to approve the minutes.
Following the presentation of the minutes, Finney provided the trustees with copies of the bills and wages to be paid totaling $19,202.02; he also presented the trustees with a fund status report showing $285,809.11 in total township funds. Finney also informed the trustees that he has received the final loan repayment amortization schedule, which requires semi-annual payments $156.15 in the spring and fall. Following this schedule, the township’s debt would be retired in January 2044.

Garrettsville – Spring is right around the corner, probably buried in a snowdrift but it is coming nevertheless.
One of the first signs of spring is the Garrettsville Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Celebration. Grab your friends and neighbors, and follow the road to Garrettsville Monday, March 17th for a fun-filled St. Patrick’s Day you won’t forget. The restaurants and shops of Garrettsville know how to celebrate, and will be kicking off the morning with a variety of great fare. Whether you’re looking to start off the morning with a hearty breakfast, and a beer; or simply perusing historic Garrettsville’s shops there will be plenty of options to choose from. Corned beef and cabbage will be on many menus throughout the village. Family entertainment includes The Kindred Spirits, carriage rides (weather permitting), and balloon art by Jason Adkins; and will be scheduled from 5:00pm–8:00pm.
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Start sorting through the garage…the Garrettsville Area Chamber’s 21st Annual Community Yard Sale is slated for May 17 & 18, 2014, beginning at 9am until 4pm. So start cleaning out the closets and get ready to make some cash on those unused and unwanted items lying around. Remember, what might be considered trash by some could be another’s treasure. This annual event is not limited to village residents, Windham, Hiram, Nelson, Freedom residents are encouraged to participate as well.  Even if someone lives outside the immediate area, they can participate by registering for a space at Sky Lanes Bowling Alley the Freedom Township Park (an additional charge may apply for these spaces).

Looking ahead to the start of summer, Garrettsville’s first summer Cruise Night is scheduled for May 24th (Rain date: May 25th). Be a part of the crowd and take a stroll down Garrettsville’s Main Street while checking out tons of great classic cars.

For a complete list of Chamber events or to check out many of the areas offerings visit GarrettsvilleArea.com

Nelson Twp – Officials present at the February 5th, 2014 trustee meeting were fiscal officer J. David Finney and township trustees Joe Leonard, Mike Elias, and Tom Matota. Also present were, Roads Supervisor Chuck Vanek, Zoning Inspector Anna Mae VanDerHoeven, and Community House Caretaker Michelle Cmunt.

Nelson Twp.  – Officials present at the January 15th, 2014 trustee meeting were fiscal officer J. David Finney and township trustees Joe Leonard, Mike Elias, and Tom Matota. Also present were, Roads Supervisor Chuck Vanek, Zoning Inspector Anna Mae VanDerHoeven, and Community House Caretaker Michelle Cmunt.

As the first order of business, Finney presented the minutes of the January 8th meeting for approval with the addition of Jacob Seinc’s last name. Elias made a motion to accept the minutes as presented with the addition of Seinc’s last name; Matota seconded the motion. With a 3:0 vote to approve, the motion carried.

Nelson Twp.  – Acting as the Chairman-Pro Tem, Nelson Township Fiscal Officer Dave Finney called the first trustee meeting of 2014 to order on January 8 and lead those in attendance in reciting the pledge of allegiance. Officials present at the meeting were trustees Joe Leonard, Mike Elias, and Tom Matota. Also present were Chuck Vanek, Anna Mae VanDerHoeven, and Michelle Cmunt.

As the first order of business, Finney opened the floor to the trustees for the nomination of a Chairman. Matota nominated Leonard, and was seconded by Elias. All three trustees voted to close the nomination for Chairman making Leonard the Chairman. Finney then turned over control of the meeting to Leonard who opened the floor for the nomination of a Vice Chairman. Matota nominated Elias, and Leonard seconded the nomination, and the trustees voted to make Elias the Vice Chairman.

Garrettsville – The Garrettsville Area Chamber of Commerce  wrapped up 2013 by celebrating another successful year of community involvement at its annual Holiday Social held on December 18th at Sugar Bush Golf Course. Over forty chamber members were treated to a delicious meal prepared by The Pasta House & Sherry Quiggle. They  even enjoyed a brief visit from Santa Claus himself. Thank you to everyone who was able to attend this year’s event, we hope to see even more of you at the 2014 Holiday Social!

This year over $104,000 was spent locally during  the Chamber’s annual Christmas on Main promotion. Unlike previous years, the 2013 shopping season was shorter and  lasted only 17 days — yet brought in over $6,000 a day for participating area businesses.

Following the Holiday Social dinner, chamber treasurer Erika Frankel selected the three winning cards from an assortment of over 1,040. The 2013 winners were:

1st Prize:  Lisa Ramsey who won  $500 in Chamber Bucks to be spent at area chamber businesses

2nd Prize: Sally Dier won the  Poinsettia Lottery Tree

3rd Prize:  Karla Veon  received a gift certificate to Sean’s Pub.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the event. Your continued support of our local businesses helps to make Garrettsville a great place to work, live, and visit.

There will be a board meeting in January to se the 2014 event calendar. The next chamber meeting will be held on February 5th at 7:30 am  at The Villager.

Garrettsville – On Saturday, November 30 hundreds of area residents gathered at Garrettsville’s clock tower for the annual Clock Tower Lighting & Visit with Santa Claus. At exactly 5:30 PM, village mayor Rick Patrick flipped the switch illuminating Garrettsville’s historic timepiece in dazzling yuletide colors. Those in attendance were also treated to delicious hot chocolate and cookies from McDonald’s, story time with Mrs. Claus courtesy of The Village Bookstore, carriage rides from the Bixler family, and caroling led by Chamber of Commerce Vice-President Barb Bejger, and Iva Walker. Hitching a ride aboard one of the GFN Joint Fire District fire trucks, Santa Claus arrived promptly at 6:00 PM and spent the evening catching up with area children and their families. Thank you to Garrettsville McDonald’s, DQ Grill & Chill, and the Villager for contributing items for the gift cups handed out at the event.

Nelson Twp - Meeting at 7:15pm on November 20, trustees Tom Matota and Joe Leonard were in attendance for a special meeting scheduled to decide the fate of two proposed amendments. Outgoing trustee Jim Turos was once again absent.

After the November 6 meeting, the trustees followed up with Township legal counsel Chris Meduri for advice on two proposed amendments. Meduri informed the trustees that the amendments could be approved at their discretion, but noted that accepting “Amendment 2” as valid would set a precedent for future proposals. Amendment 2 was thought to be “null and void” at the November 6 meeting due to the fee for submission remaining unpaid. Trustees Matota and Leonard were in agreement that the amendment needed to be rejected as void to avoid setting a precedent. 

Garrettsville — Break out the ice cream cake, another area business is celebrating a major anniversary. This November marks the 40th anniversary of Garrettsville’s Dairy Queen, and the 38th year of Roger and Connie Angel’s ownership of the franchise. At the November 6th meeting of the Garrettsville Area Chamber of Commerce, Roger presented a timeline of notable events in his franchise’s history. 

Following the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, trustee Tom Matota opened the floor to those present. Jacob Seinc of Scout Troop 465 presented the trustees with updates on his Eagle Scout project (the cleaning and restoration of the Pixley Park hiking trail). Seinc has revised his plan to trade off the mulching of the trail with the construction of stone ramps at the trailhead—enabling Seinc and others to get equipment needed to clear brush on the trail to the job site. Trustee Jim Turos made a motion to accept the changes as presented, to which all trustees agreed.

Bruce Abraham, and his team at Charles Auto Family recently celebrated the Grand Re-Opening of the newly remodeled Charles Chevrolet. Hundreds of local residents, and customers  — past and present –  were on hand for a day filled with great food, family activities, and entertainment by K-105. Attendees also had the opportunity to enter drawings for a ton of great prizes. 

Second Style resale boutique held their grand opening on Saturday, September 7th in downtown Garrettsville. Located at 8089 Main Street (the former Denette’s Designs), Second Style is packed with a range of new and gently used clothing items, accessories, children’s gear and toy.

Hours of operation for Second Style are 10am–6pm Tuesdays through Fridays, and 10am–5pm on Saturdays.

Second Style is owned and operated by Brandi Wiles-Evans and James Evans, both residents of Freedom Township. Stop by the store and check out Garrettsville’s latest retail location!

Nelson Twp. – Calling the meeting to order at 7:30 PM, Chairman Tom Matota opened the floor to those in attendance. A resident from Kyle Road was present to ask whether Dave Finney had been able to find information regarding cable service contracts within the township. The resident mentioned that SuddenLink (one of two providers in the township) continues to raise prices on cable/internet services of marginal quality. In his research, Finney found that contracts with SuddenLink and Time Warner had both expired in 2010; he also stated that townships no longer contract with cable companies for service, as the companies are able to deliver service in any areas they desire—paying the township 5% fee on their quarterly gross income.  After successfully navigating the labyrinth that is Time Warner Cable’s phone system, Finney learned that for Time Warner to consider extending service to an area, at least 20 houses per mile would need to be interested in service. Finney will call to inquire whether Time Warner can extend service to more locations in the township.

FACET-USE

Garrettsville–On Tuesday, August 6th Rachelle King and the staff of Facet Salon and Day Spa played host to over 100 area residents and business owners during their business open house. Attendees were treated to a tour of the entire TLC facility, comprised of vision, wellness, and fitness centers in addition to the Rachelle’s salon.
After their tour, attendees had the opportunity to meet with the “artists of Facet” and learn more about each service offered at Facet. More than a new place to get a haircut, Facet offers manicures, pedicures, body wraps, waxing, tanning, facials and an infrared-sauna—all at prices on par with other area businesses.
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Photo courtesy Richard Teresi

Photo courtesy Richard Teresi

Garrettsville–Following a brief history of the Garrettsville Freedom Nelson Joint Fire District, and the Fire Station, representatives of the district Fireman’s Association held a dedication ceremony Saturday evening during the 2013 Peach Social & Car Cruise. The new outbuilding located between the fire station, and Community EMS houses an assortment of antique fire equipment and memorabilia. The structure was dedicated to the communities of Garrettsville, Freedom, and Nelson.
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Video courtesy of Richard Teresi

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Garrettsville  -  On Sunday, July 7th the Villager’s own Iva Walker recently hosted a Riparian Lawn Party to celebrate the repetitive 39th Birthday of one of Garrettsville’s own. This time with live entertainment.
The crowd of over 100 “close personal friends” gathered at The Walker Riparian Cottage & Convention Centre was treated to the sounds of WIXY 1260 who played   all of the great radio hits from 1965–1975.
A wonderful time was had by all those in attendance.

Windham Library and the Renaissance Family Center invite everyone to a fun filled July.  We’ll start off being entertained with the magic of Drew Murray on Tuesday, July 16 at 12:30 p.m.  Kent State Summer Stock 2013 will be doing their theatrical performance of Puss & Boots on July 29 at 10:00 a.m.  These events are open to everyone.
Join us Thursday, July 25 12:30-2:30 p.m. for a garden tea party.  The Windham Library Children’s Garden Club invites the community to view the ongoing progress of their garden.
For more information, call the Windham Library at 330-326-3145.  The library, located at 9005 Wilverne Drive, is open Monday and Friday, 10:00 am-4:00 pm; Tuesday and Thursday, 12:00 pm-6:30 pm; and closed on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. For additional information about library programs and services, please visit Portage County District Library online at www.portagelibrary.org.

Garrettsville – After briefly franchising-out their flagship restaurant in Garrettsville, owners Tim and Joselle Weiss have returned to the helm of The Italian Garden. Opening fifteen years ago in the former Mario Angelo Pizza building (8116 Main Street), The Italian Garden quickly became known as the place to go for affordable “home-made taste without the hassle or wait”.
Since returning to the Garrettsville location, Tim has listened to the comments and concerns of former “long-time customers”.
“We spent over fourteen years building The Italian Garden’s reputation”. Tim assures  his  customers that they are returning back to their roots, which is  what made Italian Garden locally famous.
In the coming weeks, customers can expect a return to the original recipes and fresh ingredients they fell in love with fifteen years ago, and an enhanced dining space complete with comfortable booths.
As word of Tim and Joselle’s return spread amongst the area residents, they have slowly seen the return of familiar faces.
Be sure to check out the Italian Garden’s  website for this week’s specials, or visit them online at http://theitaliangardenpizza.com.

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Garrettsville – Congratulations to the students and staff of the James A. Garfield Local School District. The district as a whole has achieved an “Excellent”, or “Excellent with Distinction” rating for five consecutive years with many of the schools holding these titles individually much longer than that. Beginning with the 2013-2014 school year, schools will be ranked using a new metric and awarded a letter-grade instead.

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Garrettsville – On June 5th the Garrettsville Area Chamber held their annual Scholarship Luncheon at Cal’s Restaurant.  Pictured above are the 2013 recipients of the scholarships.  Kaleigh Gilmer (left) will be attending the Indiana University of Pennsylvania to study nursing and psychology; Garrett McArdle (center) will be persuing a degree in actuarial sciences at Ohio University; Caitlin Chartier will attend the University of Notre Dame where she will be studying architecture with a focus on historic preservation.

Congratulations and best of luck to all!

O’Henry, O’Malley, O’My! Grab your friends and neighbors, and follow the road to Garrettsville on March 17th for a fun-filled St. Patrick’s Day you won’t soon forget. And that’s no blarney!

The historic village of Garrettsville knows how to celebrate, and they are starting first thing in the morn’. Start off with a hearty breakfast, and a beer if you are so inclined. Sean’s Pub, Miller’s Restaurant, SkyLane Lounge and the Main Street Grille to name a few are serving up morn’ meals that will help get you started for the daylong celebration.