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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.

garrettsville-garfield-high-school-banners

Garrettsville – Pictured From Left to Right, are the painters of the new banners hanging in front of James A. Garfield High School: Danielle Konecek, Shannon Stowe, Renee Perrault, Savannah Sheer, Dicey Miller, Edana Rankin, Casey Mansell, Anna Brigham, Ally Milano, Libby Frato-Sweeney, Madisson Geddes, Brittany Davis, Whitney Miller, Todd Barton.  Not Pictured: Madeline Lininger, Katlyn Simpson.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ravenna - The annual Portage County 4-H member recognition and achievement program was held recently at Maplewood Career Center.  4-H members and clubs were recognized for outstanding performances in 2013.

Lto R   Doug Rohal- Leadership Washington Focus trip, Morgan Bellar- Sea Camp, Jacqueline Moss- Citizenship Washington Focus trip, and Jacob Rohal- Forestry Camp Photo: Roberta R. Gallagher

Lto R Doug Rohal- Leadership Washington Focus trip, Morgan Bellar- Sea Camp, Jacqueline Moss- Citizenship Washington Focus trip, and Jacob Rohal- Forestry Camp
Photo: Roberta R. Gallagher

Among the awards presented were Blue Ribbon Awards for club secretaries and treasurers who submitted accurate and complete record books for their clubs.

4-H Week Window Decorating/ 4-H Awareness contest winners included the Edinburg Seambusters, Creatures N’ Features, The Outlaws, Everything Under the Sun, Portage County Shepherds, Kitchen Crew, The Alpha Pack, Field Nimble Thimbles and Country Cooks, and the Garrettsville Town Trotters.

The Portage County 4-H Life Skills Committee awarded $500 scholarships to members who have taken on  life skills projects. Recipients included Rachel Maefs, Garrett Rohal, Tyler Flynn, and Rachel Neal.

Clubs that met the criteria of Clubs of Distinction/Honor Clubs included the 10thCavalry, Critter Getters, Edinburg Seambusters, Everything Under the Sun, Garrettsville Town Trotters, Goats-R-Us, Kitchen Crew, Kritters & Kids, Market Masters, Nosey Nibblers, Paws-N-Claws, Portage County Shepherds, Portage County Unleashed, Portage Projects, Portage Steakmakers, Rootstown Small Ones, St. Joseph Green Rangers, The Alpha Pack, and The Outlaws.

The dog, goat, horse, and small animal committees recognized members in the areas of leadership, citizenship, most improved, and a number of other species specific awards.

County Gold Medal Award winners were Cory Mathia for horses, Megan MacIntyre for dogs, Samantha Eckhart for swine, Jamie Willis for sheep, Kyle Kissamore for beef, Seth Allen for poultry, Ryan Kissamore for goats, Emma Tuel for clothing and textiles, and Pachel Parks for achievement.

4-H Camps and Trip Award winners included Jacqueline Moss for Citizenship Washington Focus Trip, Caroline Blay and Douglas Rohal for Leadership Washington Focus Trip, Morgan Bellar for Sea Camp, Emily Simmons for Carving New Ideas Workshop, Emily Starkey for Ohio 4-H Space Adventure Camp, Jacob Rohal for Forestry Camp, and Nathan Kline for Ohio 4-H Leadership Camp.  These camps and trips are sponsored by the Portage County Randolph Fair Board.

 

Aurora - James A. Garfield Senior, Anna Brigham was awarded the “Saved by the Belt Award” by the Ohio State Patrol at Aurora Farms Outlets in Aurora, Ohio Saturday, May 17, 2014 at their annual kick-off for the “Click it or Ticket” campaign.

brigham-aurora-garfieldstudent-seatbeltMiss Brigham survived a head-on collision during blizzard-like conditions on February 27, 2014 near the intersection of State Routes 303 and 88 in Freedom Township. Although Anna suffered minor injuries, she realizes she is here today because she wore a seatbelt.

This award was brought back this year after several years of hiatus and was presented to Anna by Ohio State Troopers Sergeant Bruce D. Zuchowski and Trooper Griffin Kelly; both troopers represent the Hiram Patrol Post, which serves an 82 mile stretch of the Ohio Turnpike.

The program that awards the “Saved by the Belt Award” is Safe Communities, which is an educational division of Portage County that is financed to raise awareness for seatbelt safety based on a three year period of fatalities within the county.

Here are some recent statistics on seat belt use or lack thereof:

1: 63% of fatalities are caused from not wearing a seatbelt

2: Data suggests education alone is just not doing the job, especially for males ages 16-25. They just don’t think they’ll be injured or killed in an accident

3: If  90% of Americans buckle up, we will prevent more than 5,500 deaths and 132,000 injuries annually.

4: The cost of unbuckled drivers and passengers goes beyond those killed and the loss to their families. We all pay for those who don’t buckle up ¬ in higher taxes, higher health care and higher insurance costs.

On average, inpatient hospital care costs for an unbelted crash victim are 50% higher than those for a belted crash victim. Society bears 85% of those costs, not the individuals involved. Every American pays about $580 a year toward the cost of crashes. If everyone buckled up, this figure would drop significantly.

 

Motorists who refuse to wear their seat belts – beware.  The 2014 national Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement mobilization kicked off May 19 to help save lives by cracking down on those who don’t buckle up.

The Hiram Police Department is joining with other state and local law enforcement officers and highway safety advocates across the country to help save more lives by strongly enforcing seat belt laws around the clock.

While this year’s Click It or Ticket enforcement mobilization runs from May 21 through June 3, motorists should know that officers are out enforcing seat belt laws year-round.

Middlefield – A new shop will soon open in Middlefield, notable not only for it’s distinct mix of products offered, but for the individuals who staff it. Upon entering the storefront, you may be greeted by Celeste, a friendly, hard-working store employee from the Metzenbaum Center, part of the Geauga County Board of Developmental Disabilities, who helps staff this unique store.

The shop will focus on selling an equal mix of handcrafts, and gently used treasures. Artisans from Metzenbaum will supply wood products, jewelry, key rings and handmade cards. Local artisans will also consign handmade items including woven wicker baskets, aprons, and pillow covers. Other inventory will include collectible glassware, pottery, toys, books, home items, magazines, and kids items. The shop is unable to accept upholstered furniture, clothes or shoes. Individuals are welcome to consign items, or simply donate gently used items. If any donations aren’t used at the store, they will be given to another local charitable organization.

In addition to greeting customers, some of Celeste’s tasks at Special Hands Shoppe will include checking in consigners, ringing out customers at the cash register, as well as setting up and helping to design display areas of the store. Celeste will work closely with Metzenbaum staff, including Debra Griggs. The goal is that the shop’s inventory will augment what is found in the local community. “We won’t sell items that would compete with nearby stores. We want our store to be a wonderful addition to the local community.” To that end, the shop is soliciting local artists, including Amish crafters, to provide a wide selection for local residents, visiting tourists, and tour groups.

In addition, Griggs and her team hope to work with residents on beneficial community projects. And that community spirit doesn’t stop with Griggs and her staff.  Consigner Martin Weaver, a local artisan, donated a tabletop wishing well to be kept near the cash register. His only request – that any loose change donated would benefit the Ronald McDonald House. So, if you’re looking for some good gift items, but you also want to do good for the community, visit Special Hands Shoppe in Middlefield. The store, located on West High Street near Dollar General and Roadhouse Music, won’t officially open until Memorial Day. Local artists and consigners are encouraged to contact Debra at dgriggs@geaugadd.org or (440) 632-0659 to schedule an appointment.

Geauga County Board of Developmental Disabilities, known as The Bessie Benner Metzenbaum Center, was started in 1966 to help individuals in Geauga County with developmental disabilities. As of January 2014, they serve over 725 individuals and their families with community-based therapies, day-programming, residential services, and transportation. For more information, visit geaugadd.org.

 

Mantua – For the fourth year in a row, lively literacy takes Crestwood Intermediate students well beyond the pages of a book. At least as far as Canton, Ohio, to the Military Aviation Preservation Society (MAPS) museum. That’s where students and staff recently visited, as a part of the fourth annual One Book, One School program, and thanks to a generous grant from the Hiram Community Trust. Although the students didn’t see a B-17 like the one in the book, “On the Wings of Heroes,” that the entire school is reading, they had the opportunity to meet veterans who did. One such individual is WWII veteran Ralph Lynn, who flew 32 missions during the war. Lynn, who is now 94 years old, serves as a tour guide at the museum, where the leather bomber jacket he wore during those missions is now on display. He served as a guide for several groups of Crestwood students, leading them through the museum’s aircraft and displays.

Lynn has a good deal of experience sharing the MAPS museum with older folks like himself, who lived through that time.  However, he noted the difficulty he sometimes has in sharing his experiences with younger children with little knowledge of that time. Since the Crestwood students were currently learning about the war through the One Book, One School program, Lynn was able to, “add a little more meat to what they’ve read,” and give them a more real picture of those who served.

While at the MAPS museum, students had the opportunity to climb aboard a C-41 plane to learn how troops may have felt as they prepared to invade Normandy, or see a variety of aircraft on display and under restoration, including a MiG-17, B-26 Marauder, and AH-1 Cobra aircrafts. They also had the opportunity to climb aboard a Goodyear GZ-22 Blimp Gondola. In addition, groups had the opportunity to tour a ‘MASH’ era field hospital; similar to the one museum guide Ted Mathies served at as a medic in Viet Nam. Within the one tent on display, Mathies explained how soldiers could receive treatment for minor discomforts like a sore throats or cavities, to major surgeries like amputations, removing shrapnel, or, “putting your nose back on your face.”

Mathies shared that a 200-bed field hospital’s 27 tents can be set up in 24 hours anywhere in the world. He encouraged visitors to handle the instruments, tools, and equipment, and ask lots of questions. When asked about an odd-looking canvas bag with a hanging loop on top, and watering can sprinkler at the bottom, he explained to shocked students how to use a field shower, explaining, “If you wanted privacy, you’d have to close your eyes.”

MAPS museum literature notes that, “History was not made by airplanes, but by the men and women who designed, build and flew them.” As such, students had the opportunity to experience aviation up close through a tour of the museum’s Gallery of Heroes. They saw artifacts, learned about the men and women who served during the war, and saw a piece of the USS Arizona, sunk by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor.

As we stood under the 1908 Martin Glider, Ralph Lynn remarked excitedly, “Look how far we’ve come in 100 years,” noting the development from a simple wood and canvas glider to high-tech machines for travel to the moon. “I’d love to be around to see how far we can come in the next 100 years,” he concluded.

So what did students think of their experience at MAPS? Kylie, a fourth-grader, liked the opportunity to go inside a plane to find out what it’s like to be a paratrooper, like her father. Her classmate Jackson, an automotive enthusiast, added, “I liked viewing the planes, and trying to identify the different parts.”  For more information on the MAPS museum, visit www.mapsmuseum.org.

Back at Crestwood Intermediate, students have their own mini-museum. “It’s just amazing that all this came out of a book,” marvels Crestwood Intermediate guidance counselor Gary Traveny, as he looks around the darkened classroom. The classroom-turned-memorabilia museum is filled with photographs, uniforms, artifacts, and multimedia materials about the Second World War, on loan from community members. The temporary exhibit was compiled to augment the special month-long ‘One Book, One School’ program at CIS. The featured book, ‘On the Wings of Heroes,’ by Richard Peck, is the story of a young boy, and his brother who flies B-17s during World War II.

As you enter CIS, and come face-to-face with a vintage Army Jeep®, you know that the school is entranced with  the book. The entire school — roughly 400 students and staff from grades three through five – has been reading the book, and they have toured the exhibit to study the materials, and learn what individuals  from this generation experienced in the WWII. Through the exhibit, students had the opportunity to hear a recording of the Andrews Sisters singing “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” and see a video clip of Kate Smith singing Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America.”

They heard the amazing, true story of Nicholas Winton, a stockbroker from London, who saved 669 Jewish children from death at the hands of the Nazis in Czechoslovakia. Students were surprised to learn how the British version of the Monopoly board game was used to help troops shot down in Germany escape POW camps.  Through the interpretive classroom, students saw German and Japanese memorabilia, as well as a copy of the August 14, 1945 Akron Beacon Journal newspaper noting the end of the war in the Pacific. The materials are on loan from private collectors including the Tayerle family, Mr. Delcalzo, the Marusiak Family, Mrs. Krupar and Mr. Traveny.

This year, CIS students are supporting the National Museum of the U.S. Army through the purchase of personalized dog tags. In addition, students and community members have the opportunity to register an Army veteran through a soldier registry at no charge. Soldiers registered through this program will be included in an exhibit at the National Museum of the U.S. Army in Virginia. During past One Book, One School programs, CIS has supported the Flight 93 Memorial, provided Vermont Teddy Bears to Akron Children’s Hospital, and supplied books to an elementary school in Akron through the First Book organization.

The month-long program concludes at 9 am on Friday, May 23rd, when a plaque will be installed to honor Adam Hamilton, the brother of Crestwood student Nick Kreston. Hamilton was killed while serving in Afghanistan four years ago. The plaque will be placed near a tree that was planted in Hamilton’s honor shortly after his death. After the brief ceremony, students and staff will participate in a jalopy parade, featuring area veterans. For more information on the program, contact Gary Traveny at Crestwood Primary, (330) 357-8203.

 

Garrettsville – Less than a year since taking over the medical practice of retired family physician Sang Leu and his successor, Dr. Armelle Jemmy-Nouafo, Dr. Timothy Neely has a brand-new office.  With more than twice the floor space than the previous location, it gives Dr. Neely the capability to offer local patients more than twice the medical services available as before.

DrNeelyDr. Neely, DO,  established his family practice last August at Garrettsville Family Medicine, located in Sky Plaza on Windham Street, where Dr. Leu had practiced family medicine for 37 years. But the cramped and outdated facility constricted Dr. Neely’s ability to offer more than basic services, primarily for adult and geriatric care.

So he enthusiastically pursued University Hospital’s plan to find a suitable new location for the family practice, which would allow him to provide new medical services for under-represented demographics. That location is the site of the former Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge dealership owned by the Kepich’s,  just around the corner from Main Street, which had been sitting vacant for several years before renovations began in late 2013.

By March 31, 2014, Dr. Neely opened the doors of his new-and-improved practice at 10724 South Street. The handicap-accessible facility features six examination rooms (up from 2.5 at the previous location), including a room for making osteopathic adjustments, a pediatric exam room, and a women’s health room for gynecological exams. There is also an in-house lab for blood and urine tests, strep and flu swabs, spirometry, Coumadin checks and other labwork.

Another new feature is the Virtual Concierge, which connects a patient to a referred specialist for scheduling of further testing or surgical procedures before leaving Dr. Neely’s office via FaceTime video messaging.

Dr. Neely plans to add an immunization program and nursing home visitations soon. To top it off, a nurse practitioner is joining the practice to meet the increased demand by mid-June.

This widening menu of health care options for the entire family is what Dr. Neely had in mind when he first established his practice last August. As an osteopathic doctor, he has a holistic approach to medicine, addressing the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of the patient. While licensed to prescribe pharmaceuticals to treat medical conditions like an MD, osteopathic doctors are also licensed to manipulate the musculo-skeletal system, bringing muscle and bone into alignment, allowing the body to function optimally and hasten its own healing process.

New hours at Garrettsville Family Medicine are now: 8am-5pm Mondays; 10am-7pm Tuesdays, 8am-1pm Wednesdays, 8am-5pm Thursdays, and 7am-3pm Fridays. Dr. Neely is still accepting new patients. To make an appointment, call (330) 527-2617 or request an appointment at www.uhhospitals.org. Stay tuned for an upcoming open house at the new location this summer.

 

Mantua - Memorial Day is the time set aside to remember the men and women who died while serving in U.S Armed Forces. And from that day forward, local veterans Roy Mayfield, Jessie Crate, Jim Aldrich, Bud Foster, and a host of others will finally have a local place to honor and remember those they served with who have passed on, and those who did not make it home.

Local veterans Bud Foster, Kathleen Miller (wife of veteran Earl Miller), Jim Aldrich, Roy Mayfield, and Jesse Crate at the newly completed Veteran’s Memorial. The memorial is located at the corner of State Route 82 and Mantua Center Road in Mantua Township. The Memorial will be dedicated at noon on Memorial Day, May 26th, immediately following the community parade.

Local veterans Bud Foster, Kathleen Miller (wife of veteran Earl Miller), Jim Aldrich, Roy Mayfield, and Jesse Crate at the newly completed Veteran’s Memorial. The memorial is located at the corner of State Route 82 and Mantua Center Road in Mantua Township. The Memorial will be dedicated at noon on Memorial Day, May 26th, immediately following the community parade.

While the need and desire for a local monument honoring those who have served has never been in question, the location has been a topic of discussion since it was first suggested in 2001. Various sites were considered before the current site was selected twelve years later. And thanks to private donations of time, supplies and money, the Veteran’s Memorial is now complete. The Memorial is situated on the green in the Mantua Historic District, a location that has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1974.

According to Army veteran Bud Foster, who designed the Memorial, it’s been a dream he’s held to tightly over the past nine years. Before her passing, his wife, Rose, told him, “Don’t give up on the battle.” Perhaps that’s just one more reason Foster visits the Memorial, situated near his home, every night. “We wanted to place the Memorial where people would see it all the time,” Foster concluded. Steve Zielinski, who served in the Navy, shared his desire to honor those friends and family members who served in the Armed Forces. Having a memorial here, he states, “is a good thing.”

Eileen Kinter, member of the Ladies Auxiliary, commented, “When we see the memorial, it helps to remind us of all those brave men and women who served, but are no longer with us. It’s great to have something here in Mantua.” Kathleen Miller’s late husband Earl served in WWII as part of the 77th Infantry Mr. Miller was part of the initial committee planning to create a memorial in Mantua. She acknowledged, “Any time you can recognize veterans and their service is a beautiful time.” Miller currently serves as Chaplain of the Ladies Auxiliary of VFW Post 193.

“With over a thousand veterans from our small area, spanning from the Revolutionary war to today, it’s great to have a place for families to pay their respects,” shared Tim Benner. Benner’s father served in the Korean War, earning a purple heart. When Benner took his mother to the Memorial recently, he recalls, it brought tears to her eyes. “It’s beautiful,” she said.

The Veteran’s Memorial will be dedicated on Monday, May 26, 2014 12:00 p.m., immediately following the Memorial Day parade and ceremony at West Lawn Cemetery. Guest Speakers include Bud Foster and Scott Hamilton, the father of Adam Hamilton, a local soldier who lost his life while serving in Afghanistan. Father Michael Garvey of Saint Joseph’s Parish will conduct the invocation and benediction. Garvey is also a veteran. Kathleen Miller will sing the National Anthem, and American Legion Post 193 will facilitate a 21-gun salute and the playing of Taps. After the dedication, the Town Hall and Historical Society Museum will be open to the public. Everyone is encouraged to attend.

 

Newton Falls – In observance of Mothers Day, Newton’s Apples Childcare & Learning Center invited their Mommies to attend a special “Mommies & Muffins” reception to celebrate and honor their Mothers. This is the 6th year that Newton’s Apples has invited their Mommies to attend this special event.

The children of Newton’s Apples celebrated their Mothers on Friday, May 9. During a special program each child got to tell all in attendance why their mother was special. Each Mother was then presented with a special gift made by the child especially for them.

The Mothers were treated to a special Mothers Day song by the children. Finally each Mother got to tour the Center with their child to get a small glimpse into the child’s daily activities at Newton’s Apples.

For further information, phone (330) 872-3422, or e-mail NewtonsApples@yahoo.com.

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Portage County - On April 30th United Way and Portage Learning Center’s Head Start joined forces to expand United Way’s Reading Role Models program.  Local volunteers from AMETEK, Kent State University and Smithers-Oasis spent time with 16 Head Start classes and more than 250 students across Portage County to help them strengthen their language and literacy skills.  United Way President & CEO Brian Duchon said “The Head Start Program is an important program for children from low-income families.  These children are at greater risk of falling behind in school so the Reading Role Models program was a natural fit aimed at improving these kids reading skills and ensuring that these kids enter kindergarten with the skills they need to succeed.”  Reading Role Models are community and corporate volunteers who participate in regularly scheduled reading days at early learning centers, community centers and schools across Portage County.  For more information or to sign up to be a Reading Role Model please visit www.volunteerportage.org.

Hiram – Recently, roughly 2,000 high school seniors from 16 area schools arrived on the Hiram College campus. The students weren’t there en masse for a college visit or orientation opportunity, but for a serious lesson to guide them in making good decisions during the upcoming prom and graduation season.

As students arrived, they encountered a mock crash scene in the parking lot. Area fire trucks, an ambulance and EMS crews from several cities aided “victims” who were trapped inside the twisted wreckage. The graphic scene served to grab students’ attention, and served to set the stage for the rest of the morning’s events. But the purpose wasn’t to simply to show students a shocking scene. “The goal is to reduce teenage fatalities, especially during prom and graduation season,” said Lynette Basiman, Director of Portage County Safe Communities.

The None Under 21 program focuses on the simple choices students can make today, to avoid the very real consequences from drunk or distracted driving. As the program began, Hiram President Thomas Chema addressed the teens, sharing that in 2006, two of Hiram’s students were killed and another was severely injured when a drunk driver struck the car in which they were riding.

A father, Marc Streem, shared the loss of his youngest son, Ryan, a student at Rootstown. Ryan lost his life at the age of 14 in a motor vehicle accident. Next, college student and survivor of a drunk-driving crash, Melinda Mason, shared the experience and recovery. Mason began speaking publically after being hit by a drunk driver in April of 2013. Lastly, students listened as convicted felon, Aaron Cooksey, the man responsible for killing his best friend, recalls the choice he made to drink and drive, and the burden of the consequences he must continue to bear.

At the close of the program, students are directed through the “Walk of Remembrance,” an emotional tribute to local families who have lost loved ones due to traffic-related crashes. As students quietly walk through the hallway, they pause to see family members standing in tribute to loved ones they have lost. This year’s walk of remembrance honored Brad Bauer, Teresa Conti, Emily Goldsmith, Christopher Graves, Russ Wanchick, Joseph Nirchl, Donovan Svab, Ada Van Horn, Ryan Streem, Grace Chamberlain and Andy Hopkins.

Even though a mock crash scene greeted them at the start of the program, by the event conclusion, students have no doubt of the real losses that can result from poor choices. Moved by the program, many students shed tears, with some offering hugs or handshakes to families of victims as they made their way through the Walk of Remembrance.

According to Hiram Village Police Chief Ed Samec, “None 4 Under 21 hits hard! The students hear REAL LIFE stories and they feel the emotions from the presenters. The Walk of Remembrance has substantial impacts on the students. They look at the pictures and then look into the eyes of the family members standing next to the pictures. They see the heartbreak in the eyes of the family members and it’s a hard reality that this is for REAL!”

Prior to the event, one of the sponsors, Elk & Elk, challenged each school to create a banner containing a message related to the event. The winning team from Newton Falls High School won $2,000 to help fund alcohol-free prom and graduation activities at their school. A check for $1,000 went to the second place team from Windham High School.

The following sponsors made this year’s None 4 Under 21 program possible: the Ohio Troopers Coalition; the law firm of Elk & Elk; Jason Durica, Allstate Insurance; Hughes Event Production Services; Wood Kortright Borkoski Funeral Home; Portage Granite & Marble; Portage County Prosecutor Victor Vigluicci; Gateway Towing & Recovery; Hiram College; the Aurora Schools Foundation and the Fraternal Order of Police.

Garrettsville - Garrettsville Summerfest is one of the biggest festivals in Portage County with contests, parades, races, with live music and entertainment all weekend long. The event will be held on June 27th-29th at the intersection of State Routes 88 & 82 in historic downtown Garrettsville.

2014_chevrolet_equinox_equinoxThe year, the theme is “Rockin’ to Rebuild.” The theme was chosen to demonstrate that even though the village suffered a great loss in the Buckeye Block Fire this past spring, they are not broken, just bent a little, and Summerfest will go on as planned.  Because Summerfest is a big part of Garrettsville and the community is also a big part of Summerfest, the committee has chosen to donate some of their proceeds to rebuild the Buckeye Block after the festival’s bills are paid.

Every year the festival committee chooses a charity to bless and this year they have chosen to donate to rebuilding the Buckeye Block. In past years, they have donated to the food bank, military families, etc.

Garrettsville Summerfest is primarily supported by the proceeds from the Car Raffle and the festival t-shirt sales. This year the car will be a nicely-equipped 2014 Chevrolet Equinox. One may choose the car or $20,000 in cash. Raffle tickets are available at area merchants and can be purchased for $20 each or 6 for $100. Second prize will be an iPad and third will be a gas grill. The drawing will be held at the close of the festival on Sunday, June 29, 2014 following Garrettsville Idol. The winner does not need to be present to win.

Garrettsville Summerfest t-Shirts will also be sold to help pay for the festival. They are expected to be on sale by, if not before Memorial Day. They can be purchased at Middlefield Bank, The Weekly Villager, Miller’s Restaurant and Skylanes Bowling.  This year there are two colors to choose from, orange and safety green. The cost will be the same as last year, $12 each with extended sizes being $15. There will be a limited amount available and once they are gone, they’re gone.

Therefore, if you have always enjoyed the festival and want to see it continue to grow and be successful, consider supporting one of the fundraising efforts.

 Garrettsville Summerfest is held on the fourth full weekend of June each year at the intersection of State Routes 82 & 88 in historic downtown Garrettsville. For more festival information visit us at www.garrettsvillesummerfest.com 

 

Garrettsville – The Garfield Cheerleaders are kicking off their upcoming cheer season with a mulch fundraiser. 100% of the proceeds go to the cheer program to help support competition fees, camp costs, and spirit supplies.

Gallagher's Mulch Fundraiser Garfield Schools

Pictured left to right are GHS Cheerleaders Courtney and Mikaela Siracki are ready to take your mulch orders with GHS alumni, Dan and Tyler Gallagher of Gallagher Farms Mulch and Sawdust

Purchase quality bulk mulch for your landscaping needs from your local GHS Cheerleader or call Coach Shannon Gallagher at 330-842-0015 to pre-order your mulch.

Choose from double ground bark mulch for $23 a yard or dyed mulch for $28 a yard, (black, red, or dark brown.) There is a 3 yard minimum plus a $20 delivery fee. Small yard? No problem! Split a load with your neighbor.

Mulch is supplied by Garfield Alumni, Dan and Tyler Gallagher of Gallagher Farms Mulch and Sawdust. They are pleased to support GHS and the Garfield Cheerleaders.

Thank you in advance for supporting the Garfield cheer program! *\o/* Go-G-Men!

Mantua – For the 10th consecutive year, the Crestwood Outdoor Education Committee held an Earth Day festival at the Crestwood Primary School. While Mother Nature made it difficult to hold the festivities outside, holding the event indoors didn’t hamper the success of the evening’s event.

Aided by parent volunteers, as well as those from Crestwood Middle and High Schools, the event featured twenty earth-friendly stations for students and their families to enjoy. Habitat hikes were held outdoors, and stations offered a variety of hands-on activities and fun for all ages.  Families enjoyed giveaways like tree seedlings and sunflower seed planters, and gained  access to plant and animal facts and expertise from area naturalists, master gardeners, and wildlife experts.

Kids enjoyed speaking to beekeepers, learning about rocks, and finding out where storm water flows. They also enjoyed face painting and crafts like making radish seed necklaces. But the high point for many was the owl craft, where children and adults had the opportunity to make a simple art piece from reclaimed barn wood, leather scraps, and other odds and ends. The wood for the ‘barn owls’ was provided by the Stamm family.

Garrettsville - Six shiny, brand-new TRUPER shovels.  Hard hats.  A pile of dirt brought in and lined up especially for the occasion.  Students, educators &  administrators, township trustees, construction officials dignitaries interested citizens.  Photo opportunities—with or without dirt—of all sorts.  A backdrop of soil on the move, big machines, flagged stakes, safety fencing, a changing façade of the elementary school as its addition takes shape.  The Marching Pride.

They were all there on the official groundbreaking ceremony held on May 8, 2014 at the James A. Garfield K-6 Elementary School Addition. Board president Guy Pietra managed introductions and recognitions  The governor sent a liaison, Tim Ross, with a proclamation.  The superintendent spoke of the challenges of the construction, the expectations and resources as part of the project overview.  Grace Edwards, a 5th grade student, brought a historical viewpoint and an appreciation of the Park Avenue school.  Andy Lininger  and Laura Wilburn spoke of the skills learned , mentors encountered, groundwork laid in the elementary school for future success.  Mayor Rick Patrick offered the description of the occasion as a milestone.  Bob McAuliffe, Jr. of the Hammond Construction Company made reference to the teamwork involved in the whole enterprise. Superintendent Ted Lysiak encouraged all in attendance to cherish the memories and remember the path of the changes  leading to tomorrow with educators as builders.   Board vice president David Vincent gave closing remarks and thanks.  Then it was on to the shovels!

And refreshments, of course.

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Portage County – On Friday, April 25, 2014, at NEOMED’s Ralph Regula Conference Center there was a swirl of competitiveness at this year’s 23rd annual Portage County Literacy Coalition Spelling Bee.

spelling-beeIn the beginning of the Bee, the teams:  Community Action Council of Ravenna, Deluxe, Inc. of Streetsboro; NEOMED of Rootstown; and the Mavericks were battling for a victory.   Each team didn’t give up the bout, but held on tight and continued spelling word after word.  The tension rose as the teams clashed for the yearly PCLC Spelling Bee trophy.  Words like:  “Blatherskite,” “crepuscular,” and “per diem” were spelled.  It was a struggle to the very end and finally it was down to two teams.

After 16 years of competing in the Portage County Literacy Coalition’s Spelling Bee, this year’s trophy was finally won by NEOMED of Rootstown.  We congratulate Debbie Myers, Bryan Zeppernick, and Theresa “Terry” Schoettler of Team NEOMED for finally achieving the win.   Also, we would like to note a gracious recognition to Gail Hansen and Jean Spain from NEOMED that were unable to make it to the Bee.

We would like to thank all of the area businesses that took part in this year’s Spelling Bee and also to those who generously donated items.  Because of all our community partners the PCLC Spelling Bee was a success.

The Portage County Literacy Coalition is a non-profit that raises literacy awareness in Portage County and supports the Adult Basic and Literacy Education Program at Maplewood Career Center.  All money raised from the PCLC Spelling Bee goes towards materials and scholarships for those achieving their GED.  The PCLC welcomes volunteers and new board members.  If you are interested in finding out more about the Portage County Literacy Coalition, please call (330) 235-0020.

 

MantuaHistorical Mantua – Carol Denzinger, pictured, was the guest speaker at the April meeting of the Mantua Historical Society; she gave an excellent presentation of Mantua’s bygone days. She is displaying Stamm Contracting calendars, where the main character is the Gay Old Philosopher. If you were looking for a good time, on a Friday night and could go back in time, you would find it in downtown Mantua in the 1950′s. Farmers finishing up with their field work and  workers coming home would head to town, because businesses, like Hammel’s and Haylett’s grocery stores, Weber Hardware store, the lumber yard, the bank, etc., stayed open late (9:00 p.m.). There would have been music in  the streets, because the high school band would march to town and set up to  play music. THE GOOD OLD DAYS!

The next meeting of the Historical Society, on May 19th, will be a road trip to the Shalersville Historical Society’s museum on S. R. #44; we will meet at 7:00 p.m. for our meeting and to tour their museum, our host will be Ron  Kotkowski. Light refreshments will be served. The group welcomes new members; dues are $8 per person or $12 per family; meetings are every third Monday of the months from March to October at the Mantua Township Hall’s  lower level, located at S. R. 82 and Mantua Center Road.

garrettsville-strong-softball-team-north-akron-winners-softballAkron - The Garrettsville Strong charity softball team won the North Akron 2nd Annual Spring Warm up and raised over $1,000 (including fund raising uniform t-shirts by the Villager), and still counting, for the Gville fire fund!! The donations will be made  in the name of Garrettsville Youth Softball and the Ohio Outlaws to the Garrettsville Strong fund.

Great job ladies!! For a team that never played together before, they had great team chemistry and teamwork, going 5-0 on the weekend. The girls scored on 3 home runs, a grand slam by Autumn “Cali” Belviy, suicide squeeze play, multiple doubles and triples, tons of beautiful bunts. Great job catching by Shelby Mayes, dominating pitching by Angela “Maz” Masiello and Madison “Maddog” VanKirk, an awesome throw from center field by Torrie Gall to almost gun a runner out at first, (Threw it so hard it bent the first baseman’s glove back and it came out), Meg Visocan played every position except catcher including pitcher. Every young lady had a highlight and contributed across the board — can’t even remember them all!  On top of all that, the pitchers and catcher were calling their own games, at 12 yrs old, and did it beautifully!

The GarrettsvilleStrong roster consisted of: Garrettsville Cal’s Gals Angela Vanhorn,  Emma Lawrence, and Chloe Pfile; Garrettsville Hotshots  Gracie Pignaloso, Sarah Shearer and Anna Weaver; Garrettsville -  Madison VanKirk; Crestwood -  Angela Masiello and Torrie Gall;  Crestwood Victory -  Maddy Cline and Alexis Schultz; Outlaws -  Hailey Eckelberry, Autumn Belviy  and Shelby Mayes; Explosive Black – Meg Visocan. Coaches were David Pignaloso, Scott Vanhorn, Tom VanKirk and Dan Masiello.

Thank you to “dugout moms” Becky VanKirk and Tara Vanhorn and special thanks to  Karen Visocan, and daughter Meg, for helping out and more than doubling our donations with some additional fund raising!!

Thanks GYS, Ohio Outlaws Fastpitch, to all who participated, donated, and rooted us on, could not have done it without you!!!

 

cis-mantua-schools-art-visit-cleveland-museum-of-art-cmaMantua - For the second year in a row, fifth grade students and parents from Crestwood Intermediate School toured the Cleveland Museum of Art during two special Saturday field trips in early spring. Crestwood Intermediate Art teacher Patty Timbrook received the grants, which funded the trips, from the Hiram Community Trust.

Each grant covered the cost to transport two groups of students and chaperones to the museum. In addition, each grant also provided funds for three Ipads to allow students to research the trip, and to use during the excursions. After the field trips, the iPads are used regularly in Timbrook’s CIS art classroom.  According to Timbrook, “Last year’s students created a digital album of the CMA’s Egyptian collection in preparation for their trip to the museum. Students shared this album with the trip chaperone on the bus on the way to Cleveland.”

For many students and parents, this was the first time they had been at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Several parents hadn’t visited the museum since they were children and were awestruck by the changes what they saw. Timbrook marveled, “Many people mentioned that they will go back; that they were interested in the other museums in Cleveland, as well as other art museums in nearby cities, which was one of goals of this program.”

To prepare students for the trip, Timbrook showed short videos and photos of pieces from the museum’s collection on Ipads, which prompted discussions about what students would see there. Timbrook explained to students that people come from all over the world to see what CMA has to offer, but that her lucky group can get there in just a short ride.

At the museum the group was free to view any galleries during the visit. Timbrook remarked, “They loved the Egyptian gallery since we do a lengthy mummy and Egyptian project in the art room. Next year I plan on having a scavenger hunt at the museum – find Monet’s water lilies, Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe etc.”

The trip to the Cleveland Museum of Art is limited to fifth graders, and is funded through the Hiram Community Trust. Each year, Timbrook leads groups of third graders through the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown. Fourth graders visit the Akron Art Museum. In addition, during NEOEA Day in October, she took 20 Intermediate, Middle and High School students and a few parents to KSU and Hiram College to tour their art facilities.  Students toured the facilities and watched artist demonstrations in the various studios. This program was funded by the Hiram Community Trust, as well, and offered gifted art students with a great introduction to potential college majors in that field.

“I think it is essential that kids learn about other cultures, history, art history, and about themselves through art education and by seeing this outside of the classroom at our local museums. They can’t take it all in through one visit but I feel that I planted the seed,” beamed Timbrook.

        

 Alyssa Perez and her parents investigate an exhibit at the Cleveland Museum of Art through a Crestwood Intermediate School program funded by the Hiram Community Trust.  

       Photo provided by Patty Timbrook

 

Windham Twp. – The Windham Township Trustees met for their regularly scheduled meeting on May 1, 2014 with all trustees, fiscal officer, five residents and one guest in attendance. The trustees approved the minutes and expenditures for the month of April.

This old church on Silica Sand  Road  has  been the subject of complaints and discussions over the course of the year, especially the last two trustee meetings. The trustees are looking into getting a Community Block Grant to have the structure demolished.

This old church on Silica Sand Road has been the subject of complaints and discussions over the course of the year, especially the last two trustee meetings. The trustees are looking into getting a Community Block Grant to have the structure demolished.

Mark Russell from Ellerhorst Russell Insurance was in attendance to review the insurance policy that is up for renewal. After some questions, and then a discussion, the trustees approved the policy with amendments. The fiscal officer will add the amendments before the policy is signed.

In roads, Supervisor Brian Miller said he has been in contact with the Portage County Engineers and it appears there may be some Ohio Public Works Funds available for the township to use for resurfacing roads. Miller suggested Bryant Road. After some discussion, the trustees thought Colton Road should be considered as well. Miller will also have a representative from the engineer’s office look at Colton Road and see if either or both roads would qualify for the funding. Dann Timmons reported that he is in the process of talking to the property owners on Frazier Road before they proceed with Mr. Soinski’s proposed cul-de-sac. In other road news, the township workers have been kept busy during the rain, by cleaning up trash, trimming back trees and brush along the sides of the roads.

In cemetery news, Trustee Rich Gano received the pins to lay out more graves and as soon as it dries up a bit he will get them done. They also have 20 graves that will need foundations poured this month.

The trustees are in charge of this year’s Memorial Day Services and will ask Lt. Col. Ed Meade from Camp Ravenna to be the speaker.  Timmons will contact Lt. Col. Ed Meade to see if he is available, along with the usual participants, Gano will handle the parade line-up and Miller will get the cemetery set up for the service.

In zoning, Joe Pinti reported that there have been no new permits written but many inquiries on decks, fencing and such.  The trustee received proposed zoning changes from the zoning commission and will hold a public hearing on the issues on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 at the town hall at 7 pm.

Timmons reported that they heard from Mark Finamore on a ruling on the alleged breach of contract by the village, when they discontinued dispatch services to the fire district contract. Finamore believes there is some village liability there and if they wanted to proceed with legal action they could. After some discussion on the matter, the trustees have decided to share the opinion with the fire board for review. In other safety issues Timmons reported that the fire board decided to go with a 4 mill renewal levy on the November ballot rather than increase it.

In old business, the township clean-up went well. Miller inquired where the township stood on the old church on Silica Sand Road. Gano said as soon as he determines who owns it he will proceed with trying to obtain a Community Block Grant to have it torn down. Timmons said the auditor’s records should be able to tell who owns it. Gano will start there and see if they can’t get the matter resolved.

In other township news, the trustees approved Bill Isler’s proposal to remove the light poles from the “Township Green” and they also approved the acquisition of a debit card for the township use.  The fiscal officer reported that due to the Affordable Care Act, the township now has to tax, the reimbursements to its employees for healthcare costs.

The meeting was adjourned and the June meeting will be held on June 5, 2014 at the town hall at 7pm.

 

Photo provided by Michelle Gerbrick

Photo provided by Michelle Gerbrick

Mantua – Recently, students at the Crestwood Intermediate School received a surprise gift of technology to help them with their studies. According to Crestwood Intermediate Principal Michelle Gerbrick, the school recently received an anonymous donation of over $10,000. The donation was earmarked to purchase a computer cart and thirty laptops for student use. The cart also serves as a charging station for the laptops.

The cart enables an entire classroom with enough computer workstations for each student, offering more opportunities for access to technology. In the past, each class has been limited to a brief, weekly Technology class in the school’s computer lab. The cart is used in CIS classrooms, from grades three through five.

“The lab will come in handy for testing, integrating technology into the classroom, and so much more.” beamed Crestwood Intermediate Principal Michelle Gerbrick. The gift to the Crestwood Intermediate School was made possible through a generous donation from an anonymous benefactor from Aurora.

 

armstrong-burial-arlington-vietnam-veteranArlington, VA - Decorated Vietnam War hero and Class of 1965 Garfield High School graduate Robert Earl Armstrong was buried with full military honors at Arlington Cemetery on April 25. Serving with the U.S. Army’s 4th Infantry Division in 1969, then-Sergeant Armstrong distinguished himself in two separate incidents.  In  one – a massive ambush in the Mang Yang Valley – he stepped up to take command of his platoon after all officers and other NCOs were either killed or wounded.  In recognition of his bravery and resourcefulness, the United States awarded him the second highest U.S. military honor for valor, the Distinguished Service Cross.  In the other separate incident, near Polei  Kleng, Armstrong’s  extraordinary efforts to save other squad members earned him the third highest honor for valor, the Silver Star.  His heroism also earned him the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, with silver cross, and a Purple Heart.  Armstrong died in October 2013 in North Carolina.

After returning from Vietnam seriously wounded, this American hero took every opportunity to honor and help every  veteran he encountered in the ensuing 43 years.  He was instrumental in the building of the Mecklenburg County Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Charlotte, North Carolina, and was the author of the inscriptions on the face of that memorial.  Despite challenging health issues over much of his adult life, Armstrong traveled  to Washington, D.C. on Veterans Day and Memorial Day each year, to honor those fallen whose names are inscribed on the Vietnam War Wall on the Mall.

In addition to his widow Susan (Maher) Armstrong, sons Mark and Troy and their wives and children, and brother Jeffrey Armstrong, more than 40 other family and friends, former comrades, other veterans, and Garrettsville classmates attended the services at Arlington.

missy-steele-garrettsville-ceramic-mugGarrettsville - This view of Garrettsville is especially important to ceramic artist Missy Steele who moved from Garrettsville to Pittsburgh when she was 18, but still has family is still here. “This is where I did most of my growing up, and this is where I return for holidays and special occasions. Honestly, it’s the place I still call home.” says Steele.

When glazing the mugs it was important to Steele to recreate her view of Main Street, arriving from the East. Steele chose to recreate a view that she would see on any given trip—busy with cars visiting Garretsville’s many local shops and businesses, an open sky scattered with clouds. A typical afternoon in Garrettsville. This is the way Steele will remember Main Street.

Each mug is handcrafted on the potter’s wheel; a handle is then made and attached. Every detail is painted on by hand, and the mug is fired once before glaze is applied and once after. No molds are used in Steele’s process, and the glazes are mixed by hand. No commercial materials are used. For Steele, these mugs were an effort of love and she has dedicated her time to making each one special and unique. No two are exactly alike.

As soon as Steele heard about the fire, she knew that she wanted to help in some way. Living in Pittsburgh, she knew there wasn’t a lot that she could do locally, but by creating one-of-a-kind mugs Steele could help generate more funds than she would be able to donate on her own.

While supplies last, you can purchase a limited edition, hand-made, Garrettsville mug for a minimum donation of $35. Mugs are available for purchase at the Weekly Villager/Chamber of Commerce Office located at 8088 Main Street or the Garrettsville Branch of Middlefield Bank located at 8058 State Street. 100% of your donation goes to the GarrettsvilleStrong fund. The mugs are microwave safe, dishwasher safe, and, of course, food safe.

Missy Steele is a 2004 graduate of James A. Garfield Local Schools, and a 2014 graduate of Carlow University in Pittsburgh, receiving her Bachelor of Art degree in Ceramics.

 

hiram-pancakes-for-kidsHiram - On April 19th the Hiram Police Department held its annual Pancake Breakfast fund raiser for the “Shop with a Cop” program. The event was a success in that $755.00 was raised for the program. “Our Shop with a Cop program (Hiram and Garrettsville) is one of the biggest programs of the year. The Shop with a Cop program provides Crestwood/Garfield School District children, and their families, the opportunity to enjoy the holiday season. The program is designed for less fortunate and under privileged children to go Christmas shopping, for themselves and families, with a police officer. The program brings about much heartfelt joy to a lot of area children and families. Our goal is that every child gets the chance to enjoy the holiday season.” Chief Ed Samec said. The Pancake Breakfast had a surprise visit from the Easter Bunny and was a huge hit with the kids. Special THANK YOU to Hiram College, AVI’s Diane, Beth, and Lindsey, Windswept Farms, Maggie’s Donuts, the Easter Bunny, and all of the people who attended and graciously support the event. “I am overwhelmed at all of the support and encouragement that Hiram Police Department receives from the community, it really is heartwarming that so many people believe in us and our community programs”.

Newton-Falls-OlympicsNewton Falls -   Saturday, May 3 turned out just fine for our 6- to 12-year-olds in Newton Falls.  The sun even made a few appearances.  The Kiwanis Club of Newton Falls, with the help of Coach Bugos and the track team, hosted a fun athletic competition which included track and field events.

From year to year, no one knows what to expect from Mr. Kellner’s creative obstacle course, and this year’s course was a challenge.  The children also enjoyed the softball throw, which measures accuracy as well as distance.  Some students had their first try at the long jump, and luckily, had more than one try.  Track events included 25-meter, 50-meter, 100-meter, and 200-meter races, where children were divided by male/female and by age group.

Thank you’s go out to all who helped in this event.  Kiwanis would like to thank the school and school board for permission to use the facility, the secretaries who handled registration forms, Zack Hogue at the microphone for events and awards, Positive Images for shirt printing, Mr. Bugos and track team, and the Kiwanis volunteers.  We hope to see the children wearing their olympic t-shirts around town.

WaterSentinelProgramMantua – The Ohio Sierra Club Clean Water Campaign invites participants to learn about the Cuyahoga River and its wonderful aquatic critters in this May hike and macroinvertebrate hunt.

The event will run from 2:00pm until 5:00pm on Saturday, May 10th and participants will meet at Buchert Memorial Park pavilion. The event will start with a hike on a paved trail and will conclude with a search for macroinvertebrate species in the Cuyahoga River.  Participants should bring waders or boots if they wish to enter the water. Otherwise, comfortable hiking attire is appropriate.

Sierra Club will be joined by Ohio Department of Natural River’s (ODNR’s) Scenic River Program and will identify creatures with the help of their staff and aquatic monitoring equipment.

Aquatic macroinvertebrates are organisms that have no backbone and can be seen with the naked eye. They are seen living on the streambed, along stream banks, and on or underneath rocks and materials in Ohio’s waters.

“A diverse and high amount of macroinvertebrates indicate clean water so we’re hoping we see a lot of critters at this event!” said Clean Water Fellow Ryan Ainger.

To register for this event, email Ryan Ainger at ryanainger@gmail.com

NFScoutsNewton Falls – Boy Scout Troop 112 of Newton Falls was rechartered by Amvets Post 112 in 2010. Since then every spring the boys have taken on the task of cleaning up the walking path in Newton Falls. This year, with a growing number of boys coming into the troop, we were able to have 2 groups of boys go in 2 different directions. The first group of boys cleaned up the path going towards the community center and baseball fields. They also took on the task of cleaning up the community pond. The second group went from the covered bridge out to main street and back up North Center St. Keeping America Beautiful is sponsored by the Geauga Trumbull Solid Waste Management District which donated garbage bags, gloves and wild flower seed packets.

Pictured from L-R Back: Billy Simmons, Alex Shearer, Jason Jones, Assistant Patrol Leader Harrison Bates, Nathaniel Saylor, Larry Cline (behind Nathaniel), Anthony Bailey, Patrol Leader Vincent Bailey, BJ Thomas. Front L-R Johnny Staton & Chad Bates. (not pictured: Jr. Assistant Scout Master Matthew Gushura, Senior Patrol Leader Bucyrus Palo, Chaplains Aide Alan Cohn.)

For more information on Boy Scout Troop 112, Please contact Trish Gushura at 330-507-3886 (text or call), troop112@yahoo.com or visit Boy Scout Troop 112 on Facebook.

 

kiwanis-girl-scouts-newton-fallsThe Kiwanis Club of Newton Falls recently welcomed Girl Scout Troop 239 and their leader, Pat Leach, to a regular meeting.  The club wanted to recognize the work that the girls have done.  They made dresses, which will be taken by a missionary, for little girls in Haiti.  The Scouts washed, ironed, measured, followed a pattern, sewed, and trimmed many dresses.  Kiwanis appreciates their spirit of helping others.

ken-fox-music-teacher-retirement-garrettsville-garfield-elementary“Twelve years, 36 concerts and over 20,000 attendees” is how James A. Garfield Superintendent Ted Lysiak introduced elementary school music teacher Mr. Ken Fox for his farewell concert last week.  Fox, who will be retiring from teaching at the end of this school year, said he will miss his students and is very appreciative of the opportunity he has had to work with them.

Last Tuesday the first grade students performed the night’s concert, titled Green.  The students, decked out in green leaf leis, danced, clapped, jumped and sang along with their teacher in a lively tribute to Earth Day offering readings and musical selections including “It’s Easy Bein’ Green”, “Nature Baby”, My Earth, and “What Do You Do With A Water Waster”.

Mr. Fox plans to keep busy after his retirement and is considering all his options.  When asked what he felt his greatest accomplishment in the past twelve years of teaching was he said it is when former students make a point of “looking him up and saying hello”.

horseMantua - Frustrated? Anxious? Overwhelmed? Resentful? Restless? Confused?

If so, it’s time for a change — a retreat from the everyday, surrounded by nature, so you can clarify the root of what’s nagging you, then identify the goals and objectives to help you chart a new course that will bring you lasting satisfaction. It’s time to bring in the horses.

Yes, horses.

L-E-A-D is an unconventional approach to leadership, team building, coaching and personal growth developed by human resources management professional Sue E. Thomas of Mantua. She utilizes horses in a unique experiential approach to awaken one’s potential in personal and professional development.

Thomas founded Leadership Equine Assisted Development, LLC in 1999. She has extensive experience in business, human resource management, and with horses. Certified in a number of counseling disciplines, Thomas is is a Professional Certified Coach through the International Coach Federation and holds a master’s degree in Organizational Development and Analysis.

Thomas combines her backgrounds in executive and life coaching, organizational development, and personal/leadership development, to connect people to their life purpose, vision and values. “Working with the horses provides awareness of what holds you back, to be successful and obtain the life you desire,” she said.

At a recent What About Me? Workshop at her 40-acre farm, Thomas led a group of women through a two-day exploration in personal development, defining personal struggles, boundaries, dreams, frustrations, goals and objectives. Horses Flash, Jazz, Boss and Whiskey provided helpful feedback every step of the way. (The resident cats and golden retrievers provided comic relief.)

“This workshop provides space and a comfortable environment to look at the ‘who’ you are today by gently peeking at the past, living in the present, and looking at your future desires,” Thomas explained. “We guide you in self-exploration, and provide room for you to release what no longer serves you, strengthen what does, and gain awareness needed to direct your desired future.”

By placing each woman in a vulnerable situation with a horse — and a specific objective to accomplish inside the arena with that horse — participants quickly learned to use clear, concise, consistent modes of communication to prompt the horse through a particular exercise or obstacle course.

For example, in one exercise, each participant was instructed to take a raw egg and draw symbols or write words that identified their most valued elements of life (faith, family, health, a career, etc.) on the shell. Then, each person had to balance their egg on a spoon while leading a horse (which represented “the stuff in life you’ve got to get done”) through an obstacle course — without dropping their egg. Unfortunately, the horse was skittish about walking over the white poles along the course, and tended to shy away, pushing or pulling the participant off balance. It was a good metaphor for the common struggle to achieve balance in this life while pursuing dreams, despite stresses at work and demands from loved ones, or whatever the situation may be.

Results were mixed, depending on the approach each participant took. Two made slow, halting progress with close calls along the way, but crossed the finish line with victorious smiles. Another paid too much attention to the horse, lost track of her egg, and was horrified when she lost control of all she held dear, just to see it drop into the mud. Yet another participant marched her horse through its paces in record time, holding her egg in steady balance from start to finish (the sign of a chronic multi-tasker).

Other exercises involved leading horses while blindfolded; depending upon a partner’s verbal instructions to accomplish the task. Some activities focused on personal initiatives; others on group dynamics, trust and cooperation skills. Depending on each person’s body language, personal boundaries and subconscious cues, the horse would respond agreeably, or with stubbornness, playfulness or aloofness. Working with the horses heightened each participant’s awareness of their environment, their fears and vulnerabilities, their potential for growth, and their opportunity to change limiting behaviors that provided measurable results.

The most cited result of the workshop was clarity: the ability to clear the cobwebs and concretely identify the root of frustrations, learn how to put it into words, then devise a concrete plan to resolve the issue.

Through it all, Thomas’ mission was to inspire and nurture growth in individuals so they might reach their potential with integrity, respect, trust and honesty. In addition to personal growth workshops like this for women and at-risk youth, Thomas also provides leadership training, consulting and coaching services to corporations, organizations and other professional groups to encourage leadership development, team building and employee development using horses.

To explore L-E-A-D further for your personal or professional development, contact Sue Thomas at (330) 274-2693 or visit LeadershipEAD.com.

 

pcdl-libraryWindham – Windham Village council met April 24, 2014 for their regular monthly meeting not held on the regular meeting night.

Council approved amendments to the agenda, the minutes, the financial report, and the police and fire report. Two guests had prior authorization to speak at the meeting. The first guest was Cecilia Swanson from the Portage County District Library PCDL. Swanson announced that April 23, 2014 was World Book Night and passed out a copy of Agatha Christy’s After the Funeral. Swanson also inquired about the way the village helps fund the library and requested that they consider going to a percentage rather than a flat rate. After some discussion it was determined they could probably do that but will have to add some language to the contract that would keep the costs from skyrocketing. Cecilia also had one library sign and will purchase another one if the village will install them.

The second guest was Angelo Battaglia Democratic candidate for county commissioner. Battaglia stated that he is a business owner and wants to serve others. His goals are to learn how townships, villages, sheriff’s departments, etc operate and see what the commissioners can do to help them. He claims he doesn’t have all the answers but is willing to dig in to find solutions.

Council then passed Ordinance O-2014-13 amending the current pay ordinance to establish and revise the salaries and wages of all full-time and part-time employees within the Village of Windham. This ordinance repeals all prior inconsistent ordinances and declares  an emergency. The changes are the base salary for the fiscal officer is set at $42,658.56 effective May 1, 2014. They also established and approved $600 a month salary for the zoning inspector.

In other council news, council approved the donation of eight yards of mulch from Doll Lumber, announced support for the Ohio Public Works Commission, and appointed Randy Slusher to the Planning and Zoning Committee. Councilwoman Rachel Barrett asked if the village administrator would get the paperwork filed so Windham could benefit from the community service workers this summer. The mayor said they would look in to it.

The next Windham Council meeting is scheduled May 29, 2014 at 7 pm in council chambers.

Participants of Rotary's Roadside Cleanup. Photo courtesy of Tom Collins

Participants of Rotary’s Roadside Cleanup. Photo courtesy of Tom Collins

Garrettsville - Garrettsville-Hiram  Rotarians met at their new venue at Cal’s II at noon on Monday, April 28, 2014; it was a good meeting, model for many more.

Ted Lysiak reported that the construction of the new intermediate school is—so far—on track to be completed as scheduled, on August 20.  Consultations  with the YMCA are ongoing, regarding which spaces at the Park Ave. building will be used by them and which will be the domain of the PCESC.  Teachers from that building will be packing up their accumulated materials to be moved to the new digs by the high school football team, after storage in some donated semi trailers over the summer.  Whew!  Demo models of the tech component of the grant—Google Chrome book and HP laptop—circulated  and the 4C’s aspect of their acquisition—creativity,  collaboration, communication and critical thinking—were brought out.  He also invited all to the Wednesday, April 30 presentation by the Portage County Drug Task Force at the Iva Walker Auditorium.

Carol Donley reported on the latest developments in the ongoing adventure of the group’s sponsored international exchange student, Rachel Schwan, who will be heading out to Thailand in August.  Carol was able to participate in the district investiture program   when the exchange students got their Rotary blazers (and pins)to identify themselves when they speak to international Rotary groups.   Rachel will also be receiving local club banners and pins to use when making presentations.  So far, no word on an exchange student coming to the Garrettsville-Hiram community.  Also mentioned was the generous impulse of district Rotarians making #GarrettsvilleStrong donations at the conference.

Tom Collins reported on the recent roadside clean-up between Garrettsville and Hiram with the assistance of the Garfield Interact Club and the Boy Scouts AND Jim Irwin and John Crawford.  Interesting things turned up in the highway waste collection.  Lunch, furnished by McDonald’s, was enjoyed by all.  Also from Tom, mention of his visit to the Mantua-Shalersville club meeting to hear a presentation by Portage Park District head, Chris Craycroft, explaining and urging support for the county parks levy which will be up for passage on May 6.  The system could be an economic engine for the county and for the Garrettsville/Mantua area, located at either end of the Headwaters Trail.  Possible co-operation between the clubs to promote the trail is a thought for the future.

Rotarians are everywhere and many of them were in evidence at the “Garrettsville Day” in Blazin’ Bill’s rib celebration recently.  As a business owner who in the past suffered  a fire of total destruction and a Rotarian, the owner/operator graciously turned over a percentage of that evening’s profits to the recovery efforts.  Plenty of locals and plenty of Rotarians from far afield attended to support the cause.  Plans for the Rotary contribution to the rebuilding effort will be taking shape soon.

The club voted to make a contribution to the Garfield after-prom committee.

Rotary Youth Leadership Assembly will be coming up this summer.  Candidates are being sought.

Photo: Iron Eagle Martial Arts

Photo: Iron Eagle Martial Arts

Mantua – Iron Eagle Martial Arts in Mantua Village is now offering Kung Fu classes in addition to their Taekwondo and Reality Self Defense Programs. Come join us for an Open House on Saturday, May 10 from 12-2 pm and meet Sifu Wayne Christopher, instructor, with over 40 years of training and experience in Hung Loy Kung Fu.  Those dedicated to the art of Hung Loy kept it shrouded in mystery for hundreds of years, but with few instructors remaining, Sifu Christopher is determined to bring this art out of the dark and into the light for all to enjoy, and we are proud to support this effort! Learn the philosophy and history behind this fascinating martial art.  Demonstrations will be held throughout the event and refreshments will be served. Come with your questions!  This is a FREE event!

Iron Eagle Martial Arts is located at 10676 Main St. (Route 44), Mantua Village, on the corner of Main St. and Prospect St.

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

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

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

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

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

 


 

Artist’s Renderings

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

 

garfield-hall-of-fameGarrettsville - A select but cheerful crowd was in attendance at the James A. Garfield Schools Hall of Fame celebration on Saturday, April 26, 2014.  The Middle School Jazz Band and the High School Jazz Band provided preprandial (Look it up; it means “before a meal”) musical selections for everyone’s listening pleasure and a number of high school athletes were on hand to assist with serving and clean-up.  Joe Malmisur ably handled the duties of master of ceremonies.  Sheri Johnson and Annette Carlisle were the organizers of the event.

The all-star line-up included :

Faber (Rusty) Kearney  -  Introduced  by his old friend and classmate (’76) Joe Malmisur, this Garfield grad has made it a point to be all about serving.  After finishing high school— football letter-winner, National Honor Society, Academic Challenge team, the usual—Rusty went   on to serve in the U.S. Navy, gain a degree in nuclear technology, advance in recognition and respect in the nuclear industry(Currently with Excelon Corp.) and volunteer in community organizations(e.g. Big Brothers and Sisters) wherever he and his family have resided.  Applause rose spontaneously when he shared the fact that his kids are currently on active duty in the U.S. military. The appropriate quote might be, “We make a living by what we get but we make a life by what we give.”(Winston Churchill)

Harry Kraft – Honored for his service to the district, Harry recounted some of his best moments in coaching, predominantly in track and field.  He credited much of his success to the fact that he was privileged to be on the scene when a strong and dedicated cohort of young people was present in the system.  His introducer, Matt Pfleger, was one of these; he and his brother, current athletic director, Jim Pfleger, testified to Coach Kraft’s service as a mentor and role model.  Records set and good times were part of the reminiscences, heads nodded  .  The coach acknowledged the part played by a wife who allowed a prolonged engagement with adolescence and adolescents.  As an 80th birthday gift, this was a winner.

Nick Rogers – Having traveled up from Texas, where he is a well-regarded and successful director of recruiting at Medestar in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, proficient in staffing and recruiting skills, Nick   was introduced by his friend and nominator , Jamie Ward, sports writer with the Geauga County Maple Leaf.  This brought forth a whole litany of Nick’s accomplishments  on courts and fields, and the revelation that he had won an additional letter in baseball, playing on the fly, as it were, when the boys on the diamond fell below required numbers.  Nick was an outstanding performer from an early age and a leader always , an example for athletes across the spectrum–boys, girls, older players,  younger teammates.  He was the straw that stirred the brew.  Nick graciously acknowledged the influences on his life, beginning with his parents, who were always supportive, through Coach Bennett and Coach Morgan and other families which were part of his life.

Jeremy Vecchio, the fourth honoree, was unable to attend.

Socializing and tours of the updated, refurbished, renewed and remodeled  high school were also a popular part of the evening.

 

Garrettsville – In honor of National Dance Week, the 8th Count Dance Center participated in the nation-wide dance flash mob and “mobbed” their city. This past Sunday afternoon, the 8th Count Dance Center Dancers and their families learned the routine that all the studios were using for Dance Week. Miss Emily took time to learn the dance and then she taught it to the rest of the group. Following the practice, fifteen folks mobbed Garrettsville by performing the dance routine at Speedway, Save-a-Lot, McDonald’s and the parking lot in front of the movie theatre. The purpose of the event is to celebrate dance and to promote fun and fitness.

The dancers wore fluorescent colored t-shirts with the flash mob logo on it to promote the event. The group hit the streets and stores, surprising folks with their dance.  People stopped in awe and watched as the group performed. It was a day of fun and a great way to celebrate dance.

This is not the first time the dance center has participated in this event. Last year, they did this as well. This is the third year the National Dance Foundation has promoted the flash mob event during dance week.

This year, the 8th Count Dance Center has had a very busy dance season. This past weekend they had several of their competition groups qualify for Nationals which will be held later this summer. Their competition team has continued to be a strong contender at events all year long and hopes their success continues at Nationals.

Speaking of the competition team, they will have open calls for next year’s competition team on June 14, 2014 from 9 am until 11am at the center. Anyone who likes to dance but not interested in competition should check out the summer dance schedule and give it a try before committing to a full season of dance. They also will have a variety of dance camps throughout the summer one might like to try.

For more information on classes or summer camps, one can call the center at 330 527-0358 or visit their website for more specifics at www.the8thcount.com. The dance center is located in the Garfield Plaza at 8015 B State Street Garrettsville, OH.

Nelson Bisard, owner of Waterfall Antiques & Collectibles in Garrettsville

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

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

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

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

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

 

A temporary sign marks the newest location for Maggie’s Donuts -- Hiram Village -- in the space formerly occupied by Harrison’s Hideaway.

A temporary sign marks the newest location for Maggie’s Donuts — Hiram Village — in the space formerly occupied by Harrison’s Hideaway.

Hiram – Local donut-lovers are thrilled at the news that the Middlefield-based donut bakery will open a new location in Hiram Village — at the location that formerly housed Harrison’s Hideaway on Wakefield Road.

But what prompted owners Bill and Staci Poole, who have been at the helm of the 55-year-old donut dynasty for 26 years, to choose a location in Hiram? “People have been asking via social media,” remarked Bill Poole. And the good news traveled fast, as Facebook friend Kathryn recently posted, “Hooray…welcome Maggie’s Donuts…looking forward to your arrival!” Ali joked about the locations planned drive-thru window, posting, “Can’t wait to welcome you to Hiram! Great idea on the drive thru, with five kids, we would never make it inside!”

If you choose to step inside, you’ll find donuts and other special treats, made according to the same recipes locals have enjoyed for over 50 years. Donuts are prepared at the Middlefield and Bedford locations early each morning, and delivered fresh, seven days a week. Soon local residents can sit down to enjoy hot coffee and fresh donuts, or take some “to go”, via the drive-thru window, delighting family, friends or coworkers with Maggie’s tasty treats.

Poole went on to explain that he has known Hiram Police Chief Ed Samec from his work in Middlefield, where Samec was Police Chief and Poole served as Mayor for 12 years. Poole continued, “Hiram’s Chief, Ed Samec, knew we were scouting locations. Ed called and recommended that we check out the building in the Village.”

Samec beamed, “I always looked at Bill as a pillar of the community. When he told me in a casual conversation that he was looking to spread out I immediately thought that it would be great for him to be in Hiram. Maggie’s is great for Hiram and Hiram is great for Maggie’s.”

Maggie’s currently has four locations — two in Middlefield, one in Bedford, and one in Madison. The Hiram location will open just as soon as renovations can be completed — Poole estimates opening some time between the middle and end of May, with a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony to occur some time thereafter. Facebook friend Joan marveled, “Congrats to you guys! So glad you have another store to share your absolute BEST donuts ever!” To find out the latest developments, visit Maggie’s Donuts on Facebook.

Garfield-Elementary-Kids-PTO-Rock-Wall

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

Pictured above are (left to right): Bottom - Lexi Schultz, Sarah Shearer, Gracie Pignaloso, Angela Vanhorn, Chloe Pfile, Madi VanKirk, Maddy Cline Top - Coach Dan Masiello, Scott Vanhorn, Meg Visocan, Angela Masiello, Torrie Gall, Anna Jo Weaver, Emma Lawrence, Shelby Mayes, Coach Tom VanKirk, David Pignaloso Not pictured - Autumn Belviy and Hailey Eckelberry

Pictured above are (left to right): Bottom – Lexi Schultz, Sarah Shearer, Gracie Pignaloso, Angela Vanhorn, Chloe Pfile, Madi VanKirk, Maddy Cline
Top – Coach Dan Masiello, Scott Vanhorn, Meg Visocan, Angela Masiello, Torrie Gall, Anna Jo Weaver, Emma Lawrence, Shelby Mayes, Coach Tom VanKirk, David Pignaloso
Not pictured – Autumn Belviy and Hailey Eckelberry

Garrettsville - We are proud to announce that Garrettsville Youth Softball and the Ohio Outlaws have put together a team of local 12u and out of town players to raise money for the rebuilding of the businesses lost in the fire in Garrettsville a few weeks ago. We have 7 Garrettsville girls, 4 Crestwood, and 3 out of towner’s joining together for the cause along with local and Outlaw coaches!

There will be a fund raising scrimmage vs Crestwood Heat 14u April 25th @ 6pm at the fields in Shalersville Park on 303 off the 44 exit of the Ohio Turnpike. Feel free to come out and root the girls on. Cash donations or non-perishable food or household items will be accepted at the game. No donation is required to attend.

We will also be taking our “Garrettsville Strong” team to a tournament in Akron May 3-4th. The tournament director has graciously donated a large portion of our tournament fees back to the fund. Each family is donating per player to play in the tournament as well. Our uniform is the fund raising t-shirts offered by the Weekly Villager with the players numbers on the back, so most all donations go directly to the fund.

The Garrettsville business community has always generously supported the softball ladies and we felt we needed to do something to give back for all the years of support!

Special thanks to Warren Wolff, president of the Ohio Outlaws and Adam Acord, head coach of Outlaws Silver 12u for their support in this effort, along with coach Chris of the Crestwood Heat. Several local girls play for the Outlaws and other travel softball organizations and its fitting we could collaborate Recreational and Travel players and just play some softball.

The link listed below provides info on the early bird pre-season tournament in Akron http://www.thesoftballzone.com/vb3/other-tournaments-friendlies-scrimmages/56571-2nd-annual-north-akron-warmup.html

andover-hardware-sign-club-Spring-Gas-Up-ShowWayne Township - The Ashtabula County Antique Engine Club will start off their 33rd year with their annual Spring Gas-Up Show scheduled for Saturday, May, 10th.  The Club was formed 33 years ago and holds several events throughout the summer.  Club members open their beautiful grounds at 4026 St. Rt. 322 in Wayne Township, Ohio, on the 10th for members to display projects completed over the past winter and to bring out other items.  The Agricultural Heritage Museum and the P & LE Passenger Depot Museum both will be open during the Show.  The Club will be serving delicious food so you can come and stay the whole day.  In conjunction with the one day show there will also be a 2 day Flea Market which will be held both Saturday and Sunday.  Hours will be 9 am to 4 pm and there is a small donation asked for admission on Saturday.

The Ashtabula County Antique Engine Club is a non-profit organization dedicated to the purpose of the collection, preservation, restoration, and exhibition of engines, vehicles, machinery, and other items of historical value.  The grounds is home to two railroad depots moved there from the town of Andover several years ago, a 1930 era gas station, an Agricultural Heritage Museum, a general store, and a one room school house along with several other display buildings.  Volunteers have restored several engines, tractors, and other pieces of equipment which will be on display along with items from Club members.  Work has begun on their newest projects which include an addition to the Fairbanks Morse building and the moving of an oil field building and engine from Bullion, PA.

Hope to see everyone at our Spring Gas-Up Show and we hope you will come back and visit us at our really big show scheduled for July 4th through the 6th which is always a very fun filled weekend for ACAEC and for all of Ashtabula County.  Other events scheduled for the Show Grounds are the Lenape Indian Nation’s Native American Indian Powwow which will be held on June 20 through June 22, a Bluegrass Festival on August 15th and 16th, the annual Arts and Crafts Fair sponsored by the Andover United Methodist Church during the Labor Day weekend, the Lakeland Chapter of the AACA’s Antique Car and Truck Show on Sunday, September 14th, and winds up with ACAEC’s annual Fall Show on September 20th. For additional information please visit the Club’s website at www.ashtabulaantiqueengineclub.net.

 

Rally ‘Round the Flag, Boys…and Girls!!!

This is no time to be falling into disputes that could derail the downtown reconstruction efforts before they get truly off of the ground.

#GarrettsvilleStrong has been up front about the purpose of the financial efforts being made from the very beginning.  It’s all about rebuilding, moving on, emerging bigger and better than ever before.  It is not , repeat, NOT, intended to compensate the individual owners and/or tenants of the buildings which were destroyed.  That is a can of worms (see :Megascolides australis) that no one in their right mind would choose to open when things need to move along with all deliberate speed.  Why?

Well, first of all, who and what qualifies?  Owners?  Tenants?  Fully insured? Under-insured?  Value of stock?  Cost of replacement?  Value of the commercial “draw” to the community?  Value of the “ambience”?  Contribution to the community?  When questions like these morph into who likes who better and whose merchandise was cuter, full-scale war fare is likely to break out and the cause of progress takes a back seat, waaaay back.

Second, when is this going to happen?  Empty the coffers right away to ease the immediate pain of disaster?  Hand out dribs and drabs at a time to whoever has the saddest story (Fierce competition here)?  Wait until it’s all rebuilt and help cover the cost of the grand opening?  Put it on the village Christmas wish list?

AND…how much? Offer a percentage of the insurance coverage?  Equal amounts to everyone? More for property owners?  More for business owners? Base the payment on the previous year’s tax duplicate as representative of the business’s contribution to the local economy?

Folks, this way lies madness…not to mention a tidal wave of frustration and hard feelings that would do no one any good and probably negate much of the good will and community feeling that has been evident in the widespread reaction to the event itself and in the way we all carry on as a community.  #GarrettsvilleStrong!

If individuals would like to make contribution to the folks, bless their hearts, who lost everything and are   only now beginning to emerge from the shock of the actual event to the shock of contemplating what the REAL losses were and what could be involved in coming back, make your directed contributions to the Garrettsville People Tree.  Community is the focus there and the burned-out ones are part of our community.

#GarrettsvilleStrong  is about REbuilding.  It’s about the nuts and bolts, the nitty and gritty, the down and dirty details of what has to come back : parking, fence removal, sidewalks, streetscape, utilities replacement & relocation (underground  electrical service would be nice), landscaping, design proposals, architectural features, specific donations and dedications (civic groups and individuals), plenty of things we don’t always think about, but have to BE thought about.  And, of course, what’s going to  come back in that space?

Here’s where we can all make a contribution.  Have you been thinking about having a small business of your own?  Might it be a ”niche” business that could draw customers from a wide area for your specific expertise? (Bless you,  Shaker Tree.  Bless you, Clock Man  Bless you, T&B Tools)  Do you know someone who fits this description?  Have you a hobby or collection that could form the basis of a business downtown?  Get thinking, out there!  We DO NOT need another  place to buy pizza, but a pastry shop might make it, especially if folks could watch the chef make gorgeous  icing roses or fabulous brownies or ice cream.  Think something connected with the Headwaters Trail.  Think about it.  Think Chagrin Falls.  Think Hudson.  Think Garrettsville into the future.

The place has been a commercial hub since its founding in 1804.  John Garrett had the foresight to not only bring a mill to serve the local farming community, but to bring a blacksmith, one Abraham Dyson, the equivalent of Lowe’s and Home Depot rolled into one, at the time he came over the mountains from Delaware.  The maple syrup business was huge at one time, over 50,000 gal a year by one account.  The Root Store (Chic & Shabby building) was the county’s first “department store” in 1850.  The village had the first paved main street in Portage County (The mud had got pretty deep in the rainy season—bad for business).   This is a village that can think big.  Think about it.

#GarrettsvilleStrong!

 

youth-soccer-auburn-townshipAuburn Twp. – If your child could use an intensive week of soccer skills training in a friendly, professional atmosphere, with the added bonus of daily Team Talks for instruction in life-enriching Biblical principles, they will love Ambassadors Soccer Camp 9am-3pm, July 22-26 (Tuesday-Saturday) at Friendship Alliance Church in Auburn Township.

Ambassadors Soccer Camps are designed to give developing players (ages 6-14) the opportunity to learn basic and advanced skills in a positive, encouraging environment. Both technical and tactical instruction is given at individual and group levels, focusing on control, passing, heading, dribbling, shooting and defending.

Small-sided games and age-related competitions round out the daily program. The week concludes with individual skill competitions and the highly-anticipated ‘World Cup’ tournament and family picnic.

The coaching staff is comprised of experienced players and coaches — some local and others who play soccer for their countries. International coaches typically represent Holland, Brazil, Indonesia, South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, and/or Northern Ireland.

Online registration is available at www.ambassadorssoccercamps.com. The fee through May 31 is $130; $155 thereafter. Each camper receives an Ambassadors soccer ball, T-shirt, certificate of completion, workbook, plus special awards and prizes.

The headquarters for Ambassadors Football is located in Twinsburg. It can be contacted at (330) 963-6599.

Friendship Alliance Church has been hosting Ambassadors Soccer Camp for 15 years and has become a summertime favorite for hundreds of area youth. The church is located at 19126 Ravenna Road (State Route 44), 2.5 miles north of State Route 82 and 2.5 miles south of State Route 422. The church can be reached at (440) 834-0955 or at admin@FAC-OH.org.

 

Pictured left to right: Diane Jendrisak, Co-President of the Portage County Gardeners, and Chair of the May Mart/Plant Sale& Nancy Polz, chair of Pre-Sale. They are getting ready for the upcoming events at the garden center at  5154 S. Prospect St. Ravenna

Pictured left to right: Diane Jendrisak, Co-President of the Portage County Gardeners, and Chair of the May Mart/Plant Sale& Nancy Polz, chair of Pre-Sale. They are getting ready for the upcoming events at the garden center at 5154 S. Prospect St. Ravenna

Ravenna – The Portage County Gardeners are hosting several upcoming events at the garden center in Rootstown.  The address for the center is 5154 S. Prospect St. Ravenna, Oh 44266

The first event is a Mother’s Day sale on Sat. May 10 from 9a.m.- 2p.m. There will be hanging baskets and patio pots for sale at various prices for the Mother’s Day Sale.  Then on Fri. eve May 16 – 4-7p.m and on Sat. May 17- 9-2 p.m. there will be a May Mart/ Plant Sale which includes home-dug perennials, area nursery  stock of annuals, baskets, patio pots, vegetables, herbs, raffles, lunch, a display of the winning posters from the Soil and Water Conservation Contest, a display by the Master Gardeners’, a PCGC membership display, and a bake sale. Thirdly, a Canning Workshop will be offered at the garden center on Sat. June 14, from 10- noon. The cost for this workshop is $25.00 .  Those interested in the Canning Workshop need to contact Helena Parry at 330-673-0577 for a reservations and pre-pay.

Finally, on June 17 the center will host Noelle Clark from Petitti’s Garden Center for a program called ” The Junkyard Up-Cycled Garden.”  Mark your calendars for the plant sales, the canning workshop and program.  You will be delighted.