Thursday, September 18, 2014
Home Cover Story

Pictured are the 2011 participants with Ken Childress & Jimmy Mullins (center). In the back row - Mike Shilling, Ryan Bell, Corey Riggs, Greg D’Aurelio, Patrick Myers, Dane Engelhart, Ann Toothman. Front row ia Paula Tooth & Jay D’Aurelio.

Mantua – A group of four adults and five high school teens from Mantua’s St. Joseph Church participated in the Housing Repair Program based at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Clintwood, Virginia, the week of June 18-25. Volunteers made the 400 mile, seven-hour trip to the western tip of Virginia for the week-long experience to help low-income residents maintain decent housing for their families by doing household repairs at owner occupied homes.After arriving and attending Mass, the group settled in. On Sunday they traveled to The Breaks Interstate Park to enjoy site-seeing and recreation in the area before work began on Monday.

Paula and Ann Toothman and Jay D’Aurelio worked mostly at the home of a women named Faye. Tasks included replacing her whole floor next to the window, repairs to the under pinning of her trailer and landscaping improvements, and painting trim on the trailer and the wood work on her deck. She was very friendly, sharing stories about her life growing up and things from a time gone by.
Greg D’Aurelio, Corey Riggs, and Dane Engelhart worked mostly at the home of Lucille and Bob. They braced up their porch/deck, put siding up on one side of their house, and scraped the house to get it ready for the next group of people. The homeowners were also very social with the group, making them cookies and fudge!

Mike Shilling, Patrick Myers, and Ryan Bell worked the farthest from town at the home of Catherine and her husband. Their responsibilities included adding to an existing deck and ramp to accommodate a gurney for the gentlemen of the house who is not doing so well. They also dug a ditch to handle water run off to the side of the mountain.

Not only did the experience include some hard work, but also meeting new people, learning new things, local site-seeing, and discussions around Appalachian issues. The group heard a coal miner speak and enjoyed a parish pot-luck picnic which included storytelling and folk songs from Ken Childress and Jimmy Mullins. They also took a trip up to Birch Knob Observation Tower, once the site of a fire tower that allows one to see Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and, on a clear day, Ohio. On another evening the group traveled to nearby Pound, Virginia to enjoy “Pickin’ in the Pound”, a bluegrass jam session held at the town hall. Several members even joined in with dancing, singing, and guitar playing. On Friday volunteers enjoyed music and dancing at the Jettie Baker Center, a theatre in Clintwood that was built in the late 1940’s that now features various entertainment.
All in all, St. Joseph volunteers had a good time. They worked hard and played hard. Each year Appalachian Experience participants genuinely feel a sense of accomplishment helping the truly needy of this area be safe, warm, and dry. Not only did they work hard but they’ve acquired friendships and a camaraderie with those they worked for and with.

Members of St. Joseph Parish have been taking part in this program since 1998. High School teens and adults are welcome to join us in future trips as we follow Jesus’ example and use our gifts to reach out to others! Watch for details in future bulletins about how you can become involved in 2012. For more information about St. Joseph’s Appalachian Experience, including details and photos from past trips, please visit www.stjosephmantua.com/appalachian.htm or contact Kathi Trares at the Parish Office (330-274-2253 or ktrares@stjosephmantua.com).

Garrettsville – Nice job by the Marching Pride at their Premier performance last Friday.  It was a showcase for all of the music and routines they worked on during a super-heated week at BAND CAMP and a thank you to all of the contributors to the program–this year and every year.  Amazing results, considering that the weather for the entire week was “hot – hot – hot” and frequent breaks for water and cooling off were de riguer.
Rumor has it that the Scarlet Guard is hard at it now , with their own high standards as their guiding principle.

Windham – Windham’s Congregational United Church of Christ (UCC) celebrated 200 years serving the community this past Sunday.  The celebration included the traditional morning worship, a catered dinner and a dedication service in the afternoon.
The church was established in Becket, MA, on May 20, 1811 prior to the residents heading west to establish a new community here in Windham. The group worshiped before they left Becket and worshiped shortly after they arrived July 27, 1811 marking the first service held in the new land.
The celebration started with a traditional worship service. The church was full to capacity with community members, former church members and family that came home to celebrate and commemorate the event. Former area resident and school teacher Ron Mercer played the accompaniment for the Singing Grannies; they provided the special music for the morning worship service as the church celebrated 200 years. Members, guests and friends took time to look over the history of the church before heading outside to take a commemorative photo on the church steps.
The service was followed by a dinner at the Brick Chapel catered by Monica Welton of Monica’s Café. About 120 folks jammed in the Brick Chapel to feast on chicken, ham, potatoes, veggies and luscious cupcakes.  Pioneer Windham resident “Isaac Streator” portrayed by Robert Malone of Grove City, Ohio stopped by to tell how the church was started and grew over the years. He told of how difficult it was to get to church during the muddy season and that at one time two services were held to accommodate those on each side of the “mud divide” that they had in the rainy season.  He also shared how folks would rally together to build the church, add pews and other items the church needed and  told  a brief history of the church’s early days, a history lesson everyone enjoyed.
Folks visited over dinner; some from out of town took time to catch up and check out the village they hadn’t been back to in a while.
Following the dinner, folks returned to the church for a consecration service.  Several former pastors of the congregation took part in the consecration service as well as a local minister from another church in the area. Pastor Patrick Malone current pastor of the Congregational UCC church read a letter delivered by representatives from the original church in Becket, Massachusetts written by their current Pastor Kevin Schmeil. Schmeil congratulated the church on their milestone and wished them well. Rev. Malone presented the Becket representatives, Eila Bell and Dean Williams, with a photo plaque and an ornament to take back to their church commemorating the event. Following the service the church bells tolled to indicate the church was consecrated and the festivities had come to a close.

Windham – Two-and-a-half years ago the Bicentennial Committee was formed looking to put on the biggest party Windham has ever seen.  Residents and nonresidents alike jumped on board to help make it a commemorative event. They set a budget of $40,000 and started the fundraising efforts. They held Parties on the Green, bake sales, tours of Camp Ravenna, a circus and various other fundraisers before they met and exceeded their goal.
The count down to the party is at less than a week away and the committee, along with government officials, has the village and township looking awesome and ready for the party to get started! The curbs are painted, fantastic-looking flower baskets hung, and the area was given a once over for trash pick-up this past weekend. The town looks better than ever and is ready for the big event, so let’s get this party started!
Opening ceremonies will begin Thursday July 28, 2011 at 5p.m. and will feature Michelle McDowell singing the National Anthem and the opening of the time capsule. The kids will not want to miss The Kids’ Parade with Ronald McDonald, sponsored by Garrettsville McDonalds. These youngsters will be “honored” and treated like royalty. The Kids’ Parade will also have a Kids’ Parade Marshal, chosen during the school year based upon a contest of “What the Bicentennial means to me” They will have live music, a balloon release and a ceremonial cake.
Friday the activities will start up again with tours of the high school, Huber King’s National/ International Carvings will be on display as well as antiques. For the kids there will be Cowboy Andy, Jungle Terry and a kids’ carpentry clinic by Lowes. One can expect to find a music genre that will fit their personal tastes and style, including Blues, ragtime gospel, rock and even Elvis. Friday Night’s headlining band is “Thunderstruck” they are an AC/DC tribute band will begin performing at 9 pm.
Saturday brings the 90-unit- and-growing grand parade, along with a quilt show, car show, dance contest and a dance exhibition by 8th Count Dance Studio. The evening closes out with a Lynyrd Skynyrd headlining tribute band, along with a fireworks and light display.
Come worship with us on the Green on Sunday and close out the party with an ice cream eating contest and the reburial of a new time capsule.
All weekend long one will have the opportunity to check out these on-going events: magical train, old Windham pictures, slide show and videos, Jungle Island petting zoo, bounce house, chainsaw carving, 1811 Militia and artillery living history, Civil War soldiers and so much more. So grab your lawn chairs, kids, and friends and come out and celebrate Windham’s Birthday. This is a party you will not want to miss.

Ravenna – This weekend the southwest side of Ravenna will be a happening place as the Quarter Scale Auto Club (QSAC) racers from all over the country will converge on Freddie’s Hobbies to race their quarter scale vehicles on his track. (Quarter scale race cars are approximately 1?4 the size of a standard car hence the name quarter scale) Quarter scale radio controlled vehicles will race on an asphalt oval and compete for points to qualify for the national championships. This race in Ravenna is one of six qualifying races held throughout the country each year where racers compete for points.
The race will attract approximately 60 racers from around the country with folks coming from as far west as California and Arizona, and from as far south as Florida and Alabama, along with the states in between. The racers are expected to start arriving as early as Monday for the weekend event.  Qualifying races will begin Friday and the finals will be held on Saturday. The race follows all QSAC rules and regulations set for the 2011 racing year.

Quarter scale enthusiasts say they are just “boys with their toys” and after watching them one would have to agree. Their toys are a bit bigger than their childhood ones and somewhat more expensive but it is all about the playing. One told me that they just love to compete; they are a friendly bunch of folks who love the sport and who are more than willing to help the newcomer learn to love the sport as well. Don’t get me wrong, they are serious but not so much that they won’t help out a newbie.
Freddie’s Hobbies holds races every Saturday but not point races. This week’s races are a big national event that is considered a point race while their traditional weekend race is usually just friendly competition.  The weekly races usually start at 1pm.
What do these guys get for all that racing?  Big Bucks, right?  Well, not exactly. They get bragging rights and a trophy. These guys are in it for the love of the sport, not the prize money, especially since there isn’t any.

Freddie’s Hobbies is located at 100 Romito Street Unit A Ravenna, where owner Freddie Miavitz manufactures and sells quarter scale vehicles. He also sells radio-controlled planes, helicopters, and small rockets, along with puzzles and just recently obtained a permit to sell guns. He also has parts, fuel and many accessories.  Questions about the race schedule and times or about Freddie’s Hobbies can be directed to Freddie at (330) 296-4354 or visit him on line at www.freddieshobbies.com.

Garrettsville – A hit commercial in 1975 featured a catchy jingle about America’s favorite things: Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie & Chevrolet!  Nearly 40 years later, a Chevy dealership in Garrettsville has resurrected the feel-good spirit of that tune.In a generous move that goes beyond typical village-sized philanthropy, Bruce Abraham of Garrettsville’s Charles Auto Family provided 453 tickets to an Indians baseball game in Cleveland for players in the Garrettsville Hot Stove Baseball League, their coaches and their families. It began as a simple civic gesture in honor of his late father, Charlie, who passed away May 21. It grew to become Garrettsville’s night to shine in the city lights, thanks to a legacy of Abraham-style goodwill.

On June 18, the large and enthusiastic Garrettsville contingent paraded in uniform around the baseball diamond during the pre-game show at Progressive Field. Then Hot Stove League President Phil Britton met with Charles Auto salesman Bo Childress, Scott Barnard and Indians mascot Slider at home plate. There, with the scene projected in lights on the huge overhead banner, a $500 check was presented from Charles Auto Family to Garrettsville’s Hot Stove Baseball League.To make the big night out on the town even more memorable, the Indians beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-to-1. Then, after the game and fireworks show, Donnie Iris & The Cruisers and Michael Stanley & The Resonators put on a rock concert to close out the night.“It was really special,” said an enthused Bo Childress. “I’m going to be 62 years old, but I felt like a little kid out there on the field, taking it all in. It was unbelievably generous of Bruce to purchase all those tickets. But he just shrugged and said, ‘It’s what my dad would have wanted to do’.”According to Bruce, he got a call about a month ago with a request that he sponsor 8-10 baseball players to attend an Indians game and get their picture taken on the field. “But how in the world was I supposed to choose just a handful of kids from the entire league?” he recalled. “I couldn’t do that, so I opened up the opportunity to all the players and their families, as a tribute to my dad. I expected to take 50-100 people to the game; but I ended up taking almost 500!”Britton said, “Everyone was very excited about the opportunity to go and be able to be in the parade. They were all shocked when they heard that the tickets were free and they could take their whole family. A good time was had by all…”“As it turned out, it was a beautiful night for baseball…” Bruce said.  “Nothing could have turned out better except that I wasn’t able to attend myself. I was out West with my son, motorcycling.”

The Charles Auto Family has supported the baseball league for 50-some years, ever since Charlie Abraham established his auto dealership in Garrettsville back in 1957. Britton said that, in addition to presentation of the $500 check the night of the game, the dealership also donated 10 ball buckets and 10 equipment bags to the league. In addition, they offered a free baseball clinic that league players attended in May at the Cleveland Indians stadium. To Bruce Abraham, it’s just another way to give back to the community.“We’ve always stood for family values, and I can’t think of a better way to do so,” he said. “We do this because it’s the right thing to do.”

Garrettsville – Summerfest brought the tranquil town of Garrettsville to life last weekend as record crowds jammed the downtown area for a weekend of fun. The rain didn’t keep folks from coming out to celebrate summer with style. Folks armed with umbrellas came out ready to celebrate the start of summer on Friday. Mayor Craig Moser declared the weekend festivities open for fun and the crowd was ready to party.

Rides, food, games and great music were on tap for the evenings. The youngsters were anxious to check out the rides while the adults were just ready to chill out after the work week. Mr. Speed, a KISS tribute band, brought the crowd to life as they rocked out the night. Those with a more mellow taste in music chilled out with classic rock by the Boys are Back. Rain drops cancelled the adult canoe races but shortly after the races were put on hold, the town was rewarded with a rainbow. Was this sign that the rain was over? Capping off the evening was the Parade of Canoes with lighted, decorated canoes cruising down the creek. The view from the boardwalk was awesome!

Early Saturday, folks were arriving with pies in hand, vying to be named best pie baker in the region. The tractors began rumbling through town around lunchtime drawing record-breaking crowds to the festivities. Youngsters and seasoned folks flocked to the sidewalks to see the wonderful machines. Approximately 200 tractors wowed the crowd as they rolled through town.

Wedding bells chimed at SummerFest as Jennifer Brown became Mrs. Harry L. Cales Jr. in a ceremony co-officiated by Rev. Dreama Adkins and Mayor Craig Mosier. Prior to the wedding event attendees were also privileged to watch Noreen and Bill Siegner say “I Do” a second time around as they renewed their wedding vows a few days shy of their 30th wedding anniversary. Congratulations to both couples!

Throughout the day, crowds continued to build and stayed long into the evening as they rocked the night away with Thunderstruck and Bringing Benatar. The evening closed with a dynamite pyrotechnic display, that left everyone ooing and ahhing.

Hundreds sacrificed sleep Sunday to run/walk in the first annual SummerFest 5krun/walk for the glioma, kids cancer in memory of Melana Matson. The race was on and awards given just in time for the grand parade line-up. The grand parade hit the streets with parade marshals Hallie and Irv Higgins leading the way. Canoes took to the water with a few folks who struggled to keep their boats upright, leaving a few soggy paddlers scrambling to find dry clothes.

Cloggers, took to the stage as they danced the afternoon away, inside and outside. The dancers competed in a dance contest after they performed on the streets. Ronald McDonald, Aaron Bonk and Jungle Terry kept the kids entertained with their acts while the adults were busy staking their claim for the Garrettsville Idol Contest and to hear if they won the raffle for The Chevrolet Cruze or $20,000.

The festivities came to a close, with Eric Juskiw becoming this year’s Garrettsville Idol and Jan Andrella declared the winner of a 2011 Chevy Cruze or $20,000 in cash.

This year’s SummerFest was sponsored by Charles Chevrolet-Buick, Garrettsville Chamber of Commerce, Carlson Funeral Homes and Cremation Services and the Weekly Villager. The festival is traditionally held the last weekend in June at the corners of S.R.82 and S.R. 88 in downtown Garrettsville.

Photos from the event can be found at www.garrettsvillesummerfest.com

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Beach safety is a must for vacation travelers.

Summertime and the livin is easy;

Fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high …

George Gershwin wrote these lyrics for the 1935 opera “Porgy and Bess.”They seem fitting to many people, as summertime is seen as a time to kick back, relax and enjoy a slower pace.

While summertime is a season to live easy, there are some inherent dangers to summer that can halt plans of fun in the sun. From skin cancer to insect bites, summertime can be dangerous for those who don’t play it safe.

With a greater number of people out and about enjoying the warm weather, the risk for accidents and injuries increases. The National Safe Kids Campaign says statistics indicate children will be rushed to emergency rooms around the country nearly three million times this summer. Higher rates of drowning, motor vehicle accidents and bicycle injuries occur this time of year.

There are a number of potential summertime hazards men, women and children can safeguard themselves against.

Sun-Related Injuries

While skin cancer and sunburn are the most obvious dangers from the sun, there are other hazards as well. Failure to protect the eyes from UV sun exposure can result in photokeratitis, irreversible sunburn of the cornea. While it may cause temporary vision loss, recurrent incidences of photokeratitis can lead to permanent vision loss as well.

Individuals who are exposed to sunlight between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. without UV protection may become sunburned, increasing their risk for skin cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, this year more than one million Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer and about 9,500 people will die from it.

Dehydration and heat stroke are other potential hazards. Drinking plenty of water and other hydrating fluids (not diuretics like alcohol) can keep the body cool and refreshed. Headaches, acting angrily, dizziness, and excessive sweating or cessation of sweating may be signs of a serious sun-related health condition.

Water Hazards

The Maryland CARES Program, which educates health care professionals and the public about pediatric care and safety, offers that drowning incidents increase 100 percent over the summer months. It takes only inches of water to drown a person, especially a young child. Every year the news broadcasts stories of children who fell into backyard pools or adults swept out to sea by choppy waves.

People should never take bodies of water for granted. Swimming only where there is a certified lifeguard can make water recreation safer. Individuals should follow the guidelines posted regarding swimming and avoid oceans when storms are brewing because of rip tides and undertows.

Children should always be carefully monitored around water. Self-latching gates around pools can help deter entry as well as safety covers or retractable pool ladders. Remember, pool floats and water wings (swimmies) should not be used as a substitute for a life vest.

Wildlife Dangers

Just as many people come out of hibernation when the weather warms, so do animals and insect life.

Tick bites are common when the weather is warm. Experts say that the months of May, June and July are peak times for exposure to ticks, which may carry Lyme Disease or another dangerous parasite. Ticks are small and can be difficult to spot. People can do a tick check after coming in from outside, paying careful attention to the areas to which ticks tend to migrate:In ears, in and around the hair, under the arms, behind the knees, around the waist, and between the legs.

Mosquitoes, biting flies, bees, wasps, and other insects are in full force. Using an insect repellent can help keep them at bay and avoid bites.

In addition to insects, animals like bats, squirrels, raccoons and bears are more active in the warm weather. During the time of dawn and dusk deer may be on the prowl for food before the heat of day. People can pay attention to wildlife when driving, hiking or bicycling to avoid altercations.

Most individuals can enjoy the summer if they make safety a priority when planning recreational activities.

 

Mantua – Crestwood Intermediate School dressed in red, white and blue and took up flags to celebrate heroes today.  The inspiration for this celebration was their One School, One Book program.  The entire school — the lunch room staff, students, teachers, principal and counselor — is  reading the book On the Wings of Heroes by Richard Peck.  Set in World War II, it has provided these young students (grades 3 to 5) an opportunity to walk through history.  Replicating a jalopy parade from the book, veterans rode around the bus loop in old cars and an army jeep.  Students waved flags and chanted, “Go USA!”   An entire museum has been created to help students see and understand items they read about in the book. The staff has worked together to create and share different activities to enhance the educational experience.  Other activities have included visiting heroes from our community. Mayors, firefighters, mail carriers, and two deputy sheriffs were all represented.  Veterans and family heroes have also been invited to lunch with the students.  Using the book as a starting point, students have used their reading to create stories, write poems, journal entries and develop letter writing skills.  Students extended their outreach by raising money for the memorial to celebrate the heroes of Flight 93. There is a vibrant excitement humming through the school that is reflected in the interaction of community members, students and their families, school staff and our nation’s veterans.  In the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, “Do not even attempt a job if you do not plan to do the best you know how.”  Crestwood Intermediate School’s One Book, One School reflects these words.

Well, it was another full week for “movers and shakers” all over town. To wit :

Graduation parties…Hiram College, U. of Akron, KSU. All of the big schools turned ‘em out to look for jobs. Jean Marvin snuck in a birthday bash with her graduation party (Master’s in Nursing)
The James A. Garfield Historical Society met on Monday–as they do every third Monday in the Mott Building at the corner of Main and High streets–to (1) deal with old business (an inquiry about participation in the Memorial Day activities, a reading program sponsored by the University of Akron, correspondence from the Ohio Local History Alliance, a letter from the ODNR concerning abandoned mines in the area, a letter from Robert Sawyer in regards to information about Hart Crane), (2) plan for an excursion to the Hudson Historical Society arranged by member Gwen Mayer, the archivist with the Hudson Library, (3)advance arrangements for the Vintage Photo Fun opportunity to be offered during SummerFest, (4) discuss issues–literally–with the Ohio Historical Society microfilm of defunct Garrettsville newspapers, (5) get more details on the up-coming Appraisal Fair, wherein local experts will be offering opinions on items presented by owners interested in gaining more information on family pieces and attic refugees; more to come,(6) cleaning and repairs to the building. (7) miscellaneous–demolition of the building at Paul’s, sign-out for borrowed items, awning for the Bonnet Shop, the Windham bicentennial, placement of the Maple Industry commemorative plaque.
The Rotarians met, as usual on Wednesday
The Red Cross Bloodmobile came to St. Ambrose on Thursday. We do pretty well here, providing a vital service with very little fanfare and excellent co-operation among the sponsoring churches in the area. Everybody takes a turn at signing in donors and bringing in cookies, beverages…even soup, sometimes, when it’s cold, and the Family of St. Ambrose offers its accessible facility for this life-saving work. Community, with a capital CARE..
Friday and Saturday saw the presentation of the dramatic production “The Test” at Garfield H.S., a thought-provoking and often hilarious exposition of the many tests that are a part of life. The answers were not always given and they were not all “true/false”. Excellent production.
Sunday saw the Second Annual Machine-O-Mania / Touch-A-Truck at Garfield High School and the District-wide Spring Band Concert at the same location…full parking lots.
The early weather scared off some but by eleven o’clock, things were looking good and the more intrepid were able to climb all over the big–we’re talkin’ BIG–trucks and other pieces of equipment that had been brought to be on display. Apologies to Praise Assembly of God across from the school. Hope that the sirens and buzzers and other assorted noises didn’t interrupt any prayers or over-ride any music; sermons are seldom affected by such irrelevancies.
Special thanks to all of the businesses and groups who brought their apparatus (or is it apparati?) to be on display and in play for the whole four hours. And to all of the attenders (Tom and Jean Russell come in their truck just to support the cause–Academic Challenge–and to show the flag for antique autos). The Portage County Mobile Command & Communications Center was there with radar weather, DVDs of Emergency Management situations handled, all kinds of cool stuff. The James A. Garfield Transportation Department made a bus available for walk-through. Interstate Towing brought three units–bright, shiny, tough-looking (Could have put my car in their back pocket). Tri County Building Supply sent a cement truck cleaner than usual on the job. The Community EMS, fresh from their parade and open house on the previous Saturday, sent two units and explainers to go with them. Scotchman Electric, with soon-to-be-graduate Sam in charge (The rest were probably working the Boy Scout doughnuts ‘n’ delicacies tent at the Yard Sale) of the high-rise bucket truck, was a fine contribution.. Kepich Ford was represented by a big, boss pickup truck that likely could have hauled my house down the road on a roller skate; it had that kind of muscle. DSI Bulk Transport/ Bonner Farms presented a tanker truck that hadn’t even been used yet–shiny! Our local truck hero, Deral White and his CSX Transport truck –bunk beds, coffeemaker, TV, micro…all the comforts of home…maybe more–were there. The truck competition medal was dangling from the mirror but he didn’t flash his gi-normous ring around, modest fellow that he is. GFN Volunteer Fire Department had two engines on deck and two firefighters as accompaniment. The ladders went up, the compartments opened, the sirens howled–great stuff! The Time Bandit Racing dragster was a big draw for little kids and motor-heads alike. The crew (Thanks, Phyllis) offered pictures in the cockpit–how cool it that? The engine man (Thanks, Jim)blew out the decibels when they fired up the engine and fed it automotive Red Bull–POW! BAM! ROAR! (Sorry, Praise Assembly) The driver (Thanks, Jeff) climbed in and out, gave explanations, greeted grandchildren, was a great proponent of the fun anybody can have when they find an activity and a crew that they can truly get involved with. The whole thing sort of reminds me of a Dr. Seuss book, Oh the Things You’ll Do, the Places You’ll Go! Indeed!
Watch for this next year…bigger and better!
Then it was on to the Band Concert. This was a biggie! Lots o’ bands–5th grade, 6th grade, 7th grade, 8th grade, High School–plus a recorder ensemble from the Elementary School. Lots o’ people on both sides of the gymnasium, fanning themselves vigorously to move some–warm–air. Lots o’ good music to go around.
There was a patriotic cast to the affair, highlighted by the appearance of a flag unit from the U.S. Air Force Reserve based in Youngstown presenting the colors at the center of the assembly. Moving.
Moving as well was the Sousa favorite, “The Stars and Stripes Forever”…. Go, piccolos!…and the penultimate number, a rendition of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”, combining the high school band, the high school chorus and a community chorus. A wall of sound! Let’s hear it for all of the participants, the listeners…and the organizers of the event, Mr. Fox, Mr. Cebulla, Mr. Gaither. The finale, of course, was the Garfield “Fight Song”
Research has shown that education in the arts boosts academic achievement. Excellent!

Pictured are two young racers who enjoyed the opportunity to climb into the cockpit of The Time Bandit.

Mantua – Crestwood High School’s applied math class did more than just apply their learned math skills.  Along with the trigonometry class from James A. Garfield, these juniors and seniors competed in a series of competitions with their homemade trebuchets, miniature medieval-style catapults, in Crestwood High School’s gymnasium May 4. From designing with blueprints to construction of these catapults, the students improved their skills in problem-solving, creativity and team work.  “The kids loved it,” said Mrs. Moon, Crestwood’s Applied Math Teacher.  “Principal Sommers went out and purchased the wood, hammer and nails.  He even took the wood home and helped cut it to the students’ designated measurements.”The Crestwood students studied trigonometry in their applied math class to prepare them for the event.  They applied what they learned in order to make an adjustment on the string to get the best angle for launching marbles from their trebuchets. Design stipulations were also put into place and could not be violated.  One stipulation was that the counterweight, which held down the marble launching arm, could not be over three pounds.  Another stipulation was that the arm couldn’t be over 30 centimeters long.In teams that consisted of two to four students, a total of 33 juniors and seniors competed in four contests. The Distance competition awarded the trebuchet that launched the marble the furthest.  The winners of the Precision competition had the smallest perimeter out of three launches.  In order to win the Accuracy competition, the launched marbles had to hit a certain mark placed on the floor and the fourth competition was to shoot the marbles through the basketball hoop in the gymnasium.Crestwood’s applied math class and James A. Garfield’s trigonometry class came close to a tie in the number of competitions that were won.  The winners of the Distance competition were from James A. Garfield. “El Tigre the Intimidator” was created by Will Yon, Stevie Boone, Emily Hughes, and Lauren Greathouse.  Crestwood seniors, Samantha Zuponcic and Kelsey Bascombe, were the winners of the Precision competition.  The Shoot the Hoop competition was won by Josh Fehrenbach and Wes Skupski, also of Crestwood.  There was a tie in the Accuracy competition with James A. Garfield students, Brent Marshall, Kelli Mulhern, Quinn Coleman and Paige Collins; sharing honors  with Tyler Harris, Samantha Baldwin, and Emma Cozzens of Crestwood.James A. Garfield’s trigonometry teacher, Mr. Englehart, and Mrs. Moon  had taught together at Garfield High School and both had attended Crestwood High School. “It was a well-rounded project and such a great success that we are going to make in an annual event,” said Mrs. Moon.

Windham – The children of Windham’s KT Elementary preschool were treated to a visit from Yo-Yo the Clown.  Steve Blasko from Youngstown has performed for over 40 years.  He demonstrated for the children how he transforms himself into a clown. Teacher’s Aide Ms. McLean and a student, Briah Daniel, joined in the fun by applying clown makeup.  The preschoolers smiled and watched in amazement as Yo-Yo made each of the them an animal-shaped balloon. Registration is now open for next school year.  If interested, please come to KT Elementary.  Any questions, call the school at 330.326.9800.

“Mid pleasures and palaces,
Wherever we roam,
Be it ever so humble,
There’s no place like home.”

Does this apply when it’s the home itself that is roaming?

What a way to spend a day!  The Schultz family homestead–now owned by Don Wolff–was scheduled to hit the road at about 9:15 on the morning of April 21 but the rubber actually hit the road about an hour later than that–speculate all you want on the particulars of why things got backed up, just about any thing you could come up with , short of alien invasion, would probably be at least partly right.  Wires were raised, mud pitfalls covered, trees trimmed, official measurements were taken, traffic was directed; the wind blew steadily; the sun shone intermittently (no rain!); it was, at least early in the day, cold as a banker’s heart(Sorry, Gretchen).

Finally, about 11:00, both parts of the structure–house and addition–made it to the tarmac and the procession began.  Past the Just For Kids Child Care and Learning Center(Where the tykes got  ringside seats)…past the James A. Garfield High School(Do you think that there were many eyeballs trained–with or without permission–out those windows?)…CTS Telecommunications, two crews from Ohio Edison, SuddenLink.com, Eckman Tree Service were all in evidence…there were plenty of flashers and fluorescent vests and hats….  The star turn, of course, was by the Wolfe Moving Company (For all your structural moving needs) which furnished the expertise …and the big wheels…to make it all happen.  Seventy thousand pounds–give or take–begins the migration.

Around 12:55 there was a glitch around Anderson Rd., apparently a wire problem, which brought traffic–there was quite a bit of it– to a standstill on Rte. 88.  Truckers dismounted from their cabs to try and figure out what the hold up was (The hills there interrupt the line-of-sight).  They seemed skeptical when told that it was a house in the road that was the hold up.  The language during this interlude was not suitable for a family publication and lots of vehicles turned around in lots of driveways to attempt a getaway.  At about 1:15 the problem was resolved ; the whole troop moved across the private right-of-way (Northeast Ohio Oil Field Services) to Nichols Rd. and hung a right to turn north for the final two legs of the journey.

The tight left turn from Nichols onto Hankee Rd. came up at about 2:30–it was amazing how fast things went, really–and required more trimming , as well as having the individually-controlled power wheels underneath the heavy-duty house carriage turn on their own to swing the tail end of the whole apparatus into the roadway, not the ditch. This could make parallel parking a snap!

The ministrations of Zuver Construction were making the end-location site presentable when the whole entourage arrived at about 3:00…after changing the traffic pattern in Freedom/Hiram Townships for much of the afternoon.  Local gawkers–present company included–were out in force.  Every dog on Hankee Rd was on alert; a truck full of pineapple went by…your usual afternoon in the country.  Everything pulled into the driveway, off the road, and the maneuvering to get the house over the hole dug there for the foundation began.  It went on for quite a while.   Watching guys go under the structure to turn cranks and on the porch roof to raise wires is kind of scary…reminiscentof the scene in “The Wizard of Oz where the house lands on the Wicked Witch of the West.

The house is perched on steel beams waiting for its foundation to be built under it; the addition waits to be re-added.  Everything waits for the rain to stop so that building the foundation will not involve flippers and wetsuits.  It’s in a nice spot, lots of landscaping rocks available, wildflowers abound, plenty of shade.  Upwards of $80,000 rests in place, ready to become a home

It’s not too often we see an old house get a new home. But that’s exactly what happened on April 21 with a rental house in Garrettsville on South Street (SR 88). The 1920s-era house — next to Just for Kids preschool — was scheduled to be torn down in order to make way for the new Garrettsville Family Medicine office to be built on that site. Instead, it got a new lease on life from Don Wolff, in a new location… a wooded lot along Hankee Road in Freedom Township, across from Wolff’s Blueberry Patch. As these photos demonstrate, it’s complicated to maneuver an old house (in sections) onto a new foundation on a cool, muddy day… but it certainly is memorable! – Photo series by Estelle R. Brown

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The Weekly Villager staff is working hard to wrap up the transition to our new office space. Individual articles from this week’s paper will not be posted online, instead we encourage our online readership to take advantage of our digital archive.

We intend to return to our standard posting schedule next week.

This week’s paper can be viewed as a PDF by clicking here.

Pictured standing in front of one of Portage Counties Emergency Response vehicles are Shane & Gage Michael, Mattie Marsilio, Gaige McIntyre and Alex Banks

Ravenna – On April 12, the Portage County Commissioners hosted an Open House followed by an evening meeting.  The event was held to commemorate National County Government Month.  Several county offices and departments participated.  The Woodlands at Robinson (county nursing home) offered free blood pressure  checks.  The Dog Warden brought  dogs to be adpoted at a discounted fee.  Portage County Emergency Management brought state of the art equipment to show the public how the county responsds to various emergencies.  Other departments participated by providing information about their services, including Job and Family Services which assists families and children with various needs.  Information was also available from Auditor, Janet Esposito.  County Recorder, Bonnie Howe said, “ this is a great opportunity to meet the people that we serve.  It is important to bring the government to the people.”

This event is the first of its kind.  The goal was to highlight county  services and make elected officials available during the evening for those who may not be available during the day.  The Board of Commissioners typically meets twice per week from 9:30 am until 3:00.  The 6:30 pm meeting drew a much bigger crowd than usual.  Residents from throughout the county attended.

 

Burton – UN declarations and Presidential proclamations have made April 2 World Autism Awareness Day. According to President Obama’s proclamation, autism spectrum disorders or ASDs currently affect nearly one percent of children in the US; the statistics vary, but some numbers say that 1 in 110 children are affected. This effect can be felt rippling through families, schools and societies worldwide. This day is an opportunity to create awareness about these disorders, to continue research into the understanding of them and to look for a cause, in hopes of preventing them in the future.
One such awareness event took place at Century Village in Burton on Saturday, April 2. This grassroots event started with a little boy, Jason, who has autism and his family, which supports and adores him. Balloons are one of Jason’s favorite things, and he thought it would be fun to have a balloon launch to raise awareness of autism. Jason’s parents, Rachael and Tom, thought it was a great idea and started planning the event at the school Jason attends, as well as on Facebook.
Armed with a location which was donated by the Geauga County Historical Society’s Century Village, ribbons donated by another family affected by autism, ballons from a local autism chapter — blown up for free by Northeastern Party Outlet located in Harrington Square in Middlefield– and a lot of heart, this event took shape.
The weather was perfect for a balloon launch, the sun was out and the wind was brisk. It may have been a bit chilly for some tastes, but what can you expect in Northeast Ohio in April? The cold temperatures did not seem to deter anyone from coming out though. I counted over 110 people and many four-legged friends in attendance. Smiles and hugs were as prevalent as the blue and white balloons. Each child in Jason’s class had a balloon dedicated to them as did other children who wanted to participate.
The children were playing with balls and the grown-ups were talking and laughing. I stood there as an outsider to this world. Looking in, all I could see was love and support for each other… a world where the children mattered and we were all there for them. No monies were raised, no huge strides came from this event, just the knowledge that these children are not being forgotten and that the families have each other to lean on. I thought, if only more of the world was like this, think of what strides we could make.
As the time drew nearer to do the release, the children were given their balloons, a few got set off early, but it was no matter. Precision was not the desired outcome of this event. Jason’s dad started the countdown and then all the remaining balloons were released. The wind took most of them on their way to Middlefield and points east, some got tangled up in the trees and a few even popped before being set free. It was an exciting event that was over in no time, but the moments shared there and the sounds of the laughter will have a lasting effect.
The concept that a little boy can come up with an idea and that so many people can come together to make that come to fruition is a testament to the human spirit.
Thank you to Jason for coming up with the idea, and thank you to everyone who participated in this event. If you happen to see a blue or white balloon in a tree, be sure to pick it up and read the card. Awareness is knowledge and knowledge truly is power.

Windham - The weather was pure northeast Ohio in springtime–damp, cold, windy, gray–but the mood was upbeat as a dozen-plus Ohio Army National Guard personnel and a near-equal number of interested civilians gathered at Camp Ravenna (known to most of the locals as “The Arsenal”) for a ceremonial ground-breaking and dedication of the first phase of the Tactical Training Base sanitary sewer, water and gas infrastructure project.
The Village of Windham, whose hometown infrastructure is key to the operation of the project, was represented by Mayor Robert Donham and council president Linda Rininger, as well as councilpersons Rachel Barrett and Mike Iwanyckyj. Lynnea St. John, of the Windham Historical Society, was present to record the latest stitch in the colorful tapestry of the community’s story. Maureen T. Frederick, president of the Portage County Board of Commissioners and Timothy Ryan of Ohio’s 17th Congressional District headed the slate of civilian dignitaries present. Military brass in attendance included LTC Gregory W. Rogers of the ONG Military Construction Branch, COL. John C. Harris, Jr., Assistant Adjutant General for the Army ONG and COL Wm. H. Graham , District Engineer of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District. Representatives of WKBN 27 and WFMJ 21 of Youngstown captured it all for the 6:00 news.
The project, funded by the Ohio Army National Guard, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Portage County, will put $3,152,511 into the area economy. It will start at the intersection of S. Main St. and Center St.(St. Rte 303) in the Village of Windham, extending through the North Gate of Camp Ravenna south along the former Paris-Windham Rd. It will include the design and construction of water mains, sanitary sewers and gas mains to serve training facilities at Camp Ravenna. There are big plans afoot for the camp, including a “shoot house”, a bath house (presumably not too close to each other), a dining hall and other possibilities falling under the rubric of “neighborhood development”
Representative Ryan pointed out the benefits of using current assets to further economic developments and Commissioner Frederick alluded to the continuing prominence of “the Arsenal” for Portage County residents. The importance of Portage County water resources also figured in the remarks. Camp Ravenna covers over 21,000 A….pretty big. Bigger things are coming.

Garrettsville put on its best green last week as folks were determined to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with style during the Second Annual St. Patrick’s Day Celebration sponsored by the Garrettsville Area Chamber of Commerce. The event brought everyone out of winter’s hibernation to celebrate the holiday that has everyone claiming be Irish, even if it is only for a day.  Pictured above with Leo and Michael are the winners of this year’s Leprechaun Contest.
Many started the day early with Kegs and Eggs, green eggs and spam or corned beef hash at local eateries. Several leprechauns were spotted early in the day including  Garrettsville’s own Leppy and his “sons” Leo and Michael, who unleashed their antics on the village throughout the day.  They were even joined by two other “guys in green” claiming to be long-lost relatives as they traveled from establishment to establishment making merriment along the way.
The town was really bustling by late afternoon — green beer was flowing, reuben’s, corned beef and cabbage, and potato soup were a-plenty.  Local eateries were packed as Garrettsville celebrated the night away with entertainment galore — bagpipers, an Irish folk band, cloggers, face painters, a magician / balloon artist and  even Mickey Mouse!!
While the town partied late into the night the leprechaun’s vanished, which left folks wondering if they really saw the little green guys or did they just overindulge in too much green beer.
No pot-o-gold was found.

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Portage County - On March 12, the Portage County Chapter of the American Red Cross honored some real heroes for life saving acts of courage.  More than 200 people gathered at the Bertram Inn in Aurora for this event.  Both civilian and professional emergency responders from throughout the county were recognized for turning heartbreak into hope during 2010.  Lisa Perez, Chair of the committee, reminded that tragedy does not discriminate, emphasizing the importance of first aid, CPR, and trying to help a person in need.  Ms. Perez credits her real life heroes, honored last year, for being alive today after her own medical emergency.  The day’s biggest salute was to Portage County Correction Officer Derek McCoy for his assistance of an inmate in the county jail.  Officer McCoy’s actions, based upon his Red Cross training, helped save a life.  He received the American Red Cross Certificate of Merit.  This is the highest honor given by the organization and is signed by the President of the United States.

Please join the Villager in saluting Officer McCoy and the other heroes honored this year:  Sergeant Les Brode, Mark Kinzer, Officer Aaron Coates, Dispatcher Josee Acklin, Officer Richard Polivka, Officer Jason Hall, Samantha Kollman, Sergeant Pat Domos,Kathy Hampton, Keith Richmond, Yvonne Watters, Scott Danna, Kenny Weaver, Ken “Scotty” Scott, Jane and Bill Wallbrown, Larry Nething, Ron Wood, and Tim Ray.

Columbus - Area wrestlers did a fantastic job in representing northeast Ohio and their respective high schools in Columbus last week.
Leading the way were the Crestwood Red Devils who qualified a school record seven wrestlers.  After finishing second in the Akron Firestone district the week before, head coach Dave Wrobel was confident that his team could make a run at a top 5 finish in Columbus.  Five of his seven qualifiers had previous state tournament experience and that experience paid off in the first round as the Red Devils won 5 out of 7 matches Thursday afternoon.  On Friday the Red Devils found themselves competing against many of the pre-tournament favorites in their respective weight classes and success was harder to come by.  When wrestling concluded for the day the only Red Devil to be unscathed was senior Cody Ryba who kept alive his hope of being Crestwood’s first state wrestling champion since 1994 (Brian Singleton).  Coach Wrobel, like most wrestling coaches had mixed feelings as he assessed the results from Friday’s action.  He felt his team “competed well” … was “ecstatic for Cody Ryba’s results” …  and “dealt with the pain of not seeing all his wrestlers make it to the placement round”.  On Saturday evening, Cody Ryba put the finishing touches on a brilliant season for Crestwood when he won the 171 lb. championship with a 5-4 decision over Jake Cramer of Oak Harbor.  The victory moved Crestwood up to 6th place in the final team standings.
The Garfield G-Men qualified three wrestlers for the state wrestling tournament which was also a school record for them.  Coach Alan Harbert was “pleased with how well we competed” … “thrilled that all 3 kids were wrestling in the placement round” … and “very excited that two of his wrestlers were underclassmen and would be returning to his practice room next season”.  Kevin Stock was the highest finisher (4th) for the G-Men but lost his chance to wrestle for an individual championship when he was defeated in his semi-final match, 8-7.  The final score was  ultimately decided by a penalty point earlier in the match.
Cardinal’s Casey Johns lost his opening match and then rallied to win his next four matches to make the consolation bout. Johns found himself in familiar territory matched against his freshman nemesis from Beachwood, Sammy Gross, whom he defeated in the districts by a pin in the second period. Sammy, however, got his revenge by besting Casey 4-1 in Columbus.

Cardinal’s other state placer, Ziegler, won his first round match before falling to the eventual second place finisher. In the consolation bracket Chad won two more matches before falling to a third place finisher and winning his fifth place match 7-3.
The Southeast Pirates were looking to get back on track after a one-year absence from the state wrestling tournament.  The Pirates had two wrestlers qualify this year, with one of them trying to finish a Cinderella season.  Junior Tylor Brokaw placed 5th in the sectional wrestling tournament two weeks ago and thought his season was over, only to gain entrance into the district tournament last week as an alternate.  Tylor took full advantage of his second opportunity by placing 4th at districts and punching his ticket to the state tournament.  His story book season ended in Columbus when he lost his first two matches.  Teammate Ravonne Lawrence did however take 6th place at 171 lbs to give second year Coach Bob Noall his first state placer.  Coach Noall was extremely happy for Ravonne,  “he did all the right things to put himself in position this year and hopefully it will lead to bigger things for our program”.

Complete results can be found at the OHSAA website:  http://www.ohsaa.org

Garrettsville – On March 11, 2011, Charles Klamer will celebrate a benchmark which makes him the longest-serving school district superintendent in Portage County. On that date in 1991, Klamer became superintendent of the James A. Garfield School District.

Over the next 20 years, he was to pull the flailing school district from the brink of bankruptcy, oversee a successful tax levy that allowed for the construction of a new middle school and a renovated high school, and guide the student body’s scholastic improvement so the district would reach the state’s highest rating for performance in standardized tests, attendance and graduation rates: Excellent with Distinction… all this despite the fact that JAG schools spends less per pupil annually than all but two other school districts in the county. (In 2005, Klamer retired, then was immediately rehired by the board at a lower salary, saving the district about $90,000 over two years.)

With all of this in mind, and Klamer’s current contract set to expire July 31, the JAG Board of Education has extended the superintendent’s contract for another four years. Klamer’s salary under his new contract will remain at $60,000 annually.

Why didn’t the superintendent simply let his current contract run out, so he could retire, satisfied, with the district at the top of its game? “The people keep me here,” Klamer says with a broad smile. “This is my home; this is my community.”

That was not always the case. Before coming to the Garrettsville area, Klamer was superintendent of the Bloomfield-Mespo School District in Trumbull County for nearly 10 years, following two years there as a middle school and high school principal. “But I had my eye on the James A. Garfield School District all the while,” Klamer sys. “I felt that this district had a lot more potential than it showed from the road, whenever I drove by on State Route 88.”

When Klamer became JAG superintendent in 1991, he arrived on a chaotic scene where a “lack of trust, a lack of transparency, and a lack of acceptance of one another had been the rule. The district was basically bankrupt, having accumulated a lot of debt,” Klamer recalls. The levy had failed eight times already, and was about to go on the ballot for a ninth time.”

“But I’m a rather positive person,” Klamer says. “And I came here with a vision. This was one of the only local school districts remaining with a centralized business community that catered to kids — a roller rink, a bowling alley, Dairy Queen and other family-friendly restaurants, parks, a safe atmosphere, strong churches and civic involvement, and caring parents. I believed in this district from the start.”

Klamer deflects any credit given to him on behalf of the district’s achievements. “”It’s not what I’ve accomplished but what the kids, the community, parents and staff have accomplished since I’ve been here. These people work hard and are committed to excellence.”

Looking toward the next four years, Klamer’s main challenge is to sustain Excellence with Distinction. “It’s one thing to get on top academically. It’s quite another to maintain it!”

Mantua – About 400 parents, teachers, current and incoming high school students attended Crestwood High School’s first ever 8th Grade Information night, Feb. 15 at Crestwood High School. Forty-five different high school groups participated in the event, ranging from academics to extra-curricular and co-curricular subjects. Many of the tables that the high school students created for the student showcase involved interactive activities and games. Some offered prizes and giveaways.


bout 400 parents, teachers, current and incoming high school students attended Crestwood High School’s first ever 8th Grade Information night, Feb. 15 at Crestwood High School. Forty-five different high school groups participated in the event, ranging from academics to extra-curricular and co-curricular subjects. Many of the tables that the high school students created for the student showcase involved interactive activities and games. Some offered prizes and giveaways.

About 400 parents, teachers, current and incoming high school students attended Crestwood High School’s first ever 8th Grade Information night, Feb. 15 at Crestwood High School. Forty-five different high school groups participated in the event, ranging from academics to extra-curricular and co-curricular subjects. Many of the tables that the high school students created for the student showcase involved interactive activities and games. Some offered prizes and giveaways.

Crestwood Middle School students and their parents were invited to the event which was organized in order to help ease the critical transition between middle school and high school.

“Statistics show that if a student is not successful during his or her 9th grade year, they are much more likely to continue to be unsuccessful during their remaining years of high school and are at an increased risk of not graduating,” said Crestwood High School guidance counselor and event organizer Tracy Kuntz. “We feel that providing guidance and support to students and their parents when they are making the transition from middle school to high school is critical in helping our students to have a successful start to their high school career and future.”
In addition to the student showcase that took place in the high school gym, there were two additional presentations: The first featured high school counselors outlining graduation requirements and scheduling classes for high school. In the second presentation Kent State University Geauga branch representative Tom Hoiles discussed what 8th and 9th graders should be doing now to plan for college after high school.\
“This was the first time that we held this event at Crestwood High School,” said Kuntz. “The participation and dedication that was shown by our high students and staff was remarkable. Everyone came together to make the evening great. This was truly a team effort and a huge success for our students, our building, and our community.”

Mantua – About 400 parents, teachers, current and incoming high school students attended Crestwood High School’s first ever 8th Grade Information night, Feb. 15 at Crestwood High School. Forty-five different high school groups participated in the event, ranging from academics to extra-curricular and co-curricular subjects. Many of the tables that the high school students created for the student showcase involved interactive activities and games. Some offered prizes and giveaways.Crestwood Middle School students and their parents were invited to the event which was organized in order to help ease the critical transition between middle school and high school.“Statistics show that if a student is not successful during his or her 9th grade year, they are much more likely to continue to be unsuccessful during their remaining years of high school and are at an increased risk of not graduating,” said Crestwood High School guidance counselor and event organizer Tracy Kuntz. “We feel that providing guidance and support to students and their parents when they are making the transition from middle school to high school is critical in helping our students to have a successful start to their high school career and future.”In addition to the student showcase that took place in the high school gym, there were two additional presentations: The first featured high school counselors outlining graduation requirements and scheduling classes for high school. In the second presentation Kent State University Geauga branch representative Tom Hoiles discussed what 8th and 9th graders should be doing now to plan for college after high school.\“This was the first time that we held this event at Crestwood High School,” said Kuntz. “The participation and dedication that was shown by our high students and staff was remarkable. Everyone came together to make the evening great. This was truly a team effort and a huge success for our students, our building, and our community.”

(front row) Brooke Heavner, Brett Hammonds, Mrs. Bell, Rachel Gruszewsk, (back row) Josh Whan, Kendall Morrison, Mike Jajcinovic and Danielle Hickman(photo courtesy of Josh Simmons/Bird’s Eye Photography)

(front row) Brooke Heavner, Brett Hammonds, Mrs. Bell, Rachel Gruszewsk, (back row) Josh Whan, Kendall Morrison, Mike Jajcinovic and Danielle Hickman (Photo courtesy of Josh Simmons/Bird’s Eye Photography)

Rivalries have been around for years and many times the rivalries brings out the not so good in people. Folks get so caught up in the rivalry they have a tendency to be more negative than positive, but that has been changed recently with the Garrettsville–Windham Rivalry.

Last fall when Mike Chaffee took over as the principal of Windham Schools, he wanted to revive the rivalry that had somewhat died down over the years with Garrettsville. Chaffe wanted to turn what often  becomes a week of pranks and sometimes vandalism into a week of positive, healthy competition for a good cause.  He thought: after all, we already have one good cause that both schools are involved with, the Volley for the Cure. The annual Windham-Garrettsville volleyball game has always been Volley for the Cure, a fundraiser for breast cancer, so why not expand it to other causes for other head-to-head competitions.
Chaffe had several ideas and contacted Joe Malmisur, principal of neighboring James A.  Garfield High School, to see if he would be on board with the idea, Malmisur agreed that the kids needed to have their energies channeled into a positive challenge rather than a negative one, thus creating “Rivals for a Cause.”

The “Rivals for a Cause” was launched the week of the Garfield- Windham basketball game held at Windham on February 4, 2011. The schools each had planned a food drive, t-shirt sales to benefit St. Jude Children’s Hospital and the head-to-head basketball competition for a chance to keep the revolving trophy that was established for the entire 2011-2012 school year.

The hospital  benefit  suggestion came from Danielle Hickman who had recently toured the hospital when she represented Windham at the Liberty Bowl over the Christmas holiday.  The hospital tour inspired her to consider raising funds for the facility. Both principals agreed it would be a good cause. Both schools’ student councils were challenged to raise funds by selling t-shirts, with the proceeds going to the hospital. Each school sold different colored t-shirts; Windham sold white shirts while Garrettsville sold gray shirts to raise funds for the hospital.

The rivalry week came and the t-shirts were ordered, but due to two snow days that week, the sales week was limited to two days. In spite of the shortened week, the schools were still able to raise a combined total of $1,500 for the hospital.
The yet-to-be-named revolving trophy will be awarded at the end of the school year to the school which has won the most varsity head-to-head sporting events this school year. The winning school will have the trophy to display until the end of the next school year. They will  hold the bragging rights for the year as well.

The schools also plan on holding a name-the-trophy contest later this year. Each school will submit name ideas and the principals of each school will choose the top 5 or 6 entries from each school. They will then give the mayors of the two towns the job of deciding the winning name for the trophy.

The food drive seemed to be a fantastic way to serve the community and still rival one another, however the two snow days that week severely limited the collections at both schools and they have decided to postpone the drive to the week of the Garrettsville-Windham baseball games.

From left to right: Street Superintendent Mike Heyd, Council President Rick Patrick, Kepich Ford owner Pete Kepich & Salesman Daryl Fall (not pictured Salesman Mike Dye)

Garrettsville – The Village of Garrettsville recently purchased  a 2011 Ford F550 4X4 Dump Truck which will replace the 1974 Ford F700. This is the first dump truck the Village has purchased since 2001. The ‘74 F700 will be offered  for auction on Ebay for anyone interested.   On the agenda for 2011 are the replacement of the police department’s K-9 car, a new zero-turn mower and researching several different leaf vacuum systems.

Photo by Janet Pancost

Hiram – A crowd of residents (including the Hiram College alumni pictured here) opposed to the annexation of township land by Hiram College gathered Friday evening outside the Garfield Institute in Hiram. Their goal was to raise the visibility of this issue with Hiram College Board of Trustees who were meeting that night. Hiram College Vice President Tim Bryan offered the residents a brief meeting with the Chairman of the Board of Trustees if they would agree to leave after meeting with him. This issue is currently being heard by the Portage County Commissioners and the citizens thought it best to not meet without the township’s attorney present.

Newton Falls – Dozens of flowers brighten up a chapel or outdoor venue for a wedding, and Sunday at Roby Lee’s Restaurant and Banquet Center in Newton Falls the reception hall was brightened by not one smiling bride, but rather dozens of beautiful brides-to-be who attended the 14th Annual Bridal and Catering Show, with friends and family in tow, looking for ideas that would make their special day just perfect.

A place normally filled with dinner guests and dancing celebrators provided the perfect setting for vendors associated with  such an event to connect with potential clients; the brides were looking to possibly find that missing piece in making a wedding just right. Services represented at this year’s show included the dress designs of Alfred Angelo, Martha Thomas Florist, Carolyn’s Cakes, Lia Sophia Jewelry, and Eagle Vision Photography, just to name a few. A quirky little addition onsite at the event that has become a recent trend at wedding receptions is the Big Day Little Booth, and likeminded companies, that offer what is best described as a portable photo station similar to the kind found in shopping malls or amusement parks. For a flat package rate brides and grooms – or graduates, birthday party goers, etc. – can have the opportunity of dressing up with various props, if they choose, and making a scrapbook of impromptu candids as a collaborative gift for the couple of honor, a refreshing addition to the usual posed moments found in any wedding experience. Most of the various products offered could even be worked into any special event throughout the year – not just for tying the knot! Newly engaged brides just starting to explore, and those looking for a last minute detail alike enjoyed the samplings set out especially for their perusal. Also up for  tasting were a delectable chocolate fountain, a similar cascade of lemonade, and an assortment of hors d’oeuvres. Roby Lee’s own head chef, known affectionately as “Chef Zippy,” was on hand to oversee a mini banquet prepared just for the event.

Each vendor had an appropriately- themed door prize to give away,  ranging from free jewelry to engagement photo sessions to partial floral arrangements and decoration discounts. Though each bride who won an item, or two, from the various vendors was understandably excited, the pièce de résistance of the afternoon was the announcement of the winner of this year’s free reception, courtesy of the host, Roby Lee’s Restaurant. Third place and second place winners were also announced, with both brides receiving a reception for half the usual price. These lucky ladies were Samantha Lynn Gordon and Vanessa Dell. New for 2011, in addition to receiving a reception package donated by the restaurant, the luckiest attendee of this year’s show received some extra good news: it was revealed that all day photography will be provided by Colleen Fay Bowers of Fay’s Photography, and Brooks Music is offering 50% off DJ services for the reception to this year’s winners, Ashley Melott and her groom.

The package donated by Roby Lee’s, valued at $4,000, includes appetizers, dinner, and dancing facilities with linens, centerpieces, and decorations, for approximately two hundred guests. Last year’s winners, Katie Kiser and Christopher Royer, were married this past November. Congratulations to the winning couples of 2011 and happy planning to all the soon-to-be brides and grooms!

Photo: Estelle R. Brown

Garrettsville – ‘Good things come to those who wait.’ So the saying goes. But for those waiting for the Windham Street (State Route 82) Bridge to open for traffic, patience is a virtue that will have to be exercised for at least four more months.

Initially, ODOT (Ohio Department of Transportation) engineer Craig Dunbar set October 1, 2010 as the completion date for the Garrettsville bridge project. Then, due to weather delays, ODOT issues and county engineer complications, the completion date was set back to the end of November. Then it was re-set to sometime before the holidays… and now “we’re looking at sometime in May 2011 for the bridge project to be completely done,” Dunbar says.

Possibly — if the weather warms up to at least 40 degrees and stays dry for a string of consecutive days — the bridge could open to vehicle traffic later this winter but remain closed to foot traffic until late spring.

Last week, the eight-man crew erected a concrete railing along the east side of the steel-beamed bridge. This week, they have been working under the cover of heated plastic sheeting to erect the west-side railing. Most likely, workers will take a break from bridgework until after winter’s grip begins to thaw, most likely resuming their work in April.

Dunbar says that several steps need to be taken before the new bridge opens:

1)Saw cuts need to be made across the deck of the bridge pavement in order to provide road surface traction;

2)Pavement markings need to be painted when the surface reaches 40 degrees or better;

3)Concrete sidewalks need to be poured;

4)Four antique-style iron street lamps need to be erected;

5)All surface concrete must be painted off-white.

Work began in May 2010 to demolish the deteriorating arch bridge that spanned Eagle Creek and connected drivers to downtown Garrettsville. It was expected to take six-to-nine months to replace it.

Despite setbacks, the $1.8 million venture will eventually produce a rolled steel frame bridge spanning Eagle Creek with a concrete facade similar to the original historic bridge erected in 1932, featuring baluster railings illuminated by street lights reminiscent of those removed from the old bridge.

“This bridge has required a lot of detail work,” Dunbar reports. “I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s not really an arch bridge. It just looks like one.”

Newton Falls – Visitors to the local history room at the Newton Falls Public Library last Wednesday found they had a new path to take to get to their destination: a brightly colored, candy-laden trail guarded by characters both sugary sweet and grimly gooey.

A Candyland board game, life-sized for pint-sized players, filled up the entire room between the history center and the stairwell, inviting children ages 3-8 to live out one of their favorite kid-friendly activities. This idea was literally thinking out  of the box: scenes and creatures from the classic game came to life as oversized cutouts set at appropriate intervals true to the landscape of the familiar playtime backdrop.
Along the winding road of individual squares, the children had the opportunity to dance past the sugar fairy at Snowflake Lake, get lost in the Licorice Forest, keep sane passing Peanut Acres, and try not to get stuck in the melting mud at the Chocolate Swamp, while successfully sneaking past Glumpy, the Swamp’s gooey guardian. According to game rules, a player would draw a colored card from the deck – in this case individual paper bags – and take a “move” to the next square on the floor corresponding with the color they had drawn. Double-square cards meant even more progress! At various points, in addition to slipping past the vivid characters, the children were instructed to keep an eye out for bowls of real candy matching the imaginary counterparts in the game. A special treat of chocolate chip cookies awaited finishers at the last stop just inside the final fortress of the Candy Castle.
Organizer Chrissy Braun, clad in a vintage-style Candyland t-shirt in appropriate chocolate brown, explained this is the third year the library in Newton Falls has been transformed into a lane of lollipops, but before that she and a colleague hosted a similar experience for children in Stow. Art students from Newton Falls High School helped to paint the giant props and Braun herself tried a creative hand at some of the artwork. The fantasy land only lasted until 6 pm and then reality interceded, but the flavorful fun will come back next year. In the meantime, there will be lots of other exciting events going on at this library and those in neighboring communities.
For other great area activities for kids, check out http://www.newtonfalls.org (Newton Falls Library), http://www.wtcpl.lib.oh.us (Warren), http://www.portagecounty.lib.oh.us (G-ville/ Windham/ Hiram/ Mantua), or your own local library website for crafts, storytime hours, and tot programs!
Oh, and be sure to catch “Puppy Tails” to follow the adventures of Doodle Dog, every other week in The Villager!

Girl Scout Troop 632 of Garrettsville took a moment out of their Christmas break to spread some holiday cheer at The Woodlands in Ravenna. The girls brought smiles to the residents by singing some holiday favorites throughout the building. This is the third year that the Troop has gone to The Woodlands to carol. The residents and the staff are very welcoming and enjoy the chance to listen to the girls. This opportunity also helps the girls to understand that something as simple as singing can bring joy to others.

Garrettsville – Christmas is a magical time for youngsters, and adults, as the season holds many twinkling, colorful decorations. I remember driving around the streets of town after Thanksgiving so my children could see all outdoor displays. Even today as I drive I point out the different lighting displays. Each year I am amazed to see the changes in decorations that people place in the yard and on their house.
Lights have gone through a big change. The tradition of using lights on the Christmas tree reaches far back into history to the middle of the 17th century. The invention of electricity made it possible for Edward Johnson to create the first small Christmas tree bulbs in 1882. Remember when the bulbs were large and got hot very fast? Today you can find small LED bulbs that remain cool. The lights moved from the tree inside to outdoors.
Today’s decorations include more than just lights. Many people go to great lengths creating huge outdoor holiday displays, and oftentimes huge electric bills too! Imaginations run wild as people try to out-do last year’s display or their neighbors. The goal is to create a display that will get people talking, and pictured above is just such a display. The yard is not full of air-filled holiday characters, there isn’t a sleigh and reindeer on the roof, no this display is simple and understated. The residents of this Center Street home in Garrettsville (across from Carlson’s Funeral Home) have created a display so simple and realistic it has many people looking twice.
“He’s Okay” – yes the man hanging from the gutter is not actually a man at all! But the realistic possibility of a man losing his ladder and getting left hanging on the gutter has had many people rushing to his aid. Many of the double takes have had local towing company, Village Motors, busy pulling people out of the ditch. The residents have now added a sign to their holiday display – “He’s Okay, Merry Christmas”.
This display is definitely something you have got to see, just keep your car on the road as laughter sets in.

Windham resident Owen Duncan hammed it up for the cameras as he sat on Santa’s lap surrounded by all of the Christmas hoopla at the Windham United Methodist Church’s “Breakfast with Santa” last Saturday held at the Renassaince Family Center. Owen is almost two years old, loves trucks and was totally facinated with all the lights.

Windham - Last Saturday the United Methodist Church (UMC) in Windham kicked off the holiday season by hosting breakfast with Santa, letter writing to Santa, crafts and an opportunity for boys and girls to tell Santa what they wanted for Christmas.  On the breakfast menu were French toast stix, egg casserole, fruit and juice, which were shared with about 50 kids. The church had craft tables set up for the kids to make crafts and write a letter to Santa.

The children were all lined up eager to have their turn sitting on Santa’s lap and to tell him all their greatest wishes. Each child received a gift bag with crayons, coloring books,  an orange, and candy canes. The breakfast with Santa was held at the Renaissance Family Center (RFC) in conjunction with their craft show.

Garrettsville - Anyone driving by the high school the day before Thanksgiving might have been surprised to see a flock of turkeys on the front lawn.  To kick off the 10th Annual James A. Garfield High School Food Drive this year, a new tradition was born, called the Turkey Trot.

Runners collected donations ahead of time to move ahead on the starting line and students bought tickets to watch the race and mashed potato-eating contest in the gym.  Runners dressed up in every interpretation of turkey, with a pilgrim or two thrown in for good measure and raced through the halls, avoiding obstacles along the way.

Mr. Bennett, cross-country coach and highest donation collector, was the race’s victor.  In total, the staff and students raised $817 towards hunger relief in this community.  The Food Drive lasts two weeks and typically helps collect over 10,000 items.

Also new this year will be curbside can collection on Dec. 7th.  Look for the students dressed in hand-painted can outfits in front of the high school all day during their lunch and study halls and consider dropping off a bag of food for the food drive.

Could Airport Expansion Generate More Jobs?

Shalersville Twp. – Portage County Regional Airport’s seven-member board of directors dreams about extending the runway to 5,000 feet so that it can accommodate bigger corporate jets. This, in turn, would attract substantial industries to the nearby light industrial park along State Route 44. And this equation adds up to more jobs and economic development for one of Ohio’s least prosperous counties.

This argument was proposed before a crowd of nearly 70 township residents, county commissioners and business leaders who gathered for an informational meeting November 17 at Shalersville Town Hall. The new board wanted to gain a sense of public sentiment about their 10-year plan before making incremental steps in that direction with a $150,000 capital improvement plan due to the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) on December 18. Such steps would include building more hangars and acquiring more land around the airport to secure more buffer zone around its perimeter to protect it from residential encroachment and to allow for future growth.

“However, the local economy and its citizens must agree before we expand the runway,” said board president John Trew. “The FAA won’t release federal grant funds for the expansion unless and until we can prove the need for it.”

Currently, the airport’s runway measures 3,500-by-75 feet. Its asphalt surface and markings on the runway are “in poor and weathered condition,” according to AirNav.com, the official website of FAA information for general aviation pilots. In addition, “all areas off runway surface are soft when wet or thawing.”

Since it was established by the state in the 1960s as a tool for economic stimulus, the Portage County airport has struggled to generate enough income to be self-sustaining, despite its sales of avgas, its rental hangar space and privately-operated FBO and flight center. Most recently, the airport has failed to collect 50 percent of the user fees owed by private pilots in 2010. It has survived with government grants (95 percent from the FAA and five percent from the county’s general fund).The 76-acre, publicly-owned airport is managed by John Siman. In 2011, the board must begin paying back to local taxpayers a $400,000 loan taken out by a previous board of directors. The board must pay $41,000 per year plus interest over the next 10 years.

Posted airport operational statistics indicate that the airport supports an average of 26 takeoffs/landings per day, or about 9,600 flights annually. Half of the traffic is from transient general aviation, 35 percent from local pilots, 14 percent from air taxi services, and two percent from National Guard military exercises. Most of the traffic comes from single-engine planes, with a handful of multi-engine airplanes, ultralights and a medical LifeFlight helicopter rounding out the types of aircraft flying in and out of the local airport.

While all airport board members voiced support of the proposed expansion — if and when a proven need could justify the investment — nearly 75 percent of the community members at the meeting opposed it. Despite proponents’ talk of the economic benefit the airport expansion could bring, residents declared they preferred to retain the township’s quiet rural character instead. Citing the fast-paced build-up then recent decline of Streetsboro’s business district, residents raised concerns that a busier airport would mean less green space, more traffic and more noise, but not necessarily a better way of life in Shalersville Township.

“People like Shalersville as it is and we’re trying to keep it that way,” said one resident. Another said, “This runway expansion plan is just a hobby for rich people and their planes. We don’t have any planes, so why should we support the expansion?”

Attorney and meeting moderator Steve Wilson replied, “If this is just a rich people’s hobbyist project, I say let’s close down the airport altogether. But that’s not what this is about. It’s a tool for economic growth.”

County commissioners voiced tentative support (outgoing commissioner Charles Keiper was not present). Chris Smeiles was generally in favor, saying “An expanded airport would be good for the entire county. However, the airport first needs a solid revenue source and a viable business plan.” Maureen Frederick voiced doubts about it, warning against the temptation to take on a “build it and they will come” attitude. Commissioner-elect Tommie Jo Marsilio said the board had gotten ahead of itself, comparing their proposal to that of a home-owner struggling to make his mortgage payment, yet considering it was a good time to build an addition to the house. “It just doesn’t make sense to add on without making the mortgage first.”

Dick Bonner, owner of the airport FBO, argued in favor of the expansion, saying, “When a corporation looks to locate here, they’re looking for an airport that can support their corporate jets. Streetsboro is done. They’re out of industrial land. The next wave of expansion will be here, and we need to get ready for it.”

Businessman and former airport board member Mike Price agreed, saying,” Don’t minimize ‘if they build it, they will come.’ It’s actually true. Portage County needs jobs. This is a worthwhile project to consider. Planes are noisy, but so is progress.”

One of the many structures that will be removed as part of Windham's revitalization

Windham - The buildings, dubbed “the projects” had been constructed in the early 1940’s. They were originally built to house the workers that would flock to the Windham area as the Ravenna Ordinance Plant was getting geared- up for production in the early ‘40’s. The structures, that were designed to last around 10-15 years, had far surpassed their life expectancy when they were reduced to a pile of rubble to make way for re-development of the area.

The village purchased the 20 blighted properties earlier this year for $2000 each from the bank that held the loans that were in foreclosure. They then started the process of demolishing 20 buildings in the Maple Grove area several months ago when they hired a crew to remove asbestos and other hazardous materials from the old, dilapidated buildings before the arrival of the wrecking ball. Many of the twenty buildings were four or five family units, which could provide housing for approximately 120 families if properly maintained. When the village purchased the properties, only five units in the 20 buildings were occupied. The village helped the tenants by relocating them to other more stable buildings then started the process of tearing the old buildings down. This past week the large equipment arrived; the demolition process began and will continue until all of the 20 buildings are down.

This demolition project brought out all kinds of questions. What happens when the projects are gone? Where will folks live? When you keep demolishing the projects the population will decline if the population declines than what is the future of the Village? The plan is to replace the demolished buildings with single family homes and a multi- family complex similar to South Wood apartments in Garrettsville. The goal is to provide housing for people in a variety of economic levels, fostering strong neighborhood ties. Strong neighborhoods build strong communities. The days of poverty- concentrated neighborhoods of transients in Windham will soon be a thing of the past.

When asked about the decline of the population of Windham and the demolition of the projects contributing to it, the mayor said that it is simply not true. “The Windham Police Department has been pro-active on crime and has made it more difficult for criminals to conduct business in the village so they have started to leave and go to other areas where police aren’t as proactive.” The dilapidated buildings were a hazard to the community because they attracted squatters and curious children. Eventually, someone was going get hurt in one of the buildings; it was just a matter of time. Therefore, demolishing them became a safety issue as well as part of the re-development of the area.

Donham sees the future of Windham as bright. The village’s agreement to provide water and sewer services to Camp Ravenna will eventually lead to the opening of the gate in Windham, allowing soldiers access to the village and its businesses. The agreement brings improvements to the village’s infrastructure which will generate more money for the village by the sale of city utilities to Camp Ravenna.

Besides the agreement with the Arsenal, Donham has also been working on getting a turnpike exit in Windham. The possibility of an exit in the village will have the potential to open doors for distribution centers, manufacturing facilities and other businesses to consider Windham as the new, up-and-coming place to conduct business. Having a direct access to the turnpike will be a huge draw for this area and will eventually bring more jobs to the region.

The mayor stated “This is not your grandfather’s Windham any more.” The administration has plans to market the village as the most economical place in Portage County to live; lowest taxes in the county, suitable family housing at a reasonable cost and excellent safety forces. The re-development of the project area will offer more affordable housing for families, seniors, singles, etc and will be a big draw to the community It will no longer be a concentrated area of one social economic group, it will be a diverse neighborhood. The diverse neighborhood will attract families which will increase the population in the village and in the schools, which will be a win-win for everyone.

The buildings coming down are just part of the vision. The vision has many phases before the ultimate goal of a healthy, strong, diverse community can be established. The face of Windham is changing and is happening one step at a time; this is only the beginning. Before too long the old reputation of the village will be a very distant memory as the new Windham emerges.

50

November 11 is Veterans’Day. Thank a veteran...for all that you have, all that you have the possibility to achieve in this country. Thank a veteran’s parents, spouse, children...for all that they contributed to the nation’s protection and progress. Thank the veterans who have “been there, done that” and the ones that serve today. We owe them more than one day, many gave their lives. It’s Veterans’ Day...remember...respect...honor...all who serve.

On Thursday of this week our country will observe Veterans Day, a day set aside to honor those who have served or are serving this country in the armed forces. The origin of the holiday was the signing  of the Armistice with the Germans that ended World War I (WWI); major hostilities of WW1 were formally ended on the 11th hour, 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. On June 4, 1926 Congress passed a resolution requesting that President Calvin Coolidge issue a proclamation to observe November 11th   with appropriate ceremonies. In 1938, November 11th was a  legal holiday dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be celebrated as Armistice Day.

In Emporia, Kansas, Alfred King had the idea to expand the day to all veterans not just those of WWI. King actively campaigned to have Armistice Day changed to “All” Veterans Day. The Chamber of Commerce, along with the local school board and merchants of Emporia, supported the cause by closing their doors on November 11th to honor all veterans who have served. King enlisted the help of United States Representative Ed Rees and with his help a bill was pushed through Congress and President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed it into law on May 26, 1954. Congress amended this act on June 1, 1954 and replaced “Armistice” with “Veterans”, and it has been known as Veterans Day ever since.
The day has been observed on November 11th, except during the seven years in which the Uniform Monday Holiday Act was initiated. The Uniform Monday Holiday had the holiday moved to the fourth Monday in October. In 1978 it was moved back to its original date of November 11th. The holiday is now observed as a day when the post offices, banks and government offices are generally closed and communities hold parades and remembrance services.
On this Veterans Day, take time out to reflect and show appreciation to those who have served and are serving our country. Especially remember the families of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice and returned home in a flag-draped casket. They are the true American heroes.
To all the veterans out there, thank you for your service. We appreciate your sacrifice and the sacrifice of your families. May you be blessed.

On Thursday of this week our country will observe Veterans Day, a day set aside to honor those who have served or are serving this country in the armed forces. The origin of the holiday was the signing  of the Armistice with the Germans that ended World War I (WWI); major hostilities of WW1 were formally ended on the 11th hour, 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. On June 4, 1926 Congress passed a resolution requesting that President Calvin Coolidge issue a proclamation to observe November 11th   with appropriate ceremonies. In 1938, November 11th was a  legal holiday dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be celebrated as Armistice Day. In Emporia, Kansas, Alfred King had the idea to expand the day to all veterans not just those of WWI. King actively campaigned to have Armistice Day changed to “All” Veterans Day. The Chamber of Commerce, along with the local school board and merchants of Emporia, supported the cause by closing their doors on November 11th to honor all veterans who have served. King enlisted the help of United States Representative Ed Rees and with his help a bill was pushed through Congress and President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed it into law on May 26, 1954. Congress amended this act on June 1, 1954 and replaced “Armistice” with “Veterans”, and it has been known as Veterans Day ever since.The day has been observed on November 11th, except during the seven years in which the Uniform Monday Holiday Act was initiated. The Uniform Monday Holiday had the holiday moved to the fourth Monday in October. In 1978 it was moved back to its original date of November 11th. The holiday is now observed as a day when the post offices, banks and government offices are generally closed and communities hold parades and remembrance services. On this Veterans Day, take time out to reflect and show appreciation to those who have served and are serving our country. Especially remember the families of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice and returned home in a flag-draped casket. They are the true American heroes. To all the veterans out there, thank you for your service. We appreciate your sacrifice and the sacrifice of your families. May you be blessed.

The James A. Garfield Historical Society’s Christmas Walk takes place Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, November 5th, 6th, & 7th, and 12th, 13th, & 14th.

The James A. Garfield Historical Society’s Christmas Walk takes place Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, November 5th, 6th, & 7th, and 12th, 13th, & 14th.

The James A. Garfield Historical Society’s Christmas Walk takes place Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, November 5th, 6th, & 7th, and 12th, 13th, & 14th.  Hours are 10am to 5pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and 12:30pm to 5pm on Sundays.  Your first stop is the Historical Society at 8107 Main Street in downtown Garrettsville, where tickets are purchased for $10.

The Christmas Walk ticket booklet includes a map to the six locations.  The Garrettsville United Methodist Church is decorated and selling homemade lunches, and a craft show is held at the Garrettsville Village Hall.  Garrettsville also offers many shops and restaurants to enjoy.

For further information call 330-527-2910 or 330-569-7996.