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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  Jim Irwin brought in some historical documents, old Garrettsville Journals among them, for perusal and enlightenment.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 .

 

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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!

 

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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.

 

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.

Hiram – Author and longtime Akron Beacon Journal columnist David Giffels will headline the first Western Reserve Book Festival at Hiram College on June 21, 2014.

The event, which will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Kennedy Center, will celebrate literature of Ohio’s Western Reserve, hosting dozens of area authors of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, young adult and children’s work. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet these authors, have bookssigned, purchase books and attend readings.

Giffels, the keynote speaker, is also a contributing commentator and essayist on NPR station WKSU in Kent. His books include “The Hard Way on Purpose” and “All the Way Home: Building a Family in a Falling-Down House.” An acclaimed author and writer, his work has appeared in New York Times Magazine, Wall Street Journal, Esquire.com, ESPN, Grantland, Redbook and many other publications. He also was a writer for the MTV series “Beavis and Butt-Head.”

Additional authors will include Shelley Costa, Harmony Evans, Amanda Flower, Kevin Keating, Scott Lax, Kylie Logan, Michael Olin-Hitt, James Renner, Les Roberts, Debra Robinson, Stephanie Siciarz, S. Andrew Swann, Chris Akin, Paul Bauer, Gail Bellamy, Peg Bobel, Mark Dawidziak, Joyce Dyer, Jen Hirt, William Kerrigan, Wendy Koile, Lynn Metzger, Jennifer Morrow, Michael Olin-Hitt, James Renner, Brad Ricca, Robert Sberna, Jane Turzillo, Cinda Chima, James Bradley Clarke, Colleen Clayton, Leah Clifford, Jen Dutton, Julie Lindsey, Mindy McGinnis, Tricia Springstubb, Scott Tracey, Jeanne Bryner, Susan Grimm, David Hassler, Lesley Jenike, Philip Metres, Mary Quade, F. Daniel Rzicznek, Tom Batiuk and Eric Schmiedl. Additionally, several area journals and literary organizations will be represented.

The Festival, sponsored by the Friends of the Hiram College Library, the Lindsay-Crane Center for Writing and Literature, WKSU, and Barnes & Noble, is free and open to the public. There will be amplefree parking; several dining options will be available.

For more information, visit www.hiram.edu/wrbf or contact Hiram College Library Director David Everett at everettdd@hiram.edu or 330-569-5353. Hiram College is located at 11730 Garfield Road, Hiram, Ohio 44234.

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DeYoungHiram - This spring, Hiram-based advertising agency the Communications Factory used a little helium to help an area high school senior on her way to earning a higher education. Over its last eleven years in operation, the Factory has awarded a $1,000 scholarship every spring to a deserving northeastern Ohio high school senior to help them in pursuit of a college degree. This year, however, Plant Manager Brad Turner wanted to do things a little differently. Instead of waiting to attend the scholarship recipient’s Senior banquet, Turner chose to surprise this year’s winner, Ms. Allison DeYoung of Field High School in Uniontown, Ohio.

Unbeknown to DeYoung, Turner had worked with administrators at Field High School to stage a covert operation on a random day in May, during DeYoung’s English class. At intervals throughout the class period, some of DeYoung’s classmates entered the room, each handing her a single, shiny, red, star-shaped Mylar balloon. DeYoung sat mystified, surrounded by her equally puzzled classmates, as the excitement mounted with each new delivery. Within a few minutes, nine balloons floated above DeYoung’s desk. When the card attached to balloon number ten was delivered, the secret was revealed, to the amazement and delight of DeYoung and her classmates.

According to Brad Turner of the Communications Factory, the card read, “While balloons alone are a great way to boost your spirits, what’s inside of each of these will boost it even more. Congratulations, Allison. You’re the winner of the 2014 Communications Factory Scholarship. Pop each balloon and celebrate!”  As the words from the card began to sink in, DeYoung’s’s teacher handed her a pair of scissors and urged her to start popping the balloons. As she did so, she uttered, “Oh my goodness!” and “Oh my gosh!” many times over while she located each tightly rolled one-hundred-dollar bill, one per balloon, for a total of $1,000. Shortly thereafter, she called her mom to share the exciting news…and to ask her to please come pick up the money.

In a heartfelt note she later wrote to Turner, DeYoung expressed her gratitude. “Thank you so much for choosing me as the winner of this year’s scholarship. And especially thank you for the wonderful surprise in my English class! I have to say that I was not expecting that at all!” To see the event as it unfolded in the Field High School classroom, view the video at: facebook.com/communicationsfactory.

In April of 2015, the Factory will be awarding another scholarship to help another deserving student’s dreams take flight. Visit www.communicationsfactory.net for more information.

 

Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary entertained their soon-to-depart Rotary Student Exchange ambassador, Rachel Schwan at the regular  noon meeting  at Cal’s II on June 9, 2014 for questions about her preparations for the big adventure.  This included getting through the visa process and a convention of exchange students coming up at Otterbein, the daunting challenge of learning the Thai language, contact with her host family via Facebook—with pictures—the current political climate in Thailand( It’s quieter in the north where she’s going), the pervasiveness of Buddhism in the culture and the unknown factors that make it all so exciting.

The other guest at the meeting, Mr. Rich Brown, was introduced as “the Closer” by Delores McCumbers, who is acquainted with him through his working with McCumbers-Brady Realty as an agent of a title company.  His brief description of the duties of title companies was interesting and enlightening.  He’ll be invited back, no doubt.

Also on the docket : possibility of supporting a program encouraging first and second graders in mastering basic math skills—more consideration and discussion will be coming; reservations are due by  July 21 for attendance at the Indians’ game on August 1 for Rotary Night—“Dollar Dogs” and more; reading of the letter sent to the District regarding a possible grant enableing the local club’s participation in a rebuilding project; the village sign beautification crew will be mobilized on Thursday at 10:00 a.m.

More next week; Garfield athletic director, Jim Pfleger, will be on hand to outline the plans and progress of the upgrades coming to the Garfield athletic facilities.

bikesHiram – The Hiram Police Department is educating children on the importance of wearing a bike helmet. Chief Ed Samec announced that the Hiram Police Department is participating in the AAA Helmet Smart Program again this year. Helmet Smart is a unique program for promoting bicycle helmet usage through positive reinforcement.  Hiram police officers will issue “safety citations” when they see children wearing a bike helmet while riding a bicycle. The “safety citations” can be redeemed at Hiram Gioninos, also AAA will also be holding drawings throughout the summer for children who mail a portion of their “safety citation” back to AAA. These children will have a chance to win new bicycles.

Every year more than 500,000 children are rushed to hospital emergency rooms due to bicycle injuries, with one third of the injuries being to the head and brain. In fact, head injuries are involved in nearly 85 percent of all bicycle fatalities. Children who do not wear their bike helmet are 14 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than children wearing a helmet. “It’s interesting to note that crashes happen close to home on sidewalks, in parks, on bike paths, or driveways and do not involve motor vehicles,” said Chief Samec. “We want to stress to children and parents a bike is a vehicle and not a toy. Using helmets reduces the risk of brain injury by 85 percent and can prevent tragic life-long consequences.

Hiram Village Mayor Lou Bertrand said, “There are a lot of children that enjoy riding bicycles in Hiram. I am a strong proponent of the Helmet Smart program and I am pleased that our police department takes a proactive approach to safety.”

Hiram police officers will be issuing the safety citations along with parent/child safety pledges, and example forms that show correct use of a bike helmet and literature.

Hiram – At a recent meeting of the Hiram Village Council, Village resident Susan Merrill thanked Council for the effectiveness of the emergency siren that sounded during a recent storm. But she inquired as to how people without cell phones and radio or television reception would know when an emergency is over. This prompted a discussion about whether a long blast of the siren could signify an emergency, while another, shorter blast could signify an “all clear”. This topic will be discussed at the next Safety Committee meeting, and their recommendations will be presented to Council at an upcoming meeting.

Next, Township Trustee Kathy Schulda shared that the Township Trustees are in the process of reviewing a proposed contract between the Township and the Hiram Village Police Department. Under the terms of the contract, the Township would agree to hire the Village Police Department for 10 hours per week from June through December of 2014. This time would be spent on traffic enforcement, in high-visibility and targeted areas, and would not detract from services provided in the Village. The proposed effective date of the contract will be June 18th, allowing time for both Village Council and Township Trustees to approve this resolution. Currently, Township residents needing law enforcement assistance must call the Portage County Sherriff’s office.

Later, in his report, Mayor Bertrand reported that Chairman Norm Christley had canceled the Planning & Zoning meeting scheduled from May 6th due to no pending business. Further, he advised Council of his recommendation that the Village Recreation and Park Board request input from Todd Peetz at Regional Planning and Chris Craycroft from Portage Parks prior to putting forth proposed resolutions regarding the planned development of the Hiram School Park property. On the matter of the AMATS Sidewalk Grant, the Mayor reported that the Village received an estimate to construct the new sidewalks in Hiram at $336,000. This amount includes the cost of $43,515 in engineering fees, and an AMATS grant of $268,000, making the local cost share estimated at: $67,200. In addition, the Mayor noted that the Village is currently accepting bids to sell the old Fire Hall located near the Village Post Office. Bids will be opened at noon on June 9th.

Lastly, Mayor Bertrand noted that planning had begun for Hiram’s Fourth of July festivities. As in previous years, Dr. Willard Greenwood will be taking the lead, with assistance from Council member Chris Cobb, Fire Chief Bill Byers, Police Chief Ed Samec, Village Administrator Bob Wood, and additional volunteers. For more information, contact the Mayor’s office at (330) 569-7677.

In other news, it was noted that the Hiram Corner Store and Café, formerly known as Fire & Ice, has applied for a liquor license. Council approved the application, pending Zoning Inspector approval that the proposed usage is appropriate and in compliance with Village codes and ordinances. In legislation, Council approved Resolutions renewing an existing Tax Levy for EMS and Fire Fighting purposes, and authorized an agreement between the Village and the College for work on a hike and bike trail.

The next meeting of the Hiram Village Council will be held on Tuesday, June 10th at 7 pm.

 

Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary will be entertaining their Rotary Youth Exchange student, Rachel Schwan, next week to hear more about last-minute preparations for her departure for Thailand to spend a year as an informal ambassador of our community under the auspices of Rotary International.  What an adventure!

Evelyn West will be the local delegate to RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Assembly) this summer at Baldwin-Wallace.  Laura Wilburn was the recipient of the Rotary scholarship awarded to a senior Interact member; it was presented at the Senior Awards Night on May 28.

The Wadsworth Rotary has issued an invitation to their “Gear Grinder” bike tour coming up on July 19.  Information is available.

The G-H club will be doing some beautification work at the signs marking entrance to the village as part of a Rotary contribution to ongoing rebuilding efforts.  Hostas and daylilies figure in the plans, as well as several work sessions.  Contributions from other regional Rotary clubs have totaled over $3500 and await a formal project launch.

Programs of ten to fifteen minutes in length are being sought, with members taking one meeting per month to outline their professions to acquaint the entire group with the make -up of the membership.

Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary meets Mondays at noon in Cal’s II.  Come check them out.

 

Hiram Twp. – At a recent meeting of the Hiram Township Trustees, there was a brief discussion regarding the tax issue between township employees and the Village of Hiram. Road Supervisor Tom Matota shared some questions raised by his crew. After a brief discussion, it was agreed that Service Department employees would forward their questions to Chairwoman Kathy Schulda, who would, in turn, follow up with Village Solicitor, Thomas Reitz. It was decided, however, that from this point forward, the crew would keep track of the time they spend within the village versus within the township. Further, Fiscal Officer Stan Carlisle will withhold local taxes from each paycheck based on the documented number of hours reported.

In other news, Road Supervisor Matota reported that his crew would begin mowing along roadsides and the cemetery very soon. They had been busy trimming trees and doing patchwork on winter-damaged roads. In addition, Mr. Matota will be working with the league manager to discuss maintenance plans and needs at the township’s baseball diamond in Hiram Rapids. The Port-O-John is now in place near the field. Trustee Steve Pancost will request a copy of the League’s insurance information to be filed.

In old business, the appropriate records have been organized and stored, and those no longer required were destroyed. Fiscal Officer Carlisle will file the appropriate paperwork to document this. The Board of Zoning has been asked to meet concerning distances of oil holding tanks from a home and the FHA VA standards. That meeting was scheduled for June 24th.

Shortly thereafter, the trustees went into executive session. When they resumed, Chairwoman Schulda announced that the trustees have reached an agreement to purchase 31 acres in Hiram Township on State Route 82, west of State Route 700.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Township Trustees will take place on Tuesday, June 3rd at 7 pm. In the Township Hall.

 

The new, Cal’s II meeting place for the Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary Club is proving popular and conducive to getting things accomplished.  Those things at the May 19, 2014 meeting  include :

Planning for the presentation of a wreath at the cemetery on Memorial Day

Invitation to celebration of Dr. Lynn Newman’s steadfast  60-year participation in Rotary programs with the Andover club

Invitation to the Cleveland Indians Rotary Night on  August 1 boosting the Rotary project, “End Polio Now” and featuring many activities as well as fireworks

Possible participation in the Rotary initiative Dictionary Project, wherein third graders at any given school are presented with a paperback dictionary of their very own…suggested by the Portage Mental Health & Recovery Board as a worthwhile project

The Portage Cluster—Garrettsville-Hiram, Mantua-Shalersville, Aurora, Kent, Ravenna—is considering a joint project, possibly involving Habitat for Humanity

Might G-H Rotary be spiffing up the signs at the entrances to the village?

Invitation to participate in the Boy Scouts’ beginning clean-up project on the Headwaters Trail on Thursday, with McDonald’s to follow

Jim Irwin presented a brief program—with pictures and readings—on the history, both commercial and cultural, of the Buckeye Block.  The street level businesses varied over time and the upstairs level housed a private, subscription library and the Buckeye Hall, where meetings, lectures, dramatic and musical productions had taken place.  There were quotes from an 1868 diary of Eugene Case, one of the laborers on the construction of the building.  Interesting.

Dues are due.

There will be no meeting on Memorial Day

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary, at their meeting on May 12, 2014, entertained Ms Evelyn West as an applicant for attendance at this summer’s RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Award)activity to be held in June at Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea.  She is a participant in Interact, does volunteer work at the James A. Garfield Elementary School and at Hattie Larlham.  She also participates in musical and theatre activities and the St. Ambrose Youth group.  She is considering a career in musical therapy and the G-H Rotary group will be stepping up to assist this very capable young lady in sharpening her leadership skills in furtherance of her goals.

Jim Irwin described his experience  visiting the Rotary Club of Milan and brought back some new ideas for projects and programs.

Kit Semplak gave a brief outline of the program to take place on May 14 at 6:00, dedicating the official Ohio State Historical marker commemorating the Last Great Train Robbery in the United States, which took place in Garrettsville in 1935 at the now-gone Erie Railroad station.  The Ohio Historical Society furnished a grant and local funds were raised, primarily through the James A. Garfield Historical Society and the local schools.  Hiram College graduate Julie Thompson, has researched and organized the event, incorporated local and state officials, a reenactment of the event, the origin of the local “G-Man” nickname/logo for the school system teams and even the appointment of Hiram College’s first woman president.  A panoply of historic events!  The meet-n-greet begins at 5:30, featuring tasty treats from the Nelson Methodist Church, with the program to begin at 6:00.

G-H Rotarians will be sponsoring a $500 scholarship for an Interact student at this year’s Award ceremonies on May 28.

Tom Collins invited all to join Boy Scout troop 4262 in performing a clean-up along the Headwaters Trail on May 19 at 6:00.  Rotary will be buying gloves.  Y’all come, now.

Vice President Delores McCumbers, presiding at the meeting, read  a letter to the grant-making body of the District 6630 in preparation for the possibility of applying for  project funding to rebuild Garrettsville’s downtown with a Rotary recognition.

 

The Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary Club met at Cal’s II on Monday, May 5, 2014, inducting two new members, Trish Danku and Ted Lysiak.  The ceremony included a short exposition of the significance and activities of Rotary, both local and worldwide.  Rotarians and their works are admired and emulated in the furtherance of their motto, “Service Above Self.”  There was also a brief discussion of the Rotary Foundation and how it awards matching grants at the local, national and international levels.

Information on the incoming Rotary Youth Exchange student was made available for the first time.  The new visitor is coming from Hungary and his name is Lenart Zsadany.  Step right up and say hello.  He currently attends Verebely Laszlo Szakkozepiskola es Gimnazium—probably doesn’t have any T-shirts with that on– and enjoys informatics; he would like to be a computer programmer and plays soccer.  He will be staying with the Brown family, the Schwan family and the Collins family.  Make him welcome. He likes to be called “Zad”.  We can do that.

Next meeting will entertain students in the junior class hoping to attend the summer RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Assembly) at Baldwin-Wallace College.  It’s a selection interview.  Good Luck to students and selectors; it’s not easy making these decisions.

Various thoughts and ideas about fund-raising  to make possible a matching grant from the Rotary Fund for the Garrettsville reconstruction efforts.  Specific projects are required for disbursement of funds and a focus on Rotary contributions to the community is highly favored.  More thoughts later.

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

Hiram - The last meeting of the Village Council began with a work session held in conjunction with the Hiram Township Trustees. The purpose of this meeting was to iron out issues relating to taxes due to the Village by Township employees and a proposed resolution put forth by the Trustees to detach a parcel of land to the Township.

When asked her thoughts on the outcome of this first joint meeting, Hiram Township Trustee Chairman Kathy Schulda remarked, “It was a very good start. The next step will be for us to gather information to back up the hours Township employees are in the Village. Then we also need to figure out the percentage (or time) we feel would be a far amount.” Schulda continued, “The detachment is not so clear cut. We can ask but I’m under the understanding they don’t have to grant it. The township was there long before the Village and when we were separated into two entities I’m sure the predecessors had no idea all these problems would arise.”

During the meeting, Council President Tom Wadkins suggested that instead of using a formula to calculate taxes owed by Township employees, that the Township keep a log of actual hours worked by each employee, so taxes would be based on actual hours worked within the Village. It was the general consensus that the Village and Township would work to resolve issues with the current tax year before addressing the two years of past due taxes. The detachment resolution was tabled by Council, pending further direction from the Trustees.

Next, Hiram Village Park Board Chair Susan Merrill and Park Board member Chris Szell reported a summary of residents’ input the Park Board gathered at two public community meetings. Basically, the community expressed a desire that the park space have multiple uses. The feedback they received indicated that residents do not want the property to remain idle, but that exclusive use of the property by any entitle was not recommended. Later, Hiram College Athletic Director Ellen Dempsey presented Council with a memorandum of understanding from Hiram College to build an NCAA baseball field at the site. It was noted that a park could be included on the same property. After much discussion, the motion to accept the memorandum of understanding was not approved by Council.

Next, Assistant Fire Chief Mark Kozak reported that the Hiram Fire Department responded to 27 calls in March, and was the first Department to provide mutual aid at the Main Street fire in Garrettsville. Police Chief Ed Samec reported that his Department filed 287 offense reports, up from 213 in the previous month. In addition, he reported that his Department held a Distracted Driving event at Hiram College, where participants used a driving simulator to experience scenarios, learning the penalties, costs and adverse results that can occur. Chief Samec also noted that the Department received a $500 ODNR grant for the annual Cops and Kids Fishing Day, which will take place on August 23 at Camp Asbury. He also received a $300 donation from Metro Security in Brimfield for the Shop With a Cop program. Lastly, he welcomed Reserve Officer Rob Kern to his Department.

In his report, Mayor Lou Bertrand recommended that Council ask Solicitor Tom Reitz to draft a resolution to allow the Village to advertise for bids for the old Fire Hall building. Council concurred; the resolution will be presented at the next Regular Council meeting. Fiscal Officer Susan Skrovan reported that the Village will undergo an Audit on April 16. She also reported that she’s been working on the transfer of tax data to the Regional Income Tax Authority (RITA), and asked Council to pass a motion to allow her to go through all the steps necessary to move forward with RITA, including the termination of a contract with the previous tax assessing company used by the Village. In addition, Council scheduled a Records Retention Committee meeting, followed by a Budget Committee meeting starting at 6 pm on June 10th.

The next meeting of the Hiram Village Council will be on May 13th at 7 pm in the Municipal Building.

 

Hiram - The Baroque ensemble Les Délices are featured artists for the Eighth Annual John M. Watson Memorial Concert on Friday, May 2, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. at Hiram Christian Church.  These programs are presented each spring by the Hiram College Music Department and funded by a generous endowment in memory of gifted musician John M. Watson by his family.

Les Délices brings together artists with national reputations who share passion for masterworks from the French Baroque.  Their performances on period instruments allow them to explore a rich tapestry of tone colors.  The Hiram program The Leading Man features the unique voice and dynamic stage presence of Grammy-nominated tenor Jason McStoots, who performs feats of musical heroism, absurdist comedy, and ravishing beauty in operatic excerpts by Lully, Boismortier, Leclair, and Rameau.  The ensemble includes director and oboist Debra Nagy, baroque violinists Scott Metcalfe & Cynthia Black, viola da gamba player Josh Lee, and harpsichordist Michael Sponseller. Their website is www.lesdelices.org.

The event is free and open to all.  A reception will follow the concert.  Hiram Christian Church is located at the intersection of Rts. 82 & 700 by the Hiram College campus.  Contact Tina Dreisbach (dreisbachts@hiram.edu) with any questions.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

hiram-school-prarie-park-ohio-project-natureHiram – At the last Regular Council meeting, Hiram Village Council heard a presentation by the Hiram Village Park Board, which was established in March of last year. The Board’s first task was to focus on how the Hiram School property – 5.2 acres within the Village that was acquired in June of 2013, should be used.

Although the Park Board is a new institution, the process to transform the property in question began six years prior, when both the Village and the College worked together to have the vacant school, which had been owned by an out-of-town landlord, relinquished to the Village and demolished due to concerns regarding safety. According to Hiram Mayor Lou Bertrand, the purchase price of the school property was $160,000, although the appraisal value was $300,000. The Village and College worked together to procure two grants for a total of $86,000 toward the purchase price. In addition, the cost to conduct an environmental study (at an estimated cost of $17,000) and to demolish the school (at an estimated value of roughly $80,000) was also paid for by grants. The Village now solely owns the property.

At that evening’s meeting, Park Board Chair Susan Merrill and member Chris Szell reported a summary of residents’ input the Board gathered at two public community meetings. In general, the community expressed a desire that the park space have multiple uses. The feedback they received indicated that residents do not want the property to remain idle, but that exclusive use of the property by any entity was not recommended. The proposed uses of the space included a playground, picnic tables, softball field, gazebo, fitness trail and prairie alternative. It was proposed that the Park Board should be responsible for oversight and maintenance of the property. The Park Board proposed that any work to develop the park should be completed in phases, according to a five-year plan currently under development by the Park Board. The cost to complete the first phase, which includes solving drainage issues, asphalt disposal, and maintenance to the existing baseball field are estimated to cost roughly $5,000. Potential funding sources could include Beautification Funds and grants.

Next, Hiram College Athletic Director Ellen Dempsey presented Council with a memorandum of understanding from Hiram College to build an NCAA baseball field at the site. All work on the proposed field would be done in partnership with Hiram College and the Cleveland Indians Development Group. In addition to an NCAA appropriate field, the property could also include a playground or other features. The proposed document presented to Council for consideration stipulated that the College would maintain the property, and retain exclusive use during the baseball season, estimated to run from March 1st through May 15th. The proposed agreement served as a lease agreement between the Village and College, in effect, paying off the $75,000 balance due by the Village. Under this agreement, scheduling use of the park outside of baseball season would be handled through the Athletic Director’s office. Dempsey deferred to Doug McGee, who served as the College’s consultant on the project, to answer any questions on the initial stages of the project, as they occurred previous to her involvement in the project.

After much discussion, the motion to accept the memorandum of understanding was not approved by Council. Later, Chris Szell of the Park Board, remarked, “We appreciated Council’s time and interest in our thoughtful approach to address the multiple residents would like to see for the use of the land. We will continue to press on with the development of a long-term plan for the land, and to explore other funding opportunities.”

McGee responded later as well, stating, “The College accepts what the Village has decided, and will move forward with plans to develop an enhanced baseball facility on another College-owned property.” He added, “When the College and the Village have worked together in the past, the two can accomplish wonderful things, like the extension of the eastern section of Hinsdale Street, which benefitted both. It’s unfortunate that this time, it didn’t work out, but we will move forward. ”

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Garrettsville - April 14 ~ Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary Club moves to new location, time.  Beginning on April 21, the club will be trying out a change to meeting at noon in Cal’s II to accommodate today’s busier schedules and altered commercial circumstances.  Give it a try.

The president-elect, Delores McCumbers spoke of her visit to the Kent club to observe proceedings at a club which meets at noon and how things are organized.  The times, they are a-changin’.

John Wolfe will be the official elector at the District Conference—April 25-27 at Quail Hollow where changes in by-laws will be discussed and voted on.  Local clubs should be doing this as well, every five years.

The annual roadside clean-up is scheduled for April 26, with Boy scouts and Interact students on board; there is a track meet on that same day but adjustments will be made.

The club gratefully accepted a generous contribution from the Aurora club, to be funneled through the district coffers for use in activation in conjunction with the #GarrettsvilleStrong effort to rebuild after the disastrous fire and highlight Rotary contributions to the community.  Similarly acknowledged was the “Garrettsville Day” fund-raiser  (April 23) to be held at Blazin’ Bill’s as a fellow Rotarian sponsors a benefit for the rebuilding, having undergone a comparable disaster, once-upon-a-time.  Many thanks.

Reconstruction talk ebbed and flowed.

April 21st ~ Newness flowed at the inaugural noon meeting, attended by members, guests and speakers and combinations of those categories.  Introductions were in order.

Mayor Rick Patrick spoke on the latest developments on rebuilding information, endeavoring to maintain his customary positive attitude and touching on the clean-up progress involving the individual owners & insurance concerns, permits from various agencies (Rep. Dave Joyce helping with EPA matters)and plans for summer activities( i.e. Summerfest, Cruise Nights, etc.) and how they might be affected by issues of sidewalks, parking, utilities relocation, fencing, etc.  He also directed attention to the Garrettsville People Tree which is collecting funds for individual tenants displaced by the fire.

James A. Garfield Local School District Superintendent Ted Lysiak gave a brief overview of the Straight A Schools  Fund Grant project going on in the district which will re-locate the fifth and sixth graders to the Central Campus of Excellence in a brand new $4 million building AND supply all students in the district with laptop computers, as well as re-purposing the Park Ave. building in partnerships with the Cleveland-area YMCA and the Portage County Educational Services Center.  Ground was being broken even as he spoke.  Also on the calendar,   an official groundbreaking ceremony—with pomp, circumstance and high-powered officials—on May 8 AND  the dedication of the new historical marker, initiated by Julie Thompson, commemorating the 1935 train robbery in Garrettsville; ceremony and other activities to be held in the Iva Walker Auditorium.

It was a good meeting.  Come and check out Rotary.

 

Photo: Benjamin Coll

Photo: Benjamin Coll

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hiram -  The Hiram community will unite in the fight against cancer at Relay for Life, April 25-26, 2014, at Charles A. Henry Field.

The celebration begins at 6 p.m. on April 25, and continues for 18 hours, until noon the next day. In case of inclement weather, the event will move to the nearby Les and Kathy Coleman Sports Center.

Relay for Life Chair, Jason Close ’16, biomedical humanities major, said excitement and interest in Relay for Life, now in its fourth year on campus, has continued to grow. Sixteen teams have signed up so far, and fundraising has surpassed last year’s total at this time.

“Cancer affects a lot of people on campus,” Close said. “Relay is an all-around great event, which supports people in our community – and communities abroad – to someday see the end of cancer.”

This is Close’s first year chairing the event, and he said Relay is an important cause for him because he has lost two family members to cancer in the past four years. He has big plans to continue to grow the event through his senior year, starting with carrying out a well-attended event this year.

This year’s theme is “Super Heroes Versus Super Villains.” Close and his team of students and advisers involved in carrying out the event have planned the following activities (some subject to change) throughout the night:

·      6 p.m.: Opening Ceremony/Survivor Festivities

·      7 p.m.: Egg, 3-leg, Wheel-barrow races

·      8 p.m.: Musical Chair Scavenger Hunt

·      9 p.m.: Lawn Jenga Tournament

·      10 p.m.: Luminary Lap

·      11 p.m.: “Pool Noodle” Spoons

·      12 a.m.: Graffiti/Tie-Dye a “White Object”

·      1 a.m.: Miss Relay Lap

·      2 a.m.: Cornhole Tournament

·      3 a.m.: S’more Making

·      6 a.m.: Frozen T-Shirt Relay

·      7 a.m.: Morning Yoga

·      8 a.m.: Hike Trail

·      9 a.m.: Fill and Face/Dress up Photobooth

·      10 a.m.: 3×3 Wheelchair Basketball

·      11 a.m.: Fire Truck ‘N Play

·      12 p.m.: Closing Ceremony

Relay for Life events are free and open to the public. All proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society. Teams and participants camp out and walk the track throughout the night to honor survivors, support those currently fighting cancer and remember those who have lost their battle with the disease.

Please visit http://relay.acsevents.org/site/TR/RelayForLife/RFLCY14EC?fr_id=56474&pg=entry for more information about the Hiram College event.

Garrettsville-Hiram Rotarians have continued discussions on the Great Buckeye Block Fire in Garrettsville, the effects and the future actions that could be taken by both the local group and  Rotarians across the district who wish to make contributions.  Any funds raised will likely be channeled through the 6630 District to be utilized in  specific projects denoting the Rotary presence in the community.  One of the more interesting ideas was the possibility of a Flash/Cash mob to aid merchants and businesses on Main St.  More to come.

Rachel Schwan , Rotary International Youth Exchange student for 2014-2015, was in attendance.  She has had contact with at least one host family and is hoping to hear from others sooner rather than later.  She will be going to Thailand for the year.  Exciting!

The Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary Club will be sponsoring a girls’ softball team again this summer.   The local club has also sponsored bowlers at Sky Lanes this winter.

Dr. Neely may be on the program for the April 21 meeting at Cal’s II at noon.  The public is invited to join the Rotarians to hear about the new University Hospitals facility in Garrettsville, on South St.

 

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Hiram – Hiram College and Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®) will offer seamless degree completion programs through a partnership on the Tri-C Eastern Campus in Highland Hills. Tri-C students who meet admission requirements for Hiram College can complete bachelor’s degrees in accounting and financial management or business management immediately after earning an associate degree and without leaving Tri-C East Campus. 

Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary Club will be moving its time and venue for meetings to Cal’s II at 12:00p.m. Yet to be decided is whether it will be on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday on a permanent basis.   Check it out and get involved with an active, community-oriented group seeking new members.  Everyone is invited to the first Monday noon meeting ( It’s been Monday evenings since about 1926…life goes on…things change.) on April 21st. Give Rotary a try.

G-H Rotary’s most recent meeting at the Hiram College Dining Hall was prefaced, as was just about every meeting in either Garrettsville or Hiram that week,  by discussion and reminiscences about the Buckeye Block and the rest of historic Garrettsville that was destroyed in the fire on March 22.  There was some interest in how to deal with possible donations from other clubs to aid the Garrettsville recovery efforts and the community food bank.  Matching grants may be available.  The district may be the way to go.  Is another reverse raffle the preferred fund-raising avenue? More discussion.

The group chose to endorse the upcoming Portage Park District levy on the ballot in May, with Tom Collins spearheading the effort and producing a letter-to-the-editor for local news media.  This is an issue of conservation, health and fitness, economic growth, community benefit; what’s not to like?

The subject of reviewing local by-laws on a regular timetable came up.  The president will be investigating this; Bob Jackson may be the fount of wisdom on this topic.  Additionally, the possibility of donating the club’s records and historical documents to the James A. Garfield Historical Society or to the Portage County District Library (branch office at Garrettsville)came up.  Digitizing these might make such an offer more appealing.

The semi-annual roadside clean-up is approaching.  Interact members and the local Boy Scout troop will be contacted to participate.  Their help is always appreciated.

 

Hiram Twp. – At the recent meeting of the Hiram Township Trustees, the trustees discussed a request the three trustees received to meet with the members of the Hiram Village Council to jointly meet and discuss Hiram Township Resolution 2014-3, regarding annexation of a parcel of village-situated property. This resolution was presented to Hiram Village Council for consideration at their March 18th meeting. It was agreed that all Township trustees would be in attendance at this joint meeting, on April 8th at 6 pm. The results of that meeting were not available before press time. 

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

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

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

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

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

 

Hiram - At the last meeting of the Hiram Village Council, Hiram Mayor Lou Bertrand acknowledged the Hiram Fire Department’s Save of the Year recipients. The team was honored for the successful resuscitation of a full cardiac arrest victim on Vaughn Road in February. On that snowy morning, the Fire Department received a call to assist a man, Mr. Dave Loader, who had fallen. Upon arrival, the team found him not breathing, with no pulse. The team was able to resuscitate him, but could not transport him via Life Flight due to poor weather conditions. They braved icy roads to transport Mr. Loader to Geauga Hospital, where he made a full recovery.  Mr. and Mrs. Loader were present at the award ceremony to show their support and appreciation to the crew.

Hiram College’s Marcia Kenyon Bissell Opera Workshop will present the world premier of the opera Verlorene Heimat (Lost Homeland) on April 10 and 12, 2014, at 7:30 p.m. in the Renner Performing Arts Theater , 11762 Dean St. in Hiram.  The opera, composed by Hiram College Associate Professor of Music Dawn Sonntag, chronicles the true story of an East Prussian family during the final months of WWII as they quietly but courageously resisted the Nazis, sheltering a Ukrainian Jewish girl sent to them to work as a farm laborer.  The opera illustrates the devastating losses caused by a war fueled by greed, fear, pride, racial and cultural hatred.  Cleveland’s German Honorary Consul, Diana M. Thimmig, will give opening remarks before the Saturday evening performance.  Admission is free.  For more information, contact the Music Department at 330-569-5294

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

Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary is moving closer to changing the club meeting time and location, partly in hopes of  becoming more accessible to more local  residents and business people.  The prospect of having lunchtime meetings at Cal’s II would seem to have advantages and may well be tried this summer, when  the Hiram College Dining Hall may not be available.  Parking is also part of the consideration.  Discussion continues.

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

LAST CALL!

Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary is still seeking contestants for the 4-Way Speech Contest ,  to be conducted locally  on March 10 at the McCumbers-Brady Realty on Main St. , Garrettsville.  Any students from Windham H.S. or James A. Garfield H.S., grades 9-12, are eligible to participate.  The local first-place prize winner will receive $100,  district-level winners will receive $750.  Every contestant will gain valuable experience and good stuff for a resume or an application.  The criteria to be addressed in the speech are : Is it the  TRUTH?  Is it FAIR to all concerned?  Will it build GOOD WILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?  Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?  Interested persons should contact a Rotarian or a principal or a guidance counselor or a speech teacher…or anyone who can help them to take this big step on their road to success.

Hiram – The Hiram Police Department is pleased to announce the acquisition and approval of the Ohio Criminal Justice Assistance Services Law Enforcement grant. The grant will fund the total replacement of  two  outdated light bars on two  Hiram P.D. patrol cars. The total project is budgeted at $3,500. The approval of this grant will heighten and improve officer safety and roadway safety during traffic stops and emergency responses without carrying the financial burden to the taxpayers.
“With successful grant acquisitions we are able to improve and update current outdated safety equipment, which generates an improved safety service that we provide to the community, it also is completed without burdening taxpayers or the budget with the expense”, stated Chief Samec. The current light bars are the rotating and flasher type, the new light bars that will be acquired with the grant funds are LED styles which are very visible from long distances.

Garrettsville-Hiram Rotarians are moving on from their successful Family Week activity to support for Rachel Schwan, our local International Student Exchange adventurer for the coming year.  With the very helpful  encouragement and mentorship of Carol Donley, Rachel is looking at the likelihood of spending the 2014-2015 school year in Thailand.  Part of the requirement for this is locating three local families willing to participate as hosts for a possible incoming exchange student coming from who-knows-where.  The Collins family, the Brown family and the Schwan family have stepped forward and it’s all systems GO so far.  Any other families who would like to launch into this adventure at some future date should contact a Rotarian and cross their fingers.
G-H Rotary also would like to endorse the upcoming Portage Parks District levy to be on the May ballot.  This would give a solid financial foundation to the district and enable it to provide more outdoor experiences for everyone, as well as maintaining the current holdings for greater use and access at a cost of  less than $20 per year for most taxpayers with a $100,000 home.  It’s a bargain, with great possibilities for families and organizations  across the county.
Members affirmed their support for the Hiram “Shop With A Cop” program.  Tom Collins attended a Repair America : Protect, Produce, Prosper—Good Job/Green Job conference in Washington, D.C. and will be a future program.
New members are always welcome—Monday evenings, 5:30-7:00, Hiram College Dining Hall

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

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

Garrettsville-Hiram Rotarians are focusing on their next community outreach project, the Four-Way Speech Contest.  The premise of the competition is that the speakers are to choose a social, moral and/or ethical problem that they feel strongly about and have personal knowledge about. This confrontation should be bearing in mind the quartet of principles that give the contest its name.  These are : Is it the truth?  Is it fair to all concerned?  Will it build good will and better friendships?  Will it be beneficial to all concerned?  A pretty tall order, yes?  

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Hiram – Hiram College is one of only six institutions nationwide recently accepted into the Peace Corps Prep Program. The collaboration offers students a unique combination of undergraduate coursework and community service that prepares them for work in international development. In addition to gaining skills and experience which will make them competitive Peace Corps applicants, students also earn a minor in  international studies from Hiram College. Students pursuing a major in any discipline may apply for the program.

Hiram Twp - After Steve Pancost, Chairman of the Township Trustees called the meeting to order, Assistant Fire Chief Mark Kozak presented his monthly report, sharing that, fortunately, January’s calls were, “kind of low.” Kozak reported 32 total calls within the village and college, with a total of 14 in the township. He also reported that the Fire Department is investigating the potential of generating additional funds by placing a levy on the ballot during November’s election.

In similar news, Township Trustees are in the process of finalizing plans to purchase an emergency siren for the south end of the township. The addition of this new, second siren will provide emergency notification coverage to the entire township, and will be located on State Route 82, across the street from the Rolling Acres development. According to Vice-Chairman of the Trustees, Kathy Schulda, the siren will be installed by late spring or early summer, with a portion of the funds provided by Village Builders, per an agreement with the township. 

Garrettsville-Hiram Rotarians met on February 3, 20014 to look back with pride and a sense of accomplishment  on the 2014 incarnation of Family Week and its culmination in Family Fun Day ( see last week’s Villager) and to move on to planning a bigger and better event for next year.  Book the Balloon Man!

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Hiram - Hear ye!  Hear ye!  Richard W. and Evelynne Troyer Spencer have been married for seventy-five years!  That’s 75 years…that’s LXXV years( as their fellow Romans would have noted)…that’s 1001011 ( in digital/binary notation, more or less)….  That’s a lot! That’s an accomplishment.  That’s going to be celebrated on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at the Hiram Christian Church from 1:30 to 3:30 in the downstairs social rooms.  The whole tribe of descendents from far corners of the country—from Maine to California—will be there.  Ditto for local friends and well-wishers and you’re invited to listen to stories—there are always stories—to bring stories, to bring a contribution to the light buffet (salads, light entrees, desserts) which will be available for the enjoyment of all ( table service and beverages provided), to offer good wishes and congratulations and to contribute to the general happiness which accompanies such a celebration  of longevity.

Anyone who cannot attend but would like to be a part of this milestone event can direct a card or other remembrance to:  P.O. Box 277, Hiram, OH 44234.

Dick and E.T.S. have been at home in Hiram  for years.  They’ve been IN Hiram, the high school where they met, the College which they both attended, the community which they served in many capacities (Dick’s license plate reads : X-44234 because he was, once upon a time, the local postmaster) even longer.

Some Hallmark listings label the seventy-fifth as the Diamond Anniversary.  This is a pair of gems.  Do come.

 

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Hiram - Recently, on a brisk winter afternoon, Hiram College unveiled the Homefront Education Ready Op (HERO) Program at the Freedom Center; the first on-campus housing dedicated to veterans in the Midwest. Hiram College President Thomas Chema acknowledged, “We, as a country, are so fortunate to have these dedicated men and women.” Chema continued, “We, as a college, seek to provide the exact kind of environment that our veterans need to launch themselves into the next phase of their lives.” To that end, Hiram College partnered with the Patriot Development Group, located in Bratenahl. Patriot Development is on a mission to assist servicemen and women as they transition from military service to careers in the private sector. 

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