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Garrettsville – The James A. Garfield Local School District cut a ribbon on Saturday, September 20 marking the amazing (120 days!) completion of the addition to the James A. Garfield Elementary School, bringing about the relocation of the district’s fifth and sixth graders to the Campus of Excellence, with all of the system’s students sharing the same venue.  This was made possible through a $5million Straight A Grant from the State of Ohio(The only application to have received unanimous approval) and through the outstanding efforts of a blue-ribbon design and construction team—including local firms  Scotchman Electric(Scott Russell), Doug Seaman Decorating and Rocky Gardens Landscaping(DeanHorvath).  The application process opened one year, to the day, before the ribbon-cutting ceremony and was a total team effort, spearheaded by Superintendent Ted Lysiak and Treasurer Tracy Knauer. Board members, administrators, educators, staff members, students and a community advisory group all played a part in the final concept.

With the awarding of the grant, the clock began ticking and the race was on!

Bob McCullough of Hammond Construction, Melanie Friedman of FMD Architects spoke briefly of the challenges faced.  Charlie Fury, superintendent of the whole construction project, was praised.

Guy Pietra, Board President, and Rick Patrick, Mayor of Garrettsville, offered thanks and appreciation to key players who were major factors in the co-operating elements which made the timeline work—Don Long, Carrie  Dornack, principals; Ellen Rybak, GEA president; maintenance and custodial staff; students and teachers; village maintenance crews and permitting bodies.  It was an over-all effort, one illustration of which was the newly-waxed floors   of the building, done early that morning by Elementary head custodian, Judy Gyulai, since “her” building is now “our”  building and she’s proud.

The refreshments and the tour were icing on the cake.

It’s not just about the building.  It’s about BUILDING for the future.

Nelson Twp. – The Nelson Township Veterans Memorial Committee wanted to update our community of the status of this important project. This has been a very challenging year of endeavor in the construction of this tribute to our veterans. The Nelson Township Veterans Memorial has been designed and we are in the process of obtaining necessary permits. The next step will be to detail a project time table with a target of next spring for ground breaking.

We would like to thank those people & organizations that have donated to this cause. We have contacted several organizations and will follow up in the future for donations. We continue to invite veterans and their families to contact us with the veteran’s name, branch of service and time in service. Please go to the following web site, www.yournelsonnews.com/veteransmemorialnews.html for additional information.

Nelson Twp. – Residents gathered at the Nelson Community House on Wednesday, September 17th for the second trustee meeting of the month. All trustees and officials were present and accounted for.

Dave Finney presented the board of trustees with the minutes from the previous meeting; the minutes were approved as presented with a motion made by Elias. Finney then presented the trustees with bills and wages to be paid totaling $9,520.87. Trustees also received a fund status report, revenue status report, and a copy of a communication from ODOT stating that the revised order for road salt had been accepted. The vendor Morton Salt accepted the reduction in salt ordered with the  the township agreeing to purchase 200 tons of salt at $108.01/ton.

Vanek believes the chip & seal project will begin within the next week. He reported that crews from the contractor had been out sweeping the projects. This year’s chip and seal work includes: Brosius Road from Center Street to Pierce Road; Adams Road; the southern end of Hopkins Road, and Prentiss Road.

Elias mentioned that a notification will be placed in the Villager in regards to the Veteran’s Memorial Project. The announcement will provide a status update on the project. Finney informed the trustees that as of the September 17th meeting $6,025 had been collected for the project. As a reminder, paving bricks are available at a variety of sponsorship levels. Visit www.yournelsonnews.com for a printable order form. Elias would also like to have a “state of the township” recap at the second trustee meeting in November.

Leonard reported the dry hydrant on Fenstermaker has been pulling some air. The fire department will talk to the landowners to see about relocating the hydrant to a more suitable location on their property with the situation hopefully resolved this fall. Leonard made a motion to help with the project (the township providing backhoe work). He also provided a status update on the 305/88 situation. Leonard has been in contact with two different levels of ODOT, as well as Congressman Joyce, and Representative Kathleen Clyde. ODOT feels that the problem seems to be that people stopping East-West assume North-South have to stop as well. ODOT will be placing larger crossroad warning signs, and replacing “cross traffic does not stop” signs with larger “new style” signs. Matota was asked to find out  how much Hiram spends to do their own chip & seal projects, Leonard indicated that he would be interested to see if there were longterm savings that could be realized by performing the work in-house.

Elias reported that residents have asked the trustees what can be done about issues at the Quarry Park. According to Meduri the only thing that the trustees can do is pass a resolution stating that the park is creating a public nuisance with their concerts. Many residents were present to make their opinions and concerns known. The trustees heard  commentary from both sides, including statements from park owners/operators Joretta Frohring and Evan Kelley. Ultimately the trustees invited everyone to attend the next meeting on October 1st for a civilized public forum that will be attended by township legal council Christopher Meduri, and a representative from the Portage County Sheriff’s Department.

Janet Esposito came in to talk to those present. She provided information about Geographical Information System, and an informational handout of the services offered by the Auditor’s Office.

Following Esposito’s presentation the trustees signed checks, and adjourned the meeting.

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Ravenna – Stop by Portage APL on September 27, 2014 from 11-3 for a rummage sale and help homeless animals.  From small appliances and books to dog and cat supplies and household items, there’s something for everyone.

People interested in donating items, can bring the items to Rt. 14 Storage and Embroidery M-F 9-5 and Sat 9-1 in Ravenna up until the day before the event. No clothes, large appliances or furniture, old TV’s or computers please. Items should be gently used or new and in good working order.  Portage APL will take items like books, jewelry, handbags, small appliances, tools, home accessories and more. There will be 50/50 and basket raffles as well as refreshments.

And of course, since the event is being held at the APL shelter, there will be plenty of homeless animals waiting for new homes.  All animals available for adoption are up to date on vaccines, spayed or neutered, checked for appropriate disease and free of fleas and worms.  Many are also microchipped and have an additional medical history.

The Portage APL is a private, nonprofit organization and relies on the generosity and kindness of individuals and businesses to make our community a safer place for thousands of animals who have no voice.  We continue to rescue animals every day and the need is constant. Please give a needy animal a loving place to call home!

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Ladies….  Ladies….  Ladies….

There’s still time…still time to sign up for the 1st Annual Women’s Retreat being held at the Garrettsville United Methodist Church on Saturday, October 4 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00p.m.  The event will feature varied sessions ranging from Bible stories presented by God’s Circle, a Christian Women’s Storyteller group, to cooking, knitting or Yoga instruction, through estate planning, bow-making, book discussion, card-making, spiritual conversations with Rev. Chris Martin and simple fellowship opportunities.  The basic fee is $20, with materials charges for craft sessions.   Information is available through the church office or by calling Stephanie Byrne at 330-527-4772.  Lunch—catered by Anne Haynam, owner and chef of On the Spot Gourmet and presenter of the cooking instruction–is included (not to mention desserts by Tracy Garrett of Top Tier Pastry,   LLC).

Check it out.

Do something relaxing, fun and uplifting for yourself.  It may be a retreat but it will move you forward.

Portage County - NAMI Portage County is inviting walkers to participate in the Sept. 27 Walk for Recovery in Kent to support people with mental illness and their families.  Later, there will be an 8 p.m. benefit concert for NEOMED’s Early Identification and Psychosis Programs in Northeast Ohio at The Kent Stage featuring the band, “Dark Side of the Moon.”

The Walk for Recovery is a chance for residents to help families and individuals in Portage County who live with mental illness and addiction every day. Volunteers will be walking from United Church of Christ at 1400 East Main St. to downtown Kent along the Kent State University campus. Registration starts at 9:30 a.m. in the chapel. Walkers head out at 10 am from the church parking lot.

Staff from the Rock and Recovery program of 91.3 The Summit will be sharing inspirational music and talking to walkers at the halfway point, Hometown Bank Plaza, the use of which was donated by Hometown Bank.  Rock & Recovery is an online and HD radio listening experience that strives to empower persons in recovery.

The Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation is the presenting sponsor for the second year in a row.  To date the project has received other major gifts and support from Coleman Foundation, Mental Health & Recovery Board of Portage County, OMNOVA Solutions, the International Chemical Workers Union, Townhall II, BeST Center at NEOMED, Children’s Advantage and Family and Community Services.

Volunteers will be raising money to increase education about mental illness and addiction and support persons working on recovery.  All money raised will stay in Portage County. Supporting the Walk for Recovery helps NAMI Portage County continue to be a resource for persons with mental illness and their families as well as be an advocate with them and for them.  If you would like to be a team captain or are interested in being a walker, call 330-673-1756, ext. 201, for a registration form and information. If you are interested in helping as a volunteer, or have any questions, contact NAMI Vice President Roger Cram at rfcram@aol.com.

NAMI Portage County is a local affiliate of the national NAMI which works to educate against the stigma of mental illness, to advocate for better treatment and to support persons with mental illness and their families through education and services. For more information, go to www.namiportagecounty.org.

The benefit concert will support the FIRST programs in Portage and surrounding counties. FIRST early identification and treatment of psychosis services help individuals who are newly diagnosed with serious mental illness. FIRST is a program of the Best Practices in Schizophrenia Treatment (BeSt) Center of the Northeast Ohio Medical University and area mental health organizations. In Portage County, the program is supported and implemented by the Mental Health & Recovery Board of Portage County and Coleman Professional Services.

The Kent Stage is located at 175 E. Main St., Kent. Tickets are $15 general admission and $10 for students. Tickets may be purchased at www.thekentstage.com, the box office or the door. For more information, go to www.neomed.edu/bestcenter.

Garrettsville – James A. Garfield High School’s Marching Pride Band took this past weekend by storm as they performed four times in 24 hours.

Garrettsville-James-A-Garfield-Marching-Pride-BandFriday afternoon, the band loaded the buses and headed to Waterloo for the football game. They performed what they refer to as their show one tunes, which were “Moves Like Jagger,” “Treasure,” “Pompeii,” and “Can’t Hold Us,” The band, as usual, really rocked it out. Besides the half-time show, the band played numerous snippets of tunes in the stands to keep the crowd in the game. The band returned to the school at 10:30 pm knowing they would be back in the morning for what many dubbed “the longest day.”

On Saturday, they went right back to it.  They loaded the buses and headed for Hiram College. The Marching Pride was scheduled to play the pregame and half-time shows for the college’s homecoming. The “Pride” took the college by storm as they played like never before. They played “Moves like Jagger,” Treasure,” “Pompeii,” “Hang on Sloopy,” and then the National Anthem.  Folks in the stands heard compliments from many of the fans sitting around them. Some even asked how does a band that size sound like they have 500 instruments rather than 100, and are you sure that is a high school band?  Etc. The Pride once again did Garfield Schools proud.

The band kicked it in high gear as they performed the half-time show at the college. They once again impressed the alumni and the fans with their performance selecting tunes they have played at the football games this season. The band was treated to lunch of hot dogs, chips and Gatorade before boarding the buses to return to the school.

The students then had an hour to rest before performing before the alumni at the annual alumni dinner. The band treated the alumni to the school’s Alma Mater, the Fight Song and “Hang on Sloopy.” The kids, chaperones and band directors had been at it all day and they were starting wear down, but were hanging tough.

2014 Marching Pride

2014 Marching Pride

Following the alumni performance, the band boarded buses to head to the Stow Band Show for their final performance of the night.  There were eight bands scheduled to perform in the program which appeared to be done according to band size. This put the Marching Pride third on the program. The Marching Pride wowed the crowd with their music and moves on the field, and once again the fans in the stands reported they had heard numerous compliments on the band’s performance.

The evening did not end with the bands scheduled slot time. The Pride and their fans were treated to grand finale of nearly 1000 instruments playing one song together.  The eight bands honored those who are serving and have served our country by performing Lee Greenwood’s hit, “God Bless the USA.”  The grand finale` sent chills down one’s spine and gave everyone an idea of what a 1,000 instrument band would sound like.  It was awesome, and a great way to finish off the longest day  — STRONG!

Garrettsville – Fourteen members and guests of the James A. Garfield Historical Society met on September 25 at the historic Mott Building, Main Street, Garrettsville for their regularly-scheduled monthly meeting.  The main topic of discussion was the upcoming Christmas Walk.

Plans for the refreshments to be offered at the Mott Building during the reservation-only Candlelight Tour are in the capable hands of Cindy Matson, Becky Moser and Lynn Fry.  They outlined the plans for the items to be served and invited additional contributions in the same general menu framework.  Inquiries were made as to the specifics of the champagne punch recipe.

Valorie  McCullough, chairing the participation of the Nelson United Methodist Church in celebration of its bicentennial, reported that decorating had begun, with some overlap of fall and winter décor.  The keynote for the over-all theme of “Heavenly Host” is an angel by local artist-in -wood, Mike Kortan, and is currently having wings refurbished.  The menu for meals to be served in the church dining area will be posted in the program but will include a turkey dinner with homemade gravy, and pulled pork sandwiches, among other things.

Deadline for submissions for the programs/tickets, either information or advertising, is September 26.   These are currently in the works and proceeding as scheduled

Other items of business included notice of the Ohio Local History meeting approaching on Oct 3,  note that an inspection of an outflow valve in the basement, as required by the BPA, was imminent, the Mott Building will be open as usual on the first Saturday of the month, October 4, the annual tour by the third grade students of Garfield Elementary School will be on October 10, preliminary information from the Chamber of Commerce holiday promotion encouraging local shopping at Christmas…and anytime.

Donations from Tim Perkins including a number of antique garments from his mother’s family, the Kelkers, were received, looked at, commented upon and referred to Delma Mishler for expert laundry care for their preservation.

The JAGHS meets every third Monday of the month at 7:30 in the Mott Building.  Meetings are open to the public and new members are welcome at any time.

Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary met on September 22 at Cal’s II and closed the meeting  by voting to make this their regular meeting place—at noon—until further notice.

Guest speaker for the day was Mark Tripodi of Cornerstone of Hope, a counseling center for grieving children, teens and adults, located in Independence, Ohio, with a new facility opening in Columbus.  The center offers many programs : grief counseling, art therapy, support groups, school programs, bereavement camps, memorial ceremonies, education and training of grief counselors, a lending library, volunteer opportunities–all available on a sliding financial scale.  All ages and need situations are welcome to interact with their licensed clinical professionals and/or peers, whatever brings the most support and healing.  Summer youth support camps, crisis intervention team training, weekly and monthly sessions, a variety of therapies are all available.  The group and their Tree House have appeared on Animal Planet.

After suffering a devastating family loss, Mark and his wife and family were unable to find help and support that met their needs with a schedule and a financial situation that fit their capabilities, they set out to establish a group, a community and a facility that would do for others what they wished had been available for them.  Cornerstone of Hope has been the result, a light in the darkness of despair which overwhelms so many.  Mark was accompanied by Francine Artiste a new-on-the-job facilitator for the group.

In other business, Tom Collins reported on Zad, the resident exchange student, who got to attend the recent climate change rally in New York, see Times Square, be amazed at the 300,000 people in attendance at the rally (“There is NO planet B”, “It’s getting hot in here.  Take your coals off.” “Save the Humans”—message from a Panda)…AND score the winning goal in the Rootstown soccer game.

Tom also gave an update on the continuing consultations with the Mantua-Shalersville Rotary Club, the Garrettsville Garden Club, the Mayor of Garrettsville and the Portage County Park District for expanding and promoting the Headwaters Trail for the good of the entire community.

Rich Brown attended as a guest.  He is a business contact of McCumbers-Brady Realty doing vital title work.

The Rotary-sponsored Roadside Clean-up will be on October 25.

G-H Rotary meets every Monday at noon at Cal’s II,  Check them out.

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Ravenna – The Portage County Gardeners is hosting a Holiday Craft &Gift Boutique at the garden center 5154 S. Prospect St. Ravenna, Ohio 44266.

Opening night is on Thursday, October 16 from  4-8p.m. The boutique will continue Friday and Saturday Oct 17 & 18 from 9-3 p.m.

There will be hand crafted items created by the members, mums, bulbs, knit wear, Halloween and Christmas crafts,  baked goods, a Chinese raffle and a special limited raffle for a huge grape vine decorated tree with 2nd and 3rd prizes and more.  Thursday evening will have free appetizers, with a $5.00 fee for you entrance ticket, and then on Fri. and Sat. the entrance fee is $1.00 with  luncheon available.

Come out and start your holiday shopping of these lovely handcrafted items.

Thinking of decorating your home for the holidays? This is the place to find unusual items for gifts or for you. Decorate your home entrance with the beautiful mums available.

Garrettsville – The Cupboard is all about Community and its offering a new service for families   still working hard to regain their feet; it’s called the Weekend Snackpack Program.  It’s being made available to eligible students in the James A. Garfield Local School District on a monthly basis and provides a bag of healthy and easy-to-prepare snack foods sent home on the third Friday of each month; this would be approximately 15 healthy  between-meal snacks for after school and on weekends to supplement regular meals.  Food allergies will be taken into account in selection of snacks.

There is no cost to families and distribution will be handled with the utmost discretion.  Participation is strictly confidential and arranged by school counselors.  Names and information will not be shared with anyone else.  Applications for participation in this program are available from school counselors.

This program is being made possible through the co-operation of the Nelson-Garrettsville Community Cupboard and the James A. Garfield Local School District and a $10,000 nationwide grant originating with Massachusetts Mutual Financial Group, whose local representative is Christopher Perme of the Perme Financial Group, Garrettsville.  Over one hundred students are enrolled so far and there is room for more.  The community cares.

Ravenna – The Portage County Health Department would like to remind all parents of incoming kindergarteners and 7th graders that their children will be required by Ohio law to have certain immunizations in order to attend school. Kindergarteners are required to have 5 doses DTaP, 4 doses Polio, 3 doses Hep B, 2 doses MMR, and 2 doses Chickenpox. 7th graders are required to have a combination booster shot of tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis vaccine, otherwise known as Tdap. Additional vaccines are recommended for this age group including the meningitis vaccine and the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. All of these vaccines are available at the Portage County Health Department.

Regular Childhood Immunization Clinics are held every Wednesday from 8:00am-12:00 noon at the Portage County Health Department. Additional locations for childhood immunizations provided by the Portage County Health Department are Kent City Health Department-every 3rd Wednesday from 3:00pm-5:00pm and Windham Renaissance Family Center-every 4th Tuesday from 11:00am-3:00pm.

Cost is $10 per shot, FREE to those who cannot pay. Medicaid, Buckeye, Care Source, and United Health accepted. Please bring immunization records.

Garrettsville – The Garrettsville Area Chamber of Commerce’s Masquerade Scholarship Ball returns this year and promises another evening of spooky fun for a great cause.

Saturday, October 25, 2014  attendees will pack Sugar Bush Golf Club located just outside village limits on State Route 88. The doors will open at 6 pm, with a catered dinner served at 7 pm. Tickets for the event are $30 each, $60 a couple, and $200 for a table of eight. Tickets must be purchased early, as the event usually sells out quickly. Tickets are available at Huntington Bank, Middlefield Bank, Dairy Queen, Skylanes Bowling, Ellerhorst Russell Insurance or by calling  330 527-2463.

Although the event is a Masquerade Ball, costumes are not required; however those who choose to wear a costume will be eligible to compete for prizes. There will be plenty of food, dancing, cash bar, 50/50 raffle and a lottery tree. Live music will be provided by “The Boys are Back”.

It promises to be an evening full of fun, so mark your calendars, purchase your tickets and join the Chamber at the Masquerade Ball!

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Hiram – Kerry Martin Skora, professor and chair of religious studies at Hiram College, has recently returned to the U.S. after spending nine months in Bhutan as a Fulbright Scholar.

Bhutan – its people and culture – has been a longstanding research interest for Skora. He has traveled there seven times since 2003, including five Hiram College study abroad trips. But he calls this recent trip, where he spent nine months (from Dec. 2013 through Aug. 2014) teaching and researching as a Fulbright Scholar, the “peak of my academic career” – and rightfully so.

The Fulbright Scholar Program, coordinated by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, is one of the most prestigious awards programs worldwide. Furthermore, Skora’s long-term Fulbright is the most prestigious of all Fulbright programs.

Bhutan, a small developing country of about 700,000, known for its policy of “Gross National Happiness,” is a land-locked country between Tibet and India and has largely remained free of Western influence.

“It’s a quirk of the history of humankind that Bhutan survived,” Skora said. “It preserved every strand of Buddhism. All the laws are set up that so that they’ll preserve this pristine environment.”

These laws include the country’s policy of “Gross National Happiness,” coined in 1972 by Bhutan’s fourth king. In the Western world, human economic progressions often negatively impact the ecosystem as a whole. “Gross National Happiness” takes into account how all living things are affected.

“When Bhutan creates a policy, they look at how it affects everyone and the wholeecosystem,” Skora explained. “For them, progress means that everything is well – all beings and all things that are part of their environment. This more holistic perspective, valuing all living things, nurtures happiness.”

For his Fulbright, Skora taught monks and Bhutanese teachers at several schools and institutions. He focused largely on the importance of preserving the precious Bhutanese culture, which he said is slowly becoming modernized.

“I realized that as an outsider, as an American, I could tell them what was most precious about their culture and what was most consistent with the king’s original vision,” he said. “They need religious studies scholars to tell them how important the model of spiritual ecology is not only for Bhutan but also for the whole world.”

Skora also worked with Bhutan’s Central Monastic Body as adviser on how to revise the traditional monastic curricula to make it more socially engaged and relevant in the 21st century. Suicide rates, drug use and violent crimes are all slowly rising, he said, because of the modern world moving in.

During his nine-month stay, Skora also shared and developed his research on Longchenpa, a Tibetan Buddhism teacher, who spent the end of his life in Bhutan. Skora said this long-term stay gave him a greater awareness of the connection between spirituality and ecology, and that he will be a better teacher and scholar because of it.

“I went back to many of the places Longchenpa walked, and I prayed at the place where he began writing his books on consciousness,” Skora said. “I feel like this is what I’m supposed to do. A lot of ideas that have been in my head for a long time, since graduate school, are coming together. The extended immersion allows ideas to flourish. I’m more inspired.”

Skora earned his B.A. from the University of Chicago and his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. His wife, Kara Ellis Skora, who teaches religious studies as an adjunct professor at both the College of Wooster and Hiram College, and son Emmanuel Thomas George Skora who completed seventh grade at the Pelkhil School in Thimphu, accompanied him for most of the trip.

We did it!  The James A. Garfield Local Schools used funds from a $5 Million State Grant to create a “Campus of Excellence” that will enhance education for children in our district for decades to come. The district will celebrate this wonderful accomplishment on Saturday, September 20 at 10am with a ribbon cutting ceremony that will be open to the public.

Facility Construction

A 17,000 square foot addition to the elementary school was constructed for our fifth and sixth grade students. This addition brought all 1,500 students to one campus and will save taxpayers over $300,000 annually in operational savings. A professional development center is now open and can be used as a multi-purpose space for staff training and as well as public use.

Technology Enhancements

Upgrades in the district’s technology infrastructure now support a new generation of learning tools for students. Computers have been given to every student in grades 7-12. Laptop carts were purchased for each grade level at the elementary school. We are capable of meeting the demands of 21st Century Learning!

Expanded Partnerships

The Greater Cleveland YMCA is now managing youth soccer, flag football and basketball. The YMCA will also be running a Silver Sneakers program in the Park Avenue School. The Portage County Educational Service Center is using classroom space at the building for a special needs preschool.  Both groups have plans to bring even more services to our community.

We could not have done this alone. Because you play an important role in making education better for our students, we are requesting your attendance at the official ribbon cutting ceremony. The event will take place on Saturday, September 20, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. at James A. Garfield Elementary School.

We are proud of our accomplishments over the past six months and even more excited about our future. We hope you are able to take the time to celebrate excellence with us.

Mantua – Now that the weather is turning crisp, many folk’s thoughts turn to drives through the country for pumpkins and a chance to see the changing leaves. And nothing says country like a visit to Derthick’s Farm, a 200+ year-old family operation in Mantua.

Starting this weekend and running through the start of November, Derthick’s Farm is home to a massive corn maze, where folks come to get “corn-fused” while navigating through a complex maze cut into field of corn. But the experience is enhanced this year, as Derthick’s holds its second annual A-Maze-ing 5K Adventure Fun Run on Sunday, October 5th.

This year’s event builds on the success of last year’s A-Maze-ing Race event, which coincided with Crestwood High School’s Class of 1988 25th reunion. Last year’s race was held in memory of several CHS class of ’88 members who lost their battles with cancer, and all of the proceeds went toward cancer research. This year’s race proceeds will benefit both The Meghan R Brant Memorial Scholarship Fund, in honor of former CHS ’88 classmate Meghan Brant, and the Crestwood 4C’s Food Cupboard.

The A-Maze-ing Adventure Race course winds through rolling farmland, and includes such obstacles as hay bales, large tires, gates and a balance beam. In addition, a less-strenuous two-mile trail walk is also available. Due to the rough nature of the course, strollers are not permitted. Preregistration is $20.00, any received by Sept. 25th earn a free commemorative race t-shirt. Entries will be accepted on race day at 8:30 am at a cost of $25. Each entry includes a free maze pass valid for one Corn Maze admission during regular hours, through the close of the corn maze season.

In addition, Derthick’s will host a farm market on race day, featuring a variety of spices, oils, jams, and jellies and lettuce from nearby Mantua Gardens. For more information on becoming a vendor, call MaryEllen at (330) 351-3124. For more information or to register for the October 5th event, visit hmapromotions.com.

Derthick’s Farm photograph appears courtesy of Amanda Saylor Huebner.

Windham – The WVFD Joint Fire District met on September 11, 2014. The meeting was called to order by the Chairman Dann Timmons. The board approved the minutes, the expenditures and the bank reconciliation. The board adjourned to an executive session to discuss personnel issues.

Following the executive session, a discussion was held on the current policy about the active firemen and EMS personnel. The current policy is that one must run eight hours a week. The board will look at updating the policy. One member has failed to meet the obligations to the district. The member will be placed on the reserve roster for 30 days giving them a chance to communicate with the board about the situation. Another member will be listed as regular fire fighter rather than an EMT.

The chief reported that he received a written warranty for hoses from Finley Fire. The warranty was not what the chief originally thought. The hoses have a 10 year warranty, with a 10 year return policy. After some discussion, the board decided to go with Warren Fire. Warren Fire’s hoses are less expensive, have the same warranty and are local. Chief Mike Iwanyckyj reported that he found a place that has blood pathogenic coats for considerable less money than the first company. The board tabled the decision until they had a full board. The board was missing two members, one member was on vacation and the other seat was vacated by death.

Another discussion was held on the tuition reimbursement policy. The big discussion was how to determine what an “active” member is for tuition reimbursement. The chief said it was eight hours of run time a week, with two training session a month and one business meeting a month. Dann Timmons and the chief will review policy to ensure it is used consistently with all personnel.

The chief also reported that the tires are on truck 2812 and currently they have had 519 calls for the year and are one call ahead of last year.

In new business, the chief reported that Ravenna dispatching wants to meet with him and go over their current MABIS System. This system is used for back up calling for mutual aid.

In old business, Dann reminded the board that the township still has the supplies for one dry hydrant and they need to find a place to have it installed. Timmons said the township will aid in the installation of the hydrant. The board will look around and see if they can find a pond on the west side of the township.

The village advertised for candidates to serve on the fire board and they received zero response. They will see about finding one on their own. The discussion on the alleged breach of contract on dispatching was again tabled until they have a full board.

The meeting was adjourned. The next meeting will be held at the town hall on October 2, 2014.

Freedom – Charlene Cermak of Freedom loves children. “I see children through God’s eyes,” she explained, “No matter what they look like, they’re innocent pure, and gorgeous,” she continued. But this 65-year-old self-described “active grandma” had an experience recently that caused her to think of children in a new way. Now she thinks of one in particular as her hero.

Char loves her grandchildren, and keeps in touch with her four granddaughters in far away California via Skype. Due to health complications, which require her to administer breathing treatments and oxygen therapy throughout the day, making the cross-country flight very difficult. But those health issues don’t stop her from planning special outings with her grandsons in nearby Austintown.

It’s what happened during one of those special outings with grandsons Jacob, age 9, and Jordan, age 4, that Char felt compelled to share. She explained, “People always talk about the bad things kids do. A lot of children don’t get credit for the good they do.” The story begins at Chuck E. Cheese arcade in Boardman, where Char took her grandsons Jacob and Jordan, their first stop on an afternoon of fun. After the arcade, they planned to see a movie, and then get some ice cream. But their plans for an afternoon of fun changed in an instant.

Char had an adverse reaction that, “hit me like a ton of bricks,” she shared. She found Jake intent on a game, with his cup of tokens next to him. “Jakey, we’ve got to go. I can’t breathe,” she told him. Forgetting the game and the cup of tokens, he immediately grabbed her hand and his little brother’s hand, and helped guide Char outside and to the car. Once she made it to the vehicle, Char had couldn’t respond when Jake asked, “Grandma, are you okay?” Thinking quickly, Jake ran to the nearby BestBuy store and asked an employee to call 911.

Amazingly, the ambulance arrived within minutes. The EMTs were eventually able to open Char’s lungs and restore her breathing after administering three treatments. She would receive two more treatments at the hospital as well. “I was really worried when my Grandma couldn’t breathe,” Jacob shared. Char is convinced that the quick thinking of her grandson, in addition to the skills of the EMTs, saved her life.

After the ambulance arrived, Jake called his mom, who left work immediately to come and pick up her sons. While they waited for her to arrive, an employee from a nearby Dollar Tree brought the boys some small toys to keep them busy while they waited for their mother to arrive.

“He’s my little hero,” Char beamed. “There’s no doubt in my mind. If he hadn’t responded so quickly, I wouldn’t be here today.” When asked, Jacob admits that he does feel like a hero. Especially when Grandma calls on the phone and asks, “Is this my hero?” When asked how that makes him feel, he quickly responds, “happy, because my Grandma can breathe now.”

Hiram - Members from the Hiram College community, past, present and future, made citizens all over the United States see red last Saturday.

Gathering at over two dozen locations around the country as part of the annual Alumni Volunteer Day, about three hundred alumni, friends and family – the largest registration in the event’s thirteen year existence! – invaded various sites in the name of lending a Hiram Hill helping hand.

Donning bright red T-shirts received specially for the occasion, or accented by other HC-representing flair, generations from several decades of Hiram history mingled and worked together while supporting an assortment of projects. Alumni who recently celebrated a 50th year class reunion painted walls alongside graduates who moved their own tassels across the mortarboard only a couple of years ago. Hands of inexperienced quilters were taught how to tie fabric strips into knots for children’s blankets by seasoned seamstresses while also linking decades of campus stories, interweaving the figurative threads as well as the literal ones. The options for serving were just as varied as the participants as, in addition to painting or quilt-tying, volunteers could register for opportunities to mend fences, paint playhouses, move (or even build!) furniture, perform general administrative tasks, landscaping, pantry stocking, or even to directly assist current students by clearing thorny brush from the James H. Barrow field station, an active research facility utilized frequently by Biology or Environmental Studies majors.

Approximately half of the College’s living alumni are located in Northeast Ohio, so many of the tasks were scheduled throughout Portage, Trumbull, Stark, Ashtabula and Cuyahoga counties, but the Terrier Spirit was out in force in places ranging all the way from Boston to Atlanta to Phoenix! And it wasn’t only distance that spanned further than one would imagine, it was time as well as two of the projects didn’t actually take place on Saturday the 13th which will effectively turn the whole month into a wonderful way to welcome in autumn: though April is officially National Volunteer Month, thanks to hundreds of Hiramites September is temporarily taking that title for the Terriers.

Kicking off the efforts the previous weekend, volunteers were invited to the Birds in Flight Sanctuary in Warren where new drains were installed and nets were repaired to provide a safe place for rescued feathered friends. The event served as a bit of a preview to the amazing objectives that would be accomplished during the upcoming main attraction. Warren also hosted an activity on the “official” day, encouraging those with an appreciation for the humanities to spend the morning sprucing up the Trumbull Art Gallery which recently made a major move to a new location. With paintbrushes in hand, participants may not have created the framed pieces lining the walls, but thanks to their efforts in coating the trim boards around the interior of the building, the facility itself is now framed even more beautifully.

And for those who share the love of fuzzy friends, the four-pawed have certainly not been forgotten as this year’s collaboration will wrap up with the final weekend’s activity taking place in Kirtland at the Holden Arboretum in honor of the Rescue Village’s Woofstock festivities. (Doodle Dog will be proud!) On Saturday, September 20th, volunteers will set up tents, tables, chairs and other supplies to help organizers prepare for the furry fundraiser on Sunday, September 21st.

Alumni Volunteer Day is not just for Hiram College graduates – friends and family are more than welcome – so for more information or details on how you can be involved next year, contact the Hiram College Alumni Office toll free at (800) 705-5050 or visit http://alumni.hiram.edu.

For more information on the quickly-approaching Woofstock, contact the Geauga Humane Society at (440) 338-4819, on the web at http://www.geaugahumane.org or find them on Facebook. With a one-mile dog walk, agility course, pet-friendly activities and adoptable dogs, it’s a great day to be a fan of canines. (Who knows, you might even find your very own floppy-eared puppy to bring home!)

Garrettsville – Council met September 10, 2014 for their regularly scheduled village council meeting.  Councilman Klamer was not present.

Minutes from last month’s meeting were approved.  Revenue, expenditure, cash balance and income tax reports were reviewed.  Councilman Hadzinsky commented that revenue was up for August compared to the previous year’s records.

Before continuing with the agenda, Mayor Patrick asked if there were any comments or questions from the guests in the audience.  A resident thanked council for the curbing work that had been recently completed on South Street.  He is hopeful that it will diminish the flooding and erosion issues that had plagued the area.

Next, Becky Doherty addressed council and the audience about her bid in the upcoming election.

Back to the agenda, proposed Ordinance 2014-14, which has been tabled since May, was brought up for discussion.  Council President Hardesty reported on his findings regarding cooperation in the departments that the proposed legislation was designed for.  The drafting of the legislation was prompted in an effort to save money for the village by controlling costs of employees overtime.  Hardesty stated that over the last several months, the police department had been able to curb overtime issues and reporting problems for payroll had been resolved.   He stated at this time the proposed legislation was not needed because of the compliance with existing rules as well as council’s requests.  After a brief discussion, council un-tabled the proposed ordinance and voted it down.

The second reading of proposed Ordinance 2014-31 was recorded.  The proposed legislation is from a recommendation from the planning commission to eliminate discrepancies in the existing code about maximum heights for flagpoles in the village.  A public hearing is scheduled before the October council meeting.  Council also approved Resolution 2014-33, which authorizes the county to collect taxes and pay fees for the village and voted to accept two donations, one from the Orson Ott family to the cemetery fund, and one from the Bailey family for the parks.

During round table discussion, the mayor announced that FALL CLEAN-UP is scheduled for THURSDAY, OCTOBER 23, and TRICK-OR-TREAT is scheduled for THURSDAY, OCTOBER 30th from 6-8 P.M.

The mayor also announced that applications for village’s tree lawn program will be due by the end of September.  Residents with dead, dying or problem tree-lawn trees need to contact village hall to schedule removal.  The cost to residents is $200/tree the village covers the rest.  The mayor also asked council for and received approval to fill an upcoming vacant position in dispatch.

Mayor Patrick brought up the topic of the dramatic increase in cost for salt for the village’s roads this coming winter.  Costs this season are $108.01/ton as compared to last year at $27.50/ton.  Council is expecting to pay $20,000 more than last year, based on last year’s usage.

Councilman Kaiser complimented the street department’s work on the new driveway apron at the library park entrance and Councilwoman Harrington updated council on the status of the surveys the vision group put together.  She also asked if there was anything council could do to address the ongoing issues at the Garrettsville Post Office about limited inconvenient hours (being closed at the lunch hour) and poor customer service.  The mayor said that former Mayor Moser and himself as council president had sent letters a few years ago, which had no effect.  The local Postmaster is the one responsible for the hours and personnel and the village has no control.

If you’d like to know more of what is happening in your community attend a meeting.  The next regular Village Council meeting is scheduled for October 8, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. at Village Hall.  There will be a Public Hearing on proposed Ordinance 2014-31 prior to the meeting.

Ravenna – This is definitely the hands-on workshop you’ve been dreaming of. With a few basics, you’ll making candies to take home with you as well as sampling a few as you work. Yum!

On Saturday, November 8th from 10 am – Noon, you’ll learn what chocolate to use, how it should be handled, and how to turn the basic melted chocolate into a variety of different candies. See how to create a nut bark and delicious peppermint bark using simple microwave recipes.

At the conclusion of this workshop, you will be able to create a variety of simple, delicious chocolates, nut brittles, barks and more.

Participants receive instructions and recipes, plus a nice collection of your own handcrafted confections to enjoy after class.

Register today — the class will be held  at 5154 S. Prospect St. Ravenna,Ohio. The fee is  $25- call Helena at 330-673-0577 for pre-registration and payment information. Deadline for registration is Oct. 25, 2014. Class Size: 20 (no children under 10)

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The GCRTA will be holding a luncheon meeting on Tuesday October 7Th at Grand River Cellars Winery and Restaurant in Madison. Participants are asked to gather at 11:15 followed by a business meeting beginning at 11:30. A lunch of chicken parmesan, mixed green salad, penne pasta, vegetable blend, peach cobbler and beverages will be served at noon. A cash bar will be available for wine. Grand River Cellars Winery and Restaurant is located at 5750 Madison Road (Rte 528) in Madison. Robert Grau will be presenting the program, ‘Five Million Steps: Hiking Thru the Appalachian Trail’.

Reservations must be made by Monday, September 29, 2014. Please write your $18.00 check (which includes a $1.00 donation to the Grant-in-Aid fund) to GCRTA, and mail to Judy Miller at17130 Kinsman Rd.  Middlefield, Ohio 44062. Judy’s phone number is 440-487-4324.

Attendees are encouraged to bring a newly retired teacher, school personnel or someone who may need a ride. Remember to bring paper products or canned goods for the ‘Geauga County Hunger Task Force’.

If you need a ride from the Geauga Transit call 440-285-2222 or 440-564-7131 Ext. 516 a week ahead of time and make a reservation.

Mantua - The Mantua Historical Society met on August 18th and were enlightened and entertained by Roger Hammel; he gave us the history of his family business, Hammel’s Grocery Store from its start to the closing due to little town businesses not able to keep up with big chain stores.  He even brought his butcher apron, the wooden delivery box, a Hammel calendar, etc.  At one time grocery orders were called in and then delivered!  At this month’s meeting, September 15th, at 7:00 p.m. Ellie Monroe will be our speaker; part of her talk will be reading portions of an 1812 letter, from a relative, Anne Kent, about her wagon trip west.  Guests are always welcomed; we meet at the Mantua Township Hall, at the intersection of State Route #82 and Mantua Center Road.  For anyone interested in joining the Historical Society, the dues are $8.00/individual and $12.00/family; we meet every third Monday ~ March to October.  Light refreshments will be served.  Unfortunately the museum, which is located on the second floor, will be closed due to the absence of the rear fire escape.

The Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary Club began and ended with the Four-Way Test this past week.  Is it the truth?  Is it fair to all concerned?  Will it build good will and better friendships?  Is it beneficial to all concerned?  President Delores McCumbers opened the meeting by extolling this as a rubric for conducting everyday life.  The recitation of the test was, and has become on a regular basis, the last item of business.

The report from Rachel Schwan in Thailand was good; she is settling in, learning to cook, getting used to insects and gekkos.

Zad, the in-residence exchange student, is getting along famously and playing a key role on the Garfield  boys’ soccer team.  He will be getting a team warm-up suit from the club.

Trish Danku next took the spotlight, giving a brief background picture of herself as from a large, loving , strict Irish-Canadian family who transitioned from being a wallflower to a real bloomer.  Her  employment at the Canadian Consul’s office led to her meeting and marrying a Yank, Greg Danku, and becoming involved in the community of the Parish of St. Ambrose, which has been a stay in time of trouble.  Her current employment in the funeral industry–Carlson Cremation Services and Funeral Homes—meshes with her mission to give back.  One aspect of this is her work with creating life stories on line and facilitating pre-planning for end-of-life situations. On October 13 the club is invited to join Dr. Mike Carlson in a tour of the local facility—Mallory-DeHaven-Carlson, on Center Street, Garrettsville—for a better understanding of the business.

The club’s principal fund-raiser, the Reverse Raffle, is coming up in November.  Members will be contacting potential sponsors and donors soon, emphasizing the beneficial activities and programs that Rotary offers to the community.  Contributing to and attending the bash are helpful ways that many businesses and individuals can support the community through Rotary.

Family Week, another big local Rotary project, will be coming up in February, 2015 and is in line to be getting a major re-vamp, across the board.  Stay tuned.

Jim Irwin brought more historical items and there  is talk of creating a Rotary scrapbook with copies of the newspaper articles on the club dating back to ancient times…well, the 1950’s, anyway.

G-H Rotary meets at noon on Monday at Cal’s II.  Come see.

Ravenna – For a child, being able to draw may be the only way of telling adults about a terrible, frightening or violent experience. Two young area children who are working through trauma have been drawing for NiCole Bartlett, a therapist at Children’s Advantage in Ravenna.

One of the simple drawings shows a family room with a mother and beloved pet. The other is Bartlett’s office with a poster that reads “Color Outside the Lines.” These are the children’s safe places from bad dreams, anger and fear.

Bartlett and fellow staff members at Children’s Advantage, a mental health center treating children, teens and families, trained for a week with national experts this past summer to further develop the agency’s services for Trauma Informed Care. TIC is a general term for trauma services including the use of sensory tools such as drawing and music to support children and teens as they talk about how trauma has affected them. The focus is not on the behavior but what caused the behavior. TIC further guides the therapist in ways to separate the child or teen from the traumatic experience and allow him or her to heal.

The trauma may be abuse experienced by the child or teen; witnessing family violence; homelessness; illness; separation from family; or being involved in a horrific incident such as a fire or accident.

“The art shows me what it is like for this child. It important to understand what has happened to him or her. We become a witness to the trauma which is very important to the kids. They welcome it,” said Bartlett.

The Mental Health & Recovery Board of Portage County provided funding for the training which included staff from the Children’s Advocacy Center of Portage County located at Robinson Memorial Hospital. The center works with children, teens and their families when abuse has been reported, reducing the number of interviews and supporting families with education and referrals.

Children’s Advantage Clinical Director Mary McCracken said the agency is seeing numerous youngsters whose symptoms mirror how adults react when they experience or witness violence or terror. CA staff is specifically using Structured Sensory Intervention for Traumatized Children, Adolescents and Parents (SITCAP) therapy and seeing progress with youngsters and families.

“My child was having great difficulty with bad dreams and seeing creepy shadows. The process with the art and talking helped her. She no longer dreams like she did and she feels safe. In my opinion, it is very important to heal from trauma so you move forward in life,” said one of the parents. The names of the families interviewed were not used to maintain confidentiality.

Jean West, a SITCAP trainer and school social worker from Missouri who led part of the training in Ravenna, explained that children who have experienced trauma will have behavior problems, physical problems such as stomach and headaches, depression, anxiety and often lack the ability to trust adults. They carry shame and often blame themselves. They are more likely to run away and become involved with the juvenile justice system.

“Safety and familiarity are scary. Chaos becomes normal,” she said describing long-term trauma victims.

With the activity of drawing or another form of expression, the young person can identify the trauma even if he or she cannot give it a name. With the help of a therapist, the feelings and behaviors are named, talked about and “contained ” or understood, an important way allowing the child to re-establish order and control.

SITCAP therapy is based on brain and physiological research with youth.  The workshop included presentations by Dr. William Steele, founder of the National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children™ who developed the therapy method. His work treating children with trauma started in 1990 before children were included in the diagnostic category of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Part of the training for the local workshop, SITCAP is used in thousands of schools and agencies across the country and undergoes continuous field testing and rigorous evidence-based research.

Steele explained that prolonged exposure to stress from trauma causes changes to the brain that reduce a young person’s ability to verbalize emotions. His method gives therapists the tools to help youngsters de-stress with drawing, relaxation, deep breathing, exercise, talking and music.

CA case manager Traci Gibbons said a breakthrough for one of her teen clients came when the teen brought her a cd with music she had copied. Gibbons said the music described how the young person felt; giving Gibbons the key to unlock the trauma and start the healing process.

Working with parents is also a large part of the method, helping them understand what their child has experienced, Steele told workshop participants.

“I was shocked to learn that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder affects children and could cause behavior change. We are now aware of the cause of our child’s behavior and how to help him make positive changes. He began to talk about his feelings with the therapist and he felt safe again,” said a parent of the second family interviewed.

Children’s Advantage receives funding from the Mental Health & Recovery Board of Portage County to provide mental health services to children, teens and families who are Portage County residents.

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Have you ever heard of local sites like Forty Foot Falls, Dingle Dell and Jeddo Station? On Sunday, September 21st, you’re invited to take a walk through Hiram’s past in the Memorial Garden behind Hiram Christian Church to learn about these sites, and to get a better understanding of Hiram’s past.

Whether you reside in the Village or the Township, this forum will provide an opportunity to learn about the area’s colorful history. The informal setting will allow guests to ask questions and share stories, photographs and items of local interest. The Hiram Historical Society in conjunction with the Hiram Township Community Evaluations & Accomplishments Committee (CEAC) sponsors the event, and will run from 2 – 4 pm.

CEAC Chairman Tim Kasper remarked, “This is an opportunity to bring everyone together to share stories about what Hiram used to be like. But we also see it as a starting point to learn how residents would like to see the area progress in the future.” Light refreshments will be served at Sunday’s event. Afterward, Hiram Historical Society will provide tours of the nearby Century House.

Hiram Township trustees formed the CEAC earlier this year as a tool to help implement the Hiram Comprehensive Plan. That plan establishes policies for the future development of the community, so that future growth can occur in a coordinated, unified and sustainable manner that is beneficial to the village and township as a whole. The CEAC is tasked with reaching out to Hiram Township and Village residents to access needs and desires within the community, then report these findings back to public officials for consideration in the economic and social issues within the communities.

For more information on the CEAC, attend the event on Sunday from 2 – 4 pm. The CEAC meets monthly at various locations around the community — their next meeting will be on Tuesday, October 15th at 7 pm at the Hiram Corner Store. For more information on the CEAC, contact Tim Kasper at (330) 569-7387 or tkasper@sbc.edu.

The Great Garrettsville Fire

Certain dates stand out in our collective memories: December 7, 1941 as Pearl Harbor Day; September 11, 2001 as the worst terror attack on U.S. soil. But for Garrettsville locals, March 22, 2014 is branded forevermore as that awful day when the Great Garrettsville Fire brought down the historic Buckeye Block Buildings on Main Street.

What started as a small blaze on the roof behind Miller’s Lawn & Garden quickly spread to become the greatest disaster to befall this historic village. Exhaustive efforts from local firefighters (supported by more than 100 firefighters from 34 neighboring departments) were no match for the hungry blaze which tore through the 1850s-era wooden structure which had just been freshly renovated and fully occupied by a dozen businesses.

Between lunchtime and dinnertime that fateful Saturday, what began as a simple hot seal-and-patch roof repair job became the assumed (although never officially determined) spark for the blaze which leveled the Buckeye Block — all except for the tiny brick and firewalled law office building which withstood the devastation. It remains as a lone witness to the level grassy field on which it now stands, six months later.

As measured by the crowd-filled streets the day of the fire — and the outpouring of support for the community ever since — people here and nearby take the Great Garrettsville Fire seriously and personally. But no one felt the loss more keenly than Mike Maschek, the primary owner of the building. He had just completed the renovation project which had transformed the Buckeye Block Building from a sorry, sagging eyesore to a thriving example of “revival and restoration,” as he called it.

True to form, this man of vision and faith choked back any signs of defeat. The day after the fire, Maschek stated, “To be continued… It’s still all about revival and restoration.”

Funding a Miracle

Unfortunately, Maschek is not a magic man and he hasn’t erected a replica of the Buckeye Block Building within the blink of an eye on that grassy lot. He is, however, a believer in miracles. Maschek says $3-$4 million is required to reconstruct the Buckeye Block according to modern building codes. Insurance payments covered just a fraction of that total, and a government grant Maschek had hoped to secure by now never materialized.

However, an $80,000 grant is promised from Portage County to be used for streetscaping, landscaping, lighting, and infrastructure along the historic district once the reconstruction project is under way.

Maschek is also holding out hope for receiving a generous grant from a private source which would be more than sufficient for reconstructing the Buckeye Block. If that does not come through, Maschek trusts that funds will materialize some other way.

Meanwhile, the community-generated GarrettsvilleStrong Fund, managed by the Garrettsville Area Chamber of Commerce, has accumulated $72,871.87 (as of 9/11/14) in its account. This ongoing fundraising effort will award monies toward the re-building effort once a plan is approved.

New fundraisers associated with GarrettsvilleStrong include:

• Limited Edition T-Shirts sponsored by the 900 Coalition, on sale at The Villager. (Only 100 total T-shirts were printed).

• Harlem Ambassadors Basketball Game, Oct 25 – Five JAG alumni and five teachers will take on the Harlem Ambassadors in a fun-filled family event.  Proceeds to be split between GarrettsvilleStrong and Phase 2 of the JAG Stadium rebuild project.

• Chipotle of Streetsboro fundraiser – (Date and time TBA)

Ongoing GarrettsvilleStrong efforts include:

• Destination Vacations Fundraiser – Michelle Ford at Destination Vacations is offering a $100 donation to GarrettsvilleStrong with the purchase of a 6-day or longer all-inclusive vacation, cruise or Disney trip booked through August 31, 2015. Call Michelle at (440) 391-9896 for details.

• GarrettsvilleStrong Book – Pam Montgomery is creating a book that will contain history about Garrettsville and compiled stories and pictures from people about past events relating to the downtown section that burned. She will also feature a “Main Street is on Fire” section with related pictures and stories. People can submit their stories and may take out advertising at the back of the book, with proceeds helping to pay for printing. Contact Pam at (330) 527-5744 to participate.

•  Photo & Video DVD – Rich Teresi is making a DVD video/slide show of the fire. The DVD will contain about 200 unpublished pictures and 30 videos taken during the March 22nd fire.

Anyone with new ideas for fundraising projects to help fund reconstruction of the Buckeye Block can contact the Chamber at (330) 527-5761 to register with GarrettsvilleStrong.

Revival & Restoration, Continued

Some people are dreamers. Others are doers. It’s rare to find someone who embodies both… and rarer still for that person to be a builder by trade. But Maschek is that rare mix of a man. So, while his property insurance proceeds from the fire were a virtual drop in the bucket toward Buckeye Block reconstruction costs, they were sufficient for generating a new site of revival and restoration nearby.

Just a stone’s throw from the Buckeye Block, at the intersection of Main, Center and Water streets, stands the long-vacant and once-integral hub of historic downtown Garrettsville, last known as Paul’s Feed Mill. The wood frame mill, built in 1852, served the village as a carriage shop, general store and feed supplier before going out of business more than 10 years ago. The mill and its outbuildings were dilapidated, blighted and poised for demolition.

But Maschek saw promise in the mill’s history and its nearly 4,000 square feet of floor space. He saw potential for the Buckeye Block’s business owners to have a new set of options for moving their enterprises back to Main Street within months; not the years it could take for the Buckeye Block to rematerialize if full funding isn’t secured soon. (The construction project itself could be completed within 12 months, from dig to finish, Maschek estimates.)

Maschek took ownership of the mill in May. Abatement, gutting and demolition of the outbuildings began immediately with excavation following, to the tune of $80,000 just to open up 175 feet of frontage for future commercial or residential growth along Water Street behind the mill. Maschek says there is ample space there for two buildings plus a parking lot for up to 18 cars, plus the option of a cantilevered deck that could reach halfway across Silver Creek.

Renovation of the historic mill took shape following demolition, first with the removal of old siding which revealed the original wood exterior and faded handpainted signage from the 1800s (“CARRIAGES, WAGONS AND SLEIGHS,” “SEEDS,” “FARM IMPLEMENTS,” etc.) But that history will soon be re-preserved behind modern vinyl siding of a historic crimson hue.

Meanwhile, a stone front face has been built up to the second floor. New windows and roof have been installed, all according to historic design standards of the early 1850s. Topping it off, a glass-enclosed cupola now accents the roofline, automatically lit every evening as a warm beacon shining over Main Street. The Paul Family has also erected a historic plaque out front.

The mill now features a finished basement with repaired original foundational stonework, a bathroom on each of its three levels, and a warming kitchen on the main floor. Drywalling was being done last week. Painting and siding will follow over the next couple weeks. Historic features of the original craftsmanship remain, including exposed posts, beams, and stone walls. A new concrete patio from the rear entrance leads to a ground-level wraparound porch primarily facing Water Street and the newly-renovated Eagles Aerie across the way. Renovation of the mill should be complete by November, Maschek says.

‘Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day’

While it has been a morale booster for the village to see a central historic downtown building return from the near-dead, its future use is yet to be determined. Maschek’s original intent was to sell the building to an owner who would lease out space to local businesses, with priority access going to any of the dozen burned-out merchants who wanted to return to Main Street.

However, that’s just one viable option. Maschek has an offer from a potential buyer who would use the mill primarily as office space. And although Maschek typically prefers renovating rather than owning buildings, he admits he has grown fond of the mill and would consider retaining ownership to ensure it functions more as a community center. “Everything is conjecture at this point,” he says. “But I am excited about what I’d like to do with the mill. It would change the atmosphere of this community.”

So, there are no final answers yet concerning the future of the mill or the Buckeye Block. The funding status of the Buckeye Block and completion of the mill renovation should both be realized by November. So before the New Year, we may know what direction each is heading. When pressed for answers, Maschek responds, “I know what I need for today. I don’t have tomorrow’s money yet. So I do all I can right now with the resources I have today.”

For now — six months since the Great Garrettsville Fire — Maschek feels, “We’re right on schedule.” Pointing to Ecclesiastes, he says, “There is a purpose to every season. God does things — and allows things — for a reason. ‘There is a time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to weep and a time to laugh’.”

“We can’t live in the past. We can’t live in the future. The time for living — and building — is now, while we have the opportunity, informed by the past and looking forward to the future.”

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Windham Board of Education (BOE) held their regularly-scheduled meeting on August 28, 2014 at the high school.

Melissa Roubic presented the Maplewood report.  The biggest news to report was the summer construction of the animal science lab, is now completed. This is a new program added to the Maplewood Career Center and it appears to be a hit with the students.

The superintendent Gregg Isler reported that the feed back from the animal science program at Maplewood Career Center has been good. He also reported that the district once again is trying athletic passes. Adult passes will be $40 and they will receive 10 passes to use at the sporting event of their choice. Student passes are $25 and again that will get them 10 passes to use at the event of their choice.  Passes are good until the end of the school year.

The enrollment is now down nine students from last year. As of August 28, 2014, there are 585 students enrolled in the district.

Jr. /Sr. high school report was summarized by Mr. Isler as Mr. Chaffee was coaching a volleyball game. Chaffee will email the board members a full report.  Isler stated that Mr. Chaffee has met with all the grades and went over the handbook. Students entering the 6th grade had all the changes mailed out to them.

Mr. Kujala was unavailable for the meeting and turned in a written report.  Kujala reported that they added Cori Morrison to the high school special education services team and added Miss Leah Kook to special education services as well. Kook will work in Katherine Thomas (KT) Elementary in the morning as a 1st grade intervention specialist. She will also work with Miss Kovach in the preschool department in the afternoon.

The spring OGT’s were in and students with disabilities scores had dramatically improved over the previous year. The special services will continue working with these students, helping them improve their scores.

In transportation, Craig Alderman reported that the bus radios are working out well  and have been a great help with communicating. One bus failed inspections over the summer and the district had to replaced door at a cost of $1593.82 in order to bring the bus into compliance. The bus now is in compliance and ready to roll.

In food service, Samantha Pochedly reported that she has met with the manager of Pizza Hut in Garrettsville and they have program that allows schools to use  Pizza Hut’s school-style pizza in their cafeterias. Pochedly says they are working out the details and the school-style pizza meets all the government standards for fat, whole grain and salt.

In other BOE news, the board approved the hiring list of certified substitutes, OAPSE Negotiated Agreement effective July 1, 2014 – June 30 2017, three supplemental contracts and the noncertified substitute list. Lastly, they approved the agreement with Robinson Hospital for athletic training services. The contract is for the 2014-2015 school year and will cost the district $4928.00.

The next BOE meeting is September 26, 2014 at 6:30 pm at KT Elementary.

Windham Twp. – Windham Township Trustees met for the regularly scheduled meeting with trustees Dann Timmons, Brian Miller and Rich Gano in attendance. The township fiscal officer Jayme Neikirk and zoning inspector Joe Pinti were also in attendance. The trustees approved the minutes from the last meeting and they approved the expenditures, before the chairman, Dann Timmons opened up the floor to the political figures who were in attendance.

Auditor Janet Esposito introduced herself and explained all the responsibilities her office handles. Esposito said she has an open door policy. If one has any questions about their property values for tax purposes feel free to give her a call and she will see if there is anything that can be done. Esposito is on the fall ballot for county auditor.

Vicki Kline, who is the current county treasurer and is running for county commissioner, Kline said, her experience as county treasurer will help her be a better commissioner as she now understands how government finances work.

The last political figure is Becky Doherty who is running to fill the seat of Judge John Enlow, who is retiring. Doherty has worked in other counties with prosecutors and believes she is up for the challenge. Doherty would like to establish a mental health and drug court in Portage County.

Former township resident Larry Cogley donated his time to evaluate what would be needed to fix drainage issues at the cemetery.  Cogley presented his findings but was unable to give a cost for the project because contractor’s pricing can vary. The trustees did not make a decision on the issue.

In roads, Brian Miller said salt prices could be an issue this winter.  The trustees voted to sell the old salt spreader.  They also discussed replacing tires on the small truck.  Miller reported that the road crew has been busy ditching and mowing along the roads. Timmons reported that the asphalt had been laid at the cul-de-sac on Frazier Road. When it is completed, the township will add the cul-de-sac to the dedicated road right-of-way.

Josh Johnston was at the meeting and passed out a copy of the townships’ home page of the new web site. www.windhamtownship.org. Johnston created and will maintain the site for the township. Zoning forms, zoning regulations, the minutes from the meeting and other valuable information is on the website.

In zoning, Joe Pinti said he issued two permits for the month of August. The zoning permits and such are available at the township website, but those who do not have internet connection may still get hard copies of the forms etc from the zoning inspector.

Rich Gano reported that currently the Move Ohio Forward Fund has not released any more money. Gano also suggested a tornado siren be installed out in the township near Bryant Road so residents in the area could be alerted. The cost for the entire project is $22,000. The trustees will consider it. Gano also suggested that they find a place to install the hydrant they bought a few years ago. Timmons said they will see if they can find a convenient place for it.

The chairman opened up the floor to the residents. One resident asked the trustees to consider changing their policy on rehiring employees each year and only offering a one year contract. The resident said it was unfair to the employees and it also made it difficult for the employees to obtain loans and such when they only have a one year contract. He also pointed out that none of the other townships in the area does that anymore. The trustees will take the idea under advisement.

The trustees meet on the first Thursday of each month at the town hall at 7pm.

New-Hoses

Garrettsville – The Garrettsville-Freedom-Nelson Joint Fire District is pleased to announce we have been awarded a Federal AFG (Assistance to Firefighters Grant) by FEMA for 2014. The grant was submitted last year, with an extensive selection process taking place before acceptance or declination by FEMA. The grant was proposed and awarded with the purpose of replacing a significant percentage of our fire hose inventory that was manufactured as early as 1984 (and non-compliant with NFPA fire code). The grant was awarded at $24,901 with a 5% contribution by the fire district. This means the fire district only paid $1,245 for $24,901 worth of equipment. Actual amount of FEMA money awarded to the fire district was $23,656. The grant replaced 500 feet of 1 ¾’’ (diameter) hose, 1,600 feet of 2 ½” hose, 1,500 feet of 3” hose, 2,000 feet of 4” hose, six nozzles, and three siamese adapters. No grant writing costs were incurred due to all grants being collaboratively managed by fire district employees. All received equipment has been placed into service with our thanks to FEMA.

Melana-Good-Picture-2-1Garrettsville – The Friends of Melana Foundation was formed 3 ½ year ago in Garrettsville to help foster awareness and provide funding for children’s glioma brain cancer research. The local foundation was named in memory of nine-year-old Melana Matson whose life was claimed by the disease in 2009. Founded by Garrettsville residents Norm and Joyce Fashing, Melana’s grandparents, the group has raised nearly $60,000 in funding for children’s glioma cancer research, the second leading cause of cancer deaths in young people.

Glioma brain cancer research has been grossly under funded for decades and children diagnosed with the disease had been basically given a death sentence. Children stricken with the disease are unlikely to live beyond five years, and with some as little as nine to twelve months from date of diagnosis.

In 2011, the Friends of Melana joined forces with their parent foundation, the Cleveland based Prayers From Maria Children‘s Glioma Cancer Foundation. The two non-profit groups pool their resources and have, to date, awarded two $100,000 research grants as seed money to researchers. The start up funding is necessary to establish promising preliminary research data before being considered for a government continuation grant. The first grant went to Cleveland MetroHealth Medical Center and the second to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.

Both grants have produced some very positive results. The MetroHeath group has been awarded a $3.3 million continuation grant from the National Cancer Institute, and the Boston group has finally been able to take biopsies from gliomas in children without causing fatal harm, and has also developed treatments for two of the five mutations that have been identified and commonly found in children’s gliomas.

On September 8th it was announced that the Melana Matson Memorial research grant of $250,000 was awarded to Dr. James P. Basilion, associate professor of radiology and biomedical engineering at Case Westerm Reserve University.

Although the Friends of Melana Foundation is a small, grass-roots non-profit group working in a basically rural geographical area in northern Portage County, the group is highly regarded by the parent foundation because of its efforts and contributions to the cause. In recognition and appreciation for Friends of Melana’s contributions, the Children’s Glioma Cancer Foundation will name the next grant ‘The Melana Matson Memorial Grant’, the first grant awarded in honor of a stricken child.

According to Friends of Melana President Norm Fashing, “We are very excited, truly blessed, and honored by this recognition. It gives us a shot in the arm to keep us going in the fight against childhood cancer. No other child should have to go through what Melana had to endure with this deadly disease.”

Friends of Melana is a partner with the Prayers From Maria Foundation, a 501 C3 non-profit foundation, www.stopkidscancer.org. Donations towards further research can be mailed to: Friends of Melana, P.O. Box 204, Garrettsville, Ohio, 44231.

mantua-pie

Mantua – You might say that the Rotary Pie Auction at the Mantua Potato Festival was a “Smashing” success. Unexpectedly, it became a “pie in your face” experience for some.  That is, if you were willing to up the ante and pay extra bucks to put a pie in the face of the famous baker. At the suggestion of the auctioneer bidding started out at $250 per pie but then he surprisingly upped the stakes to $500 “if you would like to put the pie in the face of the baker”.  At least three people stepped up and did just that.  $500 was paid to “pie in the face Police Chief Harry Buchert (right), and the young children of School Superintendent Dave Toth seized the moment to “pie in the face” dear old  Dad (above).  A crowd of  100 or more looked on and was thoroughly delighted by the antics of the bakers and the buyers.  It is a credit to our community that these two leaders so good naturedly stepped up to the plate (pie).

Some of the comments overheard from the crowd were: “This was so much fun; it was good to see so many community leaders on stage having fun. What good sports these community leaders are; We had a great time, be sure to do it next year; I didn’t know that Rotary did events like this.”

A total of about $3,000 was raised by Rotary’s Sandy Verduin who engineered the Pie Contest.  The profits will go to send young adults to the RYLA leadership camp.

riteaid

Garrettsville – All that’s old is new again at your neighborhood Rite Aid.

The store, located at 10764 North Street for nearly two decades, earned a Wellness Renovation that brings shoppers a more inviting, personalized experience to their store and pharmacy experiences, aimed to improve their overall health. Of 25 stores in the northeast Ohio district, this is the fourth to receive the Wellness Renovation.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at 10am on Thursday, September 11, including cake and refreshments for customers throughout the day. This will kick off a three-week Grand Opening featuring special promotions and sales.

The five-week renovation process has resulted in a new color scheme with wood grain accents; a more open floor plan with warmer lighting and wider aisles for improved product visibility; pharmacy discounts; and new product categories, including gluten-free foods, an organic section and a $1 aisle. Immunizations are also available at the pharmacy for the flu, shingles, whooping cough, pneumonia, and measles/mumps/rubella.

A new Wellness Ambassador role has also been added to the staff, so a customer assistant is on the floor at all times, available to help customers find products, look up their Wellness Points, or assist at the pharmacy.

Store Manager Tammy Fitz says that she and Pharmacy Manager Julia Polz are also hosting quarterly health & wellness events. The first event is a free health screening, 12noon-4pm on Saturday, September 27. Nurses will be on hand to provide free assessments for blood pressure, kidney function, glucose and cholesterol levels.

Renovations have been ongoing since July 21. The final touches should be made late this week, with a recoated parking lot and new lights.

“This ushers in a new customer experience,” says Fitz. “It’s cleaner, brighter and updated. Once you get re-oriented to the new layout, you’ll appreciate being able to see everything better and find items more easily.”

The new and improved Garrettsville Rite Aid also has extended pharmacy (and drive-through) hours: 8am-9pm Mondays through Fridays; 9am-6pm Saturdays;and 10am-6pm Sundays. The front end store is open 8am-10pm daily. Call (330)527-2828 for more information.

“It’s friendly, it’s bright, it’s more convenient than ever,” Fitz says. Welcome to the new Rite Aid.

Geauga County Auditor Frank J. Gliha announces that 2014 is a Triennial Update year for Geauga County. Based on our analysis and analysis of the Ohio Department of Taxation we have come to the conclusion that the property values set in 2011 have met the goals and standards sought by the Ohio Department of Taxation for the 2014 Triennial Update. With the exception of a few condominium complexes, the property values that were put in place in 2011 will remain until2017 when the next county-wide reappraisal will occur. During the week of September 8, 2014 the Appraisal Department will have appraisers in the office to discuss any questions taxpayers may have about the 2014 Triennial Update.

Our office has analyzed the relationship of the market values carried by the Auditor’s Office to the sales prices that have occurred over the past three (3) years. The Auditor’s Office utilized several software programs in concert with its G.I.S. System to perform quality control with the understanding that establishing property values is an important and sensitive issue. These quality control measures assist our staff in insuring that fair and equitable values have been placed on every property.

Auditor Gliha reminds residents that the Auditor’s Office will have extended hours on the week of September 8th to help answer any questions property owners may have. Besides the normal hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday -Friday, the office will also be open Wednesday evening September 10th until6:00 p.m.  The office is located in the Courthouse Annex, 231 Main Street, Suite 1A, Chardon, OH 44024-1293 or can be reached by calling: ( 440) 279-1600.

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“Many of the events of the annual cycle recur year after year in a regular order. A year-to-year record of this order is a record of the rates at which solar energy flows to and through living things. They are the arteries of the land. By tracing their response to the sun, phenology may eventually shed some light on that ultimate enigma, the land’s inner workings.” 

 – Aldo Leopold, A

 

Phenology for September in Portage Parks

•  Days becoming shorter – 1 hour and 18 minutes  less daylight by the end of the month

•  Autumnal Equinox – First Day of Fall – Sept. 23

•  New Moon – Sept. 9th

•  Full moon (Full Corn Moon or Full Harvest Moon) – Sept. 24

•  Danger Danger…..Yellow jackets, hornets and wasps become aggressive! (change in their diet)

•  Trees are beginning to change color, their true color. Generally you can identify different species by their fall color:

Maples – Red/Orange   Ash – Maroon

Tulip Poplar – Yellow    Hickory – Yellow

Red/Scarlet Oak – Red/Copper

White/Pin Oak – Red

•  Bucks begin to shed their velvet in preparation for the rut.

•  Fall migration begins for many birds. Look for large flocks of birds congregating including Blackbirds. Swallows, Vultures, Swifts. Flycatchers, Thrushes, and Warblers making their way south through Towner’s Woods and Dix Park, waterfowl and shore birds on the mud flats and waters of Berlin Lake, Lake Pippen, and Seneca Ponds, bat migration begins for several species including the Red bat. Several hawks and some Falcon species will be making their way south including Broad Wing hawks, Sharp-shined hawks, and Merlins (falcon). Keep an eye out for Night Hawks as they pass through.

•  Wildflowers in bloom include: Several species of Goldenrod, New York Ironweed, New England Asters, Flat top Asters, Boneset, Chicory, Evening Primrose, Bull Thistle, Cattails, Nettles, Wingstem, Great Lobelia, Teasel, Rattlesnake Master and several sunflower species.

•  Mushrooms in the woods include but not limited to : Indian Pipe, Chicken of the Woods, Bears Tooth, Velvet Foot, Jack-o-Lantern, Old Man of the Woods, Hen of the Woods, and Puffballs.

•  Wooly Bear caterpillars begin crawling. What will they tell us about the up-coming winter? Monarch butterflies making their way to Mexico. Check out Swamp milkweed for evidence of these magnificent insects.

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Local students ages 14 through 18 have the opportunity to participate in Northeast Ohio Medical University’s (NEOMED) inaugural Brain Bee, a competition that will test their knowledge of neuroscience.

The Brain Bee will take place at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015, at NEOMED. The overall winner of the competition will receive an all-expenses paid trip to the National Brain Bee Competition in Baltimore, Md., for themselves and their support team.

The International Brain Bee was founded in 1999 and is the worldwide neuroscience competition for high school students. The competition motivates students to learn about the brain and inspires them to pursue neuroscience careers to help treat and find cures for neurological and psychological disorders. Brain Bees test student’s knowledge of the human brain including such topics as intelligence, emotions, memory, sleep, vision, hearing, sensations, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, schizophrenia, epilepsy, depression, addictions and brain research.

Monthly Saturday tutoring sessions are available to help students prepare for the Brain Bee. Tutoring sessions will occur from 9 a.m. to noon on Sept. 20, Oct. 25, Nov. 22 and Jan. 10 at NEOMED.

“Participating in a regional Brain Bee is a great way for high school students to foster academic relationships with neuroscientists and meet students with similar interests from other local high schools, Dana Peterson, Ph.D., M.Ed., assistant professor of anatomy and neurobiology, said. “We are excited to offer monthly preparatory Brain Bee sessions that will begin this August.  We see these sessions as a way to extend and reinforce these important mentoring relationships between NEOMED faculty and staff and area high school students.”

Students may register at www.neomed.edu/admissions/programs/brain-bee   <http://www.neomed.edu/admissions/programs/brain-bee>.  For more information about the Brain Bee, please contact Dana Peterson, Ph.D., M.Ed., assistant professor of anatomy and neurobiology at 330.325.6476 or dpeterson@neomed.edu.

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Starting September 2nd, according to the Mantua Shalersville Fire Department, State Route 44 will be closed just North of Canada Road as ODOT repairs the bridge. These bridge repairs are estimated to take 75 days. In order to keep MSFD response time to a minimum, the Department has opened a temporary, second station for the duration of the project. (See story page 1).

Similarly, the Village has elected to pursue a proposed levy on the November ballot to generate $75,000 per year, for a total amount of about $375,000 over the next five years, to fund necessary road improvements. Mayor Linda Clark noted that 100% of the revenues raised would be dedicated for the construction, reconstruction, resurfacing and repair of streets, roads and bridges in the Village. To find out more about this issue, residents are invited to attend a public meeting in Councils Chambers on either September 16th at 6 p.m. or October 21st at 6 p.m.

During the Public Comment portion of the meeting, council heard from several residents regarding ongoing water drainage issues. Residents’ specific issues were heard; Village Administrator David Akerley shared the village’s plans for catch basin repairs in nearby areas he anticipates will help remedy the situations. In addition, Mayor Clark commended Mr. Akerley and his team for exemplary service during the recent water main break, sharing similar sentiments from residents who called and wrote notes of appreciation.

In other news, Council approved participation in a Volunteer Day on August 25th, and agreed to allow volunteers to scrape and paint the red and white street markers along Main Street to Second Street. Volunteer Day was part of Portage County’s Celebration Week. In addition, Council also approved a request from DMRC for volunteers to repair and paint the Village of Mantua sign that was erected to commemorate the Village’s Diamond Jubilee. The Village has agreed to supply the tools and paint required to complete the project.

Lastly, Boy Scout Dan O’Sickey asked council for permission to construct two or three large benches along the Esker Trail in Mantua Village to earn his Eagle Scout rank. The benches would be constructed off-site using materials donated by the Red Gate Saw Mill in Mantua. Council approved his request, and O’Sickey and his crew of volunteers will have the benches installed by October 8th. The Esker Trail is located behind the Water Treatment Plant near the Cuyahoga River in the southwest portion of the Village. The trail is named for the eskers, or deposits of sand and gravel that dropped through ice tunnels in a melting glacier. These ridges, in the shape of long serpentine mounds, were deposited throughout the region during the Pleistocene Ice Age. The Esker Trail is located in the southwest corner of the Village near Mats Road, and runs between a small lake and the Cuyahoga River. In 2011, Eagle Scouts Cash Harris and Kyle Wright constructed an observation deck at the Esker Trail.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Mantua Village Council will take place on Tuesday, September 16th at 7 pm, immediately following the proposed road levy informational meeting, which begins at 6 pm.

 

It’s that time again.

School has begun and so have a number of other activities.  Most of them could use some volunteers to keep things moving along and produce the best outcomes for all concerned.

Booster groups of every stripe need help in their fund-raising  activities.  Picture yourself hustling hot dogs at a game or topping off a root beer float for sale to a thirsty customer.  Statisticians and scorekeepers are frequently in short supply—the season gets longer with every game gone by and more looming into the winter. The chain gang at football games is NOT made up of elves who live under the bleachers, you know.   Somebody has to help with and/or supervise the clean-up—indoors or outdoors, a mess is a mess.  Tickets must be sold and accounted for.  Merchandise, ditto.  Elementary schools have activities going on all of the time that could use a little adult supervision and contribution…of course, it behooves one to act like an adult and actually be a  desirable role model in addition to counting coupons or putting up pictures, or whatever.  Act responsibly so kids can see how it looks; they get enough of the bad stuff on TV.

Community groups—Lions, Rotary, Kiwanis, Eagles, Masons& Eastern Stars, church folks, etc.—are always looking for help and support.  New in town?  Show up to make new friends and get all of the latest on what’s happening around and about(The jungle telegraph has direct lines to many of the most active).  Have you a hobby?  Dollars to doughnuts there’ll be someone around who shares your interest, or would, if you’d get out and promote it(I’m still mulling over an offer to take up horseshoes).

There are things to do, places to go, people to see.  In the immortal words of Auntie Mame, “Life is a banquet and most poor fools are starving to death”.

You could at least try an appetizer.

 

fresh-start

The Rybak family enjoys lunch & breakfast at the same time, as breakfast is served all day long at the Fresh Start Diner.

Garrettsville - “We start every meal fresh so you can start the day fresh.” That’s a fitting motto for Fresh Start Diner, which quietly moved into 8126 Main Street in downtown Garrettsville one month ago.

Owner Andy Olson brought the independent franchise to town after working eight years as head cook and assistant kitchen manager for the Chagrin Falls Fresh Start Diner. Co-owners Ken Frankenberry and Bob Wyman started the Fresh Start franchise in Twinsburg, then added the Oberlin and Chagrin Falls locations. Olson worked at the Twinsburg location before Frankenberry and Wyman purchased it.

Olson realized it was time to start his own business when his old friend and fellow cook, Jeremy Quiggle, mentioned he was looking to sell The Pasta House building and equipment at this location.

Olson was raised in Windham Township and now resides in Shalersville, so Garrettsville is familiar territory for him. He went with a soft opening for Fresh Start Diner rather than a big publicity splash, so he and his staff could ease onto the community, work out kinks without much ado, and gain a solid clientele through word of mouth.

The approach seems to be working. The dining room on late Monday morning was bustling, drawing college kids, senior citizens, couples and families for home-made breakfast and lunch entrees made from fresh ingredients, served promptly by pleasant wait staff.

The plentiful breakfast and lunch menu includes gluten-free, vegetarian and multigrain options to accommodate various dietary restrictions and preferences. And while it features traditional diner fare, it offers creative options for discerning palates, like mocha multigrain pancakes with real maple syrup, home-made home fries, and quality breads.

Olson did note that certain food choices are more popular in one location versus the other. Perhaps it shouldn’t be too surprising that the Garrettsville group orders more meat and potatoes while the Chagrin Falls clientele prefers fresh fruit and cottage cheese.

The Fresh Start concept is simple, as stated on their website: To provide our customers with a high quality dining experience. We offer plentiful portions of delicious, freshly prepared food at reasonable prices, in a clean setting, with friendly and attentive service.

Fresh Start Diner in downtown Garrettsville is open Mondays through Saturdays, 6:30am-2pm; and Sundays, 8am-2pm. Breakfast is served all day long while lunch is served 10:30 to closing time. The diner can be reached at (330) 527-2700 or at  freshstartdiner.com.

Andy Olson invites you to come on in. Because it’s always the right time for a Fresh Start.

sthelensunicycle

In days gone by, St. Helens Unicycle Drill Team was known for putting Newbury, Ohio on the map and they were the highlight in many parades all over the country.  The group traveled all over the United States performing in Richard Nixon’s and Jimmy Carter’s inaugural parades, Orange Bowl half-time, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and even at the Cotton Bowl. They were one of the most watched parade entries, besides the large balloons in the New York parades.

They were famous. They were seen on television shows like Good Morning America, Real People, Big Blue Marble, PM Magazine, To Tell the Truth and ASAHI Japanese Television. They had arrived, so to speak.

The unicycle team did more than just ride; they did many stunts as well. They would do ramp jumps over people, play football on the high rise ones, jump rope on a unicycle and do some juggling. They also did some choreographed riding and even  did some stunts with a basketball. Back in the day, they might hold a bar on the shoulders of the riders of two moving unicycles and have someone doing basic acrobatic moves, like hanging upside down on the bar while riding. They were very talented and were often sought out for parades and events.

The current team is young. Many of the riders have only been riding for a few months but have the drive and potential to develop into solid cyclists in time. They claim it takes 10 -15 hours to learn to ride a unicycle and longer to master the basic skills like step-mounting, and rocking. Both skills are needed to ride well. This team is not yet to the caliber of the team of yesterday, but they will get there. The team from the 1980’s had mastered 12.5 feet tall cycles and some could ride the 23 feet tall units, while today’s team highest is  9 feet. In the meantime, they keep practicing to advance their skill level.

A trip to visit the team at practice was enlightening. Some of the parents there were riders of the 1970’s. They shared memories they had, like traveling around the country and seeing things they never would have gotten to see. The long- time friendships were discussed as well as building teamwork skills and discipline. Nancy Newport Winters said she loved it and helps train the new members, along with the other parents of the young riders.

It all began in 1965, when the parish’s priest, Rev. James J. Moran aka Father Moran   purchased a single unicycle for physical education class. Every student who went through the school had to be able to ride a unicycle around the gymnasium at least once. The skill caught on and the children began riding them in parades, thus The St. Helen’s Unicycle Drill Team was born. Folks who saw them in parades began referring to the school as the “school on wheels.”  Fr. Moran founded and directed the team; he also set  the guidelines. His most famous saying that encompassed the spirit of the team was “ If you’re not here for the Glory of God and St. Helen,  then get off the bus!

The group began performing in 1965 and continued until 1993 when the group disbanded.

In 2013, a group of former students of St. Helens gathered for a reunion and  they decided to resurrect the unicycles. Steve Kekedy was one of the folks  interested in seeing this group return and helped organized a make-shift drill team that rode in the 2013 Maple Festival in Chardon of that year. They began practice and soon the children of the adult performers of the 1970’s and1980’s began cycling. Later in 2013, they appeared in the Newbury Memorial Day Parade and were spotted at Middlefield Summerfest Parade as well. They were making a come back.

The group has continued to grow and once again is being sought out for parades and such. In 2014, they were seen at the Maple Festival in Chardon, Garrettsville Summerfest, and Middlefield Summerfest as well. If you missed them and would like to see them again they will be at the Potato Festival Parade in Mantua, on September 7, 2014, Brimfest in Brimfield, on September 20th and at the Grape Jamboree in Geneva on September 27th and 28th. More information and questions about the team can be directed to Steve Kekedy at 440 708-6324.

ShpCopHiram – It may seem early to be thinking about the Christmas season, but a good cause requires extra time and commitment. That’s why the Hiram Police Department and the Village of Garrettsville are teaming up with a Shop With A Cop Car Show on Saturday, September 6, 9am-2pm.

The car show will be held on Hayden Street, which will be cordoned off for the event from the Hiram Post Office at State Route 82, all the way up through the Hiram College campus, to Hinsdale. The free event will feature antique and classic cars and trucks lined up along the street, door prizes of merchandise from local sponsors, a 50/50 raffle, trophies, a deejay, music, food trucks, Maggie’s Donuts and family fun. No pre-registration is required to show your car. Just show up that morning to be included, says Hiram Police Chief Ed Samec.

The Hiram-Garrettsville Shop with a Cop program benefits underpriviledged children and families in the Crestwood and James A. Garfield school districts, giving children the opportunity to go Christmas shopping for themselves and their families alongside local police officers and volunteers.

Chief Samec says that counselors and administrators from the school districts will select six students from each district whose families are experiencing severe financial hardship. Each of these students will be  given a $250 budget for Christmas gifts for their parents, siblings and themselves.

“These kids go onto the Christmas season knowing they won’t have any gifts,” Samec explains. “But when they learn they’ve been selected for this program, you should see the looks on their faces, see the hugs they give to the volunteers who help them shop for gifts. They have nothing. They are so excited to buy gifts for their family members, they forget to pick anything out for themselves. That’s the furthest thing from their minds.”

The goal is for every child to enjoy the holiday season. So fundraising events are coordinated by Chief Samec and Garrettsville Mayor Rick Patrick throughout the year to bolster the Shop with a Cop fund so more underprivileged children can receive gifts this coming holiday season. Local sponsors pitch in with donations of cash and merchandise.

In May, a pancake breakfast featuring a special visit from the Easter Bunny generated nearly $800 toward the fund. Chief Samec has also applied for grant money to bolster the fund. For three consecutive years, this program has benefitted from a Hiram Trust Grant valued at $2,000.

Mayor Patrick, whose name is synonymous with car shows & cruises, says, “Our police departments work hand-in-hand so the Shop With a Cop program can help out more families in the area. Children come to us with a wish list, and we take them to the Streetsboro Kmart to fulfill their wishes as best we can.”

2014 marks the third year for the Garrettsville-Hiram Shop With a Cop program. It’s the second year for the car show, but it was such a great success last year — raising $865 — it’s expected to be an annual event. Each year, the program grows to help more families. In 2012, eight families benefitted; in 2013, 10 families were included; in 2014, 12 families will be helped. But Chief Samec says there is still a long line of deserving families he’d love to be able to assist.

“The way the economy has been, I don’t see unemployment numbers improving much. Statistics seem to say that unemployment numbers are improving, but it’s actually just that people have run out of unemployment benefits and they no longer qualify. But jobs are still hard to find and people are still having a hard time.”

So come on out to the Shop with a Cop Car Show in Hiram on Saturday. It’s more than fun and games. It’s a meaningful way to create happier holidays for neighbors in need.

 

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Kent –  REALIZE Firearms Awareness Coalition in conjunction with the Northeastern Chapter of A Girl and A Gun are hosting the Fashion Show event at the Tanglewood Country Club in Chagrin Falls, Ohio  the evening of  September 17th.     Live models will demonstrate a variety of concealed carry options for women.

REALIZE Firearms Awareness Coalition is a not for profit organization based in Portage County that spends their time and effort on gun safety, gun education and public Pro Gun Awareness.   This is just one of the many ventures that they put forth in a year.

The fashion show is something new, something different.   From purses to shirts, holsters to underwear, the live models will demonstrate how well designed clothes and accessories allow quick access without advertising that a woman is carrying a gun.  The intent of the fashion show is to highlight that there are many different  ways to holster a firearm safely and go about one’s day.   Manufacturers such as Urban Moxy, Designer Concealed Carry, Deep Conceal,  Undertech Undercover, Silver State Apparel and more are submitting items that keep a weapon from standing out or telling the public “she’s got a gun”.    As the twelve live models make repeated trips down the runway, the audience will see both the unique and expected.

Amanda Suffecool – Director of the not for profit group REALIZE firearms Awareness Coalition stated “This is different, bigger than any other Fashion Show for Concealed Carry firearms that we have heard of or seen.   Carrying a loaded firearm is more challenging for women than it is for men,  as women dress differently.   This show is intended to show what you do not/cannot see;  that even though you feel it stands out,  you really cannot see it.   Women put a gun on their person and are sure that it is screaming “GUN” and that is not the case”.

The event will be filmed and produced into a TV ready Docu-Educational event that will then be shared across the county.   Women’s shooting organizations are lining up for their copy of the DVD to host their own virtual Fashion Show at an event in their circle of influence.   At this point, more than 3000 women from clubs and organizations from Maine to California are on the list and waiting for ability to host their own local fashion show.

The event starts at 6:00 pm with an informal mix and mingle. At 7:00 pm the fashion show begins and the event ends with drawings for a number of pertinent and impressive door prizes.    Go to www.REALIZEfac.com for more information about the fashion show and the organization.

 

The Mantua Farmer’s Market sponsored by Christ Lutheran Church would like to thank all the vendors who have participated thus far.  The market continues on Saturdays until September 27th with room for more vendors.  Price is $5.00 per date with all vendor fees going into the church’s Handicapped Entrance Fund.  This project was recently completed and is a great asset to the church.  The market is held in the church’s parking lot at 10827 North Main Street, Mantua.  Call 330-274-2868 for more information.

Chagrin Falls -  Cleveland is well-known for its vibrant art & culture scene. More artists are thriving in Northeast Ohio, making it an amazing community for artists and buyers. In September, the Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show will be launching their newest show in the Chagrin Falls area.

In the past, the show has been in Rocky River, Solon, Columbus and most recently, Cleveland Heights. Now, Avant-Garde is expanding to more locations due to its growing popularity.

Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show’s founder, Becki Cooper, is proud of the show’s growing popularity. “I think our show is a unique addition to Cleveland’s growing art scene. The different vendors bring a unique twist on their goods, giving the show a quirky and fun twist.”

Keeping with the Avant-Garde theme, there will be a wide variety of goods like wine bottle lights, art, jewelry, home goods, adorned clothing and more. The different goods create a great experience for the customer. “It’s great to be able to choose from such a wide variety and range of artists and crafters,” said Jordan Anders, a longtime supporter of Avant-Garde Art & Craft Shows. “At the last show, I picked up a beach glass necklace, homemade dog treats and decorations for my latest apartment! It’s hard to leave empty handed!”

Another reason the show keeps growing is because of their dedication to support the local community. A part of this show’s proceeds will benefit the American Heart Association’s Annual Heart Walk. “Heart disease affects many people and we’re very excited to support such an important cause” says Cooper.

This year’s Chagrin Falls Fall Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show will be held at Federated Church- Family Life Center located at 16349 Chillicothe Road, Chagrin Falls, OH 44118 on Sunday September 14th, 2014 from 10:00am-5:00pm. Tickets are $3 at the door and children under 12 are free.

Attention all singers!  The Hiram Community Chorus, made up of the Hiram Women’s Chorus and the Hiram Men’s Chorus, will begin the fall season with a rehearsal on Tuesday, September 9, at 7:30 pm, in Frohring Music Hall on the Hiram College campus.    New members are welcome, and no audition is required.  The Men’s Chorus is directed by Jose Gotera, who teaches voice at Hiram College and Cleveland State, while appearing as a soloist around the area.  The Women’s Chorus is directed by Damaris Peters Pike, Professor of Music Emerita at Hiram College, where she teaches two courses each year and directs the community choruses.

The Fall Concert is scheduled for Friday, December 12, at 7:30 pm, in Hiram Christian Church.  Titled “The Sounds of the Season,” it will feature traditional Christmas songs along with a variety of other music.  Anyone with questions about the choruses may call Professor Peters Pike at 330.569.7643.

cops-fishing

Hiram – The Hiram Police Department held its  Third Annual “Cops and Kids”fishing day event at Camp Asbury on Saturday August 23rd. The event was a huge success! The weather was perfect, participants caught lots of fish, and plenty of new friends were made.

“Cops and Kids” fishing day presents an opportunity for area children to enjoy the day fishing with police officers of the Hiram Police Department.  The event builds lifelong bonds between children and police officers. Parents are encouraged to attend the event, as family unity is also a part of the program. Every child that attended the event received a free Zebco fishing rod/reel combo, an event T-shirt. Thank you to Haylett’s BP for supplying lunch at the event, Buckeye Worm Farm for supplying the bait, Camp Asbury for hosting the event for the third year in a row, Berg’s Eye apparel for the wonderful T-shirts, Great Lakes Outdoor Supply for their sponsorship, and everybody that came out and spent the day with us.

The Hiram Police Department will be holding a Car Show on September 6th. on Hayden Street in Hiram Village from 9am-2pm.  (Story Here)

It is said that the show must go on and, despite quite the heavy down pour, the show certainly did just that at the Portage County Randolph Fair which recently showcased locals “Livin’ the Dream 2014” during its 156th season.

Clear skies and sunshine shone at various points during the weeklong festivities, encouraging visitors to take their time perusing a wide variety of skills on display ranging from handmade crafts and artwork to homegrown and kitchen-preserved produce to aptitude with raising and training animals.

Though there were exceptional events continually on the schedule, a few days were designated with special themes such as the Kids’ Day on Thursday, which is when those same sunny skies opened up for an impromptu rainstorm unfortunately drenching the spectators but fortunately serving as a way to cool down the late summer heat. Nevertheless, those present enjoyed the cornucopia of offerings that included amusement rides, a K-9 demonstration, mini horse shows, Little Squirts tractor races and “make and take” activities geared just for the younger crowd. Friday acknowledged senior citizens and veterans with free admission and spotlighted entertainers reminiscent of the good ole days such as Elvis (well, an impersonator at least) and the not-at-all-minuscule sounds of the Akron Big Band.

Festival fans had the opportunity to explore the plethora of participants throughout several different styles of venues whether in the barn stables corralling cows (beef and dairy alike) or the aforementioned mini horses and their not-so-mini counterparts; livestock pens housing sheep, goats, pigs and even alpacas; or exhibit buildings presenting everything from flower arrangements, sewing selections and fine art to a veritable rainbow of delectable edibles in the form of jams and jellies, wine (red, white, blush and dessert subcategories just to name a few), right-off-the-tree-or-bush fruits and the freshly made pies and pastries that go with them. Due to the recent trend in home brewing, a new category may be created next season for homemade beer as well giving a new twist to look forward to for those who make a tradition of fair attendance year after year. And for an extra taste of creativity, “art” projects combining ingenuity with natural materials found right in one’s garden allowed viewers to look at vegetables with a new perspective as a barrel-racing scene made out of a cucumber obstacle course was run by a cherry tomato-topped peapod “cowboy” riding a corncob “pony” protected by a green bean “fence” while another tongue-in-cheek landscape depicted an iceberg (of iceberg lettuce, of course) obstructing the world’s most famous cruise ship. The scarecrow army returned as well with one section portraying straw-stuffed likenesses of prominent inventors in history.

Regardless of which roof the products were under, ribbons were awarded fair-wide in several classes and categories and the recipients’ entries were proudly tagged with an array of blue, red, white and yellow, with large purple ruffles designating a Best in Show.

Other honorable mentionables to notice while meandering along the grounds were humorous competitions such as a rooster crowing challenge and costume contest for various types of four-legged friends in addition to the grooming games and live races that required humans and animals to team up their talents to succeed in their endeavors. Grandstand crowd favorites returned with tractor pulls, bull riding and the quintessential smash’em ups that feature the brave contestants in the Demolition Derby. And if the flashing lights and noisy sound effects didn’t draw attention to the giant contraptions on the midway, the temporarily thrilled (or terrified?) shrieks of the carnival kiddies riding high above the numerous food stands certainly did. It wouldn’t be a county fair without plenty of snack choices, namely those that are fried or on a stick, to munch while enjoying an afternoon of being hoisted by a colorful metal apparatus into the air and any festival veteran knows that successfully combining both without some kind of messy aftermath is a talent all its own!

To learn even more about this long-standing fixture in our nearby farming world, or to find out how to be involved next year, visit http://www.randolphfair.com/ or call the fair office at (330) 325-7476.

 

According to the Mantua Shalersville Fire Department, as of September 2nd, State Route 44 will be closed just North of Canada Road as ODOT repairs the bridge. This road closure is estimated to take 75 days. In order to keep MSFD response time to a minimum, the Department has opened a temporary, second station for the duration of the project. This temporary station is located north of the construction area, at F&S Automotive, to aid the Department in providing services to residents north of the construction area. Two firefighter/paramedics, a fire engine and an EMS unit will staff this satellite location. The main MSFD will maintain normal staffing of four, as well as the remaining equipment at their permanent location south of the village on State Route 44.

In the course of the last township meeting, trustees asked for an update on the Township Hall repair project from Cal Brant, the owner of Brant Carpentry. He let the trustees know that a swarm of honeybees had recently relocated themselves in the attic of the building. As a beekeeper, Mr. Brant is confident in his ability to successfully remove the bees and complete the project. Mr. Brant reported that the project is progressing, and that he anticipates completion of repairs and residing of portions of the exterior of the building by the end of fall. To continue moving forward, Trustees approved a motion to set aside $6,000 for Township Hall improvements. It was noted that Brant Carpentry donated roughly $800 of work on the project thus far. Mr. Brant also reported that the new exterior siding has been received, and asked that any volunteers willing to help prime or paint siding for the project should contact him at (330) 274-3538.

Next, Brian Tayerle reported on behalf of the Service Department that although weather has delayed chip and seal work, road repairs would begin soon. In addition, he reported that his two-person department would like trustees to investigate the potential of hiring a part-time person for the winter months to help ease the burden of plowing township roads. Mr. Tayerle stated that eventually, he’d like to expand the Service Department back to three people, as it had been previously. Trustees agreed, discussed options, and agreed to bring more ideas and suggestions on the issue to their next meeting. In addition, Mr. Tayerle noted that the Service Department has been stocking grits, which will be stored for winter, and mixed with salt to help extend the Townships salt supply during the coming winter months.

Trustee Jason Carlton noted that the price of road salt for Mantua Township and the 20 other communities participating in the ODOT salt bid was 300% higher than last year’s prices. Suppliers state that their salt mines can’t meet the increased demands, as communities in Ohio and surrounding states, still stinging from last year’s brutal weather, have increased the tonnage of salt they hope to order. Trustees agreed to join the ODOT bid at a reduced quantity, and will continue to investigate alternative sources to purchase salt at a more reasonable rate.

Lastly, Trustees Festa and Carlton revisited the public comment rules and procedures prior to opening up the floor to allow for such comments. Per Mr. Festa, “a trustee meeting is no place to promote vendettas or personal agendas.” Mr. Festa voiced his opinion that responses of that nature were, “uncalled for, and a disruption of the meeting.” Mr. Carlton concurred, stating,” We want to hear what you have to say, but everyone should have the same opportunity.” He urged that respondents keep their township-related comments brief to allow all residents who wish to comment an equal opportunity to do so. In addition, he reminded those in attendance that public comments are not a mandatory part of township trustee meetings, and as such, all parties commenting should do so in a respectful manner.

The next meeting of the Mantua Township Trustees will be on Thursday, September 4th at 7:30 pm in the Township Hall.

 

Garrettsville-Hiram Rotarians were treated to a surfeit of riches in the area of interesting and relevant speakers  at their meeting on August 18, 2014.

They heard first from District Governor Mike Devanzo from the Medina club  who thanked members for being a part of the great sharing  of time, talent and treasure which is the spirit of Rotary.  His encouraging vocal exercises led him to announcements about the upcoming “Dine to Donate” event on October 23(the day before World Polio Day) co-ordinated with local Bob Evans restaurants, and the District 6630 foundation day on November 9.  This led him to Rotary’s new focus on increasing membership and boosting Rotary Foundation contributions.  In aid of this, Rotary Days, with featured activities in area clusters will be highlighted this year.  Rotary offers many opportunities to serve, locally, statewide, nationally and internationally.  The sum is greater than its parts.

Next up was Chris Scheuer, “the Y Guy”, who will be co-ordinating programs and activities out of the former Garfield Intermediate School on Park Ave., Garrettsville.  The roll-out will be accomplished “with all deliberate speed” based upon the expressed desires of the community.  So far, the flag football, youth soccer and Jr. Cavaliers have been well received.  Child care registration is on-going; information is available at childcarereg@clevelandy.org or by calling 216-263-6860.  Active adults will be next  on the menu and their ideas and requests are being sought; the website www.clevelandymca.org could be helpful or the local operations director, Kim Curry is also a resource (kcurry@clevelandymca.org/ 330-367-9720).  More input, more volunteers are being welcomed.  There is an open house on Park Ave. on Thursday, August 21.

Third presenter of the meeting was Michael Charney, candidate for the State Board of Education in District 7.  He is an experienced educator with insights not only in his field but into the workings of the political and legislative processes which go into the functioning of the State Board of Education.  The current member  representing District 7 is not a graduate of public schools and is, in fact an advocate for private schools, charter or for-profit.  Mr. Charney proposes shining a light—lots of light—on the workings of the non-public, non-accountable schools receiving public money and wasting it.  He has also been active in the formation of the Cleveland Teachers’ Institute aiming to expand the capabilities of educators in Northeast Ohio.  Accountability is an across-the-board goal.

After all that, the Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary Club voted to sponsor the Dictionary Project in the third grade of the Garfield Schools to give every third grader a dictionary of their very own.  What an encouragement!

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Discover the Crooked River –  9/6/14 9:00am – 2:00pm

Join Park District volunteer naturalist on a leisurely float down the Cuyahoga River enjoying the last days of summer. Meet at Camp Hi and we will be shuttled to Eldon Russell Park and make our way down to Camp Hi looking for king fishers, beaver, and maybe a river otter. Please call Camp Hi 330-569-7621 to register. Cost is $15.00 which covers the cost of the shuttle and canoe.

 

Meet the Beavers  – 9/7/14       Breakneck Creek     6:30pm-8:30pm

Make your reservations now for a night at the beaver lodge! Maybe not  AAA rated, but luxury accommodations  for our furry friends. Join a Park District volunteer naturalist as we discuss this industrious creature and hopefully see them preparing for the winter at one of three active beaver lodges located at Breakneck Creek.

 

Geology of Towner’s Wood and Lake Pippen – 9/14/14  Towners Woods  10:00-12:00

What is the origin of Lake Pippen and why is it significant. What evidence or clues might lead us to think that the glacier did indeed leave its mark on Towner’s Woods. Come and join the Park District volunteer naturalist let’s see what we can find.

 

Whats in Franklin Bog?  – 9/28/14   Franklin Bog   2;00pm -4:00 pm

No its not Bigfoot or the Creature from the Black Lagoon. Maybe buried treasure?   Join the Park District volunteer naturalist and we will search over hill and dale, well, actually, a “bog” to see what hidden gems might be lurking there.

 

Don’t forget to participate in the Wild Hikes Challenge.  More information can be found on-line at http://portageparkdistrict.org