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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.

 

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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.

 

The results from Garrettsville Summerfest’s 2014 contests have been received. Award winners are listed as follows.

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Garrettsville Idol
Youth: Olivia Sheer
Teen: Jasmine Nevarez
Adult: Jason Stachowski

Car or Cash Raffle
Grand: Mona Scapillini
Second: Mattew Molner
Third: Savannah Lorinchack
Fourth: Bob Faber

10th Annual Garrettsville Lions Club Punt, Pass & Kick Contest
1st Place 4 Year Old Female Division: Reese Angel
1st Place 6 Year Old Female Division: Avery Angel
1st Place 6 Year Old Male Division: Brendan Fashing
1st Place 7 Year Old Female Division: Jordan Enk
1st Place 8 Year Old Female Division: Addison Angel / Emily Hall / Maggie Zent (3-way tie)
1st Place 8 Year Old Male Division: Cody Enk
1st Place 9 Year Old Female Division: Anna Fashing
1st Place 9 Year Old Male Division: Josh Ripley
1st Place 10 Year Old Female Division: Emma Zent
1st Place 10 Year Old Male Division: Keaton Eberly
1st Place 11 Year Old Male Division: Shawn Barber
1st Place 12 Year Old Male Division: Garrett Eberly / Kayvon Rezaei (Tie)
1st Place 13 Year Old Male Division: Carter Zent
1st Place 14 Year Old Male Division: Sason Rezaei
1st Place 15 Year Old Male Division: Tyler Enk

Essay Contest:
Winner: Abbie Maschek

Coloring Contest:
Sadie Gallagher – Age 7
Evan Miller – Age 7
Tara Douglas – Age 7
Clara Nottingham – Age 1.5
Wyatt Nottingham – Age 6
Destiny Rousey – Age 10
Owen Bass – Age 7
Emma Bass – Age 9
Amanda Riffle – Age 8
Maggie Stout – Age 9
Caleb Stout – Age 8
Ashley Myers – Age 6

Scavenger Hunt:
Bobbie & Shannon Gallagher

Wine Making Contest:
White Grape Dry
Georg Macek (2013 Chardonnay)
White Grape Sweet
Darris Gibson (2013 Chardonnay)
Red Grape Dry
Darris Gibson (2013 Pinot Noir)
Georg Macek (2013 Cabernet Sauvignon)
Darris Gibson (2013 Cabernet Sauvignon)
Georg Macek (2013 Merlot)
George Macek (2013 Shiraz)
Red Grape Sweet
No Entries
Rose Grape
No Entries
White or Red Dry Non-Grape
No Entries
White or Red Sweet Non-Grape
Lynda Smienski (2013 Peach Riesling)
Ben Fashing (2013 Strawberry)
White or Red Sweet Dessert Wine
Best of Show – Lynda Smienski (2013 Cabernet Franc Ice Wine)

Pie Baking Contest
Fruit Pies
Iva Walker (Strawberry)
Tim Rowan (Cherry)
Mary Ellen Ensinger (Cherry)
Cream Pies
Iva Walker (Lemon Meringue)
Beki Morris (Coconut Cream)
Evalynne Harrington (Coconut Cream)
Most Original
Beki Morris (Banana Split)
Lauren Sanchez (Fluffy Caramel)
Lucas Whittenberger (Pecan Pie)

Grand Parade
Best of Show – St. Helen’s Unicycles
8th Count Dance Center
JAG Marching Band
Life Church
Ron Tamburrinno
Garrettsville United Methodist Church
TGA All Stars

Buckeye State Pedal Pull
Age 3
Karlie Cottrill
Colton Criblez
Emerson White
Mason Nevins
Alexa Slacky
Rylie
Age 4
Diamond Dyson
Landon Sitosky
Bella Phillips
Age 5
Dominick Slacky
Ava Marie Carloni
Aaron Royer
Age 6
Clayton Kerns
Leila Walton
Aiden Wargo
Age 7
Nicholas Edic
Kimberly Bowers

Age 8
Hannah Wojtaski
Emily Hall

Age 9
Ethan Carpenter
Alex Picoult
Dezaray McIe
Age 10
Austin Diesinger
Will Reese

Age 11
Brad Hill Jr.
Lorna Picoult

So You Think You Can Dance:
Outstanding Achievement in Performance –> Elijah Voshel danced to “One Voice” and dances with the 8th count dance studio

Outstanding Achievement in Choreography –> Hope Miller, Faith Miller, and Chelsea Bates danced to “Turn Down for What Mix” and dance with the 8th Count Dance studio

Outstanding Achievement in Visual Design –> Riley Eisenmann danced to “Do you want to build a snowman” dances with the 8th count Dance Studio

Competition
Outstanding Achievement in Performance –> Hannah Koon danced to “Hero” and dances with Studio L

Outstanding Achievement in Choreography –> Hannah Koon, Allie Grimm, and Frankie Merkel danced to “Black Betty” they dance with Studio L

Outstanding Achievement in Visual Design –> Emma Koon danced to ” Best Shot”

 

Results from the Friends of Melana 5K for Cancer Research can be found at:

http://media.wix.com/ugd/85c0ab_1065228eada644cd83dd2759de6deed6.pdf

Shhhhhhhhh

(Trying to avoid jinxing the project.)

Photo: Denise Bly, Contributing Reporter

Photo: Denise Bly, Contributing Reporter

The latest report on the big school construction project adding Garfield Intermediate onto Garfield Elementary and locating all of the James A. Garfield Local School District buildings on a unified campus, thus saving time AND money in the educational process…the report is that things seem to be holding pretty well to schedule and looking like the—extremely tight–deadlines will be met.

The latest update, delivered June 19 in a presentation and walk-through to an interested and inquisitive group disclosed the various contracts and contractors involved, from sitework and concrete through structural steel, lockers, HVAC, building electric(Scotchman Electric),painting and wall covering(Doug Seaman Decorating), technology and paving.  Not to mention kitchen equipment, carpentry, flooring and plumbing.  Every one of these contracts was bid out and issued keeping both the cost and the time constraints in mind.  The intricacies of scope in such construction are quite amazing, involving the “breathability” of a building combined with    building efficiency, updating of the utility functions for the entire campus,  the element of “Seek and ye shall find,” in discovering an Insinkerator in the bus garage attic, brick types and so much more.

So far….  Looking good.

The weather has had its usual effects and, no doubt, will continue to do the same but once the roof, and the drainage thereof, goes on, it’ll be, “Bessie, bar the doors” and full speed ahead.

Also at the meeting was “The Y Guy” who complemented the entire community on the excellent condition of the Park Avenue building, indicative of the level of use and maintenance given priority over the years.  He indicated that the menu of services and activities to be offered out of the headquarters there will be developed over time, beginning with youth sports and expanding to adult programs and leagues, as needed.  This will be a methodical, step-by-step process, ensuring quality and demand, with high standards set for supervision and equipment and program design.  He mentioned the YMCA’s association with the Junior Cavaliers program and Adventure Guides as being part of the long-range outlook for sponsored activities.  Kim Curry, formerly part of the local soccer organization, will be the part-time co-ordinator for this new enterprise.

The Portage County ESC will be operating a community pre-school in their portion of the building.  All systems are GO.

Shhhhhh.  It’s going to happen.

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

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

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

Photo: Benjamin Coll, Staff Reporter

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

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

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

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

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

Photo: Benjamin Coll, Staff Reporter

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

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

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

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

 

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Hiram – In 1863, when James A. Garfield bought the home on Hinsdale Road, Hiram College was just thirteen years old.  Garfield had just begun serving in Congress when he and his wife, Lucretia, moved in. Garfield was Principal of the institution, the equivalent of College President. The couple sold the home to Burke A. Hinsdale, who served as the first permanent president of Hiram College. In 1882, Hinsdale eventually sold the home to Phebe Boynton Clapp, Garfield’s cousin, and the house has been in the family for three generations.  That legacy ended with the recent passing of long-time Hiram resident Phebe Zimmerman.

It was Phebe’s great-grandmother Phebe Boynton Clapp, who established the family’s Hiram legacy. Like her cousin, James A Garfield, Clapp was also a student at the Western Reserve Eclectic Institute, which became Hiram College. Garfield returned to Hiram as college president, and then moved on to higher offices. Phebe Boynton Clapp also returned to Hiram. She held the position of Lady Principal, the equivalent to Dean of Women. Unlike her cousin, however, she stayed on in Hiram, and in 1883, she purchased the Garfield family home on Hinsdale.

The home remained in the family, and was used as a summer residence. In 1946, Phebe and John Zimmerman came to the house in Hiram temporarily, after John returned from service in WWII. But like her great-grandmother before her, Zimmerman stayed on. With her family, she lovingly maintained the home.  In 2013, however, Phebe Zimmerman sold the home to Hiram College, with an understanding that she would reside there as long as she chose to do so. In announcing the sale she stated “I am happy that the house will be preserved and will be used for a purpose that honors its history.”

By terms of the sale the house will be called the Garfield Robbins Zimmerman House, to reflect the history of those who owned it. The home will house the offices for the Garfield Institute for Public Leadership, which instructs students in public service. Eventually, it will serve as a venue for discussions and guest speakers and a mini-museum showcasing the legacy left by James Garfield.

 

Garrettsville - Timing is everything.

Volunteers help sort and stock donations at the Nelson Garrettsville Community Cupboard.

Volunteers help sort and stock donations at the Nelson Garrettsville Community Cupboard.

For the Nelson-Garrettsville Community Cupboard (NGCC), a $10,000 grant from MassMutual couldn’t have come at a better time. The non-profit food bank has been working to re-establish itself since the March 22 fire which wiped out its former location and one-third of Garrettsville’s downtown business district.

Chris Perme — a Garrettsville financial planner who operates Perme Financial Group from 8133 Windham Street and also serves on the advisory board of the NGCC — applied for the grant just days after the devastating fire.

“MassMutual offers 11 grants per year, and I’ve applied for them in the past but never was awarded one,” Perme says. “This application deadline was March 30. With the devastation of the fire still fresh on my mind, I think my sense of urgency came through in my application.”

The NGCC will receive its grant at the same time Perme will be awarded the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company’s prestigious Community Service Gold Award, which recognizes field associates who are making an exceptional difference in their community. Perme was selected for the award based on his ‘outstanding volunteer commitment and community service efforts with the NGCC, an agency member of Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank. The award and grant will be presented during MassMutual’s 2014 Leaders’ Conference in August in California.

Perme is not a traditional volunteer, but is involved in fundraising, marketing, long-term financial planning and budgeting; influencing the growth, development and awareness of NGCC.

Perme is grateful that this MassMutual grant represents one of the largest single gifts the Community Cupboard has ever received and recognizes it will help the NGCC to become self-sufficient and better able to serve the hungry over the long term. Added to donations from tremendous community support, the funding will contribute toward replacing food, shelving, refrigerators, freezers and office equipment that were all lost in the fire.

“The generosity of this gift also lifts some of the short-term pressure off our organization,” he said. “It’s allowing us to think beyond survival, to take a longer term view and ensuring the food cupboard’s longevity as a lasting service to those in need. Now we can grow and develop for the next 50 years, instead of thinking month to month or year to year.”

Mike Elias, co-founder of NGCC, recognizes that this gift offers great encouragement to the organization’s volunteers, who have “worked tirelessly as a team over the past two-and-a-half years, and especially in the past three months, to establish the Cupboard.”

The NGCC, which has operated from several locations throughout Nelson and Garrettsville since 2012, had moved to the Buckeye Block of downtown Garrettsville just months before it was leveled by fire. It is now operating from 12157 State Route 88 (near the former Bil-Mar turkey farm). Regular hours of operation are Monday, 3-6pm and Wednesday, 9am-12 noon.

Expressing an intention is to move back to Garrettsville once rebuilding is complete, Elias said, “Our location in the Buckeye Block on Center Street was perfect for NGCC. We were happy to be part of Main Street’s business community, and being located near the PARTA Transportation line was a great convenience for our clients. It is our hope that a spot can be found for the Cupboard as the rebuilding efforts get under way.”

In its short history, the food outreach has assisted more than 245 families. Currently, approximately 660 residents are using the food cupboard; over 50% of them children and senior citizens — and the need is increasing. Since its inception, the NGCC has distributed more than 64,500 items of food. More than one in seven Ohio households are reportedly facing a daily risk of hunger or are considered ‘food insecure’ — an increase of 71,000 households over last year.

Needless to say, there’s no time like the present to ‘shut the door on hunger;’ the mission statement of the Nelson-Garrettsville Community Cupboard.

 

HFD Assistant Chief Mark Kozak welcomed Firefighter/EMTs Austin Grube and Jason Dailey to the Hiram Fire Department Photo: Stacy Turner, Contributing Reporter

HFD Assistant Chief Mark Kozak welcomed Firefighter/EMTs Austin Grube and Jason Dailey to the Hiram Fire Department

Photo: Stacy Turner, Contributing Reporter

Hiram – At the start of the last meeting of Village Council, Mayor Lou Bertrand swore in two new Firefighter/EMTs to the Hiram Fire Department: Austin Grube and Jason Dailey. Both gentlemen join the Village with training as firefighters and EMTs and will be a welcome addition to the HFD team. Assistant Chief Mark Kozak also noted that the fire truck purchased by the HFD from the Aurora Fire Department has been refurbished and is currently in service.

In his report, Police Chief Ed Samec reported that his Department has received a $2,000 grant from the Hiram Community Trust. The money will be used for the ‘Shop with a Cop’ program. In addition, Chief Samec reported that his Department has grown by two additional officers — Officer Brittnee Wolf and Officer Keith Whan. In addition, Samec reported that Click or Ticket event in May was a big success. During the event, the HPD rewarded motorists and passengers caught wearing their seatbelts, with vouchers for a free Maggie’s donut or a free ice cream cone from Garrettsville McDonalds. Approximately 1,000 vouchers were handed out during the event, which took place at the intersection of Wakefield and Garfield Roads.

In his report, Mayor Lou Bertrand conveyed that the Recreation and Park Board scheduled a working session for Friday, June 20th beginning at 9:00 a.m. and invite input from Mr. Todd Peetz, of the County Planning Agency and Ms. Chris Craycroft, Director of the Portage County Parks and a representative from Akron Metropolitan Transit Study [AMATS]. In addition, the Mayor reported that Park Board members voted to merge the Hiram Recreation & Park Board with the Hiram Beautification Committee. The Mayor has requested that the Village Solicitor prepare such legislation that will be ready for first reading in September Council meeting. The next Park Board meeting will be held on July 11th at 8:30 am.

In addition, Mayor Bertrand reported that one bid for $ 65,432.10 was received for the purchase of the old fire hall. The bid, which was accepted by Council, was submitted by Dave Auble, owner of the Hiram Professional Building. Council will pass the necessary legislation on the matter at the next regularly scheduled Council meeting on July 8th at 7 pm. Lastly, the Mayor reported that planning for the upcoming July 4th festivities have begun. He announced that family activities and a concert on July 3rd at 7:30 would precede the customary firework display that night at roughly 9:30 pm. The festivities will continue on July 4th, with a games, activites, and the grand parade, which steps off at 1:30 pm. The Fourth of July Planning Committee will meet at Bonney Castle on Friday, June 13th at 8:30 a.m.

In legislation, Council approved an agreement with Hiram Township for traffic enforcement services. This agreement will allow the Village Police Department to provide services to Township residents approximately ten hours per week. Police Chief Samec noted that an agreement of this sort had been in discussion since 1991, stating it was a “huge deal” that Council and the Township were finally able to come to a mutually agreeable arrangement.

Lastly, Council has scheduled a Budget Hearing at 6:45 pm on July 8th, immediately preceding the next regularly schedule Council meeting. The purpose of this hearing is to approve the Village’s 2015 Budget, which is due to be filed with the County by July 20th, as stipulated in the Ohio Revised Code.

Burton W. Cole, Pulitzer Prize-nominated author and award-winning humorist celebrates the release of his second children’s novel, Bash and the Chicken Coop Caper, with  two upcoming book signings.

Bash and the Chicken Coop Caper, released to bookstores nationwide on May 1. My first novel for middle grades readers, Bash and the Pirate Pig (2013), was a finalist for the Selah Award for Best Children’s Book of the Year, and a nominee for the Christian Retailing’s Best Award for Children’s Book. The third novel, Bash and the Chocolate Milk Cows, is scheduled for a spring release.

In Bash and the Chicken Coop Caper, the kids beat the boredom of a blizzard with crazy stunts like a pig-operated ambulance sled, a snow cannon super slingshot built from bicycle inner tubes and boxer shorts, and try to figure out where mysterious footprints have come from and why odd things like eggs and mittens are disappearing.

Cole will be signing copies of his newest book and discussing the inspiration behind his children’s novel series.

Cole  will be part of the four-author book signing from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 21, at The Village Bookstore, 8140 Main St., Garrettsville. Store owner Ellen Eckhouse invites all to her quaint, old treasure trove of new and used books and teddy bears in downtown Garrettsville.

Cole  will be enthusing with the kids of the summer reading program from 1 to 2 p.m. Monday, June 23, at the Garrettsville Public Library about the joys of writing. He will  share his first “novel,” which he wrote when he was in fourth grade. Cole also plans to “try a writing exercise, read from the books, and laugh ourselves silly.” Books will also be availabe for signing.

Cole is a 1982 Kent State graduate; a Pulitzer-prize nominee; a former Kent, Brimfield and Garrettsville resident now living in Nelson Township with his wife, Terry; and a former Record-Courier reporter (1985-88)  and currently works  as assistant metro editor and humor columnist – the award-winning Burt’s Eye View – for the Tribune Chronicle in Warren.

barn-treasures

Photo: The Barn Treasures

Middlefield – We’re celebrating the Summer Solstice marking the first day of summer and the longest day of the year with our first annual Barn Sale Sat. June 21, 10am-4pm Rain or Shine. Outside we’ll have some of our Artisans with their hand-crafted works of art under tents, an Antique Dealer and an Amish Bake Sale with all proceeds being donated to the new Amish school. Inside, and out you’ll find many special one-day deals and new treasures. Win a door prize, enjoy a lemonade and some Amish bakery! Come join the fun and bring a friend and spend the day in beautiful Middlefield and Geauga County Ohio. Some of the Artisans are also introducing new products at this event. Artisan products will be both outside and inside and include: Repurposed Glass Garden Art, Quilted table runners, Hand poured Garden Art pavers, Plain and Simple jewelry designs, Lighted wine bottles all outside and inside. Artisan gifts inside include wood turned walking sticks, Painted repurposed slate roofing, Steam Punk jewelry, Lake Erie Beach Glass jewelry, Needle felted sculptures, Alpaca Happy Butt Mats, Amish poured Soy Candles, Butterfly Goats Milk Soaps and Hand painted glass ornaments and Votives and lots more!!! And don’t forget, we are a Consignment Store and carry QUALITY gently used items from Antique and Vintage, to everyday useful kitchen tools, farm tools and everything in between. The Barn Treasures is located at 15264 Kinsman Rd (Rt 87) Middlefield, and open summer hours of Monday through Friday 10-5 and Sat. 10-4. Our phone number is 440-632-1858. Find us on Facebook.com/the barn treasures.

Mantua Township – If you’re a community-minded individual who is looking to help make a difference for fellow residents, than the Mantua Township Trustees want to hear from you. They’re looking for your help to transform a historic gem into a vibrant community resource. You may remember that late last year, the Portage County Regional Planning Commission (RPC) was asked by Township Trustees to solicit community wants and needs regarding the potential renovation of the Mantua Center School property. 

Rootstown - As a result of its ongoing success in developing innovative and progressive learning opportunities for students, Bio-Med Science Academy, a year-round public STEM+M high school located on the campus of Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED), has been selected by the Ohio STEM Learning Network to serve as one of its regional STEM training center sites.

The Ohio STEM Learning Network training centers were developed to meet the growing demand for STEM professional development and provide educators at every school with the support they need to implement effective STEM education strategies. Each training center site highlights the strengths of the STEM schools in that region, allowing educators to focus on proven and effective STEM education and learning methodologies. Trainings cover topics like problem- and project-based learning, intersessions, student-led conferences, technology integration, and mastery learning.

“From the start, Bio-Med’s team has been dedicated to serving as a resource for the region. That focus on a ‘big footprint’ is one of the reasons we have been so excited to see the school grow,” said Dustin Pyles, director of operations for Ohio STEM Learning Network. “Bio-Med’s selection as a training center recognizes the school’s success at preparing students and its value as a demonstration site of innovative teaching and learning. The number of new and emerging STEM schools and programs in Ohio has doubled since Bio-Med first opened, and the need for these services has never been higher.”

The Ohio STEM Learning Network is supported and managed by BattelleEd, a nonprofit venture of Battelle Memorial Institute, as the state’s official public-private STEM education partner. Bio-Med Science Academy is among eight schools within the Ohio STEM Learning Network to currently serve as regional training center sites.

As a training center site, Bio-Med Science Academy will offer training and consultation to teachers all across Ohio in identified areas of expertise, including Google Apps for educators, literacy design collaborative, math design collaborative, restorative practices, and engineering concepts.

“As a relatively young STEM school, we are honored by our selection as one of the Ohio STEM Learning Network’s regional training center sites,” said Stephanie Lammlein, director of the Academy. “We have certainly benefitted from the insights of our peers as we have developed our own best practices, and it is in that spirit we look forward to sharing our successful instruction techniques with our colleagues from around the state.”

Bio-Med Science Academy is a tuition-free public STEM+M (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Medicine) high school that is open to any student in Ohio but was developed to serve students primarily from rural communities in Portage County and other surrounding counties. The Academy offers an innovative and progressive learning environment that cultivates academic excellence and rigor in the STEM+M disciplines while nurturing creativity, inventiveness and community in its students.

A year-round high school, the Academy’s course themes are developed based on current trends in science and medicine as well as the research and education being conducted at NEOMED. The Academy also develops educational experiences around community health and the environment in both urban and rural communities. For more information on the Academy or to fill out an application for the waitlist, please visit www.biomedscienceacademy.org or call 330.325.6186.

amvets-newtonfalls

Newton Falls – Members of the Newton Falls American Legion Post celebrate the Army’s 239th birthday during their monthly meeting.  Former Army personnel pose with a cake celebrating the birthday.  From left to right: Robert Shaulis, Duncan Shetterly, Pete Price, John Bishop, Arden Baillee, Robert James, Tom Buncic,  Walt Tully, Lennie Williams, Ron Widowfield and Richard Sibera

Garrettsville - Garrettsville Summerfest is almost here and the Summerfest committee is busy tweaking everything to make sure everyone enjoys the weekend-long festival. Each year after the festival, the committee reviews the event and looks for ways to improve for the next year. New this year is a fourth prize to the car or cash raffle; a change to the Grand Parade time including a  fire truck extravaganza; the location of the rides  and  a new shuttle service has been established to offer additional ample parking.

Second Prize for the Garrettsville Summerfest 's Cash or Car Raffle will be a Husqvarna USA YT48XLS Lawn Tractor! ($2,899 Value) Stop by S&K Sales and Service to check it out!

Second Prize for the Garrettsville Summerfest ‘s Cash or Car Raffle will be a Husqvarna USA YT48XLS Lawn Tractor! ($2,899 Value) Stop by S&K Sales and Service to check it out!

This year participants in the Chamber of Commerce’s Car or Cash Raffle will have the chance to win a brand-new Chevy Equinox (courtesy Charles Auto Family) or $20,000 in cash.  The second prize is a Husqvarna YT XLS Riding Mower courtesy of S&K Sales & Service. The  third  prize is an iPad Mini with Retina Display and fourth prize is a Gas House grill.

Raffle tickets are $20 each or 6 for $100  and can be purchased at area businesses and restaurants prior to Summerfest and at the Summerfest Information Tent during the event. The drawing will be held at the close of the festival on Sunday, June 29 following Garrettsville Idol. The winner does not need to be present to win.

Though there have been no safety incidents, the Garrettsville Summerfest Committee has reviewed the concerns of parents and motorists regarding the placement of the rides and carnival games. We are pleased to announce that the Summerfest Kid’s Funland has been relocated to a larger location for 2014. Our Kid’s Funland, which features a variety of great rides, games, and food will be located near Sky Plaza IGA (sponsor of the 2014 Kiddie Pedal Tractor Pulls). Riders and parents are sure to appreciate the more spacious location, additional rides & games, and a position away from the traffic. Sky Plaza is only a short walk, or ride (via Summerfest Shuttle), from the Monster Midway & St. Ambrose Chicken Festival.

The committee has changed the start time of the Grand Parade. This year, the parade will step-off at 12:30 pm rather than noon, as it had in the past. Speaking of the parade, they have added a fire truck extravaganza to the event as a thank-you to all of the departments who helped during the fire.  The fire truck extravaganza will be at the beginning of the parade,  therefore, if your little ones love trucks this will be a must see event.

With over 25,000 people in town over Summerfest weekend, it can be a challenge to locate a parking spot close to the action.  This year we are alleviating parking headaches by working with the James A. Garfield Local School District to offer shuttle service from the Garfield High School (10233 SR 88), and Sky Plaza (8311 Windham St.) parking lots to the midway. Donations will be accepted aboard the buses to help defray the cost of drivers’ salaries with any proceeds from the shuttle service going to the #GarrettsvilleStrong Fund. The shuttle buses will run from 4pm until 11 pm on Saturday and 5pm until 11pm on Sunday.

To plan your weekend of fun be sure to check out the 2014 SummerFest Fun Guide located in this weeks Villager.

Are you tired of tooting your own horn?

Here’s your chance to try playing your own pipes.  Well, not YOUR pipes exactly, but they’d be yours if you’d like to stop by the Garrettsville United Methodist Church and pick up an octave or two.  Here’s the deal :

When the abovementioned GUMC recently renovated, refurbished and updated its vintage (circa 1913) pipe organ, there were pieces/parts removed to be replaced by new musical apparatus…apparati?…stuff.  These pieces/parts were just too COOL to be pitched( although some of the REALLY long ones—eight -footers– had to go to that Big Recital Hall in the Sky) and they’ve been stashed away in the church basement since that time.  But now, “the time has come, the Walrus said”, to do something with these artifacts to free up some space  and move on…but they’re STILL just too COOL to pitch, if that can be avoided.  There are bunches of these antiques in boxes waiting to be re-purposed, re-used, adopted by somebody.

There are metal pipes that sound like tin whistles—look sort of like them too—or like steamboat whistles, with the same heft.  There are wooden pipes that have the mellowest tone imaginable.  The metal pipes are round and heavy-ish (mostly lead); the wooden ones are square and lighter than one might think.  Some are only about ten inches long, some are shouldering up to the  departed eight-footers.  They have the   tone that they are supposed to sound engraved on the lip somewhere, so you could assemble a sort of giant Pan-pipes affair on your back porch, should you, being handy, choose to do so(Take THAT, you wussy wind chimes!).  They’d make a one-of-a-kind accent piece in your music room or over the mantel.  I’m not sure what kind of wood  the wooden ones are made of but it’s older than most of us around here and might well be made into something neat if there are any interested woodworkers around.  Right now every one of them is really grimy and in need of some cleaning (I never  want to overdo it in the cleaning department.  “Cleanliness is next to godliness” ?…I say it’s next to impossible) and a little TLC.

Anyway, anyway, anyway…anyone who’d be interested in acquiring one—or more—of these treasures should inquire at the GUMC (office open 9:00a.m.—1:00p.m., Tuesday through Friday) .  A donation would be appreciated but not strictly necessary (Even new organs have to be maintained, y’know).

Toot toot!

 

dance

Garrettsville - Five years ago the 8th Count Dance Center celebrated its first year of dance classes, with a spring recital called “Dancing thru the Decades.” Since that time, they have continued to grow and have held annual recitals. This year’s recital theme was “Celebration” as Shanelle Waggoner and her center  celebrated five years of success in Garrettsville.  For more information on the 8th Count Dance Center visit their website at http://www.the8thcount.com

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Garrettsville – Good things come to those who wait.

Keep that in mind as Garrettsville’s Buckeye Block sits vacant, waiting for funding, conceptualizing, planning, revisions, approvals, and infrastructure before the first ceremonial shovels hit the dirt, signaling an official start to the rebuilding process.

According to primary property owner of the Buckeye Block Mike Maschek, “Even though we all had insurance coverage, no one can afford to rebuild according to modern standards at this point. We need a government grant to make rebuilding feasible — not a loan. We’re hoping such funding could become available within 60 days. If that comes through, it will take at least a year to see any action at the Buckeye Block.”

The process starts with a basic concept and design, Maschek explained. Maschek Construction Co. is working closely with Garrettsville officials (i.e., Village Council, Planning Commission, Fire, Police, Utility and Street Depts.) to ensure that everyone is on board and that the concept will flow with Main Street’s historic identity. Once the concept is approved, an architect will draw up a detailed illustration. This second step is again reviewed by village planning officials (Design Review Board/Village Planning Committee). The final step in the preparation process is for an engineer to integrate all the ideas and concepts together in formal building plans that meet all current county and state building codes for final approval by all involved committees and the Portage County Building Department.

While actual building concepts and designs are in their initial stages, discussions are under way considering the possibility of building a full scale street to replace the alley that now runs behind the Buckeye Block; to replace the 100-year-old water line with a fresh, new line; to replace current electric lines with an underground system; to incorporate trees, grass and architectural lighting to the historic streetscape; and to incorporate other attractive features designed to draw visitors to downtown Garrettsville. Architectural students from Kent State University have made reconceptualizing Main Street their senior project, so new ideas are coming in that planners will consider while imagining the rebuilding process.

“We may never get an opportunity like this again,” Maschek said. “So we want to make the most of this quiet time to plan carefully for something valuable and lasting. We want to measure twice, then cut; not the other way around. We can’t afford to throw something together in a hurry and see if it sticks. A pearl starts as just a grain of sand. It takes time to become a beautiful pearl.”

Considering the relatively long wait for rebuilding the Buckeye Block, Maschek has been receiving enthusiastic inquiries from potential buyers and renters for the historic feed mill at Main and Water Streets, which he expects to be fully renovated and ready for occupancy as early as October 1 and surely before the end of the calendar year.

With asbestos abatement concluded, excavators should be on site by midweek to tear down the dilapidated rear buildings. The site behind the mill should be cleared and seeded with grass by the time Summerfest begins on June 27, Maschek said.

 

Chess

Garrettsville – Isabella Folio (right)  and Brody Swigonski (left) won their respective divisions for the annual Garfield 4th grade PTO chess tournament (pictured).  Congratulations to them both!  The tournament was held over their lunch break for several weeks, and they recently competed in the finals.

For the boys division, Brody Swigonski defeated Kodiak Brogan in the final match.  For the girls division, Isabella Folio defeated Addrianna Conway in the finals.

The tournament was sponsored by the Garfield PTO and the elementary school.  Students were invited to come during their lunch once a week and play chess, checkers, cards, or even just read a book.  Almost one hundred different students participated in the program.  Special thanks to the PTO, the fourth grade teachers, and principal Keri Dornack.

 

bikesHiram – The Hiram Police Department is educating children on the importance of wearing a bike helmet. Chief Ed Samec announced that the Hiram Police Department is participating in the AAA Helmet Smart Program again this year. Helmet Smart is a unique program for promoting bicycle helmet usage through positive reinforcement.  Hiram police officers will issue “safety citations” when they see children wearing a bike helmet while riding a bicycle. The “safety citations” can be redeemed at Hiram Gioninos, also AAA will also be holding drawings throughout the summer for children who mail a portion of their “safety citation” back to AAA. These children will have a chance to win new bicycles.

Every year more than 500,000 children are rushed to hospital emergency rooms due to bicycle injuries, with one third of the injuries being to the head and brain. In fact, head injuries are involved in nearly 85 percent of all bicycle fatalities. Children who do not wear their bike helmet are 14 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than children wearing a helmet. “It’s interesting to note that crashes happen close to home on sidewalks, in parks, on bike paths, or driveways and do not involve motor vehicles,” said Chief Samec. “We want to stress to children and parents a bike is a vehicle and not a toy. Using helmets reduces the risk of brain injury by 85 percent and can prevent tragic life-long consequences.

Hiram Village Mayor Lou Bertrand said, “There are a lot of children that enjoy riding bicycles in Hiram. I am a strong proponent of the Helmet Smart program and I am pleased that our police department takes a proactive approach to safety.”

Hiram police officers will be issuing the safety citations along with parent/child safety pledges, and example forms that show correct use of a bike helmet and literature.

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

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

Congratulations and best of luck to all!

 

Sherry Jones and Mayor Rick Patrick prepare to draw the winning ticket.

Sherry Jones and Mayor Rick Patrick prepare to draw the winning ticket.

Garrettsville – Months ago I challenged the James A. Garfield students to take an active part in a fundraising effort to kick off renovations to the schools’ athletic facilities. Our students accepted the challenge with great fervor, and I am proud to report that the “Challenge Raffle” winner was drawn at noon on Friday, May 30th by Mayor Rick Patrick in the James A. Garfield Board Office.  The winner of the $1,000 grand prize was Stephanie Kristoff. The winning ticket was sold to her by her son, kindergartner AJ Kristoff.

On behalf of the James A. Garfield Schools I would like to congratulate Mrs. Kristoff and thank everyone who sold and purchased tickets for the raffle.  I would also like to thank Mrs. Sherry Jones for organizing this successful effort.  Without her passion, organization and impeccable record-keeping we never would have been able to experience such success.

The final breakdown for the raffle is as follows:

Total Sales:  $28,260.00

Expenses:     $6,041.86

Net Profit:  $22,218.14

It is important to note that $4,173.14 of the expenses went directly back to the kids in the form of t-shirts, gift cards and a skating party at Roller Hutt.  These rewards kept the excitement and motivation going throughout the raffle.

With the funds collected, improvements will be made to the stadium this summer to make play safer for our athletes. As you drive by the stadium you will begin to see the following work taking place:

Phase 1 – Safety of players and fans – Total Cost:  $17,938.57

?  Replace wood posts and ropes with four foot safety fencing ($6,438.57)

?   Install new goal posts ($0 – donated by G-Men Foundation)

?  Stabilize visitor bleachers with a permanent concrete pad ($11,500)

?  Move field away from home bleachers by 10 feet ($0)

The remaining $4,279.57 will be deposited to the JAG All Sports Booster account and used for Phase 2, which will focus on the spectator experience.  The next steps for the project are outlined by the following Phases:

Phase 2 – Spectator seating

?  Purchase safety and ADA compliant aluminum bleachers

?  Construct new press box

Phase 3 – Fan experience

?  Construct new concession booths

?  Construct permanent ADA compliant restrooms

Phase 4 – Scoreboard and track

?  Construction of all-weather track

?  Installation of new field scoreboards

This is just the beginning of the work that needs to be done.  Our athletic facilities are tired and need attention. It is inspiring to see so many individuals working together toward the goal of making them safer and more enjoyable for our students and spectators.

As always, if you have any questions, please call me directly in the office (330.527.4336) or on my cell (216.534.7413).

 

Photo courtesy of Michele Elias

Photo courtesy of Michele Elias

Well.  Don’t miss the next one.

The next “do” at the Candlelight Winery, that is.  The recent evening featuring food trucks and other festivities was an unqualified success, with  only the Premier Crepes truck left standing by the end of the evening—the others had run out of food, they were so popular.  Entrees were available, so were dessert items, there was seating inside and outside, good reviews of just about everything were floating around.  There was a raffle supporting #GarrettsvilleStrong ; there was music—Steve Howell finished up the evening to general acclaim (There were inquiries about the good doctor’s next CD), mellow and entertaining.  Early on, the Fox Channel 8  TV crew was out to see how we country folk get on…very well, thank you.  The new landscaping focused on a pond with a fountain, gravel paths, strategically-located tables and firepits, a mix of sun and shade locations for the early evening  (The spanking-new coop and the chickens were a bonus).  Both locals and outlanders  looking for a good time seemed to be having a fine night out.  It got the Sheri Johnson seal of approval and Patrick Hayden’s celebration put an end to any dissent.  It was a swell occasion.  Watch for announcements of any future celebrations.  You don’t want to miss this much enjoyment this close to home.

Photo courtesy of Michele Elias

Photo courtesy of Michele Elias

Community EMS  and Chief Chris Sanchez put on a nifty little down-home parade on Saturday, May 31 which showed off some of the equipment used in life saving situations—squad vehicles, for instance—and the individuals charged with running the affairs of the EMS district(Mike Elias, John Zizka, Jeff Kaiser, Tracy Brunner) as well as units of the Garrettsville/Freedom/Nelson Volunteer Fire Department and visiting units from the Windham Joint Fire District.  The James A. Garfield Marching Pride played rousing tunes, the Grand Marshal, Fire Chief David Friess and the Garrettsville Police were all part of the show as well.  The whole extravaganza wound up at the Community EMS headquarters on Forest St., where hot dogs, beans, salads, chips and beverages were part of the picnic atmosphere.  There were even inflatables—a slide and a bounce house—for the kids.  Adults could participate in health screenings offered by the local University Hospitals staff.  It was all about our health—not simply emergencies.  Watch for it next year.

Then it was on to the Village Book Store, where author Laura Peskin was available to discuss and/or sign a copy of her new paperback book, Deep Cover Cleveland (Vol. I).  It’s an interesting book, chock-full of tidbits of history, prehistory, illustrations and even geology.  Since the State of Ohio has pretty much abandoned the serious study of Ohio’s history and geography, this is a nice little catch-up on the points that you might have missed.  Lots of local names dropped throughout keep the reader looking for more and learning along the way.

Photo courtesy of Village Bookstore

Photo courtesy of Village Bookstore

Village Book Store no doubt has more copies available for purchase, as well as other eclectic choices and you can find just about any special-order items that you might fancy.  Stop in and check out the selection.  There will be more authors making appearances through the year.  Stop and inquire.

Graduation was inspiring, as usual, and touching this year, as a memorial  diploma was awarded to the dad of Nick Stock, who died in a tragic auto accident.  “Gone but not Forgotten” about says it.

O.K., now that the ugly old asbestos siding is being removed from the 150+ year-old building downtown in preparation for its restoration, the advertising on the antique siding underneath can now be seen.  Pretty cool, actually, but I can’t make out all of the words.   I got, “CARRIAGES, WAGONS and SLEIGHS” on one space, “SEEDS and POTATOES (I think) on another and “FARM IMPLEMENTS” on the third but I think that there are at least two other words that I can’t decipher.  Anybody want to clue me in?  I think that it would be neat if “the look” could be maintained and the words restored “as is”.  It’s  a formidable old building—a survivor, so to speak– and as soon as the wreckage in the back is removed( More parking?), it may become the symbol of a rejuvenated downtown.  Not that carriages are likely to make a comeback….

And speaking of carriages…the improved situation for “horseless carriages”, all the way from Hiram  through Garrettsville to the Trumbull County line, due to the completion of the resurfacing of State Route 82 is a welcome change.  Should make SummerFest more enjoyable.   ROCKIN’ to REBUILD, indeed.  Now if the Liberty St. bridge could  just be finished a little bit ahead of schedule—the decking seems to be on right now—so that the World’s Largest Tractor Parade can be routed around there to disperse, we’ll be good to go.  TOTALLY!

MHSocietyMantua – Wayne Enders is coming to Mantua Center’s Christian Church on June 16th at 7:00 p.m. for a presentation put on by the Mantua Historical Society. Wayne will enlighten members, guests and general public with an account of Rev. E. E. Lamb, who was the minister of the Rootstown Congregational Church during the American Civil War. Rev. Lamb crafted a eulogy that spoke to the profound sorrow the nation was experiencing after Abraham Lincoln’s death. The church is located at the Mantua Center’s green, off  State Route 82 and Mantua Center Road. Light refreshments will be served.

At the last meeting of the Mantua Historical Society, the members visited the Shalersville Historical Society museum and outbuildings, which are very nice and worth visiting. In the picture, Lois Summerlin, member of the Mantua Historical Society, and Ron Kotkowski, president of the Shalersville Historical Society are standing in front of the original desk of the Shalersville Town Hall that was purchased by Judge Lovell Gates from the township and donated to the museum by Ralph Gates.

MHS welcomes anyone desiring to join the organization; dues are $8 for a single and $12 for a family; we will meet every third Monday of the month until October.

garrettsvillestrongdonationGarrettsville –   Last week, students of the upper campus at Warren John F. Kennedy Catholic High School collected money for the food cupboard in Garrettsville, which had burned down during the March 22nd fire. One of the students of this school, Bart Kitko, lives locally in Garrettsville & responded to the office of Mission and Ministry at the school, Mrs. Dolan Dixon, to help with this collection. Several students purchased the Garrettsville strong tee-shirts in order to bring awareness to the destruction of the many businesses the fire had caused.

On Friday, May 30, several of the students, including Bart Kitko, brought the school’s offering –$322.75 to the founder of the cupboard, Mike Elias.

dday2014It’s not “Saving Private Ryan” or “The Longest Day” or “Band of Brothers” but it is a commemoration of one of the greatest military operations in the history of warfare, which we all know, to our sorrow, has stretched across millennia.  D-Day, June 6, 1944 brought together Allied forces from the United States, Canada, Britain and the Free French partisans to storm ashore to begin the liberation of France and the end of the Axis presence in western Europe.  It was preceded by months of code-breaking, prevarication (Operation Bodyguard) and preparation.  It culminated on the beaches (Operation Neptune) — Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, Sword—as part of Operation Overlord.  The greatest seaborne invasion in history is being remembered by world leaders, politicians, royalty, historians, and survivors (About 300 American veterans are expected to attend);  those survivors are growing fewer every year, by the seventy-fifth anniversary of the event, virtually all will be gone.

We have some local “skin in the game.”  Airborne Infantryman Alex Gerez, James A Garfield High School graduate, is  a part of the group that is involved in the  re-enactment scheduled to take place on this historic occasion, probably the last commemoration of its kind.  There will be a mass parachute drop, memorial services, tributes , speeches and remembrances.  Some  650 American military personnel will be taking part in various events.  One of our own carries on his broad shoulders the pride we all feel in the events and outcome of that momentous day so many years ago.

D-Day, June 6, 1944

D-Day, June 6, 2014

 

Mantua – Specialist Adam Scott Hamilton was one of the top marksmen in his unit and was assigned as a sniper. Since joining the U.S. Army in March, 2009 Specialist Hamilton has been awarded the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal. But he was more than that to Crestwood student Nick Krestan — Adam was his big brother. Three years ago, when Nick was a student at Crestwood Intermediate, he and his classmates wrote letters to Adam, sharing what they were learning in the book, On the Wings Of Heroes  by Richard Peck. Nick’s class, and the entire school, read the book as a part of the school’s first One Book, One School program that year. Unfortunately, Adam, who was serving in the US Army in Afghanistan, died in battle on May 28th, before he had the chance to meet his brother’s classmates at CIS. Adam was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart and NATO medal. He was 22 years old.

At the time of his death in 2001, a tree was planted in his honor on the grounds of the school. This past Friday, Adam was once again honored by Crestwood Intermediate School when his memorial was dedicated in the presence of his family. The dedication coincided with the closing event of this year’s One Book, One School program, which again featured Peck’s book, On the Wings of Heroes.

“It fills our hearts to know that these communities wrap their arms around and comfort us. It’s wonderful how much people care,” beamed Adam’s father, Scott Hamilton. “Memorial Day is so much more than hot dogs and a day off. It’s so important to help keep Adam’s memory alive, and all the other men and women who are lost.”  After the dedication, Crestwood students, the Hamilton family, and area veterans enjoyed a jalopy parade similar to the one described in Peck’s book.

As spectators waved American flags, the Crestwood marching band led the parade, which also featured Army vehicles and classic cars. Through their month-long literacy program, CIS students and staff raised money for the National Museum of the U.S. Army in Virginia. In addition to a financial donation, two bricks will be placed in the Museum’s walkway — one in honor of Mantua veterans, and one in honor of Specialist Adam Hamilton, with the designation ‘On Wings of Heroes’ to commemorate this year’s program. In addition, students and community members have the opportunity to register veterans into the National Museum of the U.S. Army soldier database. The Soldier’s Registry provides an opportunity to recognize and honor soldiers who are currently serving or have previously served in the U.S. Army, Army Reserve, or Army National Guard. The Soldier’s Registry will be prominently displayed at The National Museum of the United States Army, and is available at no charge. For more information, visit armyhistory.org.

“It’s amazing how they were able to bring students in touch with what happens during war,” continued Hamilton, noting that the U.S. has been engaged in war in the Middle East for over ten years. “There are a lot of families impacted,” Hamilton noted, “but events like this can effect them in a positive way.” He expressed his hope that some day, some of today’s students might return here to share his son’s memorial, and today’s experience, with their own children.

Specialist Adam Hamilton is survived by his parents Scott and Connie Hamilton of Kent and Nancy Krestan, of Mantua; as well as his siblings Nick Krestan; and Brandon, Shawney and Taya Hamilton. In his honor, the family has created the Adam Hamilton Memorial Academic and Athletic Scholarship Fund. The Fund helps keep his memory alive through recognizing major accomplishments of Kent Roosevelt students, where Hamilton graduated in 2007. Each year, the Fund awards two $10,000 scholarships – for graduating male and female Kent Roosevelt High School students. For more information, call (330) 274-2961.

 

lemonade-stand-garrettsville-strong

Streetsboro – After learning about lemonade stands and fundraising at school, Streetsboro students Bradley Stevens and Owen Murphy enlisted the help of their friends Connor Stevens; Jaedon Keba, Hayle and Mason to launch their own lemonade stand.

Working together these young entrepreneurs raised $80 for the #GarrettsvilleStrong fund! Last Friday Connor, Bradley, and Owen met with Chamber President Benjamin Coll at Middlefield Bank to make their donation.

Calling all tractor lovers, owners, or those who have access to tractors, Summerfest is looking for you! That’s right — the Summerfest Committee is looking for  tractor owners for the Seventh Annual Tractor Parade held during Garrettsville Summerfest on June 28, 2014 in Garrettsville.

tractor-parade-riderThis year’s Tractor Parade Theme is “Breast Cancer Warrior” and will have everyone seeing pink on  Saturday.  The committee is asking participants to consider decorating their tractors in pink to honor those that have fought breast cancer, those who are in the middle of the battle and those who lost their battle.  Those who have a warrior might want to add a trailer to their tractor so they can bring their warrior along in the largest tractor parade in Ohio.

The parade will be Saturday, June 28th at noon with the line-up beginning at 9am. Once again, they will have the tractor preview prior to the parade’s noon step – off at James A. Garfield High School. One will want to arrive early and take some time to mingle with other tractor enthusiast and show off their “baby.”

Registration for the tractor parade has begun and can be done at Century 21 GoldFire Real Estate at 8028 State Street in Garrettsville. Registration can also be done on-site on parade day.  Just arrive early to get registered.  Questions may be directed to Kathie Lutz (330) 687-5900. Please be aware that drivers must have a valid driver’s license to operate the field tractors on State Route 88.

This year trophies will be awarded in the following categories:

1) Oldest Tractor

2) Most Unique Tractor

3) Best Decorated tractor to the theme “Breast Cancer Warrior”

4) Best Decorated “Warrior Wagon”

This promises to be an exciting event, when tractors of all sizes and ages rumble down the streets of downtown Garrettsville in an all-inclusive tractor parade. Let’s make this the best parade ever by exceeding the record for Garrettsville, which is 220 tractors.

The Tractor Parade is sponsored by Century 21 GoldFire Real Estate

Garrettsville Summerfest is traditionally held on the fourth full weekend in June at the intersection of State Routes 82 and 88 in downtown historic Garrettsville. This year’s festival theme is “Rockin’ to Rebuild”. www.garrettsvillesummerfest.com 

 

Garrettsville – Garrettsville can’t get enough pizza.

Pizza_HutAt least that’s the point of view of Hallrich, Inc., which is adding a Garrettsville location to its network of Pizza Hut pizzerias. Mayor Rick Patrick said that Hallrich signed ownership papers last week, making the pick-up/delivery drive-through a soon-coming reality.

Garrettsville’s Pizza Hut will be nestled between State Street Salon and Domino’s Pizza on State Street. The new building will include two additional spaces for lease to another fast food franchise or two.

There are already 92 Pizza Hut “InnerCrust” restaurant locations in Ohio, scattered among 24 counties of Ashland, Ashtabula, Columbiana, Coshocton, Geauga, Hancock, Henry, Knox, Lake, Lorain, Mahoning, Medina, Morrow, Ottawa, Portage, Shelby, Stark, Summit, Trumbull, Wayne and Williams, plus the cities of Piqua and Solon, and the Village of Sunbury. Locally owned and operated, Hallrich, Inc. spawned the Pizza Hut franchise in Ohio.

According to company marketing material, parent company Pizza Hut was founded in 1958. It began with two brothers borrowing $600 from their mother to start a pizzeria in in Wichita, Kansas. Pizza Hut has now become the biggest pizza company in the world.

Hallrich Incorporated is the company which bought a modest Pizza Hut franchise and then brought it to Northeast Ohio in 1968. At the time, there were fewer than a hundred Pizza Hut restaurants open nationwide, and the menu featured only three items: pizza, beer and soft drinks. Today, Hallrich employs more than 2,000 Ohioans in a variety of service and management positions.

Hallrich has helped launch two new Pizza Hut concepts; the Italian Bistro and WingStreet eateries, the latter offering a variety of wing flavors, wing meals sandwiches, and entrée salads.  Hallrich continues to revitalize the Pizza Hut brand with new signage, remodeling, and a more contemporary restaurant décor.

In terms of  community involvement, Hallrich supports the Book-It national reading program, offers fundraising programs for non-profits, and makes pizza donations to hot meal programs. Further, Hallrich has donated to the Harvest Program and Alex’s Lemonade Stand foundation to help fight against childhood cancer.

Mayor Patrick says the timeline for groundbreaking and opening of the new restaurant has not yet been settled, but a Hallrich representative will meet with the Village Planning Commission during its next meeting at 7pm on Thursday, June 5.

Garrettsville already has Domino’s Pizza, Zeppe’s Pizzeria, Italian Garden, Cal’s and The Pasta House. But Pizza Hut’s market study determines that this small village has a big appetite for pizza and pasta, and is confident that it will make plenty of room for Pizza Hut, as well.

Garrettsville – The blighted feed mill at the intersection of Main, Center and Water Streets is about to be transformed into a focal point of beauty, usefulness and historic pride. The long-vacant property changed hands last week from principal owner Martin Paul to local developer Mike Maschek.

The current state of the former grist mill. Photo by: Estelle R. Brown

The current state of the former grist mill.

Photo by: Estelle R. Brown

The change in ownership — effective May 23, 2014 — will set in motion a series of events which should result in a fully restored property within six months, Maschek reports. The abatement process of removing asbestos siding, shingles and other hazardous materials is to have started by midweek. Then excavators will demolish the two sagging rear storage buildings which face Water Street and clear the grounds for a green space in time for Summerfest the last week of June.

According to a statement made by attorney Douglas K. Paul, “Plans for the property include the preservation and rehabilitation of this landmark building and property which has served the area for 100 plus years in many different capacities, most recently, and likely the longest, as a grist mill. Earlier plans had called for the building to be demolished. Retaining this building may be an important element in Garrettsville’s historic landscape,  given the recent loss in the historic district as a result of the downtown area fire on March 22, 2014.”

The front showroom facing Main Street is structurally sound and will be restored as a landmark befitting the actual focal point of downtown Garrettsville, Maschek says. Built in 1852, it served the village as a carriage shop, general store and feed supplier before going out of business more than 10 years ago.

Photo of building dating back to the late 1800’s courtesy of the Paul family.

Photo of building dating back to the late 1800’s courtesy of the Paul family.

All subject to approval by standards set for the Garrettsville Historic District, plans call for the renovated building to feature stouter corner posts and a stone front face up to the second floor porch, which will wrap around to the back of the building for a view of Silver Creek. New windows, siding and roof will be installed, all according to historic design and colors of the early 1850s. Plans also call for a four- or five-foot glass-enclosed cupola to be added to the roofline, to light automatically each night as a warm beacon shining over Main Street. The Paul family has also committed to erecting a historic plaque out front.

The interior spaces of the basement, first and second floors — about 3,000 square feet — will be completely remodeled with new heating, electric, plumbing, insulation and drywall to create retail and office space, to be made available for rent or purchase before the end of the calendar year.

“It will be beautiful,” Maschek forecasts. “My goal is to bring Garrettsville’s hidden glory alive; to bring life back into this village and opportunity back to the fire victims who lost their businesses. I want the center of town to be lit up with promise, representing Garrettsville’s best. The fire was terrible for everyone but I believe that God will bring beauty from the ashes. ”

Maschek owns a majority of the block which burned in the March fire, and he expressed a sense of obligation to provide the burnt-out business owners viable options to return downtown as soon as possible. Restoration of the Buckeye Block is moving slowly, with demolition and clearing of the ruins now complete. Soon the vacant lots will be leveled off with soil and seeded with grass. Once the grass is established, the fencing will come down and a green space will be available to the public until rebuilding starts.