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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!

Hiram – Hiram College’s Lindsay-Crane Center for Writing and Literature invites you to attend a convocation with poet and essayist Rebecca McClanahan on March 1, 2011 at 7 p.m. in the Pritchard Room of Hiram College Library.
Rebecca McClanahan has published nine books, most recently Deep Light: New and Selected Poems and a suite of memoir-based essays, The Riddle Song and Other Rememberings, which won the 2005 Glasgow Prize in Nonfiction. She has also authored four previous books of poetry and three books of writing instruction.
McClanahan’s work has appeared in The Best American Poetry, The Best American Essays, The Pushcart Prize series, Poetry, Kenyon Review, The Georgia Review, The Gettysburg Review, Boulevard, and Ms. Magazine, as well as in anthologies published by Beacon, Norton, Doubleday, St. Martin’s, Putnam, Penguin, and others.  She conducts readings, workshops, and lectures throughout the country, and teaches in the low-residency MFA programs at Queens University and Rainier Writers Workshop. Her current work-in-progress, a multi-generational nonfiction saga of an extended Midwest family, focuses on the difficulties and rewards of communal bonds.
The Lindsay-Crane Center wishes to thank the following organizations for their generous support of this event:  Building Community Through the Arts, the Office of Institutional Advancement, the Office of Alumni Relations, the Office of Special Events, and the Department of Education.


Hiram – All council members were present during the February 8th council meeting except Councilperson Donley.  At 7 pm, Mayor Bertrand called the meeting to order.  After a moment of silence and the Pledge of Allegiance, the Mayor asked for approval of the 1/25/11 Special Council Meeting minutes and the motion was passed as were the minutes from the 1/11/11 regular council meeting.
The Mayor then asked if there were any public issues to be addressed.  A concerned citizen spoke up regarding her concern about the local bar at Hiram College.  She had found out from Facebook and other sources that the bar was planning on having exotic dancers, a wet t-shirt contest and that there was underage drinking and fights occurring.  The Mayor asked the police chief to address those concerns as well as the fire chief.
The police have been aware of these allegations and have been doing routine ID checks especially during the peak business times.  It was thought that the dancers and contest had been cancelled.  Two arrests were made from the fight mentioned above and that  situation was controlled.  The fire department has gone there to check for fire code violations and to verify that the establishment is well within its occupancy limits.  During one check, the occupancy limit was exceeded, the place was closed for a few hours and allowed to reopen as long as limits were kept to the standard.  After much discussion, it was determined that the police and fire were employing diligence to keep the area safe and keep underage patrons from drinking.  They will continue their vigilant stops and watches.
The Police Report was submitted to council along with the yearly report.  The report detailed past and on-going police training schedules and requirements.  Sgt. Fletcher retired after 19 years of service as well as many other years of service elsewhere.  He was praised highly for his service and commitment. The police chief reported that arrests were up.  They are increasing the off-duty police rates to be more current.
The Fire/EMS Report was submitted to council.  They answered 42 calls last month with an average response time of six minutes and two seconds.  The new fire truck is in and they proudly showed it off after the meeting.  They are very happy with the craftsmanship.  The fire/EMS crew has worked very hard getting all the equipment installed and it should be in service shortly.
The village administrator’s report was submitted to council.  He reported that the cemetery fund spent a little more than the income to date.  The first check for the NOPEC grant has arrived and it was allocated to replace the furnace which was an unexpected expense but he was glad to have had the funds.  The new furnace is a highly efficient unit.  There are still two more payments coming from that grant.
The Mayor’s report was also submitted to council.  He detailed more about the NOPEC grant and how it is to be used for energy efficiency and energy improvements.  He commented on a Public Works Grant.  He explained that the Village is trying to purchase some Hiram College land  (at no cost to the residents): no word back at this time regarding the purchase.  He met with the President of Hiram College to discuss a contract increase for fire and police over a two year period.  He also mentioned that the trash hauler contract would include the college.
The Fiscal Officer’s Report was submitted to council.  The fiscal officer urged the council to come up with a five-year plan; to set aside funds for improvements, repairs, and to prepare for other future costs.  She asked for a motion to approve the financial report submitted and it was passed.  She then asked for a motion to pay bills and it was also passed.
2010-24: Trash Hauler – Removed from table.
2011-01: Zoning Permit and Fee Schedule (2nd reading) – There was more discussion regarding the fee schedule.  It was thought by council, that the proposed increase of variance fees to $250 was too high for residents.  It was determined that the fees charged help cover costs associated with inspections for variances.  A motion was introduced to make the fee $50 instead of $250, the motion was passed.
2011-02: An ordinance amending the permanent appropriations in several funds and declaring an emergency.  A chart was distributed that outlined the funds that needed amendments.  The motion was passed.
2011-03: A resolution authorizing the application for and subsequent acceptance of grant funds by the Village of Hiram and declaring an emergency.  There was concern that the rates were not reflected in the resolution.  The verbiage was changed.  The Village Administrator will present the current resolution for second reading at the next meeting.
The meeting then convened into Executive Session.

Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary caught a glimpse into an appalling abyss with Roger Cram’s presentation on the hidden world of human trafficking, something that few are aware of and fewer still wish to acknowledge, confront or take adequate measures to end.  While calling the U.S, “the ostrich nation”, he offered statistics on the numbers of  street kids, illegal immigrants, homeless persons in this country as well as the forced labor (enslaved people, young and old) worldwide  involved in the production of many popular products, both agricultural and industrial, and in the sex trade everywhere.
January has been designated National Human Trafficking Month but little recognition of this fact is to be found in the media, or anyplace else.  Unrecognized, as well, is the existence of slavery as the fastest-growing enterprise of organized crime.  The laws applicable in these cases tend to frame the victim as the culprit and fail to recognize the psycho-social, emotional, economic and dependency issues behind the complex situations which contribute to the continued existence of slavery in the modern world.  Slaves are cheap, cheaper now than when President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, hidden behind food, electronics, carpets, natural rubber products, diamonds, tennis shoes….
The U.S. Department of Justice has publications on-line containing shocking revelations.  The Alliance Against Human Trafficking, headquartered in Toronto, Canada, is another source. If it is, indeed, true that “there is none so blind as he who will not see”, we must open our eyes and deal with this scourge…once again.

Hiram – After lengthy delays since mid-November, Portage County Commissioners finally held hearings to consider the annexation of approximately139 acres from Hiram Township to Hiram Village last week. The proposed annexation would pave the way for private developers to build retirement housing on the parcel of land originally set aside for Hiram College expansion.

Hiram College and Village Builders of Hiram originally petitioned to annex land adjacent to the village’s north border, for phased construction of approximately 200 residential units for retirees on 90 acres north of the Hiram College campus. The college expects to set aside 50 acres in part of the Silver Creek Watershed as a conservation area.

A surprise awaited those attending Monday’s opening session, according to various reliable  sources. Ed Wurm, a partner with Mike Maschek Sr. in Village Builders of Hiram Inc., announced their firm is withdrawing as developer of the construction project. The decision reportedly is due to economic issues unrelated to the long and contentious annexation battle.

Wurm said the 90 acres Hiram Builders purchased from Hiram College for development would revert back to the college, as stipulated in the purchase agreement. Hiram College President Tom Chema indicated that Village Builder’s pullout will not impede the project’s progress, saying he expects no difficulty in finding another builder for the 55-and-older independent and assisted living development.
Following Monday’s testimony, ensuing hearings were postponed for two days, due to Commissioner Maureen Frederick’s battle with the flu. Consequently, conflicts arose in scheduling expert witnesses and testifying attorneys. So, although hearings resumed on Thursday, further hearings now have been extended nine additional days, through March 18. Commissioners will deliver a decision on the annexation request within 30 days after overall hearings conclude.

Last November, two of three commissioners — Chuck Keiper and Chris Smeiles — cited potential conflicts of interest for being unable to participate in the hearings. Consequently, hearings were postponed until late January, when newly-elected Commissioner Tommie Jo Marsilio would be in office and could preside over the hearings with Frederick (Commissioner Chris Smiles continued to recuse himself.) A majority of the three commissioners is needed for any vote.

Marsilio – a Republican –  replaces Democrat Keiper, who served on the board since 1993. Democrat Maureen Frederick has been a commissioner since 2003. Democrat Smeiles is the senior commissioner, having taken office in 1989.

The hearings were reset for January 24-26 at the Portage County Administration Building in Ravenna, with three sides represented:  the petitioners for the annexation, the village and the township.

But they were cancelled January 25 and 26 after a full day of testimony January 24, due to Frederick’s illness. They resumed January 27 with testimony from Hiram Mayor Louis Bertrand, Police Chief Mark Lombardi and Hiram Village Administrator Robert Wood.

Photo by Janet Pancost

Hiram – A crowd of residents (including the Hiram College alumni pictured here) opposed to the annexation of township land by Hiram College gathered Friday evening outside the Garfield Institute in Hiram. Their goal was to raise the visibility of this issue with Hiram College Board of Trustees who were meeting that night. Hiram College Vice President Tim Bryan offered the residents a brief meeting with the Chairman of the Board of Trustees if they would agree to leave after meeting with him. This issue is currently being heard by the Portage County Commissioners and the citizens thought it best to not meet without the township’s attorney present.

Rotary Report

Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary soldiers are putting together the program for the February Family Week activities.  A great addition will be the participation of Dr. Bittence, she  of the coming Robinson Memorial-associated medical facility in Garrettsville, who will be available to “meet and greet” as well as offering a mini health fair–blood pressure checks, etc.–to those in attendance at the Saturday Family Fun Day at the Garfield Elementary School.  Midway (Thank you, Maceks) games are lined up, Rotaract and Interact members are set to help out and clean up, Sunday’s musical program is taking shape, contest sign-ups are going out .  The activities for Grandparents Night are on Tuesday at the Portage County Library headquarters in Garrettsville.  The ball is rolling; make plans to be part of the STRIKE.

Jim Irwin recapped his awarding of trophies at the Rotary-sponsored Power of the Pen district tournament recently held at Garfield Middle School.

More to come.  Stay tuned…or come and participate in all of the Rotary activities.

Historical Society News

The James A. Garfield Historical Society reviewed their Christmas Walk final accounting, reporting a net income of $15,884.71 for the biennial community showcase and fund-raising activity, acknowledged a gift from the Village Piecemakers whose amazing king-sized quilt raffle was won by a long-time, out-of-town attender (What will they do for the next one?) who declared herself thrilled to win and always happy to come for the event.

More mundane business included the possibility of linking up with the Chamber website as a part of widening available information on the organization and its activities as well as the necessity of doing something–probably costly–about leaks in the ceiling and roof work.  On the bright side, there is a new back door…opens and closes and everything.  Budget and audit requirements  are coming up…fun all of the time!  Wish lists are due.

Doc and MaryAnn Leggett came to pose some questions: Why is the group called the James A. Garfield Historical Society? (to cover the entire school district) What happened to the  (very) old sports trophies that used to be displayed in the Middle School–now the Intermediate School–trophy cases? (Some  misguided principal on a cleaning kick probably had them pitched?) Why were some veterans with Garrettsville addresses left off of the Veterans’ Memorial? (Didn’t meet the criteria of living inside the village?)  In connection with that last question, it was noted that there is a plaque inside of the clock tower that could be brought out and checked and possibly displayed.  And speaking of displays…the maple marker which had been in the front window was moved, soon to go to the garden,  to facilitate the next seasonal display…which just might have something to do with maple syruping  anyway.  This IS where it’s happening and has been happening for over a hundred years.

Visitor Barb Bejger made a presentation of the mechanical–and electrified–Santa which used to grace the front window of the Pelsue Drug store when it was on Main Street.  The civic-minded business owner declared that she felt that it should remain in the village as a memory rather than being lost as a faceless antique.  Member Helen donate a hand-knit lady’s bag  (c. 1890’s) for the costume collection

Program possibilities for the coming year–and beyond–were discussed; the floor is open to suggestions.

Mark Apple, of the SummerFest committee, came seeking suggestions for and participation in this summer’s extravaganza with a Las Vegas theme.

History just keeps right on happening!

A Toast

A toast to the Main Street Grille and Brewing Company!  They’ve garnered  three bronze awards in the recent World Beer Championships for their Progress Porter,’35 Extra Stout and12 Daze of Christmas Ale.  The descriptions alone might even make a non- beer drinker sit up and take notice: “hazy copper color…bold coffee grounds aromas…roasted pecan and chocolate aromas with a dry light-to-medium body…deep copper…fleeting fish eye bubble head…boozy aromas of cranberry, taffy, ratatouille and orange jelly on caraway rye toast…tangy baked orange, brown sugar and grassy hop finish.  Whoa! Sounds like you might want to eat it with a spoon!  Often.

Congratulations !  Keep on brewin’!

Hall of Fame

After a brief organizational hiatus the James A. Garfield Hall of Fame is back and ready to take on all comers.  Schedule conflicts and some untimely losses have caused the recognition ceremonies to be moved (tentatively) to April 30, 2011.  If you wish to make nominations of persons to be honored, stop in at the high school office for a nomination ballot to place the name of the individual whom  you feel deserves recognition into the files and into consideration.  Remember, the honorees must have graduated at least ten years ago (2001) before taking their place in the Hall of Fame, but the nominations may be made at any time.

And don’t confine your suggestions to athletes.  They’re the ones with the most numbers–we do love statistics, scores, rankings, etc.–but accomplishments of other kinds are also important in the life and the heart of the community.  Be as specific as you can in detailing why an individual deserves recognition (Just being a “good guy” or making “the best chicken soup”  are fine attributes but more is called for here) and be patient.  The HoF committee is seeking more members — please leave your agenda at home — and a dedicated person to take over as CEO (Don Moore filled this spot…and organized much of the activity to date but his dream needs a new leader).  The next meeting of the Hall of Fame committee will be on February 3 in the Commons at James A. Garfield H.S./M.S. at 7:00.  Come with some ideas.  Come with some committment.


Hiram Twp. – The Hiram Township Trustees met last week for their second gathering of the new year. After the Pledge of Allegiance, Mr. Brewer opened the meeting at 7pm with the reading of the minutes from the January 4th meeting.

In the evening’s business, Mr. Brewer presented a request for an appropriation of $33,000 to a new fire truck the local department is acquiring. Mr. Bosma made the motion to accept a resolution on the appropriation, which was seconded by Ms. Schulda. The motion passed.

Public concerns involved the township website which has not been kept updated. (The last meeting listed is from October.) This will be remedied soon. In addition to keeping information current, further updates may include a rotating photo gallery of picturesque buildings in the area. Also from the website is a link to a February 3rd meeting about security around the home. This will be a neighborhood watch presentation at the Nelson Township Service Building at 7pm. The trustees cautioned residents that break-ins are happening again: “Lock your buildings and put your cars in garages, if possible.” The security presentation is open to the public and all are encouraged to attend.

Other highlights include the mentioning of the recent hydraulic fracturing seminars held in Newton Falls and other communities. Ms. Schulda commented that the meetings are informative but generally one-sided, and she hopes there will be an opportunity at the future meetings for the “other side” (those in the pro-drilling camp) to present the benefits of this new trend as there are “two sides to every story.” If you were unable to attend the Newton Falls presentation, there will be one in Deerfield on January 31st at the Town Hall as well as one in Paris Township on February 1st at the community center. Both events are at 7pm. More information and the schedule is available at http://portagecitizens.org.

The Fire Chief reported that the department ended 2010 with 401 runs, about 70% of which are EMS calls. The average call response time was five minutes, five seconds. On a broader scope, he also gave the ten-year breakdown of calls, stating that in 2001 the department had about 400 calls, then in 2004-2005 the call volume was nearly double that with numbers in the 700s. This was primarily due to helping out Windham and surrounding communities with their calls. As noted, the number of calls is balancing out at about the same now as it was ten years ago since the district is back to just handling local emergencies. Also, thanks to the tree trimming program instituted by the road crew, there has been a significant drop in calls pertaining to fallen trees or affected power lines. He relayed that 98% of the time on EMS calls, ALS service (paramedic) has been provided, which is an impressive response for any department. He also announced that the Hiram Fire Department is actively recruiting members to fill  positions that have come open, reported an extensive roster of success in advanced training for current team members as well as upgrades to department technology and equipment, and mentioned grants that have been received to furnish such upgrades and advanced training.

In new business, Sandy Wagner was nominated as the alternate for the BZA and approved.

A motion passed to pay the bills before adjourning for the evening. The next Trustees meeting will be February 1st at 7pm, Township Hall.

Hiram – During the 105th annual meeting of Hiram Village Council on January 11, Mayor Lou Bertrand delivered his 2011 State of Hiram Village Address. He opened with a reassuring statement 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.”

He went on to spotlight several village and college projects that will take shape in 2011. Last December, the Village received approval for a $50,000 NOPEC energy efficiency grant, which will be utilized this new year to make energy-saving permanent improvements in village structures.

Hiram College has received a donation of approximately $300,000 for renovation of the old Miller Dining Hall. Also, renovations to the Art Building for a black box theatre on campus will be completed this Spring. There are future plans to also remodel the locker room and Henry Field.

The college and village have pursued federal and state infrastructure funds to complete the roadway from Winrock Road to Hinsdale Road. Hiram Village has received a grant from Ohio Public Works Commission for $177,500 to fund a Hinsdale Road extension to meet at the north-south extension of Winrock Road. Although now on college property, it will be dedicated to public use. This grant will be awarded in July 2011, with construction completed within a year thereafter.

The village and college are in negotiations for the purchase of 5.1 acres at the old Hiram School property. A proposed Community Block Grant was increased from $82,000 to $113,000. The demolition of the old Hiram School is now almost completed for the bid contract of $66,900 to Ace – Zuver, LLC.

Through the auspices of the Akron Metropolitan Area Transit System [AMATS], Hiram has received approval for $145,000, plus an additional 15% for the East Hill storm sewer project. The $130,548 Curb and Storm Sewer project on East Hill (SR 305) was completed last June.

Looking for long-term solutions to rising water and sewer system costs, Hiram considered becoming part of a proposed county water and sewer district led in part by the Portage County municipal/village governments. Mayor Bertrand met with the mayors of Windham, Garrettsville, Mantua and representatives of Portage County, who together sought a grant to explore a combined water and sewer district. “However, neither Mantua and Garrettsville Village Councils would help us fund this $330,000 study,” Bertrand said. “But Windham Village would. It makes no sense that this region of the world that has almost 20% of the world’s fresh water reserves have some of the highest water and sewer rates in our nation.”

Last May, Hiram Village Council purchased a $422,000 2010 diesel Fire Pumper-Tanker, weighing 26,000 pounds, to be jointly owned by Hiram Village and township. In June 2010, a newly revised Fire and EMS two-year contract was signed with Hiram Township, going into effect this January.

The old Hiram firehouse has come back into the possession of the village and is currently being utilized to park village equipment and vehicles. Last summer, Hiram College President Tom Chema expressed interest in utilizing the old Fire Hall for the College’s Business Incubator Program. “We should all determine what use can be best made of this property,” Bertrand said.

All in all, Mayor Bertrand’s outlook for 2011 sees the Village of Hiram entering a period of renovation and growth, in cooperation with Hiram College, Hiram Township and neighboring communities.

Hiram-Mayor Bertrand called the meeting to order at 7 pm.  Rob Dempsey was not in attendance.  Mayor Bertrand asked for a moment of silence to reflect on the Arizona shootings then continued with the Pledge of Allegiance.

The council approved the 11/30/10 Special Council Meeting minutes, approved the 12/14/10 Council Meeting minutes, updated this evening’s agenda while the Mayor requested a motion to approve the use of the 10th edition of Robert’s Rules of Orders (motion approved) in future meetings, he named Tom Wadkins as Council President and moved that public comments be limited to three minutes.  The times and dates for the 2011 Council Meetings were also set as the second Tuesday of the month at 7 pm.  The Mayor detailed appointments to Village Committees.

A letter was drafted on December 13, 2010 to Douglas Brewer, Fiscal Officer, of the Hiram Township Board of Trustees.  This letter details a Hiram Village Income Tax that is required of the employees of Hiram Township due to the fact that both the Township Hall and Township Garage are located in the Village limits.  Two Ohio Supreme Court cases were cited supporting this tax and the necessary steps to adhere to the Village of Hiram Tax Code were detailed.  Hiram Township Trustee, Kathy Schuda, was in attendance to voice her concerns about this tax and its implications on the Township workers.  Schuda explained that since the taxes due date back five years they would cause financial hardships to many of the Township employees.  No one was pleased with this outcome but according to Ohio Supreme Court cases, the taxes are due to the Village.

The Police Report was submitted to the Council.  The Police Chief had nothing unusual to report and said he would have the 2010 yearly report available at the February meeting.

The Fire and EMS Report was submitted to the Council.  The Fire Chief gave a very detailed presentation with the 2010 statistics including incident report breakdowns, fire statistics, EMS statistics, ten-year trends and overall response time calculations.  The overall response time is down from previous years and the department is proud of those statistics.  There was on-going training throughout the year.  There was a rundown of 2011 projects which included an update and the delivery information of the new Fire Engine #2.  The delivery should be in February or March.  More details will be available at the February meeting.

The Village Administrator Report was submitted to Council.  The Cemetery Report will be submitted at the February meeting.  Work has begun on how to best distribute a $50,000 grant issued to the Village for general energy savings.  It was agreed that by putting jobs out for bid, the grant money might be stretched to get as many energy savings projects done as possible.

The Mayor’s Report was submitted to Council.  The Mayor commented that the Village was in very stable condition and operating efficiently.  A grant was approved for renovation of the dining hall and theater at the college.  Future plans will be forthcoming from the college.

The Fiscal Officer’s Report was submitted to Council.  A motion was made to approve the report and to pay bills.  Both motions were passed.  This is a busy time of the year and work is progressing toward all that needs to be done fiscally.  The bank reconciliation statement was distributed and approved.

Ordinance 2010-22: Increase fines for illegal parking (3rd reading): Motion passed.  The fines have not increased since 1999.

Ordinance 2010-14: Contract for Trash Hauler (3rd reading): Delayed and moved to table this ordinance for the time being.

Ordinance 2011-01: Zoning Permit and Fee Schedule (1st reading):  It was brought up that the cost for a variance may be too high and that it should be reviewed by the Zoning Board in February.  Then this ordinance can come back to the Council for further review.

There were no resolutions to be discussed.  A motion was made to convene in Executive Session for personnel matters.  Meeting was adjourned.

Hiram - Prize-winning organist Tom Trenney will bring silent films to life on the Hiram College campus, Friday, February 11th  at 7:00 pm. This will be Trenney’s thirteenth February visit to Hiram, funded by the Hiram Community Trust Fund.

Trenney impresses audiences all over the country with his ability to improvise at the pipe organ. The silent film shorts including Laurel and Hardy and Harold Lloyd will  provide great family-friendly fun on a winter evening.

Trenney’s annual “Introduction to the Pipe Organ for 5th Graders” is open to home-schooled children in the area as well as the scheduled school groups. The presentation will be on the 25-rank Holtkamp mechanical pipe organ at the Hiram Christian Church in the morning on Friday, February 11th.  Please contact the Hiram College music department at (330) 569-5294 for times.

A master of improvisation, Trenney won both the First Prize and the Audience Prize in the American Guild of Organists’ National Competition in Organ Improvisation, the first to win both prizes.

A native of Perry, OH  Trenney is Director of Music Ministries and Organist at First Plymouth Church in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Trenney has been a featured performer at regional and national conventions of the American Guild of Organists and the Organ Historical Society in Dallas, Ann Arbor, Seattle, Buffalo, Chicago, Minneapolis, and Cleveland. He has served as Organ and Choral Clinician at the Westminster and Montreat conferences of the Presbyterian Association of Musicians.

Hiram Twp. – Last summer, a local woman snapped a photo of a creek scene in her back yard and sent it off to a national photo contest. Now that photo is the centerpiece of a national advertising campaign.

Diane Wilthew enjoys capturing the beauty of the changing seasons on her family’s 21-acre wooded property along Hankee Road — a designated certified Family Forest. It’s commonplace for her to snap photos of nature scenes along Slippery Rock Run, which drains into Garrettsville’s Eagle Creek. Last summer, she stood in the creekbed and took a photograph of the morning sun illuminating the leaves of overhanging trees and draping ferns along the sloping banks of the peaceful waters.

Diane’s husband, Jerry, suggested that she submit the photo in the 2010 Tree Farm Photo Contest sponsored by STIHL, which he had seen promoted in Tree Farmer Magazine. Diane submitted a few photos to the contest and then forgot about it. Just last week, she was notified that one of her photos was selected as first runner-up in the national contest, and would be featured in STIHL ads, in Tree Farmer Magazine, on the ATFS (American Tree Farm System) website www.treefarmsystem.org and the STIHL website, www.stihlusa.com/atfs. The first-place winner was from Mississippi while the second runner-up was from Wisconsin.

For those thinking the chain saw manufacturer and the ATFS make strange bedfellows, that’s actually the subject tackled in the ad campaign. The headline reads, “Can a chain saw company and 90,000 Tree Farmers possibly find common ground?” The ad copy goes on to explain that STIHL is a proud partner of ATFS, supporting the organization’s mission “to promote the growth of renewable forest resources while protecting environmental benefits and increasing public understanding of all benefits of productive forestry. As an industry leader, STIHL believes it is our duty to set the example in sustainability and continue to invest in innovative technologies, programs and partnerships as part of our ongoing commitment to socially responsible environmental stewardship.”

As tree farmers, Diane and Jerry rely on their forester/brother/neighbor Mark Wilthew with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Forestry to help them maintain a healthy woodlot. Part of that process is identifying and marking trees that should be thinned out in order to allow healthier native hardwoods to flourish. Like weeding a garden, cutting down invasive species and damaged trees gives more desirable tree species the advantage in a natural system of competition for soil nutrients, water and sunlight. A chain saw is a useful tool in this process.

The Wilthews have been a member of the American Tree Farm System for approximately 15 years. ATFS provides them with updated forestry information, including an online, searchable database, the Woodland Owners Resource, which contains information on special sites, threatened and endangered species and management for desired tree species (www.treefarmsystem.org/woodlandresources).

“Joining the ATFS helps to make it clear to those around us why we timber, because they can see that the tree farmer does indeed promote renewable resources,” Diane says. ATFS has established standards and guidelines for private forest owners to develop a management plan that encourages sustainable forestry with clean water, healthy wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities.

While Diane gets the credit for taking the winning photograph in the national ad campaign, Jerry gets the $250 STIHL gift certificate, which he plans to redeem at his local STIHL dealer, Garrettsville Hardware.

Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary took a flying leap into their activities for 2011, beginning with a focus on the upcoming Family Week.  Updates and amendments, processes and plans were under review, arrangements were delegated, personnel tentatively assigned, sponsors to be solicited…the whole machinery of preparation began to shift into high gear around the tables at the Main Street Grille and Brewing Company, with more to come. Anyone wishing to get in on the action should contact a Rotarian or  come to a meeting on Wednesday evening at The Mill(6:00).  Lots of opportunities for everyone.

Treasurer Bob Jackson did not at all resemble a Grinch when he brought up the subject of district and international dues…as well as sponsorship of the Rotary International float at the Rose Bowl Parade–a showstopper.

More to come.  See D.McCumbers at McCumbers-Brady Realty or Amy Crawford at the Business Works–both on Garrettsville’s Main Street–to learn more, volunteer or otherwise get in on the action

Source: http://www.myspace.com/dustbustersmusic

Source: http://www.myspace.com/dustbustersmusic

Hiram – The old-time string band The Dust Busters will play a free concert in Frohring Recital Hall, Hiram College on Wednesday, Jan. 19 at 7:30 p.m.   The group includes Walker Shepherd (banjo, guitar, bantar, fiddle), Craig Judelman (fiddle, pump organ) and Eli Smith (guitar, banjo, manjo, bantar, harmonica, autoharp).  Their music integrates a wide range of old-time songs, ballads, fiddle tunes and jug band blues infused with the freewheeling high energy that characterized early string bands such as The Skillet Lickers.  They are inspired by the fusion of Scots-Irish and African music that took place in Appalachia, the Western states and the Deep South from earliest colonial times through the Second World War.  Carrying this music forward with authenticity and creativity, the Dust Busters make it thoroughly contemporary, meaningful, and fun.

Band members met while playing in a larger group with folk legends John Cohen of the New Lost City Ramblers and Peter Stampfel of the Holy Modal Rounders.   The Dust Busters are presently based in Brooklyn, NY where they have played at venues such as Club Passim, the Jalopy Theater, The Brooklyn Folk Festival and Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour.  Their website is www.DustBustersMusic.com.

The concert is sponsored by the Hiram College Convocation program, Special Events, and the Music Department.   Frohring Recital Hall is at 11746 Dean Street, Hiram.  For further information, call 330-569-5294.

Commissioner Marsilio being sworn in by her mother, Sandy Pelphrey.

Garrettsville – On Tuesday, December 28, 2010, amid  Portage County political figures, law officers, friends and family, Tommie Jo Marsilio was sworn into office as Portage County Commissioner. The ceremony took place in the Iva L. Walker Auditorium, a fitting location for this James A Garfield alum  who credits former Social Studies teacher, Iva Walker, for her desire to get involved in government.

Assistant County Prosecutor David Brode led the proceedings.  Members of Garrettsville Girl Scout Troop 632 opened the ceremony with the Pledge of Allegiance and Pastor Gray of the First Baptist Church in Garrettsville offered the Blessing.

Commissioner Marsilio was sworn in by her mother, Sandy Pelphrey.

Tommie Jo Marsilio offered her thanks to those who supported her during her campaign and for their continued support. She vowed to do her very best in holding government officials accountable for their actions and to bring government back to where it truly represents the people.

Everyone who attended was offered refreshments of cake and punch in the Commons area following the ceremony.

January 3rd was Tommie Jo’s first official day in office.

Garrettsville – Jacksons’ Snow Palace was the site of the annual Rotary Christmas Party and White Elephant Gift Exchange on December 20, having been re-scheduled from the previous Monday because of the Arctic conditions existing throughout the area.  Luckily, no actual pachyderms were in attendance because the venue was overflowing with   community interaction, human warmth and good food.  Resident chef, Darlene Jackson, produced a rib-sticking medley of kielbasa, potato, carrot and who-knows-what-else. Other contributors rallied to the cause with appetizers and desserts.

Business was attended to : new members Dennis Gunther (& wife Cheryl) and Mark Orton (& wife Annette)  were officially welcomed into the Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary; Dale Shiffer (the Clockman of Garrettsville) became president by acclamation; preparation for Family Week in February, 2011, was on the horizon.

Then they got down to the meat of the gathering…amid immoderate laughter, cackling and guffaws.  A partial listing of the treasures circulating included a mini poinsettia, a coaster set–hotly-contested, a Coleman cooler, a stuffed, singing snowman, lavender scented stuff,   a teapot, a laser level, one rather rude Santa, packages of cheese, a Lego City Police pen, stationery made from elephant dung (See, they did come after all!) and others items too numerous to mention.  Some of these will, no doubt, appear again next year…which will certainly be a happy one.

Garrettsville – Jacksons’ Snow Palace was the site of the annual Rotary Christmas Party and White Elephant Gift Exchange on December 20, having been re-scheduled from the previous Monday because of the Arctic conditions existing throughout the area.  Luckily, no actual pachyderms were in attendance because the venue was overflowing with   community interaction, human warmth and good food.  Resident chef, Darlene Jackson, produced a rib-sticking medley of kielbasa, potato, carrot and who-knows-what-else. Other contributors rallied to the cause with appetizers and desserts.Business was attended to : new members Dennis Gunther (& wife Cheryl) and Mark Orton (& wife Annette)  were officially welcomed into the Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary; Dale Shiffer (the Clockman of Garrettsville) became president by acclamation; preparation for Family Week in February, 2011, was on the horizon.Then they got down to the meat of the gathering…amid immoderate laughter, cackling and guffaws.  A partial listing of the treasures circulating included a mini poinsettia, a coaster set–hotly-contested, a Coleman cooler, a stuffed, singing snowman, lavender scented stuff,   a teapot, a laser level, one rather rude Santa, packages of cheese, a Lego City Police pen, stationery made from elephant dung (See, they did come after all!) and others items too numerous to mention.  Some of these will, no doubt, appear again next year…which will certainly be a happy one.

Portage County – Snow days are every school kid’s fantasy come true… until it’s time to make up for lost instructional time. Most area school districts have already exhausted their allowable cancellation days due to two major snow storms in early December. Now districts are on borrowed time as actual winter weather kicks into typical gear, with drifting snow, ice, below-zero wind chills and slick roadways posing hazards for the next three or four months.
Due to a change in state law intended to increase instructional time for students, the number of calamity days for public schools has been reduced in 2010-2011 from five to three. Many administrators and students are hopeful that Ohio Governor-Elect John Kasich will repeal this new law set in motion by outgoing Governor Ted Strickland.
But until then, schools’ first line of defense against inclement weather will likely be two-hour delays rather than cancellations. Late-start days still count as instructional days to the Ohio Board of Education, so the hope is that they will buy districts the time needed to brighten and clear roadways, mitigating the risk of potential accidents.
“Typically, we see three to five weather cancellation days per year,” says James A. Garfield Schools Superintendent Charles Klamer. Considering that three school days were already cancelled by mid-December, it’s likely that the district will double that number before the spring thaw arrives.
Safety for students and bus drivers is a superintendent’s top priority, even with pressure mounting to keep school doors open as scheduled rather than extend the school year with added make-up days. “We drive district roads in the early morning hours, consult with our transportation and maintenance supervisor, other neighboring school districts, road crews and weather forecasts before making any decisions,” says Klamer. “It’s not easy making a decision in the dark. The worst thing to happen is to have a school bus accident on our hands.”
With that in mind, both Garfield and Crestwood school districts will implement two-hour delays when possible, if weather forecasts and local road departments indicate that roads can be adequately cleared in time, and weather conditions are likely to improve throughout the remainder of the day.
Currently, the JAG school year has set June 8, 2011 as the last student day (graduation is June 5). With every school day cancelled hereafter, the school year is another day longer. If 10 cancellation days accumulate, Klamer’s understanding is that the state requires other measures for making up lost instructional time, such as extended school days or Saturday school.
The JAG School Board will finalize its calamity day procedures for the remainder of the school year by December 27, and will post it for parents on the district website: www.garfield.sparcc.org. As always, notification of delays and cancellations will be made available on major radio stations, Fox 8 News and Channel 5 TV weather alerts.
When Crestwood called a snow cancellation on December 14, it became the district’s fourth calamity day this school year, exceeding the state allowance of three. Consequently, Crestwood will be extending the school year an extra day through June 8, 2011… until further notice.
According to Crestwood Superintendent Joe Iacano, Crestwood tries to alert parents of delays or closures by 5:45 -6:15 a.m. that morning. Periodically, forecasts are definitive enough that school can be called off in time for the nightly news the prior evening. The announcement of a closing or two-hour delay will be broadcast on Cleveland television and radio stations and via Crestwood’s Alert Now telephone system. Those who have not signed up for the Alert Now system should contact their child’s principal for details. Parents should avoid calling schools or stations since incoming calls tie up phones and delay notification.
If a Crestwood parent believes it is safer to keep their child home all day due to localized conditions, even after schools re-open, they should send a written excuse the next day and students will be excused and allowed to make up any missed work for credit. (See www.crestwood.sparcc.org for full details.)
Crestwood is the only Portage County district to have surpassed the three-day limit so far. In addition to JAG, five other Portage districts — Rootstown, Ravenna, Aurora, Streetsboro, and Windham — have depleted their three-day allowance. Remaining Portage school districts — Waterloo, Field, Kent, Mogadore and Southeast — have used two snow days and have one bonus day remaining.
…And winter has only just begun.

Hiram – In planning and zoning matters it was earlier reported that the Commission has recommended that Hiram Village adjust its fees on par with other area community zoning permit fees. The new zoning fee schedule will be submitted to Council at the January 2011 meeting. An organizational meeting for 2011 is scheduled for January 4th beginning at 7pm.
The Commissioners’ hearing on the annexation is rescheduled for January 24th beginning at 9am. The hearing will continue until all relevant data has been submitted to that board. The Board will then consider the Petition for Annexation and vote to allow or deny. Their decision can be appealed by either side to the Portage County Common Pleas Court and will not become final until that court decides the appeal, if any.
The demolition of the old Hiram School is now in progress, with the county contract executed and the two demolition permits having been issued for the bid contract of $66,900 to Ace-Zuver, LLC.
Last month the Village applied for a $50,000 NOPEC energy efficiency grant. The grant will be utilized to make energy-saving permanent improvements in village structures. This grant should be awarded shortly.
A grant from Ohio Public Works Commission for $177,500 to fund a Hinsdale Road extension will be awarded in July 2011 with construction completed within a year. Although the extension is now on College property, it will be dedicated to public use.
The Hiram Police Department has recently applied for a $30,000 Federal Grant for the purchase of a police vehicle. This grant would fund the vehicle 100% and there would be no need to use village funds for the purchase.
On Tuesday, December 14th a change-of-command ceremony was conducted swearing in Hiram’s new Fire Chief Bill Byers. Fire Chief Gary Bott has served the community for 36 years, beginning in 1974. Gary now carries the rank of Captain and continues to serve his beloved community. Both Village Mayor and Hiram Township Trustees participated in the change-of-command ceremony and the Rev. Jeff Jackson gave the invocation and benediction. On Monday, January 3rd a meeting is scheduled to discuss the Fire and Police contract with the college and an agreement is expected shortly.
Effective January 1st, Hiram has adopted a newly-revised village income tax, Ord.#2009-31, replacing the 43-year old ordinance. A full copy is posted on the village’s website at www.hiramvillage.org. Other pending legislation includes Ord. # 2010-22, Increase in Fines for Parking Violations will see its third and final reading in January; and Ord.#2010-24, Uniform Trash Hauler for Village and Township will see its second reading in January.
Upcoming meetings for January are the Planning and Zoning, Tuesday, January 4th at 7pm in the Fire Dept. and a Regular Council Meeting, Tuesday, January 11th at 7pm in Council Chambers.

Garrettsville – Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary is in full Santa-delivery mode.  To schedule your visitation and your donation to the People Tree for December 23,  make some quick snow bunny hops over to McCumbers-Brady Realty or The Business Works ASAP.

Family Week planning is gearing up as well.  The big event is set for February but things begin now to fall into place to make it all work.   Sponsors and donations are being sought at this time, as are contest entries–essays, family-of-the-year nominations, longest-married couple nominations, etc.–and volunteers. Contact any Rotarian…better yet, attend a meeting at the Main Street Grille and Brewing Company on a Monday evening at 6:00.  You could be part of the big event.