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The Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary Club welcomed several guests at the July 21 meeting at Cal’s II—Erin Koon and Jessica McKnight from Huntington Bank, sitting in for Tanay Hill, Evelyn West, local delegate to RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Award) and  her mother, Sandy West.  The club also welcomed the return of Kim Kohli after an inactive period.

Items of business included dues invoices, discovery of  stored materials long thought to have disappeared, a reminder that   the by-laws should be reviewed, the upcoming “Rotary Night” with the Cleveland Indians on August 1—special ticket prices, activities for the whole family and fireworks(See a Rotarian to get in on the fun), annual Steak Fry on August 11 at 6:30, recently ordered, redesigned flags and pens for Exchange Student Rachel Schwan to take with her to Thailand, a Mrs. Santa suit may be available for the traditional Rotary Santa gift delivery (It’s never too early to be thinking about these things.  There’s no costume shop at the North Pole), Tom Collins has met with Steve Zabor of the Mantua-Shalersville Rotary Club, past District 6630 Governor, to discuss a possible co-operative project dealing with the Headwaters Bike and Hike Trail and application for a Rotary grant—more discussion planned—deadline approaching, possibility exists for incorporating Eagle Scout projects into the overall picture.  Jim Irwin brought in some historical documents, old Garrettsville Journals among them, for perusal and enlightenment.

Evelyn West described her experience at RYLA as a “fantastic experience.”  This included interacting with over forty other award-winners from all over District 6630 in both co-operative and competitive experiences, an “eye-opener “  of a mixer to start getting acquainted and plenty of fun.  Some of the activities were, basically, unstructured challenges to creativity and organizational skills, like the talent show which turned into a sort of wing-nut TV format.  Others hinged on a craziness car-wash enterprise called “Swooosh”. And “Fish” was about making work fun, entertainment as a motivating force , and “make your own” attitude to make your day…or anyone else’s day.  One of the speakers who made a very positive impression was Bob Dean, the Hiram College women’s soccer team coach.  Evelyn will, no doubt, be putting to use the many skills and insights she has acquired to make her senior year a great success.

Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary meets at noon on Mondays at Cal’s II in Sky Plaza.  You’re invited .

 

Nelson Twp. – Officials present at the July 16, 2014 trustee meeting were fiscal officer J. David Finney and township trustees Joe Leonard, Mike Elias, and Tom Matota. Also present were, Roads Supervisor Chuck Vanek, Zoning Inspector Anna Mae VanDerHoeven, and Community House Caretaker James Cmunt.

Elias made a motion to accept the minutes from the previous  meeting as presented; the motion was seconded by Matota, and all approved.

Finney presented the trustees with bills and wages to be paid totaling $14,557.73. A motion to pay the bills and wages was made by Elias and seconded by Leonard. The motion carried unanimously.

Vanek reported that the tractor is done; the dealer will be running it for approximately two hours on July 17th to ensure nothing breaks on it. Vanek also informed the trustees that the waterline on the old tractor, that is slated to be auctioned off, started leaking on July 14th. Repairs will be made in-house prior to the auction. It was also mentioned that the playground area at Pixley Park has been seeded and mulched.

Elias reported that Vanek had brought the booth for the county fair down, but there is some work that needs to be done on it. As of now, Elias does not feel that he would put it up. Elias plans to spruce it up, and update pictures and content.  Elias also relayed information he learned while attending the Solid Waste Management District meeting. A plan for the district has not been finalized, but it remains pretty similar to the old plan. In the new plan communities could participate in a consortium, allowing them to participate in curbside pickup for both trash and recyclables. In regards to the Nelson racetrack, Elias has spoken with the County Health Department; which has filed suit agains the racetrack, calling the tires and other debris refuse. As of last year, the owners of the racetrack were looking at a fine of $100/day per day they were in violation of regulations.

Leonard informed everyone that the Salt Barn is slated to be finished by the 28th; and on an unrelated note mentioned that he would like to come up with some simple rules for Pixley Park. Over the last few months Leonard has noticed that pet owners are not cleaning up droppings from their dogs‚ leaving feces scattered throughout the grassy areas near the ball field and playground. He would like to propose a no pet policy for the park.  More research will need to be done on establishing policies for the park, and he will be working with Finney to find some examples that could be built upon.

Finney provided the trustees with suggested supplemental appropriations to the Township budget that will free up $85,000 for use on the chip & seal project. By dropping part 5 from the project, only $84,576.20 would be needed for chip & seal work on Township roads. Matota made a motion to change the appropriations as listed, Elias seconded. The trustees also voted to award  Hughes Contracting the contract for parts 1 through 4.

Nelson Trustees meet on the first and third Wednesdays of the month at 7 p.m. in the Community House.  Meetings are open to the public and residents are encouraged to attend.

 

gmen-garfield-localGarrettsville – One more meeting of the Campus of Excellence Oversight Committee on August 21 (D-Day plus one), the day AFTER the Garfield Elementary School Addition and Campus Enhancement project is scheduled for completion.

The roof is on.  The windows are nearly all in.  The door frames are ready for installation.  Despite the vicissitudes encountered in any construction project with this kind of timeline and this kind of retrofitting involved, the light is on at the end of the tunnel. It’s coming down to the wire and all systems are GO!

Savings were realized in the bidding process and have been re-invested in upgrades throughout the James A. Garfield campus, for all buildings.  This includes more efficient windows, security upgrades (also utilizing funds raised initially by Dee Synnestvedt for parking lot security cameras), digital signage for the high school and elementary school campus—5’x8’, wireless, , kitchen  improvements, carpeting in the new elementary band room, furniture upgrades…the whole shootin’ match…looking good.

So when would you like to hold the official ribbon-cutting ceremony?  In September some time?  Before a home football game?  On my birthday?  Whatever your suggestion, get it to a committee member or to the district office ASAP and, in any case, plan to mark your calendar and be there because heaven only knows how many dignitaries will arrive to see this amazing accomplishment marked by the community and all of the folks who made it possible.

And don’t forget that your YMCA is also reaching out to the community for input concerning the types of programs you would like to see offered out of the Park Avenue building.  They will soon begin having one-day-a-week open hours for registration leading to participation in fall programs.  Ditto for the PCESC which will be operating a pre-school program out of that building.  The YMCA contact person is Chris Scheuer; his number is 914-443-0043 and he’d like to hear about your interest in programs for all ages, K through Old-Enough-to-Know-Better.  Let him know what you’re interested in.

We’re ALL interested in this.

One to go!

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

Saturday morning was rainy and dreary. The rain caused the cancellation of the ever-popular garden tractor pulls, which disappointed many fair-goers.  All day long folks were tent hopping trying to keep dry. Many day-time fair-goers enjoyed watching the bands and the dancers from the 8th Count Dance Center.

The highlight of Saturday was the semi/tractor pulls.  The rain did not prevent the featured event of the night from happening. Late day, the crowds began forming, looking to secure a prime seat for the semi/tractor pulls. Before too long, the stands were full and the pulls were ready to begin.

Those not into the pulls  could watch Ox Idol or listen to live music on the main stage. Now, it would not be a festival without politicians, food vendors, and, of course, rides, There were plenty to choose from, giving fair-goers their festival fix. There also was a casino, instant bingo and a beer garden to keep folks occupied.

There was plenty for the kids to do as well. They had the usual rides, plus they had activities in Oxland for the kids. On Saturday they held kiddie tractor pulls, which attracted many youngsters. Saturday and Sunday afternoon they had balloon artist, Jason Adkins on hand to entertain the kids with his many balloon characters.

The events slated for Sunday were a frog jumping contest, the four wheel drive pulls, live music by Tyrone’s Blues Sensation (T.B.S.) and the main raffle drawing. The main raffle was $5000 for first place and a $500 Kalahari resort gift card for second place.

The Ox Roast was started 51 years ago and was originally created to be a fundraiser for the parish school. Since the closing of the school, the parish uses the proceeds from the event to supports its many ministries.

The success of the event lies in the cooking of the meat. They trim, season and cook 3,500 pounds of sirloin for the event in brick-lined pits. It takes days to reach the proper temperature so the sirloins roast to perfection. Once the meat is roasted and cooled, they slice it and get it ready to serve in their dinners, sandwiches and sundaes.

 

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Mantua – At the July meeting of the Crestwood School Board, the Board approved a contract with Virtual Community School (VCS), an online school based in Ohio. Through enrollment in the special program, families who choose online schooling for their students would be supplied with a computer, printer and online instruction aligned with State and common core standards through VCS. VCS would monitor and report students progress back to Crestwood, ensuring that the students meet the appropriate academic requirements.

The agreement is valid for the 2014-2015 academic school year, and will offer online and homeschool students within the Crestwood School District to continue with online instruction while becoming a Crestwood District student. As such, the student would be eligible to participate in the District’s extracurricular activities, and the District would retain some of the per-student instruction funds from State and Federal sources. According to Superintendent David Toth, the ultimate goal, at some point in the future, would be to provide such a program using Crestwood teachers as instructors, an initiative that is part of the current strategic plan.

In other news, the Board approved contracts for the 2014 – 2015 school year with Advanced Rehabilitation, Portage Physical Therapists, and the Stark/Portage Area Computer Consortium (SPARCC) for Internet services. In addition, the Board authorized the Superintendent to implement a Continuous Improvement Plan, based on a summary of findings from this Spring’s Strategic Planning Sessions for the District.

Later, Superintendent Toth and the School Board congratulated Mr. Arden Sommers on his resignation/return to retirement, thanking him for his years of service to the District. Mr. Sommers acknowledged, “It’s been a privilege.” Filling Mr. Sommers position as Principal of Crestwood High School will be Dave McMahon, former Assistant Principal at the High School.

Lastly, the Board set a date for a public hearing on Monday, August 4th at 6:45 pm, to rehire a number of Crestwood retirees. This meeting will be held in the High School Library. The regularly scheduled Board meeting will start immediately following, at 7 pm.

 

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Looking to embrace the beauty of the outdoors? Portage Parks offers a variety of educational activities, outdoor adventures, and numerous other events throughout each season. Listed below are several upcoming hikes and programs designed for you to get outdoors and explore.

 

Guided Nature Hikes and Educational Programs

Aug. 3 – Afternoon Stroll 2 pm -3 pm

In conjunction with the Lions Club Sweet Corn Festival at Beckwith Orchards, join the Portage Park Staff on a leisurely stroll down the Hike and Bike Trail beginning at Lake Rockwell Rd. and sauntering to Breakneck Creek. See what wildflowers might be in bloom; listen to what birds might be singing in the area, discuss the importance of Breakneck watershed and talk about how the area looked 100 years ago. Distance 2 miles

 

Aug. 10 – Night Hike Dix Park  8 pm -10 pm

Come join the Portage park staff on a journey through Dix Park using only your ears! Is that a Grey Tree Frog? What is the difference between a Katydid and a cricket sound? We will see if there are any owls in the neighborhood. We will also discuss bats and their importance in the ecosystem. If we are lucky we might see an opossum or raccoon! Distance 2 miles

 

Aug. 19 – What’s in and around Seneca Ponds 1 pm – 3 pm

Come join the Portage Park staff in walking around Seneca ponds. Learn the difference between Dragonflies and Damselflies and why they are important. What is the difference between a snapping, painted, and box turtle? What frogs might live in the pond? What snakes might be in the area? Who knows maybe we will be able to see, hold, and get an up close look at some of the inhabitants of the pond. Distance 1 mile

 

Wild Challenge Hike Schedule

Aug. 10 Dix Park Night Hike -8:00 pm

Aug. 17 Seneca Ponds 2:00pm

Aug. 24 Berlin Lake Trail – 2:00 pm

Sept. 14 Morgan Preserve 2:00 pm

Sept. 24 Chagrin Headwaters Preserve 2:00 pm

Oct. 5- Headwaters Trail Rt 700- 2:00 pm

Oct. 26 Headwaters Trail Buchert park 2:00 pm

Nov. 9- Franklin Bog Preserve 2:00 pm

 

Stay tuned for more upcoming hikes and programs

 

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W.A.R.A. met on Tuesday July 15th at the United Methodist Church on North Park Avenue, at 7:30 pm. Two new ham operators were introduced and taken into the club. KD8YYP Jason Rister, and Rose Carver as an Associate member.

The Annual Ham Fest will be held Sunday,  August 17th at the Trumbull County Fairgrounds, 899 Everett Hull Rd. Cortland, Ohio 44410. Gate A for vendors, Gate B for public. It will run from 8 am until 2pm. Vendors are welcome, please contact Jacqueline Williams N8JMW at 440.636.2806, if you want to rent a table.  Frequency check-ins will be on 146.970 with a pl tone of 100.0.

VE Testing will begin at 10am, with a testing prize. The Hamfest is dedicated to all of our silent keys from the past few years.

Be sure to check in for a chance at our mobile check in prize!

Information can be had by website: www.w8vtd.org.

Our Garfield Junior High soccer team will be co-ed and be comprised of grades 6 thru 8; open to all communities.  We will be playing other Jr. High teams in Geauga County and the surrounding area so travel is mandatory, skill level is higher than recreation and games will most likely be played on the weekends.  Although we are not considered part of the school district, we will be playing other district school teams and recreation programs.  Expect the fee to play to be about $50.00 per player and team sponsors are welcome.  This is the first step in Garfield establishing a Jr. High soccer program.  Our first practice will be August 7 at Brosius Rd. Field from 6 to 8 PM.  Please contact Bob Finney for more information and any ideas you may have to help grow our program at matrixprints@yahoo.com , txt or FB me.

great-lakes-medieval-faireGeneva – Rain or shine, step back in tyme and the enchanted shire shall be thine!

Would you like to roam through a mystical woodland inhabited by fantastical faeries, intriguing imps and beautiful butterflies? Spend a day winding your way through a medieval maze of merriment around every turn? Come to the grand gates of Avaloch and allow the lands beyond to captivate you as gallant knights and lovely maidens await you.

For us 21st century folk, the door to the magical 13th century is located just off Rt. 534 in Geneva in the form of the Great Lakes Medieval Faire and, though it’s not quite like walking through that famous wardrobe or a certain blue telephone booth, it will instantly transport visitors to another place and another time quite effectively! Each weekend (Saturday and Sunday) from now until August 17th, you are cordially invited to promenade with the Royal Court, wander through the wooded forests and exchange pleasantries with paupers and princes alike. For an extra layer of excitement, each weekend venture presents its own unique theme, encouraging guests to envelop themselves in a different persona with every experience. During opening weekend of July 12th-13th, capes and super powers were a-plenty in honor of any Super Heroes, Super Villains, & Super Pets (even those in disguise!). There was a plethora of goggle-donning “doctors” in the house for July 19th-20th which was the Tyme Travel, Alter Ego, Steam Punk, Comic-Con Blast. Next weekend, July 26th-27th, needs only one word: pirates!! Trade your goggles in for an eye patch and stay out of the way (or join in the ruckus!) as the plundering invade Avaloch. Plaid is the word for August 2nd–3rd’s Celtic Celebration or if you prefer the elegance of a toga you’ll have your chance to party at August 9th–10th’s Togas, Tiaras, Masquerade & Dreams weekend. Wrapping up the season, the battling brutes have a chance to shine as August 16 th-17th is the Barbarian, Viking, & Mongul Conquest.

To procure entry into the festivities, tickets for adults are $22 at the gate, children are $6 (or buy online and save a few dollars). Desiring a longer visit to the kingdom than just a few marks on a sundial? A season pass is available at $50, valid for the remaining eight Faire days, or come simply for one consecutive Saturday and Sunday with a weekend pass which is just a few dollars more than your original gate ticket. No matter how you arrive or on what day you choose to knock at the gates of Avaloch, plan to stand ready at 10:45am to be officially welcomed during a ceremony featuring the royal family.

Aside from the abundance of entertainment to be discovered throughout the afternoon, Avaloch is famous for the exquisite marketplace featuring crafters of all talents. Those who love all things shiny will be continually delighted at the array of offerings presented in the way of bits and baubles to carry home a small piece of the shire. Even though it rained last weekend (or maybe it was the Wenches at it again) and making one’s way through the “path of least yuck” was a challenge, it was quite worth it as it caused one to slow down and appreciate the surroundings (and the covered booths available) while encountering gorgeous glassmaking demonstrations or humorously being caught off guard by a mini catapult pummeling passersby with marshmallows. (Note: to see a real catapult, and a pair of archers with real talent, the Field of Honor is the place to be.) Mine for your own gems or choose from an assortment of pre-arranged pretties. A visitor with a keen eye should keep a lookout for a certain character of the day sponsored by the Tanner Customs jewelry stand. Be one of the first to spot her and earn a very special shiny for yourself! (For a clue before you go, find them on the modern contraption that is facebook, in advance, under the secret name of “Medieval Millinery & Embellishments.” Shhh, don’t tell anyone I said so lest I be chased by dragons for giving away kingdom intel!)

 

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Summer Stock 37 is proud to present our upcoming performances of Hairspray: The Musical.  With music by Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Scott Wittman and Shaiman and a book by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan, Hairspray is based on the 1988 John Waters film. Directors Tom Hitmar, Mackenzie Pinto and choreographer Dana Warren-Tolios lead the cast.  Songs include 1960s-style dance music and “downtown” rhythm and blues. In 1962 Baltimore, plump teenager Tracy Turnblad attempts to realize her dream of dancing on The Corny Collins Show, a local TV dance program similar to American Band Stand, and to join the movement for civil rights.

 

Hairspray performs July 18–20, and 25-27, and August 1-3, at Kent Trumbull Theatre, 4314 Mahoning Ave. N.W. in Warren, OH.  All shows are at 8:00 PM except for Sundays at 3:00 PM. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and students, and $10 for children. Call (330) 675-8887 or email trumbullboxoffice@kent.edu for information and reservations.

Garrettsville – Council met July 9, 2014 for their regularly scheduled village council meeting.  A public hearing was held prior to the start of regular business for proposed Ordinance 2014-25, the Village of Garrettsville proposed tax budget for 2015.  No residents were present and no comments were made.

Minutes from last month’s meeting were approved and council reviewed revenue, expenditure, cash balance and income tax reports.  Comments were made about expenditures exceeding revenue on the monthly report and Councilman Hadzinsky commented that historically June is a low revenue month.  Village clerk Nancy Baldwin reminded council that the biggest reason expenditure has been high the past few months is because of the curbing and sidewalk projects that have been completed.  (Baldwin went on to say after the council meeting that most projects for the village are completed in the summer months, which consequently mean higher expenditures.  However that doesn’t mean the village is operating in the red, quite the contrary.  According to Baldwin, the village finances are solid.)

Council went on to approve Ordinance 2014-25 setting the 2015 village tax budget, Ordinance 2014-27 that renews a 20 year lease with East Ohio Gas Company for a box near the police station, and Ordinance 2014-28 which has to do with employee compensation changes and to make them coincide with existing pay periods.

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

Councilwoman Anderson proposed  that council consider an annual ‘contest’ for property owners in the village for ‘most/best improved property’ as well as ‘best landscaping’.  Her suggestion included possibly asking the garden club to assist with choosing criteria and winners.  Council unanimously thought it a good idea and asked Anderson to pursue the idea.

Next the mayor informed council he had a schedule conflict for the scheduled August council meeting as asked them to consider changing the date and time.  After some discussion, it was determined that it would be difficult to get all council members to attend for the alternate meeting dates proposed and no decision was made on rescheduling.

Councilwoman Harrington brought up the survey that the Village Services Visionary Group has put together.  The plan is to have the surveys available at the post office, library and village clerk’s office sometime toward the end of July.

At the close of roundtable discussion, the mayor asked for input or comments from the audience.  Village tax clerk Valerie McCullough brought up the subject of delinquent taxpayers in the village and her frustration in getting them to pay their taxes.  She asked for suggestions in how to better deal with some of the problems she encounters.  McCullough stated that there are currently 101 people on delinquent tax repayment plans accounting for approximately $156,000 in uncollected revenue over the past five tax years.  Once the repayment plan has been agreed to, all penalties and interest are stopped and repayment is based on the principal owed.  Penalties and interest are currently not reinstated for those that have defaulted on a repayment plan.  McCullough says she plans to investigate the legality of reinstating the monetary penalties for those that default on repayment as well as the functionality of the income tax software the village uses in addressing these issues.

McCullough’s biggest frustration is with those who agree to a repayment plan (with or without court action) and then quit paying only a few payments in.   Solicitor Michelle Stuck stated she would be glad to write letters reminding the offenders of their obligation and that she would pursue legal action through the criminal court system.  Stuck also said that for those defaulting on repayment plans who have already been to court, she would take them back to court and seek a conviction.    McCullough also said that there are another 55 residents who have not filed for 2013 owing approximately $56,000.

At the end of the discussion, Council adjourned to executive session to discuss personnel issues.

If you’d like to know more of what is happening in your community attend a meeting.  The next regular Village Council meeting is currently scheduled for August 13, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. at Village Hall.

 

Garrettsville – Anyone with some spare time and a sense of humor should make a beeline for the Iva Walker Theatre this weekend for the final performances of “Little Shop of Horrors” by the thespians of the Garrettsville Curtains Up Theatre company.

The plot revolves around an alien plant that just happens to wind up in a Skid Row florist shop (Likely, eh?) being tended by a nebbish named Seymour who’s smitten with the shop’s other employee, Audrey, who’s constantly being abused by her sadistic dentist boyfriend (Are you following this?).  Turns out the plant is a ‘way more advanced version of the Venus Flytrap and doesn’t dig plant food, just blood (Any type, dentist, shop owner,  girl friend, whatever). Customers are impressed by the exotic greenery. Chiffon, Crystal and Ronnette are the doo-woppy Greek chorus   that helps the story line along and wind up being about the only ones on the stage that don’t become a main course for the hungry plant.

Good cast, fun music—especially if you’re old enough to catch the pop culture references—a very menacing plant voice and a pleasant way to spend an evening.

 

The Geauga County Retired Teachers’ Association will hold their annual picnic on Tuesday August 5th at Swine Creek Park in Middlefield at the Lake Side Shelter. Swine Creek Park is located at 15900 Hayes Rd. which turns off of Rte 87 east of Middlefield. (Please refer to a map which is posted on our website: gerta.net.) Attendees may gather at 11:15 with a business meeting beginning at 11:30 followed by picnic lunch at noon.

Each participant is asked to bring their own table service and a dish to pass. Pulled pork sandwiches will be supplied by Nancy Speck, and drinks will also be provided. After the meal, the Grant in Aid recipients will be introduced and presented with their awards.

Please RSVP to Nancy Speck at 440-286-3864. Guests are encouraged to bring a newly retired teacher, school personnel, or another guest who may need a ride. The association will be accepting donations of flour or kidney beans for The Geauga County Hunger Task Force, as well as SCHOOL SUPPLIES FOR GEAUGA STUDENTS.

If transportation is needed to the picnic, please contact Geauga Transit at 440-285-2222 or 440-564-7131 ext. 5160 a week before the scheduled event to make your reservation.

 

Garrettsville - The Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary Club meeting on July 14, 2014 at Cal’s II began with the “Passing of the Pig”  to celebrate significant events of the preceding week; these included : a son’s attainment of The Order of the Arrow in Boy Scouts, marvelous mileage in a new car, the good life and a guest in attendance, a mortgage fulfilled, a baby brother’s birthday, a return from a successful family vacation, progress on the new school construction, the passing and appreciation of a beloved mother-in-law, a graduation/family reunion.  The “Days of Our Lives”.

Guest Steve Jenkins, with the Funeral Directors’ Life Insurance Company spoke briefly about    the topic he knows a lot about, pre-need planning for end-of-life situations.  With the actuarial disruptions caused by lengthening life spans, too many people are likely to misjudge their needs in terms of long-term care and funeral expenses.  The MedicAid  spend-down required is not well understood and unforeseen consequences can throw a monkey wrench into even  seemingly well-planned situations.  The issue of closure for the bereaved often takes a backseat to money when planning is done but it does not necessarily go away.  The FDLIC encourages pre-planning to mitigate the disruptions which can come about through lack of understanding between   family members.

Steve Zabor, of the Mantua-Shalersville Rotary Club, representing the District6630 grants committee, issued an invitation to a meeting—August 6 at Jake’s– being organized by Edie Benner for consideration of a possible joint project among the G-H and M-S and Aurora clubs focusing on the Headwaters Trail, its community and economic  potential.  He also brought a heads-up about “Rotary Days”, a point of interest for Rotary International and President Gary Huang, inviting communities across the globe to participate in activities, especially outdoor activities, with Rotarians to foster appreciation of the great outdoors, physical pursuits and   good neighbors.

Rachel Schwan is anticipating a 6-hour flight to Thailand, beginning on August 6 (Guess she’ll miss the meeting).  She can brush up on her language skills, learning Thai.

The Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary Club will be sponsoring a hole at the G-Men Football Golf Outing coming soon AND contributing to a fabulous New York learning experience for the Candance Academy, involving master classes, a lesson with the Rockettes and the new version of “Cinderella” on Broadway.  Supporting the community is what it’s all about.  Light Up Rotary!

 

Windham - The WVFD Joint Fire District Board met for their regularly scheduled meeting on July 11, 2014 with members Dann Timmons, Debbie Blewitt and Ron Kilgore, along with Fiscal Officer Jayme Neikirk in attendance. Two members were unavailable for the meeting.

The board approved the minutes, June bank reconciliation and expenditures before moving on to approve 2015 budget.  The board also approved the county certificate for placing a renewal 4 mill levy on the ballot in November.

In the chief’s report, Mike Iwanyckyj reported that they were awarded a grant for nearly $53,000, which has to be used for training.  Timmons suggested they develop another plan for purchasing new trucks, as it appears that grant money for large equipment seems to be drying up. The board will discuss this over the next few months and develop a plan of action for large equipment purchases. Chief Iwanyckyj said he will apply for the large equipment grant again in the fall. He said his sources say that they have a good chance to receive one. Iwanyckyj also reported that that truck 2815 had the shifter cable replaced and some electrical work done, truck 2818 had bad valve replaced and brakes done and the rescue unit had a windshield replaced due to  stone damage. He also reported that truck 2817 will need tires before winter.  The department is in need of new fire hoses and the chief will get estimates for that.

The board approved the chief’s recommendation of Jacob Bowden, and Tracey Rowe as EMT /fire fighter and Chad Mosier as firefighter.  Welcome to the WVFD!

Lastly, Iwanyckyj reported that they had eight calls on  July 11, 2014 and, as of July 11th, 398 calls year-to-date.

Residents asked about dispatching costs and it is estimated that with the current call volume they are on pace exceed last years call volume at an expense of about $25,000 for 2014.

The next fire board meeting is scheduled for August 14, 2014 at 7pm.

 

Friday, July 25, is a preview and set-up day with reduced admission. Show hours are 10 a.m.  – 5 p.m.each day. Admission is $2 Friday and $6 Saturday and Sunday. For more information please contact (440) 669-2578, (330) 544-4438, or www.historicalengine.org. This event is held in cooperation with the Geauga County Historical Society.

Friday, July 25, is a preview and set-up day with reduced admission. Show hours are 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.each day. Admission is $2 Friday and $6 Saturday and Sunday. For more information please contact (440) 669-2578, (330) 544-4438, or www.historicalengine.org. This event is held in cooperation with the Geauga County Historical Society.

Burton – The Historical Engine Society will be holding their 44th Annual Antique Power and Steam Exhibition July 25, 26, 27, 2014, at the Geauga County Historical Society’s Century Village Museum in Burton, Ohio. On display will be demonstrations of various types of antique machinery, such as steam engines, stationary and portable gas engines, tractors, excavating and construction equipment, grain threshing, sawmilling, cars and trucks, and blacksmithing. There will also be a parade of machinery through downtown Burton on Saturday and Sunday morning, children’s rides on Murphy’s Railroad, and open house tours of Century Village’s restored homes and shops.

Friday, July 25, is a preview and set-up day with reduced admission. Show hours are 10 a.m.  – 5 p.m.each day. Admission is $2 Friday and $6 Saturday and Sunday. For more information please contact (440) 669-2578, (330) 544-4438, or www.historicalengine.org. This event is held in cooperation with the Geauga County Historical Society.

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Hiram – Sixty Garrettsville Strong shirts recently made quite a splash in Tampa, Florida, when descendants of Frances Pike wore them as the official shirt of their family reunion there.   For forty-two years, Frances Pike was a respected teacher in Nelson and Middlefield.  When she died in 1997 at 91, her loving family decided to honor her memory by gathering  as a family every other year.  Thus the Pike Family Reunion was established.

The first location was Innisbrook Resort in Tampa, Florida, where the family recently met again for this year’s reunion.  Other locations were Gettysburg and Northeast Portage County, where  younger family members could visit sites important in the lives of their grandparents, aunts and uncles, Orlando and Disney World , Sanibel and Lakeland, Florida, as well as Stone Mountain, Georgia.

While in Georgia, a senior family member, Don Pike, now of Lakeland, had the honor of throwing out the first pitch for an Atlanta Braves baseball game, a treat arranged by his son, Greg Pike, now a producer with ESPN in Connecticut.

In addition to Don Pike, longtime owner-operator of Pike’s Turkey Farm on Route 88 in Nelson, the elder family members include Ken Pike, a financial advisor, who for the past 28 years has maintained an office in Hiram, where he and wife Damaris Peters Pike reside, and Kay Pike Easton, a tireless and honored contributor to worthy causes in Huntsville, Alabama, where she and husband Earl Eastin enjoy their three children and eight grandchildren living nearby.

The Pike family is deeply rooted in this area.  Don, Ken, and Kay grew up here and graduated from Middlefield High School.  Don’s wife, Ann Stroup Pike, graduated from Hiram College and—along with children David, Connie, and Greg Pike—Garfield High School.

Family members found the recent reunion to be such a treat that many urged that it become an annual event.  Certainly all will wear their Garrettsville Strong shirts when they return home to Cincinnati, Mansfield, North Olmstead, and Hiram in Ohio; Lakeland, Naples, and Palm Harbor in Florida;  West Hartford, Connecticut;  and Huntsville, Alabama.  Yes, Garrettsville Strong is strongly affirmed by the Pike Family!

 

Firefighters Jeff Barker and Chris Mullins, with a panoramic view of the new MSFD tanker truck.

Firefighters Jeff Barker and Chris Mullins, with a panoramic view of the new MSFD tanker truck.

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

The new tanker truck holds an impressive 4,000 gallons of water — 500 gallons more than its predecessor. In addition, the truck also features ground ladders and will also allow firefighters to draft water from nearby pools, ponds, or other bodies of water, while continuing to pump. The flat roof of the truck allows for a hose bed, something not possible with the 1988 MAC it replaced. This increase in capacity directly contributed to the improved ISO rating. The new tanker has been in service for several weeks, but firefighters Chris Mullins and Jeff Barker worked together for months to specify the particular features and capabilities the MSFD would need.

In addition, the department has just received a new, improved rescue squad, giving them better, more efficient tools to serve the community. To that end, they have planned to provide vehicles and crew at both the MSFD and at a temporary home at F & S Automotive during the planned demolition and construction project of the bridge on State Route 44. The project is slated to begin in mid-July, and will be completed in October.

These expenditures were made possible, in part, by the tax levy that was renewed in May by Mantua and Shalersville residents the department serves.

 

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Geauga County – Geauga County Public Library is expanding its genealogical research resources with the addition of the World Vital Records database. As of July 1, GCPL patrons have access to more than 4.2 billion names in family history record collections worldwide. Created in 2006, World Vital Records offers easy-to-navigate collections of yearbooks, maps, certificates, immigration and military records, census and voter lists and digitized book collections. Patrons with valid library cards may access this content from a home computer with an Internet connection or from any GCPL location. “World Vital Records nicely complements our existing genealogy tools,” says Staff Genealogist Cheryl McClellan. “This collection allows patrons to access U.S. Census records from 1790 to 1940 for the first time at no charge from the comfort of their own homes.”

 

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

In order to qualify for bowling, an athlete must have an established average by either bowling on Portage County Developmental Disabilities Bowling Teams or on regular league at a bowling facility. Miss Brown was able to establish her average by bowling in the King and Queens League at Skylanes Bowling Alley in Garrettsville.

Using her established 105 average, Polly was named one of the top four bowlers in Area 10 and was selected to compete in Columbus in the Special Olympics. Area 10 covers Summit, Medina, Portage and Stark Counties.

On Friday, June 27th the athletes boarded buses and headed south to the Ohio State University where they would reside for the weekend. After their arrival in Columbus, the athletes, got settled, they visited all the vendors in “tent town” and got prepared for Opening Ceremonies held at Jesse Owens Stadium. Opening Ceremonies at the Special Olympics includes the parade of regions just like the parade of nations at the Olympics.

The bowling competition began early Saturday morning at Saw Mill Lanes in Columbus. Each bowler was required to bowl two games. The total pins of both games were the athletes score. The bowler with the highest score would win the gold. Polly Brown missed the gold by two pins but was very happy to win silver.

Polly is the daughter of Paul and Wendi Brown of Windham, Ohio.

 

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Windham Twp. – Windham Township Trustees met for their regularly schedule meeting with all the trustees and fiscal officer in attendance. The meeting was called to order and the trustees approved the expenditures, and minutes from the June meeting.

Road Supervisor Brian Miller reported that Mr. Isler removed the electric poles on the green and thanked him for helping with the issues on Bryant Road. Miller met with the county engineer and received an estimated cost for the chipping and sealing of Colton Road. The township will take bids on the project. The road supervisor and road crew checked out a complaint on Wadsworth Road but did not find any issues on the road. A discussion was held about alleviating a drainage issue on Gotham Road. The trustees will work out a solution for the problem.  Miller reported that the road crew has mowed back weeds twice to give drivers better visibility at the ends of township roads.

A discussion was held on whether to vacate the unmaintained portion of Shanks-Downes Road that is shared with Nelson, Southington and Braceville Townships. Each entity will need to agree to vacate their portion of the road before it can be declared vacated. The portion of road they want to vacate has been closed for years. Once they vacate the road, the right-of-way will return to the property owners as if the road never existed. Dann Timmons said he has talked with the Windham residents who live in the area and they are ok with the trustees vacating the road.  Township legal counsel, Chris Meduri has drawn up a sample resolution for the township to use to vacate the road after they resolve the discrepancy on the official road name and number.

Timmons reported that Mr. Soinski has the cul-de-sac on Frazier Road all laid out, engineered and is ready for blacktop.   The trustees still have not seen the engineered plans for the planned cul-de-sac that they were promised. This brought up a discussion on a guard rail or some kind of barrier to show residents the road is closed and is now private property. No decision was made on a barrier. Timmons also reported that he hasn’t received any reply from the village about the maintenance issues on Horn Road. Horn Road is maintained by the village even though township residents live on the road.

Zoning Inspector Joe Pinti reported that there were no new permits written in the month of June. He also reported that he was keeping a close eye on the Horner property.   Trustee Rich Gano reported that he is searching for government grant money to demolish the old church on Silica Sand. The Community Block Grant money is not available any longer. A discussion was held on  the demolition of the church on Silica Sand without a grant but the trustees were afraid of what the costs would be and decided to do more inquiring on government funds for the project.

The trustees have received complaints about several abandoned, unsafe residential properties that might qualify for the Move Ohio Forward Program (MOFP). Pinti will check on them.

In cemetery news, Gano reported that they had leveled and filled in the low section and are currently working to get drainage issues resolved before paving the one road.

The floor was opened up to residents. One resident handed the trustees a petition signed by their neighbors protesting the “no parking” signs in the heights area that were recently erected. The trustees accepted  the petition and would take the it under advisement. Another resident questioned why the trustees were not doing anything about the village’s alleged breach of contract over the failure to provide dispatching for the fire district. Timmons responded that  the trustees forwarded Mark Finemore’s opinion over   the alleged breach of contract to WVFD Joint Fire District Board. Due to lack of quorum, the fire district has not been able to address the issue.

Another resident questioned what the trustees could do to help handle a situation on their street with a neighbor who has mental health issues. The resident claims their neighbor is harassing them and they can’t enjoy their property. The trustees said they have no authority to deal with such issues and the resident would have to try to resolve the issue through the court system. There being no other township business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned.

The trustees meet on the first Thursday of each month at 7 pm at the town hall.

Nelson Twp – Officials present at the July 2, 2014 trustee meeting were fiscal officer J. David Finney and township trustees Joe Leonard, Mike Elias, and Tom Matota. Also present were Roads Supervisor Chuck Vanek, Zoning Inspector Anna Mae VanDerHoeven.

Elias made a motion to accept the minutes from the previous meeting as presented; the motion was seconded by Matota, and all approved.

Finney presented the trustees with bills and wages to be paid totaling $18,178.74. A motion to pay the bills and wages was made by Elias and seconded by Leonard. The motion carried unanimously.

Finney reported that he had received three bids from the advertisement of the chip & seal projects. The trustees opened the sealed bids at the meeting and briefly reviewed each. The first bid received came from Hughes Contracting Incorporated who submitted a bid totaling $109,042.60.  Of that figure, Norton Road accounted for $24,466.40. The second bid was received from H. Luli Construction Company whose bid came in at $118,449.27, of which the double chip & sealing of Norton Road comprised $26,739.80. The final bid was received from Ronyak Paving Incorporated and totaled 166,194.20; Norton comprised $38,559.30 of that bid. Finney recommended that the trustees hold off on making any decisions about the bids until the next meeting so that he can take a look at the numbers and see how they fall in line with the budget. In a worst-case scenario, the conversion of Norton Road from a gravel road to a chip and sealed road would be put off for another year.

Following the opening of the sealed bids for the roads, Finney walked the trustees through a comparison between the budget appropriations and the budget. Finney stated that he feels that his estimates for the year have been “pretty close” as the Township is at about the point he predicted it would be for the first half of the year. Around 57% of revenue has been received, and the Township’s expenditures are currently around $238,000 with a $280,000 unencumbered balance.

Matota asked VanDerHoeven to clarify some notes in her report for him. Matota also asked VanDerHoeven whether there have been any applications for home business permits; there have not. Elias expressed an interest in having new home construction tracked to see how quickly the Township is growing.

Vanek reported that the new mower is shipping out and should be attached to the tractor soon. He informed the trustees that Cope would charge $450 for delivery of the new tractor. Matota asked if any progress has been made on getting the current tractor into the auction. Vanek replied that Chalker’s Auction just needs a photo to be able to list it, as the rest of the information, including reserve price, is ready to go. Matota informed those present that he had met with an ODOT Rep, and that the rep spoke very highly of Vanek. Matota then asked about the playground concrete work; he is concerned that there are some sharp edges in the cement footers, and asked Vanek to have his guys break down some of the ridges before they are covered with fill & mulch.

Matota reported that he reached out to the parties involved on Shanks-Down Road. Everyone seems to be on board at this time. Meduri will be taking the lead on creating a document for all parties to sign. Trumbull & Portage counties both want to move on the vacating of Shanks-Down Road.  Matota also attended a meeting with the solid waste District and their plan for recycling. Portage County is in a situation where the Portage County Solid Waste District is going to have to invest resources and become a viable waste management system, or they will have to work with private haulers. There will be a public meeting on July 16th at 11:00 AM in the County Administration Building with the County Commissioners and representatives of the Waste District for public input. Anyone curious or concerned about the changes to the waste management program should attend. According to Matota the Solid Waste District would like to push communities to a curbside recycling program that is paid for by the residents.

Elias reported that Larry Limpert had mentioned that putting No Parking signs along Bloom Road would be beneficial to helping curb problematic activity at the Quarry Park.  Limpert brought the issue to Elias’ attention because people are parking on the road and walking over to the Quarry Park. If signage prohibiting parking was present, citations could be issued, and the issue would likely resolve itself. Matota recommend getting Meduri involved as there may be legal hoops that need to be jumped through. Possibly a resolution to prohibit parking. On the subject of the abandoned house, unkempt property, and scrapped car on Nelson Circle,  Meduri recommended that the Township send a letter. Elias will work with Finney to draft a letter for the trustees to sign.  Elias also brought a concern about mosquitos at the Nelson Racetrack to the attention of the other trustees. Elias will notify the Health Department who will then notify the current property owner.

Leonard reported that the salt barn is running behind schedule due to the wet weather, and Finney mentioned that Vanek had suggested sealing the concrete before filling the barn with salt. Vanek has also put together a rough estimate for the materials necessary to install the drains and floor of the building. Leonard informed the other trustees that the trees for Pixley Park will still be received, however this year’s excessively wet weather has delayed their transport until autumn.  Leonard also reported that the Portage County Sheriff’s Department, local police forces, and the Portage County Drug Task Force would have a very heavy presence in the area through Sunday. They are working to curb the drug activity surrounding events at the Quarry Park.

Following the signing of checks to pay bills and wages the meeting was adjourned.

Nelson Trustees meet on the first and third Wednesdays of the month at 7 p.m. in the Community House.  Meetings are open to the public and residents are encourage to attend.

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

To register call the APL at 330.296.4022. Cost is $100 per golfer or $35 for dinner only.

The Portage APL is a private, nonprofit organization and relies on the generosity and kindness of individuals and businesses to make our community a safer place for thousands of animals, who have no voice.  We continue to rescue animals every day and the need is constant.

To register or for more information, please call the Portage APL at 330.296.4022 or visit our website at www.portageapl.org

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Geauga County – The Geauga County Library Foundation is currently accepting nominations for its 2014 Chapman Award.  This yearly recognition is bestowed upon a special individual (or group of individuals) whose deeds have promoted the enjoyment and value of books and reading and whose involvement has directly benefitted the Geauga County community.

The prestigious Chapman Award, inspired and named after the late Mrs. Newton B. Chapman of Chardon, is presented at the Foundation’s annual ceremony and social event in October.  Past recipients include Norma B. Chapman (1994), Anderson A. Allyn, Sr. (1995), Barbara Inderlied (1996), Donald Cornish (1997), Jeannette “Teeter” Grosvenor (1998), Patricia Caunter-Billington (1999), Isabelle Gardner (2000), Elizabeth “Lee” Fisher (2001), Amy Kenneley (2002), Beverley Buettner (2003), Hope Merryfield (2004), Larry Dolan (2005), Anne Prusha (2006), Paul Newman (2007), Betty Wallis (2008), Regina “Sunny” Doxey (2009), Nancy Speck (2010), Mona J. Trybus (2011), Judy Carruthers (2012), Ann Lyman (2012), Mary Jean Moreno (2012), Pat Weyandt (2012) and Mary Ann Moczulski (2013).

The deadline for submissions is Monday, July 14, 2014.  Nomination forms are available at all Geauga County Public library branches including Bainbridge, Chardon, Geauga West and Middlefield Libraries, Newbury and Thompson Stations, the Bookmobile, and at the Geauga County Public Library Administrative Center 12701 Ravenwood Dr., Chardon. More than one nomination form may be submitted per person.

For more information, contact the Geauga County Public Library Administrative Center at (440) 286-6811.

The Geauga County Library Foundation is a non-profit organization that supports the Geauga County Public Library.

 

Mantua – Plan to attend the largest, three-day fair in Northern Portage County where you’ll enjoy delicious food and find family fun for all ages. St. Joseph’s Ox Roast Fair in Mantua begins on Friday, July 18th, at 6:00 to 11:30 p.m., Saturday, July 19th, from 1:00 to 11:30 p.m., and Sunday, July 20th, from Noon to 10:00 p.m.

The 51st Ox Roast Fair has plenty of fun to keep the whole family entertained, including: a wide variety of fair food favorites; live entertainment; Friday night fireworks; Saturday morning 5K Run/Walk & 1M Fun Walk; air-conditioned dining hall; an assortment of rides, games, contests & giveaways; over $7,000 in main raffle prizes & hourly progressive drawings each day plus several specialty raffles, souvenir T-shirts & hats; tractor, truck & semi pulls; trade booths; Ox Idol Karaoke Contest; indoor casino with instant bingo; security; handicap accessibility; clean grounds and much, much more!

The Parish Community of St. Joseph’s at 11045 St. Joseph Blvd. is located in Mantua Twp. off Pioneer Trail approximately 1/4 mi. west of St. Rt. 44, south of St. Rt. 82, just north of Mantua Village (accessible from U.S. Rt. 422 just 7 miles north or Ohio Turnpike Exit 193 just 2 miles south). You won’t want to miss St. Joseph’s Ox Roast Fair ~ Not Your Typical Church Festival! For more information, please check out St. Joseph’s website www.stjosephmantua.com/stjosephox.html, find us on Facebook (St. Joseph’s Ox Roast Fair), or phone the parish office at 330-274-2253.

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In late August, you’ll have much more to celebrate than simply sending your children back to school. Portage County Celebration Week, which will be held from August 24th through the 30th, is a week of festivities to share the exciting people, communities and organizations who help stitch together the fabric of Portage County.  The first event of its kind in the County, Celebrate Portage Week will include an “Oscar”-style celebration dinner, a volunteer day, Premier of Bands, car show and KSU football home opener, concluding with a multimedia and fireworks display.

So why hold a party for the ENTIRE COUNTY? According to Regional Planning Director Todd Peetz, “Portage County Celebration Week is an awesome opportunity for residents to share and celebrate the great things happening throughout our county.”  The festivities will kick off on Wednesday, August 20th with a High School Band show. The Premier of Bands will be held at 7 pm at the Theodore Roosevelt High School Stadium in Kent. Performing bands include Kent Roosevelt, Ravenna Ravens Marching Band, Stow-Munroe Falls Bulldog Marching Band, Cuyahoga Falls Tiger Marching Band, Tallmadge Blue Devils Marching Band, and the Springfield Marching Band. For more information, contact Erin Latina at erin@brimfieldinsurance.com or Mary Jo Cline 330-677-3714.

Next up is an “Oscar”-style dinner on Sunday, August 24th that will bestow awards in several categories, including: Most Engaging High School, Best Community Service Project, Biggest Community Hero, and Best Art or Cultural Event. Nomination forms are available at visioninginportage.org. Download a nomination form today and make sure your favorites get the Oscar nod — forms are due by Friday, July 18th.

On Monday, August 25th, each community is asked to pick a local community or social service project to participate in a Community Volunteer Day. Does a local park need some sprucing up? Can a local landmark use a little love? Celebrate Portage is looking for community and nonprofit based volunteers and volunteer projects.  Here’s the perfect chance to work together with your neighbors to see what you can accomplish to enhance your community. Projects will be completed August 25, 2014 between 9 am and 4 pm.  Project organizers will need to provide all necessary material, tools, safety equipment and supervision.  For more information, contact Brian Duchon at briand@uwportage.org.

After all that hard work, come and relax at Cruise-In on Wednesday, August 27th, sponsored by the City of Ravenna. The car show, at both the A&W Drive-In and Mongoose Motorsports on SR 59 will run from 5-9 pm. Plan to stop by for root beer floats, hot rods, and an evening of family fun. Contact Terry Montz at (330)603-2299 for more information.

The festivities will wrap up at Kent State’s Dix Stadium, where the Golden Flashes will take on the Ohio University Bobcats at 6 pm. After the game, a multimedia presentation and fireworks display will close out the week of fun…and maybe get you in the back-to-school spirit.

The Portage Foundation, Visioning in Portage, and AMETEK, sponsor Portage Celebration Week. For more information, visit visioninginportage.org.

 

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Mantua - The U.S. Flag Code stipulates that when an American flag has served its useful purpose, “it should be destroyed, preferably by burning.” Recently Mantua’s American Legion Post 193 conducted a disposal ceremony of unserviceable flags at the Mantua Village Park. Such ceremonies are solemn occasions for the retirement of unserviceable flags. As such, the ceremony, which was originally scheduled for June 14th, was moved to June 21st so the ceremony wouldn’t conflict with the Soap Box Derby, which took place at the Park on Flag Day.

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Back row: Bernard Kinter, Robert MacLearie, Commander Mark C. Bray, Sargent at Arms Russell Workman, Eric Six, Roy Mayfield, Ralph Bright. Front row: Chaplain Jesse Crate, Alvin Sweet, David Pifer, raffle winner Victor Grimm, Ray Corbett.

After the brief ceremony, the winning ticket for the Legion’s fundraising raffle was drawn. Mantua Township Trustee Victor Grimm’s ticket was drawn, making him the winner of a rifle. For more information about American Legion Post 193’s activities, contact Post 193 Ladies Auxiliary Secretary, Sharon Steiner at (330) 808-0774.  If you have any flags that are no longer serviceable, take them to your local American Legion post for inclusion in their next disposal ceremony.

 

And the winners are…

Everyone who attended last weekend’s Chicken Dinner Festival went home a winner (or at least with the satisfaction of having had a delicious meal). However, there are some who went home with a little bit more. Congratulations to all the following winners:

$1,000 First PrizeBen Fashing

$200 Second PrizeJulie Twardzik

$100 Third PrizePauline Ross

$100 Fourth PrizeCharlene & Richard Cermak

$100 Fifth PrizeMandy Mayer

Side of Beef or $500 gift cardLori Podojil

Flat Screen TVBob Jagoda

Gas GrillMelanie McManus

Date NightLou Stepic

Family Night Out PackageLinda Proctor

Auto CareBill Voytko

I’m Not Cooking PackageJimmy Howell

Shopping Bonanza PackageMary Shoemaker

Wine Basket #1Ann Shock

Wine Basket #2Sherri Novak

Breakfast BasketSusan Seene

Baby BlanketSusan Seene

Lottery PotBill Busse

QuiltRon Stoner

AfghanJudy Piero

RockerGinny Della Torre

4th of July BasketGertrude Hall

Blessed Rosary Kathy Mayer

Pink Baby AfghanRita Shea

Peach ShawlHelen Simko

Yellow Hat & ScarfJoyce Knapp

Red Lap RobeHelen Simko

Blue Baby AfghanJoan Duman

 

Even if you did not win anything at the festival, we sure hope you had a great time.   If so, then we all went home winners

 

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“Little Shop of Horrors”

July 11 -13; 18 & 19

The Garrettsville Curtains up Theatre will be presenting “Little Shop of Horrors”  in the Iva Walker Auditorium located at  J.A. Garfield High School, 10235 SR 88 in Garrettsville on July 11, 12, 18, 19 at 7pm; July 13, 2014 at 2pm.  Directed by  Keith Stiver with Musical Direction by Eric Juzkiw.

Thank you to our sponsors, Ryser Insurance, Gionino’s Pizzeria, Ellerhorst – Russell Insurance and Kent State Geauga Campus

Tickets $10.00, Children under 12 and Seniors over 65 – $7.00 and Groups of 15 or more $5.00.   Tickets available at the door.

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art-on-the-hill-mantuaIf you’re an art lover looking to feast your eyes on some fabulous local art, or you’re simply looking for an unusual way to enjoy the weekend, you’re in for a treat this weekend. Starting in nearby Hudson this Friday evening, you’ll have the opportunity to meet some of Hudson’s local artists and tour their studios and galleries to see where they make their magic. Seven venues — all working studios or art galleries — will be open, offering different types of artwork for viewing and for sale at the 2nd Friday Art Hop from 5-8 pm. Works include paintings in various media and beautiful handmade jewelry. If your studio visits get those creative juices flowing, you’re in luck, since many of the artists offer instructional classes. Featured artists and galleries include: Hudson Fine Art & Framing, Chentini Gallery in the Evaporator Works, Bellabor Art Jewelry, Life Needs Art, Mary Catherine Haneline Studio, Creative Fingers and Shannon Casey Studio. In addition, the Open Door Coffee Company, next to Hudson Fine Art & Framing, will have art on display and live music until 9 p.m. A map, featuring the complete list of studio addresses, is available at lifeneedsart.com.

hudson-artAnd the fun continues on Saturday, so make plans to attend the 5th Annual Art on the Hill & Wine Tasting event in scenic Mantua Village. The event, which is hosted by the Downtown Mantua Revitalization Corporation (DMRC), will feature an impressive mix of over 70 artists and craftsmen, local food vendors, demonstrations, and children’s activities lining both sides of Prospect Street. Area businesses will be bringing special offers to customers during the event, and musical entertainment will fill the air. This day-long event will engulf Prospect Street from 10 am until 6 pm. Some 2,500 guests are expected to attend, so make sure your family is among them to enjoy this local treasure.

 

Brendan and his Grandfather Larry uncovered a fossilized horn coral along the banks of Silver Creek in Garrettsville. The fossil dates back 299-419 million years!

Brendan and his Grandfather Larry uncovered a fossilized horn coral along the banks of Silver Creek in Garrettsville. The fossil dates back 299-419 million years!

Garrettsville – Summertime for a certain 9-year-old boy is an endless string of sun-filled days spent cooling off in Silver Creek, digging for buried treasures alongside his cousin and grandpa. A typical day along the creek bed turns up ancient brachiopod fossils, historic bricks from long-gone Garrettsville streets, or even desiccated cattle bones that could be mistaken as the skeletal remains of a dinosaur.

Until one fine day, as they were creek walking near Liberty Street and the water treatment plant. It was June 26. Grandpa Larry Beatty asked, “What’s this?” Grandson Brendan picked up the blackened, 2-inch, cone-shaped relic, convinced they’d found a dinosaur tooth.

They were initially convinced they’d found a dinosaur tooth.

They were initially convinced they’d found a dinosaur tooth.

There was only one way to find out. Mom Tara Bailey contacted Dale Gnidovec, Curator Orton Geological Museum at Ohio State University, asking if he could identify the relic by a photo.

The next morning, a reply from Gnidovec was in her email box, confirming that Brendan’s treasure was indeed an ancient fossil, estimated to be 299-419 million years old! It is a fossilized horn coral; once an upside-down jellyfish/sea anemone that lived in a cone-shaped shell. These creatures first appeared in the Ordovician Period around 450 million years ago and didn’t become extinct until the big Permo-Triassic extinction event 250 million years ago, according to Gnidovec.

Gnidovec added that most of the rocks in this area were formed during the Pennsylvanian Period, 323 to 299 million years ago (MYA), but some of the streams cut down into much older rocks, including those from the Devonian Period (419-359 MYA) and the Mississippian Period (359-323 MYA), so Brendan’s fossil may be anywhere between 299 to 419 million years old.

Community outreach identification services are available for treasure-hunters curious about their finds. If it’s an artifact  — something made by humans, such as an arrowhead — contact the Ohio Historical Society (http://www.oplin.org/point/index.html).

If it’s a rock, mineral, fossil or bone, Gnidovec is the scientist to contact (614-292-6896; gnidovec.1@osu.edu). You can arrange an appointment to bring it to the Orton Museum in Columbus for identification, or send photos via mail or email. Make sure the photos are in focus, show more than one side of the object, and include something for scale (a coin, ruler, etc.)

beattys-horn-coral-fossil-garrettsvilleHorn corals, colonial corals, snails, clams and brachiopods are among the most common fossils in the local area. At the time they were alive  — 380 million years ago during the Devonian Period — Ohio was under a warm tropical sea and was situated much closer to the equator. Today, Ohio lies 40 degrees north of the equator, but during the Devonian Period, Ohio was only about 20 degrees south of the equator, about where Australia is today.

It’s hard for Brendan to imagine that Garrettsville was once covered up by a warm and tropical ocean, and that Ohio was comparable to the Bahamas. But his imagination has been fired up by this recent find, and he’s hungry to unearth a dinosaur tooth next.

As he heads into fourth grade at James A. Garfield Elementary, Brendan is armed with a prime show-and-tell treasure that’s certain to inspire his fellow classmates to put down their electronic gadgets and head outside for an old-fashioned hunting expedition along Silver Creek.

 

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

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

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

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

Essay Contest:
Winner: Abbie Maschek

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

Scavenger Hunt:
Bobbie & Shannon Gallagher

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

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

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

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

Age 8
Hannah Wojtaski
Emily Hall

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

Age 11
Brad Hill Jr.
Lorna Picoult

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

scan0132-1Garrettsville - This village was settled 210 years ago, in early July 1804, by John Garrett of Delaware. On the occasion of Garrettsville’s Centennial Celebration, the history of early Garrettsville was written by S.M. Luther and published in SOUVENIR of Garrettsville ~ Centennial Home Coming. (Interesting to note it was published three years late in 1907!) Local businessman Christopher Perme discovered a copy of this relic on eBay, and has loaned it to the Villager in order to share these little-known facts about our hometown…

1) When Garrett founded Garrettsville in 1804, it was part of 300 acres of Nelson Township he bought for a grand total of $1,313. The Garrett family was accompanied the Dyson family and two slave girls (aged 6 and 10) who earned their freedom (by law) when they turned 18.

2)Garrettsville is located in territory that was originally Trumbull County. Portage was the third county formed from it in 1808 (which was the same year Hiram Township was formed. In 1817, Hiram Township was divided into the six townships of Mantua, Freedom, Windham, Nelson, Shalersville and Hiram.)

3)  “Following their arrival, they were encamped for several weeks where the pavement of Main Street now is, and busied themselves erecting cabins. The newcomers seemed to have energies equal to the exigencies of the conditions that faced them. They were located in the midst of an undisturbed forest, with few hands to do the work, yet early in the following year they had built a dam across Silver Creek and had a saw mill in operation, soon followed by a grist mill.”

4)  Abraham Dyson was a blacksmith who “is said to have had considerable patronage by the Indians in repairing firearms. The natives and settlers at times had altercations, but in general their policy seemed to be that of tolerance up to the war of 1812, after which an Indian was rarely seen.”

5)  John Garrett died two years after arriving here at the age of 46. He was preceded in death in 1805 by an infant son Josiah, who was the first white person to be buried here. His widow, Eleanor, became known as Mother Garrett. “A cheerful welcome was extended to all newcomers and often the hospitalities of her home. Her customary address on receiving new settlers was, “I welcome you to my country.”

6) Mason Tilden settled in Hiram in 1802, at which time he located a stream he christened Silver Creek, which runs through Garrettsville.

7)  At the time Garrettsville was settled, Garrettsville’s only passageway was an Indian blazed trail, running from an encampment in Windham to Hiram Rapids, “where there was a village of about 15 huts occupied chiefly by Indians of the Wyandot tribe.” State, Main and Windham streets were established in 1827.

scan01058) A sampling of goods and farm product available in early Garrettsville demonstrate how much times have changed since 1818: : gingham cloth-$1 p/yard; coffee-50 cents p/lb.; loaf sugar-50cents; felt hat-$5; quarter of beef-$2.62; dressed hog-$2.50.

9) Discussion to incorporate the village began in 1863, when “the condition of the streets and walks in stormy weather was intolerable, and the proper method of improving conditions was much discussed.” By 1864, a charter was granted, incorporating the town of Garrettsville. “The result was a marked improvement in many lines, notably in sidewalks and roadways.” In order to alleviate long distances travelled in order for citizens to vote, it became a township as well as an incorporated village with concurrent powers in 1874. At the time, only one other village in the state was known to have a similar form of government.

scan013110) In 1889-1990, wooden sidewalks were replaced with 6+ miles of sawed flagging. City Hall was also erected in 1889, costing more than $15,000 to build. The building included council rooms, the fire department, the jail and a boiler room. The main floor included a 600-seat ‘audience hall’ with a 23×48-foot stage and dressing rooms. In 1907, “The citizens are awaiting the placing of a town clock in the tower, which has been contracted for and amply financed by loyal friends at home and abroad.” By 1964, the opera house had fallen into disrepair, was condemned and torn down. Only the clock was saved. It now ticks on in a new clock tower built to commemorate the nation’s bicentennial in 1976.  From its location near the police department, it overlooks the  the burned-out Buckeye Block.

As history demonstrates, Garrettsville has gone through seasons of hardships and periods of focused growth. Some of its historic landmarks have fallen into disrepair or have been consumed by fire. Others — like the feed mill at Main and Center — are currently undergoing a renaissance. The Buckeye Block, which once housed one third of Main Street’s business district, is “Rockin’ to Rebuild,” thanks to overwhelming community support. In the near future, this village is poised to add plenty of good news to the history books.

Shhhhhhhhh

(Trying to avoid jinxing the project.)

Photo: Denise Bly, Contributing Reporter

Photo: Denise Bly, Contributing Reporter

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

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

So far….  Looking good.

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

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

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

Shhhhhh.  It’s going to happen.

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

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

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

Photo: Benjamin Coll, Staff Reporter

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

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

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

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

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

Photo: Benjamin Coll, Staff Reporter

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

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

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

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

 

Grand Marshal for the 2014 Summerfest parade is…  Mayor Rick Patrick. Each year, the committee selects a person who has tirelessly given back to the community, by donating their time, money and energy to see the community grow and prosper. Rick Patrick is that man.

RickPatrickRick Patrick has served this community tirelessly over the years.  He has served on the James A. Garfield Athletic Boosters, the Lion’s Club, Garrettsville Summerfest and was active in making the Bicentennial Celebration a success in 2004. He also has served 28 years on the Chamber of Commerce and served as president of that organization for nine years, and five years as the vice president. He was a Garrettsville Village council member five years and served as president of council for four years. He became mayor two years ago, when Mayor Craig Moser passed away suddenly.

Patrick said stepping into the role of mayor was hard for him. He had the utmost respect for the late Moser, who was also a dear friend and carrying on without him was going to be a challenge. Patrick rose to the challenge and with the assistance of the village solicitor he soon started to get the gist of his role as mayor. The challenges did not end there.

In the summer of 2013, the village experienced its worst flooding in over 100 years. Folks looked to Patrick for leadership once again as the village began to clean-up and moved forward. He was getting comfortable in the role of mayor when tragedy struck once again on March 22, 2014, when an entire block of Main Street was destroyed by fire. Patrick said it was one of his most challenging days. He said he was so overcome with emotion about the loss he was rendered speechless as he had to come to terms with the tragedy before he could even discuss the fire with the media. Since that time, he has continued to lead the village and is determined to see the Buckeye Block rebuilt.

Although Patrick is not  native to Garrettsville, he is pretty darn close. He was born in Akron and came to the area with his family when he was in his early teens. He is a graduate of James A. Garfield Schools and had his first job at Menough’s here in town. Because of his love for cars, he left his job at Menough’s and took a job at Patry Pontiac Buick here in town. He later went on and established his own business, Rick Patrick Auto Service and Sales. He later bought Village Motors Towing.

Patrick is not just a public servant and business owner; he is also a family man. He has been married to Linnette for nearly 29 years, they have three daughters and seven grandchildren. His three daughters and 6 of his 7 grandchildren will attend Summerfest this year.

Congratulations Rick!

 

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Don’t just ride, Bike MS. Join more than 2,800 cyclists on August 2-3, 2014 as they challenge themselves during the Bike MS Pedal to the Point Ride presented by The Andersons Inc. Charitable Foundation. The two-day inspirational ride is held every year to support people living with multiple sclerosis by providing programs, services and MS research to find the cure for the chronic, unpredictable disease of the central nervous system.

The Bike MS Pedal to the Point Ride begins at Brunswick High School, 3581 Center Rd. in Brunswick, on Saturday, August 2.  There are route options of 30, 75, 100 and 150 miles so riders of any age (12 and over), experience and ability level can register to ride.  The route is fully supported with rest stops every 8 – 12 miles. Registration is $75 and riders are responsible for meeting a $300 fundraising minimum. First-time riders are encouraged to sign up and receive free registration with the coupon code NEWRIDER2014.

The goal of the Bike MS Pedal to the Point Ride is to raise $1.5 million to help people living with multiple sclerosis. Supporters include National Sponsors Primal Wear and Genzyme, a Sanofi Company, which is committed to supporting the MS community and is a proud sponsor of the “I Ride with MS” program through its MS One to One program.

Interested cyclists are also welcome to participate in the Bike MS Central Ohio Challenge on July 12, 2014. Cyclists begin their journey at New Albany High School, 7600 Fodor Rd. in New Albany.  Route options include 30, 50 and 95 miles and the ride is fully supported with rest stops along the way. Registration is $30 and riders are responsible for meeting a $150 fundraising minimum.

Cyclists and volunteers are asked to share the challenge to help create a world free of multiple sclerosis. For more information about riding or volunteering at Bike MS, please visit MSohiobike.org or call 216-503-4183.

 

 

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Newton Falls – It may only be June, a time when residents are finally out and about enjoying the warm weather or trying to find someplace cool to rest from the humid air and hot sun, but for one local organization, conversation has already begun about a different kind of heat. The Newton Falls Firefighters’ Auxiliary, who sponsors the Annual Chili Cook Off every fall, is planning for this year’s event and needs your hep! Soon to celebrate its 25th year of chili competition, the Cook Off is the most popular and well-received event that raises funds to benefit the town’s fire department, Station 43, and assists the local first-responders in obtaining vital equipment such as an inflatable boat for river emergencies that helps them help those in distress as well as advanced personal gear such as oxygen tanks and fireproof clothing to keep them safe while doing it.

ChiliPotThe festival itself features nearly two dozen contestants, who all  make their special chili recipe from scratch, right on the spot, starting at 11am the day of the event. Some are there just because they love to make chili, some come for the bragging rights, and some absolutely have one goal in mind: the $500 grand prize. But deciding which team’s chili will walk away with that prize – and the other prizes of $300 (second) and $200 (third) – is no easy task! Understandably, the organizers are in search of local residents who love chili to come cook, come eat (Chili Cups go on sale after the judging and allow you to sample any and all entries) and, most importantly, come judge! Though anyone who attends the Chili Cook Off has the option to purchase a vote and have their say in the People’s Choice award, the Auxiliary is specifically looking for seven brave community members who would be willing to taste every chili and help decide the score for the grand prizes.

To keep the final results as fair as possible, these official judges must be unaffiliated with the Newton Falls Joint Fire District and any of the teams who are entering the competition. (The unofficial requirement is that one should have a strong stomach or at least a tolerance for all manner of spicy!) Past judges have included townspeople, business owners, members from other emergency departments and even local celebrities such as radio station personalities. Once judging commences, the elite panel members are reasonably sequestered while the chili is served to them from coded containers so the only person who knows which team’s chili is in which jug is the assisting volunteer who scooped it from the pots! (And she’s not talking!)

If you’d like to participate as a judge for this year’s Chili Cook Off and help determine the winner, please contact the Newton Falls Firefighters’ Auxiliary IN WRITING at P.O. Box 472, Newton Falls, Ohio 44444. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just your name, information such as phone number and address, and a brief sentence saying why you are interested in becoming a judge.

Applications for cookers and table vendors will be open soon as well, so everyone can mark their calendars for Saturday, October 4th and join Station 43 in commemorating twenty-five years of chili celebration!

village-piecemakes-quilt-club-2014-raffle

The Village Piecemaker’s Quilt Club has created this beautiful queen size quilt (95” x 112”)  called “Village Square”.   This quilt, which is being raffled,  will be on display at the Weekly Villager office (8088 Main Street, Garrettsville) during the Garrettsville Summerfest.  Tickets for the quilt are 6 for $5 or $1 each and will be available at the Villager, the Summerfest information booth or by calling 330 527-5443 or 330 671-3720.

zimmerman-garfield-home-hiram-college

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

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

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

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

 

Garrettsville - Timing is everything.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Garrettsville Summerfest

June 28, 2014 at 10:00 p.m.

Downtown Garrettsville

 

Hiram 4th of July

July 3, 2014 at 9:30pm

Hiram College Football Field

Hiram, Ohio 44234

 

Aurora Fourth of July Fireworks

July 4, 2014 at 9:45pm

West Pioneer Trail Ball Fields

Aurora, Ohio 44202

 

Woodside Lake Park Fireworks

July 5, 2014 at 9:00pm

Woodside Lake Park

2486 Frost Road, Streetsboro, Ohio 44241

 

Kent Heritage Festival

July 5, 2014 at 10:00pm

Downtown Kent,

Mogadore Road, Kent, Ohio 44240

 

Newton Falls Fireworks

July 4, 2014 at 10:00pm

City Park, 52 East Quarry Street

Newton Falls, Ohio 44444

 

Packard Music Hall Fireworks

July 4, 2014 at Dusk

Packard Music Hall

1703 Mahoning Ave NW,  Warren, Ohio 44483

 

Portage Lakes Fireworks

July 5, 2014; 10pm *Rain Date July 6

Portage Lakes Ohio

 

Burton Community Fireworks

July 4, 2014 at Dusk

Geauga County Fairgrounds

14373 N Cheshire St., Burton, Ohio 44021

 

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

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

Photo: Stacy Turner, Contributing Reporter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Garrettsville -  Council met June 11, 2014 for their regularly scheduled village council meeting.  The addenda and the meeting were both brief.

After approving the minutes from last months meeting council reviewed revenue, expenditure, cash balance and income tax reports.  Comments from members of council indicated they were pleased to see income tax numbers were increased.  Councilman Hadzinsky also commented that the village was “in the black” and trends looked optimistic.

In other business after a short discussion council decided to leave proposed ordinance 2014-14 (about compensatory time) tabled.  They also authorized the village clerk to pay overages on the bill for concrete that was poured on Windham St. due to fuel increases and to pay the invoice from the Portage County Development Board who is responsible for the administration of the village’s tax abatement program in Garrettsville’s enterprise zones.

During round table discussion, Mayor Patrick gave an update on the Liberty Street bridge project.  He said he was told that it should be opened to traffic by the end of the month, just in time for Summerfest.  He also stated that the village’s streets supervisor would be contacting Nelson Township trustees to co-ordinate the chip/seal scheduled to begin in July for Brosius Rd.

The mayor also gave an update from the last Planning Commission meeting.  He said builder Mike Maschek showed his plans for the recently purchased feed mill at the east end of Main St.  Demolition has already begun and should be completed by Summerfest.  He also reported that the Pizza Hut construction has started and block is already being laid.  The Mayor announced that Jeff Shehan was sworn in as a member of Planning Commission, he replaces Don Harvey.

Councilwoman Harrington gave a brief update on the Village Services Vision Committee.  She stated that they are revamping the survey questions that were used at last year’s business showcase and will be asking residents to fill out a new survey.  They plan is to have the surveys available for next month’s council meeting to get approval and then distribute them out to the community.  The survey will also be available on the Village’s website: http://www.garrettsville.org.

Council adjourned to executive session to discuss personnel.

If you’d like to know more of what is happening in your community attend a meeting.  The next regular Village Council meeting is scheduled for July 9, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. at Village Hall.

 

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Photo: The Barn Treasures

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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