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Garrettsville – The James A. Garfield Sports Boosters held the first ever “Love the Dress” prom dress sale at the high school on Sunday April 6, 2014. The sports boosters were able to collect new and nearly new dresses and then resold them at a fraction of the price they originally sold for, making prom more affordable for many. All the dresses were in a variety of colors and sizes with prices starting at $5 but were no higher than $50.

Hiram – “A Night of Wishes…..Farmers with Autism Making Their Dreams Come True”…. will benefit the participants (farmers) attending Hiram Farm.   Hiram Farm Living and Learning Community (Hiram Farm), a non-profit agricultural community for adults with autism, is hosting its 5th annual Spring Gala on Saturday, April 26, 2014 from 6:30 to 9:30 PM at the home of Tom Chema, President of Hiram College.  Attendees will be shuttled to the event from Hiram Christian Church, Hiram Municipal Lot and Hiram College (watch for signs).  The semi-formal event will include an open bar, heavy hors d’oeuvres, silent auction, and wine auction to complete the evening’s program which is Hiram Farm’s largest fundraising event of the year.

ariel-view-of-Hiram-Farm-gardensHiram Farm, located on a 120 acre organic farm in Hiram, OH, provides the farmers with a wide variety of work that provides them with a source of income.  Facilities on the farm include vegetable gardens, a wonderful barn and workshop, heated greenhouses, livestock shelters, a pavilion, a farmhouse which includes offices and meeting space, a weaving room, a ceramic studio, and an art gallery full of beautiful art and crafts from the farmers.  The farm is currently raising funds to bring functional restrooms (versus portalets) and water and sewer lines in from the street to the farm grounds.  The estimated cost for this project is $75,000 and the farm welcomes any donation for this improvement for the quality of life for all that work on or visit the farm.

Hiram Farm continues to be an integral part of the Hiram community and welcomes Hiram College students to participate in Work Study Programs and Campus Day (a day of volunteerism for freshman students).  The farm also welcomes various educational and therapeutic facilities and local volunteer groups (including students from Kent State University) and out of state volunteers (church mission groups).

While many individuals with autism find the typical work environment confusing, irritating, boring, or even frightening, the farm provides a wide variety of activities that can be adjusted to suit the needs of many individuals.   Hiram Farm provides the adult with autism with a program that is structured, consistent, supportive, accommodating, calming, comforting and, most of all, predictable.   The program, which currently serves 23 farmers with 16 staff members, opened in June 2009 and will be celebrating its fifth anniversary in June 2014.

The public is invited to attend this wonderful event.  Reservations and payment are requested by April 15, 2014 with a $55.00 single reservation.   Please mail check with names of attendees to:  Hiram Farm, PO Box 157, Hiram, OH  44234 or use the PayPal button on Hiram Farm’s website www.hiramfarm.org   For more information, call 330/569-3441.   Donations are also welcomed.

 

Mantua - Recently, area leaders were invited to attend a special breakfast meeting at the Crestwood Middle School. The breakfast gathering, lead by  Principal Julie Schmidt, highlighted a variety of educational opportunities at CMS. Leaders and officials included Superintendent David Toth, Treasurer Jill Rowe, School Board Members, professionals from Crestwood’s other schools, and community leaders. The breakfast meeting gave the group the opportunity to learn about a variety of interesting programs at CMS, and to meet some CMS students who participate in those programs.

Rachel King and her team of stylists at Facet Salon & Day Spa held a “Cut & Pedi – thon” last Saturday to raise money to help rebuild Garrettsville’s historic district. The salon was thrilled to announce that they had exceeded their goal of $1,000, and would be donating $1,260 to the GarrettsvilleStrong fund at the Garrettsville Area Chamber of Commerce’s April meeting. Facet Owner Rachelle King (left), and salon Intern Amber Burnworth (right) pose for a photo between haircuts.

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Garrettsville – “We are committed to to staying in Garrettsville and going back to Main Street when we can.”

These are the words of Dan Myers, who owned and operated New Hearing Sales & Services from 8115 Main Street until fire destroyed it and nearly every other business from Center Street to High Street in a historic blaze on March 22. His sentiment is echoed by most of the business owners who are scrambling now in the aftermath to relocate and regain operations elsewhere while Main Street gets cleaned up and rebuilt in the months ahead.

Garrettsville - Main Street Grille & Brewing Company’s Brewmaster Mike Mallone (left), and Head Brewer Brian Koptis (right) are brewing a special GarrettsvilleStrong Pilsner. The beer goes on sale April 26th at $5 glass. 100% of proceeds benefit the GarrettsvilleStrong fund established to aid reconstruction of the block of shops and offices lost to the fire that ravaged Garrettsville’s Historic District on March 22nd.

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Mantua – At a school-wide assembly last Friday afternoon, staff and students at the Crestwood Middle School in Mantua gathered to learn the results of the school’s Kindness Challenge. The event, sponsored by CMS’s Rachel’s Challenge student organization, encouraged both CMS and Crestwood Intermediate students to document random acts of kindness to each other by noting them on slips of paper. Throughout the week, these paper strips were linked with other strips, creating a tangible symbol of how each simple act, when combined with others, can make a big impact. In addition, students at both schools were able to purchase links for a dollar, raising funds to send Girl Scout cookies to troops stationed overseas. As a result, the Challenge raised enough funds to send three cases of cookies to troops, spreading kindness overseas, as well.

Garrettsville – Can you sing? Do you like to be on stage performing before others? Are you available April 13th, May 18th and June 29, 2014?  If your answer is yes to all of the above, you need to consider auditioning for this years Garrettsville Idol. Garrettsville Summerfest announces the audition dates for this year’s Garrettsville Idol, the grand finale event that closes out the Summerfest Festival every year on the fourth weekend in June. Adults will compete for a $1000 cash prize awarded to the winner at the finals held during Summerfest, while the youth and teens will each compete for $500.  

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Time may not heal all wounds, but perhaps it gives us the opportunity to right some wrongs.

That’s what the nation has to offer Vietnam Veterans more than 50 years after they were swept into that conflict in January 1962. More than 3 million Americans served in the 11-year Vietnam War; 58,000 of them died in combat; thousands more suffered immeasurably from post traumatic stress disorder, physical after-effects of Agent Orange, and the painful memories of being spat upon and harangued by war protesters upon their return home. 

Indeed they were!   It was Payback Time.

Superintendent Ted Lysiak announced the school district's offer at Monday's Rebuild Garrettsville meeting.

Superintendent Ted Lysiak announced the school district’s offer at Monday’s Rebuild Garrettsville meeting.

The James A. Garfield Local School Board held a hastily-called meeting on Monday, March 24 to respond to the catastrophic fire which struck the business district in downtown Garrettsville.  Representatives of student groups, faculty and staff organizations,  Nelson and Freedom Township trustees, volunteers with the Nelson-Garrettsville Community Cupboard, Mayor Rick Patrick, attorney Dan Timmons joined the board (member David Vincent via Skype) to issue a resolution declaring the district’s support for the merchants and professionals who have always supported the aims and activities of the James A. Garfield Local School District. The acknowledgement of strong community partnership was key to the meeting’s direction.   Additionally, the district has offered the use of space in the Intermediate School building when  school ends in June during the transition and rebuilding period as the village rises from its ashes.

It was a tremendous outpouring.  It was an amazing, uplifting response.  It was just the beginning.

 

 

Sandusky – Have you already cheated on your New Year’s resolution to get healthy? Well worry no more, Cedar Point has something that will help get you back on track – the inaugural Cedar Point Run & Ride race series. This fun new event will feature three races for competitors of all ages and skill levels: the Cedar Point Half-Marathon, the Millennium Force 5K and Snoopy’s One-Mile Fun Run.

Garrettsville - After months of intensive refurbishments and upgrades, the new owners of Garrettsville Cinema, Justin & Desiree Dlugokecki, held a weekend-long Grand Re-Opening celebration at their cinema. The owners were joined Saturday afternoon by Garrettsville Village Mayor Rick Patrick and Chamber of Commerce President Benjamin Coll for a ribbon cutting commemorating the event. 

Hiram - Around 30 residents from Hiram and Mantua Townships attended a community meeting last Saturday to share their concerns about how a local storage well is affecting their lives, their roads and their families. At the meeting, citizens voiced concerns over the ill affects of the increase in 18-wheeled tanker truck traffic near their homes. Individuals provided photos taken on local roads of tanker trucks bringing fracking waste to the area for disposal at the storage well from as far away as Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Texas. 

Hiram – The Hiram Police Department recently held a “Distracted Driving” awareness program at Hiram College. The program consists of a high tech simulation unit that participants operate. “The participants are behind a steering wheel with a large monitor in front of them, they are directed to drive the simulator as prompts are given by the computer system”. The simulator operator is put in “real life” scenarios and situations as they are operating the simulator, they will receive a simulated text message of cell phone call and they have to respond to it, as they are responding the simulator puts them into real life situations such as a ball rolling in the street or a car backing out of a driveway and into the roadway.

Mantua – At Power of the Pen competitions across Ohio, students are given a topic sentence or ‘prompt’ on the spot and have 40 minutes to write a complete short story. While the exact prompts are confidential, coach Marphy shared, “In one round, students were given the topic sentence, ‘You’ve got to be kidding’ and told to use it in their story. In another prompt students were asked to consider something that is now obsolete and write a story about it.  As the competition progresses, the prompts get more difficult, and no electronic devices are permitted. At Regional and District competitions, students are permitted to use a dictionary. At the State level, however, the use of dictionaries is not permitted. 

Garrettsville - O’Henry, O’Malley, O’My! Grab your friends and neighbors, and follow the road to Garrettsville on March 17th for a fun-filled St. Patrick’s Day you won’t soon forget. And that’s no blarney!

The historic village of Garrettsville knows how to celebrate, and it will start first thing in the morn’. Start off with a hearty breakfast, and a beer if you are so inclined. Sean’s Pub, Miller’s Restaurant, SkyLane Lounge to name a few are serving up morn’ meals that will help get you started for the daylong celebration.

Mantua – Several months ago, K & K Meat Shoppe owner and proprietor Dennis Kolar, Sr. wanted to retire. So he handed over the reigns, and the 12-year-old Mantua Village landmark business, to new owners, and began life as a retiree. But after a few months in a new role taking care of his wife, his house, and his dog, Kolar decided to retire as a retiree and get back to work. And now, K & K is back in town, and the positive feedback from residents has been overwhelming.

Garrettsville – As last week’s warmer weather brought melting snow and renewed our hope of spring, it also brought forth a group of Girl Scouts on a field trip to the Weekly Villager office in Garrettsville. The group of Juniors from troop 732 and Brownies from troop 835 came to the weekly newspaper to find out more about how the newspaper works, and to meet the paper’s owners, Michelle Zivoder and  Christine Gerez.

Newton Falls – If you owe fines for overdue materials, or if you’re just feeling generous, you can donate nonperishable items to the Newton Falls Public Library Food for Fines Drive. In exchange for the food, we will forgive overdue fines. The drive will run from March 3 to March 29.

As we enjoy the competition and exhilaration of the Winter Olympics, cheering on the talented men and women of our US Olympic team, it’s hard to imagine that things haven’t always been so equal for male and female athletes. For example, after the 1964 Olympics, swimmer Donna de Varona, who had won gold medals, could not obtain a college swimming scholarship, because for women, they did not exist. And in elementary schools through high schools across this country, the situation was not much different.

Hiram -  The Communications Factory is doing its part again this year to help area seniors turn their dream of higher education into reality by sponsoring its annual scholarship program. In its eleventh year, the Factory’s program awards $1,000 to a deserving area high-school student that completes the agency’s scholarship application. Last year’s winner was Elaine Warren of Cardinal High School in Middlefield.
Brad Turner, founder and “plant manager” of the Communications Factory realizes announcements by companies offering student scholarships is hardly front-page news. That is, of course, unless you are an advertising agency. “Advertising agencies typically do all kinds of wacky things to get media buzz,” notes Turner. “Offering scholarships is not commonly one of them. But our agency is anything but typical or common. We simply believe in the importance of promoting young minds.”

The Communications Factory Scholarship is awarded annually. Students interested in being considered for the scholarship need to complete the application form by April 1, 2014. The application form is available on the agency’s Web site at: http://www.communicationsfactory.net/community/scholarship.pdf.
The Communications Factory is a full-service agency that helps up-and-coming organizations retool their brand by melding big agency experience, with the entrepreneurial spirit of a small shop.

Garrettsville – Spring is right around the corner, probably buried in a snowdrift but it is coming nevertheless.
One of the first signs of spring is the Garrettsville Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Celebration. Grab your friends and neighbors, and follow the road to Garrettsville Monday, March 17th for a fun-filled St. Patrick’s Day you won’t forget. The restaurants and shops of Garrettsville know how to celebrate, and will be kicking off the morning with a variety of great fare. Whether you’re looking to start off the morning with a hearty breakfast, and a beer; or simply perusing historic Garrettsville’s shops there will be plenty of options to choose from. Corned beef and cabbage will be on many menus throughout the village. Family entertainment includes The Kindred Spirits, carriage rides (weather permitting), and balloon art by Jason Adkins; and will be scheduled from 5:00pm–8:00pm.
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Start sorting through the garage…the Garrettsville Area Chamber’s 21st Annual Community Yard Sale is slated for May 17 & 18, 2014, beginning at 9am until 4pm. So start cleaning out the closets and get ready to make some cash on those unused and unwanted items lying around. Remember, what might be considered trash by some could be another’s treasure. This annual event is not limited to village residents, Windham, Hiram, Nelson, Freedom residents are encouraged to participate as well.  Even if someone lives outside the immediate area, they can participate by registering for a space at Sky Lanes Bowling Alley the Freedom Township Park (an additional charge may apply for these spaces).

Looking ahead to the start of summer, Garrettsville’s first summer Cruise Night is scheduled for May 24th (Rain date: May 25th). Be a part of the crowd and take a stroll down Garrettsville’s Main Street while checking out tons of great classic cars.

For a complete list of Chamber events or to check out many of the areas offerings visit GarrettsvilleArea.com

Newton Falls – Wedding season is nearly upon us and dozens of brides-to-be, grooms, and their family-and-friends-filled entourages stopped by Roby Lee’s Restaurant and Banquet Center Sunday on the hunt for the perfect dress, desserts, photographer, tablescape trend and flower arrangements during the 17th Annual Bridal Show. Forty-eight hours after the nation celebrated the day for romance (or those whose status this February is “unattached” chose to ring in “Single Awareness Day”), vendors in the business of all things love piled in to the venue’s reception hall to display their products and present their services to the crowd of novice wedding planners piecing together the event of their dreams.

Mantua -  In his report to the School Board, Superintendent David Toth shared that first grade teacher Natalie Harr was one of only two Ohio educators to receive the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science this year. Harr will receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation, which administers the program. She is currently on professional leave from the District as she serves as a 2013-2014 Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow at the National Science Foundation in Washington, D.C.

Though winter is definitely here, think spring with the Geauga Soil and Water Conservation District’s (SWCD) 2014 Spring Tree and Fish Sale!  This year the District is offering both “Conifer Seedling Packets” and “Root Production Method” (RPM) trees and plants.  The Conifer Seedling Packets are tree seedlings in packs of 25 and offer one tree species per pack of either White Pine or Norway Spruce.  The RPM trees and plants are sold as singles and have large fibrous root systems that promote higher survival and rapid growth.  RPM trees come in 3-gallon containers, while the RPM plants come in 1-gallon containers.  An incredible variety of species are offered including Ohio Buckeye, Pignut Hickory, American Elderberry, and Hazelnut.  Also available are both of the 2014 Woody Plants of the Year – Black Gum and Witchhazel – as featured by the Lake Erie Allegheny Partnership for Native Plants (LEAP).  Whatever your needs, Geauga SWCD has the plants you need to accomplish your landscaping goals at about half the cost of your local nurseries.  These trees make conservation sense and cents!

Garrettsville – It’s not every day that librarians get to be the characters in the books on their shelves, but for the staff at the Garrettsville branch of the Portage County District Library, Valentine’s Day provided one such opportunity to play fairy godmothers for two local couples celebrating their love on the most romantic of holidays. When the clock struck noon on this year’s February 14th, the place where paperbacks, magazines and audiobooks normally live completed its transformation into a space befitting the most dreamy of fairy tale settings.

Honestly. We are without excuse. We’re fresh into the New Year and the launchpad of New Resolutions. February is Heart Month, sponsored by the American Heart Association to build awareness that heart disease is the #1 killer among American men and women — and it’s largely preventable with a lifestyle marked by regular exercise and a healthy diet. And it’s Winter Olympics season. Even if you’re not an athlete, just watching a half hour of the world’s most fit competitors is inspirational and motivational. 

Sharon, PA - The second annual “Art’s Alive in the Dead of Winter” will be held Friday, Feb. 21 from 6 to 10 p.m. at the James E. Winner Jr. Arts & Culture Center, 98 E. State St. in downtown Sharon. Art’s Alive is an evening out celebrating the handmade work of more than 80 regional artisans from all mediums. All three floors of the arts and culture center will be filled with art, food and music. The live musical entertainment will begin upon the opening of the doors until the show closes at 10 p.m. and features Shenango Valley musicians, including Rick Bruckner James Willaman, John Sailor, Mike Cummings and Brandon Vuich, and Robert Malaniak of Pipe Dreams.

So often, we give anonymously to a good cause — whether it be a local food drive, national disaster relief effort or an international humanitarian mission — and we never really know the impact of our gift. Wouldn’t you love the opportunity to follow your donation across local boundaries, past international security checkpoints, over the ocean, onto remote dirt roads and into an impoverished village, where you can put that vital medicine, supply or food into the hands that need it most? 

Hiram – The Hiram College Board of Trustees has elected Dr. Lori Varlotta as the 22nd president of the institution. Varlotta, 50, is the first woman president in Hiram history. She is currently the senior vice president for planning, enrollment management and student affairs at California State University, Sacramento. She will succeed Tom Chema who is retiring after 11 years in the position.

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A snow roller is a rare meteorological phenomenon in which large snowballs are formed naturally as chunks of snow are blown along the ground by wind, picking up material along the way, in much the same way that the large snowballs used in snowmen are made. Often, snow rollers can be seen in open fields. As the snow and ice roll, snow is accumulated on the outside layer.

Garrettsville – Portage County District Library announced its new Library Board of Trustees officers at its January 16 meeting. Pictured above (left to right) are Deborrah Defer, Secretary; Stephen Spencer, President; and Roberta Zuver, Vice President. Library board meetings are held the third Thursday of each month at 5:30 pm. Meetings are open to the public and locations vary with each month, but a complete listing can be found online at www.portagelibrary.org. Select “About the Library” and then “Board of Trustees”.

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Mantua – Nine Crestwood-area boys and girls ages 10 to 14 were named Local and District Champions of the 2014 Knights of Columbus Free Throw Championship and have earned the right to complete at the Regional level.  Mantua Council # 3766 sponsored the local competition at Crestwood Middle School on Jan 15th and the District level at Aurora High on Jan 19th.  All youngsters ages 10-14 were eligible to participate.

Mantua – “Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle…” is a quote you will see displayed throughout Crestwood Middle School.

Eighth grade Crestwood Middle School Wrestler, Tom Carson, acted in the very spirit of this quote showing the finest character and integrity during a wrestling tournament at West Geauga the weekend of January 11th, 2014.

The Portage County District Library announces a generous donation from the Friends of the Garrettsville Library. This monetary donation has been made to support the assembly of senior memory kits made by the Outreach Services department. “With the series of fundraisers that have been so well supported, the Friends of the Garrettsville Library is able to support a variety of important and interesting projects throughout the community”, says Betsy Siman, President of the Friends of the Garrettsville Library.