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On Wednesday March 21, the LAF/SOMe group traveled to Wickliffe to see “A Tribute Show” straight out of Las Vegas and Branson, Missouri. The group enjoyed lunch provided by the Croatian Club, who served a different variety of yummy foods. After lunch we were treated to impersonations of Jimmy Durante, George Burns, Cher, Aretha Franklin, and Rod Stewart. The impersonations were truly amazing and the group really enjoyed the entire experience. There was lots of laughing singing and even a little dancing. For those of you that missed out on all the fun, we hope to see you on next month’s trip!

Garrettsville – The James A. Garfield Music Department presented the Third Annual Soup’d up Jazz Festival Saturday night at the elementary school. The fundraiser dinner attracted nearly 200 folks who came out to enjoy a wonderful soup and salad dinner along with some fantastic jazz music. Folks could choose from chili, chicken noodle, minestrone, potato and vegetable soups, add a salad, bread and a dessert and, voila, they had dinner. While they were enjoying a scrumptious meal they could kick back and listen to the talented students performing jazz selections. The sixth grade jazz band opened the show and delighted the crowd. They were followed by the middle school jazz band. The middle school jazz band featured solos by Janis Nystrom, on the clarinet and Lauren Jones on the Saxophone in Blue Dinosaurs. Both bands did a great job at entertaining the diners. The Varsity Gold Show Choir took to the stage taking us back in time by singing and dancing to a medley of songs from days gone by. The fifteen choir members rocked it out with choreographed dancing that was a delight for the audience. The choir closed out their show with “Build Me Up, Buttercup”. While the band members made adjustments to the stage, the boosters held their 50/50 drawing and Chinese auction for the gift baskets. The 50/50 winner chose to donate the money back to the boosters. The high school Black and Gold Swing Machine rounded out the evening playing tunes like “Keep the Motor Runnin”, “Picking up the Pieces”, “Love Shack” and more. The band featured soloists Stefan Wickli on the trombone, and Nick Crawford on the keyboard, Eileen Mangan on the trumpet, and Levi Milko on alto saxophone, Dan Anders and Travis Orr also performed saxophone solos. A great time was had by all. The jazz festival was sponsored by the band boosters. Proceeds from the event go to the band boosters.

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Garrettsville – The James A. Garfield Historical Society met on March 19, 2012 at the historic Mott Building on Garrettsville’s Main Street to hear a tale of modern-day sleuthing through nearly ninety years of local history, both personal and business-oriented. Researcher/historian Scott Lawless outlined his trek through a wide variety of sources, from cemetery plots to county recorders’ offices and court records, newspaper snippets and obituaries, travel itineraries and milk bottle collectors. The internet was a vital tool but interviews with local individuals added color and substance–as well as mystery– to the final outcome. It all started with a milk bottle retrieved from under the floor of the barn behind the Lawless Garage on North Street, Garrettsville by a young fellow–fifth grade maybe–not in school for reasons not bearing much closer scrutiny. As was the custom of the time, it had embossed on its front the name of the dairy which sold the milk that had been contained in it : Beardsley Dairy, Barkrest Herd, Garrettsville, Ohio. No such dairy now exists. What happened to it? It existed (beginning in 1922)–pre-pasteurization–in an era of local dairies which supplied local consumers. It was probably doomed by tightening health regulations and their increased costs, as well as improved transportation facilities, allowing the shipping of raw milk to larger population centers for processing, distribution and consumption. Other such local enterprises included Rand Dairy and Spencer Farms in Hiram…all gone now. So…. It begins with David J. Beardsley moving from New England to the Western Reserve, as did many others. His first son was killed in the Civil War and is buried in Freedom West Cemetery. The second son–married to a daughter of the founder of Drakesburg–ran the farm but came to an untimely end. HIS son–Orsimus Drake Beardsley went to OSU and married Jessie Sykes of Girard, whose family made money in metal products; they moved to Chicago, where they made more. O.D. and Jessie did well for themselves and traveled extensively, often spending summers at the farm in Freedom(which couldn’t have been all that comfy, considering that he suffered from asthma). Then O.D. died in 1917, leaving the farm in Freedom to Jessie and the plant in Chicago to his sister Hazel. The large residence still on the property, known as the Manor House, was built in 1918 and the big dairy barn on Asbury Rd. was built in 1922 by Stamm Construction, the first modern concrete barn in the area, perhaps in the state. The place had all the mod cons : bottling plant, walk-in cooler, manure disposal, etc….quite the operation. Meanwhile, back in Chicago, the metal billiard tables manufactured by the Sykes Co. had fallen out of favor and the farm was mortgaged to the hilt to prop up its operations. Alas! Fifty-eight acres. were sold off in 1927 (The dairy had an ad in the county school yearbook, the Speedometer, in 1927); the dairy continued for two more years then the entire remaining acreage was sold to the Nelsons in 1929. Jessie, who by then had married a decorated veteran of WWI named Manville J. Barker, Jr., moved to Massachusetts, where she died in 1950. The farm went into foreclosure in 1935 then was purchased by the Jones family who continued farming and dairying for a number of years, with Sam Fields (His son and daughter-in-law, Tom and Phrania Fields are remembered locally) as manager and caretaker. Most of the land was sold again in 1972; Burrows (at the Manor House) and Brookover names figure in continued operations there. Currently, Gallagher is the name to watch. All that from a discovery in a grandpa’s barn! Unless you have one in YOUR attic or basement or barn, there are only three bottles in existence. Quite a tale…and local residents in attendance at the meeting added colorful notes and recollections of the most recent operations there, personal and public knowledge that researchers find invaluable (Art Whitney said that one of the dairy workers “boarded with” his mother out in Freedom. Maxine Brookover Flint knew the plant inside and out. Elaine Duffield had the Speedometer.) in fleshing out a coherent story. Well, maybe now it’s on to Spencer Farms.

Garrettsville – Ellerhorst Insurance Agency announces the addition of two new agents to better serve the community’s insurance needs. Nancy Rollin is filling a recently-vacated position at Ellerhorst Insurance. She brings 22 years of experience in the field to the office at 10864 North Street. Caitlin (Ellerhorst) Lawless also joins the agency, which is owned and operated by her father, Mark Ellerhorst.

Established in1915, the independent insurance company now offers several options in home, business/commercial, farm, auto, life, and new construction insurance. Major insurance carriers include Westfield Group, Ohio Casualty Group, Auto-Owners Insurance, Wayne Mutual and Progressive.The local insurance agency provides coverage within a 30-mile radius of their Garrettsville office. According to Ellerhorst, CW Payne founded the insurance agency 97 years ago on Main Street, where Shiffer’s Clock Repair is currently located. His son, Cac Payne, took over the business in the early 1950s. The agency was bought out by Bob Farley in late 1970s. Then in 1994, Mark Ellerhorst purchased the agency and moved it to the present location. “It’s had just four owners in nearly 100 years,” Ellerhorst pointed out. “We’re looking forward to celebrating our centennial soon.” To learn more or to submit an online inquiry or obtain a free quote, visit www.ellerhorst.com. Otherwise, feel free to call (330) 527-4321 or stop in at the office during regular business hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Ravenna – Sometime after the invention of the mirror, but no later than 1,000 B.C., ancient Greeks began using base metals and cat gut in a determined effort to take the smile provided by nature and make it better. Today, gifted orthodontic specialists shape dazzling smiles while creating optimal form and function. Orthodontics has come a long way in just a few thousand years. Children, teenagers, young adults, middle-aged men and women, seniors – all are taking advantage of the simplicity that distinguishes today’s orthodontics.

In August 2011, Violet Orthodontics opened its second location in Ravenna. While speaking about the progress of the new location, Dr. Violet said, “I am very pleased with welcome we have received from the community and our patients. My team and I are committed to bringing high caliber, orthodontic care to an area known for its medical facilities. Our special brand of orthodontics combines form and function for beautiful and healthy smiles. We strive to make orthodontics fun for our younger patients, with stylish color bands. And we offer clear braces to the growing number of our adult patients. Both children and adults love the contests, special events and educational opportunities our practice is well known for. Patricia Aaron was 55 years old when she decided to have orthodontic treatment. When reflecting on her experience before, during and after treatment, this is what she said, “When my periodontist told me I needed braces, I was very unhappy. I had just completed a series of bone grafts and thought that I was finished. When I met with Dr. Violet she explained that my treatment would be complicated due to my age and the condition of my bone. However, it was doable – so we began. Dr. Violet explained every step simply, making sure that I understoood each step. I was educated and engaged throughout the process. Today, I’ve got my smile back and it’s a killer. I would encourage anyone interested to do the following – get informed, get involved in your care and get going!. I can’t stop smiling.” Your orthodontist can improve most tooth and jaw alignment problems at any age. Straight teeth function better, are easier to clean, and are more likely to last your lifetime. Nicole Shriver was 11 years old when she started orthodontic treatment. This is what she had to say about her treatment experience, “I thought my teeth were ugly. I had less self confidence and I was embarrassed. During treatment, I was excited because my teeth were felt like they were fixing themselves. I was surprised how quickly they started straightening out and was anxious for it to be done. Now, I can’t stop touching my teeth. I’m obsessed with them and pleased with the results. I can’t believe how good they look. I love my retainer – it’s so cool. And honestly, it’s boosted my self-confidence.” David Tanner whose son Adam had orthodontic treatment had this to say when asked why he had selected Violet Orthodontics, “We interviewed a few different orthodontists and when we met Dr. Violet we instantly knew that we had found the right orthodontist for our son. The pre-braces appointments were very informative and gave us a new understanding of the art of orthodontics.” It is important for parents to know that Orthodontists receive more formal education than dentists to specialize in straightening teeth. Like dentists, orthodontists graduate from dental school. Then, to be an orthodontist, it takes an additional two to three academic years of education in an accredited orthodontic residency program. A COMMON MYTH:  “My family dentist says he can straighten my teeth.” Orthodontists are dentistry’s specialists in straightening teeth and aligning jaws to create optimal function and form. Orthodontists only practice orthodontics. They treat hundreds of patients a year, drawing on tried-and-true and new orthodontic appliance technologies to get patients to the best results. Orthodontists have knowledge of the full range of orthodontic appliance “tools”—including braces, clear aligners and other orthodontic devices. They know what to use and when because they work with these tools every day. Orthodontists build on their knowledge of orthodontics through on-going continuing education in orthodontic technology and practice. About Dr. Violet Barbosa Dr. Violet Barbosa is a specialist in Orthodontics for children, teenagers and adults. She is a board member of the Cleveland Society of Orthodontists (CSO) and an active member of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) She earned her DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) degree from New York University College of Dentistry. She then went on to the accredited orthodontic residency program at Montefiore Hospital, Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York to become an orthodontist. Dr. Violet also holds the following degrees from prestigious universities in India, namely: BDS (Bachelor of Dental Surgery) and MDS (Master of Dental Surgery) in Orthodontics. She is a former Lecturer-Consultant at Goa Dental College and Hospital. She built a successful orthodontic practice in Goa before moving to the U.S. Dr. Violet lives in Twinsburg with her husband Peter and their daughter, Annasha. Her interests include music, animals and nature. She likes being involved in community activities and is passionate about preserving the environment for future generations. For more information, visit www.violetorthodontics.com

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The March 6th meeting of The Heart of Doll Country was held at the United Methodist Church in Garrettsville.  Present were Pat Dutchman, Kerin Denna, Carolyn Englert, and Jean Lawrence.  After the Minutes of the previous meeting were read, and the Treasurer’s report given, a discussion on the issue of continuing to meet at the church was held.  Due to a decline in membership, it was decided to move our meetings to member’s homes.  The next topic was our annual Luncheon, to be held in July this year, with a theme of A Doll’s Christmas in July.  A speaker, Sandy Pelphrey has been arranged, and we talked about table decorations, competitions, and ticket sales.  A guest was introduced, Helen Danku, who had a hand made Raggedy Ann doll that was made for her children years ago.  She wanted advice on how to clean and care for the doll.  The members responded with some good conservation techniques.  Pat served light refreshments, and Helen won the door prize, a lovely plant.  The next meeting will be April 3rd, at the home of Carolyn Englert.  If you are interested in visiting or joining the club, feel free to contact Carolyn at pindolllady@gmail.com or 330-527-4888.

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Aurora – The Rotary Club of Aurora was chartered in June of 2000. Rotary Clubs traditionally hold fundraiser events to provide funds to finance its various projects, locally, nationally and internationally. As a new club, we had to create a fundraiser. We had little experience. One member had experienced a fundraiser in Grand Rapids, MI called the Taste of the Chamber. The Chamber of Commerce invited all its food related members to present samples to a “Business after Hours” event held at a very nice local museum. It proved to be a success there and our club decided to hold the Taste of Aurora as our first major fundraiser. The first event was held in 2001 at The Bertram Inn. The Bertram generously donated the space. There were eleven local restaurants offering tasty delights to the crowd of 250 ticket purchasers, much better interest than we expected. Four local artists displayed their artwork and the Hudson Jazz Project provided musical entertainment. This first event netted $4,800 for Rotary scholarships and projects. The second Taste of Aurora was also held at the Bertram and introduced a silent auction to the event, a significant improvement to the revenue opportunity. Eight restaurants participated and it was another financial success. The third Taste changed venue to Independence Village and the fourth event moved to Our Lady of Perpetual Help church. It netted $13,100 and featured the energetic musical group, Focus, entertaining from the church balcony. Attendance had climbed to 264 and the church was so crowded that the fifth returned to The Bertram. Eighteen restaurants participated, helping to net $16,000. Attendance grew to 373, straining the facility space. Sponsorships were offered in this fifth year, significantly adding to the revenue received. Sponsorships continued to be sold in subsequent years. 2006 saw the Taste of Aurora move to the Signature of Solon. Increasing attendance forced a move to provide adequate space. Restaurants increased to 20, and this first year at Signature of Solon, attendance dropped slightly to 346 and net revenue to $11,800. In 2008 net revenue was $17,500 once again on attendance of 415. This success continued through 2011. Maximum attendance occurred in 2009 at 459 and maximum net revenue in 2011 at $19,500. Attendance has been over 400 for the last 5 years, limiting the locations, which can comfortably host this large crowd. In 2007 a raffle ticket sale was introduced. Raffle tickets were sold during the dining session for a drawing to find a winner of a major item. Big screen TV’s proved to be an attraction to boost raffle sales. In 2010, the Rotary Club began to sell reserved tables of 10 at a slight premium price. They have proven to be very popular and will be offered again in 2010. The taste was renamed in 2011 to The Taste of the Western Reserve to better accommodate the restaurants, which come from Aurora and beyond our boundaries. The new name has been well received. The Taste has proven to be a venerable fundraiser event and the Rotary Club of Aurora plans to continue to offer it into the future. It has become a significant social event in the spring of each year. Many people look forward to it and return every year to enjoy the gastronomical delights offered by such respected local restaurants and chefs. The funds raised by the Taste have been the source of the Rotary Club’s funding of projects. Projects include, among others: Scholarships for high school students, purchase of the police dog, Sayro, for the Aurora Police Department, support of childhood AIDS home for orphans in Africa, water wells in Africa and Latin America, a tool shed for Leighton School, computers for a Latin America school and food donations to The Volunteers of America food bank in Aurora. In 2012, The Taste of the Western Reserve will be held at Signature of Solon from 4-7pm on April 29. Tickets are $35 per person in advance, $40 at the door, and reserved tables for 10 are available for $400. Ticket information is available from Dick Garner, 330 562-9543.

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The James A. Garfield Local School District Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held on Saturday, April 28 at the James A. Garfield High School to honor graduates who have achieved much, in athletics, in business, in health and sciences, in the arts, et al. These individuals must have graduated in good standing at least ten years ago, must have demonstrated outstanding citizenship, character and leadership qualities, must have submitted–or have submitted on their behalf–a completed nomination form. The windows of Selection Opportunity include (1) athletic success, (2) post-graduate success in their chosen field or fields, (3) service to the Garfield School District–this does not have to be a Garfield alumni but can be anyone who has made outstanding contributions to the school system. Leading off–as she often did– for 2012 : Mistine Hamilton. Mistine graduated in the Class of 1997 with four academic letters, four varsity letters in softball, three varsity letters in basketball, three varsity letters in volleyball. Her first and second team all-conference awards fill shelves(5), crowded in with MVP honors and league championship and runners-up awards(5), topped off with a first team all-district salute in her senior year. If bowling had been a varsity sport at that time the collection might have been even larger–perhaps state level, for Mistine has been recognized twice as the Portage County individual champion, is the only female to roll an 800 series at Sky Lanes and has rolled–not one, not two, but three 300 games…exceptional! She received a full scholarship to Youngstown State University, where she was a four-year starter and letter-winner, was named to first and second conference teams in consecutive years and team captain in her senior year. After college she has played on softball teams that, for 6 consecutive years qualified for the USSSA World Tourney–one year as runner-up, two years on the all-tournament team, one year as MVP; the ASA greeted Mistine as a National runner-up and as a state champ; one year she was named the MVP in the NSA World Series. Not too shabby! Lest you think that she does nothing but play around, be aware that Mistine has a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration, with a major in accounting, on the Dean’s List all the way. She is currently a tax accountant with Progressive Insurance in Cleveland and resides in Aurora with her son, Evan, who can already throw a ball. Good genes. Maybe she was inspired by Darren Perusek, Class of 1993–different sports, same drive and level of accomplishment. Darren was a four-year letterman in track, three-year letterman in football, three-year letterman in basketball but track was where her really made his mark in Garfield record books. Dashes were his specialty : 100m dash–3rd fastest time in Garfield history, 200m dash–2nd fastest time in GHS history (fastest since the distance was changed from yards to meters),400m dash–2nd fastest at GHS (At the state meet his time of :49.9 broke Hall-of-Famer Harry Vincent’s 31yr-old record), 4×100. relay–third leg on the team that set a school record in 1992, 4×400 relay–anchor leg on team that took 2nd at the regionals, took a school record and advanced to the state meet. At the state meet, Darren competed in the 400m, finishing 9th, and the 4×400 relay, where the team placed 6th. He’s got all-league and all-Ohio awards hanging on wall someplace too. Darren currently lives in North Olmstead, Ohio but he follows the teams at Garfield and has continued to support the programs at all levels of competition, middle school to varsity. A champ, through and through. And next week we will reveal the influence of –TA DAH!–John Bennett.

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Words of comfort, thoughts of disbelief, and so many things we wish we had said. “Only the good die young” seems to be the phrase uttered on repeat. While no life seems long enough, just shy of 19 years is far too short. In his short time, our Ryan touched so many. Our community is at a loss. If you didn’t know Ryan, you had heard of him. His larger-than-life personality, his work ethic, and his business abilities all spoke volumes about his character. He was loved by many; the pride and joy of his family. To know Ryan was to love him. It was evident Friday evening the many lives he had touched, as the trucks rolled by, you could feel the love people had for him outweighing the disbelief of his sudden passing. He touched and influenced more people in his short life then some people would be able to in 100 years. To begin to understand why our Ryan was taken so soon is something our mortal minds will never grasp. As the shock begins to wear off and the reality that he is really gone sets in, let us hold dear the memories he left us with. Remember the beautiful blue-eyed boy who stole our hearts with his larger-than-life personality. Remember the mischievous young man who was always on the go. Remember the honest, hard-working boy who never let the possibility of failure stop him from trying. Remember the quick wit and humor that made him a joy to be around. Remember the kindness he possessed that transcended generations and made him who he was. Remember the slow smile and shine in his eyes that let you know he was up to something. Remember the cloud of black smoke that let you know he was near. Remember the love and loyalty he was capable of, that made being his friend an honor. Remember the excitement he had for life. Remember how he loved his family. Remember his thirst for knowledge. Remember the times we were blessed with by sharing his life. Remember the tears we shed at his passing. Remember how he made this community a better place. The loss of our Ryan runs deep, but we can keep his memory and values alive in our hearts, maybe try to see the world as Ryan did, it will make our world a better place, a world of endless possibilities, where everyone is counted a friend. That’s the world Ryan lived in and look at the impact he had on all of our lives. Rest in peace, sweet boy, it was an honor to have known you, and see what a wonderful young man you turned in to.

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JOE THE COUPON GUY at BURTON PUBLIC LIBRARY In these thrifty times, it pays to be a smart shopper. Joe Daugirdas, also known as the “Coupon Guy,” can help you do just that. Joe has been couponing in northeast Ohio for many years, and he teaches a class called “The Savvy Shopper” at Lakeland Community College. He has been featured on CBS, ABC, Fox and NBC news and can also be heard on WELW 1330 AM each Wednesday morning at 7:18 a.m. Joe has helped many people save money through the art of couponing. Joe Daugirdas will present a couponing workshop on Monday, April 16, at 7 p.m. at the Burton Public Library. Admission is free. Call the library to register: 440-834-4466. Learn how you too can save money through this inspiring class with Joe.

Eastern Bluebird Program At Reed Memorial Come join us at Reed Memorial Library for a program about the Eastern Bluebird on March 31, 2012 at 10:00AM. According to the Ohio Bluebird Society, bluebirds were once a common sight in rural Ohio, but due to severe winters and human imprudent activities, the bluebirds’ population had declined by as much as 90%. Recently through conservation efforts, the bluebird is making a comeback in Ohio. Janice Petco, a member of the Ohio Bluebird Society and the American Bluebird Society, will present an educational program about bluebirds and their habitat. Ms. Petco, a retired pharmacist and resident of Canton Ohio, has been interested in bluebirds since 1986 and has monitored her own bluebird trail at the Algonquin Mill Complex in Carroll County since 1994. She is an avid photographer, world traveler, and birder and will include slides of her own photographs of bluebirds during the program. This free event is open to the public with no reservations required. For more information call (330) 296-2827 ext.200.

Award-winning author to visit library Award-winning local author Thrity Umrigar will be speaking and signing copies of her new novel, The World We Found, on Saturday, April 28, at 1:30 p.m. at the Aurora Memorial Library. Originally from Bombay, India, Umrigar is known for creating unforgettable characters who struggle amid class and religious distinctions in modern-day India. In this, her fourth novel, she explores the relationships between college friends who are reunited after one of them is stricken with a terminal illness. Umrigar moved to the U.S. in her early 20’s to study journalism at The Ohio State University. She began her writing career as a newspaper reporter, and has worked for the Akron Beacon Journal and the Cleveland Plain Dealer. She is a recipient of the prestigious Neiman Fellowship at Harvard University, and her work has appeared in the Washington Post and the Boston Globe. She currently serves as an associate professor of English at Case Western Reserve University. There is no charge for this author visit, but pre-registration is requested via the library’s website at www.portagelibrary.org. Books for purchase will be provided by the Learned Owl Book Shop of Hudson. For more information on this or any other library program, visit the website or call 330-562-6502. The Aurora Memorial Library, located at 115 E. Pioneer Trail, is open Mondays and Tuesdays 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., Wednesdays and Fridays 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., and Saturdays 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. The library is closed on Thursdays and Sundays.

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The Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary Club was treated to a “Family Act” on Monday, March 9 in the ballroom of the Hiram College Kennedy Center as Vera and Christophe Waroquet, with their children, Ronan, Etienne and Sophia presented a delightful musical evening featuring piano, guitar and vocal numbers by the various family members, individually and together. There were stories of travel and of the role of Rotary in bringing them all together and to the United States. There were stories of bringing the “blended” family into one household–Hungary, France, Morocco were part of the mix, as were Brigham Young University and Carnegie-Mellon University, concert tours and an interest in American History–a sort of “Brady Bunch” with an international flavor. Also part of the tale was the Aurora School of Music, founded nearly five years ago and still expanding in many directions, using digital technology and an enthusiastic and accomplished staff. The master classes, the video streaming of recitals, the recordings, the summer camps all make this a success story in the arts. The family then showcased their individual talents: Ronan played a Bartok piece, Etienne sang “Do You Hear the People Singing?” from “Le Mis”, Sophia shyly did a song of her own, Christophe did an Italian number and “River” by Garth Brooks and Vera gave her interpretation of the G minor Rhapsody by Brahms, managing to give what is often termed “heavy” a thoughtful and energetic presentation…to the great enjoyment of all in attendance. It was a captivating evening.

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Burton – “Christopher Columbus” will land on the shores of Northeast Ohio aboard the Nautica Queen April 12 at 8:30 AM, and begin an adventure to Geauga County that will highlight Ohio Chautauqua and its stop at Century Village Museum in Burton this summer. With his journey east, “the explorer” will offer bystanders and social-media followers a preview of how Ohio Chautauqua’s scholar-performers bring history to life through dramatic characterization. “Columbus’s” trip to Geauga County will include an appearance on Chardon Square at 12:15 p.m. and a 6 p.m. performance at Century Village Museum. The 2012 Ohio Chautauqua, sponsored and presented by the Ohio Humanities Council, is a traveling tent festival that combines education, drama and other entertainment to focus on the time “When Ohio was the Western Frontier.” The festival’s trademark red-and-white-striped tent will be erected on the grounds of Geauga Historical Society’s Century Village Museum July 3-7. The Ohio Chautauqua tent will serve as the central location for five free evening performances by humanities scholars who assume the costume and personality of historical figures: pioneer naturalist Johnny Appleseed; Iroquois leader Chief Logan; frontier aristocrat Margaret Blennerhassett; York, a Lewis and Clark Expedition member; and Oliver Hazard Perry, hero of the Battle of Lake Erie. Throughout the week, these same scholars will present ten additional daytime programs on varying topics at five other venues around the county. Five of these programs will be aimed at younger audiences, and five will be geared toward adults. Geauga County is one of only five sites throughout the state chosen for the privilege of hosting the 2012 Ohio Chautauqua, which is as much a social and educational movement as it is an event. Follow “Christopher Columbus’s” observations on Twitter (#FollowChristopher) or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/2012OhioChautauquaGeauga<http://www.facebook.com/2012OhioChautauquaGeauga> as he readies for his journey. For more information about the 2012 Ohio Chautauqua in Burton, visit www.ohchautauquageauga.com<http://www.ohchautauquageauga.com/>.

Garrettsville – James A. Garfield Middle School presented their 15th Annual Fine Arts Night last week at the school. The event was designed to give students who excel in the arts a chance to exhibit their talents and to celebrate Youth Art Month. They featured sculptures, paintings, drawings, instrumental music, drama and vocals. The evening was hosted by Art Teacher Kristine Gilmer. The cast from the spring musical “Annie get your Gun” opened the show by doing a preview of the musical that they will be performing in April. They were followed by the Middle School choir who performed “That’s Not Me” and “Neath a Mexican Moon,” along with students’ instrumental solos and ensembles and vocal solos and ensembles. Folks had the opportunity to see the art exhibit in the hallway as they traveled from the auditorium to the commons to hear the Middle School Band perform “Billboard March”, “Dark Adventure,” and “Images of Ireland” before closing out the evening with an “Armed Forces Medley.” The Fine Arts Night was started back in1998 by Mrs. Gilmer when the Middle School was still located on Park Avenue as a way to highlight what the students were doing in the Fine and Performing Arts.  Gilmer noticed that there were ceremonies for sports and academics but nothing for those who excelled in the arts. So she developed the Fine Arts Night. Since March is Youth Art Month, holding the event in March just seemed right. Over the years they have done a variety of things to feature the student’s talents. The first year they had created skits, had a garage band, with a few vocal performances along with an art show. Now, the Fine Arts Night has grown to include the drama department, band and choir along with the art show. Mrs. Gilmer stated “This is the last “Official” Fine Arts Night. Art will still be displayed but change is good and it is time to look at alternative ways to showcase the many talents of my art students.” Mrs. Gilmer would like to thank the following for all their help: Mr. Don King, Mr. Theo Cebulla, and Mr. Joe Gaither In previous years she was assisted by Mr. Michael Kelly, Ms. Iva Walker, Mrs. Patricia Amor, Mrs. Bethany Brawley, Mrs. Jackie Lovelace, and Mr. Aaron Gilbert.

Mantua – Mantua Village Council members took care of several items of business at the Feb. 21 meeting. Council members approved the purchase and installation of an $18,000 Vaughan Chopper pump for the village’s wastewater treatment plant. The ordinance 2012-02 was approved 5-0. Council member Ben Prescott was absent. Council also authorized a transfer of more then $3,040 from the water and sewer operating funds to the water and sewer debt fund to cover an “insufficient balance,” Village Clerk-Treasurer Jenny August said. “The water fund was short in January,” August said. “We have enough money now to make up for it.” The ordinance 2012-05 was passed 5-0. Other items of business included approving an increase in the general fund to cover a former employee’s medical coverage, an increase in the park fund to cover painting and gutter work, an increase in the water operating fund to cover expense related to the operation of a new high speed pump at the water plant, and an increase to the sewer capital improvement debt fund to make money available for the purchase of the new chopper pump. The additional expenses totaled $37,000. Council approved ordinance 2012-06, which dealt with the expenses, 5-0. Ordinances read but not discussed or called to vote include ordinance 2012-04, opposing the state’s centralized collection of income taxes, and ordinance 2012-07, increasing the costs of grave opening or closing at the village’s Hillside Cemetery. Department heads and the mayor also spoke of ways to improve village life. Mantua Village Mayor Linda Clark expressed a desire for cohesive signage around the village, application for trailhead grants for next year and a sidewalk grant from AMATS. “Each of these small projects is step,” Clark said. Village Engineer Richard Iafelice gave Council members a report outlining the confirmation of a $45,000 grant from AMATS for sidewalk construction along Main Street. He also recommended to Council attend to water pressure fluctuations. Iafelice also informed Council of his approval of plans from Crestwood schools to design and rehab the district’s sewage pumping station. Council will next meet March 20 at 7 p.m. in Village Hall,

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Members of 20th Century Club met March 1st at the home of Connie Crate. Co-hostess for the evening was Gay McCoy.  Members answered roll call with their favorite English custom.  The program was given by Jeannette Marvin Hall on SENSE AND SENSIBILITY.  Following the program members enjoyed a baked potato bar with all the fixings.   The next meeting will be held on March 15th at the James A. Garfield Historical Society.  Co-hostesses will be Nasreen Kitko and Gay McCoy.  The program will be given by Jan Boehm.

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Shalersville – Sunlight has not edged over the horizon yet when Virginia Goodell pulls into the parking lot of the Shalersville Townhall. The parking lot soon will be filled and the air will soon smell like maple syrup, but not yet. Right now, the only sounds are the hiss of pancakes frying on the griddle and the pop of percolating coffee. Every year for the last 30 years, the Goodell family and friends host pancake breakfasts in the hall. They regularly serve more than 500 people in less than six hours. “It’s a lot of work,” Virginia Goodell says while directing servers to their tables. “We’ve served 800 people in one day. That’s just way too much. It’s a mob.” There were people waiting for their pancakes and maple syrup even before the doors opened March 11. Jean Call, who has been to the breakfasts since they first started in 1982, was one of the first to arrive. “The food’s good,” Call said, adding the family-like atmosphere of the annual breakfasts has not changed in the last three decades. “It’s a nice place to come and eat because it’s like home.” Sally Ruggless, another long-time attendee, agreed. “It’s been our ritual for 25 years,” she said. “It’s the perfect way to get spring started.” The tradition has spanned generations. While Virginia Goodell oversees the servers, her grandson Nathan keeps the breakfast humming along. “When we average 500 people a Sunday, it gets pretty tight in the hall,” Nathan Goodell said. “We’ve had our regulars bring in friends from out of state to experience it.” The Goodells also sell their maple syrup products, ranging from candy to the more traditional gallon jugs, at the breakfast. Each item was made by syrup tapped from trees on their Mantua farm and, Nathan added, is quite famous. “Whenever we go overseas, we bring our syrup with us,” Nathan said. “Maple syrup is certainly unique to this area and ours has made it around the world.” The syrup served at the breakfasts was made in the last month, he added. “We started producing maple syrup in February and will continue as long as we can,” Nathan said. “The syrup we serve is brand new.” That syrup is one reason why area residents Joe and Diane Phillips have been to the breakfasts every year for more than a decade. “The great sausage, great pancakes and great syrup,” Joe said, explaining why the family keeps coming back, and friendly faces are another plus. “We’ve seen a lot of the servers grow up and go to college. It’s like family.” Those servers are a crew of more than 20 family and friends who keep the plates full of all-you-can-eat sausage and pancakes while refilling mugs of coffee, tea or orange juice. This was the first year serving for Crestwood High School student Alaina Nuti, 15. “I was a little nervous the first Sunday,” Nuti said, adding, “but this is so much fun. It’s like family here and it smells so good.” That smell would be the thousands of plain and buckwheat pancakes being made and the more than 13 gallons of maple syrup that would be used to top them. Adults pay $7.50 for a plate while children four-years-old and up pay $4. Children three-years-old and younger eat free. March 18 will be the last Sunday this year to enjoy the breakfasts. “Get here early,” Diane Phillips said. “The line gets long.” For more information, visit the Goodell’s family farm website at goodellfamilyfarm.com.

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Can you sing? Do you like to be on stage performing before others? Are you available April 14th, May 20th and June 24th 2012? If your answer is yes to all of the above, then we want to hear from you. Garrettsville SummerFest announces the audition dates for Garrettsville Idol, the grand finale event that closes out the SummerFest Festival every year on the fourth weekend in June. Adults will compete for a $1000 cash prize awarded to the winner at the finals held during SummerFest, while the youth and teens will each compete for $500 savings bonds, also awarded to the winner at the finals. The open-call auditions are scheduled for April 14, 2012 at James A Garfield Schools’ Iva Walker Auditorium starting at 1p.m. Contestants are asked to come prepared to sing an entire song without musical accompaniment. The closed audition, with no audience, has been broken down into the following three age brackets: youth 8– 12 years, teen 13-17 years and adults 18 years and up. The youth auditions will start at 1pm, the teens at 2pm and the adults will start at 3pm. Please arrive 15 minutes early to fill out a biography sheet for our program. Registration can be done online at www.garrettsvillesummerfest.com click on Garrettsville Idol and fill out the registration form. One may also register by mail; label the top of paper with Garrettsville Idol, include name, address, email address, phone number, and date of birth and send it to Garrettsville SummerFest at 8311 Windham Street Garrettsville, Oh 44231. Idol registration can also be dropped off at Skylanes Bowling. Registration can be done at the door but we prefer folks to register prior to the event. More information, including the rules can be found at www.garrettsvillesummerfest.com or by calling Aaron King (330) 524-2646. This year’s theme is “A Tribute to the Armed Forces.” T-shirts commemorating your Idol experience along with the SummerFest themed shirts will be available for purchase at the auditions. Garrettsville Idol is sponsored by Garrettsville McDonalds. This years SummerFest Festival sponsors are Garrettsville Area Chamber of Commerce, Geauga Vision, Ellerhorst-Russell Insurance Agency, Kepich Ford and the Weekly Villager. SummerFest is traditionally held the fourth full weekend in June at the corners of State Route 82 and State Route 88 in downtown Garrettsville www.garrettsvillesummerfest.com

Garrettsville – In November of 1996 Miller’s Family Restaurant opened its door on Main Street and it was a dream turned reality for Monica Miller and her husband Gary. Monica decided that she wanted to have more control over her future and her employment so she began researching businesses that would open that door for her. She wasn’t looking to get rich, she was just looking for a business that would pay the bills. Her research showed that a bar or restaurant was the best way to go. She decided on a family restaurant. Thus Miller’s Family Restaurant was born.

Nelson Twp. – The Nelson Township Trustees met for their regularly scheduled meeting last week with Chairman Jim Turos, Tom Matota, Joe Leonard, and Fiscal Officer J. David Finney in attendance. There were also 15 others in attendance. The meeting was called to order by Chairman Jim Turos at 7:30 pm. Fiscal Officer presented for signature two cemetery deeds,the bank reconciliation and bills and wages totaling $35,082.12. The board approved the bank reconciliation and signed cemetery deeds. Finney also presented a letter on whether they wanted to continue to fertilize the trees on Nelson circle. The board agreed to continue fertilizing the trees. Matota asked the board to formalize a procedure on the end of the year/ new year transition. After some discussion he proposed that the board meet as close to 12/31 as possible to complete the current year’s business and on the first regularly scheduled meeting of the year, open the new year’s business. The EPA has offered municipalities a grant to replace older diesel vehicles with newer ones through an 80/20 matching grant. Matota announced that they decided to apply for the grant and take advantage of the county’s offer to use their grant writer. A resident questioned when they decided to do this? The resident stated that they were in violation of the Sunshine Laws if they made a decision without having a formal meeting. Matota replied with, “I may have used the wrong word. We didn’t decide on anything, we just moved forward with the grant application and will decide later if we get the grant on whether we purchase a truck or not.” Another resident asked whether the township could afford the truck and questioned where the money would come from, Matota replied with “How can we not afford it with an 80/20 matching grant?” He said the money would probably come from the road and bridge fund. The trustees are still waiting on approval for Pierce Road Project. Leonard asked the board if they would still supply the porta- johns for the park this summer the porta-johns will be $70/ month and they will be at the park from May until October. Leonard stated that the board received a letter regarding the US Liquids property. Portage County Health Department has cited the owners for health violations. Leonard also said that he heard back from the EPA and they said the raceways and holding tanks contain nasty stuff. They never used the word toxic so the trustees still do not know what they are dealing with. Turos reported that a company hired by the bank estimated the cost of the clean-up of the U.S Liquids property will be nearly $500,000 leaving the bank which has the receivership of the property responsible for the costs. Once the estimate was received, the bank has decided that it will not pay $500,000 for the clean-up but would spend about $50,000, causing the company to withdraw its offer. The situation is in the hands of the Portage County Health Department. The trustee said the mess inside the building resembles a garbage dump and is loaded with rats. Road supervisor reported that the water well was serviced, the pressure tank and bladder were replaced and the water was tested. Right now they are waiting on the results. The drawings for the handicap ramp are finished and Chuck Vanek will get material costs together for the project. Matota raised questions on the ramp and will meet with Vanek over the specifics. A discussion was held when a resident questioned the logs in the ditch at the corner of Knowlton Road and Shanks-Down Road that are causing flooding. The logs are on the east side of the road and are in the Nelson road right-of-way. Matota said they would do nothing with them. The resident said that Southington said they wouldn’t move them either. After a long discussion with the road supervisor on the location of this issue, Matota said he would have to go out there and look at the situation and he will address the issue with the landowner. Vanek stated that they needed to order new flags for the telephone poles for this summer. He said they would run nearly $900 for the flags; trustees approved the measure. Vanek wanted permission to trim/cut trees and branches back on Pierce Road while the road is closed. Matota said they needed the county engineer to come out and stake where the right-of-way is prior to cutting/trimming any trees. Matota brought up the township installing new or replacing driveway culverts on township roads issue again and said he would write up a proposal that would address the issue and present it to the board next month. Nearly two hours into the meeting, the board introduced guest Mark Russell from Ellerhorst Insurance Company. Mark presented them with the new insurance policy for buildings, equipment, and vehicles. The policy as it is currently written will run $11,872/ year. Russell recommended that because of the way the laws have changed they might want to consider carrying police liability insurance that is about $200 more a year. The coverage would protect the township when any law enforcement agency works in the township and may cause an issue for someone to sue the law enforcement agency and hold the township responsible for the law enforcement agency’s actions; the township would be covered. After some disagreement on the issue (Leonard thought they should purchase it and Turos and Matota said they shouldn’t) the board declined police liability coverage. There were many issues on the policy that the trustees wanted to possibly amend so Finney will pay the premium listed and the township will be billed for the amendments. Mark Russell will look at costs for possible amendments. Trustees agreed to waive the fee for the Community House rental for the Amish school auction and the after-prom committee pancake breakfast. The trustees announced the open house for the food bank would be held March 10, 2012 2pm -4pm; the annual Easter egg hunt for children 3 years old to 10 will be held March 31, 2012 2pm at Pixley Park; if it is raining, they will move it to the Community House. The board approved the payment of the bills and wages then opened the floor for questions. A resident questioned the not-for-profit use of the community house. The resident wanted to know who has the authority to waive the fee. They thought it had to be a trustee. What criteria do they use etc? Which resulted in Turos taking offense with folks questioning the caretaker’s integrity on the issue. He made a phone call to Michelle Cmunt who is responsible for renting the Community House. She said in the past that this group had a tax-exempt number and the board had waived the fee previously; the group will present the tax exempt number to her. This brought up a question from Jim Turos on why a certain group only pays $20 / month to use the facility every week. Which led to Matota questioning why they had rules for the facility if they were not going to follow them? Matota was addressing the situation where they opened the Community House for a meeting on a legal holiday. These questions and discussions dragged the meeting out to nearly three hours. Finally the meeting was adjourned. The trustees meet on the first and third Wednesday of each month at 7:30 pm at the community house. More township information can be found at www.nelsontownshipohio.org

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Windham – The road to Columbus for Windham’s Lady Bombers and the boy’s Bombers basketball team came to a screeching halt a week ago, when both teams failed to move out of the first round of regional competition. The Lady Bombers were up against four-time state champions Berlin Hiland Hawks at Massillon Perry High School in Massillon. The Hawks proved quickly why they had been four-time state champs, racking up 15 unanswered points and never looking back. Their quickness and powerful defense proved to be too much for the Lady Bombers as they were only able to get off 17 shots the entire game. The Hawks dominated every facet of the game, handing the Lady Bombers a 64-9 defeat and putting an abrupt halt to the state championship dreams. The Lady Bombers finished the regular season with 9-7 prior to entering post-season play. They defeated Fairport, Maplewood, and Warren JFK to claim the District Title. The Lady Bombers then moved on to the Regionals, defeating Our Lady of the Elms before losing to Berlin Hiland last Saturday night. They were awarded the runner-up trophy for Regionals which concluded their season. The Lady Bombers were coached by Gregg Isler and Doug Fall. The boy’s team finished their regular season with an 11-7 record prior to entering the Sectional Tournament played at Warren G. Harding High School in Warren. The Bombers defeated Mineral Ridge, McDonald, and Warren JFK before they moved onto regional play at Canton Field House in Canton. In the first round of the Regional competition, the boys took on the Richmond Heights Spartans and fought a physical battle only to be on the losing end. The boy’s team is coached by Marty Hill and assisted by Bill Poszgai Congratulations to both teams who captured the District IV Titles!

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Nelson Twp. – The Literary Music Club had their meeting at Nelson Community center on March 14th. As a result of nice spring weather we had 6 members in attendance. Kathy Spolarch was our hostess; she had the tables set in a St. Patrick’s theme. We had three birthdays for March, Ann Spolarch, Kathy Spolarch and Sally Kittle. Iva Walker entertained us with her “Chocolate Confection” and it was very interesting to hear about where chocolate comes from. We always enjoy her speeches. Next month we will go to Hawaii, Margaret Lappert is in Hawaii for her vacation and will have lots to tell. Our next meeting is April 11. See you there!

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Jaret Doraski’s 211 was high game last week in the 11:00 Trio League. Jaret also rolled the high series of 471. Joey Ewell shot a 155 and 157 on his way to a 429 series, 84 pins over average. Noah Hoffman was over average all three games, with a 45-over 152 his first game. Noah was 80 pins over average for the day. Other nice games: Ryan Ambler, 199, Jacob Britton, 144 (46 over), Courtney Lytle, 148 (45 over), Nick Toke, 169 (37 over), Ian Huebner, 78 (34 over), Ali Franklin, 149 (31 over), Belladonna Titschinger, 128 (28 over), and Jameson Huebner, 99 (25 over). Adam Norris had the high game for the 9:00 shift with a 168. High series was Kassie Fedor with 409. Clark Jackson was the most over average for the day. Clark rolled games of 115, 130, and 112, all well over his 86 average. Clark’s series was 357, 99 pins over average. Other nice games were rolled by Matt Hale, 121 (38 over), Austin Wise, 122 (36 over), Travis Horner, 124 (36 over), Jack Norris, 124 (33 over), and Isaac Trickett, 80 (31 over). Alex Gage once again had high game for the PeeWees with a 110. Other nice games were rolled by Owen Norris, 102, Zach Seebacher, 102, Gavin Dunfee, 93, and Owen Wolff, 91.

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Garrettsville – The Garrettsville Library announced earlier this month that Dianne Hager, Circulation Coordinator, will retire at the end of April. In her present position since 1998, Hager first began her career at the Portage County District Library in 1985 at the Pierce Streetsboro Library (when it was still two connected houses on State Route 43). Among her many career highlights was meeting Mr. Royal Pierce, the benefactor for the construction of the library’s Kirby Lane location in Streetsboro. What does Hager have planned for retirement? “I have plans to keep busy. I have a daughter that’s expecting a child at the end of June, and I plan on helping to care for him. I also plan to help out at the Senior Center in Ravenna.” Branch Manager, Kathleen Kozup, says, “Dianne has been a well-known fixture of Portage County District Library for many years. We all wish her the best of luck for an enjoyable retirement.”

Freedom Twp. – Freedom Township Board of Trustees met in regular session at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 15, 2012. It was the last meeting for Fiscal Officer Rosemary Nicholas, who is retiring at the end of the month after 12 years of service. Karen Martin of Mantua will fill Nicholas’ post. She may be reached at KSMFreedomTwp@aol.com. Road Supervisor Charles VanSteenberg noted a correction in the hours for spring clean-up scheduled for June 7, 8 and 9 (Thursday from noon to 8 p.m.; Friday from noon to 6 p.m.; and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.). Roads: Roy Martin reported that the township has been awarded a grant by Ohio Public Works for Vaughn Road resurfacing in the amount of $42,200. In response to public concern about the need to repave Wygle Road, Trustee John Zizka shared the Portage County Engineer’s report and recommendations for Wygle Road, which indicate they are planning to lay 3.5 inches of asphalt and widen areas less than 18 feet before paving. The intersection of Limeridge and Wygle calls for the radius to be increased. The report also indicates that no improvements are planned for Limeridge Road; only monitoring and repair as needed. The County Engineer is waiting for Chesapeake to sign the RUMA agreement. Also, Morton Salt is requiring the township to purchase their full commitment of salt for the 2011-2012 season, even though less was required during the mild winter. Three price quotes were received on tires for the 3910 mower, from Ravenna Tire, Terry’s Tire Town and Columbiana Firestone. It was decided to purchase tires from Terry’s Tire Town, Alliance, in the amount of $1,028.62 to include tubes, mounting and service. Trustees will purchase from Marlboro Pipe 40 feet of 30-inch pipe for Hewins Road and 40 feet of 12-inch pipe for Vair Road. Road Supervisor Charles VanSteenberg ordered 18 tons of #617 gravel and 18 tons of #304 gravel from Rick Kuntz for Hewins and other roads. VanSteenberg has contacted Todd Lamb about milling holes on Goodell, Asbury and Gotham Roads. Park: Trustee James Hammar said ball field schedules will be posted soon at the park. Their first game is April 10. T-ball doesn’t schedule the town hall field, they just show up. The drag and the bases must be located, as well as ball mix to build up the pitching mound. Dan Grafton said in the past, teams had to appear before the board of trustees for approval before using the fields. They also could not do anything to the fields without trustee permission and the leagues furnished sand and bases. Zizka agreed that the teams wanting to use the fields should come to the board of trustees. Community Service: Zizka received a request from the Girl Scouts to clean the ball fields at the town hall as a community service project. The Congregational church will be holding a perennial exchange at the town hall pavilion as a community service project on April 21. Members of Bethel Springs Fellowship had a work session at the Community Center (painting, carpet cleaning, etc.) In turn, the township provided them with lunch. Zizka waived their fee for one rental because of an earlier cancellation when the Community Center was not usable. Park Funding: There has been no word yet from ODNR regarding the park grant. The park levy failed, and there are still some groups who want more amenities at the park (water, soccer, etc.). Hammar said there is money remaining in the park levy fund, and it was suggested that he leave it on deposit for now if no fees are involved, pending approval from the Park Committee. Hammar will send letters of appreciation to the business community and individuals who made donations and assistance in support of the park levy. Coupons will be made available for discounts at Pochedly’s Greenhouse and Pochedly’s will donate part of the proceeds back to the Park Committee. Duffield suggested getting more young parents involved in the park committee, to make it more viable. Zizka agreed and suggested another park levy campaign should be attempted. Fire: Trustee Rooy Martin reported that a dry hydrant is being put in on Bancroft Road in Nelson. A new tank should arrive the first week in April. There was discussion regarding a full-time building inspector for fire inspections. The Fireman’s Association refused any extra cost for the storage building. Harold Cain questioned the total expenditures for the front porch work, including architect fees, permits, and tear-off and disposal work done by township personnel. There’s an additional charge of $225 due to an increase in material cost. Zizka also confirmed that clean-up is in addition to what township will pay Classical Construction for the porch work. Zoning: Zoning Inspector Jeff Derthick will present an application for a conditional use permit for a local business, during the March 20 Board of Zoning Appeals meeting. The Zoning Commission will meet on March 21. Derthick is posting the BZA appeals in the ZonePro program. EMS: Two more employees have been hired. The EMS Board will meet twice a month for the immediate future. Regional Planning: Fiscal Officer Rosemary Nicholas reported that $5,306.03 in estate tax had been received. Trustees agreed to transfer $5,306.03 from the General Fund (Estate Tax) to the Freedom Township Park Development Fund. Nicholas received a letter from NOPEC regarding its natural gas program and opt-out option. After discussion, the board agreed to continue the township’s participation in the NOPEC/Dominion Energy. Zizka read the letter he had drafted expressing the Board’s position on oil/gas well drilling in the township. It will be published in both the Record-Courier and The Villager newspapers. Martin said work continues on the grant for a truck through the EPA program. Zizka delivered the township’s application to the County Engineer’s office last month. He will check with the County Engineer for an update. A special meeting will be Thursday, March 29 at 7:30 p.m. to continue discussion regarding the truck grant and any other business that may come before the Board. Trustee Hammar said he had a discussion with a representative of Suddenlink. They continue to work on expanding fiber optics in the township for high speed internet service.

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Many folks enjoyed the 2011 SummerFest in Garrettsville last year. Well, did you know that the SummerFest committee has two fundraisers that help pay for the event? The committee will once again hold a car raffle along with T-shirts sales to fund the event. This year’s vehicle is locally donated by Kepich Ford and for the first time ever, the raffle vehicle will be a truck, a nicely-equipped black Ford F-150 truck. Tickets for the truck are $20 each or the early bird special of six tickets for $100 until June 21, 2012. After June 21, 2012 the price for tickets will be $20 each. Tickets can be purchased at Skylanes Bowling Alley, Middlefield Bank, Huntington Bank, Weekly Villager, and other local businesses in Garrettsville. The drawing will be held at the close of the festival on June 24, 2012 following Garrettsville Idol. The winner can choose between the car and $20,000 in cash. Second prize is an iPad III. and third prize is a trip to Las Vegas. Orders are being taken at the Weekly Villager for T-shirts featuring this year’s theme “A Tribute to the Armed Forces.” They are a camouflage green. Shirts are $12 each and are available in adult sizes only. Extended sizes are available for an additional $3 charge per shirt. Call 330 527-5761 to order your shirts. Shirts will also be available in town by the end of April at Skylanes Bowling, Middlefield Bank, Huntington Bank, Weekly Villager, and Millers Restaurant. There is a limited quantity this year and when they are gone, they are gone so order now to beat the rush so you are not left without one.

This year’s SummerFest Festival is sponsored by, Garrettsville Area Chamber of Commerce, Geauga Vision, Ellerhorst-Russell Insurance Agency, Kepich Ford and the Weekly Villager. The festival is traditionally held the fourth full weekend in June at the corners of S.R.82 and S.R. 88 in downtown Garrettsville. More information can be found at www.garrettsvillesummerfest.com

Garrettsville – Village Council met for their regularly scheduled monthly meeting on March 14. Minutes from the prior meeting, revenue, expenditure, cash balance, and income tax reports were all reviewed. Motions to pay the bills and accept the minutes were both approved 5-0 (Council member Karen Clyde was absent). Connie Knop and Kit Semplak, on behalf of the James A. Garfield Historical Society, addressed Council about the future of the clock tower. They shared that the historical society does not have enough manpower or financial resources to maintain the building and clock and asked if the village would accept it as a donation. The tower sits on land owned by the village, and leased by the historical society. It was determined that the village already pays the electric power and does some maintenance on the building without cost to the historical society. Councilmen Kaiser and Patrick recognized the historical significance of the building and thought it wise to acquire it for the village, especially since there would be no immediate cost. The historical society will formally submit the donation to council for next month’s meeting. Next, representatives from Davey Resource Group, Western Reserve Land Conservancy, and Hiram College presented a progress report on the Restoration Project of Eagle Creek. The area of the restoration will encompass 14 acres and is located on 152-acre parcel of land south of State Route 82 and west of the village. The plan is to return a section of Eagle Creek to a natural course and replant the area impacted by years of logging, farming and erosion. The land will remain restricted access and have no public trails. Set to begin in June, the project hopes to improve habitat and water quality for Eagle Creek, which flows directly through Garrettsville. Any questions about the project can be directed to Tom Ford, Director of College Relations for Hiram College. Other items of business included approving the library’s request for assistance with annual building and utility costs, discussion about the police department’s request to purchase a new copy machine and the first reading of Ordinance 2012-06, which will establish a job creation tax credit for the village. Jeff Sheehan from the Bureau of Public Affairs (BPA) asked for council to approve the BPA’s recommendations in response to a private property situation involving an error in removing trees for utility access without prior permission from the owner. Council voted unanimously to approve the recommendations. Parking on Main Street, which was recently discussed at a Safety Committee meeting, was brought up during round table discussion. Council President Patrick stated he would talk with the merchants on Main Street for a consensus before proceeding with any changes. He also stated better signage, directing people to the municipal parking lots and the boardwalk, wasneeded. The Mayor reported that Freedom Township has bowed out of the Joint Economic Development District plans. Village Council then adjourned to executive session to discuss personnel and property issues. If you’d like to know more of what is happening in your community, please attend a meeting. Village Council will next meet April 11th, 7:30 p.m. in the Village Hall.

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J.A. Garfield High School Theatre Department is putting on Irving Berlin’s musical “Annie Get Your Gun” this April, 12-15, 2012. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for students (18 and younger) and senior citizens. Tickets are on sale now at the high school office M-F 8:00am – 3:00pm. For more info, please call Laura Young at 330-527-4341. We are looking forward to a fourth year of SOLD OUT shows! The 3rd Annual Breakfast with the Characters will be held at GES on Tuesday, April 10 from 7:45am – 8:45am. Participants will get to meet the characters from Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show (“Annie Get Your Gun”) such as Annie Oakley, Frank Butler, Buffalo Bill and Chief Sitting Bull to name a few. Students are $5 each and parents are free to attend. Both parent and student will need to purchase breakfast that morning for $1.50. Checks payable to Garfield Local Schools. Registration forms will be sent home with all GES students. This is sponsored by the GHS Theatre Department.

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Aurora – The Doll Gatherers Cloth Doll Club from Aurora, Ohio is now polishing up the final touches for another spectacular, theme-related doll makers’ conference. THE DOLL PARTY GALA 2012 will be held at Punderson Resort in Newbury, Ohio on May 18-20 and will feature very popular and well-known doll art designers: Lillian Alberti (Warwick NY), Susan Barmore (Louisville, KY), (Arley Berryhill (Albuquerque, NM), Deanna Hogan (Astonia,OR), and Cyndi Mahlstadt (Redfield, IA). All pre-paid and registered participants will enjoy a weekend of doll making workshops, doll exhibits and various other activities related to doll-making interest. This event is planned to include Beginner to Advanced doll makers. Visit www.clothdollconnection.com/dollgatherers for detailed information or contact Joan Stephens Coordinator) at DGdolling@AOL.com This conference IS NOT related to or for collectible dolls.

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Rogers and Hammerstein’s musical Cinderella is coming to the Geauga Theater, and there will be two special events during Maple Festival weekend where your child (boys as well as girls) can enjoy meeting Cinderella and Prince Charming. On April 28th she can dress in her best Princess attire, and have her hair done in a royal up-do with tiara at Marci’s Hair On the Square. After, have your little princess join Cinderella and her Prince for a meet and greet with cupcakes. On Sunday, make a noble craft with Cinderella and her Prince. Both events promise to be royally fun and will provide wonderful photo opportunities for those that bring cameras. Pre-registration is required. Saturday Princess Style appointments begin at 12:15pm until 1:15pm, followed by the meet and greet at 1:30pm to 2:30pm, cost $12.00. Sunday’s craft event is 1:00pm to 2:30pm and is $6.00. Call the Geauga Lyric Theater Guild business office at 440-285-7701 for details or to reserve. Rogers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella will run April 20th – 22nd and May 4th –13th. Friday and Saturday evening performances are at 8 p.m.; Sunday performances are at 2 p.m.. Tickets are $18.00 for adults, $15.00 for seniors and students. The historic Geauga Theater is located on beautiful Chardon Square at 101 Water Street, Chardon, Ohio. For information or to purchase tickets, visit www.geaugatheater.org or call the box office at 440-286-2255.

Garrettsville – Zumba is a fun dance workout that is for beginners & pros, men & women. Everyone is welcome to join, you move at your own pace so there is no need to be rushed. You can burn anywhere from 600-1000 calories in just one workout! So you ask yourself, where can I take Zumba? Well, Zumba is on Tuesday and Thursday nights from 8-9pm at the Roller Hutt right here in good old G-ville. Plus, it’s only $6 per class! Want to get involved? Call Zumba instructor Mariah Kandel at 330-205-6520. Mariah has been attending classes for over a year and been a certified instructor for 5 months and she loves every second of it! Mariah wants to thank her inspiration, Leighann Forward for helping her lose 60 pounds since joining the Zumba program and for inspiring her to become an instructor to help others do the same. She also would like to thank Linda Dlugokecki for letting her use the Roller Hutt for the hottest workout around. Come and give it a try and shimmy-shake without the skates.

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Portage County – If you have a family member living with mental illness, you can attend a free program that has helped many Ohioans. The Portage County Family-to-Family Education Program starts a new session March 27 in Kent. The national program provides families with up-to-date information about mental illnesses, treatments, medications, services and more. Participants soon find familiar stories and familiar problems among class members while also sharing information and hope. The class is taught by area residents who have a family member with mental illness. Classes will run for 12 weeks on Tuesday nights from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the office of the Mental Health & Recovery Board of Portage County, 155 E. Main St., Kent. To sign up, call Laura at 330-673-1756, ext. 201, or email her at laurab@mental-health-recovery.org. Deadline to register is March 26. The class is sponsored by the Mental Health & Recovery Board and NAMI Portage County. The MHRB is the county government agency that funds, plans and monitors community mental health and substance abuse treatment services for Portage residents. The board website is www.mental-health-recovery.org. NAMI is the local chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. The group of family members, consumers and advocates meets  at 7 p.m. on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month at the MHRB office in Kent. All are welcome to attend for support and information. To learn more about Family-to-Family and NAMI, go to www.nami.org.

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Garrettsville – St. Ambrose Church will be offering to the community a grief gathering on Wednesday evenings from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. in the church hall.  We will meet from April 18th through May 23rd.  The six weekly sessions offer continuous information and support for grieving individuals,.  Participants should try to attend all of the sessions to take advantage of this beautiful program.  Each gathering builds upon the previous gatherings.   It would be helpful in our planning if interested participants would call the St. Ambrose rectory at 330-527-4105. Linda R. (Malobenski) Simpson, of Hiram, will be facilitating the grief gathering.  Simpson, a graduate of James A. Garfield High School, attended Hiram College and graduated from the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science in 1994 with a Bachelor of Mortuary Science Degree.  In 1995, she completed her apprenticeship in Port Clinton, Ohio, and became a licensed embalmer and funeral director in 1996.  She is also licensed by the Ohio Department of Insurance, enabling her to arrange preplanned funerals.  In 1999, she became a member of the American Academy of Bereavement and is now a bereavement facilitator after attending and passing the four day certification award program offered by the AAB in Nashua, New Hampshire.  In June of 2000, Simpson attended the five day “World Gathering on Bereavement” in Columbus, Ohio.  This wonderful event, which occurrs once every five years, allows professionals, caregivers, and grieving individuals from all over the world to gather together, to support each other, and to learn more about grief.  In August of 2005, she attended the last “World Gathering on Bereavement” in Vancouver, British Columbia. People grieve for many reasons.  We may grieve from the loss of a loved one through death, from the loss of a job, from the loss of a spouse and children through divorce, from the loss of a familiar home and town, or from the loss of a pet.  The list is endless. We welcome all grieving individuals to our gathering. We invite you to take whatever information you need and leave the rest behind. Support means “I will walk with you, I will not try to change you or how you feel.  I will simply be here beside you.”

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Portage County – The Portage County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society will meet April 7, 2012 at the Portage County Historical Society at 10:00 a.m. The historical society is located at 6549 N. Chestnut St. Ravenna Ohio.
Fred Endres will present a program based on his research for his upcoming Civil War documentary. Endres is a professor of journalism and mass communication at Kent State University. He holds a doctorate in American Studies from the University of Maryland and has a long- standing interest in history and the Civil War. Endres has been working on a documentary for PBS entitled, The “Sojer Boys” of Portage County, focusing on the events and issues of the war through letters and diaries of seven Portage County soldiers. Plans are being made for a photography exhibit and advance showing of the documentary at KSU. A website is also being established to share this work (http://civilwarportage.org).
The program is free and open to anyone interested in genealogy or local history. For more information call 330-358-2227 or email pccogs@embarqmail.com

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Burton – Geauga County Historical Society’s Century Village in Burton, Ohio is eagerly seeking dedicated, interested gardeners to join its volunteer gardening team for the coming year.  Gardeners will have the opportunity to “adopt” and tend their favorite garden from a choice of 25+ available plots.  Garden choices range in size from the very tiny (urns, kettles, containers), to medium and larger beds and borders around historic buildings.  Most gardens are established and simply need sprucing up, weeding and watering throughout the growing season.  Several new gardens will also be introduced, allowing gardeners the opportunity to participate from the ground up in designing and creating these. All volunteers will be cheerfully welcomed and accommodated, regardless of age or expertise.  Whether you are an individual or family, youth group, garden club, civic group, or landscaper, we can find a place for you.  In its second year, the educational goal of the “Garden Project” is to demonstrate styles of gardens that might have been planted in the 1800’s Western Reserve area.  That these gardens also provide present day spots of colorful beauty to visitors at the Village is a bonus!  This year’s garden planning session is scheduled for Saturday, March 31, at 10 a.m. in the basement of the Auburn Church, situated in the heart of the Century Village property in Burton, Ohio.  Please consider attending and joining our 2012 team.  You will find fun, friendship, sunlight, fresh air, and an opportunity to make YOUR Century Village a beautiful place to visit. Please direct all inquiries to Louise Jackson, “Garden Project” coordinator, 440-834-1492.

Winter 2012 is almost over and will soon be a memory. For all of us in the Lyons family, the memories from this winter’s events will be a hallmark to us forever. We can remember during the day of Christmas Eve feeling rushed and overwhelmed, completing the final details for Christmas Day. Around 7:30 that evening Porter, Jessica, Harper, Courtney and her husband Micah were playing Balderdash at the kitchen table. It was a true highlight of the day to see them laughing and enjoying each other. As we left the room to go wrap the last of the presents for Christmas morning, very little did we know what was about to take place in a few hours and the many, many gifts that you were about to bestow upon our family.

By roughly 10:30 pm, Porter suddenly had a very hard time breathing and his heart was racing at about 140 beats per minute. It was not just a simple flutter, the heavy beating would not stop.

To back up a few months, Porter’s routine was to attend his classes, nap for an hour or so when he arrived home, and complete his homework after supper. We always assumed this was just a growing teenager as most we have known always tend to sleep a lot! He caught a cold in the month of December, but so did 2 other members of our family. For them it was a cold. For Porter, it was his heart in its count down to its final beats.

Returning to Christmas Eve, about 11:00pm, because of the cold he had, we thought perhaps he had pneumonia and this was his respiratory system’s way of responding to it. None of us knew at the time but his heart was so enlarged, it resembled a football, as his doctors would later tell us. The doctors would go on to say, “Porter was in such great shape and so strong that his own body did all it could to compensate for his heart’s dysfunction for years, and no one would have ever known.” As we have learned, this is why it’s the strong, young people who die suddenly during such things like an athletic event; the heart just simply, finally gives out.

Community Ambulance assessed him saying….”it could be pneumonia as his lungs did not sound clear, his EKG was not typical for an 18 year old.” As Porter lay on the gurney in the ambulance, the 2 EMS staff closed the doors we felt tears begin to come as we knew what this might be. We had been through this before. How could it be? A random virus had settled in Doug’s heart 25 years earlier, and after 1 year, resulted in a heart transplant. This was not supposed to be hereditary. Reversing our thoughts, we reminded ourselves that it was most likely pneumonia and could be easily turned around.

Porter did not have pneumonia and his condition could not so easily be fixed. A simple echocardiogram showed his heart’s condition was fatal; the same as his Dad’s. Anyway, you all know the rest of the story, and thanks to ALL of you, the story is a beautiful one!

From the moment the word was out about Porter on Facebook, never once did any of us feel alone. We felt the power of EVERYONE present with us at the hospital, giving words of encouragement and hope, offering their time to do whatever was necessary back here at home while Porter lay waiting for a heart. You all were holding Porter and the rest of us up in prayer to the only ONE who could make a difference in Porter’s outcome. You prayed, hard, with us to see Porter through this experience. To every single one of you who did pray and asked others to pray for our son, we are so thankful and appreciate your utmost support during this very critical time. As a result of all this, God showered us with His Grace and Mercy. Porter received the most precious gift of restored life and health within one week of going into congestive heart failure.

You rejoiced with us in this gift, by showing your love to our family in decorating the whole town of Garrettsville in big red paper hearts. They were displayed so prominently in store and restaurant windows. Many, many thanks to Porter’s friend, Jacob Vaughan, Senior and National Honor Society President at Windham High School for this beautiful gesture. Jacob, we want you and everyone you surrounded yourself with who had a hand in this project to know that you made our son Porter and our family feel so very special and cared for!!

Our entire family will never forget the heart-felt emotions we experienced when all of the hearts were carefully placed on a banner that spanned the entire width of the street we live on, and then carried proudly from the Giant Eagle parking lot to our front yard! It looked like a marching band coming down our street with the banner in front. It was so grand!! A great t-shirt exhibited the theme for this walk called “Heart of the Lyons”. We know it took many students and adults to carry this out just to show Porter how much he is loved and supported by his peers and the community in which he lives.

Now, if that isn’t enough, an outstanding Spaghetti dinner was planned and served to those who wanted to partake before the last basketball game of the season. The dinner was in honor of Porter, and we want to send special thanks to Mrs. Bell of Garfield High School who donated ingredients and so much of her time to make this happen. We also appreciate the participation of our JAG National Honor Society at this event and to the many others who donated money, food, and time for this event. The dinner accommodations were complete with hand-made heart shaped decorations in the high school commons AND posters of artwork all over the walls that included notes from our intermediate school students. They were words of encouragement and well wishes for Porter which meant so much to our family.

This was all followed by yet another event, where another cool t-shirt was designed
for those who wanted to wear one at the black-out during our last basketball game of the season! This event being called, “Rivals For A Cause”, was carried out in honor of Porter. During half time, Porter was able to say a few words of thanks and a rush of students poured out of the bleachers and encircled him with the largest group hug we had ever seen!

We have shaken our heads in amazement so many times at all of the support we have been given as a family through all of this by ALL of the MANY STUDENTS and MANY ADULTS in our community!! You have truly “been there” for us, making us feel very special, loved and supported. Your efforts have shown all of us (including the Akron and Cleveland media) how Garrettsville and its surrounding communities takes care of “one of their own”.

There were many other MAGNIFICENT ways in which people showed their support! We are so grateful to have neighbors like Laura and Paul Simon, and Stuart and Xinlu Tannehill, and Steve and Debbie Hadzinsky who watched over our other children, Jessica and Harper, and provided them with strong support while we were with Porter. To Becky Russell for working tirelessly, making certain there was a plan in place to assist us financially during this time. And she didn’t stop there. Becky also organized 90 days of meals with our Cub Scout Pack 62 and Boy Scout Troop 62 in Garrettsville. This all allowed us the freedom to keep Porter on his rigorous schedule back and forth to Cleveland Clinic nearly daily. Every one of you are such beautiful people and we are eternally grateful. Money and gift cards were sent to help with expenses incurred by meals at the hospital and the many overnight stays and trips back and forth at all hours. MANY THANKS to all of you individually and collectively who donated your time and generous support. We are baffled by it all and are so appreciative. We want to extend our gratefulness to Joe Malmisur , Jen Mulhern, Keri Dornack, and Jennifer Alvim as well as all of our children’s teachers and staff who have patiently and creatively worked with us during this time. Our school system consists of a marvelous group of people and we are BIG FANS!

When Porter went into congestive heart failure, our entire focus was on our son. Many generous people from all over knew that this would be a very expensive surgery and recovery; the bills would be astronomical. Having been through two other transplant surgeries for Doug (Heart 1987 and Kidney 1997), we know this to be very true. It takes a very long time to recover financially from this. Nonetheless, all of you gave of your hard earned money to our family to help with these finances. As you know this money was collected and distributed to us by The People Tree through the hands of Jerry Kehoe. Yes, we all know Jerry sells cars in town, but you need to know Jerry and his entire family have given their time, talent and love to us. Jerry, you have an amazing family. WE are Blessed to call you friend. Because of everyone’s generosity we have maintained our monthly bills and will be able to pay for a large chunk of the medical bills yet to come.

Many thanks go to the Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary for naming us “Family of the Year”!! Please know that we could never meet the standards set by the Rotary for this honor without the love and support of the community we live in. We feel that you all are our family.

In closing, back in early Elementary school, we learned about our continent, and state, and our community. The first two have more concrete shapes and we can pick them out on a map. We were also taught that a community, which does not have a distinctive shape is a place where people live, work and play; it can be anywhere. However, we feel that our community stands out in that it takes care of each other too; especially in times of need. And, unlike other communities, ours DOES have a distinctive shape, and that is in the shape…of a heart!

With Love, Peace and Appreciation,

Doug & Karen Lyons

80 year old Parma resident Jean Shea (aka the "Irish Queen" to her family) pauses to pose with Leppy ( Chuck Klamer) the leprechaun and his son ( Rick Patrick). Jean also enjoyed her first carriage ride as she celebrated her Irish heritage with her family in Garrettsville.

It was the luck of the Irish that delivered the beautiful weather for the Annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration in Garrettsville last Saturday. The 70 plus degree weather brought folks out in droves to celebrate the day in Garrettsville, a small town that really knows how to put the “Green” on. The streets were crowded early and a parking place became the so-called pot o’ gold as one hunted down that prized spot. The scent of corned beef wafted in the air as one crossed the Windham Street Bridge and headed toward Main Street. Restaurants and bars opened their patios for the first time this year; they were full of patrons enjoying a Rueben or corned beef n cabbage washed down by a green beer or two… or three, or whatever it took. The theme of the day became “Erin go Bragh,” as everyone claimed to be Irish even if it was just for the day.

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Ashleigh Quiggle finally reached one of her goals last week, rolling her very first 200 game.   Ashleigh’s 209 was the high game of the day.  Ashleigh’s average is 106, so she was an amazing 103 pins over.  She finished up with a very nice 433 series.   Another bowler hit her high career score; Lauren Sanchez tossed a 182 her last game.  Lauren also rolled a 155 on her way to a 445 series, high series for the day.
Ashleigh and Lauren not only had the two high games and high series, but they were the most over average for the day as well.  

Garrettsville – The Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary Family Week ended as it began, with fun for all in attendance.  The kids of all ages got to engage in games and contests and craft projects–with or without face-painting.  Awards for participation in all of the various competitions –art & essays, etc.–were handed out.  The craft table was popular, with kids making cards for moms & dads and just about anybody else they thought fondly of.  The importance of family was shining through the whole day.
Couples married fifty years and more, eight of them, were recognized.  Donald & June  Crawford took the longevity sweepstakes, having been married a fun-filled fifty-eight years…and counting.  The Family of the Year–the Douglas and Karen Lyons family, with Porter, the Transplant Guy, in attendance– received their award as well.

The inflatable slide/rock climb was a big hit with the intrepid of all sizes and descriptions.  Plenty of dads and grandpas are still feeling the effects of assisting on “the slopes”.  What can we say?  The day was a success!

Still more activities are on the horizon for G-H Rotary : The Four-Way Speech Contest is rapidly approaching; any teens wishing to participate should start honing their skills and plan to contact a Rotarian to get on the roster.   There is a prize and a chance to compete on a district level–good experience.

Windham Twp. – The Windham Township Trustees met for their regularly scheduled meeting with all three trustees present.

Chairman Dann Timmons called the meeting to order and started off with zoning. Zoning inspector Joe Pinti reported that he didn’t issue any permits for February but he did field several calls on sheds sizes and fences. Pinti also received complaints about property on Stanley Road.  Timmons reported that the zoning hearing held prior to the meeting resulted in the owners of 8550 Gotham and 8542 Gotham committing to removal of the mobiles on each property. The trustees passed two resolutions to reflect that the owners have agreed to have the mobile homes removed within 90 days. If the property owners fail to remove them within the time frame, the trustees will have the right to do it and add the expense onto the property taxes.
Timmons recognized two guests, Kristina Port and Mark Porter, who both are running on the Republican ticket for the Ohio State Representative for District 76. Both introduced themselves and presented their positions on the issues.

Road supervisor Brian Miller reported that the roads were in good shape and that he had received a call from the county engineer wanting to know if the township had any chip – n- seal projects for this year. Miller said he would check. A resident suggested that they do at least one road a year to keep from having them all needing work at the same time. The trustees will take the suggestion under advisement.

Timmons reminded the other trustees that the township was responsible for the Memorial Day Services this year and they need to get a speaker for the event.

Timmons also needed the other two trustees to represent the township at a mediating session on the Proto case coming up soon.  With there being no further business the meeting was adjourned. The trustees meet on the first Thursday of each month at 7 pm. at the town hall.

5th grade teams: Rad to Add: Racquel Kolazar, Zoe Swenson, Caitlyn Minor and Chad Angermeie; Angery Math Birds: Nikki Ober, Alexis Evan, Sam Biltz and Erika Musgrove who filled in for Dylan Wilson; Key Lime PI’s: Lyndsey Johns, Samantha Desimio, Rachel Rader and Lauren Walz; Math Champs: Hunter Sopher, Jordyn Dean, Max Kane, and Kaitilian Workman’ Alternates: MeiMei Tannehill and Natalie Hall

Garrettsville – G.I.S. students participated in the Portage County Math 24 Tournament on February 24th, 2012. Sixth grade participants included Andrew Morrissey, Kevin Splinter and Derek Miller. Andrew took 1st place for the second year in a row, Kevin took 3rd, and Derek took 4th. Fifth grade participants included Rachel Rader, Mei Mei Tannehill and Lyndsey Johns. Rachel took 4th and Mei Mei took 5th.

On Saturday February 25th, G.I.S. students competed in the Northern Ohio 2012 Math Tournament.  These teams (listed below) worked hard for 5 weeks in practice and went head to head with several other schools in the area. They were coached by Mrs. Kelly, Mrs. Singelyn and Mr. Kuhlman. On competition day, they worked in teams doing problem-solving and team construction. They were also graded on their mental math abilities.

Each grade had a team at the top earning trophies, two teams earned blue ribbons, and one team received red ribbons. Thank you to our students for representing G.I.S. so well.

6th grade teams: Angry Angle Birds: Makenna Lawrence, Mallie Smith, Jayana Davenport and Madeline Caldro; The Cherry Pi’s: Jenna Montez, Theresa Paroff, Mikayla Thornton and Samantha Guyette; Divided Smurfs: Dominic Ionno, Kenny Mangan, Mason Mayoros and Billy Criblez; The Kalculas Kiwi’s: Andrew Morrissey, Kevin Splinter, Ethan Marek & Derek Miller; Alternates: Catherine Brann and Sarah Kent

Volunteer Sandy Callaway and township trustee Joe Leonard are pictured at the newly opened food cupboard.

Nelson Twp. – The Nelson Garrettsville Community Cupboard NGCC opened its doors on February 27, 2012 and are preparing for their Grand Opening Celebration on Saturday, March 10th at the Cupboard from 2:00-4:00pm. All  are invited to join them for some light refreshments and a tour of the facility. The board will be on hand to answer any questions folks may have about using the cupboard or becoming a volunteer for the cupboard.

Many may wonder how the food bank came to be. It was developed after Trustee Joe Leonard and township resident Mike Elias saw many families struggling to put food on the table. The two set out to see how they could meet the need. After doing research and getting a sponsor they began to lay the groundwork for the facility. They secured the back section of the Isaac Mills building for the food cupboard and the Nelson United Methodist Church agreed to be the sponsor.   The next thing they needed to do was renovate the back room to house the food cupboard. The Boy Scouts, Amish community, retirees and others came out to help get the facility ready. It  began to take shape and was soon ready to receive food.

The food cupboard is a joint venture with the Akron-Canton Food Bank and will be open on Mondays from 4pm -7pm and on Wednesdays from 9am – noon. The cupboard will be closed any day school is not in session, either for inclement weather or holiday. They will be open during the summer and holiday breaks that are not the actual holiday.

When coming to the food bank folks will need to bring a photo ID and proof of residence in the school district. A current utility bill that has one’s name and address on it will suffice for the proof of address. They will also need the names and birthdates of each person living in the household. Families and individuals are eligible to receive food once every 30 days.

NGCC is open to residents of James A. Garfield School District who meet income guidelines. Residents can register through the county’s “211 First Call” or come in and they will help you register with”211 First Call.”  One can expect the registration to take about 5 minutes and be out the door in about 10 minutes. A family member comes in; fills out the registration form and a shopping list from the items available. Then the volunteers will fill the order in a few minutes and get you out the door rather quickly. They will even help you get it to your car if needed.

The food cupboard not only gives out they food, it  also accepts donations of cash and or food. However, they are not permitted to accept home-canned items or bakery. Fresh produce is always welcome.  In fact, the cupboard is promoting “Plant a row for the hungry campaign”. If you’re a gardener consider planting a row in your garden and donate it to the cupboard. The cupboard will have starter kits for “Plant a row for the hungry” available at the open House. Anyone wanting to make a cash donation can do so by  dropping it off at the cupboard or the church, or mailing it to NGCC Food Cupboard, PO Box 210 Garrettsville, Oh. 44231.  The food cupboard is operating as a 501© 3 charity, therefore all donations are tax deductible and one will be given a receipt for their donation. Any questions about the food cupboard can be emailed to ngcc305@gmail.com.

The cupboard relies on donations from the community in order to be successful.  Some of the items they are looking for are peanut butter and jelly, pasta sauce, toiletries, baking supplies, boxed side dishes, macaroni and cheese etc. So take a look in your pantry and see if you can contribute to shutting the door on hunger in your community.

The cupboard would like to thank  all the volunteers, the Amish Community, local Boy Scouts, United Methodist Church, Carter Lumber and area retirees who worked hard or donated goods to the project.

Freedom Twp. – The Freedom Township Board of Trustees met in regular session on Monday, March 1, 2012. The following issues were discussed:

ZONING: Zoning Inspector Jeff Derthick reported on a Board of Zoning Appeals hearing held February 21 to address numerous calls on properties for sale and residents inquiring how they are zoned.
Derthick continues to work with American Tower Company on increasing the height of two towers (at Goodell Road and at S.R. 700).

Trustee James Hammar proposed that zoning fees be increased, noting that most have not been increased since 2002. Harold Cain questioned the need for increases in this economy. Derthick said he has been told that local fees are lower than those in surrounding communities. The trustees reviewed the fee schedule and agreed on price increases. Increased zoning fees will be effective April 1. They can be viewed in detail the township’s website, www.freedomtownship-portage.com .

ROADS: Road Supervisor Charles VanSteenberg said that crews have started ditching. Septic tanks at the town hall complex have been pumped. The township has taken delivery of 85 tons of salt this winter for maintaining safe roads. Hammar suggested writing a letter to Morton Salt to see if the township could buy less than its original commitment, considering the mild winter.

PARK: Hammar is awaiting the results of the park levy as well a grant application. Trustees also distributed a flyer to township residents, asking for support of the park levy.  A sign for the town hall pavilion (“Donated by Little League and the Boosters Club”) is to be completed soon.

SPRING CLEAN-UP throughout Freedom Township is scheduled for June 7, 8 and 9 (Thursday noon to 8 pm; Friday noon to 8 pm; and Saturday 9 am to 3 pm). Accepted items: Tires (limit six per family), batteries, motor oil, refrigerators and freezers. Unacceptable:Truck or tractor tires, paint, garbage, yard waste, barbed wire, building materials, shingles or fencing materials.
NEW BUSINESS: Hammar proposed a resolution in support of oil and gas well drilling, with copies to newspapers and legislators. Trustee Zizka opposed this resolution, stating it is a matter of personal choice. Duffield said it is not that people are against drilling, they just want it researched and done right. Trustee Roy Martin proposed sending a letter stating that the trustees are not against drilling or fracking but are mindful of the concerns of township residents with regard to safety. Zizka will compose a letter for trustees to sign.

The Building Department has approved plans for repair work to be done to the town hall front porch ($103 fee to renew the building permit) by Classical Construction with a tentative time frame.

Award winners from left to right were: Dawnell Gernentz, Michele Elias representing the Nelson United Methodist Church, Iva Walker, Stephanie and Jay Byrne.

The Garrettsville United Methodist Church Chili Cook-off was held on February 26th to benefit the newly opened Nelson Garrettsville Community Cupboard located in Nelson at the circle.

Prestigious judges were Charles Klamer, James A. Garfield Superintendent; Craig Moser, Garrettsville Mayor; Patricia Wetzel, Home Economics teacher James A. Garfield Schools.

The Ohio State University played host to the OHSAA state wrestling tournament which marked its 75th anniversary this past weekend.  The OHSAA sponsors one of the finest wrestling tournaments in the country and this year was no exception.
A few new frills added to the excitement this year and perennial powers Lakewood St. Edward and St. Paris Graham continued their winning traditions as each team captured another state title.

However, the performance of local participants reached levels never before seen in their school history. J.A. Garfield High School has never had an individual state wrestling champion, in fact, they have never had anyone compete in the state wrestling finals.  That is until this year when they had not one, but two wrestlers make the championship round. 160 pound Aaron Yonker and 182 pound Kevin Stock were both vying for individual championships on Saturday night.  Unfortunately, neither wrestler was able to bring home that coveted state championship as each lost a heartbreaking 3-2 decision in the finals.

Yonker was defeated by senior Zebulun Beam of Applecreek Waynedale, while Stock lost to a familiar foe in junior B.J. Toal of Troy Christian.  The good news for the G-Men is that both Yonker and Stock are underclassmen and will have an opportunity to pursue that elusive title next year.

The G-Men had two other participants competing in the tournament, 170 pound junior Tanner Bontrager and 285 pound senior Devin Dressler.  Bontrager went 1-2 and did not place in this year’s tournament, while Devin went 3-2 finishing in 7th place.  Garfield also made a team statement with a top ten finish – 7th place.

Other local teams from Portage County competing in the state tournament were:
Crestwood which had 3 participants, Jake Zemaitis (7th place 106 lbs), Josh Hillier (126 lbs), and Dylan Kager (6th place 132 lbs.)
Rootstown with 3 participants, Travis Linton (3rd place 170 lbs), Garrett Linton (the schools first state champion at 195 lbs) and Jake Moore (4th place 220 lbs)
Southeast had 2 participants, Brandon James (8th place 152 lbs) and Tylor Brokaw (160 lbs)
Waterloo had 3 participants, Nick Hermann (8th place 126 lbs), J.J. Diven (7th place 138 lbs) and Brandon Brenes (220 lbs)
Complete results can be found at: http://www.baumspage.com/ohsaa/wr/2012/d3res.htm

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Portage County – Infinity Resources, Inc., headquartered in Erie, PA, announces the opening its 11th  office at 126 W. College Street in downtown Kent on Monday, March 5, 2012. Since 1960, Infinity Resources, Inc. has been matching employers and employees.

After investigating dozens of small cities in Ohio, only Kent, OH and Portage County demonstrated a mega investment in growth and improvement of their cityscape. “We are proud to support that downtown resurgence and renovation! We want to be a part of thegrowth, new and expanding businesses that are locating here,” says Martin FarreH, Infinity’s president.
Employers looking for human resource solutions, temporary/contract workers, Professional Employer Services [leasing back employees], payrolling, employee screening, or temporary -to-hire candidates can count on Infinity Resources, Inc. “Traditionally, Infinity Resources has been called upon for production, assembly, logistics and general labor. In the last few years, our employer customers have demanded that we help recruit professionals in sales, accounting, management, technical skills, welders, clerical and the trades,” reports Charles Farrell, CEO and founder of the company.

All of you gumshoes out there, have you found any new clues regarding the sort-of-mysterious milk bottle (How mysterious can a milk bottle be?) from the Beardsley Dairy, featuring the Barkrest Herd, in Garrettsville, Ohio (O.K., it was on Asbury Rd in Freedom Twp. but let’s not get picky, especially not ninety years later)?

Well, Scott Lawless, finder and owner of the bottle, will be at the March 19 meeting of the James A. Garfield Historical Society to give an update on his findings so far.

The man is a heckuva sleuth and has been all over the internet, into historical society files, dropping in on cemeteries, county recorders and bankruptcy court information.  He’s tracked some individuals to Chicago–where they made metal billiard tables–some on European trips, some to the obituary pages.  He’s talked to some “old-timers’ and current land-owners, checked out maps.  Interesting doesn’t begin to describe it.

So come on down to the Mott Building on Main St., Garrettsville at 7:00 on March 19 to get the latest on the case.  Bring any other tid-bits that you have and would like to add to the pile.  The game’s afoot, Watson!

Windham – The Windham Historical Society continues its busy 2012 schedule on Monday, March 19, at 7 PM in the Brick Chapel on North Main Street in Windham.

The program for this meeting will be presentations by two Windham High School seniors, Caitlyn Isler and Julia Brookover, as the final step in their pursuit of Windham Historical Society scholarships.

These scholarships are underwritten by the Stuart Higley Foundation, administered by descendants of one of Windham’s founding families. The Higley Foundation has been a long time benefactor of the Historical Society.

Julia will be talking about the effects of the coming of the Ravenna Arsenal on her extended family, which was uprooted in 1939 when the federal government took the family farm. She has done extensive research and interviews to prepare a personal look at the sociological effects of that important time in Windham history.

Caitlyn will freeze a moment in time when she talks about “When Richard Nixon Came To Windham.” Very few people who settled here after 1972 know about the excitement of that day, one week before his re-election, and Caitlyn has compiled an entertaining look back in time – right down to how it threw the Taft cows off their milking schedule.

Both of the students are leaders at Windham High School. Caitlyn is an All-Conference athlete, playing volleyball, softball and basketball, and serving on Student Council and National Honor Society. She is heading to Ohio State University to major in exercise science.

Julia, who is  class valedictorian, has engaged in the Drama Club, choir, National Honor Society, and volunteers in numerous activities. She has been accepted into the Honors College of Toledo University, pursuing a degree in psychology.
The public is invited to this free presentation by two of Windham finest scholars.

The Society is always interested in obtaining, whether permanently or on loan, any object with relevance to Windham. Items of special interest include pictures, scrapbooks, ephemera, newspapers, advertising, tokens, school items, sports items, or family genealogy.
For more information on the Society, please call President Lynnea St. John at 330-326-6061, or email her at lynnya45@yahoo.com.

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

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

Garrettsville – “Stomp” is a musical performance that incorporates singing, recorders and rhythms that are played on an unusual assortment of objects.

In this rhythm driven program the students use 5 gallon detergent buckets as drums, floor brooms that are knocked on the floor as percussive instruments, and pvc pipes that are thumped in rhythmic patterns. It is truly amazing how you can make music out of basically anything.

The program was presented on Tuesday, February 28th in the James A. Garfield Elementary School Gym. Under the direction of Kenneth E. Fox, 115 4th grade students sang Jazz and Rock selections entitled “Jazz” and “Big Heart”. The group also played a variety of Jazz and March songs performed on recorders that included “Blue Smoothie” and Rhythm Parade”. On the songs “Boom” and LaBoomba” the students took turns singing and playing their recorders on these high-energy selections.
The highlight of the program was the “Closing Stomp” performed by a 10-student drum line (or bucket-line if you will)!  The fast-paced sixteenth note patterns that the students played on buckets was definitely a crowd-pleaser.
This program was an incredible accomplishment of time and talent for this outstanding group of 4th graders, and Mr. Fox is very proud of them.

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Have you been recently engaged or engaged for a while and have been thinking about planning your wedding? Perhaps you have been married a long time and would like to renew your vows. Whichever it is, why not consider being Garrettsville’s First Couple and get married or renew your vows right on Main Street Saturday afternoon, June 23, 2012 during Summerfest.
This year’s theme is “A Tribute to the Armed Forces,” however you do not have to be in the Armed Forces or have been in the Armed Forces to be considered. To be considered one will need to be available to participate in the weekend activities including Sunday’s Grand Parade, and willing to communicate regularly with the committee.  Interested parties should send a letter to the committee and tell them why you think you should be this year’s “First Couple.”  Letters will be received until March 31, 2012 and can be sent to the SummerFest Wedding c/o Weekly Villager at 8454 Windham Street Garrettsville. Ohio 44231. The committee will notify the winners by the end of April.
The first couple will need to provide their own attire and rings. The Summerfest committee will provide a basic wedding package including a limited number of invitations, flowers, a cake, photography, cake and punch reception, overnight accommodations, champagne toast and more.  The couple will also have the opportunity to upgrade any item in the package at their own expense.  Let us help make your special day fabulous. Questions can be directed to Michelle at the Weekly Villager 330 527-5761