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Hiram – Little Village Early Learning Center at Hiram Christian Church celebrated the dedication of their new outdoor classroom and playground on September 16, 2014 at 4:30PM.  The ribbon cutting was a culmination of months of planning, cooperation and coordination between Little Village and its many partners, including Hiram College, Kiwanis of the Western Reserve and Hiram Village as well as individual families and churches.

Hiram College education professor and Little Village Advisory Committee member, Jennifer McCreight, observed, “The dedication of the playground is just the latest in a long string of events that have made clear the Hiram community supports Little Village.  Having worked on the playground with multiple classes, and watching as it grew in size and scope due to generous donations and creative vision, I see the contributions of so many when I step back and admire it today.”  Highlights of this one-of-a-kind toddler and preschool friendly playground include an outdoor mud kitchen, drum area made from creatively repurposed materials, raised bed flower and vegetable gardens, a tree shaped play structure, and a tricycle track complete with gas station.

The playground will be used by the school during their hours of operation, 7AM-6PM, and is open to the public after hours and on weekends.    For more information, call Little Village Early Learning Center at 330-569-7101 or visit littlevillagehiram.org.

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Garrettsville – Portage County District Library announces that it has received a grant from the Hiram Community Trust to coordinate a makerspace within the Garrettsville Library. Funds have been used to purchase materials and supplies for the makerspace. A makerspace is a creative space where community members can gather to create and share ideas. The library’s makerspace will feature creative spaces in the following areas: jewelry making, bookbinding, scrapbooking, quilting, electronics, photo editing, and video game development software. Additional funds have been provided by Garrettsville’s Fraternal Order of Eagles.

The future makerspace will be located in the Garrettsville Library, located at 10482 South Street in Garrettsville, and will be available during specified hours. Library hours are Monday and Tuesday, 11:00 am until 7:00 pm; Wednesday and Friday, 10:00 am until 6:00 pm; Saturday, 9:00 am until 5:00 pm; and closed on Thursday and Sunday. For more information about other library programs and services, visit the Portage County District Library online at www.portagelibrary.org.

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Another bowling season has begun and the youth bowlers are already making their mark.  There will be some names you recognize and some new names as we begin another year of reporting their Saturday morning scores.

Lauren Sanchez started off the year with a bang!  Lauren had her first 500 series on the first week of bowling, a 526 with games of 179, 191 and 156.  But then on week two she had her first 600 series.  Lauren rolled games of 210, 214, and 183 for a very nice 607 series.  Lauren’s 526 was in the 11:00 Trio League and her 607 was in the Scholastic League.  Lauren is a 7th grader at Garfield Middle School and I’m sure coach Joe Brigham can’t wait for her to get to high school!

David Martin, in his first set for the Saturday 11:00 Trio, rolled 170, 221, and 183 for a very nice 574 series.  Jacob Briton started his year off with a nice 501 series.  Billy Potteiger rolled a 204 game and 473 series.  Other nice games:  Lucas Titschinger, 157, Rayne Burdette, 86, Gavin Dunfee, 95.

Good games bowled by the 9:00 Trio set:  Addrianna Conway, 143, Ryleigh Gough, 129, Alex Gage, 160, Emily Linamen, 130, Pete Maldonado, 105, Brooke Collins, 106, Isaac Trickett, 110, Kelly Stemnock, 137, Sara Barker, 115, and Zachary Seebacher, 110.

In the Scholastic League, nobody topped Lauren’s 607 set, but Nick Toke was close with 206-590.  Other good games:  Zachary Britton, 232, Collin McGurer, 234, and Jaret Doraski, 201-577.

High scores for the PeeWees:  SadieMae Ewell, 108, Cole Thompson, 105 and 104, Mackenzie Thompson, 104, and Angelo Dinardo, 102.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot?

Nah.  Come to the  James A. Garfield Alumni Banquet and remember all that good old stuff with good old friends AND good food .  Yup.  It was a good one.

The organizing committee members—Helen Louise Paul Bouts, Elaine Lange Duffield, Ruth Becks Herrington, Bonnie Ball Oliver, Kit Younker Semplak, Judy Davison Toth, Carolyn Lange Unaitis, Sherri Seals Collins, Tom Collins, Christine Lumbert Pitsinger and Ted Lysiak—put together a fine meal catered by Guido’s, floral décor by Art N Flowers, reminiscences by all sorts of folks and an introduction to the new addition to the Garfield Elementary building which had just had its official ribbon cut at ten o’clock that very morning.  The James A. Garfield Marching Pride made a cameo appearance to greet the early arrivers before heading off to a band show at Stow-Monroe Falls High School, where they wowed the crowd in the name of the district.

Classes of special recognition—1944(Yay, Dick Davis and Helen Lewis Manlove), 1954, 1964 and 1994)were presented with some memory-joggers about the prices of things like gas and houses during their salad days.  Board of Education president Guy Pietra was the Peerless Speaker and board vice president David Vincent offered the blessing.  The look at the new addition, built through the $5million Straight A Grant (The only application to receive unanimous approval) to produce a Campus of Excellence, was an eye-opener and a source of pride…mingled, no doubt, with amazement.  Any food not consumed on the spot was donated to the Center of Hope as a community outreach.

It was a fine old time with friends and family (note the number of Collinses and Andrewses, among others, in attendance) and the date has already been set for the next one.  Mark your calendars for September 19, 2015, same time , same place.  Everybody learn the Alma Mater!

There’s a story about that.

Off Limits Canoeing.

Sat. Oct. 4, 1-3:30 pm. Bass Lake, a natural glacial lake near Chardon, is a new preserve of the Geauga Parks. Bass Lake, the headwaters of the Chagrin River, is closed to the general public and is the home of several rare species including nesting bald eagles and the” rarest of the rare” the native Ohio Brook Trout. Sighting bald eagle is guaranteed.  The shoreline edge includes a variety of marshland and swamp forest supporting a diverse wildlife community.  Registration required.  330-569-4962. bobfaber2002@yahoo,com  The fee is $15 and includes naturalist guides, safety personnel, canoes and all equipment.

Lost River and Hidden Lake.

Sat. Oct. 11, 9-noon. Explore the isolated landscape in one of the most remote sections of the Cuyahoga River in Troy Township. This Akron Watershed property has a little known path that wends its way through remote forests to an oxbow lake that few people have seen.  The wild landscape is also the site of a mysterious river diversion that deserves further investigation.  Limited to 8 participants. Registration required.  330-569-4962. bobfaber2002@yahoo,com

Fall Tree Identification Hike 

Oct 11 10 am  Eagle Creek State Nature Preserve

Join the preserve manager as we take in the beauty of fall in one of NE Ohio’s most diverse nature preserves. This hike will include some basic tree identification skills and application as we trek through the upland forests and bogs of the preserve. The trees will be “showing their true colors” as we discuss the changes we see in the foliage this time of year. The hike will begin at 10:00am at the preserve parking lot located at 11027 Hopkins Rd. Garrettsville, OH. This is a free hike and registration is not required. For more information contact Adam Wohlever at (330)-527-5118

Kent Bog Fall Foliage Hike 

Oct 18 10 am  Kent Bog State Nature Preserve

Join the preserve manager this fall as we explore the Kent Bog State Nature Preserve during a time of change. We will spend some of our focus on one of only two deciduous conifers in this region of the United States, the Tamarack. The hike will begin at 10:00am at the preserve parking lot located at 1028 Meloy Rd. Kent, OH. This is a free hike and registration is not required. For more information contact Adam Wohlever at (330)-527-5118

Autumn Wetlands Hike 

Oct 18 1 pm Tinker’s Creek State Nature Preserve

Join the preserve manager as we explore the vast wetlands of Tinker’s Creek State Nature Preserve. We will discuss wetland ecology and take time to view the bald eagle nest. This is preserve can also be a spectacular location for any “leaf peepers”! The hike will begin at 1:00pm at the preserve parking lot located at 1230 Old Mill Rd.  Aurora, OH. This is a free hike and registration is not required. For more information contact Adam Wohlever at (330)-527-5118.

 

A Holden Arboretum “Off the Beaten Path” Adventure

Sat. Nov. 29,  10-3 pm Lake Erie Winter Wings-Birds, Boats, and Buffet. Ohio’s “sweet water sea” is the winter home for thousands and thousands of gulls and ducks including some that are quite rare and unusual. Most of the North America’s red breasted mergansers spend their winter on Lake Erie and flocks of Tundra Swans often rest on the lake during their migration from the Arctic to the east coast. Birds of prey haunt the lakeshore including bald eagles, peregrine falcons, and, on occasion, snowy owls. The cruise will be in the sheltered waters of the Cuyahoga River and inside of the breakwall on the lake. A buffet lunch, included in the fee, will be at the Edgewater Yacht Club. Includes dinner.  Leaders Bob Faber and Dan Donaldson.  Fee $69 for members, $89 nonmembers. Register online at holdenarb.org or 440-602-3833

 

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Hiram  – Northeast Ohio entrepreneurs are invited to join Hiram College’s Center for Integrated Entrepreneurship for several entrepreneurship workshops this semester. The workshops are designed to encourage members of Hiram College and the greater Cleveland community to explore and develop their original ideas

The first of these workshops, Intellectual Property, will take place from 3-5 p.m. on Sept. 26, 2014 in East Hall Forum. Workshops are free for Hiram students, $10 for Hiram alumni and $20 for all others.

Salvatore A. Sidoti ’93, principal of Curatolo Sidoti Co. LPA, will lead the workshop.

Sidoti has experience in all phases of intellectual property law. His practice involves client counseling, patent and trademark procurement, trade secret and dispute resolution. He has experience in the chemical, biochemical, materials science and polymer arts. He also has substantial experience before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.  Topics will include:

· Process of intellectual-property development – patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets

· Rules of thumb for determining whether a particular piece of intellectual property is worth the time and expense of protecting.

· Conducting basic patent searches

Future workshops include:

· “So you have an idea; now what?” – Oct. 17, 3-5 p.m., East Hall Forum; presented by Jack Burge, Director of Economic and Entrepreneurial Development, City of Aurora

· “Franchise: Business in a Box” – Nov. 7, 3-5 p.m., East Hall Forum; presented by Jack Warren, Director of Operations, Comfort Keepers

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Windham – The Windham Library, a branch of the Portage County District Library, will offer two career classes. On Thursday, October 9 from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm the library will be having a two-part class on how to write a resume and cover letter. The class will walk the participants through writing a resume and cover letter from start to finish. Participants will also be able to print 5 copies of their resume and cover letters for free. It is strongly recommended that participants bring with them a USB Drive to save the resume and cover letter they create. Seats in the class are limited and sign up is required.

On Thursday, October 16 from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm the library will be having a class on how to sign up for a free Careerbuilder account and search for jobs. The class will walk the participants through creating an account on Careerbuilder and searching for jobs. It is strongly recommended that participants bring with them their resume and cover letter. Seats in the class are limited and sign up is required.

To sign up, go to the circulation desk at the Windham Library or call 330-326-3145. The Windham Library, located at 9005 Wilverne Drive, is open Mondays and Fridays, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm; Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:00 pm – 6:30 pm; and closed Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. For additional information about library programs and services, please visit the Portage County District Library online at www.portagelibrary.org.

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Geauga County - Absentee ballots for the November 4th General Election will be available beginning 8:00 am, September 30, 2014 until 2:00 pm, November 3, 2014.  Application deadline for absentee ballots to be mailed out is Noon on Saturday, November 1, 2014.

Applications for absentee ballots are available on line at http://www.sos.state.oh.us/SOS/Upload/elections/forms/11-A.pdf  or you can call the Geauga County Board of Elections directly at 440-279-2030.

Completed forms are to be mailed to: Geauga County Board of Elections; 470 Center Street, Bldg. 6-A; Chardon, OH  44024

The deadline for requesting an absentee ballot to be mailed is Saturday, November 1, 2014 at noon.

The Board of Elections is normally open from 8:00 am – 4:30pm.  For your convenience the board office will be open for extended hours after September 29th.  Please see the Geauga County Board of Elections website at http://www.co.geauga.oh.us/Departments/BOE for a detailed list of dates and times.

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award-portage-countyPortage County – Wondering how the first annual Portage County Celebration Week turned out? “In a word, it was awesome!” beamed Todd Peetz, Director of the Portage County Regional Planning Commission (PCRPC). “Everyone who participated really enjoyed it,” he concluded. The week-long event kicked off with a sold-out Premier of High School Bands, which was held at the Theodore Roosevelt High School Stadium in Kent. Performing bands included Kent Roosevelt, Ravenna Ravens Marching Band, Stow-Munroe Falls Bulldog Marching Band, Cuyahoga Falls Tiger Marching Band, Tallmadge Blue Devils Marching Band, and the Springfield Marching Band.

In addition, the United Way of Portage County sponsored a Volunteer Day, with 12 projects being completed simultaneously around the county. Local projects of note included sprucing up the grounds around the Center School in Mantua Township and scraping and repainting the stanchion streets markers in Mantua Village. Later that week, over 700 car enthusiasts showcased their classic cars in Ravenna at the A&W Drive-In and Mongoose Motorsports.  Area businesses were swamped as families flocked to see hot rods, enjoy root beer floats, and family fun. But the highlight of the week was an  “Oscar”-style awards dinner held at the Bertram in Aurora, and featuring winners from throughout the county.

Mantua’s Art on the Hill event won the Cultural Arts Initiative Award, which recognized a program of arts and cultural awareness that helps to enhance the value and character of their community. The annual summer event, ‘Art on the Hill’ (‘AOTH’), from the Downtown Mantua Revitalization Corporation (DMRC), is an arts & cultural event music, food, and artisans, and draws thousands of visitors to their one-day event each year. “We are really excited and hope it will help bring more artisans and attendees next year to our Annual Art on the Hill event,” marveled Edie K. Benner, Downtown Mantua Revitalization President. She continued, “Our committee worked tirelessly and they deserve recognition for doing such a great job. And kudos to the Portage Regional Planning Commission and their team for hosting the event,” Benner concluded. Art on the Hill won this category, which also included the Ravenna Balloon Affair, Streetsboro Family Days and the Kent Heritage Festival.

Next up was the award for Most Engaging High School Initiative, honoring the innovative programs that have successfully and measurably enhanced relationships between the school and its community. Aurora High School was honored for a non-traditional program offered in place of study hall, where students dictate what they are going to learn, the conditions they are going to learn under, and how they will demonstrate what they learn.  As a result of this program, students have investigated: graphic design, electronics (hardware), computer science (coding), comic book development (storyline & artwork), investigation into design including the use of Sketch-Up, fashion blog, recycling process (separation of rubber from steel-belted tires), running shoe design & development, video game development, and fashion illustration. That’s quite an impressive list of projects undertaken.

Next up, the winner of the Economic Development Award, for an organization that has provided valuable develop in terms of employment, income, and quality of life was the Catacel Corporation. Founded in 2001 originally as a manufacturer of emission control products, the company has become a leader in fuel cells and industrial hydrogen.  Today, their engineers and manufactures break-through, proprietary catalytic heat exchanging materials, holds 22 US patents, and significantly reduce costs in the hydrogen production and fuel cell industries by increasing process output and improving energy efficiencies. In September of 2013, Catacel moved to an idle manufacturing plant in the City of Ravenna, where the company is now a cornerstone tenant. Catacel arrived with 26 employees and has grown to 30 with plans to add more this fall. Occupying 22,000 square feet in the newly- renovated facility, the company has also made many facility improvements, included new windows, energy efficient lighting, office renovation, and an epoxy-coated manufacturing floor that sparkles. Catacel is engaged in sales, engineering, and manufacturing operations that serve customers in markets all over the world.

The award for Community Hero was given to Streetsboro resident Kathleen Schuman for her work at the Streetsboro Community Pantry. This busy wife, mother and grandmother, finds time to volunteer at the Streetsboro Community Pantry, purchasing groceries, ordering food & arranging pick ups at the Akron Food Bank; she also stocks shelves, trains volunteers, and takes on the many other responsibilities to operate this agency, which serves between 70-100 families each month. She would be the first to insist that this operation succeeds because of the team effort, but there are many people relying on her energy, focus and inspiration to be able to provide free groceries to the numerous families of Streetsboro who rely on this service.

The last award recognized an initiative that demonstrated an action or activity that brings young people, adults and families together. The award for Community Service was given to Root House, the first-ever residential addiction treatment facility in Portage County, which opened in June of 2013.  Founded by Mike and Valerie Root, who tragically lost their son to a heroin overdose, and recovered addict Jeremy Taugner, who struggled with the same issues. They shared the vision of opening a treatment center in Portage County for men so that others would not have to suffer like they did. With assistance from Family and Community Services and Portage County Mental Health and Recovery Board, they were able create a 90-day residential program for struggling addicts who have detoxed and are committed to staying clean.

“We learned a lot, made a few mistakes along the way, but all in all it turned out very well,” concluded Peetz. Due to the success of this year’s program, PCRPC plans to hold the event next year. Plans for next year’s Portage County Celebration Week will begin in January 2015. For more information about next year’s events, visit visioninginportage.org.

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Windham – In today’s world, peace needs to become more than just a word. Students at KT Elementary School took part in an International art and literacy project, Pinwheels for Peace by “planting” pinwheels with messages of peace at their school in Windham.

Mantua – At the last meeting of the Mantua Township Trustees, it was announced that an organizational meeting will be scheduled to discuss committee positions and next steps for work on the Township’s Administrative Building (AKA Center School). As you may recall, letters of interest for committee position were due at the end of July. Director of Regional Planning, Todd Peetz, reviewed those submissions, which he reviewed and provided to trustees. Mr. Peetz will moderate the organizational meeting, which will be held on October 22nd at 7 pm in the Civic Center. The public is encouraged to attend.

In other news, several residents voiced their concerns to trustees over letters sent by the township’s Zoning Inspector, John Dickey. According to residents, Mr. Dickey is requesting information that is not specified in the township’s zoning book, namely, license and registration for vehicles and trailers without BMV license plates that are stored on residents’ property. Residents also maintain that the letter they received notes that no vehicles of this type are permitted, while township regulations state that “no more than one,” is allowed. In addition, the letter in question gave residents 15 days to remedy the situation, noting penalties for non-compliance. Township zoning guidelines stipulate that residents are allowed 30 days for compliance.

The trustees assured residents that the letter in question was meant by Mr. Dickey to be purely a warning letter and not an official citation.  The trustees plan to work with Mr. Dickey to revise the document and clear up any inconsistencies. “We’ll work through it,” stated Trustee John Festa, explaining, “It’s a new thing for all of us,” referring to the newness of both the Zoning Inspector and the township’s zoning book. According to Trustee Jason Carlton, “Changes to the warning letter will be forthcoming.” Proposed revisions will be discussed at the next Trustee meeting. Anyone who has received the letter in question is encouraged to contact the trustees for clarification.

In Old Business, Cal Brant of Brant Carpentry updated trustees on the Town Hall repair project. Mr. Brant thanked volunteers John Festa, Carole Pollard, Ellie Monroe and Mark Hall for their assistance with scraping and repair work to the structure. He noted that representatives from Coon Restoration would be on site next week; an updated project timeline will result. In addition, it was noted that the township’s help-wanted ad for an on-call snowplow operator ran in the paper and was posted on the Township’s website, mantuatownshipohio.gov. Applications are due by October 13th.

Lastly, the township will again be hosting a Flu Shot Clinic on October 8th from 4 – 6 pm at the Township’s Civic Center. According to Trustee Victor Grimm, a four-strain flu shots will be offered for children age six months to 18 years at a cost of $10; adults age 19 – 64 may receive a flu shot for a cost of $30. Individuals age 65 and up can received a high-dose flu shot for $45 and/or a pneumonia shot for $80. The Flu Clinic is provided by the Portage County Health Department.

The next meeting of the Mantua Township Trustees will be held on October 2nd at 7:30 pm.

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.