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Newton Falls – Join Healthy Treasures as they celebrate their spring health day on Saturday, April 21, 2012 from 11am to 3pm at 32 West Broad Street (their temporary location), Newton Falls, OH.  There will be four free educational lectures, food samples and giveaways. Speakers include Dr. Ted Suzelis, N.D. who will speak on the Blood Type Diet; Synthia Suzelis and Ashley Suzelis will speak on Understanding Your Skin; Blake Suzelis will speak on Depression; and Patty Sparks will speak on Craniosacral Therapy.  Free.  To RSVP please call 330-872-1119 or email blake@suzelis.com.

Newton Twp. –  The Newton Township Cemetery Association will hold its monthly meeting Thursday, March 15, 2012 at 6 p.m.  at  the Newton Township Administration Building on Arlington Road in Newton Falls.  The meeting is open to the public.  The association does reading and documentation of the gravestones in the seven township cemeteries and also does the repair work and cleaning of the stones.  All work is done  by members of the association and volunteers.

The seven cemeteries include the Lutheran Cemetery and St. Michael’s Cemetery, both on Newton Tomlinson Road, Wilderson Cemetery on Bush Selkirk Road, the East Cemetery on North Canal Street, the West Cemetery on Ridge Road, Duck Creek Cemetery on Duck Creek Road and the Pricetown  Cemetery next to the Pricetown Methodist Church. Work on the Lutheran Cemetery and Wilderson Cemetery have been completed. Extensive work was done on the East Cemetery the summer of 2011.
Work on these projects will resume with spring weather. This work relies on volunteers, time  and donations.
The yearly fundraiser was the selling of 2012 calendars with sketches of historic buildings located in Newton Falls that were donated by former art teacher, Mr. Edward Sinchak. There are a limited  amount of calendars left for sale and may be purchased by calling 330-872-0236 or 330-872-3116.
You may also phone these numbers for more information regarding the association or to make donations.

Pictured above are (front row) Olivia Valot, Angela Agati, Natalie Albert , Melody Jacques, Genevieve Bailey and Rebecca DeSanto. Back row Katrelyn Jacques, Christina Gargas, Emalea Moore, Alyssa Hartley, Alyson Sites, Jersee Hogue and Deanie Simpson

Newton Falls – Our local Girl Scout Troop 239 is helping the American Red Cross by donating seven quilts, after reading an article requesting needed items.

The troop began their “service project” in September. They set up a quilting frame in their meeting room at First Church of God and sewed at each meeting; cutting material, knotting and stitching and finishing the last quilt in November.

Pat Leach, leader of the Troop, said there are six Scouts doing the project for their Bronze Award which is the highest award a Junior Girl Scout can earn. The blankets were presented to representatives Christina Gargas, and Deanie Simpson from American Red Cross at a recent meeting. At the meeting, Gargas discussed the services provided and explained the blood drives that are held locally. This information was helpful to the girls receiving  their First Aid Badge. Working as a team, the Scouts shared a new experience while gaining knowledge and confidence while making a difference in their community.

It’s Girl Scout cookie time – call 330-872-7937 to place your order.  The profit from sales help fund new experiences like this. Thank you!

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Newton Falls Kiwanis president Linda Hrenko is shown with City Manager Jack Haney, Karen Car from the Senior Van, Labor day race directors Vonda Vencel and Jenn Riehl.  In their hands is a giant check in the amount of $5,059  which  is the profit from the 2011 Labor Day race.

Congratulations to all the sponsors, runners, and volunteers that made the event such a huge success. The money will go directly towards the operation of the senior van operation.

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Newton Falls – Bob James, Commander of Newton Falls American Legion Post 236, recently presented a donation to Carol Baker, Assistant Director of the Newton Falls Public Library, for the purpose of purchasing books for the library in memory of deceased Post 236 members.

Newton Falls American Legion Post 236 recently donated $100,000 to the Newton Falls Fire Department to help renovate a building to house fire and rescue vehicles.

Newton Falls – Newton Falls VFW Post 3332 recently held its 2011 charitable contributions giveaway.  Over $26,000 was given to 25 local, county, regional and state organizations. VFW members pictured in the front row (left to right)are:  Louis D’Amico, Joe Ball, Ron Widowfield, Pete Price, Bill Smith, Commander Ray Hanzes, Charitable Committee Chairman Bob James, Roy Domyanich, Steve Garcar, Bill Douglas, and “Fudge” Rapczak.

Representatives receiving donations are pictured in the back row (left to right) are:  John Myers, with Trumbull Co. Mental Health and Recovery Board; Jeff White, with Family Promise of Mahoning Valley; Doug Herlinger, with Church Mouse of Newton Falls; Ron Spore, with Family Promise of Mahoning Valley; Alllison Snyder, with VFW Post 3332 Auxiliary; Chris Wortman, with Gold Star Mothers; Sandee Mathews, with Trumbull Co. Mobile Meals; Karen Carr, with Newton Falls Senior Citizen Van Fund; Jan Seidler, with Hospice of the Valley, Youngstown; Theresa Lyden, with Someplace Safe; Elsie Whitzel, with Newton Falls Cemetery Assoc; Rick Bauman, with Newton Falls Fire and EMT Departments; Fr. Ed Brisbine, with St. Nicholas Orthodox Outreach Program.

Newton Falls – Newton Township Cemetery Association members will be at this year’s Home44444the Holidays again on December 10th to sell their 2012 calendars which are their fund-raiser for the year.

The funds help in the repair and upkeep of the seven township cemeteries. This year’s calendar is a compilation of etches of historic buildings in Newton Falls that were drawn by former Newton Falls art teacher, Mr. Edward Sinchak. He will be attending the event to sign calendars. They are sold for $10.00 each.

Anyone interested in learning more about the association and what it does will be able to get the information at this time. If you are unable to attend you may phone 330-872-3116 or 330-872-0236 to purchase calendars or for more information about the association.

Students Destinee Smith and Jared Holt perform at the NFHS Veterans Day ceremonies.

Newton Falls – The students at the Newton Falls High School gathered Friday 11-11-11 to remember and honor members of our Armed Forces past, present, and future.

Starting off the ceremony, several dozen local veterans filed into the auditorium one at a time while each of their names and branch of service was announced with every military branch represented. Masters of Ceremonies Myles Shade and Joseph Spletzer led the event, welcoming guests of the community, family and friends, and the veterans themselves, before the Civil Air Patrol Color Guard presented the colors.

The audience was led in the Pledge of Allegiance by young patriots from the elementary school before the program proceeded into an array of musical numbers, readings of poems, and video montages on the giant screen above the stage.

State Representative Sean O’Brien briefly addressed those in attendance, complimenting our Armed Forces and stating that “it is because of our military” that we have this great country that we have today. His remarks also included the well-known poem which reminds us: “It is the soldier, not the reporter, that gives us freedom of the press”.

There are 890,300 veterans in Ohio and one in particular was honored at the special ceremony. Anthony Luketic, who was a freshman at the Newton Falls High School in 1941, would have graduated with the class of 1944 but chose to serve his country instead. On Friday, the family of Anthony Luketic was called to the stage and presented with his diploma, some 67 years after his would-be graduation.

The event solemnly ended with the traditional playing of “Taps” and a folded up flag laid in an empty chair, front and center of the auditorium, silently guarded by a young member of our present Forces. May we remember all who serve, past, present, and future.

Columbus – The Village of Newton Falls was honored for its achievements during the past year at the 2011 AMP/OMEA Annual Conference.

Finance Director Tracy Reimbold  was honored for her outstanding service to the AMP Board of Trustees and the village was re-elected by AMP membership to a seat on the 20-member Board. Reimbold was reelected treasurer of the Board.

A System Improvement Award was presented to the Newton Falls Electric System recognizing the downtown distribution conversion and upgrade. The project involved upgrading distribution lines and has resulted in reduced system losses and better voltage support.

Newton Falls Electric System’s commitment to safety was recognized with an AMP Safety Award in recognition of having no time loss due to reportable accidents.

The annual conference was held in Columbus, October 24-27 and was attended by more than 430 municipal officials and industry representatives, with speakers from various national organizations.

Newton Falls – A local young person will be headed to Nashville, Tennessee to compete in the 2011 National Bible Bee this November 16-19. Hannah-Abigail Toth excelled in Bible memorization and studied enough to secure one of 300 top scores from across the country during the Local Bible Bee Contest which was held on August 27 at Royal Redeemer Lutheran Church in North Royalton.

Hannah-Abigail is the daughter of Ron and Tamara Toth and one of nine children. She worships at North Mar Christian and Missionary Alliance. Summer support and social activities were offered by Royal Redeemer under the leadership of Charlie and Kristi Upole of North Royalton. Toth memorized up to 250 Bible verses and studied the Bible book of 1 Peter in depth over the summer, and now has another 100 verses and 2 Peter to study for Nationals.

The 2011 National Bible Bee Competition and Family Discipleship Celebration will take place in downtown Nashville, Tennessee. At Nationals, the 300 National Qualifiers will demonstrate their diligence in Scripture knowledge and memorization through oral and written rounds. The top winners will be awarded more than $260,000 and every contestant will be encouraged and recognized for their Biblical excellence.

Newton Falls – Businesses are still open on the main street of Newton Falls after an early morning fire destroyed apartments above the shops. The store most directly affected is Healthy Treasures, a merchant specializing in organic items as well as offering natural health services, which is directly below the apartment that caught fire and has closed until further notice while damage can be assessed. Though most other businesses in the main strip are still open, for the time being the road accessing the center of the town is closed to traffic, and pedestrians are cautioned to be mindful when shopping at the other businesses, as the building where Healthy Treasures and those apartments are located is considered unstable and unsafe. The Police Department does not know when the road will reopen;  the most important thing right now is to keep residents and visitors to the town out of harm’s way. The blocked-off area also includes the Health Advocate Services offices and  Davis Insurance.  Currently the Davis Insurance Agency is working out of their other office, The Griffith Agency, Inc. located in Girard.  That office phone number is 330-545-5489.
The Brew Basket, a cafe located in the detached building on the other side of Healthy Treasures, permanently closed its doors several weeks ago.

A very special mention of gratitude is extended to the members of Station 43, the NFPD, and other emergency responders who were called out in the wee hours of Saturday morning to fight this fire and did what they could to keep the flames from causing even more damage than was done.

On October 1st, the Newton Falls Firefighters Auxiliary welcomes in fall by sponsoring their 22nd Annual Chili Cook-Off, usually held right in the middle of town. Information will be provided as soon as available as to any possible changes in the expected set-up for this year’s event due to the potentially precarious situation. Look for updates and save the date to come support the firefighters of Station 43.

Newton Falls – Miss Ohio 2011, Ellen Bryan, stopped by the town’s small community center for a meet-and-greet on Saturday, September 17th to take a brief break from her month-long bike tour. While signing autographs and posing for photos, Ellen talked about her work with the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and what the opportunity to visit the hospitalized children across Ohio has meant to her – a part of her life she plans to continue after passing on the crown to the next Miss Ohio. “I’ll never let go of it completely,” she said. “They get into your heart.”

As the current titleholder, Ellen is able to wear her crown and sash when visiting the children, and their eyes light up when she enters the room. Explaining that she won’t ever lose the title of Miss Ohio even when she relinquishes her crown and sash, she hopes to continue seeing the children when her reign is over and raise money for the organization that will aid in their recovery.

On the cycling mission since August 29th, at the Newton Falls point Ellen had 550 miles behind her with about 300 left to go. After the meet-and-greet she headed to YSU to sing the National Anthem at their evening football game and looks forward to the Bike Tour finish line on  quickly-approaching September 24th. To follow the rest of her route, read her blog, or for more information on her quest, visit www.missohiobiketour.com. You just might see her on a road near you!

Newton Falls – Recently Station 43 in Newton Falls played host for an emergency training procedure involving area fire departments. Members of three different stations – Southington, Lordstown and Mesopotamia – joined the first responders from Newton Falls in a tanker shuttle relay to practice how to efficiently haul water from one location to another.

How it works: one fire truck pumps water out of the river into one of the waiting fire trucks designated to shuttle the water to a location across town. Once there, the shuttle truck dumps the water into a collapsible pool serving literally as a portable pond from which the fire truck that is actively working on extinguishing the fire can pull needed water. At the same moment, a second shuttle truck en route to the river balances out the response time opposite the first shuttle truck so there is a continuous flow of water to the destination. The shuttle trucks will go back and forth to the river to replenish the available water in the portable pond as long as is necessary.

This maneuver is valuable in situations where there is no vast water supply or hydrant within easy reach of a pumper truck trying to fight a fire. In an emergency such as this, local stations will be called in for mutual aid and will work together shuttling water from the nearest water source such as a river or lake to the area on fire. This assembly-line type method is a more effective way of fighting fires as the designated trucks on site spraying water don’t have to continually hook and unhook heavy hoses and can instead spend the time and present resources actively focused on the task at hand.

After the practice concluded, participants were invited back to the host station and treated to a delicious homecooked lunch provided by the ladies of the Station 43 Auxiliary.

See your favorite first responders in action again soon and come support them as they take on members from the police department in the 2nd Annual Battle for the City softball game on Saturday, August 27th. This year the stands are open to the public and admission is free, with donations going to support the local USO. Will the second time be the charm for the firefighters or will the badges in blue put up their shields and successfully defend their 2010 title? First pitch is at 4pm!

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Newton Falls – Still looking for a job or wishing to find a different one? The Newton Falls Public Library is offering Make It Work: job hunting, networking, & resumes. The series includes how to network, job search, and write a resume that will get you noticed.  Participants are encouraged to attend all three of the two-hour sessions.  Class size is limited so register today.

•    The first session is Networking and Job Seeking on Tuesday, September 6, 1 – 3pm.  The instructor will help participants create a networking list and plan, practice a 30 second elevator speech, and go through some websites of interest.

•    Writing a Resume is on Tuesday, September 13, 1 – 3pm.  . This class focuses on the content of the resume, specifically writing accomplishment statements and summary statements. Participants are encouraged to bring the resume they are currently using to the class.

•    The final is Creating a Resume in Microsoft Word on Tuesday, September 20, 1 – 3pm. This is a basic Word class that teaches how to create a resume using Word and is especially useful for those responding to those employers who wish to have resumes emailed. Again, the instructor suggests that the participants bring a handwritten or typed resume from which they can work.

Newton Falls – Tickets are on sale at the Superintendent’s Office located at 9091?2 Milton Blvd., for the upcoming Newton Falls Tiger football season from 7:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. The cost for reserved season passes for 5 homes games will be $40.00. We also have a 10-game pass available for adults to purchase for $50.00, and students 10-game pass for $30.00, which is good for any Varsity game, i.e., volleyball, soccer, football or basketball.
We appreciate the support that the community of Newton Falls has given to the football, soccer, golf, basketball and volleyball teams.   The first football game will be Thursday, August 25th, 2011, against Southeast at home.  Kick-off is at 7:00 p.m.

If you are a senior citizen (65 years of age or older & retired) and a resident of Newton Falls, you are eligible for a complimentary senior citizen’s pass. This will admit you to all home games.  See Mrs. Dunlap in the Superintendent’s Office for tickets and passes.

Summer is almost over but the bargain hunting has just begun. Last month the ordinarily sleepy little town of Newton Falls was filled with crowds looking for some Fourth of July excitement. This weekend the same streets will be flooded with yard sale shoppers looking for a great deal. All the planning that the Newton Falls Community-Wide Yard Sale Committee has put into the last year will come to fruition when the Sale officially opens at 9am on Friday, August 5th.
Over 75 residents have bought permits and will have sales in their yards, garages, parking lots, and basically wherever they can plunk a table. The map of where those sales are located has been completely revamped for 2011 and will be available at various businesses in the town during the sale. Eager shoppers can plan their route in advance by viewing the map online and printing a copy from the Committee’s Facebook page. The easier-to-read map includes not only the addresses of each participating sale, but also a few clues to what goodies can be found at each location. Can’t see it all in one day? Don’t worry – the sale will run all weekend (August 5th, 6th, and 7th) to give bargain hunters plenty of time for prime shop ’til you drop opportunities.
Things to keep in mind when you go: there are plenty of places to park in the town and traffic laws still apply, so be respectful and avoid parking in the middle of the road or in residents’ yards. Please be mindful of pedestrians! To save hassle (and gas!), it’s a good idea to find a spot in a central location and walk to several sales clustered together. It’s sure to be hot out so dress for the heat and keep hydrated for the long haul. Also, it’s helpful to bring small bills to get the best bang for your buck!
Residents, shoppers, and Committee members alike are looking forward to a safe, enjoyable, wallet-friendly weekend for all. Don’t be late – it’s going to be great!

Newton Falls – The reunion was held June 17th at Faces Down Under in Newton Falls. This brought back memories because in 1956 the Manos Theatre stood where Faces is now located. After a period of socializing, all gathered at their tables for prayer given by Jim Paisley.In remembrance, names of our deceased classmates were read. A thank you was extended to classmates and guests for coming from near and far to celebrate this special time together. A delicious buffet dinner was served after which the class picture was taken. Our program was given by one of our classmates, Art Dunn. He gave an interesting talk about his experience walking 335 miles from Cincinnati to Pennsylvania, a twenty-two day walk. This was a healing time for him in memory of his wife Doris, also a classmate of ours. Questions were answered and we had a few laughs, which made for a nice time. Gifts were handed out to all classmates after which visiting, reminiscing and looking through memorabilia continued. The classmates and guests thanked the committee for all their hard work planning this special time. What a wonderful way to spend the evening with our long time friends from the “Class of 1956”.

Newton Falls – The Newton Falls Public Library is currently featuring Hand Portraits 2011 in the 2nd floor Palmer Meeting Room.  This is the 2nd year for the collaborative project between the Newton Falls High School Visual and Language Arts students and volunteers from Allan Dell Assisted Living. The Visual Arts students interviewed residents and then posed them for hand portrait photographs based upon things of special significance. Students from the Language Arts Department then wrote poems which were joined with the photographs to create unique glimpses into their lives.
In the lobby display case is the spectacularly beautiful “Relay for Life 2011” quilt created by Diane Kennedy. The quilt made up of more than 1000 pieces, also includes the names of individuals touched by cancer. Assisting Diane, were Debbie Zambino who cut many of the pieces by hand, Diane’s mother Esther Sammon who pinned them, and professional long-arm quilter Linda Bailey.
While at the library, pick up the schedule of events and programs. Newton Falls Public Library hours are Tuesday – Thursday 10 am – 8 pm, Friday and Saturday 9 am – 5 pm, and closed Sunday and Monday. More information about free library programs and hours is available at the Newton Falls Public Library; 204 S. Canal St., Newton Falls, phone 330-872-1282, or view the library’s online calendar at www.newtonfalls.org.

Newton Falls - The Newton Falls Area Commerce Association gathered at Roby Lee’s for their June meeting and continued the discussion on how to bring more members into the group. Appropriately, the agenda started off  by welcoming two new members: first, representatives from Warren Township were acknowledged as a recent addition; and secondly, yours truly became an official member as an independent advisor for Lia Sophia, a jewelry company with a home-party business model similar to Tupperware and Avon.For current members, a reminder was given that yearly dues are, well, due. A list of businesses that have not paid up by the May renewal date was announced, with the conclusion that if the fees are not sent in by July 15th then the Association will assume those businesses no longer wish to be members. Those who have spaces on the sign near Route 5 are especially encouraged to renew promptly.In old business, the NOACC application is still underway. The Association expects to be set up as members by the end of June. Joining NOACC is one of the ways in which the NFACA is making providing more benefits for its members a priority. Plans for the citywide garage sale are in full swing. As a reminder, the dates for the sale will be August 5, 6, and 7. Registration forms have been available in previous editions of The Villager and can be accessed online through Facebook – search for Newton Falls Community Wide Yard Sale. Early Bird Registration (by the end of June) is only $5 and that covers the permit, placement on the map, and event advertising. If registering in July, the cost is $10. Take note: in Newton Falls, residents are always required to obtain a permit to have a garage sale. Permits for this weekend’s event are only issued through the Yard Sale Committee, so if you expect to have a sale that weekend, you MUST have a permit by contacting Linda Nord at 330-872-7788. In new business, Home 44444 the Holidays has been scheduled for December 10th. A planning committee will be forming soon.In lieu of a formal City Manager’s memo, appreciation was extended for those who attended Relay 4 Life over the weekend.There will be no Association meeting in July; the next gathering will be the annual member picnic in City Park on August 9th at 6pm.

Newton Falls - This past weekend the main street of Newton Falls was blocked off for the first of many much-anticipated summer events. The Annual Car Show, celebrating its 25th year, parked hundreds of shiny vehicles smack in the middle of the town’s business district and invited attendees to cruise and peruse the glossy, glittery and sometimes even quirky automobiles while radio tunes reminiscent of the eras represented played on the warm, summery air. Over a hundred equally shiny trophies were awarded in various categories ranging from general groups to class specific.Traditionally coinciding with the Car Show, the First Christian Church held their Strawberry Festival, tempting show-goers to take a break for a treat of shortcake with ice cream and, of course, scrumptious strawberries. Amusement offerings and assorted snacks were available from various vendors to make the experience suit most any expectation.Proceeds from Saturday’s Car Show and Sunday’s Bike Show will help fund the Fourth of July festivities quickly approaching next weekend. The parade is set to start at 10am on Monday, the Fourth, with the carnival and other entertainment activities at the park by the Community Center throughout the afternoon. The Independence Day celebration will conclude with fireworks at 10pm. Throughout the rest of July, more music will waft through downtown as the Summer Concert Series strikes a chord in the gazebo near the waterfall. Look for exact times and scheduled acts posted soon.Starting off August with a bang for your buck, the Newton Falls Community-Wide Yard Sale is August 5th, 6th, and 7th. In its 4th year, the Yard Sale planning is under a new committee and it’s sure to be the best year ever! Residents interested in participating by having a sale that weekend need to either check out the Facebook page by the same name or contact Linda Nord at 330-872-7788 for information. Registration forms have been available in recent issues of The Villager, or are posted in several area businesses and are due no later than July 22nd. Don’t be late – it’s going to be great!Though you’ll probably shop ‘til you drop, save some energy for the rest of August’s activities and plan ahead to attend the 2nd Annual Arts in the Park fest, a creative outlet held on both sides of the waterfall later in the month. The festival encourages hands-on arts to “do” not just “view” and provides many different ways to express one’s imaginative side. The end of August will see another event in its second year as the squad members of the Newton Falls Joint Fire District attempt to take the softball trophy – and bragging rights – from the Newton Falls Police Department in the 2nd Annual Battle for the City. This year the spectator stands are open to the public and donations will be accepted to benefit the USO. The first pitch is scheduled for Saturday, August 27th at 4pm with a rain out day of September 4th. So save the date and come support your favorite first-responders as they take to the field!

Newton Falls –  Newton Falls American Legion Post 236 recently held its 2011 elections.  District Commander Jim Campbell and Post 540 Commander Roger Garber  installed the new officers.  The new officers are Bob James, Commander, Duncan Shetterly, Trustee, Donna Watson, 2nd Vice Commander, Cari Delgado, Service Officer, Ron Widowfield, Chaplain, Bob Cameron, Trustee, Arden Baillie, Trustee, Bob Shaulis, Treasurer, Bill Smith, Sgt. Of Arms, Russ Mason, Adjutant, and Joe Ball, 1st Vice Commander.On May 9, 2011, American Legion Post 236 presented the Newton Falls Safety Department a Polaris ATV equipped with lights and sirens.  The vehicle cost over $14,000. In photo, Police Chief John Kuivila thanks Post Commander, Bob James while Post members look on. Members and friends of the post enjoyed a tour of Camp Ravenna, the Ohio National Guard Regional Training Center on May 10, 2011.  Captains Dunlap and Yates, along with 1st Sgt. Bosley, pointed out facets of the new facilities, as well as sections of the old Ravenna Arsenal.

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During the May meeting of the Newton Falls Chamber of Commerce, the focus of the discussion centered on the Association’s members. Though the Covered Bridge sign on Route 5 and First Street is full, there is still one spot available if anyone is interested in advertising there. Currently a space holder is simply filling in for the time being.Linda Nord, a local resident, was officially welcomed as a community member and her application for an individual membership was approved.In old business, membership renewals are due as the membership year runs from May 1st to April 30th. Plans to revamp the website are in the works, with the intention to increase benefits for current members by way of spotlighting businesses or setting apart those involved in other ways.  If anybody wants to contribute ideas for this project, please contact Shawn.In new business, the Association is continuing to discuss ideas on how to draw new members. Anybody in the community can join whether they own a business or not, and since the organization is officially the Newton Falls AREA Commerce Association, that means members do not have to live in the vicinity of the town itself to be an affiliate. Membership dues vary based on voting privileges and distance from Newton Falls. More information can be found at http://www.nfaca.net.In other news, plans for the citywide garage sale are under way. The dates for the sale will be August 5, 6, and 7. Registration forms and information on how to participate by having a sale that weekend will be available soon.  A motion passed to support the Fourth of July Committee by purchasing $100 worth of raffle tickets. In past years, the Association has bought tickets with the intention of splitting any monetary prizes, if won, by giving 50% back to the Fourth of July Committee.Highlights from the City Manager’s memo include that the legislation concerning contractor registration has been tabled by Council for at least ninety days as they are looking for alternate ideas before a decision is finalized. Also mentioned is a plan to officially name the park between Shop ‘n’ Save and the waterfall. If Council decides at the next meeting to dedicate it as “Veterans Park,” the ceremony would take place following the Memorial Day service. This year’s Arts in the Park festival is being planned for late summer. Anyone interested in helping out should contact Christine Newman.The Association’s next meeting will be Tuesday June 14th.

Camp Ravenna – Early Saturday morning almost 200 people sacrificed sleep when they arrived at 7:30 a.m. at the Renaissance Family Center for a tour of Camp Ravenna.  The excited folks enjoyed coffee and donuts while they waited on the buses to take them to see first hand what really lays behind the gate at Camp Ravenna Military Training Facility aka the Ravenna Arsenal. The four hour tour was set up by the Windham Historical Society as a fundraiser for the Bicentennial to be held later this summer. The group traveled by school buses that were paid for by the historical society to see what goes on and to get a little history lesson on the camp. Everyone was greeted by the Garrison Commander Lieutenant Colonial Ed Meade. Meade addressed everyone and told a little bit about what we would see and he introduced each bus to their tour guide.  The tour took us to the old stone arch bridge that spans Sand Creek which fascinated everyone. Our guide Major Richard Saphore explained that the bridge was constructed in the late 1800 and the military recently spent $250,000 on restoration of the bridge. A large percentage of the restoration money was spent on scientific research to determine the type of mortar they would need to use to replicate the original mortar of the bridge. At the bridge one could see the dam the Boy Scouts built years ago and see a small water fall. Everyone was thrilled with the sight, took advantage of the photo opportunity and asked many questions about the camp. The second stop took a detour around a broken culvert to see a bunker. The bunkers are virtually invisible from an aerial view and even had trees growing on top of them. They built the bunkers in staggered rows 1500 feet apart to prevent a chain reaction of explosions if one was filled with ordinances was hit. Currently they do not store any ordinances in the bunkers but occasionally they store weapons from drug raids there until the case goes to trial, then the weapons are destroyed. The cost of removing the bunkers is staggering so for now they are used for storage for a variety of items. The camp has 693 bunkers.  The next stop on the tour took one to what used to be the officers housing and a tour of one of the houses. The officers’ housing is set up in a circle simulating an old pioneer village. The colonial houses built in the early 1940’s had beautiful hardwood floors, three- four bedrooms, two baths and a fireplace; although the houses are not in livable condition and are now used for training purposes, one could see that they were once a place of splendor. The former officer’s houses will be torn down in the future, but for now they use them to train drug dogs and train military personnel.  The Readiness Center and the newly built barracks were the next stop. There one saw new recruits learning how to properly wear fatigues, get ready for basic training, and glimpses of the small mess hall. The barracks that were recently finished gave one a snapshot of a soldiers’ life at the camp. There are three barracks that can house up 2500 soldiers and the last one was recently finished and is waiting on furniture.  The last stop of the tour took the group to the simulated training area. The humvee rollover simulator was interesting to see. The simulator is computer programmed to simulate any type of situation the soldiers may find themselves in when using the humvee. The humvee simulator is an actual humvee set on a mechanical arm that is computer controlled. The mechanical arm rotates the humvee to various degrees including the ability to do a 360. The simulator rotates the vehicle at various degrees imitating a rollover, which the soldiers learn how to escape from different angles and scenarios. The driving simulators are programmed to simulate any vehicle the military has to offer and have the feel of actual driving. If you are driving on a rough road the seat will bounce you around as if you’re actually traveling on a road. Each simulator computer stores data and allows one to see how they did and what one needs to do to improve their skills. The artillery simulator was real interesting too. Tourists had the opportunity to see how a computer can control the scene that the shooter sees and how the laser weapons are used to improve marksmanship. The computerized laser guns tell you if you’re jerking when shooting, hesitating or improperly holding the gun and even give one the feel of a real gun when they feel the recourse of every shot fired.  It also records how many shots were fired, how many hits, and how many kills. The simulator shooting scene can be changed from a clear day, to fog, rain, night time, cloudy etc. giving a soldier a chance to prepare for all types of adverse conditions. The tour lasted four hours and just showed snippets of what all happens behind the intriguing gates of Camp Ravenna. To see the entire facility in action one would need to be a soldier, however the portions we did see, really gives one an idea of what happens behind the gates and the role Camp Ravenna plays in our nation’s security and the freedoms we all experience everyday.

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Newton Falls – The Newton Falls High School Drama Department will complete the 2011 season by presenting the comedy “Soda Shop Angel” authored by Shirley McNichol.  The production will be presented on Friday and Saturday, May 6th & 7th at 7:00 p.m. in the high school auditorium.  The cost is $5.00 at the door.

The play takes place in Pa’s soda shop, owned by Pa Harding.  Pa’s daughter, Judy Harding’s life as a 16-year-old isn’t too sweet however. Her dad can’t find the money to fix up the family’s soda shop; her older brother is flunking out of school; and her younger brother has retreated into a fantasy world of comic book superheroes since their mom died. To add to the dilemma, Judy has a major crush on a new student who’s a mysterious loner.

Enter Angela, a bumbling angel-in-training who must earn her halo by helping the Hardings. But when the shop is hit first by a fire and then a flood, is it divine providence or disaster? Salvation or catastrophe? A TV quiz show and hula hooping are all part of the miracle that helps save Judy and her family. Come enjoy all the fun and nostalgia of the ‘50s in this charming play and find out if Angela manages to earn her halo or simply adds to the disaster of Pa’s Soda Shop.

The cast includes:  Donald Slater, Katie Davis, Devon Beckinger, Brad Dubos, Brooke Rogers, Blaire Thompson, Danny Moore, Taylor Phelps, Rachael Rendessy, Chelsea Beaty, Samantha Mitchell, A.J. Naulta, Chelsey Cochran, Andrew Ferguson, Stephanie Baringer, Michelle Miller, Jordan Riffle and Breanna McCrystal.  Stage manager for the production will be Jen Pugh.

Come and join us for an evening of fun and entertainment.

 

The NFJFD Firefighters’ Auxiliary presents a check in the amount of $4,343.43 to Station 43. The department’s largest fundraiser of the year, the Chili Cook-Off, is held annually in the Fall.

Newton Falls – Last Saturday evening the parking lot at Roby Lee’s Restaurant and Banquet Center was filled with dozens of vehicles driven by firefighters and policemen. Don’t worry, there was no emergency. Rather, firefighters, EMTs, friends and family members from the Newton Falls Joint Fire District gathered at the hometown eatery to commemorate another year serving Newton Falls, Newton Township, and neighboring villages.

After a moment of silence for fallen firefighters, Jamie Zigler, President of the Firefighters’ Association, offered a prayer of gratitude for the meal and for the company present. Traditions at this annual event continued strong with a 50/50 raffle, door prize and centerpiece drawings, and a brief awards ceremony honoring squad members reaching various service milestones, from fairly new recruits achieving five years of service all the way to the recently retired stalwarts  who marked over twenty, thirty, and even nearly fifty years with the fire department force. The ladies of the Firefighters’ Auxiliary presented the proceeds from last fall’s twenty-first annual Chili Cook-Off, proudly handing over a check in the appropriate amount of $4,343.43 to the men of Station 43. The money from the station’s largest fundraiser of the year will be put toward necessary fire department upgrades such as protective gear and equipment to help them continue their lifesaving work. Last year’s check purchased an inflatable rescue lifeboat which was on display at October’s Cook-Off and will be vital in river emergencies.

Guest speaker NFPD Chief John Kuivila kept his remarks “short and sweet” and referenced the train crash that shook the center of the small town only two weeks ago. He applauded the efforts of the local emergency forces – including the fire and police departments, the auxiliaries, the hazmat crews and the CSX workers – mentioning that “clean-up went as smoothly as it could go” because of how the community and neighbors across the county pulled together. “It’s great to see the relationship that’s been built and how it all works together.”

Almost proving his point of small-town togetherness, Newton Falls wasn’t the only community represented at the restaurant that night: in the banquet area across the hall, Lordstown’s police officers were enjoying a similar event for their department, and members from Station 16 in Braceville had dinner to-go so that they could cover the NFJFD station in case of emergency.

A sweet end to the evening which everyone could literally take away with them came in the form of customized candy bars, courtesy of the Auxiliary, which suggested that if one were to look up the word “heroism” in a dictionary, one would find next to it a rather familiar photograph: one featuring the men of Station 43.

“Heroism: n. fortitude, valor, bravery, courage, strength. See also: Newton Falls Firefighters.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

 

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Newton Township – Last week a train going through Newton Falls at about 7:00 in the early morning went off its track as it passed through the heart of the town. Approximately twelve hours later, half past 7:00pm, emergency responders had the wreckage under control and the town attempted to bring back what sense of normalcy it could to the day. The Newton Township Trustees held their monthly meeting in their usual building within a stone’s throw of where the back dozen or so train cars sat in unmoving silence, waiting for their fallen counterparts to be cleared from the center of the town.

All trustees were present for the meeting, with Kathy King filling in for Ella Johnson. No guests were on the agenda for the evening so business moved on to the usual reports: sheriff, zoning, financial, and cemetery. Highlights mentioned: the budget needs to be tightened as much as possible; a parcel of land may be  donated to the township; and they are looking into the potential for life and disability insurance.

From the trustee reports, Mr. Nemet announced that the April 16th Spring Clean-up will be combining with the NFJFD who is organizing a professional shredding company to come to the event. This will cost the sponsors about $250 for the service, but it will be free for the public to come and have their paperwork shredded. In order to have your documents shredded, it is requested that you bring a canned good or other non-perishable item that will be sorted into Easter baskets for needy families. The fire department is contributing Easter hams for the baskets and will be putting it all together on Monday the 18th, just in time to be distributed for the holiday.

In other news, a deed dating back to 1918 has been located and transferred for the property at 55 E. Broad Street.

Mr. Augusta noted that Friday, April 8th is the deadline for ordering seedling trees. Contact the township ASAP if you are interested in placing an order. Liberty Township is presenting “Gasland,” a Sundance Film Festival movie on March 31st. Since that event is now over at press time, if anyone is interested in learning about oil drilling and the effects of fracking, stay tuned for other local showings. He also mentioned that the short term and long-term insurance will be putting a cap on how many “sick days” an employee can accrue at a given time.

The trustees are planning a work session for April 9th during which they will discuss cemetery regulations, the long- and short- term insurance, and the employee handbook.

Mr. Page relayed the results in regards to the questions he posed to Atty. Finamore in response to public concerns discussed at last month’s meeting. The first question asked was “Do we have the opportunity to get out of the (comprehensive) plan if we decide it is not right for us?” The answer from Atty. Finamore was “Absolutely.” The second question was “Are we obligated in whole or in part to accept everything in the Plan?”  The answer was “No.” The third question was “Does the plan set any law?” Once again, the answer was “No.” Mr. Page compared it, in layman’s terms, to going to a library where many options are offered and picking and choosing which books you want to read. Just because the books are there doesn’t mean you are forced to read every one of them, they are merely presented as suggestions. In the end, it is up to the reader to choose the content they want to be involved in. He continued to explain that the purpose of the township’s consideration of being involved in the plan is to strive to bring business into the community. The conservation/ wetlands aspect of the Plan itself consists of merely suggestions for areas best suited to be conservation land. Reassuring property owners that the township will not confiscate their land based on the suggestions of the Plan, Mr. Page went on to say that involvement in the Plan does not mean the township will automatically turn the suggested properties into such designated areas. Further discussion about this issue will continue at a future regular meeting.

In other business, a motion was made for a resolution to vacate Erie Avenue, the strip of road between Newton Falls-Bailey Road and Arch Street, which currently divides two parcels of township-owned property. This resolution would dissolve the existing road designation and meld the two parcels into one lot. The motion passed unanimously.

New business included discussion about having homeowners pay for slag and gravel when filling in ditches with ditch-pipe and dirt. The past practice years ago was to give the homeowners the first load free, but then the homeowner would pay for any additional desired fill. This topic will also be discussed further in the future. A motion to buy a new power washer not to exceed $400 passed as well.

In closing remarks, Mr. Nemet requested of the Trustees to split the cost of the Easter hams with the fire department. Also, the township is considering ideas for “In Memory Of” landscaping ornamentation that residents can purchase for placement around town similar to the benches throughout the main village, but something that would instead be maintenance-free.

The next regular meeting will be April 25th.

 

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Newton Falls – On the first day of spring, council members gathered briefly at the community center for the second regular meeting of March. All officials were present with the exception of Councilwoman Johnson and Councilman Luonuonsuu who were excused for the evening.
After the Pledge of Allegiance, Mayor Waddell announced the donation for this meeting would be given to the Newton Falls Cops and Kids program. He also discussed the success of the Trumbull County Civic Day during which high school students from around the county had the opportunity to shadow city officials and other leaders to learn about the duties and responsibilities involved in various career choices.
With no reports from council members, the agenda moved on to the City Manager’s report. Mr. Haney stated that a local Boy Scout troop was given a tour of the city offices. Any other interested groups are encouraged to have their leaders contact the city officials to arrange an educational tour. Also reported was that a statewide tornado siren will be going off sometime this week as a test so citizens should not be alarmed. The Fourth of July committee is looking for volunteers – anyone available to help can contact the City Manager’s office to be pointed in the right direction.
In other news, Councilman Monteville mentioned he received a phone call of gratitude from a city resident for the good job that city workers have done around town.
Due to a “substantial change” to ordinance 2011-04, Councilman Zamecnik pointed out it should go back to a first reading and made a motion to do so. However, with lack of a second to the motion, it failed to move forward. Other ordinances discussed on the agenda included: 2011-02 – authorizing payment of attorney fees; 2011-03 – wind turbine regulations; 2011-04 – authorizing the use of a collections agency to recover delinquent utility bill payments; 2011-05 – establishing a raise in sewer rates; and 2011-06 – reimbursement of personal election expenses related to the unsuccessful recall of Councilman Luonuonsuu, which passed for a 2nd reading. The full details of each ordinance or resolution can be read online at http://ci.newtonfalls.oh.us.
During closing comments, Councilman Monteville said that he would like it put in writing that since a motion last meeting was passed 5-0 to table some of the above issues until April when all five council members would be present, and no motion was put forth to untable those issues, that he wonders if any of the votes made this evening by the three members present were in fact legal. He requested advice from the law director concerning such inquiry. Councilwoman Hoffman and Councilman Zamecnik both mentioned that they’d received numerous phone calls from the public wondering why a meeting shouldn’t go forth as planned since there was a quorum – or a majority – of council members present. Also, Mayor Waddell believes there needs to be a business plan and goals for the council and committee meetings. During a recent discussion with Youngstown’s mayor, Jay Williams, Mayor Waddell learned of how the larger city operates and now has some extra ideas to apply to the benefit of the smaller village.
The next regular council meeting will be April 4th.

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Newton Falls – Newton Falls 4th of July Festivities Committee is in the final planning stage.  We are so excited this year because it is our 25th Annual Car Show. That’s right. Can you believe 25 years?  We are going to start this year’s car show with a Street Dance on Friday, June 24, at 7:00 to 11:00 in Downtown Newton Falls.  On Saturday, June 25, the Car Show will begin, with parking starting at 11:00, registration 11:00 to 3:00 and trophies will begin an hour early, at 6:00.  We are planning a Chinese Auction and 50/50 Raffle.  Entertainment will be provided by a DJ and area dance studios.

Our 4th of July Raffle drawing will take place this year on July 4th at 8:00 p.m. at the City Park (winners need not be present).  Grand Prize will be $5,000.00; 1st – 46’”LCD HDTV; 2nd- Apple iPad; 3rd- 15” Laptop Computer; 4th- Xbox 360 with Kinect; 5th- Kindle eReader.  The tickets will be available at local businesses very soon.

The Bike Show will be on Sunday, June 26. The Poker Run begins at 12:00 noon and vendors will be set up from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm.  The Field Events will start at 6:00 pm and DJ Fast Freddie will entertain us.
4th of July Parade will be on Monday, 4th of July starting at 10:00 am sharp.  Line-up will begin at 8:00 am in front of the Church of God.  A military flyover is planned.
Entertainment will be provided nightly, June 30 thru July 4, at the City Park by the beer tent.  Please look for more information to come.
Our Spectacular Fireworks display will be on Monday evening, July 4th, at 10:00 pm at the City Park.
All of this information is available at our website nfjuly44444.com or contact us by email at nfjuly44444@aol.com.

Newton Falls – Kiwanian Barry Silliphant appeared at the Newton Falls library to give away ID Stickers to the young parents who transport their kids in safety seats.  Wednesday’s reading program director Chrissy Braun was excited to have Barry explain how important the sticker project is to anyone who uses child safety seats.
The need for stickers came about after a car accident took place near Dayton, Ohio.  The driver was a babysitter and not related to the infant who was strapped into a safety seat.  The driver was killed and the baby was unhurt.  It was hours before the parents were notified because nobody could identify the child and make the necessary call.
The safety sticker lists names, addresses, phone numbers, allergies, and additional emergency information to guarantee that the child will receive prompt attention.

One of the many moms to take stickers home is Christine Harley. She is pictured holding little David in one hand and the safety sticker in the other.

Put a sticker on every safety seat that the child uses.  Grandparents that have extra seats for their cars should use the stickers too.
To get stickers for your child’s safety seats stop by the office of Kiwanian Tom Palmer, attorney at law,  41 W. Broad street. Newton Falls.

To get involved in this project or many others join Kiwanis.  Meetings are Tuesdays at  6:30 p.m. at the  Covered Bridge Inn Resturant.

Newton Falls – Recently, a café that usually tantalizes customers with its breakfast and lunchtime offerings opened its doors after hours to treat local ladies to a special evening of food, fun, and fashion.

In celebration of women in business, the Brew Basket in Newton Falls hosted a Ladies’ Night complete with opportunities for socialization, relaxation, and some retail therapy in a comfortable atmosphere without the need for venturing out into the crowds at a mall or big box stores.

Tickets sold in advance entitled those in attendance to goodie bags, café samples, and special discounts from vendors presenting designer purses, glittering jewelry, and the freshest make-up techniques. Representatives from Miche handbags, Lia Sophia jewelry, and Mary Kay cosmetics were on hand to show the lovely ladies how to pair the latest trends in purses, jewelry, and make-up with their own personal fashion tastes and varying lifestyles.

Models chosen at random from the audience were invited to participate in a casual catwalk, showcasing the designs from the three independent consultants. Licensed massage practitioners provided some extra pampering by way of chair massages in between fashion show segments.

Door prizes were also awarded from each company’s line of products with up-to-date merchandise on display for a bit of window shopping.

Although this was the first time for such an occasion at the coffee shop, the owners hope to have another similar experience in the near future. In the meantime, keep your eye out for other upcoming events for various tastes ~ there’s always something brewing at the Brew Basket!

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Newton Township – The January meeting of the Board of Trustees opened at 7:30pm with all members present. Business was as usual with reports from the zoning director, the sheriff’s department, and cemetery news. The road crew reported two new street signs and two stop signs that had been stolen and replaced, as well as general plowing and salting efforts. The crew has ordered seventy-five ton of salt and seventy-five ton of mixing to help drivers get through the typical Midwest winter.

By way of Township finances, Ella Johnson discussed increases to annual expenses and Mr. Nemet announced that the Township will be saving some money this coming year – the next five years, as a matter of fact. Every year the Township contributes monies to help with the operating costs of the Newton Falls Joint Fire District which is responsible for keeping the citizens of not only the city but the township safe. Each year the contribution automatically increases by 3%. It has been decided that the Township’s annual contribution will be frozen at the amount given in 2010 which was $53,758. This freeze will be active for the next five years so that the years 2011-2015 will remain the same. For 2011 the Township is saving $1,612 but over the next five years the savings will be $25,177 for not automatically increasing the contribution. Mr. Nemet stated that the “fire department will be able to survive without that money” and now the Township will not be seeking a levy on township residents to help out with that annual contribution increase. The next increase will be in 2016.

Also in fire department relations, the NFJFD has been utilizing a building across from Arby’s to store a few of the fire trucks. This garage is currently owned by the Township, which also stores some vehicles and supplies there. It was proposed that the Township offer the building up for sale to the fire department for $50,000, payable over the next five years as a $10,000 decrease from the now-frozen annual contribution. The trustees plan to schedule a special meeting to discuss the actual selling price, whether to raise or lower it, or even the possibility of simply donating the building to the shared fire district as a goodwill gesture. An audience member inquired if the fire department was ever going to build the new station over by First Street, but that project is at an indefinite standstill.

In other news, Mr. Page reported that the pressure washer is having mechanical difficulties. Mr. Augusta said that they are working on updating and upgrading the website. He mentioned last month’s meeting about the fracking and reported a “good turnout” of about a hundred people. There will be an upcoming meeting on February 15th in Liberty that will discuss how the oil industry operates as well.

Back in November possible changes to the cemetery guidelines were  discussed about  to determine residency versus non-residency rates and other potential alterations. The goal was set to close that subject by the February meeting.
Other highlights include updates to the employee handbook, and a motion passed unanimously to give the Cemetery Association $1,000 to offset the cost of moving trees.
There was no new business except to pay the monthly bills and the meeting adjourned in just under an hour.

Newton Falls – The officers of the Newton Falls Police Department were honored Friday during an annual awards ceremony luncheon held at the Covered Bridge Restaurant’s banquet hall. Department members and invited guests gathered to recap the various events of 2010 and to give tribute to the everyday heroes in blue who protect the city. Among those city officials present were Mayor Waddell, City Clerk Kathy King, and City Manager Jack Haney; the latter offered a gracious blessing to open the proceedings.
Chief John Kuivila announced that there were forty-three more awards this year than there were last year resulting from the courageous actions of the department over the course of approximately 16,000 calls for service. He is “looking forward to a great 2011” and hopes to decrease the need for that volume of calls for aid, making our town safer as a result.

Among the commendations presented were military service awards, perfect attendance in 2010, certificates of appreciation for the NFPD auxiliary, recognition for involvement in the Fill-a-Bus efforts, various community service participations, civic achievements, and overall good conduct awards. There was even a mention for Gator the Police Dog and his two-legged companion, Officer Laswell, for their roles in a recent capture. The list continued with mission-specific honors for officers’ roles in incidents such as successfully recovering a missing juvenile, the marijuana bust, and the extraordinary dispatching during the major house fire last fall, just to name a few.
Turning the tables for a moment, Officer Sheri Bailey spoke about how the police department is like a family: they support each other like a family, they have fun like a family, and they even fight like a family, but when all is said and done they will always be there for each other. As she stated, it is because of the leader of the family, the chief, that they are able to succeed. Officer Bailey presented an acronym  (because we all know the police department loves acronyms) in honor of the Chief: the “C” is for “Courageous,” the “H” is for “Helpful,” the “I” is for “Integrity,” the “E” stands for “Exceptional,” and the “F” is for “Friend.” In a show of appreciation for  his influence and involvement in the department, she played a video of comments from the public for the Chief and fellow officers. Several co-stars of the film gave a simple “shout-out” to the Chief and the department in general. Whether delivered with serious gratitude or threaded in a good-natured joke, “It’s a pleasure working with him and to have him here in Newton Falls,” was an echoed sentiment throughout. The tribute concluded with a photo slideshow set to the strains of the humorously appropriate “Jailhouse Rock.”

Chief Kuivila responded to the accolades by saying “It’s nice to look back over the past couple years,” but stressed that “It’s about all of us, not just me.”
One man in attendance with serious gratitude for the quick actions of the police department is Daniel Bowers whose heart stopped in November. Sergeant Rick Lisum and Officer Dave Garvey successfully used an AED to save his life. Mr. Bowers was  on hand to present the Life Saving Award to these men.

The ceremony concluded with the presentation of other Life Saving Awards, as well as a special appreciation to the Covered Bridge for their help toward the police department throughout the year. It was announced that the Officer of the Year is Andy Harvey with the Sergeant of the Year being Steve Storm and Dispatcher of the Year Jim Zimomra. Ending on a humorous note, last but not least was an award given to Charlie Wilson: Most Unreliable Person Affiliated with the Newton Falls Police Department.

Congratulations to all the officers and a continued gratitude for a job well done!

Newton Falls - The council members gathered at the community center with the mayor, city manager, and city clerk last week for a special work session. The law director was not present.
After the Pledge of Allegiance, Mayor Waddell opened the workshop, instructing those present that this was a time to put ideas and questions on the open table and “resolve differences in a professional and productive manner.” This time should be used to find ways in which Council would continue to serve the public and the best interests of the community.
During the two-hour time frame, Police Chief John Kuivila reminded Council about the issues with dispatching and the importance of moving forward with the intention of addressing them quickly. “I believe we need to keep dispatch,” he said. “It’s a benefit to the community.” However, he cautioned that the budget has already been cut and more cuts may be in the future for the police department. The dispatch center is currently costing roughly $300,000 a year. It could possibly be outsourced if it comes down to it, but the Chief expressed concern that other departments would not want to dispatch for Newton Falls because of the turmoil that has been going on. He also stated he needs the support of council whichever way he decides to go concerning this matter and is still seeking clarification from council on which way they will collectively agree.
Councilman Monteville suggested that he would like to have the opportunity to sit down and write out the pros and cons for the various options and see something on paper in order to make a decision. Mr. Haney has plans to prepare a report so that Council may schedule an executive session to “hammer things out” and start to move forward on what is becoming quite the time-sensitive issue.
Further in monetary concerns for the city, the Finance Director has “serious concerns about the general fund going forward” and discussed plans for road maintenance around town. “By 2012 we will be unable to carry current services in as they are,” she explained, anticipating changes in government funding. Councilwoman Johnson asked about how the city is collecting from people who have not paid their utility bills, specifically those who have been consistently in arrears for months and months. The Finance Director assured that “we will be pursuing a higher level of collections this year for people who are delinquent.”
Also on the agenda for the special meeting was setting clear and specific performance goals for the city manager. Each council member submitted a list of what projects they would like to see Mr. Haney involved in and tangible goals he is expected to meet. Other highlights include discussion of the new baseball concession stand to be built for the youth leagues, which is in its early stages; looking at long-term design of the park facilities in general and the most effective and architecturally-pleasing layout for twenty years down the road; a suggestion made by Mr. Haney to institute an Adopt-a-Spot program to encourage local businesses or groups to volunteer to clean up, beautify and maintain the landscaping in public areas, mentioning specifically the Waste Water Plant signs; and fine-tuning the aforementioned list of expectations for the city manager by identifying what are reasonable requests and quantifiable goals.
Councilman Luonuansuu made the motion to hold a regularly-scheduled conversational caucus before the official business portion of council meetings. Effective starting with the next meeting on February 7th at 6pm, this time will be untelevised and will allow council members to hash out details and be on the same page on issues to be discussed in front of the public. The motion passed 4-1. The televised portion will now begin at 7pm.
A meeting is also planned for February 28th to further discuss the finance and dispatch issues.

Have you or someone you know been touched by cancer? Would you like to have this person remembered in a quilt? I am making a Relay for Life quilt that will be raffled off at the Newton Falls relay. This is a quilt to honor those who have been touched by cancer. If you would like to donate a piece of fabric to be a part of this quilt, please drop off a 4 by 5 inch piece of 100% cotton and a note with either “in memory of…” or “in honor of…” the person you know or knew that has struggled with cancer. This person’s name will be put on the backing of the quilt and included in a booklet of stories or comments about the people honored on the quilt. You can drop off your fabric at Sassy Hair-N-Nails, 101 Milton Blvd South (across from IGA). I would like to have the quilt ready in time for the Relay, so please drop off your fabric pieces soon.

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Newton Falls - There’s a new hot topic at the podium of the Newton Falls council meetings: hydraulic fracking.

During the second regularly scheduled council meeting of January all officials were present and, after the Pledge of Allegiance, the floor was given to Catie Karl-Moran who spoke on behalf of the Relay for Life.

The next Relay, a twenty-four hour event, will be June 10th – 11th and teams are forming now. Involving both the Newton Falls and Lordstown communities, it is open to anyone who wants to contribute their time to a great cause. “It’s a chance for everyone to get together to raise money for a cure and to bring the community together to make a difference (in the lives of cancer patients),” Ms. Moran said. Anyone is welcome whether they are longtime supporters or this will be their first time being involved with the fundraiser.  Ms. Moran also issued a challenge to the community of Newton Falls and the community of Lordstown: whichever town gets the most new teams signed up will have a trophy to display for the whole year after the event. She mentioned upcoming daffodil sales, proceeds of which will go toward the individual team total, and encouraged attendance at the Luminaria Ceremony, a time which promotes lighting of candles in memory or in honor of a loved one. The next Relay for Life general public meeting is February 16th at the community center, 6:30pm. There are many different ways to help, even if you are not a runner. EVERYONE is welcome, so come find out how you can join in the cause. One more note: the local American Red Cross has announced there is an emergency blood shortage and has put out the immediate call for help to anyone who is able to donate.

When comments were opened to the public, a representative from the Newton Falls Youth Baseball and Softball League addressed the need for a new concession stand in the community center park. Look for plans and fundraisers for this addition soon.

Mayor Waddell relayed that Dominion East Ohio reminds everyone to please call the utility company before you dig, even if just digging in your own yard, to be sure you will not be hitting any lines in the ground. He also mentioned that he had the opportunity to attend the congressional swearing-in ceremony in Washington, D.C. on the invitation from a local congressman, and was honored to be able to do so.

Councilman Monteville reported on a recent Investment Board meeting involving the fluctuating interest rates of bonds. Councilman Zamecnik attended the Planning & Zoning meeting and reported that they have made minor adjustments to the wind turbine regulations which are now under review. Also in progress are guidelines for contractor registrations. He mentioned that he had attended the recent presentation at the Community Center hosted by the Township Trustees involving hydraulic fracturing, also known as “fracking.” Sponsored by the Concerned Citizens of Portage County, these presentations are being held at various community buildings throughout the neighboring counties. Open to the public, their purpose is to get the word out about what could be a beneficial, albeit dangerous, trend in our communities that could affect the quality and safety of drinking water by inserting unknown chemicals into the ground.

Mr. Haney reminded   everyone about the plethora of senior activities available in the area, a great way to beat the cold and socialize. Low to no cost activities are being offered right in our very own community center, so be sure and read the newspaper or check the city website calendar for upcoming events. In response to some concerns about the fracking issue, Mr. Haney also mentioned that Newton Falls “does not get our drinking water from underground – we utilize surface water” so the possible contamination of fracking is not as imminent for our community.

Councilwoman Johnson requested of Mr. Haney that a sign be posted in the meetingplace instructing people to sit down when they attend council meetings, not stand along the walls, citing the recent tragic Arizona incident as something that could easily be repeated if people are permitted to stand out of the immediate sightline of the council members.

By way of good news, a proclamation honoring the Four Chaplains was read into record, designating Sunday, February 6th as Four Chaplains Day. Council encourages citizens to remember those men and their actions of service, specifically those on February 3rd, 1943 when the USAT Dorchester sank into the sea.

Closing public comments revisited issues such as the poor quality of the sound system which continues to cause difficulty especially for people trying to see and hear the proceedings on television at home; concerns about the fracking, which involves drilling down to 8,000 feet and dropping chemicals into the hole to blast the ground; and the imminent recall election of Ward 4 representative James Luonuansuu currently scheduled for Tuesday, February 8th. In response to Councilwoman Johnson’s comment about not wanting people behind her during meetings, a recommendation was made that if council is concerned about such a situation, the set up could easily be moved to the other end of the room so that council can see everything going on. At the present time, the council table is situated so that the officials have their backs to the entranceway and are unable to see people coming and going. If the table were moved by the stage, it would allow them a clear view to the entire space and also to the only currently used doorway.

In closing council comments, Councilman Monteville reminded the community about the Pack-a-Backpack program which is currently rotating fifty backpacks every weekend to local children in need. Mayor Waddell reiterated comments made about the backpack program and added that the charitable drawing from this meeting goes to the NFHS drama club.

The next meeting will be February 7th at 6pm.

Newton Falls – Dozens of flowers brighten up a chapel or outdoor venue for a wedding, and Sunday at Roby Lee’s Restaurant and Banquet Center in Newton Falls the reception hall was brightened by not one smiling bride, but rather dozens of beautiful brides-to-be who attended the 14th Annual Bridal and Catering Show, with friends and family in tow, looking for ideas that would make their special day just perfect.

A place normally filled with dinner guests and dancing celebrators provided the perfect setting for vendors associated with  such an event to connect with potential clients; the brides were looking to possibly find that missing piece in making a wedding just right. Services represented at this year’s show included the dress designs of Alfred Angelo, Martha Thomas Florist, Carolyn’s Cakes, Lia Sophia Jewelry, and Eagle Vision Photography, just to name a few. A quirky little addition onsite at the event that has become a recent trend at wedding receptions is the Big Day Little Booth, and likeminded companies, that offer what is best described as a portable photo station similar to the kind found in shopping malls or amusement parks. For a flat package rate brides and grooms – or graduates, birthday party goers, etc. – can have the opportunity of dressing up with various props, if they choose, and making a scrapbook of impromptu candids as a collaborative gift for the couple of honor, a refreshing addition to the usual posed moments found in any wedding experience. Most of the various products offered could even be worked into any special event throughout the year – not just for tying the knot! Newly engaged brides just starting to explore, and those looking for a last minute detail alike enjoyed the samplings set out especially for their perusal. Also up for  tasting were a delectable chocolate fountain, a similar cascade of lemonade, and an assortment of hors d’oeuvres. Roby Lee’s own head chef, known affectionately as “Chef Zippy,” was on hand to oversee a mini banquet prepared just for the event.

Each vendor had an appropriately- themed door prize to give away,  ranging from free jewelry to engagement photo sessions to partial floral arrangements and decoration discounts. Though each bride who won an item, or two, from the various vendors was understandably excited, the pièce de résistance of the afternoon was the announcement of the winner of this year’s free reception, courtesy of the host, Roby Lee’s Restaurant. Third place and second place winners were also announced, with both brides receiving a reception for half the usual price. These lucky ladies were Samantha Lynn Gordon and Vanessa Dell. New for 2011, in addition to receiving a reception package donated by the restaurant, the luckiest attendee of this year’s show received some extra good news: it was revealed that all day photography will be provided by Colleen Fay Bowers of Fay’s Photography, and Brooks Music is offering 50% off DJ services for the reception to this year’s winners, Ashley Melott and her groom.

The package donated by Roby Lee’s, valued at $4,000, includes appetizers, dinner, and dancing facilities with linens, centerpieces, and decorations, for approximately two hundred guests. Last year’s winners, Katie Kiser and Christopher Royer, were married this past November. Congratulations to the winning couples of 2011 and happy planning to all the soon-to-be brides and grooms!

Newton Falls – Residents of the 44444 will have an opportunity to visit the polls once again in the second special election since the regular voting season concluded in November.

Last Friday afternoon, the council members met during a special meeting at the community center to designate a date for another recall election. Last November, then-mayor Patrick Layshock was removed from office by a closely split vote and replaced by the current mayor Lyle Waddell. This time around the man in question is James Luonuansuu, representative for the Fourth Ward who has held the seat just over a year. Petitions concerning the councilman’s possible exit have been circulating since around the time the former mayor was ousted. The Board of Elections verified the signatures and instructed the city to set a date for the election, suggesting February 8th since that date  would save Newton Falls some money.

At the special meeting, Councilwoman Johnson questioned the need to set a date now because she had “heard through the grapevine” about a possible appeal to the Board’s verification being filed. Mayor Waddell replied that there had been none filed to his knowledge, nor any official paperwork presently on the table, so there was no reason not to proceed.

Councilwoman Hoffman and Councilman Zamecnik made the motion to set the date as suggested by the Board for February 8th. Councilman Monteville voted in the affirmative as well, and Councilwoman Johnson was the single vote against.

The special election for the possible recall of Fourth Ward representative James Luonuansuu will be February 8th.

As in the November mayoral recall election, voters will have the opportunity to vote for or against the recall itself and then to vote for a replacement candidate should Mr. Luonuansuu indeed be recalled. One such candidate vying for the Fourth Ward seat is Phillip Beer, one of the residents responsible for leading the recall effort. Mr. Luonuansuu has told other media outlets that when he was voted into office over a year ago, in fact then beating out Mr. Beer, it was by a solid majority so he feels the same support is likely. Mr. Beer, however, had been a write-in vote at that time and he is hopeful the outcome will be different next month when his name is actually listed on the ballot.

Council meetings are currently held at the Community Center on Quarry Street, the first and third Monday of each month at 6pm. Due to the upcoming holiday, the second meeting of January will be held Tuesday the 18th. The public is welcome to attend or can tune into the local access channel for the televised proceedings.

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Newton Falls – The first council meeting of 2011 ushered in the new year by bringing some old business from 2010 with it, literally. The December 20, 2010 meeting had been adjourned by a 3-2 vote in the middle of closing public comments because of the majority of council’s frustration over continual catcalls from the audience. Since then, Mayor Waddell, along with Law Director Fritz, examined Robert’s Rules of Order to find that such a move was not permissible according to the guidelines which council meetings are expected to follow. Specifically, an adjournment may not be passed while someone is at the podium, which was exactly the case at the last meeting. Due to this finding, the last meeting of 2010 was never officially adjourned, and thereby technically carried over into the start of this past Monday’s meeting.

All officials were present and after the Pledge of Allegiance Mayor Waddell explained to council that when obtaining public records they will now be expected to pay for the copies they request just as any other citizen would be required to do. This has been a free practice for council members in the past but the general public has always had to pay to offset the cost of the ink and paper used to duplicate the records and council should do likewise.

Councilman Luonuansuu questioned the listing on the agenda which addressed the abrupt, and now deemed unofficial, end to the previous meeting. After Mr. Waddell and Mr. Fritz explained how the discrepancy occurred (due to interrupting a member of the public who had been speaking at the time the motion had been made and passed), Councilwoman Johnson asked if council would have to continue putting up with “those clowns” from the audience (the small majority of people who continue to loudly voice their opinions from the podium) since council cannot adjourn at will to prevent someone from talking. The mayor responded by reminding all present that those members of the public who wish to attend the meetings in person as well as those seated on the council need to uphold a professional decorum while interacting at the open-forum business meeting.

Also to be noted is that the Board of Election is scheduled this week to review the signatures submitted in support of holding a recall election that could potentially remove Councilman Luonuansuu, the Ward 4 representative, from his position. If the paperwork is found sufficient, the election will be set in the near future. Mayor Waddell pointed out that February 8th has already been designated by another district for a special election and if Newton Falls also chooses this date it would save the city some money. He thereby recommended that date for the possible upcoming recall, but it will ultimately be up to council to decide when it should be scheduled.

The charity drawing winner this week is the NF Tiger Tattler.

During individual reports, the operation of the town’s tornado siren was addressed. It is the practice in Newton Falls to test the siren every Saturday. Some residents hearing the siren thought there was a real tornado approaching, but a reminder: if it’s a clear day and the siren goes off, and it happens to be a Saturday, and twelve-noon, don’t panic – chances are it’s just the test and citizens should not be concerned.

At the last meeting, it was requested of the City Manager that he explore the costs associated with bringing security to the community center during meetings. Mr. Haney presented his findings, stating that expenses could range from $300 for a security wand, plus $14-$36 per hour depending on which member of the police force would be standing guard, to $4,500 to install a walk-through security gate at the door. Another option is to relocate back to the city building and utilize the convenience of existing security facilities. This would require no new equipment and about $11 an hour for the established security guard at the building. Councilwoman Johnson opined that if the chairperson could control the public during the meetings, extra security would not be needed in the first place. “I hope you can conduct a meeting without any harassment,” she said, addressing the mayor. “It’s like those are the clowns and this is the circus.”

The Law Director’s report consisted of the fact that he’d worked thirteen hours this month, which would not require any overtime pay. Councilman Zamecnik requested a more itemized accounting of the law director’s billable hours. Councilman Luonuansuu made a motion to amend the minutes from the last meeting to include the two points-of-order that were called during closing public comments, those which had ultimately led to the abrupt adjournment.

Highlights of the rest of the meeting included the mayor pointing out that “there are many sections in Robert’s Rules of Order that give the chair the power to control the meeting” but he hadn’t wanted to be forced to use them. Citing that this meeting was technically considered part of 12-20-2010, the city manager showed a sense of humor by wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. In other business, the sign ordinance was revisited, prompting Councilman Zamecnik to point out that a small committee had been formed during a past Chamber Association meeting (the Rick, Rick, Rick and Jack mentioned in September’s Chamber report) to investigate the best options for this matter and he felt that pushing this through by council before the appointed group had a chance to do so was “haphazard.” Nonetheless, the ordinance passed 3-2.

Councilwoman Hoffman and Councilman Zamecnik moved to nominate Councilwoman Johnson for the vice-chair of council position for 2011. She declined, citing Councilman Monteville as a better choice. Hoffman and Zamecnik voted against that, but Johnson and Luonuansuu voted for it, with Monteville voting for himself and becoming the third in the 3-2 vote.

In other roles that needed filling for the new year, several committee positions had opened. One of them was filled by Phillip Beer, a Fourth Ward resident, who was appointed after Johnson and Monteville voted against him, and Hoffman and Zamecnik voted for him. Councilman Luonuansuu abstained from the vote due to the fact that Mr. Beer was responsible for circulating the recall petitions against him. Mayor Waddell broke the 2-2 tie in favor of Mr. Beer.

In response to the news that council members would be charged for public record copies, Councilman Monteville moved that the council member requesting a public record receive that copy for free, with stipulations for other members wishing to have that information. The motion passed 3-2.

In closing comments, Councilwoman Hoffman stated that “When you’re on council you have to listen to everyone, whatever they say, whether it’s good or bad.” Many who spoke at the podium are looking forward to a great and prosperous year for Newton Falls, but also acknowledged that it will require teamwork.

Mayor Waddell closed the meeting by thanking The Bridge, The Villager, and The Review in covering the meetings and reporting the news in a professional manner.

Due to the holiday, the next meeting will be on Tuesday, January 18th at 6pm.

Newton Falls – The first council meeting of 2011 ushered in the new year by bringing some old business from 2010 with it, literally. The December 20, 2010 meeting had been adjourned by a 3-2 vote in the middle of closing public comments because of the majority of council’s frustration over continual catcalls from the audience. Since then, Mayor Waddell, along with Law Director Fritz, examined Robert’s Rules of Order to find that such a move was not permissible according to the guidelines which council meetings are expected to follow. Specifically, an adjournment may not be passed while someone is at the podium, which was exactly the case at the last meeting. Due to this finding, the last meeting of 2010 was never officially adjourned, and thereby technically carried over into the start of this past Monday’s meeting.All officials were present and after the Pledge of Allegiance Mayor Waddell explained to council that when obtaining public records they will now be expected to pay for the copies they request just as any other citizen would be required to do. This has been a free practice for council members in the past but the general public has always had to pay to offset the cost of the ink and paper used to duplicate the records and council should do likewise.Councilman Luonuansuu questioned the listing on the agenda which addressed the abrupt, and now deemed unofficial, end to the previous meeting. After Mr. Waddell and Mr. Fritz explained how the discrepancy occurred (due to interrupting a member of the public who had been speaking at the time the motion had been made and passed), Councilwoman Johnson asked if council would have to continue putting up with “those clowns” from the audience (the small majority of people who continue to loudly voice their opinions from the podium) since council cannot adjourn at will to prevent someone from talking. The mayor responded by reminding all present that those members of the public who wish to attend the meetings in person as well as those seated on the council need to uphold a professional decorum while interacting at the open-forum business meeting.Also to be noted is that the Board of Election is scheduled this week to review the signatures submitted in support of holding a recall election that could potentially remove Councilman Luonuansuu, the Ward 4 representative, from his position. If the paperwork is found sufficient, the election will be set in the near future. Mayor Waddell pointed out that February 8th has already been designated by another district for a special election and if Newton Falls also chooses this date it would save the city some money. He thereby recommended that date for the possible upcoming recall, but it will ultimately be up to council to decide when it should be scheduled. The charity drawing winner this week is the NF Tiger Tattler.During individual reports, the operation of the town’s tornado siren was addressed. It is the practice in Newton Falls to test the siren every Saturday. Some residents hearing the siren thought there was a real tornado approaching, but a reminder: if it’s a clear day and the siren goes off, and it happens to be a Saturday, and twelve-noon, don’t panic – chances are it’s just the test and citizens should not be concerned.  At the last meeting, it was requested of the City Manager that he explore the costs associated with bringing security to the community center during meetings. Mr. Haney presented his findings, stating that expenses could range from $300 for a security wand, plus $14-$36 per hour depending on which member of the police force would be standing guard, to $4,500 to install a walk-through security gate at the door. Another option is to relocate back to the city building and utilize the convenience of existing security facilities. This would require no new equipment and about $11 an hour for the established security guard at the building. Councilwoman Johnson opined that if the chairperson could control the public during the meetings, extra security would not be needed in the first place. “I hope you can conduct a meeting without any harassment,” she said, addressing the mayor. “It’s like those are the clowns and this is the circus.”The Law Director’s report consisted of the fact that he’d worked thirteen hours this month, which would not require any overtime pay. Councilman Zamecnik requested a more itemized accounting of the law director’s billable hours. Councilman Luonuansuu made a motion to amend the minutes from the last meeting to include the two points-of-order that were called during closing public comments, those which had ultimately led to the abrupt adjournment.Highlights of the rest of the meeting included the mayor pointing out that “there are many sections in Robert’s Rules of Order that give the chair the power to control the meeting” but he hadn’t wanted to be forced to use them. Citing that this meeting was technically considered part of 12-20-2010, the city manager showed a sense of humor by wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. In other business, the sign ordinance was revisited, prompting Councilman Zamecnik to point out that a small committee had been formed during a past Chamber Association meeting (the Rick, Rick, Rick and Jack mentioned in September’s Chamber report) to investigate the best options for this matter and he felt that pushing this through by council before the appointed group had a chance to do so was “haphazard.” Nonetheless, the ordinance passed 3-2. Councilwoman Hoffman and Councilman Zamecnik moved to nominate Councilwoman Johnson for the vice-chair of council position for 2011. She declined, citing Councilman Monteville as a better choice. Hoffman and Zamecnik voted against that, but Johnson and Luonuansuu voted for it, with Monteville voting for himself and becoming the third in the 3-2 vote.In other roles that needed filling for the new year, several committee positions had opened. One of them was filled by Phillip Beer, a Fourth Ward resident, who was appointed after Johnson and Monteville voted against him, and Hoffman and Zamecnik voted for him. Councilman Luonuansuu abstained from the vote due to the fact that Mr. Beer was responsible for circulating the recall petitions against him. Mayor Waddell broke the 2-2 tie in favor of Mr. Beer.In response to the news that council members would be charged for public record copies, Councilman Monteville moved that the council member requesting a public record receive that copy for free, with stipulations for other members wishing to have that information. The motion passed 3-2.In closing comments, Councilwoman Hoffman stated that “When you’re on council you have to listen to everyone, whatever they say, whether it’s good or bad.” Many who spoke at the podium are looking forward to a great and prosperous year for Newton Falls, but also acknowledged that it will require teamwork.Mayor Waddell closed the meeting by thanking The Bridge, The Villager, and The Review in covering the meetings and reporting the news in a professional manner.Due to the holiday, the next meeting will be on Tuesday, January 18th at 6pm.

Newton Falls – Visitors to the local history room at the Newton Falls Public Library last Wednesday found they had a new path to take to get to their destination: a brightly colored, candy-laden trail guarded by characters both sugary sweet and grimly gooey.

A Candyland board game, life-sized for pint-sized players, filled up the entire room between the history center and the stairwell, inviting children ages 3-8 to live out one of their favorite kid-friendly activities. This idea was literally thinking out  of the box: scenes and creatures from the classic game came to life as oversized cutouts set at appropriate intervals true to the landscape of the familiar playtime backdrop.
Along the winding road of individual squares, the children had the opportunity to dance past the sugar fairy at Snowflake Lake, get lost in the Licorice Forest, keep sane passing Peanut Acres, and try not to get stuck in the melting mud at the Chocolate Swamp, while successfully sneaking past Glumpy, the Swamp’s gooey guardian. According to game rules, a player would draw a colored card from the deck – in this case individual paper bags – and take a “move” to the next square on the floor corresponding with the color they had drawn. Double-square cards meant even more progress! At various points, in addition to slipping past the vivid characters, the children were instructed to keep an eye out for bowls of real candy matching the imaginary counterparts in the game. A special treat of chocolate chip cookies awaited finishers at the last stop just inside the final fortress of the Candy Castle.
Organizer Chrissy Braun, clad in a vintage-style Candyland t-shirt in appropriate chocolate brown, explained this is the third year the library in Newton Falls has been transformed into a lane of lollipops, but before that she and a colleague hosted a similar experience for children in Stow. Art students from Newton Falls High School helped to paint the giant props and Braun herself tried a creative hand at some of the artwork. The fantasy land only lasted until 6 pm and then reality interceded, but the flavorful fun will come back next year. In the meantime, there will be lots of other exciting events going on at this library and those in neighboring communities.
For other great area activities for kids, check out http://www.newtonfalls.org (Newton Falls Library), http://www.wtcpl.lib.oh.us (Warren), http://www.portagecounty.lib.oh.us (G-ville/ Windham/ Hiram/ Mantua), or your own local library website for crafts, storytime hours, and tot programs!
Oh, and be sure to catch “Puppy Tails” to follow the adventures of Doodle Dog, every other week in The Villager!

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Newton Falls – Monday night’s council meeting explored changes for the coming new year as the main topic of conversation.
All officials were present and the floor of the forum was immediately turned over to two guest speakers. After the special presentation about city water usage concluded, local Police Chief John Kuivila addressed concerns over the proposed budget cuts for 2011 and how they may affect the dispatch methods in Newton Falls. “If it were up to me, I would love to keep our dispatch center,” he said. “It’s a costly thing, but very beneficial.” He acknowledged that the budget cuts would have an effect on every aspect of the department in one way or another. The specifics of just how the police department is going to operate with the tighter financial limits are still being determined, but keeping the personnel intact is the priority.
After the public had their chance for opening comments, the mayor gave his report, mentioning updates such as the success of the recent Shop with a Cop program during which area officers helped local children have a chance for a happy holiday; commenting on the importance of going through proper committee channels in the new year; and supporting a motion to start off 2011 on the right foot by enstating an employee recognition program as early as January. Mayor Waddell also announced that the charity beneficiary from the last meeting was the Shop with a Cop program, with this week’s random draw contribution going to the Newton Falls Elementary ABC Club. Having an opportunity to officiate his first wedding this past weekend, the recently-inaugurated mayor received a gratitude donation from the couple – he will be paying forward that $50 to the NFHS Technology Club.
By way of individual reports from council members, Councilman Zamecnik welcomed new business, Cubs Corners, a children’s clothing consignment and resale shop, to 26 W. Broad Street. The City Manager mentioned the large crowd that came out to support the Home 44444 the Holidays (- the Fill-a-Bus effort was very much a success as well -) and revealed that some lucky area children will be getting personal phone calls from Santa soon! He also mentioned, on a sad note, that Carl Byer, Jr., who had run the Car Show in town, passed away suddenly; condolences to Mr. Byer’s family.
After the law director’s report, Councilman Monteville immediately made the motion to adjourn into an executive session to discuss pending litigation, in response to a request by Mr. Fritz to do so at some point in the evening.
Highlights of the rest of the meeting included passing an amendment to legislation about the sign regulations. Several weeks ago there had been discussion concerning the posting of signs in town with goodwill messages and the thought that there should be leniency in the existing laws in order to allow such messages to remain. Most notably, the yellow temporary sign utilized by the Chamber of Commerce was specifically referenced, though the conversation pertained to any non-profit entity who wished to express congratulations, encouragement, and other similarly happy communications. There was a bit of confusion at the table over the exact alterations of the verbiage, especially pertaining to the section about political signs, and as a result in the end the ordinance was passed 3-2.
The proclamation of appreciation mentioned at the last meeting was indeed brought to tonight’s agenda, officially thanking the members of the police department who played a part in saving the life of a local man on November 22nd utilizing the AED equipment provided to the department.
In new business, Councilwoman Hoffman made a motion to put security in the community center during council meetings, stating that she was beginning to feel unsafe with the intensity of the recent arguments and citing the unguarded, off-the-street accessibility of the meetingplace as a situation that needed to be remedied. The official motion passed  to have Mr. Haney look into how much it would cost for a security person to be posted at the door during meetings and to report back his findings.
In reaction to continual catcalls from the audience during closing public comments, Councilman Luonuansuu made a motion in the middle of the segment to immediately adjourn the meeting. This would effectively deny anyone else who wished to speak their chance to be heard. The motion passed,  3-2. The next opportunity will be in 2011. Many who did stand at the podium wished a safe and happy holiday to all.

Newton Falls – Not too many people use maps these days, instead they find their location or destination using cell phones and GPS equipment, not so with the 5th and 6th grade class of SS. Mary & Joseph School in Newton Falls. The class worked together as a team to create an elevation map of the United States.  The Social Studies class worked together drawing patterns, molding, coloring and arranging the pieces like a giant puzzle to form the 4×8  likeness of the United States. After the lesson was complete the students were able to identify a state by its shape, name of its capital and they could also give historical facts pertinent to each state. If you think the lesson ends here you would be mistaken. The classroom teacher Ms. Folan says, “next comes the Math lesson”. The students will calculate, compare and contrast the areas and populations of the 50 states.

Newton Falls – Enhancing the bridge by the waterfalls are the new stone planters donated to the Flower committee from the benefit held last year at the Riverview Inn.  The event, the D.J. Jagers Poker run, was organized by Debbie Sutherland and Sarah Corley.  Proceeds were donated to the Newton Falls Flower Committee to expand the beautification of the town.  The Newton Falls street department secured the planters with steel rods and bolted them to the supports.  The new planters as well as the other parts of the city were decorated for the Holidays on December 1st.

Lori Rankin who owns the Flower Shoppe arranged the centerpieces for each planter.  The live greens placed throughout town were donated by Jill Weekly and Terry Hardbarger who filled all of the large planters.  Much appreciation also goes to Scott Nussle of Nussle Florist for his continued assistance, City Manager Jack Haney, City Clerk Kathy King, City Councilwoman Nancy Hoffman, Ashley King Grunder, and Doris Lingo who joined the flower committee members Judy Babyak and Alma Griffith on a very cold morning to complete the Christmas decoration.  Thanks to everyone for a job well done.

Pictured are Debbie Sutherland who organized the benefit at the Riverview Inn that purchased the new bridge planters and Lori Rankin, owner of The Flower Shoppe, who arranged the décor for the planters.

Newton Falls – At the first council meeting of December, the snow-blanketed roads did not keep concerned citizens away.

All officials were present and, after opening the proceedings, Mayor Waddell started the meeting by announcing that, on the heels of the recent budget meeting, it was mutually agreed there will be no laying-off any officers in the police department.

Members of the public addressed the constant “infamous” 3-2 vote, pointing out that the new mayor will have little chance to make a difference if current council remains intact as is. Others chastised council for reportedly setting a bad example of a productive society and giving a negative reputation in representing the town to other communities, going even so far as to comment “This town is the laughingstock of the area right now.”

When it was time for individual reports, Mayor Waddell thanked everyone who came out to vote in the recent recall election. Acknowledging it was a close race, he also thanked those in particular who supported him. “We all need to move forward now,” he said. He mentioned his commitment to the oath of office that he took during his inauguration ceremony. “I take the oath of office very seriously,” he said, specifying a line in the oath which references NOT being influenced by any individual or group. He reassured that his loyalty lies with the betterment of the city and not with any particular individual or entity.

Then Mayor Waddell announced that he will be donating 25% of his salary to a town charity, starting with the next council meeting. For consideration, send a letter to the mayor’s office (19 N. Canal Street, Attn: Mayor) with information about your charitable organization. Each respective meeting’s beneficiary will be drawn at random from the submitted letters and will receive a $50 check from the mayor.

By way of individual reports from council members, Councilman Monteville thanked the officers who recently saved a local gentleman’s life, and intends to include a proclamation of appreciation on a future agenda. The City Manager mentioned the new holiday decorations in town, brightening the community for the Christmas season. Home 44444 the Holidays is Saturday and organizers, in conjunction with the NFPD, will be attempting to fill-a-school-bus with non-perishables from 10am-4pm at the high school. Also be sure and check out the Identi-kits available at the event, courtesy of the police department. Councilman Luonuansuu then made a motion to adjourn immediately into executive session. The motion passed by 3-2.

Closing public comments reiterated the same points made earlier, with most opinions expressed concerning the town’s financial situation and/or the unfavorable impressions residents of other towns have of Newton Falls by the regular bad press in recent history. Encouraging comments included support for the hardworking members of the police department, gratitude for the positive relationship between the PD and the fire department, and hope for constructive changes in the coming months.

Mayor Waddell closed the meeting by saying “This is an absolutely great community and I still believe that.”

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Newton Falls – Santa’s Elves were working overtime this past Black Friday and it wasn’t just to stock the shelves for the early morning deals at the retail stores.

What  better way to spend The Day After Thanksgiving than in downtown Newton Falls getting into the early holiday spirit and missing all those crazy crowds. Whether it really was the quick little workers sent by the “Big Guy in Red” himself or simply some good-hearted local volunteers, a festive tree has sprouted, seemingly overnight, in the middle of the main business district, decorated with colorful orbs, glittery stars and plastic candy canes.

Situated by Positive Images, the tree was donated by Bailey’s Christmas Tree Farm and was lit for the season following Saturday’s parade, officially kicking off the yuletide celebrations.

Newton Falls – The Newton Falls Classroom Teachers Association is pleased to announce the recipients of three scholarships for seniors entering the field of education this year: (pictured left to right) Nick Mock, first place, $800; Makayla Haines and Jennifer Russell, 2nd place tie, $350.  The family of Arthur J. Prescott, a career teacher in Newton Falls, set up this fund in his memory. The NFCTA contributes to the fund and selects its yearly winner(s) based upon grades, volunteerism, and an essay.

Congratulations to these fine students.

Newton Falls – A special council meeting was held Monday with one topic on the agenda: the possible impending termination of City Manager Jack Haney.

All council members were present, as were newly-inaugurated Mayor Lyle Waddell, almost-as- new Law Director Joseph Fritz, and the City Clerk Kathy King and City Manager Mr. Haney himself. After the Pledge of Allegiance and moment of silence for personal prayer, the floor opened for public comments concerning Mr. Haney’s contract.

Those who wished to opine openly at the forum spoke in support of Mr. Haney, citing his record of obtaining financial grants for the community as well as bringing respect back to the office he occupies. Others voiced concerns over the amount of money having to pay for a City Manager is costing the small town (of about 5,000 residents). A few members of the audience made the point that in the last several months the city has fallen into a habit of effectively dumping officials before their respective expected terms are up. In April, then Law Director Richard Schwartz was fired; just a few weeks ago Mayor Patrick Layshock was recalled. Now the City Manager is on thin ice, so who is next? (There is a current recall effort already in place to remove Councilman James Luonuansuu, the representative for Ward 4.) These oustings are becoming costly as well as not being conducive to the reasonable stability anticipated from a professional working environment.

A motion was passed (3-2) allowing the legal opinion of Law Director Fritz to be read aloud. In his opinion, Mr. Fritz addressed the options for terminating the City Manager. At this point, the only applicable option from his list is “by a majority vote of Council at a duly authorized meeting.” If Mr. Haney’s contract is terminated prematurely, he would be entitled to a severance package worth nearly $125,000 – which includes six months of salary, accrued sick leave and vacation time, health care benefits and life insurance premiums – and it could open the door for a wrongful termination lawsuit if Mr. Haney wished to pursue that avenue. Mr. Fritz said in his written opinion that terminating Mr. Haney would be “financially irresponsible” and the City’s “potential for liability in a wrongful termination lawsuit is significant.”

Council adjourned into an executive session to discuss in private the possible repercussions of exercising an early termination option. An attorney from Cleveland who is representing Mr. Haney’s interests was permitted to sit in on only part of the session. When the council members et al returned to the table, the only official comment provided about the outcome was from Mayor Waddell: “The Law Director and Mr. Haney’s attorney are in negotiations.”

If council continues down the path they’ve been on, however, it’s not hard to guess what will happen next.

The special meeting was then immediately adjourned by a vote from council, without allowing for closing public comments despite that segment being listed on the evening’s agenda. This motion effectively denied those present an opportunity to voice concluding opinions on the matter at hand. Those wishing to speak are encouraged to attend the next meeting held at the Community Center on December 6th at 6pm.

Last Wednesday Mr. Lyle Waddell was sworn in by the Hon. Philip Vigorito with a standing-room-only courtroom of witnesses.

Newton Falls – The votes have been cast, counted, verified and validated, and it is official: Newton Falls has a new mayor. Last Wednesday Mr. Lyle Waddell was sworn in by the Hon. Philip Vigorito with a standing-room-only courtroom of witnesses.

Earlier in the month, city residents voted in favor of recalling then-current mayor, Patrick Layshock, following months of contention between officials at various city meetings. Poll-goers selected Mr. Waddell from three candidates up for consideration to take over Mr. Layshock’s duties should the recall be successful.

Surrounded by family, friends, and local supporters, Mr. Waddell took the oath of office before shaking hands with and inviting those in attendance to his home for a reception. City Manager Jack Haney had the honor of opening the proceedings and introducing Mr. Waddell and Judge Vigorito by mentioning that “We are all here tonight as witnesses of democracy at work.”

The new Mayor Waddell intends to bring professionalism and productivity back to the city meetings and he hopes to put a stop to the infighting and bickering that have been prominent in previous forums. With several ideas he hopes to put into place in the very near future for the benefit of Newton Falls, residents can look forward to a forecast including an optimistic outlook and potential for positivity in the quickly- approaching New Year. “We need to reach our hand out and support each other,” Mr. Waddell stated. He also plans to bring in new industry and business to the town while looking at improving the tax base, aiming most importantly to stop wasting money. Mr. Waddell will share his thoughts for the town’s growth at the next regularly scheduled council meeting on December 6th. Members of the public are invited to attend.

Newton Falls – The brief November meeting of the Newton Falls Chamber of Commerce Association was short and to the point.

Special guest, Mike Timko of Cortland Computer, took the floor first and discussed how his office could offer technological support for local businesses or anyone in need of computer assistance. He presented a pricelist for service plans that would save customers money; for instance, a two hour/month option is listed at $79.95 which is a discount of about $40 by packaging multiple hours. Stressing that this was not a contract, he explained it is intended to allow businesses the flexibility of choosing what best fits their need for “technical issue” support. His services are about $60 an hour otherwise.

In other news, the Home 44444 the Holidays planning is progressing. There are about two dozen table spaces still available, so if you’re interested in selling crafts, etc. now is the time to claim your spot! Volunteers are also needed for Friday night and/or Saturday to help out with setup and running the event itself. Please contact Lara Reibold if you have a few hours to spare. If you can’t be there but would like to contribute, monetary donations are also very much appreciated. For $10 you can be a Patron sponsor and will receive a special button for the occasion. Another opportunity for volunteering can be found by way of the holiday parade on December 4th. Lend your voice for the evening and walk as a caroler in front of a float, accompany Santa Claus and sing around the tree at Four Corners Park as it is lit for the season. You don’t have to be a perfect singer! Anyone interested can contact the association in advance for details or simply meet at Andretti Ford by 5:30pm the day of the parade.

The tree that will be lit after the parade is being donated by Bailey Tree Farm and is on the schedule to be decorated the day after Thanksgiving (otherwise known as Black Friday) possibly at 1pm (exact time is pending). So whether you’re avoiding the crazy shopping rush altogether or already beat the crowds early in the morning and would like to work off all that extra adrenaline, you’re invited to come join the community in decorating the giant Christmas tree.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, a reminder the American Legion in Newton Falls is hosting their annual free Thanksgiving Dinner starting at 11:30am on Thanksgiving Day. Anyone is welcome to come in and share the holiday.

In non-holiday news, suggestions were made for the possibility of directional signs to lead traffic from Route 5 into town, specifically through the business district and to attractions such as the Covered Bridge, and the high school for athletic events. This could help tourism revenue and let people know about this great little town called Newton Falls, a hidden treasure of sorts just off the main interstate.

The City Manager was not in attendance but he forwarded his usual memorandum. Announcements include notes on the Traffic Signal Project moving along with an anticipated date of 2012; the City will be prepared for the aforementioned holiday parade and Christmas tree placement; A. Joseph Fritz has officially assumed the position of City Law Director/Prosecutor; and Make a Difference Day was a success thanks to organizer Catie Karl-Moran and all the volunteers who gave of their time and effort.

Before the end of the meeting, “Santa” Rick expressed gratitude for the community that the school renewal levy passed in the recent election.

One more tidbit of note: for more details about the upcoming Home 44444 the Holidays events, visit the website http://www.home44444theholidays.com or the corresponding Facebook page. The website needs help sprucing up the “Links for Fun” section and is offering a prize of $25 and a t-shirt for the person who submits the most qualifying links to fun sites to visit with Christmas-related games, puzzles, activities, etc. To participate, register online and send in your links by November 27th. Open to all ages!

The Association’s next meeting will be December 14th.

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Newton Falls – There are lots of exciting things happening with Home 44444 the Holidays!

The Jr and Sr high band and choir concerts will take place on December 11th during Home 44444 the Holidays.  The craft show has 111 tables with over 80 vendors.  The children’s area will have various crafts including face painting, the opportunity to make a card for our troops or friends in the nursing home, a bouncy house, ident a kits, and much more.   The Western Reserve Modular Railroad Club will have a very nice set up at the event as well.  You can also purchase your 2011 Newton Falls Calendar with the artwork of Ed Sinchak, a retired Newton Falls art teacher brought to you by the Newton Township Cemetery Association.

We have partnered with the police fill a cruiser program and the Newton Falls Schools to fill a bus.  You can drop off food donations on Friday the 10th as well as bring them with you on the 11th.

December 4th come out at 5:30 pm and help welcome Santa to Newton Falls!  He will be arriving in the sixth annual Christmas parade.  Then gather around for the tree lighting and caroling.  If you are interested in caroling in the parade please see the website for more information.

Want an easy way to win 25.00 and a Home 44444 the Holidays T shirt.  Check out the website for information about the links for fun contest.

Full details about all activities can be found at www.home44444theholidays.com.

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Newton Falls - The Newton Falls High School Drama Department will present the comedy “The Last Gladiator”, by Martin Follose, Friday and Saturday, November 19th & 20th at 7:00 p.m. in the high school auditorium.  The cost is $5.00 at the door.
The story takes place in ancient Rome, but you’ve never seen Rome like this before!  While the emperor is away at war with most of the men of the city, playful peasants fill the market place while the princess searches in vain for a husband.  If she can’t find a suitable match, her father has decreed she must marry the last gladiator standing in the upcoming games.  That’s the last thing this headstrong, intelligent feminist leader wants!  Greedy, power crazed Senator Altilis deviously schemes to get her out of the empire’s affairs by moving the day of the gladiator games up, burdening the princess with planning her dreaded wedding.
Meanwhile, peasant thieves Gladis, Minimus and Julia sneak into the royal palace disguised as handmaidens.  They are promptly caught, almost becoming lion food until the princess gets an idea.  If she trains the muscled Gladis to compete in the games, she can avoid marrying Brudis, the brainless brute favored to win.  But Minimus and Gladis’s plan to rig the games to save Gladis’s life blows up in their faces!  Find out who is left standing and who is sent packing in this side-splitting comedy.
The cast includes:  Donald Slater, Katie Davis, Devon Beckinger, Brad Dubos, Brooke Rogers, Blaire Thompson, Ashley Moore, Taylor Phelps, Rachael Rendessy, Rebecca Ferchaw, Chelsea Beaty, Amanda Davis, Samantha Mitchell, A.J. Navita, Chelsey Cochran, Andrew Ferguson, Stephanie Baringer, Michelle Miller, Ciara Ferry and Breanna McCrystal.  Stage manager for the production will be Jen Pugh.
Come and join us for an evening of fun and entertainment.