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Business it was to begin the month of December for the Rotary Club of Garrettsville-Hiram.  This included :

Christmas Party at the Collins home on December 15; soup, sandwiches, appetizers, desserts, white elephant gifts to exchange, 6:30 p.m. to  start, merriment for all.

Planning meetings for Family Week on Wednesdays for breakfast at Fresh Start.  

The plan for benches to be placed along the Headwaters Trail, involving Eagle Scout projects and grant money being made available through Rotary District 6630 and donations focused on reviving and rebuilding in the village is still taking shape but it’s in good shape.

A $100 donation was gratefully received from Ohio for History (Tom Aiken)

Revisiting and updating the club by-laws should be accomplished by January.

Another Santa is needed for the Special Delivery Santa Project slated for December 23.  Any family wishing to participate should bring wrapped gifts to either the Business Works or McCumbers-Brady Realty   for distribution on the 23rd.  There is no charge but donations to the People Tree will be cheerfully accepted.

The mystery deepens…who was president of the club in ’80-‘81, ’86-’87, ’92-‘93?

The dictionaries are ready, will an elf deliver them?

The Four-Way Speech Contest comes up in spring; start preparing now.

Zad, the exchange student–in-residence brought a banner from his home club in Hungary.  He will soon be moving to new digs with the Schwan family (whose daughter, Rachel, is in Thailand right now) for more adventures.

Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary meets on Mondays at Cal’s II in Sky Plaza at noon.  Prospective members always welcome.  Get involved in the community.

Garrettsville – The Rotary Club of Garrettsville-Hiram discussed and applauded a number of topics at their recent meeting on November 24, 2014.  Items presented :

Tom Collins reported briefly on the progress of the Headwaters Trail update and promotion.  At least two Eagle Scout projects may be part of the picture. Views of possible trailside benches were circulating; Rotary grant money may be used for materials.  Still waiting for the village to sign off before launching any specifics.

Lisa Muldowney reported that the dictionaries for third graders at Garfield Elementary are ready to go.  Distribution date will be announced after consultation with the superintendent and principal.

President Delores McCumbers brought up the subject of donation to the Rotary International Foundation as well as the possibility of having a speaker from the Foundation to outline what the funds are used for.  The annual Christmas party will be held at the Collins home on South Park Blvd. on December 15.  The results of the invitations to participate in a “Cash Mob” were disappointing.  It’s been a bleak November for many of the remaining businesses on Main St…a difficult year.  There were thanks for a donation from Richard Brockett.

Caitlin Lawless entertained suggestions for the operation and improvement of Family Week, the next big club project.  Final confirmation of the dates awaits consultation with the school calendar.  A committee will be meeting Wednesday mornings at Fresh Start to begin revamping the entire operation, from Family of the Year to new activities yet to be determined.

Amy Crawford gave a final—pretty final, anyway—accounting of the results of the recent successful Reverse Raffle.  The total profit was up, meaning Rotary contributions to the community will be maintained and possibly expanded.  Appreciation was voiced for Chris Cavalier’s sound set-up.  Suggestions for more P.R. before the event and more thank you’s during the evening were aired.  Proposals for new games, a new timeline for activities, the diversification of responsibilities to  avoid individual overload and addition of more high tech methods of display were brought up.  Other issues are on the table for discussion.  On to 2015!

Hiram – At the start of the last regular Council meeting, Hiram Mayor Lou Bertrand swore in Firefighter Austin Bracken to the Hiram Fire Department. Firefighter Bracken, a Garrettsville native is currently in EMT school. Upon completion of the EMT program, he will serve the Department in that capacity as well.

In his Police Report, Chief Ed Samec shared that his Department received the AAA Platinum Award for their extensive programs within the local community. This is the second consecutive year the Department has received this prestigious honor. In addition, Samec reported that Corporal Gilbert received the Hiram Police Department MADD Officer of the Year for being instrumental in removing impaired motorists from community roadways. Moving on, the chief reported to council that his department had received a body camera and support equipment valued at roughly $1,500, at no charge from the Ohio Department of Public Safety. The unit will be worn on an officer’s uniform to record audio and video during shifts throughout the community. Similarly, Chief Samec requested permission to use Police Capital Funds to purchase two Taser® units for training and field use by his department. Samec stated matter-of-factly, “In my experience in other agencies, aggression ceased in 99% of situations where a taser is used.” Council passed the motion unanimously.

In his report, Assistant Fire Chief Mark Kosak shared that plans to implement increased staffing at the Hiram Fire Department would be discussed at the upcoming Safety and Finance meetings. He reported that the average response time for calls in October was 5 minutes and 49 seconds, which reflects an increase in calls to township residents.

In his report, Mayor Lou Bertrand shared that Dr. Robert Greenwood had been sworn in as a part of the Zoning Board. In other news, he shared details of his meeting with Hiram College President Lori Varlotta regarding the Beautification committee. The previously defunct committee is a joint effort between the village, the township and the college, with the College maintaining and disbursing the funds. At the upcoming meeting, Mayor Bertrand has requested copies of the original endowment document as well as fund balance and expenditure information. All members of the committee have been seated, and the Mayor is optimistic about moving forward.

In legislation, Council approved a Resolution acknowledging the transfer of the 29,000-foot Hike & Bike Trail from Hiram College to Hiram Village as project sponsor. The project, which is paid for through an ODOT grant, is the first part of a multi-phase plan to connect Hiram College and Village to the Portage County Headwaters Trail.

In the Public Comment portion of the meeting, Township Trustee Kathy Schulda requested that Council entertain a request to formally detach from the Village the property where the Hiram Township garage is located. The less than .25 acre parcel property is located at the edge of the Village, south of the cemetery on Ryder Road. As a part of the agreement, the township has agreed to cover reasonable expenses associated with the proposed agreement, and will continue to maintain the .25 miles of Ryder Road from State Route 82 to the Township garage, which is under the jurisdiction of the Village.  Schulda also noted that, should the Township ever sell the property, the parcel will revert back to the Village of Hiram. After much discussion on the matter, Council member Paul Spencer suggested merging the Village and Township entities, stating, “ It would be the best thing — look at Aurora.” In summation, Council President Tom Wadkins informed Schulda that council will consider the township’s request and provide a response at the next council meeting.

The next meeting of the Hiram Village Council will be held on Tuesday, December 9th at 7pm. Residents are encouraged to attend.

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Hiram – Hiram College announces the first annual Emerging Writers Nonfiction Contest for high school students. 

The contest is open to current 10th and 11th grade students, and all entries must be received by midnight on Jan. 15, 2015. 

Participants are asked to submit work that addresses the contest theme of “In the World.” Essays should be reflective, investigative, immersive or meditative, and the theme may be addressed broadly and creatively. Submitted work should combine a foundation in facts with nuanced use of language and detail. Such nonfiction allows the writer to explore their own experiences or subjects such as science, history, politics and art in a less formal voice and perspective. Entries may not exceed 1,500 words. 

Cash prizes of $100-$300 will be awarded for first, second and third place. Honorable mentions will be awarded at the contest’s discretion and include no cash prize. Winners will be invited to read at An Evening ofHiram Writers on April 7, 2015 at Hiram College. All winning entries and honorable mentions will be published in the Evening of Hiram Writers book. 

The contest is sponsored by the Lindsay-Crane Center for Writing and Literature at Hiram College. For more information, please visit www.hiram.edu/emergingwriterscontest.

Hiram -  Two schools, separated by over 250 miles, came together in another heartfelt moment on Friday night in Hiram.

The Mount Saint Joseph women’s basketball team, located in Cincinnati, paid a visit to Hiram to cheer on the Terriers against Albion (Mich.).

Mount Saint Joseph had played at Baldwin Wallace earlier in the evening and wanted to support Hiram in its game against Albion (Mich.). In addition, the Lions wanted to pass along a gift of appreciation to the Terriers.

The teams last met on November 2, at the Cintas Center on the campus of Xavier University.

The game, originally scheduled for November 15 at Hiram, was moved up and to Cincinnati to accommodate Mount Saint Joseph freshman Lauren Hill and her wish to play “One Last Game”. Hill has an inoperable tumor.

Hill finished the game with four points as Mount Saint Joseph defeated Hiram. Everyone involved in the contest was deemed a winner.

On Friday, Mount Saint Joseph presented the Terriers with a framed “Play for 22″ shirt, signed by the entire team.

Earlier in the evening, Hill appeared in her second game of the season for the Lions and finished with two points.

Hiram College was honored to participate in such a special game earlier in the month. Our thoughts and prayers are with Lauren, her family and the Mount Saint Joseph community.

Garrettsville – Amy Crawford, of Business Works on Main Street in Garrettsville, was the featured member at the November 17th meeting of the Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary Club at Cal’s II.  She outlined her journey from Ravenna native and KSU graduate in marketing and international business through experience in sales—which gave her a first-hand understanding of promotional products and their importance in marketing—to becoming the owner of The Business Works and branching out into accounting and tax services, as well  as promotional products.  Twenty years!  And more to come!

Over the course of the twenty years (been at present location longer than any other enterprise on Main Street) many aspects of the industry have changed.  The computer and the internet have brought about many shifts in the capabilities of individual businesses in this area.  Digital printing and screen printing have had an impact on price, speed and quality; these, in turn, affect access to local creativity and allow more in-house production of promotional items, from activity shirts to zipper pulls.  The Business Works strives to work with reliable suppliers, develop customer relationships and foster school and community pride and involvement.  She was preaching to the choir; several members pronounced themselves very satisfied with their dealings with The Business Works.

Then, it was on to business.

Start planning now if you would like to have Santa and Mrs. Claus deliver a package/gift to your home on December 23.  There is no charge for this but a donation will be accepted for the People Tree (which could use some help in meeting community needs).  Cell phones and GPS have made Santa’s job a little easier but early reservation are still a must.

In common parlance the review of the successful Reverse Raffle on November 13, might be called a “post mortem” but the term certainly doesn’t fit the description of the lively party which took place.  A preliminary estimate of funds raised awaits final settlement.  Issues to be dealt with at the next happening were discussed—need for a designated catering honcho, need for more coat hangers, need for  earlier and broader publicity and invitations—and suggestions aired.  Watch this space.

Finally, the club will be making a contribution to support the  Garfield Intermediate School 6th grade  trip to Washington, D.C.  This is what having the Reverse Raffle was all about.  Rotary is lighting up projects across the community.

Hiram Police Chief Ed Samec attended the last meeting of the Township Trustees to discuss extending the Police contract.  Township Trustees each shared that they had received positive feedback from residents on the Village Police patrols taking place within the Township limits. After some discussion, it was decided to continue the contract through the first quarter of 2015 at the current number of hours. In February 2015, after the Township’s budget has been reassessed, Trustees will determine if funds will be available to fund an increase in police presence through the remainder of the year. Those discussions will take place after both the year-end audit and 2015 budgets have been completed. In addition, Trustee Schulda suggested that if adequate funds are available, Trustees should also consider paying off the remaining portion owed by the Township for the Hiram Fire Department’s new truck.

Next, Dan Brokos reported on behalf of the Community Evaluations & Accomplishments Committee (CEAC) that plans were confirmed for the Open House hikes at the Township’s property on State Route 82 on November 15th & 16th. Mr. Brokos inquired as to whether the Trustees would agree to allow the CEAC to host a Facebook page in order to more quickly and efficiently share information with residents. After some discussion, the Trustees decided not to proceed with this suggestion.

In similar news, it was noted that the Beautification Committee, of which the Township is a part, has been seated, with an organizational meeting to be held on November 25th at 5 pm at the Village’s Rosser Building. Representatives from the Township, Village, and College have been asked to attend. It was noted that Joe Phillips, Chairman of the Zoning Board of Appeals, had tendered his resignation. Ron Thompson will be asked to finish the remainder of Mr. Phillips term, which is effective through July of 2015. Trustees are in the process of selecting a new candidate to join the Zoning Board of Appeals. In her report, Fiscal Officer Diane Rodhe reported that a title search on the Kosher property was received, showing no liens on the property.

Later, Road Supervisor Tom Matota was asked to follow up with ODOT regarding the removal of a potentially dangerous limb over the roadway on Route 700 in the south end of the Township. In addition, Mr. Matota reported that 500 feet of road was ready for installation at the Township’s new property on State Route 82, which would bring the property drive 600 feet back into the nearly 30 acre plot. Mr. Matota shared that a building permit was needed from the County. Mr. Matota suggested potential changes to the original plans, such as moving from wooden trusses to metal, in order to achieve significant cost savings. In order to receive a permit, the Township must supply four sets of prints signed by a registered architect. Trustees agreed to meet to review the project further with their architect, Mr. Jim Zella from Hiram.

Lastly, Trustee Schulda announced that Dave Auble, from Ohio Health Benefits in Hiram, will be in attendance at the first two meetings in January in order to present new health plan information and answer any questions from Township employees.

The next meeting of the Hiram Township Trustees will be held on Tuesday, December 2nd at 7 pm in the Township Hall. Residents are encouraged to attend.

Garrettsville – That’s what the top winners at the annual Rotary Reverse Raffle and Silent Auction decided to do.  The five lucky ticket-holders got together and decided to split the very substantial purse of $2000, giving every one of them an additional reason to be thankful during the upcoming holiday season.

It was a sell-out crowd for the festivity and the good times were rollin’ from early-on in the evening, beginning with Mike Carlson’s poignant and all-encompassing blessing through the inspection, appreciation  of and bidding on the many items available in the auction, the excellent meal catered by AVI from Hiram College, the new lottery tree feature and the “game of chance” action that took over as Lady Luck wandered through the room, stopping at tables to “blow on some other guy’s dice” occasionally.  There were out-of-towners, local “movers and shakers” (no hints on what got moved or what got shaken), Amish friends, Rotarians and well-wishers from all over; it was a good night and the good will be returned to the community in the many projects and activities sponsored by the Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary Club in connection with Rotary International.  “Light Up Rotary” is a motto for all seasons.

Special thanks was extended to the generous Candle Level Sponsors—Bay Window, Carol and Al Donley, Michael Maschek, Middlefield Banking Company, Mallory-DeHaven-Carlson Funeral Homes and Crematory Services—who were the foundation support that enabled the  organization of this year’s gala fun time and fundraiser.

Contributors to the silent auction included Missy Steele Pottery, Energizer Batteries, Candlelight Winery, The Business Works, G-Men Boosters, Monroe’s Orchard and Farm Market, Art-N-Flowers, Charles Motors, Barton’s Boards, Darlene Jackson, Hermann’s Pickles, Monica Potter Home, Ace Hardware,Chris Cavalier PC Repair, Ellerhorst-Russell Insurance, Hiram Inn, MacKenzie Creamery, Facet Salon and Day Spa, Fresh Start, Maggie’s , Save-A-Lot, Domino’s, Ted and Maria Lysiak,    Pizza Hut, Subway, Sky Lanes, Mark Johnson, Party Lite, Garrettsville Animal Hospital, Diane Irwin-Lia Sophia Jewelry, TruValue, McCumbers-Brady Realty, Advance Auto, The Villager, Top Tier Pastry, Waterfall Antiques IGA.

Thanks to all, attendees, sponsors, donors, organizers.  Mark your calendars for next year—Bigger and Better!

At the start of the October meeting, Mayor Lou Bertrand congratulated several members of the Fire Department on their recent promotions. Those promoted include: Captain Sanchez, Lieutenant Groselle, and Lieutenant Wilde.

Moving forward, Fire Chief Bill Byers presented the Fire/EMS Levy brochure to council. He also reported that his department had just completed an ISO inspection, which required 60 – 70 hours of prep work. According to Chief Byers, departments usually go through ISO inspections every five to ten years. Results from this year’s inspection are expected in the early part of 2015. In addition, he reported that the new emergency siren has been installed, so that there are three emergency sirens in Hiram Township and one in the Village. He also shared that in preparation for the coming storms, his department has undergone transformer and electrical safety training with Ohio Edison to learn how to safely deal with situations that include downed wires and electric pole accidents. Lastly, all in attendanceenjoyed the Halloween party at the station.

In his report, Police Chief Ed Samec shared that his department received Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE) training. This specialized training shows officers how to more accurately identify drivers who are impaired by narcotics. The training was held in Hiram, and hosted officers from Garrettsville, Mantua, Aurora, and the Portage County Sherriff’s office. According to Chief Samec, “I felt it was extremely important to bring this training to Hiram. I’m pleased that neighboring departments could participate, as well.”

In addition, Chief Samec reported that in the course of his department’s September patrol hours in the township, officers made six traffic stops and issued three citations. In the four months of this arrangement, the number of traffic stops has reduced, while the number or citations has remained steady. Lastly, Chief Samec shared that the recent car show raised $1,000 for the upcoming Shop with a Cop program, where the area’s underprivileged kids have the opportunity to purchase Christmas gifts for themselves and their families.

Next, Village Administrator Bob Wood announced that work has begun in the cemetery, repairing headstones, some of which date back to the 1800’s, in Sections A and B. The work is estimated to take one month. Lastly, Mr. Wood reported that his department is working to collect some of the Village’s past due water and sewer bills, and shared that he may work with the Village Solicitor to resolve a few. When asked by council to comment about the widespread road salt price increases — from summer cost of $40/ton to fall/winter cost of  $108/ton, Mr. Wood replied, “We’re anticipating it to be a beautiful winter, but we’re ready for a bad one.” He noted that the majority of salt would be used on hills, curves, and intersections.

In his report, Mayor Lou Bertrand asked that Council approve Dr. Willard Greenwood as a member of the Zoning Commission. Council approved his appointment.  Further, Mayor Bertrand discussed the proposed ordinance to combine the Village Park Board and the Beautification Committee, which includes constituents from both Hiram Township and Hiram College. The Mayor shared an email with Council from Park Board member Chris Szell, in which Mr. Szell clarified that the Park Board had not voted to combine the two groups, as may have been previously assumed. After much discussion, the proposed resolution remains tabled at its second reading, the Beautification Committee has been seated, and an organizational meeting of the Beautification Committee was scheduled for October 28th. Committee members from the college, the township and the village were invited to attend. The next Park Board meeting will be held on Friday, November 14th at 8:30 am.

Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary Club   received the “sincerest form of flattery” when President Delores McCumbers  revealed that the Portage Cluster of Rotary clubs had emulated the local group by issuing a release on “Why I Support Rotary”, listing many of the community-based activities and international interests of Rotarians.

The Community Christmas Tree project was part of the meeting’s discussion. The tree is to be located downtown at the former Chic and Shabby/Root Store corner, donated by Dane Horvath of Horvath Landscaping.  Tom Collins will be providing lights and community members will be invited to bring (non-breakable) ornaments to decorate the tree.  On Saturday, November 8th and Saturday, November 15th, Santa’s sleigh will be on-site, as will Santa, from 12:00 to 4:00.  At that time, donations to the People Tree or the Community Cupboard will be received—food items, a toy or cash donations.  Possibility of  photo opportunity as well.  On the 8th and the 22nd , District 6630 Rotarians are invited to a Cash Mob/Flash Mob in the village, Sam Bixler and his horses and wagon will be delighting   passengers about town and the Spirit will be in the air.

The Silver Creek Garden Club of Garrettsville has made a generous donation to assist in planting bulbs around the fountain by the Boardwalk and at the entrance signs to the village.  Volunteers for the planting operations would be appreciated; see any Rotarian.

Tom Collins  reported that our resident exchange student, Zad, has been attending district-wide activities for exchange students, including overnighters and tours of Cleveland’s west side…east side next?  He continues to be taken aback by the sheer abundance he sees. Ted Lysiak revealed that the James A. Garfield Elementary has been tagged as  a “School of Honor”—one of only 48 in the state—as a result of its achievements and progress over recent years.

The Reverse Raffle and Silent Auction is on track and ROLLIN’ for next week.  Tickets still available but get them soon.  See any Rotarian.

Hiram –  “TREE House exemplifies what is distinct about Hiram,” beamed Dr. Debbie Kasper, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies at Hiram College. From its radiant heat in the basement floor to its R60-rated insulation in the attic, the TREE House is a model of energy efficiency and sustainability.

Work was done by local contractors, and supported by volunteers from faculty, staff and the community.

Local resident Scott Robinson supplied the fine carpentry work. Mike and MJ Viggiani from Mike’s Electric in Hiram, OH completed electrical work. They installed the energy-conserving LED lighting systems and energy-monitoring systems to enable Hiram College to track energy usage throughout the structure. Dominic Gualtieri, of Gualtieri Construction in Hiram, worked on foundation and footer work, helping the TREE House, much like trees themselves, grow from the ground up. Using less traditional materials like foam blocks, and simple tools including a drill, a reciprocating saw or other cutting tool, and plenty of zip ties, Gualtieri remarked, “the process is easy enough for an average homeowner to do.”

Insulation guru Nate Adams from Energy Smart Home Performance in Mantua, lent his expertise to the project as well. According to Adams, at the start of the project, blower door tests — used to measure a home’s airtightness, — were measured at 6,700. The team’s goal was to reduce that number to 2,000. After all the work the team has completed, the TREE House now scores under 1,000.  A Home Energy Rating System (HERS) index rating measures how energy efficient a home is. A score of 100 is the goal for structures to meet the 2009 standards. Adams continued, “The TREE House started at 208, but is now listed at around 50.”

According to Jim Zella, the architect and builder from Hiram who served as the Project Manager, “Air leakage is the most important factor for energy use. To improve comfort and reduce moisture problems, tighter is better. But if a home is too tight, air quality may suffer.” To solve this issue, an Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV) was installed to give the bad air a way to get out. The ERV pulls fresh air in, while filtering incoming air and exhausting stale air. In the process, exhausted air helps to warm the incoming air, making the system more effective.

Zella shared how the old siding, which contained lead paint, was left in place and encapsulated in cement board siding. This not only kept harmful materials out of a landfill, but serves to diminish the heating system requirements of the building. Since the envelop of the house is tight, it doesn’t require as much energy to heat. “I’m very pleased with what took place at this green and sustainable project,” Zella continued. It was truly a team effort that resulted in a reduction of energy usage at the TREE House — a whopping 75% lower than the original structure.

Several foundations have helped fund this project, including the Kent H. Smith Charitable Trust; Dominion’s Higher Educational Partnership; and the Lubrizol Foundation. In addition, private donors have also given their support, including Jane & George Rose, Merrill Preston, Jr.; Damaris Peters-Pike & Ken Pike; Steve Zabor, and Kathryn Craig. The overwhelming support is what Kasper says made it, “genuinely special and rare. All in all, it has been a grand learning experiment, and the kind of thing Hiram does best,” he continued. “What we’ve created is a wonderful space to teach and meet and learn.”

The windows on the first floor and some of the second floor have been replaced with more energy-efficient models; the rest will be replaced as budget allows. The old parts of the home were repurposed on site, for example, old windows now top display tables created by local artist Barry Bishop, and an unneeded door was transformed into a corner shelf for a quiet space off the kitchen. One of the goals of this project was to show people how to salvage pieces of older homes, preserving the character while diverting useful items from the landfill. Water collection system will irrigate the on site gardens.

“We’ve been working so hard and dealing with unexpected issues on a nearly daily basis for so long now, it feels really surprising — in a good way — to have most of the major work behind us and to think we’ll actually be able to use the house,” shared Kasper.  One member of the Environmental Studies Department has already moved in, while the rest of the Department is scheduled to do so over the holiday break.  “Ever since the grand opening, we’ve been getting lots of questions from students who are eager to use the space!  They will be very happy to know that we plan on teaching several classes there this spring,” beamed Kasper.

The next steps for the TREE House will be to learn how to effectively use the space, given its collection of advanced technologies. In addition, the team will be hard at work compiling data they’ve been collecting throughout the process. “We learned a lot through the process, and continue to do so,” shared Kasper. The TREE House team has documented throughout the process, and will share that data so that others can learn from their experiences. Data regarding the various systems and cost savings will be posted on the TREE House website hiram.edu/sustainability/tree-house. In addition, over the next few months, information about some of the most important features will be shared on informational placards that will be posted throughout the house, allowing visitors to learn more and link to the website for additional resources.

Minor work is still being finalized on the TREE House, with a schedule for public access to be established in early 2015. Contact Debbie Kasper at kasperdv@hiram.edu for more information.

Hiram – Hiram College’s innovative degree completion and retention programs helped the Akron region secure a $1 million grand prize from CEOs for Cities for its growth in college degree attainment over the past four years.

CEOs for Cities announced on Oct. 29, 2014, in Washington, D.C., that the Akron Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) had the biggest improvement in degree attainment in the nation, out of the 57 regions competing in the National Talent Dividend. The Northeast Ohio Council on Higher Education (NOCHE) accepted the award on behalf of the Akron MSA educational community which is composed of Hiram College, Kent State University, Northeast Ohio Medical University, Stark State College and The University of Akron. These funds will make possible additional college attainment initiatives throughout the region.

“This award helps to symbolize and actualize the collaborative partnerships that exist between Hiram College, the other regional colleges and universities in Northeast Ohio, and NOCHE,” said Lori Varlotta, Ph.D., president of Hiram College. “Hiram takes great pride in being a part of the region’s efforts to improve degree attainment. I am especially proud, however, of Hiram’s success in educating and graduating–in very large proportions–first generation students most of whom ultimately live, learn and earn in Northeast Ohio.” Dr. Varlotta attended the award ceremony, along with presidents from Kent State University, The University of Akron, Northeast Ohio Medical University and Stark State College, the colleges and universities that are part of the Akron MSA.

Hiram College’s share of the grand prize will be put toward degree completion initiatives.

Two of the defining efforts that led to the Akron area’s recognition were collaborations between Hiram College and other institutions in the region:

• Success Scholarships: Hiram College, Kent State University and The University of Akron awarded scholarships to students within a semester of graduation who had a small amount of unmet financial need. These completion scholarships of less than $1,000 each made the critical difference in earning a degree for local college graduates over the past few years.

• Pathway Programs: Hiram College, Kent State Universities and the University of Akron all prepare future physicians for medical school through focused pipeline programs, in partnership with NEOMED. Through Hiram College’s B.A. to M.D. Pathway Program, up to five Hiram sophomores who aspire to be future primary care providers are accepted each year into NEOMED. Upon successfully completing a Hiram baccalaureate degree and passing the MCAT, students will have a seat waiting for them in medical school.

Hiram College also contributed to regional degree attainment through several of its own initiatives. The MAP-Works program, implemented in 2011, has positively impact traditional student retention. In 2013, students who accessed their MAP-Works report persisted from fall to spring at a rate of 91 percent, compared to a rate of 81 percent for those who did not access the report. A survey-based program, MAP-Works empowers faculty and staff to positively impact student success and retention by identifying student issues and concerns early in the term.  The program provides Hiram with the information necessary to identify and coordinate interventions with transitioning, high achieving, and high-risk students.

Over the past year, Hiram College awarded bachelor’s degrees to 32 students who completed requirements entirely on a community college campus. These students, the first of many to come, earned their bachelor of arts in accounting within 18 months of enrolling in Hiram’s partnership program with Lorain County Community College. 82 percent of these students earned their degree while working, and they boasted an average grade point average of 3.4. Hiram College now has established partnership programs at Lakeland Community College and Cuyahoga Community College, Eastern Campus.

According to CEOs for Cities, the Akron MSA produced 2,139 more postsecondary degrees than four years ago for an astonishing 20 percent increase. The increase in degrees awarded was a result of cross-regional and cross-sector collaboration including two-year, four-year, public and private higher education institutions and their many collaborating partners. The Northeast Ohio Talent Dividend galvanized support for collective impact in raising educational attainment across four metropolitan areas, including Akron.

“We are so proud to recognize the achievements of Greater Akron and its peers across the country,” said Noel Harmon, national director of the Talent Dividend. “This award is the result of years of hard work, and we are hopeful all of Northeast Ohio’s cross collaborative efforts provide inspiration and a roadmap for other cities as they work to increase postsecondary attainment.

Northeast Ohio Council on Higher Education (NOCHE) has been leading Northeast Ohio Talent Dividend in four metropolitan areas (Akron, Canton, Cleveland, Youngstown) since 2009, as part of the national contest.

“Northeast Ohio boasts a gigantic increase of 92,000 more college degree holders since the Talent Dividend began, a substantial gain of almost three percentage points in attainment,” said Shawn Brown, vice president of the Northeast Ohio Council on Higher Education. “The accomplishments in Summit and Portage Counties are significant, and they are part of an even bigger success story on college access and completion that has accelerated brain gain across Akron, Canton, Cleveland and Youngstown.”

Garrettsville-Hiram Rotarians were gratified to meet some of the eighth grade Power of the Pen team members from James A. Garfield Middle School and their coach/advisor, Jackie Lovelace.  Ms. Lovelace, who has been the coach/advisor/motivator of the Garfield program for 13 years, introduced the group and offered a brief overview of the program, the procedures of competition and the excellent results which the students have achieved.  She also read examples of the students’ writings and it was clear why they had been so successful—excellent use of vocabulary and composition skills.  The G-H Rotary has, for the last five years, sponsored the district competition held at Garfield and was proud to see the hardware(trophy) that the writers had garnered.  Everyone will be pulling for these talented individuals—and their seventh grade counterparts—to go to the state competition this year.  It is a learning experience all around.

The trash pick-up on October 25 was successful…and fun.  The weather was good, the crew (Rotarians and Interact Club members) was convivial and enthusiastic, lunch at McDonald’s was fun, the pictures caught it all.  The Portage County Park District Foundation will be chipping in on the Headwaters Trail project now in the planning stages.  Some local members attended the Rotary/Bob Evans fundraiser       for Polio Plus, a Rotary community health initiative. Local exchange student, Zad, got to go to a district-wide Rotary exchange student get-together and get a feel for the upcoming Halloween activities.  Rachel Schwan, in Thailand, got to attend a RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Award) activity in Thailand; this is a program that got its start with Dr. Bob Jackson , long-time member of the local club, district mover-and-shaker and all-around good guy.  Tempting to say, “What goes around, comes around” on the upside too.

Then it was “off to the races”…or, rather, “off to the raffle”.  The year’s big event, the Reverse Raffle and Silent Auction is coming up on November 13—almost here—and preparation is the word of the day.  Tickets are available.  Everyone is invited.  Donations and sponsorships are welcome.  Officials from all over have been invited.  It’s the 30th anniversary of this popular fundraiser and it looks to be the best yet.

November 13

SugarBush Golf Course

Don’t miss it.  Get your tickets NOW.

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Hiram – The renowned folk ensemble Harmonia will present a free concert at Hiram College on Saturday, October 25 at 7:30 p.m.  Location is Frohring Recital Hall, 11746 Dean Street.  Harmonia plays the traditional music of Eastern Europe, ranging from the Danube to the Carpathians.  Its repertoire reflects the cultures of the region:  Hungarian, Slovak, Ukrainian, Romanian, Croatian, and Gypsy.  The ensemble’s performances on authentic folk instruments evoke the full range of human emotions, interspersing fiery, passionate virtuosity with soulful melancholy and nostalgic yearning.

The ensemble uses instruments as varied as accordion, upright bass, violin, panflute, and cimbalom (the East-European 125 string hammered dulcimer).  The musicans come from varied backgrounds, finding a common musical language in Harmonia.  SingOut! Magazine called their performance “Brilliant.  Lush.  Dazzling.”  National Public Radio declared the group “a musical gem.”  The group is based in Cleveland but appears widely throughout the U.S. and beyond.

The concert is co-sponsored by the Hiram College Music Department and the Hiram Community Trust.  Further information: dreisbachts@hiram.edu or 330-569-5294.

Hiram – Justin Lonis is the founder of Justimagine, LLC, located in his hometown of Mentor, OH. The company’s first product is the Advanced Balance Board, which was developed by Lonis as a senior project while he was still a student at Hiram College. The idea was born after Lonis, a 6’6” basketball forward at Hiram College, injured his ankle. Essentially, his design consists of a balance platform with an LCD display that shows the number of touches, or times the platform tips, in a given time period. His innovative product aids in lower body stability testing, ankle stability, and rehabilitation. A recent Hiram College graduate, Lonis won first place in the Entrepreneurs’ Organization’s Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA) this month.

His idea and resulting business plan earned first place at Hiram’s IdeaBuild Competition, and third place at the regional competition. He earned first place at the GSEA in Cleveland. Following his mom’s advice, he is trying to retain as much equity in his company as possible. He’s currently in the prototype phase of his invention — or as he stated, “It’s more selling a dream than a product.” He estimates that the prototype is 90% complete, and he plans to show a completed prototype at the next round of competition in early November. Potential users of his product include orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists, and athletic trainers.

As a part of the Cleveland competition, Lonis was thrilled to be a part of the sold-out Thrive event, sponsored by the Cleveland Entrepreneurs’ Organization earlier this month. The event featured Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. “Just being in the competition gave me access to over 300 entrepreneurs. The insights they provided made it the most valuable experience for me.” It also gave Lonis the chance to play Air Combat — co-piloting an actual fighter plane flying over Lake Erie — and manning the controls during simulated dogfights. “It’s the coolest thing I’ve ever done!” he beamed. Lonis reinvested his prize winnings into his company, and will move on to compete in the US Nationals in Chicago next month. A victory in Chicago would qualify Justin for a chance at the title of Global Student Entrepreneur of the Year (GSEA) in April 2015 in Washington, DC.

Justimagine, LLC currently holds three USPTO provisional patents and has working relationships with local area colleges, hospitals, sports teams and entrepreneurial agencies. More advanced versions of the initial product may be used to help quantitatively diagnose concussions. But Lonis admits that his biggest challenge is simplifying his “elevator pitch” — the 30-second summary of his product for potential investors or buyers of his product. “It’s a huge challenge for me. My goal is to break it down in a way that even my eight-year-old brother, Mikey can understand.”

The GSEA (Global Student Entrepreneur Awards) is a global competition hosted by the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) for students who own and operate businesses while attending high school or college. During the competitions, nominees like Justin compete against their peers from around the world. With more than 1,700 competitors from more than 20 countries, EO GSEA is an awesome opportunity for student entrepreneurs to make connections, find resources, and grow their businesses.

The Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) is a global network of more than 10,000 business owners in 46 countries. They strive to inspire students to entrepreneurship by showcasing undergraduate business owners through the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA).

Columbus Day reduced the ranks of   Garrettsville-Hiram Rotarians but the Rotary spirit carried on.  Discussions covered the following topics :

*Dictionaries are here to be distributed on Thursday to third graders at James A. Garfield Elementary

*The organization needs to update and improve its presence on digital media.  To that end, G-H Rotary will be trying out the services of “ClubRunner”, a commercial operation that has a base integrated with Rotary International and the capabilities to handle photos and directories, planning and calendars and much more.  The investment could help broaden local appeal as well as promoting outreach and connectivity.

*The possibility of a Cash Mob/Flash Mob inviting the fifty-three clubs of District 6630 to come to Garrettsville for the Christmas Walk sponsored by the James A. Garfield Historical Society on the first two weekends of November could be a real boost to the local economy and spirit.  The horses will be there for rides around town, on November 8 and November 15—Thank you, Sam, thank you, Pete.  Diners will want to scope out the possibilities. Entrepreneurs will want to scope out the opportunities of coming to a historic village making a comeback.

*The Reverse Raffle is rolling.  Anyone interested in being a sponsor or donor for the occasion should contact Trish Danku or any other Rotarian to get in on the good karma…and good advertising.  Tickets are available now; get your table companions NOW, look for a good time with a great bunch.

*Tom Collins gave an update on the application for a district matching grant focusing on the enhancement and promotion of the Headwaters Trail as a community asset for health and  economic activity.  Looking good…specifics are working their way through the planning stages.

*Ideas concerning a Community Christmas Tree downtown at the Chic & Shabby lot or the Buckeye Block space are being floated.  Things will begin to sort themselves out when there is more input.

Things are happening in Rotary.  Join them at noon on Monday at Cal’s II in Sky Plaza.

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Hiram  – Hiram College will help build bridges between local high schools and their international peers, thanks to a grant from the U.S. Department of State. The program is in collaboration with Case Western Reserve University, The Shoals Marine Laboratory and the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.

The grant, totaling $492,309 for “Public Diplomacy Programs for Afghanistan and Pakistan” is the largest federal grant on record that Hiram College has received.

Through this grant, Cleveland-area and Pakistani high school students and teachers will spend several weeks together in learning communities, exploring ways to address the international water crisis from the ground up. The program, “Connecting Pakistani and American High Schools Through International Watershed Partnerships,” is an international twist on the Igniting Streams of Learning in Science (ISLS) program that Professor of Biology Denny Taylor has coordinated since 2007. The grant will fund the program from October 2014 through May 2016.

“The program is based on the principle that high school students become more connected with themselves, with one another and with the world at large when they explore real-world problems and when their discoveries make a difference,” Taylor said. “Our program calls for the formation of non-traditional partnerships among American and Pakistani high schools, universities, local community partners and government agencies – partnerships that are necessary to solve the unprecedented global water crises of the 21st Century.”

The cohort will spend nine days at Hiram College, five days at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and five days at Shoals Marine Laboratory in New Hampshire during a summer 2015 institute. Several Hiram College and Pakistani undergraduates will travel with the high school students to each site, as “near peer mentors.”

Robin Singleton ’15, one of the “near peer mentors” for the summer 2014 pilot program that Taylor recently coordinated, said she and the other undergraduates played a valuable role.

“We didn’t just learn the science behind (the water crisis), but the protocols for putting something like this together,” the biology major from York, Pa., said. “And being closer in age (to high school students) than the others involved was beneficial because we have a slightly better understanding of how high school students want to learn, and we can relate to them.”

The undergraduate mentors will also facilitate communication between the Pakistani and American peers once the summer institute is complete.  Before parting ways, the students will put together an action plan that they will teach and model to their peers back home. They will continue to meet virtually through fall and winter 2015 to share success stories and challenges.

The value of the program goes far beyond getting high school students engaged and active in the fresh water crisis; it is a starting point, Taylor said, for “how we think about our relationships with each other and our relationships with the world.”

Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary continues “full speed ahead” toward the big fall event, the Reverse Raffle and Silent Auction coming up at Sugar Bush Golf Club in November.  Sponsors and donors are still welcome; attendees from across the community can begin lining up their tickets now. See any Rotary member.  It’s an enjoyable evening with friends, old and new, and  great food.  Don’t miss it.

Items of business included Lisa Muldowney’s announcement that the Dictionary Project books are in.  They will each be outfitted with a sticker outlining the Four-Way Test and giving the name of the Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary Club as the dictionary sponsor.  They will be distributed, classroom by classroom, to third graders at Garfield Elementary School as soon as they get their stickers.

The last home soccer game of the season will be on Tuesday; it’s Senior Night and the local Rotary Student Exchange guy in residence, “Zad”, has been part of the team since his arrival, making some major contributions.

The program for the meeting came from member Tanay Hill, of Huntington Bank, who started off with a clever quiz, designed to encourage focused observation by bank personnel and others who might be at the scene of an untoward event at a bank…or anywhere.  Observation  works to protect customers as well as bank employees when situations are out of the ordinary and may need investigation.

Ms Hill has one daughter and graduated from Youngstown State University in 2003 with a degree in accounting; her scholarship from Sky Bank led to her employment there and  when Sky Bank became part of Huntington, there she was.  She started in Warren, has risen through the ranks and has spent 9 years in management.  She is a past president of Business Network International, is involved in Junior Achievement and heads up a team of eight—with many years of experience– at the Garrettsville branch of Huntington Bank.  Her special field of expertise is in business development, which fits well with Huntington’s recognition as a #1 Small Business Administration lender.  Her branch has been a proud supporter of the Friends of Melana organization and is becoming more involved with the Garrettsville Chamber of Commerce.  She asks the right questions and gets good answers

The welcomed guest for lunch was Josh Prest, a regional representative for the state treasurer’s office.  His contribution to discussion was to mention that the Youngstown Business Incubator has recently been ranked #1 in the world.  Rising from the ashes is good for the region and good for the state treasurer’s office

The Hiram Village Fire Department has two levies on the ballot next month — the renewal of a 2-mil EMS levy and an additional 3-mil Fire Protection levy. Mr. Dave Loader, a long-time resident of Hiram Township, shared the reason he plans to support these valuable tax levies in November.

Early one morning late winter morning in 2013, Dave’s son-in-law Rob stopped by the house, to drop off a grandson for Dave to babysit. Shortly after Rob’s arrival, however, without notice, Dave suddenly dropped to the floor. Dave related the story he’s been told, since he has no memory of what happened — the last thing he remembers is talking with Rob.

Luckily, as Dave fell, his son-in-law caught Dave’s head in his hands, guiding it gently to the floor. He then grabbed the nearby phone and immediately dialed 911, summoning the Hiram Squad, who arrived within 5 minutes. According to Hiram Village Fire Department Chief Bill Byers, “On that snowy morning, the Fire Department received a call to assist a man who had fallen. Upon arrival, the team found Mr. Loader not breathing, with no pulse.” He was in full cardiac arrest. Dave’s heart had stopped, but the Hiram EMS crew was able to use the automated external defibrillator (AED) restart his heart. “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,” explained Chief Byers. Dave was told that the AED was needed again on the way to University Geauga Hospital. For saving his life on that blustery day, Dave credits, “my son-in-law, Rob; the Hiram Squad; and God — all three worked together in perfect timing.”

The next thing Dave remembered was waking up in University Geauga Hospital, where he spent several days. During that time, it was determined that Dave would need surgery to place stents to improve blood flow to the arteries in his heart. But to further complicate matters, it was learned that Dave’s heart had shifted inside his chest cavity. This was due to the fact that several years prior, Dave had undergone a lobectomy, in which part of his lung was removed to combat lung cancer. As a result, according to Dave, his heart had moved, making the surgery more challenging. After Dave and his family consulted with his doctors, it was decided that the procedure would take place at University Hospital’s Cleveland location. Dave made a full recovery.

Dave and his wife Danielle, have lived in Hiram since1967. They moved to the area when they left California, where they had both been stationed in the Air Force.  His wife, who is originally from Mantua, wanted to return to the area where she was raised so they would be surrounded by family as they started their life together.

They have four daughters, four sons-in-law, and 11 grandchildren. Rob, who is married to their youngest daughter, is the newest son-in-law to join the family. “We joke that after this experience, Rob quickly moved to the top of my list as favorite.”

Also at the top of his list is renewal of the Hiram Village Tax Levy for Emergency Medical Services, which will be on November’s ballot. Renewing this levy will allow the Department to have two people on duty around the clock. “Because I know firsthand that quick response is so important,” Dave concluded.

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Hiram – The Hiram Police Department recently held its Annual Car Show that is a fund raiser for the “Shop with a Cop” program. Although the weather did not cooperate fully there was a great turnout for the event. Car enthusiasts came from as far as Wooster Ohio to show off their antique, vintage, muscle, hot rod cars. When folks learned that the car show was a fund raiser for the Shop with a Cop program, nothing was going to hold them back from coming out and supporting the cause, not even an overcast rainy day. The event was filled with family fun, great food, music, prizes and trophies. Kepich Ford in Garrettsville was the event’s main sponsor and also had a display of muscle cars and a modified truck.

Almost $1,000.00 was raised from the event from a 50/50 raffle and donations. “I am overjoyed at the amount of funds that was raised at the event, the Shop with a Cop programs survives solely upon fund raisers and donations and the outpouring of support is heartwarming”.  The Shop with a Cop program allows underprivileged children to go Christmas shopping for themselves and their families while accompanied by police officers from Hiram and Garrettsville Police Departments.

“We have had such success with the Shop with a Cop program, we have partnered with Garrettsville and extend the program to their school district, it is our eventual goal that no child goes without during the holiday seasons due to financial strains and poverty.” We would like to graciously thank our event sponsors: Kepich Ford, Garrettsville Advance Auto, Hiram College Bookstore, G’Ville Auto, Hiram College, Sodexco, Hiram Maggie’s Donuts, Charles Chevrolet, Mantua Italian Garden, Village Motors, Hiram Gioninos Pizza, Portage Portable Toilets, Garrettsville Dairy Queen, Pam Collins of Owl Origami, Sky Lane Bowling, Garrettsville McDonald’s, Sabre Health Care, Hiram Corner Store and Café, and Garrettsville Ace Hardware. Due to your generous donations we were able to provide lots of awesome door prizes.

If you were unable to attend the Car Show fund raiser and wish to provide a donation to the Shop with a Cop program, please contact Hiram Police Department Chief Ed Samec (330) 569-3236.

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Hiram – Little Village Early Learning Center at Hiram Christian Church celebrated the dedication of their new outdoor classroom and playground on September 16, 2014 at 4:30PM.  The ribbon cutting was a culmination of months of planning, cooperation and coordination between Little Village and its many partners, including Hiram College, Kiwanis of the Western Reserve and Hiram Village as well as individual families and churches.

Hiram College education professor and Little Village Advisory Committee member, Jennifer McCreight, observed, “The dedication of the playground is just the latest in a long string of events that have made clear the Hiram community supports Little Village.  Having worked on the playground with multiple classes, and watching as it grew in size and scope due to generous donations and creative vision, I see the contributions of so many when I step back and admire it today.”  Highlights of this one-of-a-kind toddler and preschool friendly playground include an outdoor mud kitchen, drum area made from creatively repurposed materials, raised bed flower and vegetable gardens, a tree shaped play structure, and a tricycle track complete with gas station.

The playground will be used by the school during their hours of operation, 7AM-6PM, and is open to the public after hours and on weekends.    For more information, call Little Village Early Learning Center at 330-569-7101 or visit littlevillagehiram.org.

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Hiram  – Northeast Ohio entrepreneurs are invited to join Hiram College’s Center for Integrated Entrepreneurship for several entrepreneurship workshops this semester. The workshops are designed to encourage members of Hiram College and the greater Cleveland community to explore and develop their original ideas

The first of these workshops, Intellectual Property, will take place from 3-5 p.m. on Sept. 26, 2014 in East Hall Forum. Workshops are free for Hiram students, $10 for Hiram alumni and $20 for all others.

Salvatore A. Sidoti ’93, principal of Curatolo Sidoti Co. LPA, will lead the workshop.

Sidoti has experience in all phases of intellectual property law. His practice involves client counseling, patent and trademark procurement, trade secret and dispute resolution. He has experience in the chemical, biochemical, materials science and polymer arts. He also has substantial experience before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.  Topics will include:

· Process of intellectual-property development – patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets

· Rules of thumb for determining whether a particular piece of intellectual property is worth the time and expense of protecting.

· Conducting basic patent searches

Future workshops include:

· “So you have an idea; now what?” – Oct. 17, 3-5 p.m., East Hall Forum; presented by Jack Burge, Director of Economic and Entrepreneurial Development, City of Aurora

· “Franchise: Business in a Box” – Nov. 7, 3-5 p.m., East Hall Forum; presented by Jack Warren, Director of Operations, Comfort Keepers

Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary met on September 22 at Cal’s II and closed the meeting  by voting to make this their regular meeting place—at noon—until further notice.

Guest speaker for the day was Mark Tripodi of Cornerstone of Hope, a counseling center for grieving children, teens and adults, located in Independence, Ohio, with a new facility opening in Columbus.  The center offers many programs : grief counseling, art therapy, support groups, school programs, bereavement camps, memorial ceremonies, education and training of grief counselors, a lending library, volunteer opportunities–all available on a sliding financial scale.  All ages and need situations are welcome to interact with their licensed clinical professionals and/or peers, whatever brings the most support and healing.  Summer youth support camps, crisis intervention team training, weekly and monthly sessions, a variety of therapies are all available.  The group and their Tree House have appeared on Animal Planet.

After suffering a devastating family loss, Mark and his wife and family were unable to find help and support that met their needs with a schedule and a financial situation that fit their capabilities, they set out to establish a group, a community and a facility that would do for others what they wished had been available for them.  Cornerstone of Hope has been the result, a light in the darkness of despair which overwhelms so many.  Mark was accompanied by Francine Artiste a new-on-the-job facilitator for the group.

In other business, Tom Collins reported on Zad, the resident exchange student, who got to attend the recent climate change rally in New York, see Times Square, be amazed at the 300,000 people in attendance at the rally (“There is NO planet B”, “It’s getting hot in here.  Take your coals off.” “Save the Humans”—message from a Panda)…AND score the winning goal in the Rootstown soccer game.

Tom also gave an update on the continuing consultations with the Mantua-Shalersville Rotary Club, the Garrettsville Garden Club, the Mayor of Garrettsville and the Portage County Park District for expanding and promoting the Headwaters Trail for the good of the entire community.

Rich Brown attended as a guest.  He is a business contact of McCumbers-Brady Realty doing vital title work.

The Rotary-sponsored Roadside Clean-up will be on October 25.

G-H Rotary meets every Monday at noon at Cal’s II,  Check them out.

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Hiram – Kerry Martin Skora, professor and chair of religious studies at Hiram College, has recently returned to the U.S. after spending nine months in Bhutan as a Fulbright Scholar.

Bhutan – its people and culture – has been a longstanding research interest for Skora. He has traveled there seven times since 2003, including five Hiram College study abroad trips. But he calls this recent trip, where he spent nine months (from Dec. 2013 through Aug. 2014) teaching and researching as a Fulbright Scholar, the “peak of my academic career” – and rightfully so.

The Fulbright Scholar Program, coordinated by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, is one of the most prestigious awards programs worldwide. Furthermore, Skora’s long-term Fulbright is the most prestigious of all Fulbright programs.

Bhutan, a small developing country of about 700,000, known for its policy of “Gross National Happiness,” is a land-locked country between Tibet and India and has largely remained free of Western influence.

“It’s a quirk of the history of humankind that Bhutan survived,” Skora said. “It preserved every strand of Buddhism. All the laws are set up that so that they’ll preserve this pristine environment.”

These laws include the country’s policy of “Gross National Happiness,” coined in 1972 by Bhutan’s fourth king. In the Western world, human economic progressions often negatively impact the ecosystem as a whole. “Gross National Happiness” takes into account how all living things are affected.

“When Bhutan creates a policy, they look at how it affects everyone and the wholeecosystem,” Skora explained. “For them, progress means that everything is well – all beings and all things that are part of their environment. This more holistic perspective, valuing all living things, nurtures happiness.”

For his Fulbright, Skora taught monks and Bhutanese teachers at several schools and institutions. He focused largely on the importance of preserving the precious Bhutanese culture, which he said is slowly becoming modernized.

“I realized that as an outsider, as an American, I could tell them what was most precious about their culture and what was most consistent with the king’s original vision,” he said. “They need religious studies scholars to tell them how important the model of spiritual ecology is not only for Bhutan but also for the whole world.”

Skora also worked with Bhutan’s Central Monastic Body as adviser on how to revise the traditional monastic curricula to make it more socially engaged and relevant in the 21st century. Suicide rates, drug use and violent crimes are all slowly rising, he said, because of the modern world moving in.

During his nine-month stay, Skora also shared and developed his research on Longchenpa, a Tibetan Buddhism teacher, who spent the end of his life in Bhutan. Skora said this long-term stay gave him a greater awareness of the connection between spirituality and ecology, and that he will be a better teacher and scholar because of it.

“I went back to many of the places Longchenpa walked, and I prayed at the place where he began writing his books on consciousness,” Skora said. “I feel like this is what I’m supposed to do. A lot of ideas that have been in my head for a long time, since graduate school, are coming together. The extended immersion allows ideas to flourish. I’m more inspired.”

Skora earned his B.A. from the University of Chicago and his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. His wife, Kara Ellis Skora, who teaches religious studies as an adjunct professor at both the College of Wooster and Hiram College, and son Emmanuel Thomas George Skora who completed seventh grade at the Pelkhil School in Thimphu, accompanied him for most of the trip.

Hiram - Members from the Hiram College community, past, present and future, made citizens all over the United States see red last Saturday.

Gathering at over two dozen locations around the country as part of the annual Alumni Volunteer Day, about three hundred alumni, friends and family – the largest registration in the event’s thirteen year existence! – invaded various sites in the name of lending a Hiram Hill helping hand.

Donning bright red T-shirts received specially for the occasion, or accented by other HC-representing flair, generations from several decades of Hiram history mingled and worked together while supporting an assortment of projects. Alumni who recently celebrated a 50th year class reunion painted walls alongside graduates who moved their own tassels across the mortarboard only a couple of years ago. Hands of inexperienced quilters were taught how to tie fabric strips into knots for children’s blankets by seasoned seamstresses while also linking decades of campus stories, interweaving the figurative threads as well as the literal ones. The options for serving were just as varied as the participants as, in addition to painting or quilt-tying, volunteers could register for opportunities to mend fences, paint playhouses, move (or even build!) furniture, perform general administrative tasks, landscaping, pantry stocking, or even to directly assist current students by clearing thorny brush from the James H. Barrow field station, an active research facility utilized frequently by Biology or Environmental Studies majors.

Approximately half of the College’s living alumni are located in Northeast Ohio, so many of the tasks were scheduled throughout Portage, Trumbull, Stark, Ashtabula and Cuyahoga counties, but the Terrier Spirit was out in force in places ranging all the way from Boston to Atlanta to Phoenix! And it wasn’t only distance that spanned further than one would imagine, it was time as well as two of the projects didn’t actually take place on Saturday the 13th which will effectively turn the whole month into a wonderful way to welcome in autumn: though April is officially National Volunteer Month, thanks to hundreds of Hiramites September is temporarily taking that title for the Terriers.

Kicking off the efforts the previous weekend, volunteers were invited to the Birds in Flight Sanctuary in Warren where new drains were installed and nets were repaired to provide a safe place for rescued feathered friends. The event served as a bit of a preview to the amazing objectives that would be accomplished during the upcoming main attraction. Warren also hosted an activity on the “official” day, encouraging those with an appreciation for the humanities to spend the morning sprucing up the Trumbull Art Gallery which recently made a major move to a new location. With paintbrushes in hand, participants may not have created the framed pieces lining the walls, but thanks to their efforts in coating the trim boards around the interior of the building, the facility itself is now framed even more beautifully.

And for those who share the love of fuzzy friends, the four-pawed have certainly not been forgotten as this year’s collaboration will wrap up with the final weekend’s activity taking place in Kirtland at the Holden Arboretum in honor of the Rescue Village’s Woofstock festivities. (Doodle Dog will be proud!) On Saturday, September 20th, volunteers will set up tents, tables, chairs and other supplies to help organizers prepare for the furry fundraiser on Sunday, September 21st.

Alumni Volunteer Day is not just for Hiram College graduates – friends and family are more than welcome – so for more information or details on how you can be involved next year, contact the Hiram College Alumni Office toll free at (800) 705-5050 or visit http://alumni.hiram.edu.

For more information on the quickly-approaching Woofstock, contact the Geauga Humane Society at (440) 338-4819, on the web at http://www.geaugahumane.org or find them on Facebook. With a one-mile dog walk, agility course, pet-friendly activities and adoptable dogs, it’s a great day to be a fan of canines. (Who knows, you might even find your very own floppy-eared puppy to bring home!)

The Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary Club began and ended with the Four-Way Test this past week.  Is it the truth?  Is it fair to all concerned?  Will it build good will and better friendships?  Is it beneficial to all concerned?  President Delores McCumbers opened the meeting by extolling this as a rubric for conducting everyday life.  The recitation of the test was, and has become on a regular basis, the last item of business.

The report from Rachel Schwan in Thailand was good; she is settling in, learning to cook, getting used to insects and gekkos.

Zad, the in-residence exchange student, is getting along famously and playing a key role on the Garfield  boys’ soccer team.  He will be getting a team warm-up suit from the club.

Trish Danku next took the spotlight, giving a brief background picture of herself as from a large, loving , strict Irish-Canadian family who transitioned from being a wallflower to a real bloomer.  Her  employment at the Canadian Consul’s office led to her meeting and marrying a Yank, Greg Danku, and becoming involved in the community of the Parish of St. Ambrose, which has been a stay in time of trouble.  Her current employment in the funeral industry–Carlson Cremation Services and Funeral Homes—meshes with her mission to give back.  One aspect of this is her work with creating life stories on line and facilitating pre-planning for end-of-life situations. On October 13 the club is invited to join Dr. Mike Carlson in a tour of the local facility—Mallory-DeHaven-Carlson, on Center Street, Garrettsville—for a better understanding of the business.

The club’s principal fund-raiser, the Reverse Raffle, is coming up in November.  Members will be contacting potential sponsors and donors soon, emphasizing the beneficial activities and programs that Rotary offers to the community.  Contributing to and attending the bash are helpful ways that many businesses and individuals can support the community through Rotary.

Family Week, another big local Rotary project, will be coming up in February, 2015 and is in line to be getting a major re-vamp, across the board.  Stay tuned.

Jim Irwin brought more historical items and there  is talk of creating a Rotary scrapbook with copies of the newspaper articles on the club dating back to ancient times…well, the 1950’s, anyway.

G-H Rotary meets at noon on Monday at Cal’s II.  Come see.

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Have you ever heard of local sites like Forty Foot Falls, Dingle Dell and Jeddo Station? On Sunday, September 21st, you’re invited to take a walk through Hiram’s past in the Memorial Garden behind Hiram Christian Church to learn about these sites, and to get a better understanding of Hiram’s past.

Whether you reside in the Village or the Township, this forum will provide an opportunity to learn about the area’s colorful history. The informal setting will allow guests to ask questions and share stories, photographs and items of local interest. The Hiram Historical Society in conjunction with the Hiram Township Community Evaluations & Accomplishments Committee (CEAC) sponsors the event, and will run from 2 – 4 pm.

CEAC Chairman Tim Kasper remarked, “This is an opportunity to bring everyone together to share stories about what Hiram used to be like. But we also see it as a starting point to learn how residents would like to see the area progress in the future.” Light refreshments will be served at Sunday’s event. Afterward, Hiram Historical Society will provide tours of the nearby Century House.

Hiram Township trustees formed the CEAC earlier this year as a tool to help implement the Hiram Comprehensive Plan. That plan establishes policies for the future development of the community, so that future growth can occur in a coordinated, unified and sustainable manner that is beneficial to the village and township as a whole. The CEAC is tasked with reaching out to Hiram Township and Village residents to access needs and desires within the community, then report these findings back to public officials for consideration in the economic and social issues within the communities.

For more information on the CEAC, attend the event on Sunday from 2 – 4 pm. The CEAC meets monthly at various locations around the community — their next meeting will be on Tuesday, October 15th at 7 pm at the Hiram Corner Store. For more information on the CEAC, contact Tim Kasper at (330) 569-7387 or tkasper@sbc.edu.

ShpCopHiram – It may seem early to be thinking about the Christmas season, but a good cause requires extra time and commitment. That’s why the Hiram Police Department and the Village of Garrettsville are teaming up with a Shop With A Cop Car Show on Saturday, September 6, 9am-2pm.

The car show will be held on Hayden Street, which will be cordoned off for the event from the Hiram Post Office at State Route 82, all the way up through the Hiram College campus, to Hinsdale. The free event will feature antique and classic cars and trucks lined up along the street, door prizes of merchandise from local sponsors, a 50/50 raffle, trophies, a deejay, music, food trucks, Maggie’s Donuts and family fun. No pre-registration is required to show your car. Just show up that morning to be included, says Hiram Police Chief Ed Samec.

The Hiram-Garrettsville Shop with a Cop program benefits underpriviledged children and families in the Crestwood and James A. Garfield school districts, giving children the opportunity to go Christmas shopping for themselves and their families alongside local police officers and volunteers.

Chief Samec says that counselors and administrators from the school districts will select six students from each district whose families are experiencing severe financial hardship. Each of these students will be  given a $250 budget for Christmas gifts for their parents, siblings and themselves.

“These kids go onto the Christmas season knowing they won’t have any gifts,” Samec explains. “But when they learn they’ve been selected for this program, you should see the looks on their faces, see the hugs they give to the volunteers who help them shop for gifts. They have nothing. They are so excited to buy gifts for their family members, they forget to pick anything out for themselves. That’s the furthest thing from their minds.”

The goal is for every child to enjoy the holiday season. So fundraising events are coordinated by Chief Samec and Garrettsville Mayor Rick Patrick throughout the year to bolster the Shop with a Cop fund so more underprivileged children can receive gifts this coming holiday season. Local sponsors pitch in with donations of cash and merchandise.

In May, a pancake breakfast featuring a special visit from the Easter Bunny generated nearly $800 toward the fund. Chief Samec has also applied for grant money to bolster the fund. For three consecutive years, this program has benefitted from a Hiram Trust Grant valued at $2,000.

Mayor Patrick, whose name is synonymous with car shows & cruises, says, “Our police departments work hand-in-hand so the Shop With a Cop program can help out more families in the area. Children come to us with a wish list, and we take them to the Streetsboro Kmart to fulfill their wishes as best we can.”

2014 marks the third year for the Garrettsville-Hiram Shop With a Cop program. It’s the second year for the car show, but it was such a great success last year — raising $865 — it’s expected to be an annual event. Each year, the program grows to help more families. In 2012, eight families benefitted; in 2013, 10 families were included; in 2014, 12 families will be helped. But Chief Samec says there is still a long line of deserving families he’d love to be able to assist.

“The way the economy has been, I don’t see unemployment numbers improving much. Statistics seem to say that unemployment numbers are improving, but it’s actually just that people have run out of unemployment benefits and they no longer qualify. But jobs are still hard to find and people are still having a hard time.”

So come on out to the Shop with a Cop Car Show in Hiram on Saturday. It’s more than fun and games. It’s a meaningful way to create happier holidays for neighbors in need.

 

Attention all singers!  The Hiram Community Chorus, made up of the Hiram Women’s Chorus and the Hiram Men’s Chorus, will begin the fall season with a rehearsal on Tuesday, September 9, at 7:30 pm, in Frohring Music Hall on the Hiram College campus.    New members are welcome, and no audition is required.  The Men’s Chorus is directed by Jose Gotera, who teaches voice at Hiram College and Cleveland State, while appearing as a soloist around the area.  The Women’s Chorus is directed by Damaris Peters Pike, Professor of Music Emerita at Hiram College, where she teaches two courses each year and directs the community choruses.

The Fall Concert is scheduled for Friday, December 12, at 7:30 pm, in Hiram Christian Church.  Titled “The Sounds of the Season,” it will feature traditional Christmas songs along with a variety of other music.  Anyone with questions about the choruses may call Professor Peters Pike at 330.569.7643.

cops-fishing

Hiram – The Hiram Police Department held its  Third Annual “Cops and Kids”fishing day event at Camp Asbury on Saturday August 23rd. The event was a huge success! The weather was perfect, participants caught lots of fish, and plenty of new friends were made.

“Cops and Kids” fishing day presents an opportunity for area children to enjoy the day fishing with police officers of the Hiram Police Department.  The event builds lifelong bonds between children and police officers. Parents are encouraged to attend the event, as family unity is also a part of the program. Every child that attended the event received a free Zebco fishing rod/reel combo, an event T-shirt. Thank you to Haylett’s BP for supplying lunch at the event, Buckeye Worm Farm for supplying the bait, Camp Asbury for hosting the event for the third year in a row, Berg’s Eye apparel for the wonderful T-shirts, Great Lakes Outdoor Supply for their sponsorship, and everybody that came out and spent the day with us.

The Hiram Police Department will be holding a Car Show on September 6th. on Hayden Street in Hiram Village from 9am-2pm.  (Story Here)

Garrettsville-Hiram Rotarians were treated to a surfeit of riches in the area of interesting and relevant speakers  at their meeting on August 18, 2014.

They heard first from District Governor Mike Devanzo from the Medina club  who thanked members for being a part of the great sharing  of time, talent and treasure which is the spirit of Rotary.  His encouraging vocal exercises led him to announcements about the upcoming “Dine to Donate” event on October 23(the day before World Polio Day) co-ordinated with local Bob Evans restaurants, and the District 6630 foundation day on November 9.  This led him to Rotary’s new focus on increasing membership and boosting Rotary Foundation contributions.  In aid of this, Rotary Days, with featured activities in area clusters will be highlighted this year.  Rotary offers many opportunities to serve, locally, statewide, nationally and internationally.  The sum is greater than its parts.

Next up was Chris Scheuer, “the Y Guy”, who will be co-ordinating programs and activities out of the former Garfield Intermediate School on Park Ave., Garrettsville.  The roll-out will be accomplished “with all deliberate speed” based upon the expressed desires of the community.  So far, the flag football, youth soccer and Jr. Cavaliers have been well received.  Child care registration is on-going; information is available at childcarereg@clevelandy.org or by calling 216-263-6860.  Active adults will be next  on the menu and their ideas and requests are being sought; the website www.clevelandymca.org could be helpful or the local operations director, Kim Curry is also a resource (kcurry@clevelandymca.org/ 330-367-9720).  More input, more volunteers are being welcomed.  There is an open house on Park Ave. on Thursday, August 21.

Third presenter of the meeting was Michael Charney, candidate for the State Board of Education in District 7.  He is an experienced educator with insights not only in his field but into the workings of the political and legislative processes which go into the functioning of the State Board of Education.  The current member  representing District 7 is not a graduate of public schools and is, in fact an advocate for private schools, charter or for-profit.  Mr. Charney proposes shining a light—lots of light—on the workings of the non-public, non-accountable schools receiving public money and wasting it.  He has also been active in the formation of the Cleveland Teachers’ Institute aiming to expand the capabilities of educators in Northeast Ohio.  Accountability is an across-the-board goal.

After all that, the Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary Club voted to sponsor the Dictionary Project in the third grade of the Garfield Schools to give every third grader a dictionary of their very own.  What an encouragement!

Hiram - Starting out just ten years ago in 2004 with two full-time agents and two part-time assistants, Ohio Health Benefits, LLC  (OHB) in Hiram has more than doubled in size, filling their office space on Hayden Street. From health insurance issues and Medicare criteria  to navigating through the Affordable Care Act, OHB works to provide over 6,000 families, self-employed individuals, students, and retirees with affordable health insurance.

Fueled by his background in mechanical engineering, Auble and his team help translate the latest, often perplexing health care information into something his clients can easily understand. This is what really drives his business. “Since we are authorized to offer insurance from many carriers like AARP, Anthem, Medical Mutual, Summa, and more, my colleagues and I undergo constant training to stay apprised of the latest updates and developments in the healthcare arena.” Auble stated, “I really enjoy helping people by taking what most see as a complex, boring topic and explaining it to them in a friendly, understandable way. As a company, we strive to continue to grow and be the best in the industry as a regional authority on individual, family, health care reform and Medicare health insurance.”

In addition to running Ohio Health Benefits, Auble uses that same friendly and straightforward approach to help build businesses in his hometown. In addition to leasing out office space in the Hiram Professional Building, where OHB is located, he recently purchased the former Village Fire Hall. He’s currently in the process of transforming the space to become a cabinet showroom for Goodnight Kitchen & Bath, a company that was slated to open in Garrettsville prior to February’s fire. Hiram’s Mayor, Village Administration, and Police Chief have been very helpful in the process of bringing more businesses to Hiram, Auble shared.

For more information about OHB, visit ohiohealthbenefits.net.

 

Clarence-Henry

Hiram – There’s a new face on the block near the Hiram Professional Building. Hiram College Alumni and former football player Clarence Henry recently opened the Hub in the space formerly occupied by Da Bar. The new establishment takes its name from the business, which originally occupied the space in 1956. According to Henry, the name is meant to evoke an experience of a social gathering among friends. He hopes his venture provides that social networking experience to the surrounding business owners, community members and college students. Not surprising, since his opportunity at the Hub arose when Henry, a former bar manager, learned the location was available while visiting another local establishment. Originally from Florida, Henry and his family, his fiancé and three young children, now call Hiram home. In addition to being a business owner, Henry also plays football for the Ohio Golden Knights, the top ranked amateur football team in the Ohio Football League.

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

But wanting to be known as more than just a watering hole, the Hub will also be taking full advantage of its close proximity to Gionino’s Pizzaria by facilitating pizza, sub and wing orders to hungry Hub customers. In addition, Henry will soon be providing burgers from the recently re-opened Hiram Corner Store, and has plans to bring in local food trucks, O Loco Gringo and The Dogfather, who offer Mexican fare, as well as BBQ ribs and hot dog sandwiches — a perfect way to serve Hiram College students returning at the end of August. The Hub also has a DJ and plans to host karaoke, open mike night, and line dancing. To find out the latest news, be sure to follow the Hiram Hub on Facebook.

 

Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary Club members wished their local Rotary Student Exchange participant, Rachel Schwan, good luck and Godspeed on her adventure in Thailand for the coming school year.  They also welcomed visitor Skip Schweitzer,  columnist for The Villager.

Current items of business included : Carol Donley’s certification as a local student exchange co-ordinator, the Kent club is seeking volunteers for their yearly assistance to arriving foreign students at Kent State University, Tom Collins reported attending the Rotary Day ball game at the Cleveland Indians’ Progressive Field on August 1, with a special welcome and recognition by the Tribe announcer , updating of signatures on financial documents for banking purposes, reminder about the invitation to tour the new Garfield Elementary School project on August 11,checking steak orders for the steak fry on August 11 at 6:00.

Tom Collins reported on the Headwaters Trail project grant application to District 6630, citing assistance from Steve Zabor of the Mantua-Shalersville club and possible involvement of other clubs in the undertaking.  Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary is already working on beautifying the signs at the entrances to the village of Garrettsville as well as encouraging the increased use of the Headwaters Trail.  At least one of the project submissions by Kent State University students focused on promoting walking in the village and this might be something to build on and present to developers to keep the “small town feel” of the village.  There will be a meeting with the planners on the Portage County Park District and G-H Rotary will bringing input and ideas.

Dues are due.  Membership is open to all.  Meetings are held on Mondays at noon in Cal’s II.  Come check out the locals.  You could be the spark To Light Up Rotary.

 

Hiram Twp. – It was noted that that as a part of the partnership between Hiram Township and the Hiram Village Police Department, Hiram Police Officers have begun patrolling in Hiram Township. The purpose of these patrols is to enforce traffic violations and provide a visible deterrent to prevent crime within the township. These services are supplemental to the services currently provided by the Portage County Sheriff’s Office.

Assignments for Hiram Township police services will be directed by Chief Ed Samec of the Hiram Police Department, who stated, “Hiram Township residents will still contact the Portage County Sheriff’s Office to report crimes and will continue to have deputies as their primary law enforcement contact.” Samec continued, “Having this partnership, Hiram Police Officers will have the ability to concentrate efforts in particular geographical areas where crime and traffic violations persist.”

According to Trustee Kathy Schulda, in the first 30 days the agreement has been in place, Hiram Police officers made two stops of non-residents for OVI (Operating a Vehicle Impaired), and have issued one ticket to a driver traveling 65 MPH in a 35 MPH zone. In addition, they have issued three warnings to other drivers, and multiple notices to drivers of four-wheelers on township roads.

Samec noted that Hiram Township residents should contact their township trustees with concerns related to continued traffic violations and areas of concerns, as complaints will be assessed for Hiram Police Department’s township patrol duties. This agreement was achieved through cooperation between Hiram Village Council, and Hiram Township Trustees.

Per Road Supervisor Tom Matota, ODOT has issued a permit to construct a driveway at 6352 State Route 82, the site of the new property owned by the township. ODOT has, however, noted its “concern for site distance” of the chosen location. Matota also noted that the site is clear of underground utilities, making excavation a less difficult process. In other news, Matota noted that the crew has been, “working around raindrops,” to do chip and seal work on township roads. He also noted that at 12 miles, it’s more chip and seal work than the township crew has done in previous years.

Lastly, trustees went into executive session, per Ohio Revised Code regulations. Afterwards, Trustee Kathy Schulda announced that Township Fiscal Officer Stan Carlisle resigned his position as of July 18th. In his place, trustees have hired former Hiram Township Fiscal Officer Diane Rohde. Rohde served as Hiram Township’s Fiscal Officer upon the retirement of Fiscal Officer Dough Brewer, in June of 2011. Rohde will serve the remainder of Carlisle’s term, which expires next fall, according to Schulda. Meanwhile, the township has an extension of six weeks to get their 2015 operating budget submitted to Auditor of State David Yost.

The next meeting of the Hiram Township Trustees will be on Tuesday, August 5th at 7 pm. in the Township Hall.

 

Busy time for the Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary Club at their meeting on July 28, 2014 at Cal’s II.  The monthly list of program responsibility was reviewed.  President Delores  McCumbers spoke of the benefits of the PETS (President Elect Training Sessions) program and of a Rotary Honors Vets event coming up in central Ohio.  Facilities-use papers have been filed for Family Week 2015 activities  February 22-28, at Garfield High School and Elementary School—Caitlin Lawless will be the Trail Boss.  August 18 is the date  for  Chris Schuerer  to appear to be the” face”…and the “ears”… of the YMCA   which will be opening its new facility and operations at the Park Avenue building, formerly the Garfield Intermediate School (which has now moved to the St. Rte 88 campus).  He will be seeking input on desired programs for the community and giving a brief outline of what has been planned so far.  Rotary pins for the soon-departing (August 6) exchange student, Rachel Schwan, have been received, with banners to follow.  On the horizon for the club are the October trash pick-up between Garrettsville and Hiram and the Reverse Raffle in November…never too soon to begin planning.  And in that same vein, some possibilities for new/re-thought activities for Family Week were proposed and existing features reviewed.   Thoughts about local projects circulated, including community walks,  ideas for promoting use of the Headwaters Trail,  pitching in with the Kent club to assist incoming international students at the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store,  a Portage Cluster joint project of some sort—plenty of opportunities.

Jim Irwin came with pieces from his collection of historical documents—photo, newspaper, club program folder, handwritten thank you note—for all to peruse and enjoy.  He also had memories of some of the individuals making up the club in the past.

The annual Steak Fry will be on August 11 at 6:00.  The noon meeting will not be held but there will be a tour of the new Intermediate School addition and Elementary School renovation which WILL be opened on August 20.  Lunch-on-the-fly…dinner in the green.

Lisa Muldowney was the program for the meeting, giving a brief personal  picture of herself as a Garrettsville native, a Rootstown resident, the mother  to six, a member of significant local boards (Ravenna Chamber, Coleman Services) and the head of the Garrettsville Branch of the Middlefield Banking Company.  The bank was founded in 1901 and prides itself on being community-oriented and capable of creative thinking and operation in financial matters.  Not every bank can take loans for Amish buggies in stride.   She has a community-involved staff which can be seen, not just behind the counter but also out interacting with the people the bank serves.  It offers basic banking services for home, commercial and personal financing, as well as having a “green” outlook on emerging business possibilities.  Coming soon—home mortgage with a 30-day turnaround.  How’s that for horse-and-buggy dealings?

Next meeting August 4.  You’re invited.

Copper

Hiram – Meet “Copper”, the newest addition to the Hiram Police Department. Copper is now Hiram Police Department’s mascot and will be at Hiram PD’s community events. We hold many community programs and thought the idea of having a mascot attend the events would be a wonderful addition.

Copper is the creation of Hiram PD Officer Steve Chapman and his fiancé Brooke Poloskey. Steve and Brooke are very committed to Hiram PD’s community programs, Brooke attends every event Hiram PD holds to support Hiram PD and the community. Brooke is “Copper”, she has a very high level of energy and she is very friendly, she is a great fit to be “Copper”. Copper can be seen at Hiram PD community events hugging kids, passing out kid friendly items, shaking hands, and posing for pictures. Copper will be in attendanceat Hiram Police Department’s 3rd Annual  “Cops and Kids Fishing Day” on August 23rd at Camp Asbury in Hiram 9:00am – 2:00pm.

Come spend the day with your Hiram Police Department Police Officers and Copper, and have fun fishing. The event is free, open to everyone, bait and lunch will be provided, there will be prizes and plenty of family fun!!

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 .

 

pike-family-garrettsvillestrong-reunion

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!

 

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.

 

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.