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The Hiram Village Fire Department has two levies on the ballot next month — the renewal of a 2-mil EMS levy and an additional 3-mil Fire Protection levy. Mr. Dave Loader, a long-time resident of Hiram Township, shared the reason he plans to support these valuable tax levies in November.

Early one morning late winter morning in 2013, Dave’s son-in-law Rob stopped by the house, to drop off a grandson for Dave to babysit. Shortly after Rob’s arrival, however, without notice, Dave suddenly dropped to the floor. Dave related the story he’s been told, since he has no memory of what happened — the last thing he remembers is talking with Rob.

Luckily, as Dave fell, his son-in-law caught Dave’s head in his hands, guiding it gently to the floor. He then grabbed the nearby phone and immediately dialed 911, summoning the Hiram Squad, who arrived within 5 minutes. According to Hiram Village Fire Department Chief Bill Byers, “On that snowy morning, the Fire Department received a call to assist a man who had fallen. Upon arrival, the team found Mr. Loader not breathing, with no pulse.” He was in full cardiac arrest. Dave’s heart had stopped, but the Hiram EMS crew was able to use the automated external defibrillator (AED) restart his heart. “The team was able to resuscitate him, but could not transport him via Life Flight due to poor weather conditions. They braved icy roads to transport Mr. Loader to Geauga Hospital,” explained Chief Byers. Dave was told that the AED was needed again on the way to University Geauga Hospital. For saving his life on that blustery day, Dave credits, “my son-in-law, Rob; the Hiram Squad; and God — all three worked together in perfect timing.”

The next thing Dave remembered was waking up in University Geauga Hospital, where he spent several days. During that time, it was determined that Dave would need surgery to place stents to improve blood flow to the arteries in his heart. But to further complicate matters, it was learned that Dave’s heart had shifted inside his chest cavity. This was due to the fact that several years prior, Dave had undergone a lobectomy, in which part of his lung was removed to combat lung cancer. As a result, according to Dave, his heart had moved, making the surgery more challenging. After Dave and his family consulted with his doctors, it was decided that the procedure would take place at University Hospital’s Cleveland location. Dave made a full recovery.

Dave and his wife Danielle, have lived in Hiram since1967. They moved to the area when they left California, where they had both been stationed in the Air Force.  His wife, who is originally from Mantua, wanted to return to the area where she was raised so they would be surrounded by family as they started their life together.

They have four daughters, four sons-in-law, and 11 grandchildren. Rob, who is married to their youngest daughter, is the newest son-in-law to join the family. “We joke that after this experience, Rob quickly moved to the top of my list as favorite.”

Also at the top of his list is renewal of the Hiram Village Tax Levy for Emergency Medical Services, which will be on November’s ballot. Renewing this levy will allow the Department to have two people on duty around the clock. “Because I know firsthand that quick response is so important,” Dave concluded.

Rootstown – Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) continued the celebration of its 40th anniversary and campus expansion efforts with the dedication of the NEOMED Education and Wellness (NEW) Center on Monday, Sept. 29, 2014. During the dedication, Summa Health System of Akron, Ohio, announced that it will be offering on-site, primary care services to the community beginning in 2015.

The 177,000-square-foot facility was made possible through a public-private partnership between NEOMED, Signet Development and Integrated Wellness Partners and is a major step in shifting the overall culture of health and wellness for the campus and surrounding community. The NEW Center provides medical education alongside a state-of-the-art fitness environment, physicians’ offices, advanced practice pharmacy services, conference and event space and more.

“This facility not only grows our campus in an exciting new way, but it is the cornerstone of our community wellness initiatives,” said Jay A. Gershen, D.D.S., Ph.D., president of Northeast Ohio Medical University. “By collaborating with other health professionals, NEOMED is bringing an innovative vision of health and fitness to Portage County, one that promotes true wellness by addressing every avenue of care to develop and sustain healthy, active lifestyles.”

These synergies between education and wellness are further enhanced through a new partnership with Summa Health System, which will be occupying 7,000-square-feet of outfitted space on the first floor of the NEW Center in the coming year. The health system will offer comprehensive primary care, non-emergency daytime walk-in care, corporate and employee health services, pharmacy consultation,  physical therapy and lab services to the NEOMED and Rootstown communities, while also serving as a training ground for NEOMED students.

“We are excited to enhance even more our longstanding relationship with NEOMED,” said Summa Health System President and CEO, Tom Strauss. “As we continue to transform the delivery of health care away from a model of sick care to one that truly promotes healthy living, having outstanding facilities such as the NEOMED Education and Wellness Center is critical. I applaud the community for coming together to make this initiative possible, and we are proud to be involved in such an important way.”

In addition to addressing the primary health care needs of the community, the NEW Center offers first-floor amenities focused on nutrition and physical wellness. Two new public eateries, the Bistro and Erie Island Coffee House, offer healthy eating options, and Sequoia Wellness, a facility that focuses on building healthier communities by encouraging a comprehensive view of wellness that incorporates fitness, nutrition, exercise, education and more, has memberships available to the community and campus. The Conference and Event Center, located on the second floor, can host formal and informal events for up to 500 guests and will be utilized for professional and community meetings, lectures and presentations about medical field advancements, as well as personal events such as weddings, services and other private gatherings.

As a medical university, education also plays a large part in the overall use of the NEW Center. A state-of-the-art lecture hall serves as a main educational classroom for interprofessional and college-centric learning for students on the NEOMED campus;  the third floor of the facility is dedicated to Bio-Med Science Academy, the public STEM+M high school on NEOMED’s campus.

“We are truly honored to be a part of the extraordinary campus transformation at NEOMED and our team is delighted to collaborate with the University on a project that is already enriching the academic experience for NEOMED students, enhancing the delivery of health care services for the community, and creating a hub of activity on-campus for all of Portage County,” said Tony S. Manna, chairman of Signet Enterprises, LLC.

Connect directly with the NEW Center at http://www.neomed.edu/newcenter.

Mantua – Last Friday, on a gorgeous fall day, the kids at Crestwood Primary and Intermediate Schools strapped on their sneakers to raise money for field trips, field day, and educational opportunities at their schools. Instead of hitting the sidewalks to sell candy, wrapping paper, or other items to family and friends; to raise much-needed funds, parents and their students sought out community sponsors. They asked for support, not just of the schools, but for student wellness, as well.

crestwood-mantua-walkathon-october-2014-outdoorOver the course of the school day, each student in every class — from preschool through grade five — as well as teachers and staff — took a one-mile hike around the perimeter of the campus. Their teachers led the way through the campus green space, wearing pedometers to track the number of steps. At the end of the day, the grand total of 1,287,442 steps was reached — or nearly 130 miles!

Students wore shirts to signify their grade levels; Preschool wore light blue, Kindergarten in yellow, first graders were in dark blue, 2nd graders wore orange, 3rd graders wore red, 4th was in grey, with 5th graders in white. And most everyone wore a smile as they enjoyed being outdoors for the school-wide activity.

In addition to raising an estimated $2,500 per school, the event also raised awareness of healthy choices. Before starting their walk, students warmed up by jumping rope and using hula-hoops. One first-grade participant rejoiced, saying, “Watch me — I was made to hula hoop!” Halfway through their hike, participants stopped for a water and music break. Accompanied by such songs as ‘These Boots Are Made for Walking’ and “Happy,” they continued their trek, refreshed, and with a kick in their step.  After completing their mile, each participant received a healthy snack of apple slices and a bottle of water, courtesy of McDonalds & Subway in Mantua, and Giant Eagle in Ravenna.

Event sponsors included: Ace’s Well Service, Sayre Construction, Fortis College, RDP Printing, Star Therapy, Streetsboro Family Days/ Allen Alloy, Coldwell Banker Streetsboro, Mantua Station Drug, NAPA, Oscar Brugmann Sand & Gravel, OK Brugmann Jr & Sons Inc., Aurora Auto Wash, Candance Academy, Piranha Technologies, Trinity Farm, Varkala Services, Inc., F & S Automotive, Carlton Harley Davidson, Kuchenbecker Farms, Express Systems, Sunshine Cupcakes, Advanced Rehab, Montgomery’s Pallet Service, Derthick’s Farm, Portage Trim, Gateway Towing, Kristoff Electric, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Crestwood Intermediate School Staff, Valerie Agle (Equestrian Vet Clinic), and Streetsboro Sports Medicine – Dr. Bartsokas.

Due to the success of this first-time event, teachers, staff, and parent volunteers look forward to holding it again next year.

Garrettsville – The James A. Garfield Local School District cut a ribbon on Saturday, September 20 marking the amazing (120 days!) completion of the addition to the James A. Garfield Elementary School, bringing about the relocation of the district’s fifth and sixth graders to the Campus of Excellence, with all of the system’s students sharing the same venue.  This was made possible through a $5million Straight A Grant from the State of Ohio(The only application to have received unanimous approval) and through the outstanding efforts of a blue-ribbon design and construction team—including local firms  Scotchman Electric(Scott Russell), Doug Seaman Decorating and Rocky Gardens Landscaping(DeanHorvath).  The application process opened one year, to the day, before the ribbon-cutting ceremony and was a total team effort, spearheaded by Superintendent Ted Lysiak and Treasurer Tracy Knauer. Board members, administrators, educators, staff members, students and a community advisory group all played a part in the final concept.

With the awarding of the grant, the clock began ticking and the race was on!

Bob McCullough of Hammond Construction, Melanie Friedman of FMD Architects spoke briefly of the challenges faced.  Charlie Fury, superintendent of the whole construction project, was praised.

Guy Pietra, Board President, and Rick Patrick, Mayor of Garrettsville, offered thanks and appreciation to key players who were major factors in the co-operating elements which made the timeline work—Don Long, Carrie  Dornack, principals; Ellen Rybak, GEA president; maintenance and custodial staff; students and teachers; village maintenance crews and permitting bodies.  It was an over-all effort, one illustration of which was the newly-waxed floors   of the building, done early that morning by Elementary head custodian, Judy Gyulai, since “her” building is now “our”  building and she’s proud.

The refreshments and the tour were icing on the cake.

It’s not just about the building.  It’s about BUILDING for the future.

Portage County - NAMI Portage County is inviting walkers to participate in the Sept. 27 Walk for Recovery in Kent to support people with mental illness and their families.  Later, there will be an 8 p.m. benefit concert for NEOMED’s Early Identification and Psychosis Programs in Northeast Ohio at The Kent Stage featuring the band, “Dark Side of the Moon.”

The Walk for Recovery is a chance for residents to help families and individuals in Portage County who live with mental illness and addiction every day. Volunteers will be walking from United Church of Christ at 1400 East Main St. to downtown Kent along the Kent State University campus. Registration starts at 9:30 a.m. in the chapel. Walkers head out at 10 am from the church parking lot.

Staff from the Rock and Recovery program of 91.3 The Summit will be sharing inspirational music and talking to walkers at the halfway point, Hometown Bank Plaza, the use of which was donated by Hometown Bank.  Rock & Recovery is an online and HD radio listening experience that strives to empower persons in recovery.

The Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation is the presenting sponsor for the second year in a row.  To date the project has received other major gifts and support from Coleman Foundation, Mental Health & Recovery Board of Portage County, OMNOVA Solutions, the International Chemical Workers Union, Townhall II, BeST Center at NEOMED, Children’s Advantage and Family and Community Services.

Volunteers will be raising money to increase education about mental illness and addiction and support persons working on recovery.  All money raised will stay in Portage County. Supporting the Walk for Recovery helps NAMI Portage County continue to be a resource for persons with mental illness and their families as well as be an advocate with them and for them.  If you would like to be a team captain or are interested in being a walker, call 330-673-1756, ext. 201, for a registration form and information. If you are interested in helping as a volunteer, or have any questions, contact NAMI Vice President Roger Cram at rfcram@aol.com.

NAMI Portage County is a local affiliate of the national NAMI which works to educate against the stigma of mental illness, to advocate for better treatment and to support persons with mental illness and their families through education and services. For more information, go to www.namiportagecounty.org.

The benefit concert will support the FIRST programs in Portage and surrounding counties. FIRST early identification and treatment of psychosis services help individuals who are newly diagnosed with serious mental illness. FIRST is a program of the Best Practices in Schizophrenia Treatment (BeSt) Center of the Northeast Ohio Medical University and area mental health organizations. In Portage County, the program is supported and implemented by the Mental Health & Recovery Board of Portage County and Coleman Professional Services.

The Kent Stage is located at 175 E. Main St., Kent. Tickets are $15 general admission and $10 for students. Tickets may be purchased at www.thekentstage.com, the box office or the door. For more information, go to www.neomed.edu/bestcenter.

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

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

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

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

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

2014 Marching Pride

2014 Marching Pride

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

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

Garrettsville – The Cupboard is all about Community and its offering a new service for families   still working hard to regain their feet; it’s called the Weekend Snackpack Program.  It’s being made available to eligible students in the James A. Garfield Local School District on a monthly basis and provides a bag of healthy and easy-to-prepare snack foods sent home on the third Friday of each month; this would be approximately 15 healthy  between-meal snacks for after school and on weekends to supplement regular meals.  Food allergies will be taken into account in selection of snacks.

There is no cost to families and distribution will be handled with the utmost discretion.  Participation is strictly confidential and arranged by school counselors.  Names and information will not be shared with anyone else.  Applications for participation in this program are available from school counselors.

This program is being made possible through the co-operation of the Nelson-Garrettsville Community Cupboard and the James A. Garfield Local School District and a $10,000 nationwide grant originating with Massachusetts Mutual Financial Group, whose local representative is Christopher Perme of the Perme Financial Group, Garrettsville.  Over one hundred students are enrolled so far and there is room for more.  The community cares.

Ravenna – The Portage County Health Department would like to remind all parents of incoming kindergarteners and 7th graders that their children will be required by Ohio law to have certain immunizations in order to attend school. Kindergarteners are required to have 5 doses DTaP, 4 doses Polio, 3 doses Hep B, 2 doses MMR, and 2 doses Chickenpox. 7th graders are required to have a combination booster shot of tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis vaccine, otherwise known as Tdap. Additional vaccines are recommended for this age group including the meningitis vaccine and the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. All of these vaccines are available at the Portage County Health Department.

Regular Childhood Immunization Clinics are held every Wednesday from 8:00am-12:00 noon at the Portage County Health Department. Additional locations for childhood immunizations provided by the Portage County Health Department are Kent City Health Department-every 3rd Wednesday from 3:00pm-5:00pm and Windham Renaissance Family Center-every 4th Tuesday from 11:00am-3:00pm.

Cost is $10 per shot, FREE to those who cannot pay. Medicaid, Buckeye, Care Source, and United Health accepted. Please bring immunization records.

Mantua – Now that the weather is turning crisp, many folk’s thoughts turn to drives through the country for pumpkins and a chance to see the changing leaves. And nothing says country like a visit to Derthick’s Farm, a 200+ year-old family operation in Mantua.

Starting this weekend and running through the start of November, Derthick’s Farm is home to a massive corn maze, where folks come to get “corn-fused” while navigating through a complex maze cut into field of corn. But the experience is enhanced this year, as Derthick’s holds its second annual A-Maze-ing 5K Adventure Fun Run on Sunday, October 5th.

This year’s event builds on the success of last year’s A-Maze-ing Race event, which coincided with Crestwood High School’s Class of 1988 25th reunion. Last year’s race was held in memory of several CHS class of ’88 members who lost their battles with cancer, and all of the proceeds went toward cancer research. This year’s race proceeds will benefit both The Meghan R Brant Memorial Scholarship Fund, in honor of former CHS ’88 classmate Meghan Brant, and the Crestwood 4C’s Food Cupboard.

The A-Maze-ing Adventure Race course winds through rolling farmland, and includes such obstacles as hay bales, large tires, gates and a balance beam. In addition, a less-strenuous two-mile trail walk is also available. Due to the rough nature of the course, strollers are not permitted. Preregistration is $20.00, any received by Sept. 25th earn a free commemorative race t-shirt. Entries will be accepted on race day at 8:30 am at a cost of $25. Each entry includes a free maze pass valid for one Corn Maze admission during regular hours, through the close of the corn maze season.

In addition, Derthick’s will host a farm market on race day, featuring a variety of spices, oils, jams, and jellies and lettuce from nearby Mantua Gardens. For more information on becoming a vendor, call MaryEllen at (330) 351-3124. For more information or to register for the October 5th event, visit hmapromotions.com.

Derthick’s Farm photograph appears courtesy of Amanda Saylor Huebner.

Freedom – Charlene Cermak of Freedom loves children. “I see children through God’s eyes,” she explained, “No matter what they look like, they’re innocent pure, and gorgeous,” she continued. But this 65-year-old self-described “active grandma” had an experience recently that caused her to think of children in a new way. Now she thinks of one in particular as her hero.

Char loves her grandchildren, and keeps in touch with her four granddaughters in far away California via Skype. Due to health complications, which require her to administer breathing treatments and oxygen therapy throughout the day, making the cross-country flight very difficult. But those health issues don’t stop her from planning special outings with her grandsons in nearby Austintown.

It’s what happened during one of those special outings with grandsons Jacob, age 9, and Jordan, age 4, that Char felt compelled to share. She explained, “People always talk about the bad things kids do. A lot of children don’t get credit for the good they do.” The story begins at Chuck E. Cheese arcade in Boardman, where Char took her grandsons Jacob and Jordan, their first stop on an afternoon of fun. After the arcade, they planned to see a movie, and then get some ice cream. But their plans for an afternoon of fun changed in an instant.

Char had an adverse reaction that, “hit me like a ton of bricks,” she shared. She found Jake intent on a game, with his cup of tokens next to him. “Jakey, we’ve got to go. I can’t breathe,” she told him. Forgetting the game and the cup of tokens, he immediately grabbed her hand and his little brother’s hand, and helped guide Char outside and to the car. Once she made it to the vehicle, Char had couldn’t respond when Jake asked, “Grandma, are you okay?” Thinking quickly, Jake ran to the nearby BestBuy store and asked an employee to call 911.

Amazingly, the ambulance arrived within minutes. The EMTs were eventually able to open Char’s lungs and restore her breathing after administering three treatments. She would receive two more treatments at the hospital as well. “I was really worried when my Grandma couldn’t breathe,” Jacob shared. Char is convinced that the quick thinking of her grandson, in addition to the skills of the EMTs, saved her life.

After the ambulance arrived, Jake called his mom, who left work immediately to come and pick up her sons. While they waited for her to arrive, an employee from a nearby Dollar Tree brought the boys some small toys to keep them busy while they waited for their mother to arrive.

“He’s my little hero,” Char beamed. “There’s no doubt in my mind. If he hadn’t responded so quickly, I wouldn’t be here today.” When asked, Jacob admits that he does feel like a hero. Especially when Grandma calls on the phone and asks, “Is this my hero?” When asked how that makes him feel, he quickly responds, “happy, because my Grandma can breathe now.”

Hiram - Members from the Hiram College community, past, present and future, made citizens all over the United States see red last Saturday.

Gathering at over two dozen locations around the country as part of the annual Alumni Volunteer Day, about three hundred alumni, friends and family – the largest registration in the event’s thirteen year existence! – invaded various sites in the name of lending a Hiram Hill helping hand.

Donning bright red T-shirts received specially for the occasion, or accented by other HC-representing flair, generations from several decades of Hiram history mingled and worked together while supporting an assortment of projects. Alumni who recently celebrated a 50th year class reunion painted walls alongside graduates who moved their own tassels across the mortarboard only a couple of years ago. Hands of inexperienced quilters were taught how to tie fabric strips into knots for children’s blankets by seasoned seamstresses while also linking decades of campus stories, interweaving the figurative threads as well as the literal ones. The options for serving were just as varied as the participants as, in addition to painting or quilt-tying, volunteers could register for opportunities to mend fences, paint playhouses, move (or even build!) furniture, perform general administrative tasks, landscaping, pantry stocking, or even to directly assist current students by clearing thorny brush from the James H. Barrow field station, an active research facility utilized frequently by Biology or Environmental Studies majors.

Approximately half of the College’s living alumni are located in Northeast Ohio, so many of the tasks were scheduled throughout Portage, Trumbull, Stark, Ashtabula and Cuyahoga counties, but the Terrier Spirit was out in force in places ranging all the way from Boston to Atlanta to Phoenix! And it wasn’t only distance that spanned further than one would imagine, it was time as well as two of the projects didn’t actually take place on Saturday the 13th which will effectively turn the whole month into a wonderful way to welcome in autumn: though April is officially National Volunteer Month, thanks to hundreds of Hiramites September is temporarily taking that title for the Terriers.

Kicking off the efforts the previous weekend, volunteers were invited to the Birds in Flight Sanctuary in Warren where new drains were installed and nets were repaired to provide a safe place for rescued feathered friends. The event served as a bit of a preview to the amazing objectives that would be accomplished during the upcoming main attraction. Warren also hosted an activity on the “official” day, encouraging those with an appreciation for the humanities to spend the morning sprucing up the Trumbull Art Gallery which recently made a major move to a new location. With paintbrushes in hand, participants may not have created the framed pieces lining the walls, but thanks to their efforts in coating the trim boards around the interior of the building, the facility itself is now framed even more beautifully.

And for those who share the love of fuzzy friends, the four-pawed have certainly not been forgotten as this year’s collaboration will wrap up with the final weekend’s activity taking place in Kirtland at the Holden Arboretum in honor of the Rescue Village’s Woofstock festivities. (Doodle Dog will be proud!) On Saturday, September 20th, volunteers will set up tents, tables, chairs and other supplies to help organizers prepare for the furry fundraiser on Sunday, September 21st.

Alumni Volunteer Day is not just for Hiram College graduates – friends and family are more than welcome – so for more information or details on how you can be involved next year, contact the Hiram College Alumni Office toll free at (800) 705-5050 or visit http://alumni.hiram.edu.

For more information on the quickly-approaching Woofstock, contact the Geauga Humane Society at (440) 338-4819, on the web at http://www.geaugahumane.org or find them on Facebook. With a one-mile dog walk, agility course, pet-friendly activities and adoptable dogs, it’s a great day to be a fan of canines. (Who knows, you might even find your very own floppy-eared puppy to bring home!)

Ravenna – For a child, being able to draw may be the only way of telling adults about a terrible, frightening or violent experience. Two young area children who are working through trauma have been drawing for NiCole Bartlett, a therapist at Children’s Advantage in Ravenna.

One of the simple drawings shows a family room with a mother and beloved pet. The other is Bartlett’s office with a poster that reads “Color Outside the Lines.” These are the children’s safe places from bad dreams, anger and fear.

Bartlett and fellow staff members at Children’s Advantage, a mental health center treating children, teens and families, trained for a week with national experts this past summer to further develop the agency’s services for Trauma Informed Care. TIC is a general term for trauma services including the use of sensory tools such as drawing and music to support children and teens as they talk about how trauma has affected them. The focus is not on the behavior but what caused the behavior. TIC further guides the therapist in ways to separate the child or teen from the traumatic experience and allow him or her to heal.

The trauma may be abuse experienced by the child or teen; witnessing family violence; homelessness; illness; separation from family; or being involved in a horrific incident such as a fire or accident.

“The art shows me what it is like for this child. It important to understand what has happened to him or her. We become a witness to the trauma which is very important to the kids. They welcome it,” said Bartlett.

The Mental Health & Recovery Board of Portage County provided funding for the training which included staff from the Children’s Advocacy Center of Portage County located at Robinson Memorial Hospital. The center works with children, teens and their families when abuse has been reported, reducing the number of interviews and supporting families with education and referrals.

Children’s Advantage Clinical Director Mary McCracken said the agency is seeing numerous youngsters whose symptoms mirror how adults react when they experience or witness violence or terror. CA staff is specifically using Structured Sensory Intervention for Traumatized Children, Adolescents and Parents (SITCAP) therapy and seeing progress with youngsters and families.

“My child was having great difficulty with bad dreams and seeing creepy shadows. The process with the art and talking helped her. She no longer dreams like she did and she feels safe. In my opinion, it is very important to heal from trauma so you move forward in life,” said one of the parents. The names of the families interviewed were not used to maintain confidentiality.

Jean West, a SITCAP trainer and school social worker from Missouri who led part of the training in Ravenna, explained that children who have experienced trauma will have behavior problems, physical problems such as stomach and headaches, depression, anxiety and often lack the ability to trust adults. They carry shame and often blame themselves. They are more likely to run away and become involved with the juvenile justice system.

“Safety and familiarity are scary. Chaos becomes normal,” she said describing long-term trauma victims.

With the activity of drawing or another form of expression, the young person can identify the trauma even if he or she cannot give it a name. With the help of a therapist, the feelings and behaviors are named, talked about and “contained ” or understood, an important way allowing the child to re-establish order and control.

SITCAP therapy is based on brain and physiological research with youth.  The workshop included presentations by Dr. William Steele, founder of the National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children™ who developed the therapy method. His work treating children with trauma started in 1990 before children were included in the diagnostic category of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Part of the training for the local workshop, SITCAP is used in thousands of schools and agencies across the country and undergoes continuous field testing and rigorous evidence-based research.

Steele explained that prolonged exposure to stress from trauma causes changes to the brain that reduce a young person’s ability to verbalize emotions. His method gives therapists the tools to help youngsters de-stress with drawing, relaxation, deep breathing, exercise, talking and music.

CA case manager Traci Gibbons said a breakthrough for one of her teen clients came when the teen brought her a cd with music she had copied. Gibbons said the music described how the young person felt; giving Gibbons the key to unlock the trauma and start the healing process.

Working with parents is also a large part of the method, helping them understand what their child has experienced, Steele told workshop participants.

“I was shocked to learn that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder affects children and could cause behavior change. We are now aware of the cause of our child’s behavior and how to help him make positive changes. He began to talk about his feelings with the therapist and he felt safe again,” said a parent of the second family interviewed.

Children’s Advantage receives funding from the Mental Health & Recovery Board of Portage County to provide mental health services to children, teens and families who are Portage County residents.

The Great Garrettsville Fire

Certain dates stand out in our collective memories: December 7, 1941 as Pearl Harbor Day; September 11, 2001 as the worst terror attack on U.S. soil. But for Garrettsville locals, March 22, 2014 is branded forevermore as that awful day when the Great Garrettsville Fire brought down the historic Buckeye Block Buildings on Main Street.

What started as a small blaze on the roof behind Miller’s Lawn & Garden quickly spread to become the greatest disaster to befall this historic village. Exhaustive efforts from local firefighters (supported by more than 100 firefighters from 34 neighboring departments) were no match for the hungry blaze which tore through the 1850s-era wooden structure which had just been freshly renovated and fully occupied by a dozen businesses.

Between lunchtime and dinnertime that fateful Saturday, what began as a simple hot seal-and-patch roof repair job became the assumed (although never officially determined) spark for the blaze which leveled the Buckeye Block — all except for the tiny brick and firewalled law office building which withstood the devastation. It remains as a lone witness to the level grassy field on which it now stands, six months later.

As measured by the crowd-filled streets the day of the fire — and the outpouring of support for the community ever since — people here and nearby take the Great Garrettsville Fire seriously and personally. But no one felt the loss more keenly than Mike Maschek, the primary owner of the building. He had just completed the renovation project which had transformed the Buckeye Block Building from a sorry, sagging eyesore to a thriving example of “revival and restoration,” as he called it.

True to form, this man of vision and faith choked back any signs of defeat. The day after the fire, Maschek stated, “To be continued… It’s still all about revival and restoration.”

Funding a Miracle

Unfortunately, Maschek is not a magic man and he hasn’t erected a replica of the Buckeye Block Building within the blink of an eye on that grassy lot. He is, however, a believer in miracles. Maschek says $3-$4 million is required to reconstruct the Buckeye Block according to modern building codes. Insurance payments covered just a fraction of that total, and a government grant Maschek had hoped to secure by now never materialized.

However, an $80,000 grant is promised from Portage County to be used for streetscaping, landscaping, lighting, and infrastructure along the historic district once the reconstruction project is under way.

Maschek is also holding out hope for receiving a generous grant from a private source which would be more than sufficient for reconstructing the Buckeye Block. If that does not come through, Maschek trusts that funds will materialize some other way.

Meanwhile, the community-generated GarrettsvilleStrong Fund, managed by the Garrettsville Area Chamber of Commerce, has accumulated $72,871.87 (as of 9/11/14) in its account. This ongoing fundraising effort will award monies toward the re-building effort once a plan is approved.

New fundraisers associated with GarrettsvilleStrong include:

• Limited Edition T-Shirts sponsored by the 900 Coalition, on sale at The Villager. (Only 100 total T-shirts were printed).

• Harlem Ambassadors Basketball Game, Oct 25 – Five JAG alumni and five teachers will take on the Harlem Ambassadors in a fun-filled family event.  Proceeds to be split between GarrettsvilleStrong and Phase 2 of the JAG Stadium rebuild project.

• Chipotle of Streetsboro fundraiser – (Date and time TBA)

Ongoing GarrettsvilleStrong efforts include:

• Destination Vacations Fundraiser – Michelle Ford at Destination Vacations is offering a $100 donation to GarrettsvilleStrong with the purchase of a 6-day or longer all-inclusive vacation, cruise or Disney trip booked through August 31, 2015. Call Michelle at (440) 391-9896 for details.

• GarrettsvilleStrong Book – Pam Montgomery is creating a book that will contain history about Garrettsville and compiled stories and pictures from people about past events relating to the downtown section that burned. She will also feature a “Main Street is on Fire” section with related pictures and stories. People can submit their stories and may take out advertising at the back of the book, with proceeds helping to pay for printing. Contact Pam at (330) 527-5744 to participate.

•  Photo & Video DVD – Rich Teresi is making a DVD video/slide show of the fire. The DVD will contain about 200 unpublished pictures and 30 videos taken during the March 22nd fire.

Anyone with new ideas for fundraising projects to help fund reconstruction of the Buckeye Block can contact the Chamber at (330) 527-5761 to register with GarrettsvilleStrong.

Revival & Restoration, Continued

Some people are dreamers. Others are doers. It’s rare to find someone who embodies both… and rarer still for that person to be a builder by trade. But Maschek is that rare mix of a man. So, while his property insurance proceeds from the fire were a virtual drop in the bucket toward Buckeye Block reconstruction costs, they were sufficient for generating a new site of revival and restoration nearby.

Just a stone’s throw from the Buckeye Block, at the intersection of Main, Center and Water streets, stands the long-vacant and once-integral hub of historic downtown Garrettsville, last known as Paul’s Feed Mill. The wood frame mill, built in 1852, served the village as a carriage shop, general store and feed supplier before going out of business more than 10 years ago. The mill and its outbuildings were dilapidated, blighted and poised for demolition.

But Maschek saw promise in the mill’s history and its nearly 4,000 square feet of floor space. He saw potential for the Buckeye Block’s business owners to have a new set of options for moving their enterprises back to Main Street within months; not the years it could take for the Buckeye Block to rematerialize if full funding isn’t secured soon. (The construction project itself could be completed within 12 months, from dig to finish, Maschek estimates.)

Maschek took ownership of the mill in May. Abatement, gutting and demolition of the outbuildings began immediately with excavation following, to the tune of $80,000 just to open up 175 feet of frontage for future commercial or residential growth along Water Street behind the mill. Maschek says there is ample space there for two buildings plus a parking lot for up to 18 cars, plus the option of a cantilevered deck that could reach halfway across Silver Creek.

Renovation of the historic mill took shape following demolition, first with the removal of old siding which revealed the original wood exterior and faded handpainted signage from the 1800s (“CARRIAGES, WAGONS AND SLEIGHS,” “SEEDS,” “FARM IMPLEMENTS,” etc.) But that history will soon be re-preserved behind modern vinyl siding of a historic crimson hue.

Meanwhile, a stone front face has been built up to the second floor. New windows and roof have been installed, all according to historic design standards of the early 1850s. Topping it off, a glass-enclosed cupola now accents the roofline, automatically lit every evening as a warm beacon shining over Main Street. The Paul Family has also erected a historic plaque out front.

The mill now features a finished basement with repaired original foundational stonework, a bathroom on each of its three levels, and a warming kitchen on the main floor. Drywalling was being done last week. Painting and siding will follow over the next couple weeks. Historic features of the original craftsmanship remain, including exposed posts, beams, and stone walls. A new concrete patio from the rear entrance leads to a ground-level wraparound porch primarily facing Water Street and the newly-renovated Eagles Aerie across the way. Renovation of the mill should be complete by November, Maschek says.

‘Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day’

While it has been a morale booster for the village to see a central historic downtown building return from the near-dead, its future use is yet to be determined. Maschek’s original intent was to sell the building to an owner who would lease out space to local businesses, with priority access going to any of the dozen burned-out merchants who wanted to return to Main Street.

However, that’s just one viable option. Maschek has an offer from a potential buyer who would use the mill primarily as office space. And although Maschek typically prefers renovating rather than owning buildings, he admits he has grown fond of the mill and would consider retaining ownership to ensure it functions more as a community center. “Everything is conjecture at this point,” he says. “But I am excited about what I’d like to do with the mill. It would change the atmosphere of this community.”

So, there are no final answers yet concerning the future of the mill or the Buckeye Block. The funding status of the Buckeye Block and completion of the mill renovation should both be realized by November. So before the New Year, we may know what direction each is heading. When pressed for answers, Maschek responds, “I know what I need for today. I don’t have tomorrow’s money yet. So I do all I can right now with the resources I have today.”

For now — six months since the Great Garrettsville Fire — Maschek feels, “We’re right on schedule.” Pointing to Ecclesiastes, he says, “There is a purpose to every season. God does things — and allows things — for a reason. ‘There is a time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to weep and a time to laugh’.”

“We can’t live in the past. We can’t live in the future. The time for living — and building — is now, while we have the opportunity, informed by the past and looking forward to the future.”

New-Hoses

Garrettsville – The Garrettsville-Freedom-Nelson Joint Fire District is pleased to announce we have been awarded a Federal AFG (Assistance to Firefighters Grant) by FEMA for 2014. The grant was submitted last year, with an extensive selection process taking place before acceptance or declination by FEMA. The grant was proposed and awarded with the purpose of replacing a significant percentage of our fire hose inventory that was manufactured as early as 1984 (and non-compliant with NFPA fire code). The grant was awarded at $24,901 with a 5% contribution by the fire district. This means the fire district only paid $1,245 for $24,901 worth of equipment. Actual amount of FEMA money awarded to the fire district was $23,656. The grant replaced 500 feet of 1 ¾’’ (diameter) hose, 1,600 feet of 2 ½” hose, 1,500 feet of 3” hose, 2,000 feet of 4” hose, six nozzles, and three siamese adapters. No grant writing costs were incurred due to all grants being collaboratively managed by fire district employees. All received equipment has been placed into service with our thanks to FEMA.

Melana-Good-Picture-2-1Garrettsville – The Friends of Melana Foundation was formed 3 ½ year ago in Garrettsville to help foster awareness and provide funding for children’s glioma brain cancer research. The local foundation was named in memory of nine-year-old Melana Matson whose life was claimed by the disease in 2009. Founded by Garrettsville residents Norm and Joyce Fashing, Melana’s grandparents, the group has raised nearly $60,000 in funding for children’s glioma cancer research, the second leading cause of cancer deaths in young people.

Glioma brain cancer research has been grossly under funded for decades and children diagnosed with the disease had been basically given a death sentence. Children stricken with the disease are unlikely to live beyond five years, and with some as little as nine to twelve months from date of diagnosis.

In 2011, the Friends of Melana joined forces with their parent foundation, the Cleveland based Prayers From Maria Children‘s Glioma Cancer Foundation. The two non-profit groups pool their resources and have, to date, awarded two $100,000 research grants as seed money to researchers. The start up funding is necessary to establish promising preliminary research data before being considered for a government continuation grant. The first grant went to Cleveland MetroHealth Medical Center and the second to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.

Both grants have produced some very positive results. The MetroHeath group has been awarded a $3.3 million continuation grant from the National Cancer Institute, and the Boston group has finally been able to take biopsies from gliomas in children without causing fatal harm, and has also developed treatments for two of the five mutations that have been identified and commonly found in children’s gliomas.

On September 8th it was announced that the Melana Matson Memorial research grant of $250,000 was awarded to Dr. James P. Basilion, associate professor of radiology and biomedical engineering at Case Westerm Reserve University.

Although the Friends of Melana Foundation is a small, grass-roots non-profit group working in a basically rural geographical area in northern Portage County, the group is highly regarded by the parent foundation because of its efforts and contributions to the cause. In recognition and appreciation for Friends of Melana’s contributions, the Children’s Glioma Cancer Foundation will name the next grant ‘The Melana Matson Memorial Grant’, the first grant awarded in honor of a stricken child.

According to Friends of Melana President Norm Fashing, “We are very excited, truly blessed, and honored by this recognition. It gives us a shot in the arm to keep us going in the fight against childhood cancer. No other child should have to go through what Melana had to endure with this deadly disease.”

Friends of Melana is a partner with the Prayers From Maria Foundation, a 501 C3 non-profit foundation, www.stopkidscancer.org. Donations towards further research can be mailed to: Friends of Melana, P.O. Box 204, Garrettsville, Ohio, 44231.

mantua-pie

Mantua – You might say that the Rotary Pie Auction at the Mantua Potato Festival was a “Smashing” success. Unexpectedly, it became a “pie in your face” experience for some.  That is, if you were willing to up the ante and pay extra bucks to put a pie in the face of the famous baker. At the suggestion of the auctioneer bidding started out at $250 per pie but then he surprisingly upped the stakes to $500 “if you would like to put the pie in the face of the baker”.  At least three people stepped up and did just that.  $500 was paid to “pie in the face Police Chief Harry Buchert (right), and the young children of School Superintendent Dave Toth seized the moment to “pie in the face” dear old  Dad (above).  A crowd of  100 or more looked on and was thoroughly delighted by the antics of the bakers and the buyers.  It is a credit to our community that these two leaders so good naturedly stepped up to the plate (pie).

Some of the comments overheard from the crowd were: “This was so much fun; it was good to see so many community leaders on stage having fun. What good sports these community leaders are; We had a great time, be sure to do it next year; I didn’t know that Rotary did events like this.”

A total of about $3,000 was raised by Rotary’s Sandy Verduin who engineered the Pie Contest.  The profits will go to send young adults to the RYLA leadership camp.

riteaid

Garrettsville – All that’s old is new again at your neighborhood Rite Aid.

The store, located at 10764 North Street for nearly two decades, earned a Wellness Renovation that brings shoppers a more inviting, personalized experience to their store and pharmacy experiences, aimed to improve their overall health. Of 25 stores in the northeast Ohio district, this is the fourth to receive the Wellness Renovation.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at 10am on Thursday, September 11, including cake and refreshments for customers throughout the day. This will kick off a three-week Grand Opening featuring special promotions and sales.

The five-week renovation process has resulted in a new color scheme with wood grain accents; a more open floor plan with warmer lighting and wider aisles for improved product visibility; pharmacy discounts; and new product categories, including gluten-free foods, an organic section and a $1 aisle. Immunizations are also available at the pharmacy for the flu, shingles, whooping cough, pneumonia, and measles/mumps/rubella.

A new Wellness Ambassador role has also been added to the staff, so a customer assistant is on the floor at all times, available to help customers find products, look up their Wellness Points, or assist at the pharmacy.

Store Manager Tammy Fitz says that she and Pharmacy Manager Julia Polz are also hosting quarterly health & wellness events. The first event is a free health screening, 12noon-4pm on Saturday, September 27. Nurses will be on hand to provide free assessments for blood pressure, kidney function, glucose and cholesterol levels.

Renovations have been ongoing since July 21. The final touches should be made late this week, with a recoated parking lot and new lights.

“This ushers in a new customer experience,” says Fitz. “It’s cleaner, brighter and updated. Once you get re-oriented to the new layout, you’ll appreciate being able to see everything better and find items more easily.”

The new and improved Garrettsville Rite Aid also has extended pharmacy (and drive-through) hours: 8am-9pm Mondays through Fridays; 9am-6pm Saturdays;and 10am-6pm Sundays. The front end store is open 8am-10pm daily. Call (330)527-2828 for more information.

“It’s friendly, it’s bright, it’s more convenient than ever,” Fitz says. Welcome to the new Rite Aid.

fresh-start

The Rybak family enjoys lunch & breakfast at the same time, as breakfast is served all day long at the Fresh Start Diner.

Garrettsville - “We start every meal fresh so you can start the day fresh.” That’s a fitting motto for Fresh Start Diner, which quietly moved into 8126 Main Street in downtown Garrettsville one month ago.

Owner Andy Olson brought the independent franchise to town after working eight years as head cook and assistant kitchen manager for the Chagrin Falls Fresh Start Diner. Co-owners Ken Frankenberry and Bob Wyman started the Fresh Start franchise in Twinsburg, then added the Oberlin and Chagrin Falls locations. Olson worked at the Twinsburg location before Frankenberry and Wyman purchased it.

Olson realized it was time to start his own business when his old friend and fellow cook, Jeremy Quiggle, mentioned he was looking to sell The Pasta House building and equipment at this location.

Olson was raised in Windham Township and now resides in Shalersville, so Garrettsville is familiar territory for him. He went with a soft opening for Fresh Start Diner rather than a big publicity splash, so he and his staff could ease onto the community, work out kinks without much ado, and gain a solid clientele through word of mouth.

The approach seems to be working. The dining room on late Monday morning was bustling, drawing college kids, senior citizens, couples and families for home-made breakfast and lunch entrees made from fresh ingredients, served promptly by pleasant wait staff.

The plentiful breakfast and lunch menu includes gluten-free, vegetarian and multigrain options to accommodate various dietary restrictions and preferences. And while it features traditional diner fare, it offers creative options for discerning palates, like mocha multigrain pancakes with real maple syrup, home-made home fries, and quality breads.

Olson did note that certain food choices are more popular in one location versus the other. Perhaps it shouldn’t be too surprising that the Garrettsville group orders more meat and potatoes while the Chagrin Falls clientele prefers fresh fruit and cottage cheese.

The Fresh Start concept is simple, as stated on their website: To provide our customers with a high quality dining experience. We offer plentiful portions of delicious, freshly prepared food at reasonable prices, in a clean setting, with friendly and attentive service.

Fresh Start Diner in downtown Garrettsville is open Mondays through Saturdays, 6:30am-2pm; and Sundays, 8am-2pm. Breakfast is served all day long while lunch is served 10:30 to closing time. The diner can be reached at (330) 527-2700 or at  freshstartdiner.com.

Andy Olson invites you to come on in. Because it’s always the right time for a Fresh Start.

sthelensunicycle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

cops-fishing

Hiram – The Hiram Police Department held its  Third Annual “Cops and Kids”fishing day event at Camp Asbury on Saturday August 23rd. The event was a huge success! The weather was perfect, participants caught lots of fish, and plenty of new friends were made.

“Cops and Kids” fishing day presents an opportunity for area children to enjoy the day fishing with police officers of the Hiram Police Department.  The event builds lifelong bonds between children and police officers. Parents are encouraged to attend the event, as family unity is also a part of the program. Every child that attended the event received a free Zebco fishing rod/reel combo, an event T-shirt. Thank you to Haylett’s BP for supplying lunch at the event, Buckeye Worm Farm for supplying the bait, Camp Asbury for hosting the event for the third year in a row, Berg’s Eye apparel for the wonderful T-shirts, Great Lakes Outdoor Supply for their sponsorship, and everybody that came out and spent the day with us.

The Hiram Police Department will be holding a Car Show on September 6th. on Hayden Street in Hiram Village from 9am-2pm.  (Story Here)

It is said that the show must go on and, despite quite the heavy down pour, the show certainly did just that at the Portage County Randolph Fair which recently showcased locals “Livin’ the Dream 2014” during its 156th season.

Clear skies and sunshine shone at various points during the weeklong festivities, encouraging visitors to take their time perusing a wide variety of skills on display ranging from handmade crafts and artwork to homegrown and kitchen-preserved produce to aptitude with raising and training animals.

Though there were exceptional events continually on the schedule, a few days were designated with special themes such as the Kids’ Day on Thursday, which is when those same sunny skies opened up for an impromptu rainstorm unfortunately drenching the spectators but fortunately serving as a way to cool down the late summer heat. Nevertheless, those present enjoyed the cornucopia of offerings that included amusement rides, a K-9 demonstration, mini horse shows, Little Squirts tractor races and “make and take” activities geared just for the younger crowd. Friday acknowledged senior citizens and veterans with free admission and spotlighted entertainers reminiscent of the good ole days such as Elvis (well, an impersonator at least) and the not-at-all-minuscule sounds of the Akron Big Band.

Festival fans had the opportunity to explore the plethora of participants throughout several different styles of venues whether in the barn stables corralling cows (beef and dairy alike) or the aforementioned mini horses and their not-so-mini counterparts; livestock pens housing sheep, goats, pigs and even alpacas; or exhibit buildings presenting everything from flower arrangements, sewing selections and fine art to a veritable rainbow of delectable edibles in the form of jams and jellies, wine (red, white, blush and dessert subcategories just to name a few), right-off-the-tree-or-bush fruits and the freshly made pies and pastries that go with them. Due to the recent trend in home brewing, a new category may be created next season for homemade beer as well giving a new twist to look forward to for those who make a tradition of fair attendance year after year. And for an extra taste of creativity, “art” projects combining ingenuity with natural materials found right in one’s garden allowed viewers to look at vegetables with a new perspective as a barrel-racing scene made out of a cucumber obstacle course was run by a cherry tomato-topped peapod “cowboy” riding a corncob “pony” protected by a green bean “fence” while another tongue-in-cheek landscape depicted an iceberg (of iceberg lettuce, of course) obstructing the world’s most famous cruise ship. The scarecrow army returned as well with one section portraying straw-stuffed likenesses of prominent inventors in history.

Regardless of which roof the products were under, ribbons were awarded fair-wide in several classes and categories and the recipients’ entries were proudly tagged with an array of blue, red, white and yellow, with large purple ruffles designating a Best in Show.

Other honorable mentionables to notice while meandering along the grounds were humorous competitions such as a rooster crowing challenge and costume contest for various types of four-legged friends in addition to the grooming games and live races that required humans and animals to team up their talents to succeed in their endeavors. Grandstand crowd favorites returned with tractor pulls, bull riding and the quintessential smash’em ups that feature the brave contestants in the Demolition Derby. And if the flashing lights and noisy sound effects didn’t draw attention to the giant contraptions on the midway, the temporarily thrilled (or terrified?) shrieks of the carnival kiddies riding high above the numerous food stands certainly did. It wouldn’t be a county fair without plenty of snack choices, namely those that are fried or on a stick, to munch while enjoying an afternoon of being hoisted by a colorful metal apparatus into the air and any festival veteran knows that successfully combining both without some kind of messy aftermath is a talent all its own!

To learn even more about this long-standing fixture in our nearby farming world, or to find out how to be involved next year, visit http://www.randolphfair.com/ or call the fair office at (330) 325-7476.

 

According to the Mantua Shalersville Fire Department, as of September 2nd, State Route 44 will be closed just North of Canada Road as ODOT repairs the bridge. This road closure is estimated to take 75 days. In order to keep MSFD response time to a minimum, the Department has opened a temporary, second station for the duration of the project. This temporary station is located north of the construction area, at F&S Automotive, to aid the Department in providing services to residents north of the construction area. Two firefighter/paramedics, a fire engine and an EMS unit will staff this satellite location. The main MSFD will maintain normal staffing of four, as well as the remaining equipment at their permanent location south of the village on State Route 44.

In the course of the last township meeting, trustees asked for an update on the Township Hall repair project from Cal Brant, the owner of Brant Carpentry. He let the trustees know that a swarm of honeybees had recently relocated themselves in the attic of the building. As a beekeeper, Mr. Brant is confident in his ability to successfully remove the bees and complete the project. Mr. Brant reported that the project is progressing, and that he anticipates completion of repairs and residing of portions of the exterior of the building by the end of fall. To continue moving forward, Trustees approved a motion to set aside $6,000 for Township Hall improvements. It was noted that Brant Carpentry donated roughly $800 of work on the project thus far. Mr. Brant also reported that the new exterior siding has been received, and asked that any volunteers willing to help prime or paint siding for the project should contact him at (330) 274-3538.

Next, Brian Tayerle reported on behalf of the Service Department that although weather has delayed chip and seal work, road repairs would begin soon. In addition, he reported that his two-person department would like trustees to investigate the potential of hiring a part-time person for the winter months to help ease the burden of plowing township roads. Mr. Tayerle stated that eventually, he’d like to expand the Service Department back to three people, as it had been previously. Trustees agreed, discussed options, and agreed to bring more ideas and suggestions on the issue to their next meeting. In addition, Mr. Tayerle noted that the Service Department has been stocking grits, which will be stored for winter, and mixed with salt to help extend the Townships salt supply during the coming winter months.

Trustee Jason Carlton noted that the price of road salt for Mantua Township and the 20 other communities participating in the ODOT salt bid was 300% higher than last year’s prices. Suppliers state that their salt mines can’t meet the increased demands, as communities in Ohio and surrounding states, still stinging from last year’s brutal weather, have increased the tonnage of salt they hope to order. Trustees agreed to join the ODOT bid at a reduced quantity, and will continue to investigate alternative sources to purchase salt at a more reasonable rate.

Lastly, Trustees Festa and Carlton revisited the public comment rules and procedures prior to opening up the floor to allow for such comments. Per Mr. Festa, “a trustee meeting is no place to promote vendettas or personal agendas.” Mr. Festa voiced his opinion that responses of that nature were, “uncalled for, and a disruption of the meeting.” Mr. Carlton concurred, stating,” We want to hear what you have to say, but everyone should have the same opportunity.” He urged that respondents keep their township-related comments brief to allow all residents who wish to comment an equal opportunity to do so. In addition, he reminded those in attendance that public comments are not a mandatory part of township trustee meetings, and as such, all parties commenting should do so in a respectful manner.

The next meeting of the Mantua Township Trustees will be on Thursday, September 4th at 7:30 pm in the Township Hall.

 

back-to-school-kids

Find tons of great school spirit wear, and Garrettsville apparel at the Villager Emporium (8088 Main Street, Garrettsville)

*** Denotes Bus Route Changes for 2014-2015

*** Bus #1 Middle / High AM  

Driver – Jama Peterson

6:35 Leave garageRight on S.R. 88, Right on S.R. 303, Right on Asbury

Left on Streeter

Right on Limeridge

Left on Schustrich, Left on Vaughn, Left on Goodell

Right on Limeridge, Right on Streeter

Turn around at barn

Right on Limeridge

Left on S.R. 303

Left on S.R. 700

Left into Blackbrook Trailer Park

Left on 700

Right on Hankee, R onto to Village Dr.

Back to School

 

Bus #1  ELEMENTARY AM 

8:10 1ST PICK UPFrom Ravenna, Left on 88 – 303- 88, Left on Nichols

Left on Hankee, Left on 700

Right on 303, Right on Asbury

R on Streeter, L on Stamm

R on Hankee

Right on 700, Right into Blackbrook Trailer Park

Pick up @ mailbox

L on 700, R on Hankee/Freedom St.

Right on White St.

R on 88, Back to school

 

*** Bus #2 Middle / High AM  

Driver – Dreama Adkins

6:30 Leave garageLeft on 88, R Liberty St.

Left on Windham St. (82)

Right on Water

Left on Liberty, Left on Park

Right on Maple, Right on Center

Right on Knowlton, Left on Paul St, Left on Sophia

Left on Center

Right on Garfield Drive

Right on Center

Right on High

Right on Maple

Right on North Street(88)

Right onto  Meadow Run, Right onto Clover Lane

Right on Meadow Run

Left on North Street (88)./corner of Harris

Back to High School

 

Bus #2 Elementary AM

8:00 Leave garageLeft on S.R. 88, R on Liberty, Left on 82

R on Water

Left on Liberty,Left on Center

Right on High

Cross Maple

Right on Main, Right on North (88)

Right on Meadow Run, Right on Clover

Right onto Meadow Run

Left onto North, Pick up on Corner of Wolff

Left on Elm Street

Right on Forest

Right onto State Street

Go through light , Left on Center St.

Group Stop

Right on Liberty, Right on Park

At Corner Group Stop

Right on Maple, Left on Center

Straight on 82, Right on Freedom

Left on 88

Back to Elementary School

 

Bus #6 Middle / High AM  

Driver – Beverly Girdler

6:40am Leave garageRight on 88, Left on Nichols, Cross over 303

Turn around at Vair, Back down Nichols,R on Smalley

Left on Slagle

Cross over 303

R on Gotham

R on Stanley

R on 303

R on Nichols, If Stephanie called to ride THEN cross over 88, if not riding then turn R on 88

R on Anderson, L on 88

Back to School

 

BUS #6  ELEMENTARY AM

7:45am Leave garageRight on 88, cross over 303 to Nichols

Left on Nichols

Turn around at Vair, Back down Nichols

Right on Smalley

Left on Slagle

Cross over 303

Right on Gotham

Right On Stanley

Right on SR 303

Right on S.R. 88

BACK TO SCHOOL

 

*** Bus #7 Middle / High AM  

Driver Helene Christopher

6:25am Leave garageL on 88, R on Freedom, L on 82, R on Center,L on W/P,  R on 305 E

Left on 282

R Into Nelson Trailer Park

Right on 282

R on Bancroft

Cross 422, Bancroft /Chalker

Left on Reynolds Rd

Left on Hobart

R on 422, U turn @Reynolds, down 422

R on Fenstemaker

Right on 305

Go around Circle, Continue on 305 W

Left on Brosius

Right on Center St, L on 82, R on Freedom St.-Pick up

Left on 88,

Back to School

 

BUS #7 ELEMENTARY AM

7:45am Leave garageLeft on 88, Right on Liberty,

Left into Eagle Creek

Turn around then pick up

Left onto Liberty, Left on Silica St.

Left on Brosius, Right on Center

Left on Parkman, 1/4 around circle, Right on 305(E)

Right on Bloom

Right on Knowlton

Left on Center

Right on Garfield Dr.

Merge to the Right.

Right on Center St.

Right on Maple, Left on South St., Right on Zupancic

Right on S.R. 88, Straight onto Hewins- by Roller Hutt

Right on 88

Back to School

 

Bus #8 Middle / High AM  

Driver Pattie Avenmarg

6:42am Leave garageRight on 88, R on 303, L on 88, Left on Freedom Rd.

Right on Vair Rd.

Right on King

Left on 88

Turn Left into Hales 2nd drive, turn around back, turn right onto rt 88, go around back, then Right on 88

Left  on Limeridge, Left on Wygle Road, turn around, go back down Wygle

Turn around at drive on right past corn field

L on Limeridge

Turn around at last drive, Left before S.R. 303, garage in rear

Left on 88

Right on 303, Right on Asbury

Left onto 88

Right on 303

Left on 88

Back  to School

 

BUS #8 ELEMENTARY AM

7:45am Leave garageRight on 88, Right on 303, Left on 88

Left on Freedom Road

Right on Vair Road

Right on King

Left on 88

Turn around in Hales 2nd drive,

Left  on Limeridge, Left on Wygle Road, turn around, go back down Wygle

Turn around at drive on right past corn field

Left on Limeridge

Right on 303, Right on Asbury

Left on 88

Left on 700, Right into Freedom Park- by recyling

Left on 88/303,

Left on 88, Left on Nichols, Right on Anderson

Left on 88

Back to School

 

*** Bus #9 Middle / High AM  

Driver – Shelly Pemberton

6:30am Leave garageLeft on 88, Right on Liberty, Right on Center, Right on Brosius

Right on Riverview

Right on Brosius, Left on Pierce, R on Hopkins

L on WP, R on Pierce

Right on Newell Ledge

Left on Silica Sand, Go to Colton Rd, Turn around, Left on Silica Sand

R on WIndham Parkman

Go Around Circle, at Y stay Right,

L on Hopkins

R on Pierce

Left on Brosius

Right on 82,

L on on Liberty

Left on 88, Back to School

 

Bus #9 Elementary AM

7:45am Leave garageLeft on 88, Right on Liberty, Right on Center, Right on Brosius

Right on Riverview

Right on Brosius

Right on Hopkins

Right Pierce, Right on Newell Ledge, Left onSilica Sand, Go to Colton Rd, turn around, Left on Silica Sand

Right on Win/Parkman- Pick up all the way to the Circle

At Nelson Circle, Take the Y to the RIght, Center Rd-Left on Hopkins

Right on Pierce

Left on Brosius

Right on 82

Left on Liberty, Left on 88, Back to school

 

*** Bus #10 Middle / High AM  

Driver – Danny Deakins

6:35 Leave garageLeft on 88, Right on Freedom, Left on 82, Right on Center, Right on Knowlton, Right on Parkman, Left on Collins.

Left on Bloom

Right on 305, Right on Kyle

Left on Knowlton

Right on Shanks-Down

Turn around, go back down  12486Shanks-Down

Left on Knowlton

Straight on Nicholson

Left on 305, Left on Kyle

Right on Knowlton

Right on Windham Parkman Road, go around circle to Nelson Parkman

Left on Pritchard

Left on Prentiss

Cross over Ely, turn around at Turos

Left on Ely, Left on Brosius

Right on 305, Left on 88, Back to School

 

Bus 10 ELEMENTARY AM

7:42 Leave garageLeft on 88, Right on Freedom St., Left on 82, Right on Center, Right on Knowlton, Right on Win/Parkman, Left on Collins, Left on Bloom

Right on Knowlton

Turn right to stay on Knowlton

Right on Shanks-Down

Turn around 2486 Shanks-Down

Left on Knowlton

Go straight on Knowlton,Turns into Nicholson

Right on 305, Left on Fenstemaker

Left on Kennedy Ledge

Left on 282

Left on 305,Right on Kyle

Right on Knowlton

Left on Center, Right on Maple, Left on 88, Right on Freedom

Left onto Village Drive/Vanderslice

Corner of Village/Vanderslice

Right on Freedom, Right on White,Right on 88

Stop at JFK- AM ONLY

 

Bus #12 ELEMENTARY AM 

7:50am Leave garageL on S.R. 88, Right on Freedom St., Left on Windham St., Right on Center St., Left on Brosius

Cross Over 305

Right on Ely

Right on Prentiss

Go to Turos Farm, Turn Around, Back down Prentiss

Cross on Ely

Right on Pritchard

Turn Left on Nelson Parkman Rd. Turn around

Turn Right on Nelson Parkman Road

Right on 305

Right on Mills

Left on 88, Left on 82, Right on Liberty, Right on 88

Right on South Park Ave.

Turn around at next Road

Left on 88, Back to School

 

*** Bus #17 Middle / High AM  

Driver – Debbie Ellison

6:35am Leave garageL on 88, L on State/ 82

Go to turn around at top of hill- A-frame house pick up

Left on Wheeler Rd.

R on Shawnee Trail

Right on Wheeler Rd.

Right on Wrenwood

Right on Wheeler Rd., Right on S.R. 305,

Left on 88, Right on Mills

Right on 305

Right on 88

Back into North Coast Energy on R, Back down 88

Right on Norton,

RIght on Mumford

Left on Grove, Left on Udall

L on Norton

Right on Mumford

Right onto S.R. 88

GROUP STOP French/South St. (88)

Left on Hewins

Right on 88, Back to school

 

BUS #17 ELEMENTARY AM

7:50am Leave garageLeft on 88, Left on 82

Go to turn around at top of hill, go back down 82

L on Wheeler

R on Wrenwood

R on Wheeler, R on S.R. 305

Left on S.R. 88

ON Right- Back into North Coast Energy drive- Back down S.R. 88(South)

Right on Norton

R on Mumford

After Pick up

Right onto S.R. 88

Corner of French Street to South Street

Right on Crestwood

Right on 88-JFK

Back to Elementary School

 

*** Bus #18 Middle / High AM  

Driver – Rose Broadwater

6:40am Leave garageLeft on 88, Left on White, Left on Hankee/Freedom, Left on Nichols

Right on S.R.88, Right on S.R. 303, Right on S.R. 700

Right on Streeter

Turn around in Nottingham’s driveway, go back left on Streeter, Cross 700

Right on Stamm

Left on Hankee, Left on Asbury

Left on Streeter

Left on Stamm, Right on Hankee

Cross over 700, Hankee/Freedom

Right on S.R.88

Back to School

 

BUS #18 ELEMENTARY  AM

7:40am Leave garageLeft on S.R. 88, Left on Freedom St., Left on Nichols

Right on 88, Right on 303

Right on Limeridge

Right on Vaughn, Right on Schustrich, Right on Limeridge

Left on Goodell

Left on Goodell, Left on Limeridge, Right on Streeter

Turn around @ barn, Right on Streeter,

Cross Limeridge

Cross Asbury

Cross over 700

Left on Nichols Rd.

Right on Hankee/Freedom St.

 

Bus #25 Elementary AM

Driver – Debbie Woodrum

7:30am Leave garageL on 88, R on Freedom, L on Windham St., R on Center,R on 305 E.

Left on 282

Back into Prichard, Back down 282

Left on Bancroft

Right on 422. U-turn at bottom of hill, Continue on 422

Right on Bancroft/Chalker

Left Reynolds Rd.

Left on Hobart

Right on 422, U-turn on 422 at Reynolds,

Right on Fenstemaker

Right on S.R. 305

Right on 282, Right into Nelson Trailer Park

Turn around at mailboxes, Pick up at Pavilion

Left on 282, Right on 305

Right on Parkman, Right on Center, Back to School

14-986-Site-Traffic-Plan

The opening of school at James A. Garfield will bring many new things this year.  A new 17,500 square foot addition will welcome our fifth and sixth grade students and staff. All students in grades 7-12 will have new laptops. The construction of the new addition will bring a new traffic pattern for parents during pickup and dropoff times.  This map should help provide some direction for everyone as you return to school on August 26. We will also have staff members at specific areas the first week back to assist everyone with these new traffic patterns.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the district office at 330.527.4336.

 

Alie2

Newton Falls – Summer may be almost over, which means classes are about to start up again for the area’s youngsters (and college co-eds too!) but for one local student the learning didn’t stop just because the school bell rang signaling warm weather had arrived. Alie Orr, a soon-to-be ninth grader at Newton Falls High School, had the opportunity to spend part of her summer vacation attending a gathering of future leaders in Columbus. Youth from all over the United States converged upon our state capital for a weekend of workshops, projects, teambuilding and networking, hoping to return to their respective regions a little bit more talented, a smidge wiser and perhaps even with a few new friends on facebook.

Once Alie received her acceptance letter to the event, the National Young Leaders State Conference, thanks to a nomination by her seventh grade English teacher, Mrs. Clay, she started to fulfill the program’s curriculum requirements by producing a creative newsletter-type magazine cover about someone she admired (she picked her mom) and considered her goals and what she hoped to acquire from her time there.

For her part, Kristy Orr, Alie’s mom, had a big wish for her daughter’s attendance at the conference: to gain more confidence.

During the whirlwind weekend, students kept a special journal answering prompts in the book that required them to think deeply on different topics and to explore potentially new areas of discussion including conversations they would have in class. One workshop invited the students to imaginarily plan a community service project (Alie planned a fundraiser concert for autism awareness) while another put the participants in the spotlight, engaging them as discussion leaders, which helped polish their skills and become better public speakers. Though the service project Alie planned in class is only imaginary right now, she has organized a real one taking place this weekend: a bake sale to help the homeless in our local community, set up during the City Wide Yard Sale (August 15, 16 and 17).

Before she temporarily left the small town of Newton Falls for the big city of Columbus, one of Alie’s own goals was to talk more and make new friends and all around “to better myself,” she said. Sorted into themed teams of other kids her age from various parts of the country (the 8th grader sets were named after rivers), Alie as part of the “Amazons” spent the conference getting to know a diverse group of students and honed her social skills as well as her academic abilities.

She mentioned that the experience has indeed helped her ask questions more and be more engaged with those around her. “I spent four days with complete strangers and walked out with a bunch of phone numbers,” she said with a smile.

If there’s one thing this bright young lady hopes people will know about her it’s that there’s more than meets the eye and she may be quiet but that doesn’t mean she’s shy. “I’m not just a bookworm,” she explained. “I’m fun to be around and I pick and choose my friends wisely.”

So did Kristy’s wish for her daughter come true?

“I am most proud of her for finding herself,” Kristy said. “This past year was a difficult year for her and I’m proud of her for staying true to who she is, that she owns who she is. Embrace your weirdness!” And the confidence? Kristy mentioned that she has indeed seen a higher level of confidence in Alie. “I’ve noticed that difference ever since,” she said.

So what’s around the corner for this year? In addition to continuing her already full schedule of interests including playing snare drum in the marching band and serving as defender on the soccer team, Alie would like to study drama, journalism and photography in the upcoming school year as well. And if that isn’t enough to juggle, Alie is looking forward to being the first freshman at Newton Falls to take college classes at Kent Trumbull. As she doesn’t have a high school GPA yet which is a requirement for taking courses, this first semester will be strictly high school classes to officially earn that status. Then she will incorporate the higher learning one class at a time, to which she states there’s only one problem: her small height in comparison to all the older college students. “I’ll just have to wear high heels to look taller,” she quipped.

And for after she officially graduates from high school, well, she’s thought that out too. Although mom Kristy attended Kent State University and dad Ron is a Hiram College alumnus, Alie has her sights set on Ohio State with plans to study veterinary medicine. Alie’s love for animals is shown in the two cats and one dog that keep her entertained at home and caring for them is a good start for her intended career.

It appears that with a little bit more planning, a smidge of ambition and perhaps even a touch of luck, Amazon Alie will be achieving amazing accomplishments!http://www.envisionexperience.com/explore-our-programs/national-young-leaders-state-conference?region=ohio – what-to-expect

 

rain-barrels

Geauga County – The Geauga Soil and Water Conservation District’s Annual Rain Barrel Yard Art Campaign auction has begun and the barrels are at locations throughout Geauga County.  Six local artists and groups have donated their time, talent, and materials to the District by painting barrels and creatively transforming these recycled plastic barrels into beautiful and functional yard art.  These decorated rain barrels are now on display and available for silent bidding at various locations (as indicated below) for the months of August and September.  You can view all the barrels and also place a bid online by visiting Geauga SWCD’s website at geaugaswcd.com.

Minimum bids start at $90.  Don’t wait for a rainy day to place your bid… you can also “Buy It Now!” for $200!  Just include all the requested information and the barrel will be yours once method of payment is approved.  Any sold barrels will be indicated on our website and locations are subject to change with barrel sales.  Remaining barrels will be available for final bids at the Geauga SWCD Annual Meeting on November 6, 2014.

Here’s your chance to finally get a unique rain barrel while helping to protect our water resources.  Don’t delay, bid on a barrel today!  All proceeds will go toward the District’s environmental education programs.  Barrels can be found at the following locations:

1) Breathe by Yvonne Delgado displayed at Mazzulo’s Market (August) and Middlefield Cheese House (September)

2) Fantasy, Freedom, and Butterflies by Kay Hendricks displayed at Breezewood Gardens (August) and Lowe’s Greenhouse (September)

3) Gypsy Horse Go-Round by Mary Samide displayed at Beans Coffee Shop and Bistro (August) and Schneiders Saddlery (September)

4) Flamingo by Berkshire High School Art Club displayed at Blazin’ Bills (August) and Burton Library (September)

5) Watering the Horses by Byron Leffler displayed at Lowe’s Greenhouse (August) and Breezewood Gardens (September)

6) Grouchy by the Rodusky Family displayed at Geauga West Library (August) and Munson Western Reserve Country Store (September)

For more information visit the Geauga SWCD website at www.geaugaswcd.com or call 440- 834-1122.  Like us on Facebook to see updates on rain barrels and other news.  A special thanks to the artists for their generosity and to Ken’s Auto Body, Inc. in Troy Township for donating their time and materials to apply protective clear sealant to the barrels.

 

Garrettsville - Mike Maschek, the proud owner of the Garrettsville Feed Mill has the inside scoop for the new beginnings that he’s planning for not only his building, but his town. Maschek has always taken an interest in the Mill. For the past seven years, he’s stood from afar imagining the endless possibilities that could occur if the Mill were to be restored. Maschek believes that the Mill is the focal point and the center of Garrettsville, and he has many things planned for its new beginnings. Many people that have taken interest in buying the Mill have thought that it would be easier to just demolish the whole building and start from scratch. This may be the easy thing to do, but if someone were to demolish the building, all the history that is held inside, basically still in time, would be gone forever.

Maschek is known for saying: “You can rebuild all you want, but you can’t rebuild the history of a building.” He has a keen eye for hidden treasure. What others may see as garbage, he looks further into than  most eyes can see. He looks into the hidden possibilities that can come out of anything if the proper time and effort are put into it. As a strong believer in Jesus Christ; Maschek takes one of Jesus’ parables to a whole new level. Jesus talks about the lost treasure in Matthew 13:44-46. Good things are often hidden. “The Mill has been hidden for far too long. When I first laid my eyes on the Mill, I knew that it was something that would have great potential. The possibilities were endless. I kept visualizing what it could look like. The Mill is a focal point of the town and possibly the start of a great revival, both on the streets and in people. I feel like many people weren’t willing to pay the price to see the Mill restored. I believe that this will bring Garrettsville…hope again.”

The willingness of Mike Maschek to see the town of Garrettsville become the best that it can be is something rare, something that is uncommon to find in most people. Maschek who was also the owner of the majority of the Buckeye Block, sees a connection with the March 22 fire, and the Feed Mill. He says, “After the fire, the Feed Mill was a way for me to keep the momentum going. It’s kind of like a kick start to continue. It represents a city that is “Garrettsville Strong”.” We are not giving up. Jesus said, “You don’t take a light and hide it under a bushel, but you place it where it can be seen.” I am putting a lighted cupola on the top of the Feed Mill to offer encouragement, hope and new life to this community.”

Photo courtesy The Harlem Ambassadors

Photo courtesy The Harlem Ambassadors

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Clarence-Henry

Hiram – There’s a new face on the block near the Hiram Professional Building. Hiram College Alumni and former football player Clarence Henry recently opened the Hub in the space formerly occupied by Da Bar. The new establishment takes its name from the business, which originally occupied the space in 1956. According to Henry, the name is meant to evoke an experience of a social gathering among friends. He hopes his venture provides that social networking experience to the surrounding business owners, community members and college students. Not surprising, since his opportunity at the Hub arose when Henry, a former bar manager, learned the location was available while visiting another local establishment. Originally from Florida, Henry and his family, his fiancé and three young children, now call Hiram home. In addition to being a business owner, Henry also plays football for the Ohio Golden Knights, the top ranked amateur football team in the Ohio Football League.

Since opening the Hub, Henry and his team of ten employees have added a pool table and dart league, and offers daily specials. On Tuesday Tequila Night, Henry boasts they serve the best margaritas in town. Each Friday is Ladies Night, with special prices on martinis, and special drink offerings for the men, as well. The Hub also boasts of having 10 beers on tap, from the standard Budweiser and Great Lakes, to Blue Moon, Alchemy Ale, and Guinness.

But wanting to be known as more than just a watering hole, the Hub will also be taking full advantage of its close proximity to Gionino’s Pizzaria by facilitating pizza, sub and wing orders to hungry Hub customers. In addition, Henry will soon be providing burgers from the recently re-opened Hiram Corner Store, and has plans to bring in local food trucks, O Loco Gringo and The Dogfather, who offer Mexican fare, as well as BBQ ribs and hot dog sandwiches — a perfect way to serve Hiram College students returning at the end of August. The Hub also has a DJ and plans to host karaoke, open mike night, and line dancing. To find out the latest news, be sure to follow the Hiram Hub on Facebook.

 

center-school

Mantua – One hundred years ago, children and teachers journeyed either on foot or in wagons, as the school bell chimed out each day at the Mantua Center School in Mantua Township. Over the years — through two World Wars and many generations of local families — the school remained, a central fixture within the township. Although the last group of students departed the building for the final time in 2004, students, teachers, community members, and even a special guest from Columbus will have the opportunity to go back to school, at least for a few hours, on Saturday, August 9th, from 1 to 4 pm.

Senator John Eklund will be speaking at Saturday’s special event. Eklund was a staunch supporter of the effort to get the building listed on the National Register of Historic Places, which occurred last fall. He represents Senate District 18, which includes Portage County and portions of Lake and Geauga Counties, and resides in Munson Township. In addition to Eklund’s remarks, the event will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the building, which was completed in 1914. Up through the 1940s, the school served grades one through twelve of the entire Township. At that time, it shifted enrollment to grades kindergarten through seven. Several of the school’s oldest alumni have been invited back to the event, and to meet Senator Eklund.

The Mantua Restoration Society, in conjunction with the Mantua Historical Society, is hosting the event on Saturday, to demonstrate what Carole Pollard refers to as, “the sweep of time the building has been through,” Both groups plan to have several exhibits throughout the building, highlighting world and local events that occurred throughout its century of life. In addition, a small classroom exhibit will showcase desks, materials, clothing and photos from the early life of the school. The event will include tours of the building, as well as  ice cream and cake to celebrate the building’s historic 100th birthday.

Part of the building’s history revolves around the school bell — the 1,500-pound bell that was originally purchased by the Township to be used as a civil defense bell. The bell is roughly three times the size of the one at the Township Hall. Apparently, it took quite an effort from Stamm Contracting to fix it in place at the top historic building. During a regular school day, the bell was rung at least four times, by pulling the bell rope located in the top floor landing.

Tom Rauber, who served as Principal from 1992 through 2004, was asked to contact the school’s former teachers and staff, to let them know of the momentous occasion. “There’s such a history there — It’s always neat to go back,” Rauber shared.  He’s been back to the school for various events, including the graduation party of a former student. Rauber’s student attended Center School, as did his parents. They chose to rent the gymnasium to host their son’s high school graduation party.

When the school closed in 2004, Rauber and his staff and students marked the occasion, in part, by sharing the stories of former teachers and students. As the final school day ended, the group rang the historic bell 90 times, once for each consecutive year the school was in operation. The interviews, as well as the rest of the closing ceremony, were recorded on DVD, and will be shared at Saturday’s event. At Saturday’s event, the bell will again be rung — and perhaps you or someone you know will have the opportunity to help ring it.

Garrettsville – Garrettsville Police Department Fill a Cruiser with School Supplies will be held on August 16th.

The Garrettsville Police Department will be collecting school supplies for People Tree on August 16th from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm at Family Dollar (Sky Plaza), 8287 Windham St., Garrettsville. The supplies will be distributed to families within the area needing school supplies for the upcoming school year. There will also be a cash box on hand and all money collected will go to People Tree.

Items requested are:  #2 Pencils, erasers, crayons, markers, colored pencils, dry erase markers, highlighters, pens, rulers (standard & metric), scissors, glue sticks, white glue, small supply boxes, zipper supply pouches, over the hear headphones, book bags, spiral notebooks, 3 ring binders, composition books, loose leaf paper, 3×5 index cards, page protectors, pocket folders, sandwich bags, antibacterial wipes, boxes of tissues, brown lunch bags and anything else school related.

Eight locally owned quilt stores are working together again to help local food banks and to raise awareness about the joys of quilting.

The Fourth Annual Charming Quilt Shop Tour begins Thursday, Aug. 21, and runs through Saturday, Aug. 30, at eight sewing and quilting stores in northeast Ohio and western Pennsylvania.

“Hoppers,” as the shoppers are called, have 10 days to visit all eight quilt stores. They will receive free gifts and treats just for walking through the door of each of the stores. A portion of their passport or entrance fee into the tour goes to help local food banks.

“The Charming Shop Hop is an event for quilters,” said Megen Wierzbicki, from Megen’s Quilt Parlor in Albion, Pa. “Different people from all over flock to our quilt shops to see what each shop has that is different and exciting and creative.”

Megen’s Quilt Parlor is located in her grandmother’s former home, down a country lane in Albion. For the 10 days of the shop hop, 8 quilts stretch across the long fence leading to the shop. More quilts hang on fences and chairs leading to the flower lined steps to the shop. “We hang quilts from the ceiling and do other fun things just to make this event special for our visitors,” said Megen.

Quilt shop hops have been happening all over the country for many years and each shop hop is different.

In the Charming Shop Hop Tour, shoppers buy a passport for $3 at any of the eight participating stores and receive a free tote bag for joining the tour. Passports are on sale now.

At each shop during the 10 days of the tour, shoppers receive a free quilt block pattern. Each shop makes up their quilt block into a project that will be unveiled the first day of the tour. In addition, each participant receives free fabric squares, a surprise treat and opportunities to win many give-aways.

The grand prize is a new sewing machine valued at $800. Second prize is a Stella Desktop Lamp valued at $258. Two third prizes — each a set of Karen Kay Buckley sewing scissors valued at $78 — will be awarded. Eight $100 value gift baskets and eight $150 dollar baskets will be awarded.

Sewing manufacturers from around the country have donated bundles of fabric, patterns and sewing tools for the event. Anyone visiting all eight stores and turning in their completed passport receives a silver sewing charm for finishing and becomes eligible for many of the give-away prizes.

Participating shops include: Cottonpickers of Chardon; Craft Cupboard of Middlefield; Just Quilt It of Champion; Megen’s Quilt Parlor of Albion; Olive Grace Studios of Fowler; Quilter’s Fancy of Cortland; Tiny Stitches of Middlefield; and Village Quilts of Canfield.

Questions on this press release call Cindy Oravecz at 330-307-3272 or cindyo@quiltersfancy.com

 

peachesGarrettsville –  The peach crop throughout Ohio is the pits this summer, but that won’t put a dent in the annual Peach Social and Classic Car Cruise sponsored by the Garrettsville Area Chamber of Commerce. Cruise Night at the Garrettsville-Freedom-Nelson Fire Station (8035 Elm St.)  which  will proceed as planned, 5-8pm on Saturday, August 9 (Rain Date: August 10).

Mayor Rick Patrick envisioned the first peach social/car cruise about 15 years ago, and it has proven to draw the biggest crowds of the cruising season, year after year. He reports that “last year’s peach social proved to be incredibly popular, with over 50 homemade pies, 15 gallons of ice cream and a ton of delicious peaches served over the course of the evening. This year we are anticipating an even larger turnout and expect to go through at least 60 peach pies.”

While Chamber members typically supply all the homemade pies for the social, reinforcements from the community are being sought this time around. Please call Mayor Patrick if you plan to contribute a pie. Peach pies can be dropped off at the GFN Fire Department at 4:30pm on Friday, August 9.

While Monroe’s Orchard on Pioneer Trail in Hiram traditionally supplies the event with their own peaches, they — like fruit growers throughout Ohio — have no peach crop this summer, due to sub-zero temperatures following an unseasonable thaw in January which killed off tree buds. However, Monroe’s is coming through with peaches from another orchard in eastern Pennsylvania which escaped the brutal cold of last winter.

Local grocer Sky Plaza IGA supplies the ice cream for the slices of pie and bowls of peaches served at the social. Anyone who would like to assist in the peeling and cutting of fresh peaches on Friday are welcome to Mayor Patrick’s home at 8174 South Park Street, starting at 6pm August 8.

Center Stage Band will lend to the atmosphere with their range of live feel-good tunes from rock-n-roll and Top 40 hits, to Motown, R&B, oldies, and beach music. Enjoy the tunes as you savor the peaches, visit your neighbors, meet new friends and check out 200 or so classic and collectible cars on display.

Winter may have killed off the local peach crop, but here’s a little slice of summer we can sink our teeth into before the kids head back to school and autumn falls upon us.

 

photo by Benjamin Coll Photography

photo by Benjamin Coll Photography

Garrettsville – FACET Salon and Day Spa is pleased to announce the newest addition to its staff of visionary artists. Shannon Aldrich, a graduate of Crestwood Schools and The Paul Mitchell School of Cleveland, joins a team of seven talented stylists at Rachelle King’s Garrettsville location. Shannon assists in providing the salon and spa services FACET clients have come to enjoy including: cuts, color, manicures and pedicures, massages, and waxing services. Spray tans and a tanning bed and dry sauna are also part of FACET’s offerings. Through August 31st, save 25% on your Cut & Color Service when you book your appointment with Shannon. For more details on this promotion or any of FACET’s services, please call 330-527-4347. FACET Salon & Day Spa is located within the TLC Complex at 1 Memory Lane, Garrettsville, Ohio. Rachelle King is a National Educator for Paul Mitchell Systems, and the owner/operator of three popular salons in Ohio including: The Studio in Ohio City; and Studio 3 of Dublin.

Hudson2Exercise your legs and exercise your mind!

This summer dozens of locals have played history buff for the day thanks to the Hudson Library & Historical Society’s walking tour series led by Library Archivist Gwen Mayer. One of the tours, the Scandals of Hudson, features mischievous tales of the most – you guessed it – scandalous in nature (well, depending who you ask – some are actually relatively tame in today’s times). The first stop on this pleasant promenade rocks the reputation of the quaint community almost immediately as Gwen explains the building behind the iconic clock tower has a long record of housing banks, one of which once played host to an embezzlement scheme that took residents quite a while to recover from when it was discovered. More secrets surround this section of the settlement known as Brewster’s Row, named after the original store’s well-to-do owner and builder of several of the structures along that piece of land. What did Mr. Brewster do that made him think the Hudson Green was his very own front yard? And why did he continually expand his empire right on down the street adding one formation after another? Catching clandestine clues such as these is only part of the fun to be had during this intriguing event.

Depending on the topic of the tour, the historical hike around Hudson is approximately a mile and a half so patrons will want to wear comfortable walking shoes. Our outing was just over an hour and a half of scenic storytelling and there were plenty of chances to sit for a spell or two during the easy-going afternoon.

A resident of Garrettsville who has been digging up Hudson history as part of the Library for nearly twenty years, Gwen is engaging, informative and informal, encouraging participants to ask questions and chime in, adding to the anecdotal atmosphere. Bits of true crime gleaned from the library archives chronicle tales about other long-ago (and not so long ago) inhabitants including another wealthy man, James Ellsworth, who became the town’s most well-loved benefactor and several ways he influenced the growth of the area, not only in architecture but in attitude as well.

How a polar explorer once on a US postage stamp is connected to a speakeasy when Hudson was a dry community even before Prohibition? What happened to make the town’s clock tower mouse one of the quite recent scandalous “tails”? You’ll just have to sign up for these mini expeditions to find out!

The tours are: Disasters of Hudson (August 2nd at 2pm), Architectural History (August 4th or October 7th at 6:45pm), Kit Homes (August 11th at 6:45pm), Scandals of Hudson (September 2nd at 6:45pm), Underground Railroad (September 25th at 6:45pm) and, just in time for the fright season that is Halloween, Spooky Hudson (October 28th at 6:45pm).

Registration in advance is required as tours are limited to about 25 participants. To secure your spot, stop by the library, call (330) 653-6658, or visit the website at www.hudsonlibrary.org and click the register link on the event of your choice. (A waitlist option is available in case a selected tour is already full.)

 

photo courtesy of Kim Breyley

photo courtesy of Kim Breyley

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

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

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

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

 

Cheese

Ravenna - The Portage County Gardeners recently held a mozzarella cheese making workshop. Fifteen people took the class instructed by Marilyn Tyger and Helena Parry.

After cooking up the milk and other cheese making ingredients, the group had to persevere to get  the curds to finally process into cheese.  Sarah Perdue and Mary Jo Ryan were given a round of applause as they finally got their curds to form into some cheese.  All of the participants were given cheese making ingredients and recipes to take home to make their own cheese.  The instructors also provided samples of mozzarella to taste along with fresh garden tomatoes and zucchini  from the Parry garden. Tyger prepared her  dip mixes for tasting as well.

The next event of the PCGC is a canning workshop on Aug. 9 from 10 a.m. to noon.

Also on Aug. 9 the PCGC will hold a Mink Shed/Garage Sale from 9am.- 2p.m. Slate roof shingles, basket reed, crafting supplies,bottle tree kits and much more will be available.  For further information call Diane Jendrisak 330-673-4982 or Mary Jo Ryan 330-296-3633.

Portage County – The Digital Bookmobile National Tour (www.digitalbookmobile.com) will showcase the free eBook service from Portage County District Library at the Aurora Memorial Library on Friday, August 22 from 12:00 pm until 6:00 pm. At these free events, readers of all ages will learn how to access eBooks from the library through interactive demonstrations and high-definition instructional videos. A gadget gallery featuring all the latest portable reading devices will help visitors discover portable devices that are compatible with the library’s download service. The library is located at 115 East Pioneer Trail in Aurora. Call 330-562-6502 for more information.

Assistant Library Director Corrine Alldridge says, “Portage County District Library has offered Overdrive downloadable service since 2008.  When we learned that the Digital Bookmobile was coming back to Ohio, we were very excited about this unique way to share and showcase our digital service.  People who are curious about the whole eBook phenomena will love having a chance to play with gadgets and see what the library has to offer.”

Portage County District Library card holders can also check out digital titles anytime, anywhere by visiting http://overdrive.portagelibrary.org. Library patrons can take advantage of the service 24/7 when they visit the library’s website. From there, they can browse the growing collection of bestselling, new release, and classic titles, and check out a digital title with a valid Portage County District Library card. Once the digital titles have been checked out, they can enjoy them in the browser or transfer them to their computer or a supported mobile device. Many audio titles can also be burned to audio CD. At the end of the lending period, titles will automatically expire and are returned to the digital collection. There are never any late fees or damaged items.

The Digital Bookmobile is housed inside an 18-wheel tractor-trailer. This 74-foot community outreach vehicle is a high-tech update of the traditional bookmobile that had served communities for decades. The vehicle is equipped with broadband Internet-connected PCs, high definition monitors, premium sound systems, and a variety of portable media players, all of which help visitors explore Portage County District Library’s digital service. Interactive learning stations give visitors an opportunity to search the library’s digital media collection, use supported mobile devices, and sample eBooks and audiobooks.

The Digital Bookmobile is a service of the Portage County District Library and is operated by Overdrive, Inc. To check out digital books and more, visit http://overdrive.portagelibrary.org. For more information about other library programs and services, visit Portage County District Library online at www.portagelibrary.org.

Pictured above are (back row from the left): Jason Dlugokecki and Joe Smith;  (front row from the left): Denny Biddle, Misty Sommers and Rachel Adkins

Pictured above are (back row from the left): Jason Dlugokecki and Joe Smith; (front row from the left): Denny Biddle, Misty Sommers and Rachel Adkins

Garrettsville – The Roller Hutt speed team from Garrettsville, OH and Fast Forward speed team out of Hermitage, PA have just returned from the USARS Roller Speed Skating National Competition in Lincoln, Nebraska. Skaters raced on both inline skates (rollerblades) and quad skates (roller skates.) Racing takes place on a 100 meter indoor flat track, and the competition attracts skaters from all across the country.

Rachel Adkins raced in the Classic Ladies novice inline division races completing races of 500, 700, and 1000 meter races. She achieved 2nd place nationwide. Rachel was born and raised in Kent and currently resides in Mantua, OH.

Rachel also competed on quad skates and achieved 1st place nationwide, winning first in every distance within the Classic Ladies division. She also placed 1st in her 2-lady relay with Denise Larson and 1st in her 2-mix relay with Joe Smith.

Misty Sommers competed on quad skates in the Master Ladies division completing races of 300m, 500m. Competition was tough in this division, but Misty made it through her heats to all finals and came away with 3rd place nationwide. Misty is a Kent native and resident.

Misty also organizes the Park ‘N Roll skating festival held at the Munroe Falls Metro Park on South River Road coming up August 30th. See facebook.com/ParkNRollFestival for more information.

Jason Dlugokecki raced for the first time at Nationals this year, competing in the Master Men division with distances of 300, 500 and 1000 meters. Jason finished in the top three skaters within each of his heats and qualified for all of his final events. Jason is a Garrettsville native and has grown up in the Roller Hutt skating rink owned by his parents Linda and Craig.

Jason also skated a 2-mix relay with Misty Sommers and a 2-man relay with Denny Biddle of central Ohio. Jason and Denny received the bronze medal for their relay.

Denny Biddle also raced in the Esquire Men division, making it into all of his final races.

Joe Smith of Hermitage, PA won first place in the Master Men division, winning 1st in every distance as well as 1st in his 2-man and 2-mix relays.

To learn more about speed skating or to join the team, contact coach Jason Dlugokecki at info@jmd-entertainment.com. Team practices are held at Roller Hutt on Mondays from 6-8pm and cost $5 for adults and are free for under 18. Practices are on hold for the summer but will resume in November. Every age is welcome.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

great-lakes-medieval-faireGeneva – Rain or shine, step back in tyme and the enchanted shire shall be thine!

Would you like to roam through a mystical woodland inhabited by fantastical faeries, intriguing imps and beautiful butterflies? Spend a day winding your way through a medieval maze of merriment around every turn? Come to the grand gates of Avaloch and allow the lands beyond to captivate you as gallant knights and lovely maidens await you.

For us 21st century folk, the door to the magical 13th century is located just off Rt. 534 in Geneva in the form of the Great Lakes Medieval Faire and, though it’s not quite like walking through that famous wardrobe or a certain blue telephone booth, it will instantly transport visitors to another place and another time quite effectively! Each weekend (Saturday and Sunday) from now until August 17th, you are cordially invited to promenade with the Royal Court, wander through the wooded forests and exchange pleasantries with paupers and princes alike. For an extra layer of excitement, each weekend venture presents its own unique theme, encouraging guests to envelop themselves in a different persona with every experience. During opening weekend of July 12th-13th, capes and super powers were a-plenty in honor of any Super Heroes, Super Villains, & Super Pets (even those in disguise!). There was a plethora of goggle-donning “doctors” in the house for July 19th-20th which was the Tyme Travel, Alter Ego, Steam Punk, Comic-Con Blast. Next weekend, July 26th-27th, needs only one word: pirates!! Trade your goggles in for an eye patch and stay out of the way (or join in the ruckus!) as the plundering invade Avaloch. Plaid is the word for August 2nd–3rd’s Celtic Celebration or if you prefer the elegance of a toga you’ll have your chance to party at August 9th–10th’s Togas, Tiaras, Masquerade & Dreams weekend. Wrapping up the season, the battling brutes have a chance to shine as August 16 th-17th is the Barbarian, Viking, & Mongul Conquest.

To procure entry into the festivities, tickets for adults are $22 at the gate, children are $6 (or buy online and save a few dollars). Desiring a longer visit to the kingdom than just a few marks on a sundial? A season pass is available at $50, valid for the remaining eight Faire days, or come simply for one consecutive Saturday and Sunday with a weekend pass which is just a few dollars more than your original gate ticket. No matter how you arrive or on what day you choose to knock at the gates of Avaloch, plan to stand ready at 10:45am to be officially welcomed during a ceremony featuring the royal family.

Aside from the abundance of entertainment to be discovered throughout the afternoon, Avaloch is famous for the exquisite marketplace featuring crafters of all talents. Those who love all things shiny will be continually delighted at the array of offerings presented in the way of bits and baubles to carry home a small piece of the shire. Even though it rained last weekend (or maybe it was the Wenches at it again) and making one’s way through the “path of least yuck” was a challenge, it was quite worth it as it caused one to slow down and appreciate the surroundings (and the covered booths available) while encountering gorgeous glassmaking demonstrations or humorously being caught off guard by a mini catapult pummeling passersby with marshmallows. (Note: to see a real catapult, and a pair of archers with real talent, the Field of Honor is the place to be.) Mine for your own gems or choose from an assortment of pre-arranged pretties. A visitor with a keen eye should keep a lookout for a certain character of the day sponsored by the Tanner Customs jewelry stand. Be one of the first to spot her and earn a very special shiny for yourself! (For a clue before you go, find them on the modern contraption that is facebook, in advance, under the secret name of “Medieval Millinery & Embellishments.” Shhh, don’t tell anyone I said so lest I be chased by dragons for giving away kingdom intel!)

 

Garrettsville – Council met July 9, 2014 for their regularly scheduled village council meeting.  A public hearing was held prior to the start of regular business for proposed Ordinance 2014-25, the Village of Garrettsville proposed tax budget for 2015.  No residents were present and no comments were made.

Minutes from last month’s meeting were approved and council reviewed revenue, expenditure, cash balance and income tax reports.  Comments were made about expenditures exceeding revenue on the monthly report and Councilman Hadzinsky commented that historically June is a low revenue month.  Village clerk Nancy Baldwin reminded council that the biggest reason expenditure has been high the past few months is because of the curbing and sidewalk projects that have been completed.  (Baldwin went on to say after the council meeting that most projects for the village are completed in the summer months, which consequently mean higher expenditures.  However that doesn’t mean the village is operating in the red, quite the contrary.  According to Baldwin, the village finances are solid.)

Council went on to approve Ordinance 2014-25 setting the 2015 village tax budget, Ordinance 2014-27 that renews a 20 year lease with East Ohio Gas Company for a box near the police station, and Ordinance 2014-28 which has to do with employee compensation changes and to make them coincide with existing pay periods.

During round table discussion, Council President, Tom Hardesty, updated everyone on the status of the puddling issues with the completion of the Windham street paving project.  The state will make sure the problems are corrected.  Hardesty also stated that the village’s next improvement project is to construct curbing on the east side of South Street from the top of the hill to the library entrance.  He is waiting on estimates, but the cost should not exceed the budgeted amount.  Council passed a motion to proceed with the project.

Councilwoman Anderson proposed  that council consider an annual ‘contest’ for property owners in the village for ‘most/best improved property’ as well as ‘best landscaping’.  Her suggestion included possibly asking the garden club to assist with choosing criteria and winners.  Council unanimously thought it a good idea and asked Anderson to pursue the idea.

Next the mayor informed council he had a schedule conflict for the scheduled August council meeting as asked them to consider changing the date and time.  After some discussion, it was determined that it would be difficult to get all council members to attend for the alternate meeting dates proposed and no decision was made on rescheduling.

Councilwoman Harrington brought up the survey that the Village Services Visionary Group has put together.  The plan is to have the surveys available at the post office, library and village clerk’s office sometime toward the end of July.

At the close of roundtable discussion, the mayor asked for input or comments from the audience.  Village tax clerk Valerie McCullough brought up the subject of delinquent taxpayers in the village and her frustration in getting them to pay their taxes.  She asked for suggestions in how to better deal with some of the problems she encounters.  McCullough stated that there are currently 101 people on delinquent tax repayment plans accounting for approximately $156,000 in uncollected revenue over the past five tax years.  Once the repayment plan has been agreed to, all penalties and interest are stopped and repayment is based on the principal owed.  Penalties and interest are currently not reinstated for those that have defaulted on a repayment plan.  McCullough says she plans to investigate the legality of reinstating the monetary penalties for those that default on repayment as well as the functionality of the income tax software the village uses in addressing these issues.

McCullough’s biggest frustration is with those who agree to a repayment plan (with or without court action) and then quit paying only a few payments in.   Solicitor Michelle Stuck stated she would be glad to write letters reminding the offenders of their obligation and that she would pursue legal action through the criminal court system.  Stuck also said that for those defaulting on repayment plans who have already been to court, she would take them back to court and seek a conviction.    McCullough also said that there are another 55 residents who have not filed for 2013 owing approximately $56,000.

At the end of the discussion, Council adjourned to executive session to discuss personnel issues.

If you’d like to know more of what is happening in your community attend a meeting.  The next regular Village Council meeting is currently scheduled for August 13, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. at Village Hall.

 

pike-family-garrettsvillestrong-reunion

Hiram – Sixty Garrettsville Strong shirts recently made quite a splash in Tampa, Florida, when descendants of Frances Pike wore them as the official shirt of their family reunion there.   For forty-two years, Frances Pike was a respected teacher in Nelson and Middlefield.  When she died in 1997 at 91, her loving family decided to honor her memory by gathering  as a family every other year.  Thus the Pike Family Reunion was established.

The first location was Innisbrook Resort in Tampa, Florida, where the family recently met again for this year’s reunion.  Other locations were Gettysburg and Northeast Portage County, where  younger family members could visit sites important in the lives of their grandparents, aunts and uncles, Orlando and Disney World , Sanibel and Lakeland, Florida, as well as Stone Mountain, Georgia.

While in Georgia, a senior family member, Don Pike, now of Lakeland, had the honor of throwing out the first pitch for an Atlanta Braves baseball game, a treat arranged by his son, Greg Pike, now a producer with ESPN in Connecticut.

In addition to Don Pike, longtime owner-operator of Pike’s Turkey Farm on Route 88 in Nelson, the elder family members include Ken Pike, a financial advisor, who for the past 28 years has maintained an office in Hiram, where he and wife Damaris Peters Pike reside, and Kay Pike Easton, a tireless and honored contributor to worthy causes in Huntsville, Alabama, where she and husband Earl Eastin enjoy their three children and eight grandchildren living nearby.

The Pike family is deeply rooted in this area.  Don, Ken, and Kay grew up here and graduated from Middlefield High School.  Don’s wife, Ann Stroup Pike, graduated from Hiram College and—along with children David, Connie, and Greg Pike—Garfield High School.

Family members found the recent reunion to be such a treat that many urged that it become an annual event.  Certainly all will wear their Garrettsville Strong shirts when they return home to Cincinnati, Mansfield, North Olmstead, and Hiram in Ohio; Lakeland, Naples, and Palm Harbor in Florida;  West Hartford, Connecticut;  and Huntsville, Alabama.  Yes, Garrettsville Strong is strongly affirmed by the Pike Family!

 

Firefighters Jeff Barker and Chris Mullins, with a panoramic view of the new MSFD tanker truck.

Firefighters Jeff Barker and Chris Mullins, with a panoramic view of the new MSFD tanker truck.

Mantua – We reported in May that the Mantua-Shalerville Fire Department received an upgrade to its Insurance Services rating, or ISO rating, which could result in discounted insurance rates for residents in communities served by the department. Based on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the best ranking, as of May 1st, 2014, the MSFD now ranks at a 4/4y. The last score received by the MSFD was a ranking of 6/9 in 1994.This phenomenal improvement in ISO rating is due, in large part, to the purchase of newer, more efficient vehicles now in service at the department.

The new tanker truck holds an impressive 4,000 gallons of water — 500 gallons more than its predecessor. In addition, the truck also features ground ladders and will also allow firefighters to draft water from nearby pools, ponds, or other bodies of water, while continuing to pump. The flat roof of the truck allows for a hose bed, something not possible with the 1988 MAC it replaced. This increase in capacity directly contributed to the improved ISO rating. The new tanker has been in service for several weeks, but firefighters Chris Mullins and Jeff Barker worked together for months to specify the particular features and capabilities the MSFD would need.

In addition, the department has just received a new, improved rescue squad, giving them better, more efficient tools to serve the community. To that end, they have planned to provide vehicles and crew at both the MSFD and at a temporary home at F & S Automotive during the planned demolition and construction project of the bridge on State Route 44. The project is slated to begin in mid-July, and will be completed in October.

These expenditures were made possible, in part, by the tax levy that was renewed in May by Mantua and Shalersville residents the department serves.

 

DSCF1434

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Ravenna – On August 16, 2014, Portage APL and the Paws for Golf Committee hope you will join them for a fun filled day of golf.  All proceeds benefit the APL and the nearly a thousand animals rescued and adopted each year. The outing will be held at Sugar Bush Golf Club in Garrettsville from 12pm – 7pm.  This 18-hole scramble includes a cart, lunch, free beverages, gifts, BBQ dinner as well as skill and door prizes!

To register call the APL at 330.296.4022. Cost is $100 per golfer or $35 for dinner only.

The Portage APL is a private, nonprofit organization and relies on the generosity and kindness of individuals and businesses to make our community a safer place for thousands of animals, who have no voice.  We continue to rescue animals every day and the need is constant.

To register or for more information, please call the Portage APL at 330.296.4022 or visit our website at www.portageapl.org

Mantua – Plan to attend the largest, three-day fair in Northern Portage County where you’ll enjoy delicious food and find family fun for all ages. St. Joseph’s Ox Roast Fair in Mantua begins on Friday, July 18th, at 6:00 to 11:30 p.m., Saturday, July 19th, from 1:00 to 11:30 p.m., and Sunday, July 20th, from Noon to 10:00 p.m.

The 51st Ox Roast Fair has plenty of fun to keep the whole family entertained, including: a wide variety of fair food favorites; live entertainment; Friday night fireworks; Saturday morning 5K Run/Walk & 1M Fun Walk; air-conditioned dining hall; an assortment of rides, games, contests & giveaways; over $7,000 in main raffle prizes & hourly progressive drawings each day plus several specialty raffles, souvenir T-shirts & hats; tractor, truck & semi pulls; trade booths; Ox Idol Karaoke Contest; indoor casino with instant bingo; security; handicap accessibility; clean grounds and much, much more!

The Parish Community of St. Joseph’s at 11045 St. Joseph Blvd. is located in Mantua Twp. off Pioneer Trail approximately 1/4 mi. west of St. Rt. 44, south of St. Rt. 82, just north of Mantua Village (accessible from U.S. Rt. 422 just 7 miles north or Ohio Turnpike Exit 193 just 2 miles south). You won’t want to miss St. Joseph’s Ox Roast Fair ~ Not Your Typical Church Festival! For more information, please check out St. Joseph’s website www.stjosephmantua.com/stjosephox.html, find us on Facebook (St. Joseph’s Ox Roast Fair), or phone the parish office at 330-274-2253.

In late August, you’ll have much more to celebrate than simply sending your children back to school. Portage County Celebration Week, which will be held from August 24th through the 30th, is a week of festivities to share the exciting people, communities and organizations who help stitch together the fabric of Portage County.  The first event of its kind in the County, Celebrate Portage Week will include an “Oscar”-style celebration dinner, a volunteer day, Premier of Bands, car show and KSU football home opener, concluding with a multimedia and fireworks display.

So why hold a party for the ENTIRE COUNTY? According to Regional Planning Director Todd Peetz, “Portage County Celebration Week is an awesome opportunity for residents to share and celebrate the great things happening throughout our county.”  The festivities will kick off on Wednesday, August 20th with a High School Band show. The Premier of Bands will be held at 7 pm at the Theodore Roosevelt High School Stadium in Kent. Performing bands include Kent Roosevelt, Ravenna Ravens Marching Band, Stow-Munroe Falls Bulldog Marching Band, Cuyahoga Falls Tiger Marching Band, Tallmadge Blue Devils Marching Band, and the Springfield Marching Band. For more information, contact Erin Latina at erin@brimfieldinsurance.com or Mary Jo Cline 330-677-3714.

Next up is an “Oscar”-style dinner on Sunday, August 24th that will bestow awards in several categories, including: Most Engaging High School, Best Community Service Project, Biggest Community Hero, and Best Art or Cultural Event. Nomination forms are available at visioninginportage.org. Download a nomination form today and make sure your favorites get the Oscar nod — forms are due by Friday, July 18th.

On Monday, August 25th, each community is asked to pick a local community or social service project to participate in a Community Volunteer Day. Does a local park need some sprucing up? Can a local landmark use a little love? Celebrate Portage is looking for community and nonprofit based volunteers and volunteer projects.  Here’s the perfect chance to work together with your neighbors to see what you can accomplish to enhance your community. Projects will be completed August 25, 2014 between 9 am and 4 pm.  Project organizers will need to provide all necessary material, tools, safety equipment and supervision.  For more information, contact Brian Duchon at briand@uwportage.org.

After all that hard work, come and relax at Cruise-In on Wednesday, August 27th, sponsored by the City of Ravenna. The car show, at both the A&W Drive-In and Mongoose Motorsports on SR 59 will run from 5-9 pm. Plan to stop by for root beer floats, hot rods, and an evening of family fun. Contact Terry Montz at (330)603-2299 for more information.

The festivities will wrap up at Kent State’s Dix Stadium, where the Golden Flashes will take on the Ohio University Bobcats at 6 pm. After the game, a multimedia presentation and fireworks display will close out the week of fun…and maybe get you in the back-to-school spirit.

The Portage Foundation, Visioning in Portage, and AMETEK, sponsor Portage Celebration Week. For more information, visit visioninginportage.org.

 

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Mantua – The U.S. Flag Code stipulates that when an American flag has served its useful purpose, “it should be destroyed, preferably by burning.” Recently Mantua’s American Legion Post 193 conducted a disposal ceremony of unserviceable flags at the Mantua Village Park. Such ceremonies are solemn occasions for the retirement of unserviceable flags. As such, the ceremony, which was originally scheduled for June 14th, was moved to June 21st so the ceremony wouldn’t conflict with the Soap Box Derby, which took place at the Park on Flag Day.

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Back row: Bernard Kinter, Robert MacLearie, Commander Mark C. Bray, Sargent at Arms Russell Workman, Eric Six, Roy Mayfield, Ralph Bright. Front row: Chaplain Jesse Crate, Alvin Sweet, David Pifer, raffle winner Victor Grimm, Ray Corbett.

After the brief ceremony, the winning ticket for the Legion’s fundraising raffle was drawn. Mantua Township Trustee Victor Grimm’s ticket was drawn, making him the winner of a rifle. For more information about American Legion Post 193’s activities, contact Post 193 Ladies Auxiliary Secretary, Sharon Steiner at (330) 808-0774.  If you have any flags that are no longer serviceable, take them to your local American Legion post for inclusion in their next disposal ceremony.

 

Brendan and his Grandfather Larry uncovered a fossilized horn coral along the banks of Silver Creek in Garrettsville. The fossil dates back 299-419 million years!

Brendan and his Grandfather Larry uncovered a fossilized horn coral along the banks of Silver Creek in Garrettsville. The fossil dates back 299-419 million years!

Garrettsville – Summertime for a certain 9-year-old boy is an endless string of sun-filled days spent cooling off in Silver Creek, digging for buried treasures alongside his cousin and grandpa. A typical day along the creek bed turns up ancient brachiopod fossils, historic bricks from long-gone Garrettsville streets, or even desiccated cattle bones that could be mistaken as the skeletal remains of a dinosaur.

Until one fine day, as they were creek walking near Liberty Street and the water treatment plant. It was June 26. Grandpa Larry Beatty asked, “What’s this?” Grandson Brendan picked up the blackened, 2-inch, cone-shaped relic, convinced they’d found a dinosaur tooth.

They were initially convinced they’d found a dinosaur tooth.

They were initially convinced they’d found a dinosaur tooth.

There was only one way to find out. Mom Tara Bailey contacted Dale Gnidovec, Curator Orton Geological Museum at Ohio State University, asking if he could identify the relic by a photo.

The next morning, a reply from Gnidovec was in her email box, confirming that Brendan’s treasure was indeed an ancient fossil, estimated to be 299-419 million years old! It is a fossilized horn coral; once an upside-down jellyfish/sea anemone that lived in a cone-shaped shell. These creatures first appeared in the Ordovician Period around 450 million years ago and didn’t become extinct until the big Permo-Triassic extinction event 250 million years ago, according to Gnidovec.

Gnidovec added that most of the rocks in this area were formed during the Pennsylvanian Period, 323 to 299 million years ago (MYA), but some of the streams cut down into much older rocks, including those from the Devonian Period (419-359 MYA) and the Mississippian Period (359-323 MYA), so Brendan’s fossil may be anywhere between 299 to 419 million years old.

Community outreach identification services are available for treasure-hunters curious about their finds. If it’s an artifact  — something made by humans, such as an arrowhead — contact the Ohio Historical Society (http://www.oplin.org/point/index.html).

If it’s a rock, mineral, fossil or bone, Gnidovec is the scientist to contact (614-292-6896; gnidovec.1@osu.edu). You can arrange an appointment to bring it to the Orton Museum in Columbus for identification, or send photos via mail or email. Make sure the photos are in focus, show more than one side of the object, and include something for scale (a coin, ruler, etc.)

beattys-horn-coral-fossil-garrettsvilleHorn corals, colonial corals, snails, clams and brachiopods are among the most common fossils in the local area. At the time they were alive  — 380 million years ago during the Devonian Period — Ohio was under a warm tropical sea and was situated much closer to the equator. Today, Ohio lies 40 degrees north of the equator, but during the Devonian Period, Ohio was only about 20 degrees south of the equator, about where Australia is today.

It’s hard for Brendan to imagine that Garrettsville was once covered up by a warm and tropical ocean, and that Ohio was comparable to the Bahamas. But his imagination has been fired up by this recent find, and he’s hungry to unearth a dinosaur tooth next.

As he heads into fourth grade at James A. Garfield Elementary, Brendan is armed with a prime show-and-tell treasure that’s certain to inspire his fellow classmates to put down their electronic gadgets and head outside for an old-fashioned hunting expedition along Silver Creek.