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Music Lovers, listen up!  James A. Garfield instrumentalists will be on display Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. for their season finale.  The marching band will still be featured at Memorial Day and graduation but elementary, intermediate and middle school performers exhibit their tunes and talents this day along with the high school artists that they hope to emulate.  

Hiram College held a Relay for Life event on Saturday, May 5th  thanks to the work of committee members (pictured  at left)  Jamie Zychowski, Zach Fincham and Rose Zychowski. Along with the help of participating teams, they raised more than $16,000 leading up to and during the event. They will continue to raise money through August 1st.

On the same night Ravenna Stadium held a Relay for Life event, with 40 participating teams, 600 participants and about 300 cancer survivors in  attendence. Relay for Life events are very touching and emotional for all who participate.


Hiram – Hiram firefighters recently participated in emergency vehicle operations training with the assistance of a state-of-the-art emergency vehicle driving simulator.  The simulator was rented from Cuyahoga Community College for the purpose of expanding upon each Firefighter’s previous experiences and trainings. All Hiram firefighter are required to complete hours of driver’s training in each vehicle and an Emergency Vehicle Operations course before operating a vehicle with lights and sirens. The simulator is an impressive computer that consists of three large screens that simulate front and side views of driving.  The operator’s console is fully functioning, right down to the power seat.  If you bump a curb, car or other object you not only hear it you feel it in the steering wheel and seat. The whole simulator moves as you accelerate, slow down and make turns. It is as close as you can get to driving a fire engine, without really driving. Another great feature is that  the instructors have the ability to simulate vehicle failures. The instructors can causes tire blow outs, brake failures, and other problems to assist the Firefighters in handling a problem in a safe, controlled environment, not on the street. This is a great tool for us to not only gain experience behind the wheel in a controlled environment, it allows for training in critical thinking and decision making as well.


Hiram – The Hiram Police Department recently received a $500 “Step Outside” grant from the Ohio Department of Wildlife. The grant award will be directed toward a community program called, “Cops and Kids” Fishing Day. The event will be free of charge to anybody who attends. The intent of “Cops and Kids” Fishing Day is to bring community children closer to law enforcement officers and build lifelong bonds. “Kids will spend time fishing with police officers and having a fun day. We will have many items to give away at the event, contests, prizes, as well as lunch”, Chief Ed Samec said. “This is a program designed to bring police officers and kids closer together, build bonds and friendships;  it also is directed toward building family unity. Parents are encouraged to participate in the event and join in with the fun”, Chief Ed Samec added. “In our busy and hectic lifestyles nowadays, it is easy to let family unity slip by a bit. This program is also geared toward reminding families that “quality” time is important and does not have to cost a lot of money. Go fishing!” A date, location, and times have not yet been determined, but they are soon to come.


Hiram –  Sitko Counseling has been established for nearly three years and is a growing practice in Hiram Village. The counseling facility is located in the Hiram Professional Building, 11681 Hayden Street in Hiram Village. They offer counseling for a variety of issues including, but not limited to, substance abuse, post traumatic stress disorder, (PTSD) relationship issues, sex abuse, anxiety, depression, eating disorders and so much more.
The facility is owned and operated by Jamie Sitko who is a  Professional Counselor- Clinical Resident (PC-CR) licensed by the State of Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage and Family Therapist Board.  Sitko usually sees clients on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturdays, but will adapt her schedule to meet ones needs. She doesn’t have set hours and is available  evenings as well. She can be reached  at 330 687-5483 or on the web at Jamie@sitkocounseling.com. One may also visit her web site for more information about the counseling facility. www.sitkocounseling.com .
Sitko opened the counseling center nearly three years ago after she discovered she had a passion to help folks. The counseling sessions are confidential and she offers several options for treatments. Persons  who are unsure if counseling would be beneficial to their well-being are encourage to book a 30 minute, free consultation to determine if the services will meet their needs.
The beginning encounter  will be more in-depth than a regular session and can last up to two hours. The session will cost $125 for the initial visit. The following therapy sessions usually last about 90 minutes and are $90 per therapy session. For those who have budget challenges she does offer a sliding scale for those who ask. Besides individual therapy, she  offers group therapy sessions as well.
Currently, she doesn’t take insurance and isn’t affiliated with any specific insurance company but many of the services she offers are reimbursable by health insurance plans that offer mental health services.
Sitko offers and is trained in the relatively new therapy known as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Desensitizing of Triggers and Urge Reprocessing (DeTUR) as well as the traditional talk therapy.
Although considered new, EMDR has been around for 20 years and is a non-invasive method that has proven to be more effective and quicker than other forms of counseling.
EMDR therapy uses bilateral stimulation, right/left eye movement, or tactile stimulation, which repeatedly activates the opposite sides of the brain, releasing emotional experiences that are “frozen” in the nervous system. This helps the neurophysiologic system, the core of the mind/body connection, to finally free itself from blockages and reconnect itself. This ultimately brings one to the road to recovery much more quickly  than traditional talk therapy.
Many could use counseling services, whether it is just to unload or long term therapy. Either one can be addressed at Sitko Counseling. If one is unsure whether counseling will help them or if Sitko is the right therapist, they should consider giving Sitko Counseling a try by using the 30-minute free consultation. The free session will give one an idea if her services would benefit them. Sitko Counseling is located in the Hiram Professional Building a cross the street from Hiram Post Office.


Hiram – A summer Fine Arts Workshop has been added to the slate of learning opportunities and activities this summer at Hiram College

For three Saturdays (July 7, 14 and 21, 2012) from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM on Hiram College’s campus, students will learn printmaking (silkscreen), painting and drawing.  Young artists will work with Hiram faculty to expand their artistic abilities, aesthetic judgment and advanced visual skills. The workshop will conclude with an art show for family and friends.  The fee to participate is $55 and covers all meals, art supplies and materials.

Garrettsville – The Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary Family Week ended as it began, with fun for all in attendance.  The kids of all ages got to engage in games and contests and craft projects–with or without face-painting.  Awards for participation in all of the various competitions –art & essays, etc.–were handed out.  The craft table was popular, with kids making cards for moms & dads and just about anybody else they thought fondly of.  The importance of family was shining through the whole day.
Couples married fifty years and more, eight of them, were recognized.  Donald & June  Crawford took the longevity sweepstakes, having been married a fun-filled fifty-eight years…and counting.  The Family of the Year–the Douglas and Karen Lyons family, with Porter, the Transplant Guy, in attendance– received their award as well.

The inflatable slide/rock climb was a big hit with the intrepid of all sizes and descriptions.  Plenty of dads and grandpas are still feeling the effects of assisting on “the slopes”.  What can we say?  The day was a success!

Still more activities are on the horizon for G-H Rotary : The Four-Way Speech Contest is rapidly approaching; any teens wishing to participate should start honing their skills and plan to contact a Rotarian to get on the roster.   There is a prize and a chance to compete on a district level–good experience.

Garrettsville-Hiram Rotarians are The Rotarian Train, highballing it to the Family Fun Week coming up, starting with the Music Festival on Sunday, February 26 in the Iva Walker Auditorium at James A. Garfield High School, proceeding through the Community Night Out activities (3/2/12) and Grandparents Night (2/28/12) at the Portage County District Library and ending with the Fun Festival (FREE!) on March 3 at the Garfield Elementary building.  Make your reservations on the calendar right now and listen for the humming on the tracks.

There will be contests galore, face-painting and games, fun for everyone.  The Boy Scouts will be manning the food operations on Saturday.  Inflatables will be available for sliding, bouncing climbing, you-name-it.  Family Founders–couples married fifty years or more–are invited to attend Saturday’s festivities to receive recognition and a token  reward(Nothing compared to their families themselves, of course).

Any community members who’d like to participate and volunteer their time and expertise are welcome to contact Rotarians.  Check in with Delores at McCumbers-Brady Realty or with Amy at the Business Works, both on Main Street, Garrettsville and you can be a conductor too!

Besides all of that, clubs of District 6630 are looking for nominations for “Rotary Heroes”, individuals who exemplify the goals and principles of Rotary, worldwide (not necessarily Rotarians).  On April 11, the local group will be hosting Rotary Group Study Exchange students at a regular meeting and invite interested parties to attend.  District Rotary Youth Exchange students (Ours will be Jessica Lyons this year) will be meeting on April 14.

Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary Club meets on Monday evenings in the Kennedy Center at Hiram College; dinner at 5:30, meeting at 6:00.  You’re invited.


Hiram – The Hiram College Wind Ensemble is inviting members of the surrounding communities to join the ensemble. The ensemble rehearses every Tuesday and Thursday from 4:30 – 5:45pm in the recital hall of the music building on campus.
Community members, including advanced high school students with a background in wind and percussion instruments, are encouraged to join. The ensemble is in particular need of brass players. The ensemble performs a wide spectrum of music, including marches, traditional band music, Broadway medleys and contemporary works for band. Rehearsals will culminate in a public concert on March 28.
Those interested in joining the ensemble should contact Professor Ken Young at youngke@hiram.edu .


Hiram – According to Hiram village custom, Mayor Lou Bertrand presented the 2012 State of the HiramVillage Address during the first regular council meeting in January. During the 106th annual meeting of Hiram Village Council on January 17, Bertrand reported that Hiram village government “is in stable financial condition, operating in an efficient manner and providing good service to the public, our citizens, businesses, students, staff, administration and faculty of Hiram College.”

The bulk of Bertrand’s report focused on the number of community grant requests that either have benefitted or soon will benefit village infrastructure and facility upkeep. These include the completion of a $50,000 NOPEC (Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council) energy efficiency grant for permanent improvements in the administration building, the service building and old Village Hall building; dedication of the Hinsdale Road extension in December (however, change orders have been made for the retaining wall, hand rails and light poles); approval by the of the Planning and Zoning Commission for the north-south extension of Winrock  Road; and approval of a $273,000 grant from the Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study (AMATS) to build Hiram’s sidewalks along the state routes 303, 700 and 82.  The village purchased the 5.1-acre old Hiram School property last October. As a result, the village was awarded $70,000 from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LCWF) and $15,912 under the Ohio Nature Works Grant Program administered through the ODNR (Ohio Department of Natural Resources)  for a total grant of $85,912. “We still are awaiting further instructions from ODNR as the how to proceed,” Bertrand said.

AMATS is providing a grant of more than $800,000 for developing the Hiram Hike and Bike Trail, which will connect the village and Hiram College campus to the college’s Biological Field Station in Garrettsville, and eventually to the county park system’s Headwaters Trail.

In other news, “There can be no doubt that one area of great common concern has been the ever-changing regulations and costs to all of Hiram’s water and sewer systems,” Bertrand said. Consequently, the village is seeking a $280,000 grant from the Ohio Public Works Commission for a 12-inch water line from the water treatment plant to the top of east hill along State Route 305.  Bertrand also reported that both the old firehouse and Light Plant buildings are currently being utilized to park village equipment and vehicles. Hiram College President Tom Chema expressed interest in trading college properties with the village. In that light, an appraisal of the two buildings and property are being completed by a state-licensed real property appraiser.

All village employees are receiving three percent raises in 2012.

Now, on to the bigger picture, in light of the continued financial strain local municipalities face due to the lagging economy… Last January, mayors, administrators, and service directors from both Portage and Summit Counties met in Streetsboro to discuss the option of sharing services such as utilities and streets departments with nearby municipalities. Ravenna Service Director Kelly Engelhart is creating an inventory of assets for all participating municipalities, ODOT and the county. The next meeting is scheduled at the Stow City Hall on April 24 at 11:30 a.m. to discuss this option further.


Hiram – Hiram College has added 152 acres of protected woodlands and wetlands property as part of its James T. Barrow Field Station east of the college’s main campus.

Western Reserve Land Conservancy, a nonprofit conservation organization working in 14 northern Ohio counties, partnered with the college to acquire the property, which was formerly owned by Isaac Yomtovian and is adjacent to the Field Station.  The land was acquired as part of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s Water Resource Restoration Sponsorship Program. The transfer expands the Field Station property to nearly 550 acres.

The College and the Land Conservancy have been working for almost two years to secure the property, which will allow for the protection of  approximately 1,625 linear feet of Silver Creek, one of four designated cold water streams of the Mahoning River Watershed; 3,444 linear feet  of Eagle Creek into which Silver Creek flows; and other  wetland habitats. As part of the OEPA program, the Land Conservancy and the College will provide for the restoration of nearly 1,630 linear feet  of Eagle Creek, which should create hydrological benefits for the Village of Garrettsville, which sits downstream from the protected property.

“We are pleased to accept this land, and to assume the responsibility of stewardship,” said Thomas V. Chema, president of Hiram College. “Not only will it ensure that these two water resources and the forests and wetlands through which they flow be protected, but it will expand the opportunities for our students to research, study and take an active role in preserving the natural resources of the area.”

Work on the restoration of Eagle Creek will be managed by the Davey Resource Co., and the Land Conservancy will continue to monitor progress and usage of the land as part of its annual stewardship responsibilities. Hiram students and faculty will be able to access the property as part of their environmental studies, biology and other courses. The Field Station already mounts numerous water quality, wetlands and wildlife study projects.

Chris Szell, Associate Director of Conservation Projects and Stewardship for the Land Conservancy, said the WRRSP program “is an extremely valuable funding sources” to protect natural resource-rich properties like this one.

“The property provides important habitat for a variety of plant and animal species, including four different rare insect species, one of which has never before been identified in Portage County, highlighting the uniqueness of this property,” Szell said.  “Natural resource surveys by the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and faculty of Hiram College provided valuable natural resource information which made this project very competitive.”

Szell said The Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) of Greater Cincinnati, which sponsored the Hiram College project, “has been a wonderful partner in this process, and we thank them for their sponsorship.”

Municipalities, such as MSD of Greater Cincinnati pursue low-interest rate-loans from the WPCLF for planning, design or construction of wastewater, sewer and storm-water infrastructure projects. These municipalities have the opportunity to further improve water quality by sponsoring a WRRSP project that addresses nonpoint source pollution through the protection or restoration of streams and wetlands.

The Land Conservancy, which was formed in 2006 by the merger of eight local land trusts, has preserved more than 420 properties and more than 29,000 acres in northern Ohio.

Hiram – For thirty years, Hiram College has been donating money for the hungry in their revolutionary Bread and Soup program. Every Thursday in the spring semester, students gather in the Dix Dinning room of the Kennedy Center, to get a bowl of soup and a delicious slice of mouthwatering bread.

“What does it take to run the Bread and Soup program?” I asked the head caterer, as he greeted students coming in through the doorway.

“What does it take? What do you mean as far as that?”

[pulledquote]Today the college donates the money they raise to local organizations such as the Hiram Farm Living and Learning Community, the Salvation Army’s Northeast Portage Food Shelf and the Crestwood Coalition for Community Care[/pulledquote]“I mean, how long does it take to prepare the food? How long does it take to set everything up?”

“It takes a few hours,” he said matter-of-factly. “We prep the soup the day before, then we haul everything over here and heat it up.”

Hiram – Hiram Community Trust and the Hiram College Music Department are sponsoring an outstanding opportunity for music lovers to enjoy the performances of two internationally-known musicians presenting Masterworks of J.S. Bach in Transcription on Sunday, January 22, 2012 at 3:00 p.m. in Frohring Music Recital Hall.

The musicians are Michael Sponseller, harpsichord, and Douglas Kelley, viola da gamba, both well-known for mastery of their Renaissance/Baroque instruments on stages around the world.  Both are graduates of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music here in northeast Ohio.

Mr. Kelley has performed and taught at venues from Amsterdam to Zagreb, including the Osaka( Japan) International Chamber Music Competition.  His instrument ( a bowed descendant of the fifteenth century vihuela, plucked, similar to a guitar)is an original viola da gamba made by Johann Hasert in 1723, available courtesy of the Caldwell Collection of Viols, Oberlin, OH.

Mr. Sponseller is recognized as one of the outstanding American harpsichordist of his generation (The harpsichord is a forerunner of the piano, which  became the dominant keyboard instrument of the 18th century.  Its sound is produced by plucking the strings rather than striking them).  Since his work at Oberlin and the Royal Conservatory of Music in The Hague, he has participated in festivals and concerts around the world as recitalist, soloist and partner to other fine musicians, including baroque orchestras and chamber groups such as the Bach Collegium San Diego.  He is heard on numerous recordings from Naxos, Vanguard Classics, Delos, Centaur and Electra as well as contributing from the orchestra pit in productions of operas by Handel and Rameau.  In the Handel & Haydn Society and in Boston’s Emmanuel Music his presence is felt in their performances of J.S. Bach’s sacred cantatas.  Outside his performance schedule, he can be found teaching at the Longy School of Music and serving as artistic director of Ensemble Florilage.

The performances of these two exceptional artists are free and open to the public.  All are invited.


Hiram - The Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) is proud to announce the winners of the 2011 Ohio Soybean Yield and Quality Contest. This is the second year for the statewide contest with a total of 128 applicants.

Six different yield categories were available and the quality portion of the contest was based on achieving the highest percentages of oil and protein.

“The 2011 Ohio Soybean Yield and Quality Contest was a great success this year,” said Bret Davis, OSA president from Delaware County. “We had a good number of applicants and some really impressive yields. OSA congratulates the winners and looks forward to the 2012 contest.”

This year’s Overall State Yield Champion was Jack and Jason Groselle from Hiram, Ohio. Groselle recorded a yield of 85.773 bushels/acre with the Pioneer 93Y13 variety.

OSA thanks the sponsors of the 2011 Ohio Soybean Yield and Quality Contest: Asgrow, Monsanto, Ohio AgNet, Ohio’s Country Journal, Ohio Soybean Council, Seed Consultants and Shur Grow.

Hiram – This week brought unprecedented cooperation for the Hiram community.  For the first time ever, the village and township officials were sworn in at the same ceremony.  The township proudly welcomed its new Fiscal Officer, Stan Carlisle II and Township Trustee, Jack Groselle.  Hiram Village’s Mayor Lou Bertrand and Council member Paul Spencer were sworn in to new terms.  Frank Hemphill was sworn in for the first time.

The ceremony was held at the historic Garfield Meeting House on the Hiram College campus.  Tom Chema, President of Hiram College offered opening remarks about the true meaning of Christmas and reminded the crowd that  President James A. Garfield preached in the building where the crowd gathered.

This cooperation is in stark contrast to the fierce legal bought fought by the township against the college and the village.  Mr. Chema emphasized working cooperatively at the local level, reminding the crowd that partisan politics has no place in local government.

Differences of political perspectives were nowhere to be seen at this celebration.  The newly-elected officials and their families smiled and exchanged holiday greetings with the small crowd.  The crowd was comprised of friends, family, neighbors, U.S. veterans, other elected officials.  Light refreshments were served following the ceremony.  During this mingling, the new officials shared their enthusiasm for progress in local government in the new year to come.

It’s amazing; even with the commercial establishments starting to sneak in a Christmas carol or two on Labor Day and an electronic error causing  “the Little Drummer Boy” to totally take over the sound system at K-Mart for over five hours at a volume level perilously close to torture chamber conditions, Christmas music can still be moving.

Case in point…no, CASES in point :  The Hiram “Messiah” sing for the community and the Christmas Concert at St. Ambrose.

The Hiram affair was a rousing success.  The Hiram Community Trust was the sponsor of the event and it was hosted by the Hiram College Music Department and the Hiram Christian Church, who, as good hosts will, made sure that the participants and those who were listeners only were able to enjoy the experience to the fullest…and it was so…COMMUNITY.  There were people from all over; there were people who lived virtually next door.  Youngsters were in the “listeners only” cohort, as were veterans who had warbled their last recitative.  There were “newbies” who’d never attempted this before and old hands with their own, well-thumbed , personally-marked copies of the score.  The performance space in that old church was made for music and  the jewel-tone stained glass windows warmed every note.

There were a lot of notes.  The soloists–Hiram contributions and imports–illustrated the texts ( Part I, Old Testament, prophecies) deftly and powerfully and drew the assembled choir into the drama unfolding in the music (The basso made pages positively vibrate on some really low spots).  All of the sections–soprano, alto, tenor, bass were well-populated (though tenors, being “pearls of great price,” recruited pretty heavily to buff up their numbers) and enthusiastic throughout–pretty good on entrances too.  The members of the string quartet sawed away energetically at their instruments as the two bassoons provided “bottom” to the accompaniment and the pastoral symphony( As a devout people-watcher, I was taken with the fact that the first violinist looked like a time-sequence picture of a former student, Adam Etling.  The violist had an instrument made of carbon fiber).  The two players at the resounding Holtcamp organ stitched the whole together in orchestral fashion.  Oh, it was smashing!

And every time the conductor, Dr. Dawn Sonntag, a heckuva soprano soloist herself, brought the chorus to its feet, the pews creaked, the seat cushions breathed a sigh of relief, there was an inhalation of the spirit and an outpouring of The Spirit of Christmas  and the final “Hallelujah”  said it all.




Then there was the St. Ambrose Christmas Concert.  Same Spirit, new faces

The place was packed–having children in the program will do that for you–upstairs and down.  There was an instrumental component here too; a clarinte rocked, a timpanist sat in one corner, a percussionist in another. Many individuals doubled as vocalists and bellringers.  The O.K.(Only Kids) Chorale demonstrated both a high CQ (Cuteness Quotient) and fine musical competence.  A brass choir added triumphant notes.  Oh, it was a resounding success, all ‘round.  Parents, grandparents, families of all shapes and descriptions got into the whole thing.  It’s that word again–COMMUNITY–that makes all of the old favorites seem new again every time in such a setting.  Bravo!

Still more to come :  Garrettsville United Methodist Church presents “Tapestry of Light : A Celtic Christmas Celebration”  on Sunday, December 11.

“Sing we  now  of  Christmas…”

Hiram – Parents hungry for information to help their teenaged children make their college choices can get the answers to their questions when Hiram College hosts “College Camp: A Training Program for Parents,” from 9 a.m. to Noon on Saturday, November 19, in the Kennedy Center located on the Hiram campus.

Hiram is partnering with Cuyahoga Community College, Saint Joseph Academy, Streetsboro High School, Theodore Roosevelt High School and the University of Akron, to offer the camp, which is aimed at demystifying some of the ins and outs of college searches, admissions, and costs. Admission is free.

The free seminar will feature presentations and question and answer sessions with high school guidance counselors, college and university admission representatives, and financial aid experts. Since its inception in 2002, College Camp has served more than 400 parents of high school students.

Each participant will receive a packet of useful information to assist them with their college search process. The program begins at 9 a.m.

The schedule is as follows:

8:30 a.m. Check-in

9:00 a.m. – “How to Conduct the Perfect College Search:”  Sue Jensen, director of guidance, Saint Joseph Academy; Kelly Simmons, school counselor, Streetsboro High School; Nancy Bubenzer, guidance counselor, Theodore Roosevelt High School

10 a.m. – “Demystifying the Admission Process:” Tara Shuster, Recruitment Specialist, Cuyahoga Community College, Eastern Campus; Sherman Dean, director of admission, Hiram College; Karen Dickerson, director, Transfer Student Services Center, The University of Akron

11 a.m. –“ Financial Aid: What You Really Need to Know:” Andrea Caputo, director of financial aid, Hiram College

Advance registration is preferred and can be made by visiting http://www.hiram.edu/collegecamp.  For more information, call College Camp Coordinators Lisa Schneider, at 330-569-5986 OR Yvonne Sherwood, at 330-569-5286.


Hiram – Let’s face it. We live in a celebrity-obsessed culture. We’re fascinated by Charlie Sheen’s meltdowns, Lindsey Lohan’s on-going rehab saga, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s libidinous adventures and crave the latest scoop on the Kardashian clan. Even in a tough economy, celebrity magazines continue to enjoy robust sales, as Americans just can’t seem to get enough of their favorite stars. To celebrate that obsession, there’s Celebritease!, an outrageous new fast-paced game that tests players’ knowledge of celebrities. Think of it as part Charades, part Trivial Pursuit. Celebritease! was created by the Communications Factory, a creative boutique in Cleveland.

“Surveys show Americans can more readily name celebrities than important people who have tremendous impact on our lives, like Supreme Court judges,” notes Brad Turner of the Communications Factory. “This game is a natural extension of our fixation with celebrities.”

[pulledquote]”Players will enjoy playing again and again!”[/pulledquote]Celebritease! is designed for players age 12 and older. It comes in a colorful tin (referred to as the “Hollywood Bowl”) and consists of a 60-second timer, 216 celebrity and 24 wildcard chips. The object is to accumulate the most celebrity chip points by the time the “Hollywood Bowl” is empty. The leader, or “teaser,” of the starting team selects a celebrity chip from the Hollywood Bowl while someone else starts the timer. The teaser then has one minute to give clues – singing, dancing, drawing, acting out or speaking – to help his or her teammate identify as many celebrities as possible in that time. Clues can include anything except the actual name of the celebrity. “Celebritease! features the famous from all walks of life – Hollywood, the sports world, politicians, musicians, even well-known writers and fictional characters,” Turner explains. “So, regardless of your background or interests, it’s as simple as it is fun. And since the game play is different each time, players will enjoy playing again and again.”

According to Turner, the fun doesn’t stop with just this version of Celebritease!, however. “Future editions, such as a children’s version, sports eras, Biblical characters, history, and more are already in the works.” Celebritease! is manufactured and assembled in Northeast Ohio and is currently available at Myriad Games in New Hampshire, Games by James stores in Minnesota and Time Well Spent in Colorado. It’s also available at each store’s online properties: https://shop.gamesalute.com, gamesbyjames.com and www.timewellspentgames.com. Suggested retail price for Celebritease! is between $20-25. For more information about Celebritease!, like us on Facebook or call us at 330.697.9320.

Hiram  –  On Saturday, October 29, 2011, the Weekend College program at Hiram College, along with the Office of Graduate Studies, will celebrate the 35th anniversary of Weekend College by hosting the first annual Adult Learning SuccessFEST to inspire interested adults to make a commitment to return to college.

The Weekend College, established in 1977 is the oldest adult learning program in Ohio, and is geared to the needs of working adults, who may be too busy with jobs and family to attend traditional college classes. SuccessFEST will provide attendees with a multitude of information, activities, counseling, and testimonials from other adults who have succeeded in their lives after earning degrees at the Hiram Weekend College.

Throughout its tenure, the Weekend College has graduated more than 2200 students, in a range of eight different undergraduate majors and the Masters of Art in Interdisciplinary Studies (MAIS).  The event is also being held in concert with National Non-Traditional Student Recognition Week, sponsored by The Association of Non-Traditional Students in Higher Education, to recognize and celebrate nontraditional student success across the United States and Canada.

“Many working adults think they are too busy with families and careers, or simply lack the confidence to pursue their dreams and success by earning a degree,” said Paul Bowers, Dean of Extended Learning at Hiram College. “SuccessFEST is specifically designed to show interested adults how they can leverage support networks to break down barriers and get on the road to success.”

SuccessFEST begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, October 29 in the ballroom of the Kennedy Center on the Hiram campus, and will offer the following opportunities to interested adults:

  • Attend confidence-building mini-classes and experience Hiram’s intimate, personal learning approach
  • Hear how other adult learners overcame barriers and achieved success
  • Talk with current Weekend College students about how they juggle family, career and education
  • Attend financial aid and transcript evaluation sessions, and tour Hiram’s campus
  • Network with other non-traditional students, engaged, caring faculty, staff, and  successful alumni

Attendees will also be treated to a special buffet luncheon and hear presentations by:

  • Jean Mackenzie, entrepreneur and founder of Mackenzie Creamery, in Hiram, and recipient of the 2011 Portage County Environmental Conservation Award
  • Sandra Lisko, a 2007 alumna of Hiram College, and vice president, regional marketing manager, Huntington Bank
  • Warren Blazy, a 1991 Hiram College alumnus, owner and CEO of Blaze-N-Dee, Inc., food safety consultants.

SuccessFEST is free, please register at www.hiram.edu/successfest or call 330-569-5161

Hiram  –  On Saturday, October 29, 2011, the Weekend College program at Hiram College, along with the Office of Graduate Studies, will celebrate the 35th anniversary of Weekend College by hosting the first annual Adult Learning SuccessFEST to inspire interested adults to make a commitment to return to college.
The Weekend College, established in 1977 is the oldest adult learning program in Ohio, and is geared to the needs of working adults, who may be too busy with jobs and family to attend traditional college classes. SuccessFEST will provide attendees with a multitude of information, activities, counseling, and testimonials from other adults who have succeeded in their lives after earning degrees at the Hiram Weekend College.
Throughout its tenure, the Weekend College has graduated more than 2200 students, in a range of eight different undergraduate majors and the Masters of Art in Interdisciplinary Studies (MAIS).  The event is also being held in concert with National Non-Traditional Student Recognition Week, sponsored by The Association of Non-Traditional Students in Higher Education, to recognize and celebrate nontraditional student success across the United States and Canada.
“Many working adults think they are too busy with families and careers, or simply lack the confidence to pursue their dreams and success by earning a degree,” said Paul Bowers, Dean of Extended Learning at Hiram College. “SuccessFEST is specifically designed to show interested adults how they can leverage support networks to break down barriers and get on the road to success.”
SuccessFEST begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, October 29 in the ballroom of the Kennedy Center on the Hiram campus, and will offer the following opportunities to interested adults:
Attend confidence-building mini-classes and experience Hiram’s intimate, personal learning approach
Hear how other adult learners overcame barriers and achieved success
Talk with current Weekend College students about how they juggle family, career and education
Attend financial aid and transcript evaluation sessions, and tour Hiram’s campus
Network with other non-traditional students, engaged, caring faculty, staff, and  successful alumni
Attendees will also be treated to a special buffet luncheon and hear presentations by:
• Jean Mackenzie, entrepreneur and founder of Mackenzie Creamery, in Hiram, and recipient of the 2011 Portage County Environmental Conservation Award
• Sandra Lisko, a 2007 alumna of Hiram College, and vice president, regional marketing manager, Huntington Bank
•  Warren Blazy, a 1991 Hiram College alumnus, owner and CEO of Blaze-N-Dee, Inc., food safety consultants.
SuccessFEST is free, please register at www.hiram.edu/successfest or call 330-569-5161

Garfield Meeting House - Photo: Benjamin M Coll

Hiram, – The Garfield Institute for public Leadership at Hiram College will host a celebration of the legacy of James A. Garfield, Saturday October 15th at the National City Christian Church, 5 Thomas Circle NW, Washington DC.

The event, part of the Hiram’s observance of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, will focus on the achievements of Garfield, who was President of the Western Reserve Eclectic Institute, the precursor of Hiram College, and had a distinguished career as a general in the Civil War before his election to Congress and as the 20th president of the United States.

Dr. Allan Preskin, former professor of history at Cleveland State University, and a noted Garfield biographer will deliver the keynote address at the celebration, along with remarks by Thomas V. Chema, current president of Hiram College, and John C. Koritansky, Professor of Political Science at Hiram and Chairman of the Garfield Institute. The Hiram College Chamber Singers and Western Reserve Women’s Chorus will provide Civil War Era songs.

The event is the centerpiece a three-day visit to the nation’s capital by the students and faculty of the Garfield Institute for Public Leadership in which they will tour the White house, and confer with government officials on the economy. The Institute selects and prepares students to assume the responsibilities of public leadership by developing expertise in matters of public policy, foreign and domestic, grounded in Hiram’s traditional liberal arts education. Garfield scholars and faculty travel to Washington every year for experiential learning outside the classroom.

For more information about Hiram College, please visit www.hiram.edu.


Hiram – The Hiram Women’s Chorus and the Hiram Men’s Chorus will begin rehearsals for this season on Tuesday, September 13, at 7:30 PM in Frohring Music Hall on the Hiram College Campus. These College-Community ensembles are open to all area singers (high school and older) without audition.
The Women’s Chorus is directed by Damaris Peters Pike, and the Men’s Chorus by Jose Gotera. For part of each reheasal the groups come together to form the Hiram Community Chorus, which will be singing a rousing arrangement of “This Is My Country” this fall.

For further information, call Damaris at 330-569-7643 or email pikedp@hiram.edu. See you on the 13th!

Opening Convocation at Hiram College (Source: Hiram College)

Hiram – The installation of two faculty members to endowed chairs in ethics, and liberal arts was the focus of convocation ceremonies to start the fall term Thursday, September 1 at Hiram College.
Along with the initiation of the Class of 2015, Colin Anderson, associate professor of philosophy, and Rick Hyde, professor of theater arts, were installed in the George & Arlene Foote Chair in Ethics, and the Howard S. Bissell Chair in the Liberal Arts, respectively.

The tradition of academic chairs began in Elizabethan times, when chairs were a luxury. Most people sat on wooden stools, benches or cushions on the floor. But when a teacher was raised to a position of professor, he was presented with an actual chair as a symbol of his elevated status in the world of learning. Now, academic chairs are endowed faculty positions, made possible by the generosity of donors who are committed to sustaining excellence in teaching and scholarship.

In his installation speech, Anderson said Hiram has a unique responsibility, as a residential liberal arts college, to spread ethics education beyond the classroom in order to educate the whole person.

“Hiram has the higher purpose of ethics across the whole curriculum, but also beyond the curriculum,” he said.
In turn, Hyde told the students that while factual knowledge and being a good student are good goals, it is more important to learn the lessons to be learned from going beyond just the facts.

“We remember the story we tell, not the facts,” he said.

From kittenhood through the twilight years, our feline companions continually bring joy, love, and laughter to the lives of their “staff.”  In  Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Cat’s Life you will share the experience of living through the natural life cycle with our cats — from the laugh-out-loud antics of kittens and tear-your-hair-out escapades of teenage cats to the more mature adult years and final stages of life.
Included in this collection is a submission by local author and Hiram College Professor, Karen Donely-Hayes. Her story,  “Cats Are Like Potato Chips” will make the animal lover in you smile.
Stories cover each age and stage with all the fun, frustrations, special bonds and routines involved. The book also holds a special chapter about grieving and recovery when our feline friends leave us.

Garrettsville – Garrettsville-Hiram Rotarians confronted a mystery at their recent meeting.  Speaker was Guy Alexander of Park Ave., Garrettsville, and he told of the boat in his house.
Embarking upon an renovation/remodel of his house in 2007, he recalled a chance conversation some years before with Adelle Cline (nee Baird) who had grown up in the residence and lived there after her marriage to Jim Cline and through the subsequent raising of three children.  While engaged in who-knows-what ministrations of the hair care personnel at  the Golden Mirror, she asked him if he had yet found the boat that resided above the dining room ceiling, something shown to the family by her father in the early twentieth century and, to all intents and purposes, likely to be still there–they had not removed it.
As it happened,  the remodeler needed access to the area in question and –lo, and behold–between the rafters and the lath-and-plaster, there rested the skeleton of a boat, two nested halves, a pair of slave collars(!) and some old batteries, along with newspaper clippings from 1898 concerning a popular player of the day, Homer Enos.  An interesting treasure  trove, no mistake!
After considerable investigation–Antique Road Show and a number of other avenues, such as the Smithsonian Institution–Guy found that he was in possession of a “portage boat” or “slave boat”  used during the era of the Underground Railroad (Which, you may recall, was not always underground, nor had it any rails, though the roads were many and  so too the conductors and the passengers).  Only one other specimen is thought to be in existence, and that in Canada.  One appraisal firm in Cleveland put its value at “priceless”–not real helpful, when you get right down to it.  The collars–one had a metal nameplate reading “W. F. Brown” in ornate script–were far more common and a Wm. Brown (pauper) was found  listed at that address in a census search of the decade.
The “portage boat” might be classified as what archivists/historians/archaeologists and their ilk call “ephemera”, things that were not designed to last, in this case they were to be put together quickly, covered with a canvas or leather skin, used to cross a stream or body of water, then dismantled (Under the Fugitive Slave Act, one could be arrested and tried for aiding and/or abetting a runaway slave, so   the evidence was destroyed whenever possible).  How did the bones of the boat get in the ceiling over the dining room?  Nobody knows. The house has  paper trail back to at least 1895, possibly 1860–lots of records were lost in a fire at the old courthouse in Ravenna many years ago.  There apparently a construction project of some sort at this address in 1908.  Was it found or moved around then by the Bairds?  Mystery still.
Then , of course, there are the unexplained shadows and creaks and footsteps…the nearby tunnels to the creek, possibly used by the UGRR–Northeast Ohio was pretty strong Abolitionist territory….  Who knows how much more of the story waits to be uncovered?

Garrettsville – Michelle Rosenbaum ’12 and a few of her Hiram classmates were driving home from a Cleveland card shop about a year ago when an idea hit them.
“We all thought, ‘We really need a card shop closer,’” said Rosenbaum, a management major. “The one we came from was an hour away.”
Many would have dismissed that thought as wishful thinking, but Rosenbaum is rapidly making that wish a reality. On July 1st she opened her first business venture, Game Emporium, in Garrettsville.
“Ever since I started having a job, I always felt like I just want to own my own place, to work for myself,” Rosenbaum said. “All of my friends at Hiram, we play (card) games all the time, so I just kind of took that idea and ran with it.”
The concept of Game Emporium is pay-to-play gaming. Customers can come in with friends and pay to play either video games or card games based on hourly rates. Rosenbaum also plans to host tournaments and allow guests to rent rooms for parties.
“I hope to make it a general hangout place that people like to come to,” she said. “It’s going to be my social life so I want to get to know my customers and have a lot of regulars, too.”
Almost immediately after the Cleveland trip, Rosenbaum began doing research on the makeup of card shops, and how she might get one started in the area. Her management professors also directed her to Hiram’s annual ideablitz! competition during the Fall 2010 12-week semester.
The ideablitz! competition, put on by the Center for Integrated Entrepreneurship, gives student entrepreneurs a chance to present their idea to a panel of judge in a three-minute “rocket pitch” presentation. Winners are awarded money to put their ideas into action.
Rosenbaum participated, but as an honorable mention, didn’t take home a cash prize. But she was already knee-deep in her project, and continued to move forward, despite not taking home one of the top prizes.
Starting her own business while still in college meant Rosenbaum had to learn everything as she went along. She began pricing items she knew she would need for her inventory and scoped out places around town that she could rent. She eventually decided on 8015 State Street in Garretsville – the former home of Movie Gallery.
Professors offered help along the way, as she completed every step, from filing paperwork, scheduling inspections and buying inventory from her own savings account. Her friends have helped her paint the store with various video game characters.
“I knew less than nothing when I started, honestly,” she said. “… It’s been a learning process.”
As a rising senior, she has two more semesters of classes and senior seminar to look forward to come fall. She plans to use what she’s learned about starting a business to complete her senior seminar.
And after Hiram? Rosenbaum is in this for the long haul – so if all goes well, Hiram will always be a short trip down Route 82.
A few years down the line, she said she’d like to look into opening another store in Portage County, possibly in Aurora or Kent. She also hopes to host tournaments for high school students, in which she can offer small scholarships to the winners.
“I’m looking forward to getting to know the people and seeing everyone have fun,” Rosenbaum said, “and being the talk of town.”
The Game Emporium is open during the summer daily from noon-midnight and once school starts will be open Monday-Friday, 2 p.m.-midnight; Saturday-Sunday, noon-midnight.   Call the store  at  330 527-8010 to talk to Michelle about  their private room and party packages

Printed with permission from Hiram College.


On July 10th, the Shamrock Shakers enjoyed an outing, canoeing on the Cuyahoga River.  The members and their guests met at Camp Hi Canoe Livery and were dropped off for the 7 mile trip.  All participants made it safety off the river with only 1 canoe tipping over.  It was a fun but tiring day for all.
Members are preparing their non-livestock projects for judging.  All non-livestock projects will be judged by the end of July.  Small animal projects will be judged at the fair in August.
Our next meeting is July 24th.  We’ll be discussing final ideas for our fair booth and going over what the small animal projects will need to do for the fair.


Hiram – Instead of spending summer vacation playing video games, Hiram College wants to teach kids how to design and build their own video games. This summer, Hiram College has partnered with TECH CORPS to offer students in Portage County the opportunity to participate in TECHie Camp.

TECHie Camp is a full-day, week-long technology experience designed by TECH CORPS, a nonprofit organization based in Columbus, Ohio. The over-arching goal of TECHie Camp is to assist students in making connections between the technology they love to use and the educational and career opportunities associated with the creation of this technology.

“Most elementary and middle school students are enthusiastic users and consumers of technology; they hardly remember a time when there was no internet, cell phones, or digital media” said Lisa M. Chambers, National Director and State Director (OH) of TECH CORPS. “Our objective in developing TECHie Camp is to put students in the role of creating and designing with technology–not just using and consuming it.”
Last year, only 2% of ACT-tested high school students in the US indicated a career interest in Computer Science. Through the development of engaging after-school and summer technology programs, TECH CORPS works to inspire more students to pursue technology-related educational and career pathways.

Newton Falls – Each year AMVETS Post 112, Newton Falls Ohio provides scholarships to the students at Newton Falls High School. As a not for profit veterans organization we rely on fundraising events to be able to provide this service to our community. Our annual golf outing is going to be held this year at Riverview Golf course on Saturday, July 16th with an 8:30 AM shotgun start. The cost for the four person scramble is $65.00 per person ($260.00 Team), which includes 18 holes of golf with cart breakfast donuts and coffee, hot sausage sandwich at the turn and a steak dinner following the round. Prizes will be given for 1st and 2nd place along with closest to the pin, longest drive, longest put, 50/50 and many more. Please make checks payable to AMVETS POST 112 ICO Scholarship Fund. The first hole in one on #18 will be the winner of a Chevy Cruz from Cole Chevrolet Newton Falls. Golf hole sponsorships are still available for $50.00, please contact Daniel Reece at (330) 727-4737 or AMVETS POST 112 at (330) 872-9014 for more information.

Hiram - Well, maybe you won’t hear.  The Hiram Community Band…the Hiram Community Fourth of July Band, is looking–almost in vain so far–for band members, musicians on just about any kind of instrument to play at 4:00 on the Fourth in front of the Frohring Music Building on the Hiram College campus.  Final practice is on Friday, July 1 in Frohring, starting at 6:45.  Come on down! Limber up your lip; flex your fingers, break out the bifocals so you can see those itty-bitty notes.  Get out your red, white and blue to celebrate the day.(Listen, the first rehearsal had one clarinet, one saxophone, one trombone, one–semi-functional–trumpet, a French horn, two flutes, a tuba …and me, whaling away at the bass drum.  A triangle player is desperately needed…among other things.  Come on, give it a shot. It’s fun and it’s a thirty-odd year[some years were very odd] tradition that doesn’t deserve to die)  You can do this!

Members of the Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary took a field trip to the wilds of the Hiram College Barrow Field Station on Wheeler Rd to be enlightened on the scope and purpose of the operation of the facility.  One of Hiram College’s curricular centers, its focus is on the Study of Nature and Society, and its director is Matt Hils,  professor of biology at the college and the presenter of the program.

Study of Nature and Society encompasses the history of the various views of Nature, either in the Biblical understanding of humans in the world, the Wilderness outlook, the aspect of Conquest, the Romantic perception, the Dawn of Conservation, the Aldo Leopold land ethic or the warnings of Rachel Carson through the New Millennial Environmentalism and business practices with a Sense of Place.

The Field Station itself began with the late Professor James Barrow who arranged for the acquisition of some three hundred eighty-four acres in 1967.  Since that time the majors offered involving the station have grown from simply environmental studies and biology to areas involving education, research, conservation…nearly any course of study that can be linked to interaction of people and their environment.  There are programs offering courses, seminars and public outreach.  There are co-operative ventures involving outside agencies such as the Akron Zoo, the Portage County Park District, the Audubon Society, CWRU in both natural and built environments.  There is research in topics such as endangered waterfowl and forest ecology.  Support has been broad, including the Ohio Prairie Nursery, with special appreciation to the Frohring Foundation over many years.

Continuing areas of interest and study include Exploring Today’s New Standards, Is the Environment a Valid Overhead Expense?, Geothermal Heating & Cooling (currently in use at the center), increasing the protection of the Silver Creek Watershed.  Friends of the Field Station offer frequent programs and activities at the station and in the surrounding community.

The question of  “Nature and Society…Part or Apart” is being asked and answers considered every day at the Hiram College Field Station.


Garrettsville-Hiram Rotarians were still looking for students from James A. Garfield H.S. or Windham High School to attend the Rotary Youth Leadership Award camp to be held at Hiram College , June 12-16.  Any interested individuals who will be seniors…or even juniors…in the 2011-2012 school year should contact a Rotarian ASAP.  Best bet might be Delores McCumbers at McCumbers-Brady Realty.  Could be a terrific experience.The local group affirmed its community commitment with a donation to the Hattie Larlham Foundation for a memorial honoring  the late Charles Abraham who had been a long-time supporter of the organization.Good times coming : District picnic on June 18 in Akron;     G-H summer picnic on the third Monday in August, likely at Bonney Castle in Hiram on the college campus; the annual reverse raffle fund-raiser in November (2nd Thursday) is already on the drawing board; plans are afoot to enlist the local Boy Scout troop in the fall roadside clean-up; interest in gaining new members–invitation to Dr. Jessica Bittence.
They keep rolling

Hiram – Armed forces veterans and their families who want to take advantage of their GI educational benefits will be able to access a wide range of services, including beginning or continuing their college education, when Hiram College opens its new resource center for veterans  on the campus this fall.The center will be one of the first in a private institution in the State of Ohio, and will offer help to veterans and their dependents in accessing their GI educational, medical, mental health, career counseling advice and many other benefits, as well as a place to connect to other veterans.“We are proud of those who have served our country,” said Thomas V. Chema, President of Hiram College. “And we are committed to helping them to take full advantage of their GI benefits to be successful in their return to civilian life.”Plans call for the center to be staffed by professionals who will provide information and screening for federal and state veteran programs, such as education, group therapy and mental health counseling, job training and placement and financial advice. They will also assist veterans in completing and filing the paperwork to claim their benefits.Research shows many veterans never take full advantage of their benefits, which often also extend to their families, either by choice or lack of information or access to services. For example, many veterans assume that their educational benefits, which pay college costs, can only be used at public colleges and universities. In fact, most veterans’ benefits are sufficient to pay tuition at private colleges and universities, such as Hiram.  The new resource center at Hiram will be located in the newly renovated space in Miller Hall, and will feature a lounge area as well as service and counseling areas. Services will be available to all students using veteran benefits.       The College currently has 14 veterans enrolled and hopes to have 20 before the   center  opens.

Hiram – The Hiram community will conduct a Memorial Day parade and services at Fairview Cemetery on Monday, May 30, 2011, starting between 11:00 and 11:30 a.m.The Parade will step off from the Hiram Post Office and proceed to Fairview Cemetery.  The featured speaker is Lt. Col. Donald Hazelwood, Military Science Professor and R.O.T.C. battalion commander at John Carroll University. Prayers will be offered by Father Leo Wehrlin of St. Ambrose and St. Michael R.C. Churches. Crestwood School children will recite Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and the Crestwood Scarlet Guard will be providing the music.Also participating will be the Hiram Township Trustees, Hons. Kathleen Schulda, Steve Pancost and Tom Bosma; Hiram College President Tom Chema, Professors of Music Damaris Peters Pike, Assistant Music Professor  Dawn Sonntag with Marine Recruit Austin Kepple and WWII Veteran and former B17 Pilot Keylon Clark. Both Hiram Fire and Police Departments and the U.S. Army Color Guard will parade. Hiram Scouts will be distributing flowers on veterans’ graves. Military veterans will read the names of the veterans entombed at all Hiram cemeteries.After the services all are invited to a public reception at the James A. Garfield Meeting House on the College campus.

Well, it was another full week for “movers and shakers” all over town. To wit :

Graduation parties…Hiram College, U. of Akron, KSU. All of the big schools turned ‘em out to look for jobs. Jean Marvin snuck in a birthday bash with her graduation party (Master’s in Nursing)
The James A. Garfield Historical Society met on Monday–as they do every third Monday in the Mott Building at the corner of Main and High streets–to (1) deal with old business (an inquiry about participation in the Memorial Day activities, a reading program sponsored by the University of Akron, correspondence from the Ohio Local History Alliance, a letter from the ODNR concerning abandoned mines in the area, a letter from Robert Sawyer in regards to information about Hart Crane), (2) plan for an excursion to the Hudson Historical Society arranged by member Gwen Mayer, the archivist with the Hudson Library, (3)advance arrangements for the Vintage Photo Fun opportunity to be offered during SummerFest, (4) discuss issues–literally–with the Ohio Historical Society microfilm of defunct Garrettsville newspapers, (5) get more details on the up-coming Appraisal Fair, wherein local experts will be offering opinions on items presented by owners interested in gaining more information on family pieces and attic refugees; more to come,(6) cleaning and repairs to the building. (7) miscellaneous–demolition of the building at Paul’s, sign-out for borrowed items, awning for the Bonnet Shop, the Windham bicentennial, placement of the Maple Industry commemorative plaque.
The Rotarians met, as usual on Wednesday
The Red Cross Bloodmobile came to St. Ambrose on Thursday. We do pretty well here, providing a vital service with very little fanfare and excellent co-operation among the sponsoring churches in the area. Everybody takes a turn at signing in donors and bringing in cookies, beverages…even soup, sometimes, when it’s cold, and the Family of St. Ambrose offers its accessible facility for this life-saving work. Community, with a capital CARE..
Friday and Saturday saw the presentation of the dramatic production “The Test” at Garfield H.S., a thought-provoking and often hilarious exposition of the many tests that are a part of life. The answers were not always given and they were not all “true/false”. Excellent production.
Sunday saw the Second Annual Machine-O-Mania / Touch-A-Truck at Garfield High School and the District-wide Spring Band Concert at the same location…full parking lots.
The early weather scared off some but by eleven o’clock, things were looking good and the more intrepid were able to climb all over the big–we’re talkin’ BIG–trucks and other pieces of equipment that had been brought to be on display. Apologies to Praise Assembly of God across from the school. Hope that the sirens and buzzers and other assorted noises didn’t interrupt any prayers or over-ride any music; sermons are seldom affected by such irrelevancies.
Special thanks to all of the businesses and groups who brought their apparatus (or is it apparati?) to be on display and in play for the whole four hours. And to all of the attenders (Tom and Jean Russell come in their truck just to support the cause–Academic Challenge–and to show the flag for antique autos). The Portage County Mobile Command & Communications Center was there with radar weather, DVDs of Emergency Management situations handled, all kinds of cool stuff. The James A. Garfield Transportation Department made a bus available for walk-through. Interstate Towing brought three units–bright, shiny, tough-looking (Could have put my car in their back pocket). Tri County Building Supply sent a cement truck cleaner than usual on the job. The Community EMS, fresh from their parade and open house on the previous Saturday, sent two units and explainers to go with them. Scotchman Electric, with soon-to-be-graduate Sam in charge (The rest were probably working the Boy Scout doughnuts ‘n’ delicacies tent at the Yard Sale) of the high-rise bucket truck, was a fine contribution.. Kepich Ford was represented by a big, boss pickup truck that likely could have hauled my house down the road on a roller skate; it had that kind of muscle. DSI Bulk Transport/ Bonner Farms presented a tanker truck that hadn’t even been used yet–shiny! Our local truck hero, Deral White and his CSX Transport truck –bunk beds, coffeemaker, TV, micro…all the comforts of home…maybe more–were there. The truck competition medal was dangling from the mirror but he didn’t flash his gi-normous ring around, modest fellow that he is. GFN Volunteer Fire Department had two engines on deck and two firefighters as accompaniment. The ladders went up, the compartments opened, the sirens howled–great stuff! The Time Bandit Racing dragster was a big draw for little kids and motor-heads alike. The crew (Thanks, Phyllis) offered pictures in the cockpit–how cool it that? The engine man (Thanks, Jim)blew out the decibels when they fired up the engine and fed it automotive Red Bull–POW! BAM! ROAR! (Sorry, Praise Assembly) The driver (Thanks, Jeff) climbed in and out, gave explanations, greeted grandchildren, was a great proponent of the fun anybody can have when they find an activity and a crew that they can truly get involved with. The whole thing sort of reminds me of a Dr. Seuss book, Oh the Things You’ll Do, the Places You’ll Go! Indeed!
Watch for this next year…bigger and better!
Then it was on to the Band Concert. This was a biggie! Lots o’ bands–5th grade, 6th grade, 7th grade, 8th grade, High School–plus a recorder ensemble from the Elementary School. Lots o’ people on both sides of the gymnasium, fanning themselves vigorously to move some–warm–air. Lots o’ good music to go around.
There was a patriotic cast to the affair, highlighted by the appearance of a flag unit from the U.S. Air Force Reserve based in Youngstown presenting the colors at the center of the assembly. Moving.
Moving as well was the Sousa favorite, “The Stars and Stripes Forever”…. Go, piccolos!…and the penultimate number, a rendition of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”, combining the high school band, the high school chorus and a community chorus. A wall of sound! Let’s hear it for all of the participants, the listeners…and the organizers of the event, Mr. Fox, Mr. Cebulla, Mr. Gaither. The finale, of course, was the Garfield “Fight Song”
Research has shown that education in the arts boosts academic achievement. Excellent!

Pictured are two young racers who enjoyed the opportunity to climb into the cockpit of The Time Bandit.


Hiram – The Communications Factory, Hiram’s only advertising agency, is proud to announce its selection of Meghan Caprez as the firm’s ninth college scholarship recipient. Ms. Caprez, a senior at Our Lady of the Elms High School in Akron, earned the $1,000 award from the Factory to help her offset some of the costs associated with her college education.Chosen from a large field of highly qualified applicants from across Northeast Ohio, Caprez demonstrated a great knack for balancing the academic rigors and extracurriculars of high school with her passion for journalism. Meghan was an integral member of the Elm Leaf, the student-run school newspaper, earning the role as Managing Editor, along with accolades for both her writing and her layout skills. She also served as President of the Speech and Debate Team, placing in area oratorical competitions — even qualifying to the Ohio High School Speech League State Finals. All of which she was able to accomplish while maintaining Honor Roll status throughout her high school tenure.“Meghan’s undying enthusiasm, perceptiveness and wit, diverse skills and talents, compassionate leadership and team orientation, obvious passion for journalism and communications, and transformative spirit all make her an exceptional choice for the Factory’s scholarship,” beams Carrie Tangenberg, English Teacher and Newspaper Adviser at Our Lady of the Elms High School.Brad Turner, “plant manager” of the Communications Factory, continues to be impressed by the turnout for his firm’s scholarship offering. “Each year I’m thrilled by the caliber of intelligent and hardworking young adults that apply. And this year is no different. We’re proud to support future leaders, like Meghan, with our scholarship.”Meghan joins eight other previous winners of the Scholarship that include: Kristie McLeod from Firestone High; Katherin Polenick from Warren G. Harding High; Megan Fraley from Willoughby South High; Mason King from Hudson High; Ben Everly from Rootstown High; Daniel Hurd and Lauren Ilenin from Crestwood; and Keely Davidson from Stow-Falls. The Factory’s scholarship will be awarded again next year to another deserving area senior. Interested students should keep an eye on the firm’s Web site (www.communicationsfactory.net) and local papers for the early 2012 announcement.

Garrettsville-Hiram Rotarians were treated to a unique look at what for some is Terra Incognita, our great (in more ways than one) northern neighbor, Canada…specifically, Dennis Guenther’s  home province of Alberta (along with Saskatchewan and Manitoba, known as the Prairie Provinces).  Names familiar to travelers, such as Lake Louise and Banff, Medicine Hat and Calgary shared map space with Nanuvut and PEI in sketching Canada as a whole and a quick historical outline pointed out the Native American–Cree, Chippewa, Blackfoot, etc.– background as well as the early French and British settlers and fur traders’ influence on the formation of the nation.  Alberta became an official province as part of that nation in 1905.One Canadian icon with which many in the U.S. are familiar is the RCMP–Royal Canadian Mounted Police–the Mounties, who always get their man; they were established in 1873, originally to deal with whisky and gun issues as pertaining to the Native American peoples, both on and off the reservations.  They still operate as the national police force, still mounted, with a showpiece unit called the “Musical Ride” which appears when pageantry and precision are on display.The 1890’s saw vast numbers of immigrants come to Canada, just as they did to the “lower 48” in the U.S., many Americans, many ethnic, language and religious groups.  Economic changes came with the opening of cattle and grain farms of giant proportions as well as the railroads to take these goods to markets all over the world.  Another economic factor entered with the discovery of oil in 1914; this factor got another boost in the ‘30’s and ‘40’s when additional oil and gas deposits were found.  By 1990, eighty-one per cent of Canada’s oil was being drawn from this area, much of it being exported to the United States.  By 2006 over 1.25 million bbl of oil–much of it from the Athabaska oil sands–was coming from Alberta…and supporting an excellent universal health care system in addition to a list of outstanding universities and colleges.Named for Princess Alberta, daughter of Queen Victoria, the Province of Alberta has a distinctly conservative political aspect in the capital of Edmonton and a more “frontier-flavored” visage in Calgary–home of ”the Stampede” and many of its tourist attractions.  It’s where many western movies are shot and it’s where the “Chinook” winds can change the temperature more than fifty degrees in a flash…or a breeze.Hi, neighbor!

Hiram – On Tuesday, May 17, 2011, representatives from the James A. Garfield, Crestwood and Woodridge Local Schools along with Roxanne Sorrick, Head of Teacher Education and Project Director for Hiram College  traveled to Columbus to accept a Teacher Planning Grant and begin advanced planning for the 2011-2012 school year. During the 2011-12 school year, Hiram College teacher candidates will be placed at the partner schools for clinical experiences where they will work collaboratively with their cooperating teachers to integrate technology into the curriculum. The school partners are Woodridge Primary, Crestwood Primary, and James A. Garfield High School and Middle School. The Teacher Planning Grant provided each partner with $12,500 for hardware and software and a shared fund of $50,000 for professional development. Each school partner identified a focus for technology purchases based on district goals and technology implementation priorities. Purchases include iPad2, iTouch, laptops, digital microscopes, wireless capability, and audience response systems. Grant funds will provide for a Community Technology night at each school partner site, distance learning opportunities for students and teachers/teacher candidates, as well as a collaborative conference for all participants in May 2012. Grant goals were based on the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Standards for both students (NETS-S) and teachers (NETS-T).“We are excited to be selected as one of the 11 recipients of the grant,” stated Sorrick. “The funds will provide new avenues of teaching and learning at these three school districts and prepare Hiram College teacher candidates to effectively integrate technology into the curriculum for 21st century learners.”This Teacher Planning Grant represents the collaborative work of four bodies of education, all equally committed to academic excellence, innovation in teaching and learning, and building relationships in schools and communities in Northeast Ohio and beyond. Relationships are perhaps the backbone of any educational endeavor. It is through collaboration that educators find new ideas, challenge existing assumptions, and reach new avenues that provide stronger, richer learning opportunities for all students.

Logo for the proposed yogurt shop

Logo for the proposed frozen yogurt shop

Hiram – Want a place where you can take a minute to sit down, relax. and enjoy the cool sweet taste of Frozen Yogurt?If you would be willing to take a moment of your time to fill out a short questionnaire, a local frozen yogurt cafe could be on the horizon…and just around the corner from your home…in the Kennedy Center Basement Food Court at Hiram College.Several dedicated students, Bonnie Brentar ‘13 and Monica Lucas ‘14, inspired by Professor Fillner’s entrepreneurial class at Hiram College, are seeking approval of the Steve Jones, Vice President of Finances at Hiram College.  Professor Senary and his Managerial Accounting class, with special assistance from Forrest Reed, Josh Buzbee, Bradley Stachowski, and David Miller, are working to conduct research and help formulate a business plan for the cafe. The frozen yogurt cafe will, of course, be available to the public. We need your IMMEDIATE input to assure that this will be a winning venture. Fill out a short questionnaire today at  http://www.weeklyvillager.com/001 or http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/L75HCCJ

The Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary Club was recently privileged to hear from two very able competitors in the Four-Way Test Speech Contest.  Both entrants were from James A. Garfield High School and each gave a presentation worth of recognition.

Travis Gorby, freshman, was first up and got an immediate audience response by intoning, “O-H”…which got “I-O” right back at him.  He went on to reveal a T-shirt with the logo of his favorite soccer team, which hailed from Barcelona.  “The Hook”, as they say, was set.

He went on to disclose his athletic bona fides–as player, referee, teacher, fan–relating to the sport.  His point was that all too often soccer “don’t get no respect” …certainly not as relevant to its growing popularity in the United States, its world-wide participation profile and its increased acceptance in interscholastic competition.

Shelby Handshue, senior, with plans to attend KSU majoring in biology, was up next with a focus on creativity, its many facets, its development, its practical manifestations and its importance to future advances in many areas –economics, education, medicine…even other fields which have not  emerged for consideration yet.

These were certainly among the top competitors for this contest in recent times.  Both were well-prepared and knowledgeable on their topics, staking out their positions an delivering their messages in an animated, confident manner.  It was tough to choose the rankings.

Both received Rotary checks for their efforts.  Travis will go the the district Four-Way Speech Contest to represent the local club.  Shelby will be the alternate.

Spring roadside clean-up is coming.  Sign up, if you’d like to help.



Hiram – Brush pick-up for 2011 will be the last full week of April, May, June, July, August and September.  The amount of brush should be no more than two men can load in 15 minutes. Tree branches and brush should be no longer than 8 foot. Leaves and small twigs must be bagged in bio-degradable bags and sealed with bio-degradable tape, or twine. Please place brush and leaf bags far enough back from the street to avoid interfering with pedestrian and vehicular traffic.

On Saturday, May 21  Hiram will be holding their Spring Clean-up day which will also include a tire and computer drop-off. Please drop off these items at the south Village Hall parking lot from 8 am to noon.

The Planning and Zoning Commission met on Tuesday, April 5th.  A motion to approve T-Mobile’s zoning application to co-locate their equipment on the existing Cell Tower next to the college’s service center was approved, provided T-Mobile seeks and obtains approval of Fire, Police and VA and posts the appropriate bond approved by the Village Solicitor.

As reported last December, the Village received approval for a $50,000 NOPEC energy- efficiency grant. The grant is being utilized to make energy saving permanent improvements in village structures. [This grant is made in four (4) quarterly payments of $12,500 each.]

As reported earlier, demolition of the old Hiram School is almost completed for contract price of $66,900 to Ace – Zuver,  LLC. However there is a little more that $40,000 remaining in the CBG block grant. It has been suggested that the Village can utilize those funds for permanent improvements, parking, etc. Ferdinand Fogas, M.D. has recently responded to the informal offer e-mailed to him January past, he has offered to sell the 5.1 acres for $160k with a credit of $30k.

There are two grant applications pending before the Ohio Development of Natural Resources totaling just more that $90k. ODNR regulations prohibit a Purchase/Sales Agreement signing before the grant application is approved. ODNR should decide the grant application sometime this June.

The OHIO PUBLIC WORKS COMMISSION grant was recently approved by Gov. Kasich. The amount of the grant is $177,500 this is a 50% grant for Hinsdale Rd. Extension with Hiram College bearing balance of the costs. (The total project cost is estimated at: $355k)

Fire and EMS have not yet agreed with the college for Council’s action to ink a new two (2) year (2011 -2012) fire and police service contract with Hiram College with a 5% increase in the first year to $69,930 and a 3% increase in the second year to $72,028. Council President Tom Wadkins and the two chiefs will work out any particular troublesome wording in the contract with the College.

Thanks goes out to Village Council for having a designated Council member attending at least one monthly Township Trustee meeting. Both governments believe this procedure and contact is important to our communities. Thank you, members of Council.

On Friday April 8th Memorandums for the Petitioners, Village and Township were filed with the Portage County Board of Commissioners regarding the proposed annexation. That decision must be made no later than 30 days, on or before May 8, 2011.

Hiram’s Memorial Day Services will be held on Monday, May 30th. The parade steps off when the Crestwood HS Scarlet Guard arrives in town at approximately 11a.m.  This year’s keynote speaker is Lieutenant Colonel Donal Hazelwood of the US Army.




Hiram – On May 1st, at 3:00 in the afternoon, there will be a memorial service honoring the life and works of William “Bill” Hollinger, at Hiram College’s Price Gymnasium, on the eponymous Hollinger Court, where he spent not inconsiderable time and achieved more than sports victories.

Memorials are about the honored ones who have left us but they are for those who have been–and often continue to be–touched by that life of service to the living.

There was virtually no aspect of sport, at Hiram College and further abroad, that was not touched by Coach Hollinger.  His mark is on the basketball court, the Hiram College Athletic Hall of Fame, the Coaches’ Corner at Hiram College’s Coleman Athletic Center.  More importantly, it is on the many students, colleagues, institutions and organizations that were integral parts of his life, in sports and beyond.  The recognition which he received–from the Bronze Star awarded for leading a ravaged company through heavy fire to take an enemy position, to NCAA Division III selection  committee, to a Distinguished Service Award from the Ohio House of Representatives, to salutes from conference colleges–attest to the larger effects of a life well-lived.

Volunteering at Robinson Memorial Hospital, donating blood, working at Sea World, taking breakfast at Miller’s with friends of many years, loving lunches at Cal’s (His Christmas gift from that crew was a free meal, taken, no doubt, with great gusto) were illustrative parts of his wider world.  His family, friends, neighbors, care-givers, his dog, Holly, past teams and students and colleagues all feel his absence while acknowledging his continuing influence in their lives.  They issue an invitation to this celebration of his life:  May 1st, 3:00 p.m. in Price Gymnasium, on the Hollinger Court.

As the Coach himself might say (This was as vociferous as he ever got, in a profession peppered with much worse.), “Geezie Peezie!”  It’s a memorial; come remember.



Hiram - In March, the Hiram Fire Department took delivery of a new Scott Thermal Imager Camera as part of a NOPEC grant, written by Hiram Township Trustee Chairman Steve Pancost.  The camera’s cost was $9,600 and was given to the Fire Department by the Township to carry on-board our newest engine.  This life-saving device can be used to assist firefighters in fire attack, locating victims, and hidden fires. We have already used the camera on two fires and it has worked out great.

The camera’s color screen can also locate heat loss and potentially save residents money by identifying where they would benefit from additional insulation.  The Fire Department is available to come out with the camera and assist Hiram residents with locating heat loss and point out any dangerous fire conditions.  To arrange this free service please email or call the station between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.


Hiram - Hiram College’s Theatre Department opened the doors of its new Renner Black Box Theatre on campus last weekend with sold-out performances of the 1967 hippie-rock musical, HAIR.

The new theatre, built in a space formerly occupied by three art studios in Frohring Art Building, was just recently completed. The cast of 22 diverse student performers with varying levels of stage experience had nine weeks to rehearse before performing to sold-out crowds on March 24-26.

Directed by Theatre Department Chair Betsy Bauman, the anti-Vietnam War production was staged as part of the college’s investigation into the theme of war. (Bauman also served as costume designer for the show. The Musical Director was Dawn Sonntag.)

The new theatre offers more flexibility than a traditional set, featuring a rounded, movable stage with large terraced steps encircling it. The smaller, more intimate space seats 50-100 people on risers, allowing Hiram theatre students to interact more with the audience. This proved to be effective and sometimes unnerving to HAIR audiences, who were subject to close encounters with actors and actresses disrobing to various degrees, gyrating and shouting obscenities, according to the script. It also brought the audience uncomfortably close to the bitterness, tortured idealism and confusion expressed by the young characters as they faced the prospect of being drafted into a war they were opposed to.

Audience members were carried along in the wave of rebellion that hippies waged – not only against the war – but against The Establishment and the strict conformities imposed by governmental, educational and religious institutions, as well as parents. As they faced the very real threat of trading in a carefree youth for the horrors of war, the ‘tribe’ of hippies in HAIR sang and danced their way into a communal last hurrah punctuated by a certain sweetness, free love, sex, drugs, rock-n-roll, long hair, wild clothes, transcendental meditation, political protests, hero worship, flower power, and whatever methods of escapism they could devise.

When the defiant HAIR first burst onto the stage 44 years ago in New York, it was unrelentingly offensive to The Establishment, which condemned it for its blatant use of profanity, partial nudity, promiscuity, rebellion, irreverence, illegal drug use, anti-patriotism, draft-dodging, sarcasm, etc. But to hippies and non-violent sympathizers since, the daring production captured the tarnished hopes and lost innocence of a conflicted generation. It catapulted onto Broadway and ran for 1,750 performances before being staged throughout the world in later years, and becoming a feature film in 1979.

HAIR also birthed a rich soundtrack of enduring rock classics like “The Age of Aquarius”, “Hair”, “Easy to be Hard”, “Good Morning Starshine”, “Let the Sunshine In” and more. The cast sang a total of 32 numbers and kept up a dizzying pace of choreography and costume changes as they spread out onstage, up on catwalks and down the aisles of Hiram College’s black-walled theatre.

The band, barely visible in the pit behind the stage, brought the soundtrack to life under the guidance of Associate Musical Director Kurt Sauer with   keyboard, guitars, drums and percussion. The use of gunshots, strobe lights, and the sound of choppers overhead completed the Vietnam-era trippy effect of the show.

While larger productions are still put on at Hayden Auditorium, Hiram College’s new black box theatre has introduced additional opportunities for study in theatrical performance, technical theatre and design, and theatre history and dramatic literature. The art department, which previously used the space for student work and displays, has relocated to Gelbke Hall.

The $2 million project is being carried out over two phases. The just-completed construction phase cost $850,000 and includes the black box theatre, asbestos removal, plus heating and air conditioning. The second phase will involve a complete renovation of the Frohring building.

Hiram – Hiram College will be holding its first annual Relay For Life, student-run event located at Charles A. Henry Field on April 1, 2011, starting at 6 p.m. until April 2, 2011, at 12 p.m. Hiram College’s official Relay For Life website has been running since late October and within just five months, teams have formed and have raised over $11,000 for The American Cancer Society.
Hiram College’s Relay For Life will be 18 hours in length, filled not only with people walking on the track, but fun and excitement to be had by all. There will be games and entertainment, featuring hot air balloon rides, five bands and the traditional luminaria ceremony. As the day turns to night, Henry Field will be lit by the glow of illuminated bags called luminaria, each bearing the name of someone who has battled cancer. The press and media are invited to attend these two days of celebration and remembrance.
Hiram prides itself in being a close-knit, diverse community where people support each other. Since the majority of the campus has been touched by cancer in some way, Relay For Life is when the Hiram campus can come together to share stories, honor loved ones and fight back against this horrible disease.
The American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life is a life-changing event that gives everyone in communities across the globe a chance to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost and fight back against the disease. At Relay For Life of Hiram College, teams will camp out at Henry Field and will take turns walking or running around the outdoor track. Each team is asked to have a representative on the track at all times during the event. Because cancer never sleeps, Relays are overnight events.
For more information, you can visit Hiram’s Relay For Life’s website http://www.relayforlife.org/hiramcollege. Once on the website, you can learn about this great cause, make a donation or register as a participant for April 1-2. As a participant, it is recommended that each person raise at least $100.
Every dollar raised helps The American Cancer Society save lives and create a world with more birthdays. Its goal is to help people stay well, get well, find cures and fight back at community events, such as Relay For Life of Hiram College.


Hiram – The Planning and Zoning Commission met on March 1st  at 7 p.m. A motion to support Village Council’s Amendment of Ordinance # 2011-01 was offered and passed by the Commission. Village Zoning Inspector Dominic Gualtieri was asked to inspect and notify in writing all owners of dumpsters that are in violation of Hiram Zoning ordinances. For any additional information on this, please contact Council member Paul Spencer.
As reported in late December the Village received approval for a $50,000 NOPEC energy efficiency grant. The grant is being utilized to make energy saving permanent improvements in village structures.

As reported in February demolition of the old Hiram School is almost complete, for a contract price of $66,900 to Ace-Zuver, LLC. However there is a little more than $40,000 remaining in the CBG Block grant. It has been suggested the Village can utilize these funds for permanent improvements, such as fencing and parking.

Recently the old school property owner, Ferdinand Fojas, M.D. responded to the offer sheet sent to him in January. Dr. Fojas has offered to sell the property to the Village for $160,000 plus a Federal Tax Credit of $30,000. The Village will purchase the property,  financed through a loan/mortgage/bonds [at no cost to village taxpayers] and lease the property to Hiram College for the purposes of a baseball field and observatory, all open to the community.

As reported in May 2010 Council set in motion the purchase from KME Fire Apparatus Co. in PA in the amount of $431,000 for a 2010 diesel Fire Pumper-Tanker. This new apparatus was delivered in February and titled with Portage County Auto titles last week.
Hiram College and the Village are currently in negotiations to secure a new two (2) year fire and police service contract with the college.

Tuesday March 8th was the final day of evidentiary hearing before the Portage County Commissioners on the annexation of 139 acres to Hiram Village. Legal counsel for the Township Trustees, Village and Petitioners will submit legal briefs in early April and two Commissioners [Maureen Frederick and Tommy Jo Marsillio] will issue a decision thirty days later. [Commissioner Chris Smeiles recused himself because of a possible conflict in interest.] It has been reported by the press this annexation hearing is the longest in Portage County history. The cost of the transcript of proceedings exceeds $6,000. It is also estimated that the legal fees and expenses will easily exceed $100,000.

The next Finance Committee meeting will be held on March29  in the Rosser Municipal building and will be followed by the Safety Committee meeting.  Planning and Zoning Committee will meet on April 5 at 7 p.m. in the Fire Department.  The next Village Council meeting will be on April 12 at 7 p.m.


Hiram - AVI Fresh and Hiram College are excited to announce the inaugural Platinum Chef Ohio, Battle for the Buckeye State.  Five colleges and universities; Hiram College, Kenyon College, Malone University, Tiffin University and the University of Mount Union; will battle it out in the kitchen for the title of   Platinum Chef Ohio and the cash prize of $2500!  College students show us what they have got as the tables are turned and they become the chefs for the night!  The competition will be held at Hiram College starting at 6pm on March 28th.

Each team will be represented by five students and the AVI Fresh Executive Chef from that institution. Representing Hiram will be Jamie Zychowski (Lakewood, Ohio); Rose Zychowski (Lakewood, Ohio); Zeerak Ahmed (Karachi, Pakistan); Zach Fincham (Windham, Ohio), and Matt Geraldi (Euclid, Ohio). Teams are required to create three dishes and have an option to create an extra dish for bonus points. All dishes must showcase the mystery ingredient. Teams will be judged on their ability to demonstrate team work, presentation, taste, creativity and sanitation skills.

Among our judges will be world-wide recognized sushi chef, author, media performer and chef-instructor Hiroko Shimbo.  Hiroko has worked as a culinary consultant to the PF Chang’s China Bistro group providing menu development, recipes and training. She has been featured on Food Network, Roker On The Road, PBS television and radio, as well as several other stations across the country.  Hiroko will not only be judging the competition but will be starting the festivities out with a cooking demonstration and at the end she will reveal the mystery ingredient.

Let the Battle Begin!


Hiram Twp. – The March 1st meeting of the Hiram Township Trustees was opened by Mr. Brewer with the reading of the minutes from the February 15th meeting.
Highlights from the gathering include the announcement that the new fire truck has been picked up and “is ready to go.” Firemen are being trained on driving the truck both during the day and at night, so residents will be seeing it on the road more for that purpose.
Questions from the audience touched on the possibility of firemen being trained in traffic direction procedures during emergencies, specifically citing a recent house fire which required obstruction of the roadway for a bit of time. The response was that the sheriff’s department was in charge of traffic direction, but that the firemen will jump in if there is a shortage of help. As a helpful note in making it safer for our first-responders to do their jobs, drivers should always pay attention to their surroundings at all times, but need to be extra vigilant and aware when emergency vehicles are around. Other issues brought up included dropped 911 calls from cell phones and difficulties in transferring to the proper departments. Ms. Schulda will have the issue addressed on the agenda at an upcoming commissioners’ meeting.
In old business were updates on recycling and trash; questions about the potential 2% tax to be paid by the township to the village; the consideration of instituting bonds on those who wish to participate in fracking, to replace roads affected in Portage County when such as action is performed; and exploring the idea of getting a portable scale to start enforcing weight limits already in place for trucks on local roads.
In new business, the road crew is planning to chip-and-seal some roads; they will be looking into gathering bids for the project.
A motion was passed to adjourn into executive session for the purpose of discussing litigation and personnel legal matters with an attorney. Updates will follow as available. The next meeting will be March 15th at 7pm, Township Hall.

“Sizzlers” star Pastor Rick Hughes.

“Sizzlers” star Pastor Rick Hughes.

You’ve still got time to get to some Family Week activities sponsored by the Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary Club.
Friday, February 25 is Friday Night Out.  Take your whole troop to one or more of the local activities-bowling skating, dining, etc.–featured in the Villager pages.  Make an evening of it.  Connect.  Enjoy.
Saturday, February 26 is the Family Fun Festival at the James A. Garfield Elementary School from 11:00am to 2:00pm…food, fun inflatables…games, great doughnut holes…what a good time!  Ask-A-Doc is a new wrinkle and an introduction to Dr. Jessica Bittence, who’ll be the guiding light at the coming Robinson Health Center at Garrettsville.  Come meet the “new kid on the block,” get your blood pressure checked, get information on services and support groups offered by Robinson.  Stay for the awards and prizes.  Bring the family. Make a day of it!
Of course, you missed the 10th Annual Family Music Festival.  It was the kick-off event for the whole week and featured performers from across the spectrum of local talent, from Jill Waters, who opened the proceedings with the National Anthem (accompanied by Rotarian Jim Irwin), through the “Sizzlers” of the Nelson United Methodist Church (You know how the TV people do those “roasts” of celebrities ?  Well, this was a “kinder, gentler”…funnier…version for local consumption.  No major flames but some cute sparks), the Singing Grannies, the choir of the Windham United Methodist Church, the Windham Country Classy Red Hatters, harpist Ellen Eckhouse with a medley of Irish tunes, Tom and Brenda Mesaros and those ever-popular Friends– Roy Pancost, Dale Lacan, and Butch Seiler.  Tina Lemley rounded off the afternoon by leading the audience and performers in singing a family-themed farewell.  Great stuff…and just the beginning!