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Newton Falls - Opinions were made known at Monday’s council meeting, the first open forum since the efforts to recall current mayor Patrick Layshock were successful at the recent polls.

All council members were present as well as the city manager, city clerk, and the new law director, but the mayor himself was absent at what is, schedule wise, the last council meeting before he will step down from office.
An ample audience filled the community center seats with many members of the public and several media outlets represented. The November 1st meeting had been cancelled due to not enough council members attending, so at this gathering there was a lot to cover.

In the mayor’s stead, Councilman Richard Monteville served as chairperson for the evening and officially welcomed Mr. Joseph Fritz as the city’s new law director. Though Mr. Finamore’s services as an interim law advisor were appreciated, Mr. Monteville mentioned it is good to finally have a permanent person in the position.

Special guests: Starting off the evening were Dan Tietz for the Western Trumbull Comprehensive Plan, and Captain Joe Marhulik of the Warren City Police Department, the latter discussed the OVI Task Force in hopes of bringing Newton Falls onboard. Newton Falls City did not participate in the Task Force last year and Captain Marhulik came to ask Chief Kuivila and council if they would be interested this year. The OVI Task Force organizes traffic blitzes and sobriety checkpoints, just to name a few of the efforts to keep residents safe. Later in the meeting, the motion to support this proposal was defeated by council. In the discussion, Mr. Monteville stated that although he, of course, does not condone drunk driving, he expressed that he is personally against participating in the Task Force, citing that the checkpoints are an “infringement upon civil liberties” and he did not wish to bring that upon the citizens of Newton Falls. Chief Kuivila pointed out, however, that opting out of participation does not prevent the Task Force from setting up checkpoints in Newton Falls, it merely means NF officers will not be the ones conducting such checkpoints.

In other news to help keep residents safe: the Newton Falls Fire Department is offering smoke detectors free of charge – stop by while supplies last. The NFFD is also hosting the Annual Turkey Raffle this Friday, November 19th at 7pm at the station. Sure to be a fun evening, public is invited to take a chance on several turkeys and door prizes. (It would be a good opportunity to pick up your smoke detector while you’re there!)

More holiday goings-on: An announcement was made reminding all about free Thanksgiving Dinner at the American Legion on November 25th from 11:30-12:30. Volunteers willing to help out would be appreciated.
Home 44444 the Holidays planning is going well. A motion was passed allocating $450 from the Parks & Recreation fund to be donated for decorating the giant tree to be placed at Four Corners Park.

The Church Mouse and the Brew Basket are sponsoring a take -home-a-backpack program. The rough details supplied mentioned taking a backpack, filling it with food and school items, and sending it home with a local child in need. The backpack would then be returned for the process all over again for another child. For specific details about this effort, stop by the Church Mouse or the Brew Basket.

Other items on the agenda included trying to change the scheduling of the budget meetings, currently held at 9am. After much discussion and attempting to find a date/time that works for everyone involved, it was settled on 2pm on the 29th and 30th, though that still is not a perfect solution for what has proven to be a challenging situation. Another challenging situation continues to be the acoustics in the community center. A better and more effective sound system is still in the works with a financial estimate having been prepared for about $2700 – but that is only the first installment. Further costs will be identified as the specific needs of the space are discussed.

Mr. Fritz expressed gratitude for the opportunity to be Law Director of Newton Falls and is looking forward to representing the interests of the city.

Last but not least, a proclamation of appreciation was read into record for the Make a Difference Day efforts of the volunteers who took time out of their busy schedules to beautify the Veterans’ Park and the area around the namesake waterfalls. Clean up will stillcontinue and future fundraisers are being planned to support the upkeep.

Public comments touched on many of the topics on the agenda including varied stances regarding the possible involvement of Newton Falls in the Task Force; concern over spending more money on a new sound system when the chambers in the courthouse are already equipped with a system in good working order, installed specifically for council use, that is now effectively going to waste; and extending votes of thankfulness for the men and women who work hard to help make a difference in various capacities in the community.

The next meeting is December 6th at 6pm. As always, public is invited to attend.

Newton Falls - The Newton Falls Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3332 and the Ladies Auxiliary are collecting homemade cookies, non-perishable items, hard candy, sweets but no chocolate, crossword puzzles, hand games and hygiene products to send to our military personnel for the Christmas holiday. If you would like to help donate items, please bring the items to VFW Post 3332 at 433 Arlington Road, Newton Falls.  Deadline for items is Sunday, November 21, 2010 by 3:00 p.m.
If you have a family member or friend who is serving at this time and can’t get home for the holidays, please drop off their name and address and we will send a holiday care package to them. If you have any questions please call, Wanda Thompson, 330-219-2969 or the Post Home, 330-872-7318.

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Nelson Township – Nelson Township Trustees met for their regularly scheduled meeting recently. Items on the agenda were website update, neighborhood watch program, and fuel tank situation.

Trustee Joe Leonard updated the board on the website. The website domain NelsonTownshipOhio.org will be free for a year if they purchase a small hosting package for $9.96 a month for a year. Mr. Leonard suggested that they ask the community for input on the site. The website will also have parks and attractions, zoning information including meeting times, trustee meetings, contact information, and more. They expect to have the website ready to go in January. The trustees also would like some public input on the issue. They are looking for Nelson Township history, pictures, events and activities for the website. Contact Joe Leonard 330 527-5276 if you have any questions or information regarding the website. Mr. Leonard informed the trustees that Hiram Township is organizing a watch block power point presentation that would be presented by Portage County Sheriff’s Department to interested local governing bodies if interested. After some discussion the trustees decided they would be interested in the presentation. Leonard will relay the decision to Hiram Township Officials and will inform the board when a date has been set for the presentation. Mr. Leonard is also looking into developing a local food bank for the township as well.

Trustee Bill Wilson stated that they had received a notice from Ravenna Oil that they need to update their fuel tanks. After further investigation into the situation Wilson stated that the estimates for the update are around $12,000 not including the pumps. The board agreed that they would look into purchasing fuel from the James A. Garfield School. The trustees will submit a letter to the school board requesting the possibility of purchasing fuel from the district. They trustees would also look into purchasing a portable fuel tank to keep a small amount of fuel on hand at the garage.

Trustee Jim Turos spoke on behalf of the trustee and thanked the community for their continued support of the recent renewal levy.

The trustees meet on the first and third Wednesday of each month at 7:30 pm at Pixley Park.

Newton Falls – Newton Falls Exempted Village School District has released the Calamity and Weather Delay Information for the 2010-2011 school year.

New rules on calamity days are as follows: The State of Ohio has mandated new changes on school closings. Beginning this school year, 2010-2011, each school district is limited to three (3) school closing days due to weather or a calamity. Any additional days must be added to the school calendar. Beginning in the 2011-2012 school years, districts will have no weather or calamity days, therefore are required to make up every day missed. Any required make-up day(s) will be added to the end of the school year calendar.

Newton Falls School District may at times use a two (2) hour delay in starting school. Parents will be notified by our electronic telephone messenger system as well as through the local media. School bus runs and building openings will be delayed two (2) hours. Parents are encouraged to plan for such emergency situations in advance. Student dismissal times will remain the same times.

Newton Falls – Cloey Essa is all girl. She loves wearing dresses and her pageant crown; however, there’s more to this 7-year-old first grader.

Cloey is “Little Miss Buckeye Tourism”. She and her mom decided to use the title to give back where they can. One way they are doing this is making gift boxes for soldiers deployed in Afghanistan.

Chrystal Paszkowski, Cloey’s mom says that they are very lucky to be able to help the soldiers to feel the love and support from even the smallest of children, and to help people less fortunate than they are.

Cloey is trying to gather donations of cash and  monetary items to make care packages for troops overseas. It’s something that hits close to home. Her dad has been deployed four times.

Her father, James Anthony of the 583rd Police Detachment out of Austintown says “It’s nice getting a box like this for a unit. It was like Christmas every time we got one, like Christmas or your birthday. Always something new and exciting.”

The giving doesn’t stop here. Cloey has also raised $330 for homeless kids by holding a bake sale on October 16th  at Lakers Food Mart in Lake Milton. Her parents say they couldn’t be more proud of Cloey and all that she wants to do to help the community and also to show her love and support for the brave men and women who fight for our freedom everyday.

Cloey has been–and wants to continue to be–a role model for everyone. Cloey’s mom Chrystal says  “It helps everyone to understand, and  appreciate that just because she’s small, that doesn’t mean she can’t do things that older people can do.

On Saturday, November 13th Cloey Essa, “Little Miss Buckeye Tourism”, will be having a meet and greet at Newton Falls Brew Basket from 8 – 11 a.m. While there, she will be collecting donations for the gift boxes, and will continue to collect items and cash donations until November 30.

In addition, if anyone has a family member or friend that is deployed overseas, and has the correct address, Cloey will personally send them a box of “goodies.”

Listed below is a partial list of some items needed or wanted for these boxes:

Hard candy, cookies and candy bars, small notebooks and ink pens, deodorant, shampoo & body wash, playing cards, toothbrushes & toothpaste, gum, pretzels , mints and $10 phone cards.

There are more items you can purchase which could be boxed and shipped. Cash is also needed to defray shipping cost on these boxes — all donations are very much appreciated.

Newton Falls – This election season residents of Newton Falls visited the polls, not once, but twice.
In addition to the usual opportunity to vote for various state officials and cast a yea or nay toward potential levies, a special election was held on Thursday regarding what could arguably be the recognized figurehead of the town: the mayoral seat. The occasion was unusual because voters had two questions to answer: first, whether or not the current mayor, Mr. Pat Layshock, should remain in the position or if he should be removed from office, vacating the seat earlier than the expected end of his term. The second question offered a choice among three candidates vying to be Mayor Layshock’s successor should he, in fact, be recalled.
For months the council meetings in Newton Falls have been tense, with council voting consistently split; a 3-2 vote is common on most issues. Members of the public who wish to stand and speak at the forum often feel they are not being heard and their concerns are not being taken seriously. Many residents blame this discord on what they call Mr. Layshock’s ineffective management and personal issues amongst the various city officials affecting the productivity of the meetings.
The public had their say last week at the polls.
Mr. Layshock was indeed recalled.
With a tally of 526 to 500, the ballot results were split nearly down the middle, but the count weighs against the current mayor. Taking his place will be Lyle Waddell, a vocal resident of Newton Falls with city experience who intends to bring professionalism back to the council meetings. Referring to the gatherings as business meetings – in other words not the appropriate time and place to carry out personal agendas – Mr. Waddell hopes that under his leadership potential grievances will be guided through the proper channels. Mr. Waddell will take office as the new mayor after the Board of Election verifies submitted provisional ballots and the final vote becomes official. However, even if all 17 reported provisional ballots happened to be in Mr. Layshock’s favor, it would not be enough to alter the already counted outcome.
Open to the public, council meetings are currently held at the Community Center on Quarry Street, the first and third Monday of each month at 6pm, or can (usually) be viewed on the public access channel for those who wish to watch from the comfort of their homes. Only time will tell if Newton Falls can expect new episodes in the fall line-up, or if citizens will simply be watching reruns of the same old storyline unfolding with a new leading man at the helm.

Newton Falls – This election season residents of Newton Falls visited the polls, not once, but twice. In addition to the usual opportunity to vote for various state officials and cast a yea or nay toward potential levies, a special election was held on Thursday regarding what could arguably be the recognized figurehead of the town: the mayoral seat. The occasion was unusual because voters had two questions to answer: first, whether or not the current mayor, Mr. Pat Layshock, should remain in the position or if he should be removed from office, vacating the seat earlier than the expected end of his term. The second question offered a choice among three candidates vying to be Mayor Layshock’s successor should he, in fact, be recalled.For months the council meetings in Newton Falls have been tense, with council voting consistently split; a 3-2 vote is common on most issues. Members of the public who wish to stand and speak at the forum often feel they are not being heard and their concerns are not being taken seriously. Many residents blame this discord on what they call Mr. Layshock’s ineffective management and personal issues amongst the various city officials affecting the productivity of the meetings. The public had their say last week at the polls.Mr. Layshock was indeed recalled.With a tally of 526 to 500, the ballot results were split nearly down the middle, but the count weighs against the current mayor. Taking his place will be Lyle Waddell, a vocal resident of Newton Falls with city experience who intends to bring professionalism back to the council meetings. Referring to the gatherings as business meetings – in other words not the appropriate time and place to carry out personal agendas – Mr. Waddell hopes that under his leadership potential grievances will be guided through the proper channels. Mr. Waddell will take office as the new mayor after the Board of Election verifies submitted provisional ballots and the final vote becomes official. However, even if all 17 reported provisional ballots happened to be in Mr. Layshock’s favor, it would not be enough to alter the already counted outcome.Open to the public, council meetings are currently held at the Community Center on Quarry Street, the first and third Monday of each month at 6pm, or can (usually) be viewed on the public access channel for those who wish to watch from the comfort of their homes. Only time will tell if Newton Falls can expect new episodes in the fall line-up, or if citizens will simply be watching reruns of the same old storyline unfolding with a new leading man at the helm.

Newton Falls – June is widely known as the typically popular month for wedding bliss, but November turned out to be the special time for one lucky local bride and her adoring groom.
Last fall, Rob Lee, the owner of Roby Lee’s Restaurant and Banquet Center in Newton Falls, announced that he and his staff were offering an opportunity to area brides who might not be able to have the wedding of their dreams. A strong believer in the fact that “every bride deserves her special day, regardless of her circumstances,” Rob invited those interested to write a letter explaining what having a complimentary reception would mean to her. Though Rob received many entries that were very worthy of the gift, he was especially touched by the hardships described in a letter from Katie Kiser, a bride-to-be from Windham. Discounted packages were awarded to runners-up. Rob’s decision was announced at the annual bridal show last November.
This November, Katie and her fiancé, Christopher Royer, were married at the United Congregational Church of Christ in Windham before celebrating their union with friends and family in the beautifully-bedecked banquet hall at Roby Lee’s.
Katie says she always wanted to have her reception at Roby Lee’s, but the wish had been put on hold. Family members from both sides of the bridal party saw the call for essays in The Villager and immediately alerted Katie and Chris, suggesting that they apply. When Katie learned her letter had been chosen, she was grateful and understandably ecstatic. “We had considered staying engaged and postponing the wedding until next year to save up,” she said, “but when this came through for us, it made everything possible.”
For the ceremony, the bride wore a lovely strapless gown and was attended by bridesmaids in chocolate brown. After the newlyweds had their first dance as husband and wife, the best man, Kevin Roark, and matron of honor, Kim Kiser, offered words of encouragement for Katie and Chris’s new life together. The new Mr. and Mrs. Royer are planning a honeymoon sometime next spring. The rest, as they say, is history. (And, well, herstory, too.)
The Villager and Roby Lee’s helped this couple’s wedding dreams come true, and it could happen for you, too. Rob is extending the offer again this year and invites brides to submit a letter to be considered for a reception held in 2011. “In appreciation of all our past brides,” the donated package, valued at $4,000.00, includes appetizers, dinner, and dancing facilities with linens, centerpieces, and decorations, for approximately 200 guests and will be scheduled on a Friday or Saturday, dependent on hall availability and with consideration of the couple’s plans. This year’s winner will be announced at the 14th Annual Bridal and Catering Show on January 16th, 2011. To apply, pick up a copy of the official contest rules at Roby Lee’s Restaurant in Newton Falls, then submit your story by December 20th. The bride must also register in person the day of the January Show, held at the restaurant, and be present to win. (No phone calls, please.)

Newton Falls Chamber - HalloweenNewton Falls – During the October meeting of the Newton Falls Chamber of Commerce Association, holiday planning was the main topic of conversation.

With Halloween just around the corner and organizing for the Christmas season in full swing, there was much to be discussed.

Starting off the meeting, a proclamation of thanks was presented to Falls Home Remodeling and “Santa” Rick for their part in the improvements of Veterans’ Park, designating them now as “members with distinction” and recognizing their efforts in the business community.

No update on the progress of the yellow sign as of yet, but the mini-committee is planning to meet soon to brainstorm possible resolutions.

As for the holiday news: Trick-or-Treat was held on Thursday, October 28th from 5-6:30pm. However, it should be said this is a fact that not everyone in town is in complete agreement with.  Newton Falls is the only town in a long list of surrounding cities that schedules the candy hunting on a Thursday; it is Friday or Saturday for most every other town, or whichever day falls on the actual holiday itself. The reason for the Thursday evening festivities is that, traditionally, Trick-or-Treat is set in accordance with the Cake Walk, typically the Thursday before Halloween, so that residents can display their costumes during the later event. However, as some locals have expressed, this allows carloads of children from OTHER towns parking in central parking lots and converging en masse upon Newton Falls, since they can then participate in their own Trick-or-Treat celebrations on the weekend and go home with double, or triple, the expected sweets.

City Manager Jack Haney mentioned at the meeting that although the time and date had been officially set – albeit not by a unanimous vote – Council will look into adjusting the hours next year.

As for the upcoming Home 44444 the Holidays on December 11th, planning is well underway with a good response so far filling vendor slots. There are more open spaces available, though, so anyone still interested should contact the association and claim their spot! Those in attendance at the meeting were also expressing their opinions about the costs of putting on the event and in turn the corresponding holiday parade held on December 4th. It was revealed that although Home 44444 the Holidays will be at the high school this year, at this point the Newton Falls High School Band will not be marching in the parade. Organizers may, in fact, even have to pay for a marching band from another town to participate in our parade because the NFHS band director has opted out of performing for this function and she is under no contractual obligation to do so. Anyone wishing to comment on this situation should contact the high school office directly.

The City Manager reported completion of the River Street Project, grant applications for the First Street Project, the announcement of two November elections for the city: the General on November 2nd, and a Special on November 4th, and the placement of new planters on the West Broad Street pillars. Downtown has been redecorated for the season by the Flower Beautification Committee with cornstalks donated by Montgomery Farms.

Finishing the agenda was the election of next year’s officers. The nominees for all positions ran unopposed and are therefore Shawn Donley, President; Betty Gwara, Vice President; Lara Reibold, Secretary; and Tanya Allman, Treasurer.

The Association’s next meeting will be November 9th.

Optimist Club PumpkinNewton Falls – Last Saturday members of the Optimist Club of Newton Falls held their annual Pumpkin Painting Party, welcoming the area’s youngest residents to the Community Center for a day of painting pumpkins just in time to get into the spirit of Halloween. Each pint-sized guest was given a miniature wooden pumpkin to decorate using any number of art materials, perfect to hang in a window or perk up an otherwise dull refrigerator front. Instant photos were available if kids wanted to pose with their creations or become a temporary pumpkin themselves.

The Club’s mission includes continuing to be a “friend of youth,” a goal members achieve by hosting events throughout the year such as the summer Family Fun Day and gift basket raffles at various NF festivities. Proceeds from the raffles and donations go directly for the children, covering expenses of the upcoming activities and occasionally even modest scholarships as funds are available. The late October day provided lunch, crafts, and an afternoon of optimistic fun, all free for kids under 12. Officer Bailey of the NFPD was on hand as well, supplying Kid Passports for Safety, a pocket-sized booklet for parents to fill out with vital information about their children. Should the children ever become missing, the Passport would contain necessary identifying facts, health information, and even a lock of hair for DNA purposes, all items that can help the local police department in the search to locate a child.

Founded in 2001, the Optimist Club will soon celebrate a whole decade of promoting positivity, and invites kids, especially, to join in optimism!

The next party sponsored by the Club will be a Breakfast with the Bunny held the week before Easter. Organizers plan to schedule it to correspond with the Easter Egg Hunt, so look forward to this event come Spring.