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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reconstruction talk ebbed and flowed.

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

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

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

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

 

Photo: Benjamin Coll

Photo: Benjamin Coll

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

·      8 p.m.: Musical Chair Scavenger Hunt

·      9 p.m.: Lawn Jenga Tournament

·      10 p.m.: Luminary Lap

·      11 p.m.: “Pool Noodle” Spoons

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

·      1 a.m.: Miss Relay Lap

·      2 a.m.: Cornhole Tournament

·      3 a.m.: S’more Making

·      6 a.m.: Frozen T-Shirt Relay

·      7 a.m.: Morning Yoga

·      8 a.m.: Hike Trail

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

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

·      11 a.m.: Fire Truck ‘N Play

·      12 p.m.: Closing Ceremony

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

LAST CALL!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Hiram – At the start of the meeting, Mayor Lou Bertrand called for nominations for an appointment to fill Alan Donley’s seat on Village Council. Mr. Donley gave up his seat in December 2013. Council approved the nomination of Mr. Tom Wadkins to fulfill the remainder of Mr. Donley’s term, and during the same meeting, elected Mr. Wadkins to the position of Council President.  Mr. Chris Cobb took his seat on council, as well.

During the public comment portion of the meeting, Mr. William Steiner, Director of Portage County Solid Waste Management, was present to answer questions about a proposed contract for recycling services between his organization and the Village. Mr. Steiner shared that the Ohio EPA is in the process of writing a new plan for the entire county, and noted that the EPA’s plan is “somewhat restrictive.” Among Council’s questions was the ability to schedule weekly recycling pick-ups within the Village, as opposed to bi-weekly, as is the current practice. It was noted that recycling pick-up within Hiram Township occurs on a weekly basis. The resolution authorizing a contract with Portage County Solid Waste has been tabled.

Well, THAT was Fun!

Garrettsville- Hiram Rotary’s annual Family Week ended with a bang, as all—or a lot, anyway—of  the folks who had been cooped up by the weather  for longer than  had been the case for quite a while came out to do a whole raft of things  on Saturday, February 1.  There was something for everybody.  

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Hiram - Concerned Citizens Ohio/ Hiram free monthly private water well monitoring will take place on January 7th in the Community Room (downstairs) of the Hiram Christian Church, 6868 Wakefield Road, Hiram, OH 44234 (corner of State Routes 700, 82, 305).

We will be using Sierra Club meters to test for “indicators” of water quality. For accurate readings, your sample should be taken as directly from the well as possible— before any treatment and within an hour before we test it. For a sample “fresh from the well,” drain the water sitting in your pipes by running any household cold water for about 10 minutes before you collect your sample (from the well head or from a faucet on your pump). Use a clean, wide-mouthed, covered glass container that holds about 8 oz.

Come at 7:00 pm. We’ll be running videos with experts explaining the hydrofracture (“fracking”) shale drilling and why it produces waste. You can stay as long as you find the videos interesting, while you’re waiting for your water to be tested. For more information contact Gwen Fischer at 330-569-7863 or concernedcitizensohio@gmail.com.

 

Hiram - After an unexpectedly long Christmas break, the members of the Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary met in the Dining Hall at Hiram College on January 13 to get moving on upcoming events and programs.

Members were happy and proud to hear that Rachel Schwan has been selected for participation in the Rotary International Student Exchange program  for the 2014-2015 school year.  Her exact destination will be the subject of a later announcement.  Preparations are under way.  Adventure!

Hiram Twp. – The township has received a copy of a suit filed in December by the Pinter family against Clarence Moore, the owner of Far View Airport, a privately owned airstrip in Hiram. The issue was initially brought to the attention of Township Trustees in February of last year. At that time, Trustees asked both parties to work with the County Prosecutor’s office to reach a resolution. At this time, Trustees are waiting to hear the outcome of the suit.

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Taken in any combination—singing because you rejoice, rejoicing because you’re singing, rejoicing to hear the singing, singing to spread the rejoicing—this is a prescription for a lighter heart  for the holiday season.  You can get a maintenance dose by attending the Hiram Community Choir concert at 7:30p.m. on Friday, December 6, 2013 in the Hiram Christian Church at the corner of St. Rtes 82, 700 and 305.  Open wide!

The concert will have three elements : women’s chorus, men’s chorus and combined chorus.  Each segment will contain varied selections, from Christmas carols to Broadway favorites.

Elf Helpers, sign up for your Santa delivery of Christmas gifts ASAP.  Garrettsville-Hiram Rotarians are co-ordinating the personal visits by the “right jolly old elf” again this year.  For many families, it is a tradition  stretching across generations, so you’ll want to make sure that you  sign up and get the packages that you’d like to be delivered to either The Business Works or McCumbers-Brady Realty on Main St., Garrettsville.  There is no charge for the service but donations will be turned over to the local People Tree to ensure that others in the community will have a happy holiday as well.

Hiram – Last Wednesday in Independence, the Hiram Police Department received the prestigious American Automobile Association (AAA) Platinum Award for community safety programs and education. The national award is given annually to recognize police departments for their efforts toward improving roadway and pedestrian safety. The award was bestowed on the Department by local and national AAA representatives.

It’s all about the Reverse Raffle coming up on November 7 at the Sugar Bush Golf Club.  The Garrettsville-Hiram Rotarians are entertaining everybody they can find and sell a ticket to.  There are side boards and steaks, chicken and choice baskets to bid on, a substantial pot to win, music and competition-level conviviality.  It’s the big fund-raiser of the year for the local Rotary Club that will enable them to carry out their community projects, such as the traditional Santa Delivery service for Christmas, Family Week in January/February, the bowling league during the winter months, roadside clean-up when the weather improves…all manner of help and happiness throughout the year.

Come check out the festivities.  Talk to a Rotarian.    New projects are always on the horizon.  New members are always welcome.

Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary meets every Monday evening in the Dining Hall at Hiram College at 5:30-6:00 for dinner,  program  until 7:00.

Garrettsville-Hiram Rotarians met in the Hiram College Dining Hall on October 21, 2013 to hear from District 6630 Governor Bob Johnson of the Middlefield-Burton Rotary Club; Assistant Governor George Schumacher of the Aurora Rotary Club was also in attendance. They made announcements of events upcoming on November 3 at Doogans in Aurora and on November 9 at the DoubleTree Hilton East in Beachwood (This is a Grand Foundation Event).
District Governor Johnson outlined some of the emphases to be coming in Rotary programs, including membership efforts, grant management—local project focus, choosing host families for student exchanges early, rapid changes in exchange programs, new look of international projects with sustainability highlighted—health, water, literacy, Polio Plus, etc.– a new, simplified district strategic plan, new emphasis on youth, changing formats, new IT dimensions, new demographics. The world rushes on.

Locally, the Reverse Raffle looms and tickets are out.

Club members may attend student exchange interviews; seeking interested families for hosting exchange students.

Hiram – At the start of the meeting, a representative from the Hiram Parks Board, Susan Merrill, informed council of a meeting that will be held on November 13th from 7 to 9 pm. The purpose of this meeting is to provide a venue for area businesses and residents to discuss suggestions for development of the five-acre park space to be located on the former Hiram School property. The meeting will be held in Koritansky Hall at the corner of Routes 82 and 700 in Hiram.

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Another Fabulous Freebie from the Hiram Community Trust  and the Hiram College Music Department:

On Friday, October 25, hammered dulcimer virtuoso Tina Bergmann and string bassist Bryan Thomas will present a free concert in the Frohring Recital Hall at 7:30p.m.  The much-acclaimed duo are Ohio-based folk artists performing an eclectic repertoire of traditional American, Celtic and South American music.

Pete Seeger—you remember him—has called Tina Bergmann “the best hammered dulcimer player I’ve heard in my life.”  Well.  They have traveled much of the United States, playing and instructing in a variety of settings.  They have two books and six recordings available.  They have received international airplay for their artistry.  One review stated, “From quiet and sublime to joyful and stirring, the combination of dulcimer and bass and the manner in which Tina and Bryan play them, open up a whole range of feeling of what it means to be human.”

This talented pair will be introducing third and fourth graders at the Garfield Elementary school to their instruments and their music on Friday morning.  The full concert, open to the public, will be at Frohring Recital Hall, 11746 Dean St., Hiram, in the evening.  For more information, contact Tina S. Dreisbach at dreisbachts@hiram.edu.

Rock on, folkies!

Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary is on the move to sponsor another Rotary Youth Exchange candidate.  Rachel Schwan is beginning her trip through the required protocols and papers to reach her goal of spending her senior year abroad.  Carol Donley is the club liaison for the undertaking.

The trash pick-up for St. Rte 82 between Garrettsville and Hiram is on hold.

The District Governor will be the program for the next meeting .  Solar energy is on the plate sometime in November.  Raffle tickets are coming.

The Business Showcase on October 17, partnering with the Portage County Park District will be the next big activity, to be followed by the Reverse Raffle in November at the SugarBush Golf Club.

Can the Santa Claus Delivery Project be far behind?

Garrettsville-Hiram Rotarians met September 30 in the Hiram College Dining Hall to make the acquaintance of a prospective foreign exchange student.  Rachel Schwan and her mother, Lisa Schwan, came, hopeful of gaining the group’s support for participation in the Rotary International Student Exchange  program.   Rachel expressed an interest in Iceland as her first choice but would be  amenable to just about any possibilities.  Her interest had been sparked, in part, by the Garfield guidance counselor, Jennifer Alvim, and by the participation of Jessica Lyons during the 2012-2013 school year.  Her graduation requirements will be completed before departure so that she will be able to spend her senior year in whichever country is her final destination.  Members chipped  in with their own experiences and information and began making plans for  advancing the application process so that this dream can come true.  Carol Donley is the group’s youth exchange  officer and will be assisting in the preparations.

Roadside clean-up looms.  It is to be hoped that Interact  and Boy Scout volunteers will be part of the mix.

The Reverse Raffle fundraiser is the next big event on the horizon.  Lists and tickets and catering  arrangements are activities now on the agenda.  Tickets will be available soon.  Get your tables together.

District Governor Bob Johnson of the Middlefield club will be making an official visitation on October 21.

The Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary Club is planning to join the Garrettsville Chamber of Commerce as a community member.

Hiram Twp. – At a recent meeting of the Hiram Township Trustees, Trustee Jack Groselle mentioned that the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Office of Farmland Preservation is inviting local cities, townships and conservation districts to apply for Local Sponsor Certification by November 15. Local sponsors who qualify would be allocated a portion of the over $6 million available statewide to fund the purchase of agricultural easements on local farms. Landowners who participate in Ohio’s Local Agricultural Easement Purchase Program retain title to their land, continue to pay taxes and can farm however and whatever they wish, but the farm must remain in agricultural production. Easement proceeds are typically spent locally to expand farm operations, purchase new machinery, install conservation practices, or reduce debt. Contact Trustee Groselle at (330) 569-7977 if you’re a landowner interested in participating in this program.