Featured Stories

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What started as a small blaze on the roof behind Miller’s Lawn & Garden quickly spread to become the greatest disaster to befall this historic village. Exhaustive efforts from local firefighters (supported by more than 100 firefighters from 34 neighboring departments) were no match for the hungry blaze which tore through the 1850s-era wooden structure which had just been freshly renovated and fully occupied by a dozen businesses. Between lunchtime and dinnertime that fateful Saturday, what began as a simple hot seal-and-patch roof repair job became the assumed (although never officially determined) spark for the blaze which leveled the Buckeye Block — all except for the tiny brick and firewalled law office building which withstood the devastation. It remains as a lone witness to the level grassy field on which it now stands, six months later. As measured by the crowd-filled streets the day of the fire — and the outpouring of support for the community ever since — people here and nearby take the Great Garrettsville Fire seriously and personally. But no one felt the loss more keenly than Mike Maschek, the primary owner of the building. He had just completed the renovation project which had transformed the Buckeye Block Building from a sorry, sagging eyesore to a thriving example of “revival and restoration,” as he called it. True to form, this man of vision and faith choked back any signs of defeat. The day after the fire, Maschek stated, “To be continued... It's still all about revival and restoration.”

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The grant replaced 500 feet of 1 ¾’’ (diameter) hose, 1,600 feet of 2 ½” hose, 1,500 feet of 3” hose, 2,000 feet of 4” hose, six nozzles, and three siamese adapters!

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On September 8th it was announced that the Melana Matson Memorial research grant of $250,000 was awarded to Dr. James P. Basilion, associate professor of radiology and biomedical engineering at Case Westerm Reserve University. According to Friends of Melana President Norm Fashing, “We are very excited, truly blessed, and honored by this recognition. It gives us a shot in the arm to keep us going in the fight against childhood cancer. No other child should have to go through what Melana had to endure with this deadly disease.”

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

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Garrettsville - All that’s old is new again at your neighborhood Rite Aid. The store, located at 10764 North Street for nearly two decades, earned...

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

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In days gone by, St. Helens Unicycle Drill Team was known for putting Newbury, Ohio on the map and they were the highlight in...

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“Cops and Kids” fishing day presents an opportunity for area children to enjoy the day fishing with police officers of the Hiram Police Department. The event builds lifelong bonds between children and police officers.

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

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

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Bus Route Information for the 2013/14 school year is now available! Note: Bus Route Information is provided to the Villager by the school district. Please DO NOT call the Villager with questions or concerns.

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This map should help provide some direction for everyone as you return to school on August 26. We will also have staff members at specific areas the first week back to assist everyone with these new traffic patterns.

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“I’m not just a bookworm,” she explained. “I’m fun to be around and I pick and choose my friends wisely.”

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

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The willingness of Mike Maschek to see the town of Garrettsville become the best that it can be is something rare, something that is uncommon to find in most people. Maschek who was also the owner of the majority of the Buckeye Block, sees a connection with the March 22 fire, and the Feed Mill.

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

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

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

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Items requested are: #2 Pencils, erasers, crayons, markers, colored pencils, dry erase markers, highlighters, pens, rulers (standard & metric), scissors, glue sticks, white glue, small supply boxes, zipper supply pouches, over the hear headphones, book bags, spiral notebooks, 3 ring binders, composition books, loose leaf paper, 3x5 index cards, page protectors, pocket folders, sandwich bags, antibacterial wipes, boxes of tissues, brown lunch bags and anything else school related.

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

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Garrettsville -  The peach crop throughout Ohio is the pits this summer, but that won’t put a dent in the annual Peach Social and...

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This summer dozens of locals have played history buff for the day thanks to the Hudson Library & Historical Society’s walking tour series led by Library Archivist Gwen Mayer. One of the tours, the Scandals of Hudson, features mischievous tales of the most - you guessed it – scandalous in nature (well, depending who you ask – some are actually relatively tame in today’s times). The first stop on this pleasant promenade rocks the reputation of the quaint community almost immediately as Gwen explains the building behind the iconic clock tower has a long record of housing banks, one of which once played host to an embezzlement scheme that took residents quite a while to recover from when it was discovered.

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Middlefield -  Early Sunday evening, storms pounded Middlefield Village and the surrounding areas, drenching them with approximately five inches of rain in an hour...

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After cooking up the milk and other cheese making ingredients, the group had to persevere to get the curds to finally process into cheese. Sarah Perdue and Mary Jo Ryan were given a round of applause as they finally got their curds to form into some cheese.

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Portage County - The Digital Bookmobile National Tour (www.digitalbookmobile.com) will showcase the free eBook service from Portage County District Library at the Aurora Memorial...

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

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

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Aside from the abundance of entertainment to be discovered throughout the afternoon, Avaloch is famous for the exquisite marketplace featuring crafters of all talents. Those who love all things shiny will be continually delighted at the array of offerings presented in the way of bits and baubles to carry home a small piece of the shire.

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

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Sixty Garrettsville Strong shirts recently made quite a splash in Tampa, Florida, when descendants of Frances Pike wore them as the official shirt of their family reunion there.

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

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

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

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The 51st Ox Roast Fair has plenty of fun to keep the whole family entertained, including: a wide variety of fair food favorites; live entertainment; Friday night fireworks; Saturday morning 5K Run/Walk & 1M Fun Walk; air-conditioned dining hall; an assortment of rides, games, contests & giveaways; over $7,000 in main raffle prizes & hourly progressive drawings each day plus several specialty raffles, souvenir T-shirts & hats!

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Portage County Celebration Week, which will be held from August 24th through the 30th, is a week of festivities to share the exciting people, communities and organizations who help stitch together the fabric of Portage County.

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The U.S. Flag Code stipulates that when an American flag has served its useful purpose, “it should be destroyed, preferably by burning.” Recently Mantua’s American Legion Post 193 conducted a disposal ceremony of unserviceable flags at the Mantua Village Park.

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Summertime for a certain 9-year-old boy is an endless string of sun-filled days spent cooling off in Silver Creek, digging for buried treasures alongside his cousin and grandpa. A typical day along the creek bed turns up ancient brachiopod fossils, historic bricks from long-gone Garrettsville streets, or even desiccated cattle bones that could be mistaken as the skeletal remains of a dinosaur. Until one fine day, as they were creek walking near Liberty Street and the water treatment plant. It was June 26. Grandpa Larry Beatty asked, “What’s this?” Grandson Brendan picked up the blackened, 2-inch, cone-shaped relic, convinced they’d found a dinosaur tooth. There was only one way to find out...

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The results from Garrettsville Summerfest's 2014 contests have been received. Award winners are listed as follows. ==================== Garrettsville Idol Youth: Olivia Sheer Teen: Jasmine Nevarez Adult: Jason Stachowski Car or...

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

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

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

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

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Police Chief Ed Samec reported that his Department has received a $2,000 grant from the Hiram Community Trust. The money will be used for the ‘Shop with a Cop’ program. In addition, Chief Samec reported that his Department has grown by two additional officers -- Officer Brittnee Wolf and Officer Keith Whan. In addition, Samec reported that Click or Ticket event in May was a big success.

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Burton W. Cole will be part of the four-author book signing from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 21, at The Village Bookstore, 8140 Main St., Garrettsville. Store owner Ellen Eckhouse invites all to her quaint, old treasure trove of new and used books and teddy bears in downtown Garrettsville. Cole will also be enthusing with the kids of the summer reading program from 1 to 2 p.m. Monday, June 23, at the Garrettsville Public Library about the joys of writing. He will share his first “novel,” which he wrote when he was in fourth grade. Cole also plans to “try a writing exercise, read from the books, and laugh ourselves silly.” Books will also be availabe for signing.

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The Barn Treasures in Middlefield is holding their first annual Barn Sale this weekend. Get the details below.

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“The school building sitting mostly vacant is not serving the community and is costing the Township valuable resources. Unquestionably, this has become a divisive issue in the community.”

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Rootstown - As a result of its ongoing success in developing innovative and progressive learning opportunities for students, Bio-Med Science Academy, a year-round public STEM+M...

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

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Garrettsville - Garrettsville Summerfest is almost here and the Summerfest committee is busy tweaking everything to make sure everyone enjoys the weekend-long festival. Each...

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Are you tired of tooting your own horn? Here’s your chance to try playing your own pipes.  Well, not YOUR pipes exactly, but they’d be...