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Nelson Bisard, owner of Waterfall Antiques & Collectibles in Garrettsville
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.

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

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

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.

 

Photo: nickshamhart.com

Photo: nickshamhart.com

Ravenna – Nick Shamhart will be speaking at Reed Memorial Library on Sunday, April 27 at 2 p.m. as the final program of the library’s Local Authors Series.

Nick Shamhart’s writing ranges from romantic comedy to thriller. He is the author of the theologically- and psychologically-driven series based on the afterlife called the Balance Books, and the romantic comedy, The Knight’s Wife. Nick’s latest work, The Fog Within, is his best-selling and highly acclaimed dramatic look into the mind of a severely autistic woman.

Nick Shamhart lives in Cleveland with his wife and two daughters. For more detailed information visit his website, www.nickshamhart.com.

All programs in the Local Authors Series are free and do not require registration. For more information visit Reed Memorial Library at 167 East Main Street, Ravenna, or call (330) 296-2827 (ext. 200).

Pictured, left to right: Cass Owens, Library Director, Reed Memorial Library; Cecilia Swanson, Library Director, Portage County District Library; Rep. Kathleen Clyde- 75th District; Corrine Alldridge, Assistant Library Director, Portage County District Library; Stacey Richardson, Library Director, Kent Free Library.
Pictured, left to right: Cass Owens, Library Director, Reed Memorial Library; Cecilia Swanson, Library Director, Portage County District Library; Rep. Kathleen Clyde- 75th District; Corrine Alldridge, Assistant Library Director, Portage County District Library; Stacey Richardson, Library Director, Kent Free Library.

Pictured, left to right: Cass Owens, Library Director, Reed Memorial Library; Cecilia Swanson, Library Director, Portage County District Library; Rep. Kathleen Clyde- 75th District; Corrine Alldridge, Assistant Library Director, Portage County District Library; Stacey Richardson, Library Director, Kent Free Library.

Columbus – Portage County District Library, along with Reed Memorial Library and Kent Free Library, attended Legislative Day on Wednesday, April 2 in Columbus. Each year, the libraries attend Legislative Day to meet with legislators to ask for their continued support. This year was especially important since libraries are asking that the General Assembly increase the Public Library Fund (PLF) formula percentage from 1.66% to 2.0% of the state’s General Revenue Fund (GRF) tax revenue to help libraries recover from the 2014 PLF 4% cut as well as additional proposed tax cuts. In the fiscal year 2012-2013, the Biennium Budget reduced the PLF percentage from 2.2% to 1.66%. The PLF currently provides public libraries the same amount of state funding as provided in 1996. This is the only state revenue public libraries receive. In addition, the Portage County District Library currently receives no additional local support.

 

Fifty folks “Got Their Groove On” Saturday at the Zumba-a-Thon held at the high school with Heather Kovac. Photo: Denise Bly

Garrettsville – It has been  30 days since the historic Buckeye Block of Garrettsville was engulfed in flames and reduced to a pile of rubble. The tragic event birthed #GarrettsvilleStrong which is raising funds to ensure the historic block is rebuilt.  Weekly, there have been various groups that have registered and are holding events to raise money to rebuild the town. This weekend was no different. One could feast on all the pancakes they could eat at the elementary school and then walk over to the high school and work them off at the Zumba-a-Thon.

The James A. Garfield High School Student Council, along with the Interact Club, middle school student council and two advisors Mrs. Frances Bell and Ms. Missy Petrie were up at the crack of dawn Saturday to get ready for their pancake and sausage breakfast at the elementary school to raise funds for #Garrettsvillestrong. Students waited on customers, while Superintendent Ted Lysiak, Principals Jennifer Mulhern, Michael Dobran and Don Long manned the griddles. They not only had great pancakes and sausage, but these were topped with local maple syrup donated by local producer and maple marvel, Mark Apple. It was delicious and a great way to start off a Saturday. The event raised $1,410 for the #GarrettsvilleStrong Fund.

After having your fill of pancakes, it was time to get one’s groove on at the high school with Heather Kovac, who was holding a Zumba- a-Thon for #GarrettsvilleStrong. For an hour and a half, one could shake ‘em down  with Heather and work off the pancake breakfast while helping out their community. Fifty- plus folks took advantage of keeping their hearts strong while raising funds for #GarrettsvilleStrong. Each participant paid $10 to participate in the event.

The Zumba-a-Thon also had a gift basket raffle.  Between the gift basket and the Zumba, they raised $800 for the #GarrettsvilleStrong Fund.

 

garfield-campus-of-excellence-garrettsville-constructionGarrettsville – The Straight A Grant from the state provided the James A. Garfield Schools with some exceptional opportunities.  With these exceptional opportunities came exceptional challenges.  The district remains on a very tight timeline required by the grant.  All funds must be committed by June 30, 2014 and spent by September 30, 2014. Those funds not spent must be returned, and the district does not plan to return any of the money. This does present some unique challenges, especially for a construction project.  Regardless of these obstacles, the addition is on schedule to open for school this fall.  Here are the latest developments on each component of the grant.

Construction

Hammond Construction, from Canton, was awarded the Design/Build contract for construction of the 17,000 square foot addition.  Their crews have assembled on site and broke ground last Monday. Parent drop off and pick up traffic will be impacted for the remainder of the school year. We appreciate everyone’s patience as we navigate around the construction site.

The addition will include 8 classrooms, 2 state of the art science labs, 2 special education classrooms and a professional development center.  The professional development space will be able to comfortably seat 120 adults and contain digital projection equipment for presentations or trainings. While this space will offer a flexible instructional space for students, the district also wants to make this space available to the public for meetings.

An official groundbreaking ceremony will be held on Thursday, May 8 at 6:00 pm and is open to the public.

Technology

Laptops for students and staff have arrived and are currently being configured. In May all teachers will receive a district-issued laptop, and in August each student in grades 7-12 will be issued a Chromebook. To support the additional 750 devices, grant funds were recently used to install a substantial upgrade to the wireless network district-wide.

Partnerships

The Portage County Educational Service Center (ESC) and the Greater Cleveland YMCA are moving forward with their plans to bring their services to the community. The YMCA has brought youth soccer back to our community and already has over sixty students signed up to participate.  The ESC will soon be finalizing their space at the Intermediate School to determine how many students they can accept for public preschool this fall.

With the construction project, technology initiative and new partnerships developing as planned and on schedule, there is much to celebrate in our community. While there is a great chance to join in the celebration and excitement by attending the May 8th groundbreaking there are many other opportunities to celebrate. The spring sports season is in full-swing and provides many chances to see our students excel outside the classroom.  Schedules can be found on the district website located at http://garfield.sparcc.org.

garfield-campus-of-excellence-garrettsville-construction1

 

Chardon - A sure sign that spring is around the corner is the Geauga County Maple Festival.  It is a celebration of the year’s maple season and the place where maple syrup producers showcase their best syrup.  The festival will take place April 24 – 27 on Historic Chardon Square.

One of the highlights of the festival is the two huge parades.  They step off at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.  The theme this year is “Spring’s Golden Sunshine – Maple!” There will be floats, horses, old cars, new cars and lots of fire trucks.

The Saturday Parade Marshall will be Aggie Sojka of Hambden.  Sojka has been involved with maple her entire life but now she has proved that the best maple syrup in the world comes from Geauga County.  Her medium amber maple syrup produced in Parkman was awarded a first place at the International Maple Syrup Institute annual meeting in October in Delta Beausejour, Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada.

Sojka was inducted into the Geauga County Maple Festival Hall of Fame in 2011.  Her late husband, Mark Sperry, was inducted in 1995.

Sunday’s Parade Marshall will be WOIO weatherman Jeff Tanchak.  As a native of Buffalo, New York, Tanchak understood lake effect weather and the impact it has on an area.  In his spare time he enjoys golf and the Indians.

Also riding in the parade will be the 2014 Maple Hall of Fame inductee Tom Blair of Burton.

This will be the 86th edition of the Geauga County Maple Festival.  The Festival began in 1926 by a group of Chardon businessmen to increase awareness of the areas maple syrup and increase maple sales.  In the late 1940’s there were three years that no festival was held due to the war and lack of maple syrup.  Come join the fun and celebrate “Springs Golden Sunshine – Maple” and the wonderful maple season.  For a complete list of festival events and times visit www.maplefestival.com.

Photo: Benjamin Coll

Photo: Benjamin Coll

Hiram  – Retiring Hiram College President Tom Chema will deliver  the institution’s 164th Commencement address at graduation ceremonies planned for Saturday, May 17.  A total of 299 graduates will be awarded degrees.

Chema has served as president for 11 years. During his presidency, undergraduate enrollment has grown by more than 40%; the Hiram campus has been transformed, with more than $50 million in physical enhancements, including 11 new or renovated buildings; fundraising attainment has grown dramatically with more than 100 gifts to Hiram of more than $100,000; and distinctive academic programs have been developed and implemented, including eight Centers of Distinction.

Hiram’s 21st president, Chema is looking forward to the opportunity to address this year’s graduates.

“I am very much like many of our students,” he said. “I was the first in my family to attend college and the experience transformed my life. Because of my liberal arts education, I was able to reinvent myself many times and have a number of successful careers. Students graduating in 2014 will not only have many different jobs in their lifetime, they will have many different careers. Hiram has prepared them to live and work in a rapidly changing and complex world. Our graduates leave Hiram with an opportunity to make a difference in a world that needs difference makers.”

Chema was no stranger to Hiram when he became president, having served as a voting member of the Hiram College Board of Trustees for 11 years and chairing the Institutional Advancement Committee. He brought to the Hiram presidency more than 30 years of experience in business, government, and law.

A native of East Liverpool, Ohio, Chema was a 1968 graduate of the University of Notre Dame and a 1971 Cum Laude graduate of Harvard Law School. He began his career with the Cleveland-based law firm of Arter & Hadden in 1971 and became a partner in 1979. He took a leave of absence in 1983 to serve as Executive Director of the Ohio Lottery Commission. In 1985, he was asked to become Chairman of the Ohio Public Utilities Commission.

In 1990, he was appointed Executive Director of the Gateway Economic Development  Corporation and was responsible for overseeing the public/private partnership that led to the financing and construction of Jacobs Field and Gund Arena in Cleveland.

Commencement exercises will be held at 2 p.m. at the Charles A. Henry field.

Pinwheels for prevention are on display on the lawn of the Hiram Municipal Building to promote child abuse awareness. The program is sponsored by the Portage County Children’s Advocacy Group.
Pinwheels for prevention are on display on the lawn of the Hiram Municipal Building to promote child abuse awareness. The program is sponsored by the Portage County Children’s Advocacy Group.

Pinwheels for prevention are on display on the lawn of the Hiram Municipal Building to promote child abuse awareness. The program is sponsored by the Portage County Children’s Advocacy Group.

Hiram - According to statistics posted on the Portage County Children’s Advocacy Center’s website, one in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused by the age of 18. For 90% of those children, a known and trusted adult often inflicts the abuse. Armed only with gutter spikes (to make planting pinwheels easier), and determination to share their important message, volunteers planted 700 pinwheels in Hiram on Monday to raise awareness and promote reporting of child abuse and neglect. The program, sponsored by the Portage County Children’s Advocacy Center, has been staging similar, colorful displays at a dozen locations around Portage County throughout the month of April as a part of Child Abuse Awareness month.

The pink and blue pinwheels began spinning in front of Robinson Memorial Hospital, the site of the Portage County Children’s Advocacy Center. As the month progressed, the pinwheels were moved to other locations, including the Portage County Courthouse, Streetsboro Town Square, Aurora Police Department, and schools in Rootstown, Kent & Ravenna. The Children’s Advocacy Group is charged with improving the community’s response to child abuse and neglect and to lessen the negative impact of abuse on children. This year, Bikers Against Child Abuse (BACA) joined the effort in front of the Hiram Village Police Department, having participated in similar events in Trumbull, Mahoning, and Ashtabula Counties.

BACA, an international non-profit organization, is on a mission to create a safer environment for abused children. All members refer to each other by “road names” like the group’s Chapter President and Vice President Jammer and Hollywood. According to local BACA member Mama Bear, either children’s service agencies or a child’s legal guardian makes the group aware of children who may need their assistance. The group then meets with the child, bringing them a BACA vest for protection and special teddy bear that is filled with hugs, according to Mama Bear. “We want to remove the stigma they feel — and let them know that they aren’t alone.” BACA members befriend the child during this trying time, and often sit in court with children, empowering them to face their perpetrators.

Mama Bear was made aware of BACA when her son was offered their assistance after being violated at the age of four. She shares, “When that happens to a child, they begin to feel like a freak of nature. But when BACA kids get together, they’re all the same – the stigma is removed. It’s very empowering.” She’s been a proud member of BACA for nine years. Her son, who is seventeen, plans to join as soon as he’s eighteen.

According to Judy Paydock, from the Child Advocacy Center at Robinson, exact numbers of affected children in Portage County are hard to calculate. “We serve many counties through our Center and the Children’s Advocacy Center at Akron Hospital. We receive many calls, but not all calls result in cases.” It’s important to remember, when a child asks for help, listen to them. Believe the child, and tell the child it is not his or her fault. Don’t question the child yourself – this may further traumatize them.  If you’re aware of a child who may need help, contact the Children’s Advocacy Center’s 24 hr. hotline at (330) 296-CARE (2273). For more information on Bikers Against Child Abuse, email bacasniper@gmail.com.

Photo: Hattie Larlham Facebook Page

Photo: Hattie Larlham Facebook Page

Garrettsville - Tee off with Hattie Larlham on May 21, 2014 for the 28th Annual Sugar Bush Golf Classic. Please join us out on the green at the Sugar Bush Golf Club in Garrettsville for a fun and relaxing day of golf, contests and prizes with the ultimate goal of raising funds for Hattie Larlham. Since 1986, the annual Sugar Bush Golf Classic has raised more than $630,000 through generous contributions.

There are many ways to participate in the event, including single and team registrations. This shotgun-style tournament features morning and afternoon tee times. Prizes will be handed out to top golfers in each  session for both men and women. Celebrity golfers and special guests will be present during both event sessions. This event sells out annually. Please register as early as possible to secure the tee time of choice.

Golfer’s Player Packages will be available to purchase for $25. Packages include two mulligans, two celebrity shots, two chances to hit the circle on a par 3, participation in the “guess your drive” and putting contests.

The Fraternal Order of Eagles #2436 will be sponsoring a raffle on the day of the event. The first prize winner will receive a cash prize of $1,500. The second prize winner will be treated to a Golf Package for 4 at the Barrington Golf Club.

In addition to the Golfer’s Player Packages and the Fraternal Order of Eagles #2436 raffle, the 28th Sugar Bush Golf Classic will hold various on-course contests, a “Skins Game” and 50/50 raffle. The 50/50 raffle prizes include rounds of golf and golf accessories.

With so many ways to participate, win and raise money for Hattie Larlham the 28th Sugar Bush Golf Classic is sure to be an exciting event for everyone. Be sure to register early to secure your spot for this amazing event.

If you are interested in participating in the 28th Annual Sugar Bush Golf Classic please download a registration form from our website www.hattielarlham.org, complete it and return by May 7th, 2014. Be sure to register early to secure your preferred time for this great event.

 

Registration forms may be returned by:

Mail:

Hattie Larlham

ATTN: Candrice Dalton

37996 Darrow Road, Suite #10

Twinsburg, Ohio 44087

Email: candrice.dalton@hattielarlham.org

Fax: 330.732.248

 

Garrettsville – This past Sunday, over 70 contestants competed in a closed audition, hoping to keep their dreams alive of becoming the next Garrettsville Idol. This was one of the largest competitions they have had in recent years and the judges, Danny Deakins, Wendi Brown and Jackie Rinearson were given the difficult task of selecting those who would move on to the semifinals. After some lengthy deliberations, 51 contestants’ dreams of being named the next Garrettsville Idol were still alive.

There will be two incredible shows for the semifinals on May 18th. The first show will start at 4pm and will feature the youth and teens, while the second show will start at 6 pm and will feature the adult contestants. Each contestant will perform an entire song with music accompaniment before a live audience at James A. Garfield High School’s Iva Walker Auditorium. The winners of the semifinals will advance to the finals held Sunday June 29th during Summerfest.

Advancing to the semifinals in the adult division (top photo) are Sara Apthorpe, Aimee Beelen, Bryan Bier, Tiffany Bolton, Christy Brown, Raelyn DeBevits, Tammy Doumanian, Stephanie Ewell, Ryan Hecky, Jeremy Keeney, Rachael Maddox, Russ Martin, Devin Maze, Josh Owens, Linda Perrault, Sarah Jane Ralston, Jackson Ramsey, Kristina Rossi, Ambur Scales, Selina Slaughter, and Jason Stachowski.

Advancing to the semifinals in the adult division are Sara Apthorpe, Aimee Beelen, Bryan Bier, Tiffany Bolton, Christy Brown, Raelyn DeBevits, Tammy Doumanian, Stephanie Ewell, Ryan Hecky, Jeremy Keeney, Rachael Maddox, Russ Martin, Devin Maze, Josh Owens, Linda Perrault, Sarah Jane Ralston, Jackson Ramsey, Kristina Rossi, Ambur Scales, Selina Slaughter, and Jason Stachowski.

 

Moving on in the teen division (center photo) are Molli Betters, Elisha Bly, Anna Brown, Taylor Brown, Emilie Clites, Corin Colton, Hannah Cottrell, Lexy Dall,  Jay Davenport, Jainequa Davis, Megan Duderstadt, Caitlyn Hallden, Kaylee Martin, Kaylee Maynard, Jasmine Nevaraz, Rachael Pelter, Mariela Ruschak, Kirsten Sellers, Hannah Simpson, Julie Simpson, Taylor Shuman, Kyle Stern, Haylee Tasker, Cody Tetting, and Kiley Weis.

Moving on in the teen division are Molli Betters, Elisha Bly, Anna Brown, Taylor Brown, Emilie Clites, Corin Colton, Hannah Cottrell, Lexy Dall, Jay Davenport, Jainequa Davis, Megan Duderstadt, Caitlyn Hallden, Kaylee Martin, Kaylee Maynard, Jasmine Nevaraz, Rachael Pelter, Mariela Ruschak, Kirsten Sellers, Hannah Simpson, Julie Simpson, Taylor Shuman, Kyle Stern, Haylee Tasker, Cody Tetting, and Kiley Weis.

Youth singers are Lillian Anderson, Alee Blohm, Makenzie Fink, Maria Roderick and Olivia Sheer.

Youth singers are Lillian Anderson, Alee Blohm, Makenzie Fink, Maria Roderick and Olivia Sheer.

Tickets for the semifinals are $3 for each show and are available at Sky Lanes Bowling Alley.  You can also reserve tickets and pick them up at the auditorium on the day of the performance by calling Aaron King at 330 524-2646.

 

Garrettsville Summerfest is traditionally held on the fourth full weekend of June at the intersection of State Routes 88 and 82 in downtown historic Garrettsville. For more information on the event visit the website, www.garrettsvillesummerfest.com 

 

Garrettsville Idol is brought to you by  The Middlefield Banking Company

community-prayer-buckeye-block-garrettsville-strong-fire-rebuild

Garrettsville - A full complement of Pastors and Elders from houses of worship across the Garrettsville area, came together with members of the public on Friday, April 11 to join in seeking guidance and help in the renewal, rebuilding and restoration of the business district and the community affected by the March 22 fire in downtown Garrettsville.  The Prophet Jeremiah and the Prophet Ezekial were called upon, the story of Shadrach, Maschek and Abednego in Nebuchadnezzar’s fiery furnace was recounted and a repetition of the psalmist’s request to “revive us again” was offered.  Memories, dreams , prayers and emotions, embodied by Michael Mascheck, were all part of the  gathering, which closed with all joining Gail Mangieri in singing “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.”  It was moving.

Garrettsville is on the move.

#Garrettsville Strong

Lyndhurst – Last year the Manolio family, who had been creating the mosaic art pieces from real egg shells in their front yard for 55 years, announced it would be the last year they would do it. The unexpected death of Ron Manolio, in the fall of 2012, made the 2013 display a tribute to the creator Ron Manolio, make the end of an era; at least it was for the Manolio family. 

Mantua - Through a special program offered at Crestwood Intermediate School, students and their families have the opportunity to experience guided adventures in nearby natural areas. The goal of the program, called Nature Treks, is to share the natural world with families who don’t have the opportunity to experience it regularly. Each trek is led by Crestwood Intermediate teacher Mrs. Rosemary Krupar, and often includes student-teacher participants from nearby Hiram College. Through this program, children and their parents or grandparents visit some the area’s hidden treasures. And the discoveries they make are priceless.

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.

Nelson Twp. - Black smoke rose up in plumes high above Garrettsville as a raging fire burned… again.

Just about a week after a block of historic Main Street went up in flames, a large storage unit leased by Hermann Pickle Farm burnt to the ground on April 2 along Norton Road in neighboring Nelson Township.

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.

garrettsville-facet-salon-and-day-spa-raises-funds-garrettsvillestrong-rebuild-fundraiser

 

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.

main-street-grille-and-brewing-company-garrettsville-garrettsvillestrong-pilsner-beer-fundraiser

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.  

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.