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Newton Falls – No, it wasn’t Black Friday. No, it wasn’t a Harry Potter midnight release party. And no, a famous celebrity from one of those vampire movies wasn’t making an impromptu appearance. But judging by the line of customers outside the door during the early hours of last Thursday morning, the store formerly known as Pamida was the place to be.

Garrettsville Save-A-Lot

Pictured above (left to right) at Wednesday’s ribbon cutting ceremony are Mayor Rick Patrick, Alliance Foods Project Manager Scott Walls, Store Manager Bob Linger, Alliance Foods Facilities Manager Lorne Doty, and Chamber President Eva Szasz.

Garrettsville – Save-A-Lot officially opened their doors to the public on Wednesday, December 19th.  After a successful “invitation only” soft opening on Tuesday evening attended by local business leaders and government officials, Save-A-Lot is well on its way to making an impact in the community.

Area residents were clamoring to be first in line on Wednesday morning.  Expressing the gratitude felt by many within the community, Nathan Read—a self-described “born and raised Garrettsvillian”—posted a message of thanks on the store’s official Facebook Page, thanking the company for “choosing the village” and helping residents “stretch their dollars further.”

Mayor Rick Patrick expressed his excitement about the third ribbon cutting in the village within as many months and reminded all that  “at one time Garrettsville and the surrounding communities supported three grocery stores and two convenience stores”.

With the revitalization of Main Street and now Garfield Plaza, shopping local in Garrettsville is getting easier and easier all of the time.

Garrettsville – Have you ever had that one moment in your life, when you looked at something and thought, one day this will be mine? Stephanie Dietelbach sure did. At an auction ten years ago, Stephanie visited the old Irwin Hardware building, fell in love with it and knew that one day it would be “hers”. Dietelbach loved the history of the building itself and knew that it needed “someone to love it.”

The JA Garfield High School Theatre Department presents the “Yuletide Revels Show & Dinner” on December 15th at 6:30pm. Tickets are $25 per person and includes both a dinner and the show. Reservations are required and can be made by calling Laura Young at 330-527-4341 Monday – Friday between 8 am – 2pm. The Yuletide Revels is a recreation of a Renaissance Christmas musical performance complete with a royal court, court jester, recorder consort, herald trumpeters, harp and a bountiful meal. A definite must-see!

Garrettsville – It was a record breaking crowd that gathered at the clock tower in Garrettsville last Saturday night as folks were ready to usher in the Christmas Season at Garrettsville Area Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Clock Tower and Tree Lighting Ceremony. The cold, snowy weather didn’t deter folks from coming out celebrate the start of the Christmas season.

On a beautiful, crisp fall day, several area families joyously celebrated their newest additions. No, it wasn’t at the local hospital. Rather, gathered outside the castle-like Trumbull County Courthouse, holding tightly to brightly-colored balloons drifting in the autumn winds, community children gave thanks for the families that adopted them and new parents and new siblings gave thanks for the little ones that have now officially become a part of their families. 

Mantua – If you’ve seen the weekly influx of preschoolers heading to the Mantua Center Christian Church (MCCC) each Thursday with their big people, you may wonder if they’re heading to some sort of pint-sized revival meeting. This lively group heads religiously to MCCC each Thursday, but they aren’t heading to a church service. Each week during the school year the church hosts anywhere from 10 to 25 preschoolers and siblings for a fabulous, fun and free learning event. 

Newton Township – Did you know that approximately three dozen of Newton Township’s founding fathers never left? They are still here, buried in the cemetery on North Canal Street which is just one of many final resting places currently under the watchful care of the Newton Township Cemetery Association.

Mantua – Locals were duly impressed by Derthick’s Corn Maze & Farm Experience last week, as not one, but two Cleveland news crews visited the over 200-year-old farm last Tuesday.  Fox8’s Todd Meany was first to arrive, experiencing the farm and maze, finishing off his fun day on the farm with a ride on the bucking cow train. Later that same day, Channel 3 photojournalist Carl “Big Daddy” Bachtel was on hand to interview MaryEllen Derthick Hamlin and experience the farm for himself.
Just what did they experience? They started by joining a group of local kids, who came for the hands-on educational offerings of the aptly-named Farm Experience. While the Derthick family runs a dairy farm, other animals in their Farm Experience include rabbits, piglets, goats, ponies, chickens and horses. MaryEllen Derthick, self-proclaimed “farm girl” and eighth-generation on this family-owned farm, states “Kids’ faces just light up when they see our animals. There’s no bigger reward for us than when a child who was initially apprehensive around animals gets the courage to pet a goat or ride on a pony. By the end of their visit, they leave with a huge smile. That’s why I love doing this.”
But the animals aren’t the only draw. Kids of all ages like the corn boxes ? large sand-box-style bins filled to the brim with corn kernels. Children can sit in the boxes and play with provided buckets and shovels; more adventurous kids can climb and careen down slides into the corn.  From corn boxes to pony rides, or a ride on the bucking cow train, there’s plenty to see and do at Derthick’s Farm.  This year, come on out and cast your vote for your favorite presidential candidate via the new corn cannon. The cannon shoots corn cobs or tennis balls at presidential targets across the farm yard. “Votes” are still being tabulated, some make sure to cast yours during your visit ? no voter I.D. required.
But the farm isn’t just fun and games, explains Derthick.  “Kids get to see where their food comes from, first-hand. They learn that food doesn’t just come from a grocery store — most of what they eat comes from a farm like ours.” Make sure to plan enough time to explore the exhibits, play games, and enjoy the outdoors, because there’s more than just a corn maze to occupy your family.
Since “Corn Maze” is their middle name, it’s no surprise that this year’s maze covers 17-acres of Mantua farmland. The maze, which encompasses over five miles of trails, has been cut in shapes celebrating the 50th anniversary of John Glenn’s historic space flight orbiting the moon. Elements included a profile of Ohio-born astronaut John Glenn, an image of the Earth as seen from space, the space shuttle Discovery, and the NASA logo. Come for the maze, dress for the weather, and plan extra time to experience all the family fun this local gem offers.
To view an aerial image of Derthick’s 2012 corn maze, or for information on planning your visit, see: http://www.derthickscornmaze.com/2012-maze-design.php. To see the story that ran on Channel 3, visit: http://www.wkyc.com/news/story.aspx?storyid=262704. Todd Meany’s clip did not run by Weekly Villager press time, but is scheduled to run this week. Visit http://fox8.com/ to see check it out.


Set amidst the rolling hills of Kirtland, Ohio dozens of tents of varying colors and sizes punctuated the landscape of Holden Arboretum. Housing everything from animal clinics to local business, and t-shirt to novelty vendors, there was truly something for everyone to see and do. After an impassioned blessing of the animals, attendees were invited to pause for a moment of silence in memory of animals who have suffered abuse, neglect or abandonment; as well as for pets who have recently passed away.
Not even the crisp morning air and intermittent rainstorms could quash the excitement as thousands of dogs, accompanied by their humans, gathered near the starting line of the one-mile dog walk. Leading the pack at this year’s event were Issac and Zoey, who won the honor by participating in Rescue Village’s poetry contest. Throughout the walk, activity stations encouraged walkers to stop and complete various activities with their canine companions.

Ravenna –  The 34th Annual Balloon A-Fair was deemed a success. The event offered two parades, a fireworks display, vendors, live entertainment, food, rides and, of course, two spectacular balloon launches.
Saturday’s balloon launch drew near record numbers to Sunbeau Valley Farms to watch the sky become a kaleidoscope of colors as 22 balloons took flight.
The crowd started forming around 4pm to watch the 6pm launch. Following the launch, folks visited the vendors, rode rides, and listened to live music as they waited for the anticipated fireworks display that was set off at dusk.
Sunday morning activities started off early with a car/tractor show at Sunbeau Valley Farms and ended with the second balloon launch of the weekend, once again turning the blue skies into a kaleidoscope.

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 with it would go four keystone businesses: Garrettsville Foot & Ankle Clinic, Hearth & Home Fireplace Shoppe, Shiffer’s Clock Repair, and Miller’s Lawn & Garden. And at the heart of the sagging building was the long-vacant Irwin Hardware space. 

Newton Falls – Residents of Newton Falls and recent visitors to the small town may have noticed a lot more orange and black than usual and it’s not because locals are getting into the school spirit a month early. Summer may be almost over, which means football season is right around the corner, but there’s a different reason for the presence of all the extra additions to the color palette: construction, construction and more construction!

Photo: Mialie T. Szymanski

As much as driving through, or completely around, construction can be a well-known hassle, in general construction, construction and more construction is intended to equal improvement, improvement and more improvement, and in this case the end result should be just that.

So, when all the dust settles, what can we expect to see? There are three major projects going on right in the main part of town. First of all, the fire department has been busily remodeling the building across from Arby’s where they used to store extra fire trucks and turning it into a fully operational second fire station. Station #2 is very nearly complete and will feature a live-in environment including kitchen, bathroom with shower, sleeping quarters, common area, and offices for the duty crew. The upgrade was made possible in part by a generous donation of $100,000 from the American Legion Post 236 in Newton Falls. The new facility, which will also house an ambulance, a rescue squad and a fire engine, will be up and running soon!

For another means of improving the safety of the town’s residents and also helping to aid the first-responders in doing their jobs, one only needs to look to the intersections throughout town to see a second project under development. A new traffic light system is being installed at the major intersections throughout the town. Provided by a grant, this more high-tech system will, among other things, be sensitive to the needs of approaching emergency vehicles by recognizing special receivers placed within the vehicles and will adapt the traffic pattern to allow the emergency vehicles a more rapid passage. The installation of the new lights will not be fully completed until at least next year (maybe longer) but progress is well underway.

Neither of these projects has significantly affected the flow of normal traffic, however, one set of ROAD BLOCK signs definitely has and drivers need to be aware, though certainly not surprised. The historic covered bridge, a long-time staple and visitor attraction, is yet again closed for repair due to damage by a passing vehicle. This is at least the third time in as many years that the route through the short bridge has been blocked and there is no definitive word when it will be open to traffic this time around as the city decides on the best course of action for restoring a beam that was broken by a moving truck at the end of July and has been hanging from its truss.

The bridge had been closed for a restoration project lasting two years and was reopened in 2007. The 9’6” clearance is clearly marked at both entrances of the path and large trucks are prohibited. When it is finally back in operation, drivers should use extra caution when approaching the one-lane covered bridge so that passers-by will not find it so quickly out-of-service and needing more repairs yet again in the near future.

Aurora – The City of Aurora Parks and Recreation Department has  teamed up with local businesses to provide a free concert every other Wednesday this summer. From 7-9 p.m., family-oriented music will be played by live bands out of the Breezy Point Park gazebo, with plenty of free parking located in the shopping center parking lot off of W. Garfield Road. 

It’s been an exciting year for Hiram alumnus Scott Starkey.  In January, Simon & Schuster published his new novel, How to Beat the Bully Without Really Trying.  Geared to middle grade readers, this humorous “boy meets bully” tale has enjoyed strong appeal with parents and kids alike.  But for Starkey, one of the year’s highlights will come on Saturday, August 4, when he returns to Ohio for a special book signing and reading at The Village Bookstore on Main Street.

What makes the upcoming event particularly notable is that Starkey’s How to Beat the Bully takes place in Garrettsville.

photo: Michelle Zivoder

O.K., so it was the Nautica Queen, not the clipper ship Cutty Sark( I don’t know what was in the thermoses in the back of the bus), and it was tootling along from the mouth of the Cuyahoga River out to the breakwater protecting the shoreline at Cleveland from the wilder exuberances of Lake Erie but it definitely was a trip worth taking on a perfect summer day.  Sunny, warm, dry…with a breeze…off the portside or starboard…forward or aft or something…what more could one want?

So part of the fun is the bus ride itself; you get to see the stuff that you don’t see while driving yourself because you’re busy watching the road–and from up high!–AND you get to comment on the route that the bus driver is taking to get to wherever it is you’re going–particularly if you’ve actually been there before and can’t BELIEVE he’s going on the Turnpike instead of shooting directly for I-480.  Where do they GET these directions?  And you can do all this while whizzing along talking to people in the other seats, never once having to worry about some (unprintable) idiot on your tailpipe or turning from the wrong lane.

It’s a great look at some of the history of Cleveland too.  You can see the old industrial sites and the new bridges, “The Flats” and the General Sheave Company, advertising for Cruzan Guava Rum, the Bingham luxury loft apartments and the Wm. Edwards Company on the brick walls down by the waterfront, which once upon a time was a much more down-and-dirty commercial/industrial site.  You can see new construction going up as well–bright blue bridge, red swinging crane. It’s a different world now.

You can also see “sea”gulls, although they’re not necessarily from the sea.  Popular belief is that they started coming to the Great Lakes after the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1959 but they may very well have been here for quite some time before that since they’re all about looking for food and following boats–lake boats or ocean boats– is usually a good bet for scavengers seeking tasty tidbits.  At least they’re not zebra mussels.

A sculler goes by, skimming his dart of a boat across the brown river, heading for adventure.

So, cast off and head out.  Pass the movable black iron bridges–clever, really, raising the railroad tracks so boats can come through, then lowering them so the ore from the boats can be shipped out in the train cars–affectionately known as the “Iron Maiden” or the “Iron Curtain” (As many as 60 trains ran here in a day in good times.  There are about 330 bridges over the Cuyahoga, in total).  Pass the abandoned Coast Guard station.  Spot the 1911 lighthouse out past the breakwater; it went solar in 1966.  Whiskey Island(actually a peninsula since the relocation of the river mouth) once the site of extensive industrial development, now, partly parkland–and Cleveland’s second hospital, the Pesthouse,  after the cholera epidemic of 1832– in view as the buffet lunch is announced.  Good food good service.  The gulls get none of this.

A flotilla of Canada geese…a parasail…a chick on a Ski-Doo closely pursued by a dude in an even flashier craft–plenty of sights to see.

What can be seen as the boat cruises along?  Well, a lot of the attractions that Cleveland boasts of–not the orchestra, “lake effect” is hell on stringed instruments–including the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the Great Lakes Science Center (big windmill generator there), Browns Stadium, Progressive Field, the Cleveland Cliffs ore boat Wm. S. Mather, Burke Lakefront Airport…not hard to figure why the Shoreway is so named.  Like the man said, “Green City, Blue Lake” (He forgot “Brown River”, although anyone would have to admit that the Cuyahoga is certainly better than it used to be, back in the days of the “burning river” episode.  We’re still working on it.).

Consider it a successful trip as long as none of the Red Hat Ladies fall over the rail while boogie-ing  near the stern to the piped-in music.

Exit down the gangplank, exchanging pleasantries with the crew encouraging us to return soon.  Two of the crew members are local good kids, Emily and Brent Marshall, who are swabbing decks, toting beverages, being exemplary sailors for the summer, before college kicks in again ( They didn’t even make me walk the plank.).  You can even pick up a commemorative photo made on the way ON to the boat…to impress all of your landlubber friends.

And then, “Home again, home again, jiggity jig.” (It’s from a nursery rhyme; I left off the first part about “To market, to market, to buy a fat pig.”  No porkers on this trip).  Did you notice that the air conditioning vents on the bus are in the window wells?  Much better distribution; no hot spots or icicle corners.  Something to remember in this weather…or not, if the cold fronts don’t behave themselves.


Have you ever wished you could spend the day in another place and time? Perhaps desired to just simply close your eyes and be whisked off to a land where you can have a few hours to yourself in a place very much unlike your own? (But you haven’t quite figured out where to find a working model of the time machine mentioned in H.G. Wells’ classic story?) Thanks to the Great Lakes Medieval Faire, you can do just that and leave behind your 21st century life for a day, a weekend, or even a midsummer night’s season as you step through the gates of Avaloch and into the world of the romantic 13th century.

Garrettsville SummerFest lived up to all that it was billed to be and more this past weekend as the festival committee put on a smashing event. The weekend kicked off Friday night with record-breaking crowds, as the opening ceremonies paid homage to our Armed Forces. Representatives from the Air Force, Army National Guard and Army were on hand to greet the crowd. SummerFest honored Col. Michael Chinn for being one of Garrettsville’s highest ranking service members. Chinn was awarded a plaque for his achievement and service.  James A. Garfield’s Marching Pride also paid homage to the troops by playing a medley of patriotic songs and the theme songs of  each military branch. The band was awesome as usual.  Col. Ed Meade from Camp Ravenna and Air Force representative Randi Baum unfurled the “Thank You for your Service Banner” as the weekend festivities began.

Mantua – The Portage County Soap Box Derby will be celebrating its tenth year in Mantua on Saturday, Preparing for the big day, are (from left), Ron Reed, Dean Olson, Barb Fleming, Becca Fleming, Randy Zigler, Briana Reynolds and Tyler Fleming.

The Soap Box Derby race will start at 9 a.m. on June 16, 2012 and will be sporting a new Finish Arch this year — a definite site to see!  Attendance is free and all are welcome.  There will also be a Car Show during the race, fun and food galore.  The Derby will run all day Saturday and you can view the races along East High Street.

Garrettsville- The 8th Count Dance Studio presented “Red, White and Blue Salute” last Saturday in front of two, nearly sold out crowds at the Iva J. Walker Auditorium at James A. Garfield High School. The recital had over 80 dancers performing a variety of dance routines, including hip-hop, clogging, tap, jazz, ballet, and even a gymnastics routine. The dancers had the crowd totally involved in the show as they saluted the Red, White and Blue.

Garrettsville - James A. Garfield senior Lauren Greathouse has worked for approximately six months on the new banners that are hanging proudly on the front of  Garfield High School. With the help of Jeff Lang, Lauren completed the banners in time to be hung for graduation. Lauren tossed around some ideas at the beginning of the school year, and after many discussions and the help of friends and the school staff, they decided that “Reaching Above And Beyond” was appropriate for the new banners. If you haven’t driven by the school to see them, be sure to do so, you will not be disappointed.

Windham – In days gone by, folks who were able to send their youngsters to a pre-school program were usually of the elite sector and pre-school was considered an option only for those who were financially blessed. Pre-schools, back in the day, were few and far between and had long waiting lists. Now all that has changed and pre-schools are everywhere and more parents are seeing the need for  and value of early childhood education [and finding the means to do so]. Not only are they finding the means, they are also discovering that there is a pre-school in their area and it is more affordable than ever.


The world is full of stories about magical and fantastic events and beings. There are centuries- old stories, songs and works of art that have brought mythic creatures to life and have given shape to mankind’s greatest hopes, fears and dreams.  Today these creatures continue to thrill, terrify, entertain and inspire.  Mythic Creatures: Dragons, Unicorns & Mermaids, currently on display at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, traces the natural and cultural roots of some of the world’s most enduring mythological creatures.

This amazing display, organized by the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, reveals the relationship between nature and legend.  Exhibition highlights include “life-size” models of mythical creatures such as a 17-foot-long dragon with a wingspan of over 19 feet; a 9-foot long, 8 ½ -foot-tall armored Pegasus; 10-foot-long unicorn; a 6 ½-foot-tall griffin; an 11-foot-long Roc with large, sharp talons swooping above the heads of visitors with a wingspan of nearly 20 feet; and a kraken, whose 12-foot-high tentacles appear to rise out of the floor of the exhibition as if surfacing from the sea.

Local artisan, Joe Leonard, of Custom Woodcarving in Garrettsville, OH states “it is a huge honor” to have two of his carvings as part of this touring exhibition.  In 2007, representatives of the American Museum of Natural History contacted him after seeing a photo of a griffin he had made for a Californian collector.  Joe suggested that they might also be interested in an armored pegasus he had made for the same collector.  After seeing photos of it on his website, they agreed.

The exhibit ‘wows’ and allows a hands-on approach in intertwining legend and history.  You’ll be able to touch a cast of a narwhal tusk and the lower jaw of Gigantopithecus, rearrange scale models of mammoth bones to look like a giant human skeleton or build your own dragon in an engaging touch-screen interactive and watch it come alive before your eyes in a virtual environment.  Also of interest are videos and interviews with experts in various fields discussing the significance of mythical creatures including artists from motion-picture visual effects company Industrial Light and Magic (founded by George Lucas) demonstrating the process of creating dragons for popular movies such as “Eragon”.

The Mythic Creatures Exhibit began its tour in 2007 in New York City, drawing in over 500,000 visitors.   Since then the exhibit has also been on display in Chicago, Boston, Ottawa, Toronto, Atlanta, and Sydney, Australia.  It is expected to continue touring though 2014.  Its current run in Cleveland has been extended through August 12, 2012.

The Cleveland Museum of Natural History is open seven days a week.  More information on tickets and hours of operation can be found on their website: www.cmnh.org or call the museum at 216-231-4600.

Aurora – The Church in Aurora is one of the most prominent landmarks in the City of Aurora.  With its towering white steeple and beautiful architecture there is no question why so many couples, my husband and myself included, choose to share their wedding vows there every year. This is the perfect setting for every fairy tale wedding. It is center stage in Aurora, across the street from the town’s gazebo, a perfect place to snap those once- in-a-lifetime wedding photos. As a little girl I used to drive by the church and see the beautiful brides in front of the church and hope that some day I would be the bride walking out the front doors of the white church, surrounded by many bridesmaids and bubbles, listening to the majestic church bells ringing as I walked down that path to wedded bliss. This fantasy came true for me in April of 2008. Since that day the Church in Aurora has been such a special place for me, I wanted to honor it by sharing a little of its history and encourage everyone in the community to check it out.
Although many young couples begin their futures in the Church in Aurora, the church, both building and congregation, has a very rich history. The church can be traced back to the early 1800’s when a young Reverend was sent from the Missionary Society of Connecticut to minister to the settlers of the Western Reserve. As there were only a couple of families to preach to, the congregation first met in homes of the settlers and then later in the Aurora town hall and school. The church was officially established in 1809 with a growing congregation but still no building to call home. Soon the congregation decided to take on the task of raising a church building.  Finances being very depressed at the time, the church members donated their time and materials for the building project instead of money.  After much hard work, prayer and fundraising the church building was erected in 1822 and finally dedicated in 1824. At the time of its dedication, the building had a brick exterior and much smaller footprint than the structure that stands today. The brick church served the community well but by the 1870’s it had to be torn down. Soon after, a new wood structure would take its place.  That wood structure is the center of the white church that is still standing.
Over the last decades the building has had several face lifts and expansions, bringing it to be the beauty that it is today. The sanctuary, the only original piece of the 1870 building remaining,  is the home of a beautiful and quite massive, organ that was added during World War I.  It was built in honor of those church members that served in the war.
Serving God and the community in Aurora for more than two centuries, the Church in Aurora is more than a historical landmark and site for weddings. It is still a place for the local community members to come together and worship.  Services are held each Sunday at the Church in Aurora at 9:30 AM and 11:00AM.  The church offers many activities for its members and also for other  members of the community.  Rev. Dr. William Schnell, the current Senior Pastor, and Rev. Kevin Horak, the Associate Pastor, are also involved in the community. You can often see Rev. Horak stepping out from behind the pulpit and onto the stage at Aurora’s local community theater.
The church also invites the residents of the local area  in each year for its annual The Nutcracker Sweets Fine Arts and Crafts Show.  It is held each fall at the church and will be held again this year in October.  This is a great opportunity see all of the local crafts and crafters but also get a peek at this great historical landmark that we have in our own community.
Whether it is for a Sunday morning service, a wedding or a craft show, everyone should share in the beauty of this treasure that we have in our own back yard.

Pictured above (L-R): Stephanie Chimenti, Leah Kuno, Desiree Gabriel, Shane Andrews, Jess Berry, Rachelle King, Elise Lambert, and Sarah Roborecki.

Garrettsville  – Step into Facet Salon & Spa at the Total Lifetime Care complex at 1 Memory Lane, and you almost feel like Dorothy entering the Emerald City. Only it’s not garish. You just feel like you’re not in Kansas — or Garrettsville — any more. Instead, the Tuscan-inspired earth tones, stone- and wood- accented interiors and leather furnishings create a warm, welcoming atmosphere for this upscale oasis.

That’s by design, say co-owners and Garrettsville natives Shane Andrews and John Paul Mitchell Systems stylist and national educator Rachelle King. Facet Salon & Spa was a name both partners agreed upon when discussing the many dimensions of wellness that TLC provides to the community: Andrews Eye Care provided by Shane’s father, optometrist Tim Andrews; the family physicians’ practice headed by Shane’s mother, Annette Andrews, MD; and the TLC fitness center.

“Facet is the final piece of the puzzle, as we envisioned it when we first established TLC nine years ago,” says Andrews. “We’ve got the medical side, the feel-good fitness side, and now the final polishing, so you can leave here healthy, fit and pretty, too.”
The full-service salon and day spa offer options for the entire family, including fresh color and cuts for women, cuts and shampoos for guys and kids, styling for special occasions, manicures, pedicures, facials, spray tanning, tanning beds, massage rooms, and even two infrared saunas for detoxification and weight loss. In addition to Paul Mitchell hair products, Facet’s facial line is Bio Elements, and nail services feature OPI and Shellac.

King says the salon’s highly-trained group of stylists, make-up artists and nail technicians comprise a “a multi-faceted team who will make your visit to Facet an amazing experience. We cater to many dimensions of beauty, relaxation and refreshment, where each guest is a gem.”

King has been a stylist since 1992, when she graduated from Maplewood Career Center. An entrepreneur by nature, it wasn’t long before she was manager of Golden Mirror salon at the Sky Plaza. In 2007, King branched out and established a hip, new Paul Mitchell focus salon in the historic Ohio City neighborhood of Cleveland. With 14 stylists at that location, the Studio has earned media coverage in every major national salon industry magazine, King says. In 2010, Crain’s Cleveland Business named King one of its Top 40 Under 40. She recently departed Golden Mirror and now is focusing on Facet, the Studio, and her national training circuit with Paul Mitchell.

Call (330) 527-4347 to schedule appointments at Facet Salon & Spa beginning Tuesday, April 24. Regular business hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m., and Saturday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Watch for a grand opening celebration in about a month.


CLEVELAND—The roar of dralions (a clever blending of eastern dragons and western lions) could be heard throughout lower Cleveland over the holiday weekend, drawing thousands to their temporary home within Cleveland State University’s Wolstein Center. Billed as a performance that “transcends the boundaries of imagination”, the performers and crew of Cirque Du Soleil’s Dralion masterfully achieved just that.

Running April 4th through 8th, spectators were transported to a dazzling world of rich colors, moving instrumentals, flowing textiles and awe-inspiring acrobatics. Audience goers were treated to a bevy of phenomenal acts showcasing the talents of over fifty performers, at a level of perfection that could only be delivered by Cirque Du Soleil.

Reflecting over 3,000 years of Chinese acrobatic arts, the various acts in Dralion successfully blend eastern traditions with western culture. Over the course of the performance, audiences were treated to spectacles ranging from juggling to a high-stakes game of “Diablos”, Cirque’s unique spin on a classic children’s toy–the Chinese yo-yo. For fans of high-flying excitement, their thirst for aerial thrills was quenched by acts such as “Pas de Deux”, an aerial dance requiring both strength and flexibility from the couple intertwined in a band of blue cloth.

The level of talent on display each night was undeniable, but what goes into bringing a performance of this caliber to an arena like the Wolstein Center? On April 4th, the Weekly Villager was offered a chance to find out.

Tracing its origins back to 1999, Dralion was originally conceived and produced as one of Cirque Du Soleil’s Grand Chapiteau (big top) tours. Production Manager Alain Gauthier explained that in an effort to increase the accessibility (in terms of location), the show was “brought into a new reality” in 2010 when the Cirque creative team “redid [the technical aspects of Dralion] from scratch”. Stressing that while “[the show] remains artistically the same”, the arena tour has enabled the production team to rework the lighting and costumes to “achieve the quality of vision that both the designers and audiences expect”. Working together to produce a “stereo image”, an attempt at creating a unifying experience for audience goers, the creative team believes that “every seat should be a good seat”.

For Cirque Du Soleil, the spectacle comes not from the performers alone, but the blending of aural and visual performances. Not even the stage–described as a “twelve-agon”–escaped the creative team’s eye.
Seeking to reduce load-in/load-out times on the tour, Cirque Du Soleil’s stage supplier developed a unique “no-tool” stage that eliminates the need for screws and nails. Relying on magnets and a host of locking pins, the individual segments that compose the stage can be quickly assembled or disassembled with the “swing of an orange rubber hammer” and an allen key.

When the Dralion trucks arrive at a venue, laden with over 400,000 pounds of equipment, costumes and supplies, it is all hands on deck. Traveling with a permanent crew of 24 technicians, the production crew typically hires upwards of 60 local workers to help with load-in and over 75 for load out. Arriving one day ahead of opening night, load-in typically lasts 8-10 hours while the set and all equipment can be loaded out within 3 hours. Gauthier states that the current load-out record for this year’s tour is about 2 hours and 28 minutes.

Whether you missed your chance to see Dralion or want to experience the magic again, Cirque Du Soleil will be returning to the region in July with a new production which promises to deliver the same level of spectacle and excitement. Cirque Du Soleil’s Michael Jackson the Immortal World Tour blends the King of Pop’s music with “[a] riveting fusion of visuals, dance and fantasy” that will draw audiences into “Michael’s creative world and literally turn his signature moves upside down”.

For more information about Cirque Du Soleil or The Wolstein Center, visit their websites at: http://www.cirquedusoleil.com  and http://www.wolsteincenter.com

Photographs from Dralion


CLEVELAND—Billed as a performance that “transcends the boundaries of imagination”, the performers and crew of Cirque Du Soleil’s Dralion achieve just that. Running April 4th through 8th at Cleveland State University’s Wolstein Center, spectators are drawn into a dazzling world of rich colors, moving instrumentals and flowing textiles. Showcasing the talents of over fifty performers, audience goers are treated to a bevy of phenomenal acts at a level of perfection that can be only delivered by Cirque Du Soleil.

Reflecting over 3,000 years of Chinese acrobatic arts, the various acts in Dralion successfully blend eastern traditions with western culture. Over the course of the performance, audience goers are treated to many astounding spectacles including these favorites:

Single Handbalancing
Requiring impressing strength, flexibility and control, this act features an artist executing a series of impressing figures while maintaining her balance atop canes of various heights.

The artists of Dralion take traditional Chinese dragon and lion dances to new heights in this stunning act. Featuring dynamic and energetic tumbling sequences, acrobatics on large wooden balls and the Dralions themselves; this act is a crowd pleaser.

Putting a new spin on a classic children’s game, Diablos features four performers each with a Chinese yo-yo attempting increasingly difficult maneuvers, attempting to outdo each other in dexterity and ingenuity.

Tickets for Dralion are still available through the Wolstein Center and may be purchased online by clicking here.

Want to learn more about what goes into bringing Dralion to an arena near you? Find out in next week’s Villager.

Garrettsville – James A. Garfield Middle School presented their 15th Annual Fine Arts Night last week at the school. The event was designed to give students who excel in the arts a chance to exhibit their talents and to celebrate Youth Art Month. They featured sculptures, paintings, drawings, instrumental music, drama and vocals. The evening was hosted by Art Teacher Kristine Gilmer. The cast from the spring musical “Annie get your Gun” opened the show by doing a preview of the musical that they will be performing in April. They were followed by the Middle School choir who performed “That’s Not Me” and “Neath a Mexican Moon,” along with students’ instrumental solos and ensembles and vocal solos and ensembles. Folks had the opportunity to see the art exhibit in the hallway as they traveled from the auditorium to the commons to hear the Middle School Band perform “Billboard March”, “Dark Adventure,” and “Images of Ireland” before closing out the evening with an “Armed Forces Medley.” The Fine Arts Night was started back in1998 by Mrs. Gilmer when the Middle School was still located on Park Avenue as a way to highlight what the students were doing in the Fine and Performing Arts.  Gilmer noticed that there were ceremonies for sports and academics but nothing for those who excelled in the arts. So she developed the Fine Arts Night. Since March is Youth Art Month, holding the event in March just seemed right. Over the years they have done a variety of things to feature the student’s talents. The first year they had created skits, had a garage band, with a few vocal performances along with an art show. Now, the Fine Arts Night has grown to include the drama department, band and choir along with the art show. Mrs. Gilmer stated “This is the last “Official” Fine Arts Night. Art will still be displayed but change is good and it is time to look at alternative ways to showcase the many talents of my art students.” Mrs. Gilmer would like to thank the following for all their help: Mr. Don King, Mr. Theo Cebulla, and Mr. Joe Gaither In previous years she was assisted by Mr. Michael Kelly, Ms. Iva Walker, Mrs. Patricia Amor, Mrs. Bethany Brawley, Mrs. Jackie Lovelace, and Mr. Aaron Gilbert.


After 37 years of practice in Garrettsville, Dr. Leu will be hanging up his stethoscope on March 31st.

Garrettsville – On Saturday, March 31, 2012, Dr. Sang Ming Leu, MD will put in his last day as a family physician in his adopted hometown. After 37 years in practice at Garrettsville Family Medicine, Dr. Leu and his wife, Su, will retire to sunshine, golf and swimming pools in a senior community near Laguna Beach, California.
An open house will be held from noon to 2 p.m. March 31 at the family practice located at 8307 Windham Street (Sky Plaza) so the community can say goodbye to Dr. Leu and welcome Armelle Jemmy-Nouafo, MD, who will assume the care of Dr. Leu’s patients, starting April 2. Dr. Jemmy-Nouafo earned her medical degree from Medical College of Ohio in Toledo, and completed her residency in family medicine at Oakwood Hospital in Dearborn, Michigan.
As Dr. Leu reflects on the past nearly four decades, he says it feels like it was “almost yesterday” that he came to the United States from Taipei, Taiwan as a 30-year-old med school graduate.
“I did not expect to stay here,” he recalls. “I had grown up in the mountains of the Taiwanese countryside, where my father was a laborer. I was expected to go to school until about the fifth grade, and then go to work. But my uncle didn’t want me to stay there and become a laborer too. He sent me to the city to live with my aunt. There I got a good education and graduated from medical school in Taipei.”
After serving two years in the Taiwanese Army at the veterans hospital, Dr. Leu thought it would be an adventure to go to the U.S. for an internship, then return to his home country.
“There was a shortage of doctors in America at that time, so we were welcome to come and stay,” Dr. Leu remembers. After interning at Fairview Hospital in 1973, Dr. Leu completed a residency at St. Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury, Connecticut the following year. He completed his residency at Robinson Memorial Hospital in 1975.
At that time, another Taiwanese doctor — Dr. Hung — had his family practice at Garrettsville Family Medicine. But he was moving to Washington after just two years here, so he offered the practice to Dr. Leu. The rest, as they say, is history. Dr. Leu was Garrettsville’s sole family physician for many years. Although there are now three family practices in town, Dr. Leu retained an independent solo practice until four years ago, when he became part of the University Hospitals network.
“This is where I got to be an old-fashioned country doctor,” says Dr. Leu. “Garrettsville has a small-town atmosphere where people are nice and friendly. This became our home, where we raised our three children (James, Steve and Nancy). I have been here more than half of my life.”
Dr. Leu experienced a turning point in 1997, when he suffered serious injuries from a head-on collision along State Route 88 on his way back from the hospital in Ravenna. Both of his legs were in casts from multiple fractures, and he developed a subdural hematoma (a collection of blood on the surface of the brain) weeks later. Surgeons had to drill into Dr. Leu’s skull to drain the fluids. It took more than a month for him to recover.
“This accident was a major event in my life,”says Dr. Leu. “I’m lucky I’m still alive today. And when a doctor becomes a patient, he becomes a better doctor… a more compassionate human being.”
Ultimately, as Dr. Leu reviews his long and steady career in the small village of Garrettsville, he feels grateful. “This community has always supported me and trusted me. As a foreigner, I felt I needed to work harder to earn people’s trust. I do that by treating everyone like they’re family, as my father had advised me long ago. He was right.”

Garrettsville – “Stomp” is a musical performance that incorporates singing, recorders and rhythms that are played on an unusual assortment of objects.

In this rhythm driven program the students use 5 gallon detergent buckets as drums, floor brooms that are knocked on the floor as percussive instruments, and pvc pipes that are thumped in rhythmic patterns. It is truly amazing how you can make music out of basically anything.

The program was presented on Tuesday, February 28th in the James A. Garfield Elementary School Gym. Under the direction of Kenneth E. Fox, 115 4th grade students sang Jazz and Rock selections entitled “Jazz” and “Big Heart”. The group also played a variety of Jazz and March songs performed on recorders that included “Blue Smoothie” and Rhythm Parade”. On the songs “Boom” and LaBoomba” the students took turns singing and playing their recorders on these high-energy selections.
The highlight of the program was the “Closing Stomp” performed by a 10-student drum line (or bucket-line if you will)!  The fast-paced sixteenth note patterns that the students played on buckets was definitely a crowd-pleaser.
This program was an incredible accomplishment of time and talent for this outstanding group of 4th graders, and Mr. Fox is very proud of them.

Garrettsville –  Two backyard rivals take their competition to a new level. Windham and Garfield schools last year decided to make change in the rivalry rather than contend against one another, they  decided come together for a joint cause. A year ago last fall, when Mike Chaffee took over as the principal of Windham Schools, he wanted to revive the rivalry  wiht Garrettsville that had somewhat died down over the years.  Chaffee wanted to turn what usually becomes a week of pranks and sometimes vandalism into a week of positive, healthy competition for a good cause. So “rivals for a cause” was born. Last year the schools held a food drive and sold T-shirts to raise monies for St. Jude’s Hospital. This year they are raising money by selling T-Shirts and the proceeds are being donated to Porter Lyons, a Garfield senior who underwent a heart transplant on New Years Eve. Between the two schools over 400 shirts were sold.
Rivalries are as old as dirt and many of them fade out. Although it appears that the rivalry between these two schools is still strong, it has become less intense and less vicious than in years past.  They still have pep rallies and  spirit week; the victories are sweet, but what once was is no longer the norm.
The more mature sector of the population from both districts tell of stories where each school had fears going to the  others territory. It was not uncommon in the early 70’s for the bus to travel through rocks, bottles etc. being tossed at them by kids who would lie in the ditches waiting for the visiting school to approach the town. Other pranks were common-place as well.
Residents tell of how Garfield’s victory bell that is now anchored on the football field was a target and stolen quite often during spirit week. Could that be why it is cemented down now?  Some said they will never forget the large W burned on Garfield football field a few years back, while Windham talks about the time Garfield kids marked their field with a big G. The pranks seemed to have gone by the wayside — as they should — and the rivalry has dwindled some but one thing remains the same,  a victory is sooo sweet and bragging rights reign for a long time. However, losing is still very bitter.
I asked many older residents that are still involved with school sports why they thought a rivalry which was strong, had lost some of its intensity. Some said laws have changed and schools now have zero tolerance policies which cause some to reconsider their actions. Many schools  now have cameras and more lighting outside which also plays a role in the reduction of the misdeeds. Some even said the two towns have intermarried which has changed the dynamics of the rivalry; social media have played a role in the change as well.
One thing that can be said is, although it may not be as vicious, the rivalry is still there and going strong and last Friday’s game at Garfield is proof of that. Long before the J.V. game reached the half-way mark, seating became difficult to find and by the time the varsity game started, the house was at capacity.
Everyone was ready for a good game; both sides were clad in the “Rivals for a Cause” black and teal T-shirts that both districts had sold as a fundraising project for the Lyons family. The student body from each school  cheered on their team and occasionally taunted each other by  “We can’t hear you” or “You can’t do that” followed by cheers of “Go Bombers” and “Go G-Men”. The game remained close for the most part, with  teams exchanging the lead several times.
Half-time brought out the best in both team’s fans as the entire gym gave a standing ovation as the Garfield’s Student Council and Windham Senior Jacob Vaughan presented a  $10,000 check to Porter Lyons. The monies presented were from various fundraising efforts and donations from the community. The funds from the T-shirt sale and spaghetti dinner that took place Friday night were not included in the total.  Porter addressed the fans and thanked them for their support. After the presentation and Porter’s address, the fans swarmed Porter chanting “Porter Porter” and “We love you Porter.”
The game resumed and remained tight.  About a third of the way through the third quarter the gym once again gave a standing ovation as Garfield Senior Cody Berg hit a milestone of his career by scoring his 1,000th point. After a brief recognition, the game resumed with a back and forth exchange of leads. It the end, the G-Men came up short (64-61) giving the Bombers a victory and the bragging rights for another year.

Pictured above are (front row) Olivia Valot, Angela Agati, Natalie Albert , Melody Jacques, Genevieve Bailey and Rebecca DeSanto. Back row Katrelyn Jacques, Christina Gargas, Emalea Moore, Alyssa Hartley, Alyson Sites, Jersee Hogue and Deanie Simpson

Newton Falls – Our local Girl Scout Troop 239 is helping the American Red Cross by donating seven quilts, after reading an article requesting needed items.

The troop began their “service project” in September. They set up a quilting frame in their meeting room at First Church of God and sewed at each meeting; cutting material, knotting and stitching and finishing the last quilt in November.

Pat Leach, leader of the Troop, said there are six Scouts doing the project for their Bronze Award which is the highest award a Junior Girl Scout can earn. The blankets were presented to representatives Christina Gargas, and Deanie Simpson from American Red Cross at a recent meeting. At the meeting, Gargas discussed the services provided and explained the blood drives that are held locally. This information was helpful to the girls receiving  their First Aid Badge. Working as a team, the Scouts shared a new experience while gaining knowledge and confidence while making a difference in their community.

It’s Girl Scout cookie time – call 330-872-7937 to place your order.  The profit from sales help fund new experiences like this. Thank you!

Mantua – On Saturday, February 4, “a great group of band students represented GHS with class and quality performances,” said James A . Garfield High School band director Joe Gaither.  The annual Solo & Ensemble contest took place at Crestwood High School, with more than 280 entries and 29 schools participating. Under the direction of Gaither, Theo Cebulla and student teacher Mr. William Talaba, JAG students performed very well, earning nine Superior  (I) and five Excellent (II) ratings.

Earning Superior Ratings
Woodwind Quintet – Andy Lininger, Brittany Sisson, Emma Bates, Logan Dean, and Andrea Sheller
Piano Solo – Nick Crawford
Snare Drum Solo – Eric Eiermann
Clarinet Quartet – Megan Wilburn, Jenna Yeager, Zoey Smith, and Rebecca Kern
Horn Quartet – Eileen Mangan, Andy Lininger, Lizzie Gerez, and Dakota Frank
Tuba Solo – Michael Ebie
Flute Trio – Andrea Sheller, Laura Wilburn, and Morgan Aebischer
Percussion Ensemble – Nick Crawford, Chad Curry, Ryan Everett, Brandon Nutter, Simeon Brown, and  Riley Chafin
Brass Quintet – Josh Moore, Jeff Lange, Eileen Mangan, Stefan Wickli, and Michael Ebie

Earning Excellent Ratings
Piano Solo – Molly Everett
Brass Choir – Rachel Huehner, Rebecca Smith, Stefan Wickli, Dakota Frank, Lizzie Gerez, Andy Lininger, Summer Wilde, Jeff Lange, and Josh Moore
Piano Solo –  Andy Lininger
Woodwind Trio – Molly Everett, Andrea Sheller, and Cassidy King
Trumpet Trio – Garrett McArdle, Jeff Lange, and Summer Wilde

Garrettsville - Most of the time, doing excellent work on the job is merely meeting an expectation. But for James A. Garfield School District Treasurer Tracy Knauer, excellence at work has earned her a rare award from the Auditor of the State of Ohio, Dave Yost.

According to a letter from the State Auditor’s office,  a recent financial audit of the school district has returned a clean audit report… one of only five school districts in Ohio… and the only Portage County school district to achieve this distinction. The letter went on to state, “James A. Garfield Local School District’s excellent record keeping has earned it the Auditor of State Award.”

According to JAG School Board President Guy Pietra, “Tracy does an outstanding job keeping the JAG school district financially sound and is meticulous in following all of the State’s accounting practices and guideline principles.  On at least three or four occasions, I have had auditors tell me personally that Tracy is very thorough and accurate.  We are very lucky and proud to have her as part of our school district. She is too modest regarding her achievements.”[pulledquote]James A. Garfield Local School District’s excellent record keeping has earned it the Auditor of State Award.[/pulledquote]

Knauer has been employed with JAG since January 2005. Among her responsibilities, Knauer is responsible for the effective financial operations of the district; she supervises one employee in the treasurer’s office and 10 food service employees; she directs financial operations including accounting, fiscal period closing, benefits management, grants management, forecasting, budgeting, compliance, and asset management; she works in cooperation with the superintendent, building administrators, transportation, maintenance and technology. Knauer is a member of the school board negotiation team, assisting in the labor contract negotiations for certified and classified staff. She also oversees financial planning, working in cooperation with administration and the board of education.

“Historically, Garfield has performed well on the annual financial audit,” Knauer says.  “However, the audit is typically released with little or no fanfare. By issuing an award to public entities based on audit performance, the State Auditor is acknowledging the positive accomplishments of the public sector. I would like to congratulate every member of the district; they are all part of the operation of the district and a successful audit.”

The Auditor of State Award is presented to local governments and school districts upon the completion of a “clean” financial audit report. Entities that receive the award meet these following criteria:

• They must file timely financial reports with the Auditor of State’s office in accordance with GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) without a CAFR (Certified Annual Financial Report);

• The audit report does not contain any findings for recovery, material citations, material weaknesses, significant deficiencies, single audit findings or questioned costs;

• The entity’s management letter contains no comments related to ethics referrals, questioned costs less than $10,000, lack of timely report submission, reconciliation, failure to obtain a timely Single Audit,findings for recovery less than $100, or public meetings or public records.

Auditor of State Dave Yost’s office is responsible for auditing all public entities in Ohio.  His mission is to protect Ohioans’ tax dollars while aggressively fighting fraud, waste and misuse of public money. The Auditor of State’s office is responsible for auditing more than 5,600 state and local government agencies. The office also provides financial services to local governments, investigates and prevents fraud in public agencies, and promotes transparency in government.

Lt Gov Mary Taylor

Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, speaking with Portage County small business owners gathered at Lakeside Sand & Gravel in Mantua for a roundtable discussion about Ohio's Common Sense Initiative (CSI) on January 9. (Photo by Estelle R. Brown)

Mantua – Lakeside Sand & Gravel became the backdrop for a visit from Ohio Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor on January 9. It was a stop along Taylor’s journey throughout the state, gathering local business leaders’ concerns about government regulations and promoting the state’s Common Sense Initiative (CSI), designed to “push back against the feds and government regulations when they’re over-reaching.”

CSI Ohio was launched one year ago by Republican Gov. John R. Kasich to reform Ohio’s regulatory policies to help make Ohio a jobs and business-friendly state. CSI Ohio reviews Ohio’s regulatory system to eliminate excessive and duplicative rules and regulations that stand in the way of job creation.

A Summit County native, Taylor was sworn in as Ohio’s 65th Lieutenant Governor on January 10, 2011, the same day Gov. Kasich named her to lead the CSI project to reform Ohio’s regulatory policies, as well as to serve as the director of the Ohio Department of Insurance.

Lakeside’s aggregate business was founded in 1954 by Harry and Henry Kotkowski. Today, it’s a third-generation family business. On Monday afternoon, the Kotkowski family hosted the roundtable in an outbuilding filled with antique mining equipment, with Taylor and Portage County business leaders and local government representatives.

Ben Kotkowski said the roundtable was brought to Lakeside due to their involvement with the National Federation of Independent Businesses, which provides feedback regarding state regulations. Taylor said that “things are starting to turn around” for Ohio’s economy. She was here to get local ideas about what it will take for Ohio to continue to grow in its business-friendly practices.

Invoking Gov. Kasich’s pro-business approach, Talyor said, “We’re trying to break down barriers of bureaucracy and go in a new direction so that new business is attracted to Ohio.” As part of that effort, as of January 1, 2012, anytime a government agency considers imposing a new rule affecting small business, it must first be reviewed according to the CSI process to weed out unintended consequences that could hurt business.

“We know that new rules can be costly to small business, so we want to figure out how small business can comply in a less expensive way. Regulations must be fair, simple, transparent and open,” she said.

…Unlike President Obama’s health care reform initiative, Taylor suggested. She estimated the health care bill could force 10-15% increases in health benefit rates small businesses will be expected to pay out. “Every dollar the government requires is one less dollar available for small business to invest in new technologies, expansion or creating jobs,” Taylor said.

Local business owners shared frustrations common to fellow Ohioans Taylor has already met on her roundtable tour. Common themes include costs associated with workers’ compensation, insurance and legal fees required to file small claims; EPA regulations that halt progress and expansion in the U.S. while China takes over industries that once defined the American way; increased government spending on unnecessary highway/traffic improvement projects; education funding and teachers’ salary reform; an unskilled and under-educated work force; union-related costs; dependence on foreign energy, etc.[pulledquote]“We’re trying to break down barriers of bureaucracy and go in a new direction so that new business is attracted to Ohio.” [/pulledquote]

This laundry list “screams the problems we’re facing in Ohio,” Taylor concluded.”It will take a little time. You push at the local level. I’ll push at the state level. All levels of government need to change the way they’re run. Government needs to function differently.”

What would you do if you won a million dollars?
Maybe buy a fancy house, a sports car, an exotic cruise, the latest tech gadget or entertainment package?
When a local teacher posed that question to students recently, she didn’t get all typical responses. More than one said they’d buy groceries for their families, because they had no food in the house.
Every holiday season, canned food drives are as traditional as Christmas carols and tinsel on the tree… but this year, they’re even more meaningful because the need in our community is at an all-time high. Local charities report, on average, double the need of recent years.
Last week, it looked like students at James A. Garfield High School might fail to meet their goal of collecting 10,000 cans for this year’s annual food drive. They missed their goal last year — gathering 9,300 cans of food — and it appeared this might be a sad new trend, said food drive coordinator and art teacher Libby Frato-Sweeney.
But thanks to a final-day push, JAG High School students actually surpassed their goal and collected 10,629 food items for hungry neighbors this holiday season. Teachers lifted the customary no-texting ban during classtime, so students barraged their parents and grandparents with appeals to bring non-perishable food to the school before the end of the school day… and they delivered 800-900 food items in a few hours’ time.
[pulledquote]students collected 10,629 food items for hungry neighbors this holiday season[/pulledquote]One parent came in with grocery bags full of baking ingredients because she used to be in need, and couldn’t afford to stretch her budget enough to do traditional cookie-baking with her children. She remembered how much she missed being able to do that, so she made sure she provided baking supplies for others who would appreciate it.
Along with the non-perishable food, students also collected books, toys, hats and mittens for those in need. They even raised $1,500 from the annual in-school Turkey Trot race and Spanish class concert. (Teachers Mr. Bennett and Ms. Maresh each raised more than $400 in Turkey Trot pledges.) Mayor Craig Moser boosted students’ morale by bringing donuts in during the collection drive.
“With everybody doing their part, we’re able to provide a merrier Christmas for area families,” said Frato-Sweeney. And the students were rewarded with a whole-school concert the last day of school before winter break, known as Howling with Howell (thanks to the musical talents of language arts teacher Mr. Howell and his hand-picked student accompanists).
The impact of their giving is widespread. The food has been distributed to several area charities, including the hot lunch program at the Garrettsville United Methodist Church, the new Nelson Food Pantry (formerly operated by the PeopleTree, located at Rafael’s Bakery at Nelson Circle starting in February), the 4Cs in Mantua (at Hilltop Disciples of Christ Church), Windham Toys for Tots, and for families identified by school nurse Ms. Poole. The food also augmented 175 turkey dinners given to needy families, which included a frozen turkey, a bag of potatoes, and a grocery sack of canned food for each recipient.
While middle school students collected gift items for The People Tree charity, the elementary school also got into the act, with gym teacher Mr. Rado offering to take a cake in the face if the students managed to collect 700 cake mixes to distribute to those in need. The kids easily surpassed that goal, bringing in a total of 840 cake mixes for the cause.
Frato-Sweeney says that contributions of food during the holidays go beyond taming hungry stomachs. Food and family traditions go hand-in-hand. When there’s plenty of good food to go around, families nourish one another with merry memories that can last a lifetime.

Pictured above are friends representing area towing companies who came out to enjoy a lunch at The Brick in Don’s honor. In attendence were: Gene Hatch of Hatch’s Towing from Middlefield; Willy Harshman - Harshman’s Towing from Southington; Dean Stebbins & Bob Fall from F&S Towing in Mantua; Larry Eye from Eye’s Towing of Windham; Rick Patrick, Bill Wilson, Warren & Homer Ellison of Village Motors.

Garrettsville – Most folks when they hit their 70’s they are either retired or are planning on it soon but not Don McCullough. Don is still going strong after 60 years of working in the towing business and has no formal plans to retire, although he does admit he is slowing down a bit.

Sixty years ago Don McCullough was working at as a service manager at the local Ford garage in Garrettsville when he convinced the owners to purchase a tow truck and start a towing business. Don even agreed to do the towing if they would get a truck.  McCullough was successful in persuading the owners to purchase a tow truck and began towing for the Ford garage in 1952. Little did he know then that 60 years later he would still be doing the same thing and enjoying it as well.

McCullough ran the towing for the garage until it closed1968.  Finding himself without work motivated him to start what we now know as Village Motors today. He opened his business on Windham Street where G-ville Auto now sits and had his salvage yard a crossed the street where the catholic church’s back parking lot is now located. When he opened his doors for business he offered towing service, used car sales along with a service garage. The business eventually out grew the space so McCullough then purchased the lot where Kepich Ford now sits and operated his business there until 1980 before relocating to the current location on Brosius Road.

Don and his wife Virginia worked together at growing the business. Don ran the business while Virginia handled all the dispatching for the towing service.  The dispatching had its challenges as the communication systems back then were sub par. They originally used citizen band (CB) radios to communicate with the driver. Don said was not always easy to understand each other on them but it was what they had at the time and that was just how it was done. Later, they graduated to commercial radios which were better than the CB’s but still had  problems and now they use cell phones as their mode of communication.

Besides communication, the industry has made significant changes throughout the years as well. There is less towing business due to cars being made more reliable and the fact that there are more tow trucks available now. Years ago towing was done with winches, now they use flatbeds and rollovers to do the work. He said cars are made differently now too, which at times leaves them few options on places to hook for a tow.  Like everything else, the cost of towing has increased over the years too. When he first started towing it was around $15 dollars a tow in town, now it starts at $65 and goes up depending on where the vehicle is being taken.

In 1990 Don was ready for some freedom so he sold the service garage to Rick Patrick and continued to operate the towing business for a few years and eventually sold the rest of the business to Rick Patrick. The sale of the business had him looking forward to retirement and seeing the country.

Well, that was the plan any how. He’d retire, travel and see the country, just kick back and enjoy life.  But that isn’t what happened. Oh, he traveled and sort of retired only to come back and work part-time for Patrick.

Don has seen many changes over his lifetime and not just in the towing business.

He said years ago everyone in town would get together and skate on Silver Creek in the winter and in the summer they would have concerts on Main Street every weekend. Back then folks would come out just to socialize. Now folks just don’t seem to get together as neighbors and a community like they used to; times have just changed.

Don commented that SummerFest brings back memories of those times when folks would come downtown to see their neighbors. Times were just simpler back then and  people had time for one another — not so much now.

McCullough recently celebrated his 80th birthday and is still going strong and claims he would do it all over again if given a second chance. He said the business supported his wife and four kids and he still loves the work and the community that supported him all these years.

McCullough still hasn’t officially retired and he said he probably wouldn’t retire because he is afraid he’d be bored. So for now this life-time Garrettsville resident can still be seen pulling cars out of the ditch on occasion.


Garrettsville Area Chamber of Commerce members spent part of the day Saturday “Decking the Halls” for Garrettsville’s Annual Tree Lighting and "Christmas on Main" holiday kick-off slated for Saturday, November 26, 2011 at 6pm. Pictured are Rick Patrick (on ladder), Barb Bejger (holding ladder), Eva Szasz and Linnette Patrick (left to right).

Mantua – The Crestwood “Scarlet Guard” Marching Band will travel Thursday November 10, 2011 to participate in the Bands of America Grand National Championships. This is recognized as the premier marching band event in the nation. Annual spectators and participants exceed 100,000 annually to attend this highly competitive event. Ninety bands from across America will participate, including some of the finest, most progressive band programs in the activity today. [pulledquote]…the highest level of accomplishment for a marching band to achieve… [/pulledquote]The field competition features 90 bands in preliminary competition on Thursday and Friday, with 30 bands advancing to semi-finals during the day on Saturday. Twelve bands advance to Finals on Saturday evening.
This is the highest level of accomplishment for a marching band to achieve and be afforded the opportunity to participate in. Crestwood is the only marching band ever selected from Portage County — and to be selected to participate for a second time in four years is a remarkable accomplishment. The band is one of only 20 bands to represent the state of Ohio.
The Crestwood Local Schools and community are very proud of their nationally-recognized band program.. The Scarlet Guard competition show is titled “Switch” and by the end of the program the entire band is immersed in bright neon green plumes with six giant switches on the field. These kids truly exemplify the hard work, pride, and dedication that it takes to perform at this level.
We are putting together a book to give to the kids when they leave next week with letter of congratulations and good luck. It would mean a great deal to the children and band program to have a letter from you wishing them well as they represent Portage County and the State of Ohio.
Please feel free to send the letter via email to jacobadkins@me.org. If email is a problem you can mail the letter to the following address:

Kate Ferguson, Director
Crestwood High School Bands
10919 Main Street
Mantua, Ohio 44255

In addition, the school is hosting a pep rally for the band on Wednesday November 9, 2011 at 2PM at Crestwood High School. All are highly encouraged to attend and show support for the Scarlet Guard for this most high accomplishment. The school district at Crestwood High School is very proud of its national award winning band program.

Garrettsville – Garrettsville’s newest piece of public art is quite smashing.  Pictured on the cover you can see the progression of their work – and artists Carly McLoskey, Sam Buganski, Annie Wilthew, Chris Mathews, Karen Root, Edena Rankin, Clarke Kolmorgen, Samara Pasek, Arianna Beskur, Austin Bracken, Jeff Lange, Michael Paolone, Lauren Greathouse, Selina Slaughter, Shelby Grenzow, Mike Heisler, Kayleigh Mathews  and mom, Samantha Beskur.
The new work is replacing the old representation of a mill wheel which was on the former wall of the railroad overpass on Windham St. (St. Rte. 82) east, west of Sky Lanes.  Both drew upon local history for their inspiration and they have showcased the ideas and imagination of their creators and their community.
Don’t stop the car in the middle of the road to look but check out the locomotive depicted on the wall there.  Do you see what the print in the striking red circular engine front spells out?  Do you see the date?  Nice job of making a coherent whole of their artistic aims and their historical motivations.
And to see who did the actual work on the piece, see who’s got poison ivy.  They’ve had to suffer for their art.  Michelangelo would be proud!

Garrettsville Summerfest Committee members and sponsors (pictured above) recently celebrated a successful 2011 SummerFest by presenting Mayor Craig Moser (center) with a check for $2,000. This donation to the Village of Garrettsville will be used for the Boardwalk Lighting Project currently underway. Photo: Benjamin M. Coll

Garrettsville – This past April, Village council approved expenditures for repairs and improvements to the downtown boardwalk lighting.  The project, which has been broken down into three phases, will total approximately $24,000 when completed.  Village council agreed to the first two phases – about $18,000 in work. The third phase of lighting will be funded through donations.

Currently, Scotchman Electric has begun removing the old electrical conduit, fittings  and any remaining broken lighting.  They will install heavy duty electric boxes, conduit and fittings in preparation for the lighting.  An industrial “blue ice” commercial grade LED strip light will be secured under the boardwalk railings. In addition, two “Garrettsville–style” street lamps which had been in storage will also be placed in this area and will provide lighting from dusk to dawn.

Phase III  will provide lighting from the boardwalk to the municipal parking lot —  the walkway over the falls.   In May, the Garrettsville Area Chamber of  Commerce made a donation in the amount of $2,000 to the village for this project.  Late in August, the SummerFest Committee presented Mayor Moser a check for $2,000 as well for the lights. An effort is currently underway to raise the remaining funds needed to complete this phase.
Council President Rick Patrick stated that he and the mayor would like to have the final phase of this project paid for and complete in time for next summer.  “When finished, the lighting enhancements will not only provide a more secure walkway at night but will be esthetically pleasing”, stated Patrick.  “Long term it would be nice to eventually add lights on the banks and under the bridge as well.”
Anyone interested in making a contribution to Phase III of the lighting project should contact Village Hall at 330 527-4424.

Middlefield – You have probably seen statistics thrown out and about in the media regarding the advantages of music programs in local schools.  Some statistics show that students who are in band tend to do better in their other classes and are more likely to stay in school.  There are many programs to “Save the Music” (a VH1 program) and are designed to keep music in the schools especially during these times of extreme budget cuts.  There is a definite division in thinking regarding music, and the arts as a whole, among many Americans.  Some believe it is not as necessary as skills training or college preparation classes.  Others believe that society would be lacking in humanity, empathy and basic feelings without the arts.
Music can be a friend to the lonely, an encourager to the heavy laden, bring  relaxation to the tired; it can lift your spirits, take you back in time, and change your attitude.  Music is at the heart of life, in my humble opinion.
Roadhouse Music located at 15910 West High Street in Middlefield (440.632.0678) is a premier location for musical equipment, sheet music, repairs, announcing equipment, parts and so much more. They live and breathe music for students as well as adults.
John Burton opened Roadhouse Music in January 2004 and has made quite a name for himself and the store in the local area, not just with schools but  with musicians as well  for the quality and the quantity of products and services offered.  They even offer vintage instruments, which is a rare commodity today, due to so many on-line auction sites.  At Roadhouse you can actually see a wide range of vintage equipment.  When I visited, they had a 1934 Gibson guitar which was playable and quite beautiful.
Some of the services offered include a full range of school band instruments to rent or buy, electronics set-up and coverage for events or permanent installation of equipment for groups and others who need public speaking equipment. They can buy/sell/trade instruments or equipment; you can buy sheet music or access it electronically, buy a beginner’s pack to help future musicians get started, take lessons, get parts for your instrument, have a broken instrument repaired. Just about any other instrument-related need you might have can be taken care of by John and his crew.
One of the many advantages of utilizing local merchants is the high level of customer service you receive.  When you purchase an instrument at Roadhouse Music, they make sure it is right before you take it home and the knowledgeable staff  makes sure your purchase is exactly what you were looking for. Plus, their prices are comparable to those big box stores.
They are members of IMSO (Independent Music Store Owners).  This membership adds years and years of experience and assistance to further help with your shopping needs.  Have a question that Roadhouse Music cannot answer? No worries…they can query IMSO and glean knowledge from many sources to help get you what you need.
Many smaller stores have closed in Northeast Ohio in the last few years due to economic hardships.  John feels it is their high level of customer service that has allowed the doors to stay open.  The love of music is everywhere, in all the nooks and crannies of Roadhouse Music.  So if you are looking to learn to play, buy an instrument, get one repaired or other number of music related services, think about Roadhouse Music in Middlefield as being your first (and only) stop.  Check out their website (http://www.roadhousemusic.org/) for more information and current hours.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once said that “music is the universal language of mankind.”  That language is fluently spoken at Roadhouse Music, why not stop by and speak  for yourself.


Image Source: (http://hotelclub.com)

It’s been a dreary decade of war, recession and political wrangling since our world was utterly ripped from its moorings on September 11, 2001.

Seems like it was just in yesterday’s newscast: The backdrop of the New York City skyline, gleaming in the morning sunlight against a picture-perfect blue sky. But marring the pretty picture was a commercial airliner, which had just slammed into the north tower of the World Trade Center. It was 8:46 a.m.


Before we could quite digest that improbability, the impossible happened just 17 minutes later: A second jet plane crashed into the south tower. The shades of my mind snapped shut. I realized this was no accident. This was The Moment; the dreadful moment which had quietly haunted me with nagging foreboding for as long as I could remember.
Every generation has its collective crisis… a historic tragedy that erases the world as we once knew it and replaces it with a shadowy version of its former self. After the initial stage of stunned disbelief and loss of assumed invincibility, we must adapt to the ‘new normal’ if we’re to move forward at all. 9/11 was the crisis that would test our generation’s mettle.

How are we adapting to 9/11, a decade later? First, let’s review:

The Twin Towers were attacked by al-Qaeda operatives who hijacked American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175. Within less than two hours, both towers collapsed as a result of the impacts. A third hijacked jet was crashed into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. A fourth airliner — United Airlines Flight 93, redirected toward Washington, D.C. — was brought down near Shanksville, Pennsylvania by passengers and crew who sacrificed themselves in order to save the nation’s capitol from becoming the next target.

The compound tragedies of 9/11 were overwhelming:

Nearly 3,000 victims and all 19 hijackers died in the attacks; 2,749 people from 83 different countries perished with the Twin Towers; New York City Fire Department lost 343 firefighters; 1,337 vehicles were crushed when the towers collapsed; 1.5 million working hours over 261 days were spent removing debris at the WTC site, thereafter known as Ground Zero; The fires at Ground Zero burned for 99 days, until December 19; 184 people were killed in the attack on the Pentagon; There were no survivors from any of the flights, and the majority of casualties were civilians representing 70 countries.*

A year after 9/11, National Public Radio collected reactions from everyday Americans, grappling with their attempts to cope with the national tragedy.

Here was a typical response… “Denial is no longer a luxury I can claim. Now I know that our nation is vulnerable. My grandchildren are vulnerable. All of us are… How can we heal all of this?”

Ten years have now passed since 9/11, and in conversations cropping up around Labor Day weekend bonfires, picnics and other get-togethers, mixed emotions and unanswered questions endured. Recalling that fateful day, most people worried, “What next? When, where and how will the next attack take place? And why do they hate us so much?”

Mothers of young children feared for their futures. “I have to be with my children if this is the beginning of the end,” one woman told her boss as she walked out of the medical office where she worked.

“Now I feel like I’ve lost the right to protect my kids,” said another. “It really impacted me when my youngest son was about to board his first airplane, and I couldn’t even wait with him or meet him at the gate when they got back. I couldn’t be a mom and be there for him.”
Others carried on in a state of denial, trying to maintain status quo and a sense of control as the world around them failed to cooperate. Young men felt overwhelming anger and the desire to retaliate immediately.

Children who were in elementary school when the War on Terror was launched, couldn’t comprehend the meaning behind the new fear and seriousness they suddenly saw in the faces of their parents and teachers. Later, they were frustrated by the consequences… a moratorium on long-distance field trips, the inability to travel to Niagara Falls without a passport, a sense of vulnerability during an otherwise carefree period of life.

“Now it’s here,” said another. “… Like a distant disease that had been wiping people out overseas, suddenly hits home and now we’re all exposed.”

Others saw things in a different light: “After getting past the initial shock, anger and sadness, what remains is a renewed love for life, and a heightened sense of compassion and tolerance…”

Perhaps we are adapting, after all.

* Sources: U.S. Department of State, USA TODAY

Burton – The Great Geauga County Fair is Ohio’s oldest fair, featuring more than 65 performers, acts, shows and contests, including the annual Fair King & Queen Contest. It’s an ideal family-friendly destination over Labor Day weekend, September 1-5, 9 a.m. to midnight daily.

Since 1823, Geauga County residents of all ages have made their mark at the fair. In 2010, 14,000 exhibits were entered for judging in a variety of competitions and categories including livestock, horticultural and agricultural products, fine arts, domestic arts, antiques and collectibles, culinary and baked goods and many more.
The main grandstand features five live action shows this year, including Demolition Derbies, TNA Live Wrestling, Truck Pulls, FMX (Free Motocross) Championships, and a hot air balloon demonstration. Children 6 and under attend all shows for free. On opening day, TV8 Cleveland news weatherman Dick Goddard will host the Chicken Flying Contest at noon at the small grandstand.
Exhibit halls will be open from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. and rides will be operational from noon-midnight. All exhibits close at 8 p.m. on Monday. Registration for Junior Fair livestock sales starts at 2 p.m. on Saturday, September 3 in the arena.
Advance gate admission is $6; and an online advance sale five-day pass is $25 (http://geaugafair.com). Daily gate admission is $7 for adults, while kids 12 and under attend for free. Also, parking is free at the fairgrounds. Thursday will be Youth Day, with admission free for those 18 and under; plus reduced ride prices from noon through 10 p.m. Friday will be Senior Day, Veterans’ Day & Youth Day; when anyone 65 and older, 18 and younger, and veterans attend the fair for free.
Four sets of young men and women from Geauga County have been nominated by their 4-H clubs for 2011 Great Geauga County Fair royalty. Those vying for the King & Queen crowns include:

Bryan Briggs

Bryan is the son of Rick and Lisa Briggs of Troy Township. He is a 2011 Berkshire High School graduate. While at Berkshire, Bryan was a five-year member of the marching band and concert band.  He is a 10-year member of Auburn Swine 4-H Club, being president for two years, and a three-year member of Breeders and Feeders. During his 4-H career he has held many positions in his clubs, including Health Officer and Environmental Officer. Bryan has served on the Junior Fair board and is a past president. He is a 4-H camp counselor and has done many volunteer hours with the Geauga Park District and the Department on Aging. This fall he is attending OSU ATI, studying beef and sheep management.

Rick Loveland, Jr.

Over the past eight years, Rick has been involved in Geauga County 4-H, Junior Fair, Junior Leaders, Junior Fair board, and his 4-H club, Little Porkers.  He has served as president of Little Porkers, President of his class, Vice President of Student Council, Editor of Ledgemont’s yearbook and newspaper, Teen Institute Youth Staff, LAB Alumni Representative, and Relay for Life Team captain. He has also been involved in National Honor Society, HOBY (a youth leadership conference), Project Love, Teens Against Bullying, and Envirothon. A senior at Ledgemont High School, he is a member of the Varsity Football and Wrestling teams.  Rick has raised swine for eight years, turkeys for three years and ducks for two years through Little Porkers.

Sam Sharpnack

Sam is a senior at Notre Dame Cathedral Latin High School and is the son of Linton and Patricia Sharpnack of Claridon. He is an active member of Geauga Caprine Kids, having served as President, Vice President, and currently as treasurer. He has received Gold Medal Awards for poultry, goats, leadership, and achievement and has also received the Ambassador of 4-H award.  He is a member of Junior Leaders and Junior Fair board and is a camp counselor. Sam is active in Spanish Club at NDCL and is a member of the track and cross-country teams, and has been a member of the football team.  He hopes to join the military after graduation from college.

Tom Somrack

Tom lives in Newbury with his parents, Larry and Colletta.The 16-year-old is a junior at Notre Dame Cathedral Latin High School.  Tom serves on the Campus Revitalization Task Force and is involved in St. Joseph of Arimathea Pall Bearer Society. Tom is also active at St. Helen’s Church, where he is involved in the Ross Group, cooking for spiritual retreats, and serving on the altar.  Tom is also a member of Boy Scout Troop 99 in Newbury. A Life Scout, he is working on his Eagle Scout badge by coordinating a project at the Geauga County Fairgrounds.  Tom is an active member of several 4-H clubs:  Flockmasters, Granny’s Kids, Junior Leaders, and Plantmasters, along with his activities on Junior Fair board and being a 4-H camp counselor at Camp Whitewood. Tom attended HOBY, a youth leadership conference, in the spring of 2011, and is a volunteer for Leadership Geauga. Tom runs a farmer’s market and shadows a veterinarian in hopes of pursuing a career in agriculture.

Sarah Anderson

Sarah is the daughter of Rick and Wendy Anderson. The 18-year-old is a graduate of Cardinal High School, where she participated in Cardinaires for four years, the school musical for four years, two years of varsity soccer, and two years in National Honor Society. She also spent the year as a Post Secondary Education student at Kent State.  Sarah has been involved in 4-H for 11 years, raising rabbits, ducks, turkeys, goats, and pigs. She is also a three-year member of Junior Fair board and was a member of Junior Leaders. In the fall, Sarah is attending the University of Findlay to pursue degrees in animal science and pre-vet medicine, specializing in large animals.  While pursuing her dreams, Sarah hopes to remain involved with 4-H as an advisor.

Elise Bruening

Elise is a senior at Madison High School and lives in Montville Township. She has been a member in several 4-H organizations for the past 12 years and has taken swine, dairy, and poultry projects to the Great Geauga County Fair.  She has held the positions of President, Secretary, Treasurer, Health, and Safety officer in these clubs and has been the recipient of a Gold Medal Award for Leadership and one for Achievement. She is also a member of the Geauga County Junior Leaders 4-H Club and is a counselor at Camp Whitewood.  At school, she is active in Math Club, Student Council, Prom Committee, and National Honor Society where she holds the office of President.  Elise has varsity-lettered in track, volleyball, and soccer.  She represented her high school at the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Conference. Following the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Elise co-chaired a fundraiser which raised over $1,100 dollars for Haitian orphans. She recently organized and completed a six-day, 325-mile fundraising bicycle journey from Pittsburgh, PA to Washington, DC and raised over $16,000 for Honor Flight Cleveland and World War II veterans. She will attend Lake Erie College as a post-secondary student, where she plans to get a head start on her goal of completing the Physician’s Assistant Masters degree program.

Kelsey Rumburg

Kelsey has been in 4-H for 10 years. She is the current President of her two 4-H clubs, Geauga Beef & Swine and All Cooped Up. Over the years, she has shown breeding beef, breeding sheep, pack goats, cavies, and poultry. Last year she completed and won the All Animal Showmanship Sweepstakes.  Kelsey is also the current Vice President of Junior Fair board, and treasurer of Junior Leaders.  She has been a camp counselor for two years.  Kelsey resides in Hambden Township with her parents, Ed and MaryBeth, and her many animals. She is a senior at Chardon High School and a full-time student at Lakeland Community College. She is a recent graduate of the Leadership Geauga Youth Program.

Ashley Winters

Ashley is 17 years old and a senior at Chardon High School, where, as a junior, she was an office assistant and a student tutor. This year she is a family consumer science teaching assistant.  She lives with her parents, Tom and Debbie Winters, and her sister, Leigh, in Hambden Township. She is the President of the Geauga County Junior Leaders 4-H Club and Braided-n-Banded Horse 4-H Club. Ashley has been a member of Geauga Horse & Pony Association for 10 years and represents them on Junior Fair board.  She is also a member of National Honor Society, Symphonic Band, the American Quarter Horse Youth Association, Northern Ohio Quarter Horse Association, and Northeastern Ohio Horseman’s Association. She has shown her quarter horse at all levels of competition. Ashley has been a volunteer visitor and made holiday gifts and cards for the Geauga County Home residents and has helped organize, collect, and wrap gifts for special families in Geauga County through Job and Family Services.  She plans to study medicine or animal science at the University of Findlay after graduation.

Participants and spectators alike gathered at the GFN Fire Station to enjoy the final cruise of the summer. Close to 200 cars were on display -- some traveling from Canton and New Philadelphia. It appeared to be one of the best attended cruises. Before the end of the night all of the peach pies, sundaes and sliced peaches were gone. A big thank you to all who donated their time peeling, slicing and serving as well as those who baked and donated peach pies.

Garrettsville – The last Garrettsville Cruise Night of the season was just peachy, thank you very much.  Joe Leonard got to take his “new” fire engine out for several spins, with passengers and the ever-popular plush dalmatian on board.  The band was keeping things lively, interrupted at intervals by the inimitable Jerry Kehoe announcing winners of various raffles–prizes from all over town.  The crowd was sitting in chairs–shaded, if they were early…and lucky, strolling from vehicle to vehicle, catching up on the latest news, eating all things peach–peaches with ice cream, peach pie, peach pie with ice cream, peaches plain, peaches fancy…didn’t see any barbequed peaches, but I wouldn’t put it past anyone; I know that there is a peach salsa.  Where does one go from there?
You can tell by the shine that the entrants in the car show LOVE their cars and tend them assiduously–polishing here, upholstering there, historical accuracy, ineffable “cool”, all on wheels.  Fun!