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The world is full of stories about magical and fantastic events and beings. There are centuries- old stories, songs and works of art that have brought mythic creatures to life and have given shape to mankind’s greatest hopes, fears and dreams.  Today these creatures continue to thrill, terrify, entertain and inspire.  Mythic Creatures: Dragons, Unicorns & Mermaids, currently on display at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, traces the natural and cultural roots of some of the world’s most enduring mythological creatures.

This amazing display, organized by the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, reveals the relationship between nature and legend.  Exhibition highlights include “life-size” models of mythical creatures such as a 17-foot-long dragon with a wingspan of over 19 feet; a 9-foot long, 8 ½ -foot-tall armored Pegasus; 10-foot-long unicorn; a 6 ½-foot-tall griffin; an 11-foot-long Roc with large, sharp talons swooping above the heads of visitors with a wingspan of nearly 20 feet; and a kraken, whose 12-foot-high tentacles appear to rise out of the floor of the exhibition as if surfacing from the sea.

Local artisan, Joe Leonard, of Custom Woodcarving in Garrettsville, OH states “it is a huge honor” to have two of his carvings as part of this touring exhibition.  In 2007, representatives of the American Museum of Natural History contacted him after seeing a photo of a griffin he had made for a Californian collector.  Joe suggested that they might also be interested in an armored pegasus he had made for the same collector.  After seeing photos of it on his website, they agreed.

The exhibit ‘wows’ and allows a hands-on approach in intertwining legend and history.  You’ll be able to touch a cast of a narwhal tusk and the lower jaw of Gigantopithecus, rearrange scale models of mammoth bones to look like a giant human skeleton or build your own dragon in an engaging touch-screen interactive and watch it come alive before your eyes in a virtual environment.  Also of interest are videos and interviews with experts in various fields discussing the significance of mythical creatures including artists from motion-picture visual effects company Industrial Light and Magic (founded by George Lucas) demonstrating the process of creating dragons for popular movies such as “Eragon”.

The Mythic Creatures Exhibit began its tour in 2007 in New York City, drawing in over 500,000 visitors.   Since then the exhibit has also been on display in Chicago, Boston, Ottawa, Toronto, Atlanta, and Sydney, Australia.  It is expected to continue touring though 2014.  Its current run in Cleveland has been extended through August 12, 2012.

The Cleveland Museum of Natural History is open seven days a week.  More information on tickets and hours of operation can be found on their website: www.cmnh.org or call the museum at 216-231-4600.

LAF SOMe has a new partner!  That’s right, Life After 50, Seniors On the Move is partnering with the new Nelson Garrettsville Senior Social Club (NGSSC).  The NGSSC will offer weekly meetings for area seniors and LAF SOMe will continue to offer day trips and special event gatherings.  The two groups combined efforts will offer area seniors numerous opportunities to socialize and have fun.


Aurora – On May 16th the Aurora Study Club will celebrate its 100th birthday!!! The Study Club is the oldest existing club in Aurora.

In 1912 The older women in town were concerned that the younger women were too frivolous, spending too much time playing cards & that they needed to expand their knowledge of the world. This led to the founding of the Aurora Study Club, by Orsa Harmon. They chose one topic for the year & met twice a month. Women had to be invited to join this prestigious club and failure to attend a meeting or to complete project assignments led to fines for the offending members. The Study Club was especially proud to be federated by the Club Women Of America in 1915.

Past president, Joan Tomko, will present a further look at the club’s history.

We also look forward to be entertained by Paula Messner who is a well known actress & singer. Her program is titled “A Little Song! A Little Humor!” She will be accompanied, on the piano, by Anne Ramsay.

Meeting time will be at 1:00 at the Church In Aurora’s fellowship hall. Guest are welcome.

 In 1967, according to the legend, the steeplechase race began because of a disagreement between two friends over the price of a cup of coffee.

The disagreement was between Archie Martin and the late “Doc” Foster. The disagreement turned into a challenge that was to pit four men with two canoes and paddles against the “Great and Mighty” Silver Creek in a competitive race. The four competitors, Bob Schnell, George Joseph, Archie Martin, and “Doc” Foster were each given a nickname. Schnell was “Beer Baron,” and his partner Joseph was “The Arab.” The opposing team comprised of Martin “River Rodent” and Foster “Quack.”

The race started on the Silver Creek at the bottom of Carlisle Hill on the Carlisle Family Farm between Hiram and Garrettsville. The course took them past Little Mountain and into the village, said to be an 8 miles long race.

The creek was very much like a jungle then and one had to portage through, around and over the debris found along the way. Many of the areas of the creek were dry and the canoes were dragged through the low areas and hoisted over several natural-made bridges from fallen trees and beaver dams, some were as high as 15 feet tall. When the racers reached South Street Bridge, the firemen hosed them down from the bridge as they continued on the last leg of the race. The last leg of the race was over the dam, which had the racers pushing their canoes over the dam, then sliding down the dam on their backsides. In the end the racers decided they didn’t want to be challenged again so they agreed to cross the finish line together, creating a tie.

The race drew nearly 2,500 folks along the banks to watch the event, which was the beginning of the festival in the small village. The festival at that time was called the “Silver Creek Canoe Race and Steeplechase and Old Time Git Together”

The Silver Creek Canoe Club was formed and became in charge of the annual races. Canoe clubs came from as far as Vermillion and Painesville to participate in the races. By 1973, interest in the race declined but in 1978, the interest was renewed when it became a part of the annual festival called Silver Creek Festival later re-named Silver Creek Turkey Daze*.

SummerFest has continued the tradition for seven years and this year will be no different. The Steeplechase will run Saturday June 23, 2012 at 9:00am. Racers are to meet behind the Deluxe Cleaners on Elm Street along the creek bank at 8:30 am.

This is a race for experienced paddlers who are over 21 years old. The race will begin at the bottom Carlisle Hill and will run back to the cleaners. One will need to wear deck shoes or tennis shoes for the race. The steeplechase is not for the faint-of-heart or the weak; the race is really more of a paddle-and-drag-type race, so strength will be required. Contestants will be hoisting a canoe over natural barricades, maneuvering around shrubs, bushes, briars, logs, beaver dams etc., besides paddling. This is a two man/woman race that requires endurance and is only for the toughest competitors. Watch the You Tube video, 2010 Steeplechase Canoe for an idea of what the race entails.

Registration forms for the race can be found online at www.garrettsvillesummerfest.com. The registration fee is $25 per team and there are a limited number of entries being taken, so sign up early. Canoes, paddles and life preservers are provided by Camp Hi Canoe Livery.

*Early History Source The Visitor

The canoe races are sponsored by Therm-O-Link

This year’s SummerFest 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


Hiram – Hiram firefighters recently participated in emergency vehicle operations training with the assistance of a state-of-the-art emergency vehicle driving simulator.  The simulator was rented from Cuyahoga Community College for the purpose of expanding upon each Firefighter’s previous experiences and trainings. All Hiram firefighter are required to complete hours of driver’s training in each vehicle and an Emergency Vehicle Operations course before operating a vehicle with lights and sirens. The simulator is an impressive computer that consists of three large screens that simulate front and side views of driving.  The operator’s console is fully functioning, right down to the power seat.  If you bump a curb, car or other object you not only hear it you feel it in the steering wheel and seat. The whole simulator moves as you accelerate, slow down and make turns. It is as close as you can get to driving a fire engine, without really driving. Another great feature is that  the instructors have the ability to simulate vehicle failures. The instructors can causes tire blow outs, brake failures, and other problems to assist the Firefighters in handling a problem in a safe, controlled environment, not on the street. This is a great tool for us to not only gain experience behind the wheel in a controlled environment, it allows for training in critical thinking and decision making as well.

Marty Hill Court was filled beyond capacity last Friday night as folks from around the region came out to see the Harlem Ambassadors take on the Hometown Heroes of Windham. The Hometown Heroes are a co-ed team comprised of former Windham High School (WHS) basketball stars. The oldest player was Jim Moore who graduated in the class of 1966. They were coached by Greg McDivitt and Donny Ridenbaugh and the game was refereed by Marty Hill and Danny Nutter.

The Ambassadors were coached by Lade Majic who assisted with announcing, and some on court antics including wrestling Ted St. John to the ground and getting a “pin” which resulted in a foul.. Ted was headed to the line but the fun didn’t end there. After some good jokes at St. Johns expense and some wardrobe adjustments he was finally allowed to shoot his free throws.

The half- time show included those in the stands as folks headed to the court to kick up their heels and dance a line dance with the Harlem Ambassadors. The second half of the game got under way with the Hometown Heroes in serious need of points.  They started off with a few shots but still failed to close the gap and at one point Sean Cline was wrestled to the ground by Lade Majic and the referees called  “FOUL!” which resulted in more antics at Cline’s expense. Between the family friendly jokes, slam dunks and extreme ball handling skills the crowd was wowed by the Ambassador’s talent.

The evening was a family-friendly event that brought out laughs, cheers and fun as the packed house enjoyed the game along with the antics from the Harlem Ambassadors.   In the end the Hometown Heroes were on the losing end but all in all it was a fun evening.
The event was a fundraiser for the Renaissance Family Center in Windham, with proceeds going directly to support the programs at the center.


Ravenna  – There’s something fresh and new on Main Street this summer. The Downtown Ravenna Farmers Market opens under the green and white tent starting Thursday, May 17 in the City Parking Lot at the corner of Cedar and Meridian streets. The farmers market will be open every Thursday from 2 to 6 p.m. through summer and fall until November 1.
All of the produce made available at the Downtown Ravenna Farmers Market will be grown by local farmers, traveling less than 100 miles to get from farm to table. In addition to just-harvested greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, zucchini, radishes, peas, carrots, corn and other vegetables, there will be fresh berries, apples, peaches and other fruits as they ripen in season. In addition, you will find maple syrup and maple candy, just-baked bread and from-the-oven pastries, as well as other home-made treats.
There is space for 15 fresh food vendors altogether. So far, Bittnerbees, D&A Maple Syrup, Deluxe Pastry, Breakneck Farms, Brugmans, Shari’s Berries, Bonnie’s Breads, Baked in the Village Cafe, Emily’s Soaps, Mike May’s Farm, Nitty Gritty Farms and Chaykowski Farms are already committed, said Market Manager Sally Kelly, a consultant who is developing the program for Ravenna.
Vendors interested in the few remaining spaces should contact Kelly at (330) 687-9501. Booth fees are $150 for the entire season (25 weeks) or $10 per week. There is also a half-season rate available. Vendors must agree to certain rules and regulations, including GAP and Cottage food sanitation guidelines.
Throughout the course of the summer, watch for a schedule of educational sessions, community service information and entertainment to be offered along with fresh food selections. Every other Thursday, the OSU extension service will provide educational sessions to help individuals understand how to prepare the fresh fruits and vegetables that are available that week. On alternate weeks, health clinics or live entertainment will be available.
The city received a two-year grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to establish the market. Kerry Macomber, Ravenna’s’ Economic Development Director, wrote the grant and now serves in a supervisory role for the program. The grant became available as part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s health initiative to improve American diets, especially among young people and low income families. The Downtown Ravenna Farmers Market is located in a neighborhood identified by the U.S. Census where there is a 20% poverty-level income.
The neighborhood is also considered a Food Desert, a term that describes geographic areas where mainstream grocery stores are either absent or inaccessible to low-income shoppers. Though the grocery stores may be located in the vicinity, they remain unavailable to low-income residents because of high prices on healthy, fresh foods. Food deserts create significant negative health impacts from a lack of access to fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products, meat and fish… most notably, obesity, which is linked to serious illnesses like diabetes, heart disease and cancer. While healthy food may be hard to afford in food deserts, fast food restaurants and convenience stores specializing in junk food are within easy reach.
“Unfortunately, people have become so reliant on the dollar menu, they don’t cook from scratch much any more,” said Macomber. “It’s convenient to eat fast food, but the nutritional content isn’t there.”
The Downtown Ravenna Farmers Market will now be within easy reach too. Hopefully, its convenience will appeal to people unaccustomed to the availability of fresh food. The farm market will be equipped with an EBT machine, so Direction cards from the Food Stamp Program will be accepted.
“This opens the market up to many more folks,”Kelly said.
The new farmers market will help to reverse the Food Desert trend, bringing nutritious fresh fruits and vegetables to the entire community. In the process, it is designed to help small farmers and vendors gain greater visibility, increase their markets and boost their incomes. As an added bonus, the market is expected to draw more traffic to downtown Ravenna, helping to revitalize the business district.
To learn more about The Downtown Ravenna Farmers Market and to keep current with its special events, log onto www.downtownravennafarmersmarket.com or follow on Facebook.


Hiram – The Hiram Police Department recently received a $500 “Step Outside” grant from the Ohio Department of Wildlife. The grant award will be directed toward a community program called, “Cops and Kids” Fishing Day. The event will be free of charge to anybody who attends. The intent of “Cops and Kids” Fishing Day is to bring community children closer to law enforcement officers and build lifelong bonds. “Kids will spend time fishing with police officers and having a fun day. We will have many items to give away at the event, contests, prizes, as well as lunch”, Chief Ed Samec said. “This is a program designed to bring police officers and kids closer together, build bonds and friendships;  it also is directed toward building family unity. Parents are encouraged to participate in the event and join in with the fun”, Chief Ed Samec added. “In our busy and hectic lifestyles nowadays, it is easy to let family unity slip by a bit. This program is also geared toward reminding families that “quality” time is important and does not have to cost a lot of money. Go fishing!” A date, location, and times have not yet been determined, but they are soon to come.

Garrettsville – As most Garrettsville residents are aware, the Village maintains a recycling drop-off center at the Service Garage parking lot on Water Street.  Village Council is currently exploring the possibility of switching from the drop-off center to curbside recycling as several of our neighboring townships and villages have, such as Hiram and Mantua.

Some information about Curbside Recycling

The Portage County Solid Waste District currently employs what is called a “dual stream” collection method, in which residents are supplied with 18-gallon bins for collection of their recyclables.  Paper and cardboard are collected in one or more bins, while glass, cans and #1 and #2 plastics are collected in separate bins.  Curbside collection can occur once a week or every two weeks.  Residents are billed by the Solid Waste District once a year for curbside service; weekly pickup currently costs $39.00 per year, while the bi-weekly service is $27.00 per year.  It’s important to note that if the resident does not pay the bill when due, it will be assessed to their property taxes.

However, the Solid Waste District is planning to switch from the current dual stream system to a single stream system, in which the bins provided will be larger (48 to 95 gallons, depending on need), wheeled, and each household will collect all recyclable materials in a single bin.  When the single stream system is implemented, the Solid Waste District will also begin accepting plastics #3 through #7, greatly increasing the amount of plastic that will be recycled and reducing the burden on our landfills.  Bill Steiner, Director of the Portage Solid Waste District, advises that he hopes to have the single stream system implemented in the last quarter of 2012 or the first quarter of 2013.

Village Contribution to Resident Cost
Currently, the Village pays $3,000.00 per year to maintain the receptacles at the drop-off center.  Council could choose to re-allocate that $3,000.00 to curbside recycling.  Doing so would reduce the amount billed to each residence by approximately $2.60, bringing the cost for weekly pickup down to $36.40 per year and bi-weekly pickup to $24.40 per year.  In addition, curbside recycling may also reduce your current trash pickup resulting in a potential savings to a resident.

Your Input is Important
Before Village Council makes any decisions, we want to know your opinion.  For this reason we’ve developed a short survey which can be accessed at the Village’s web site, “Garrettsville.org” or by calling the Village at 330-527-4424.  Please take a few minutes to visit the site or call and complete the survey – your opinion matters!

The Garfield MVP’s Keep our Kids Safe Committee will be very busy over the next few months.  The committee is working hard towards their goal of having  security cameras installed for the 2012/2013 school year in the parking lots of the high school / elementary school complex.  The group has raised  $2,700 but still need $6,000 to make this happen.
On May 5th during the Garrettsville Community Yard Sale the group will be holding a bake sale at 8067 Crestwood Drive in  Garrettsville.


Classroom teachers and other members of school communities who are interested in becoming certified National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) instructors are invited to attend a free training workshop on Thursday, May 17th, 2012.
The Basic Archery Instructor Training will take place at Bloomfield-Mespo Elementary School in Mesopotamia from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Registration is required and those interested should call Ken Fry, Division of Wildlife, at (330) 245-3030 or email Kenneth.Fry@dnr.state.oh.us. Please put “NASP workshop” in the subject line.


Hiram –  Sitko Counseling has been established for nearly three years and is a growing practice in Hiram Village. The counseling facility is located in the Hiram Professional Building, 11681 Hayden Street in Hiram Village. They offer counseling for a variety of issues including, but not limited to, substance abuse, post traumatic stress disorder, (PTSD) relationship issues, sex abuse, anxiety, depression, eating disorders and so much more.
The facility is owned and operated by Jamie Sitko who is a  Professional Counselor- Clinical Resident (PC-CR) licensed by the State of Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage and Family Therapist Board.  Sitko usually sees clients on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturdays, but will adapt her schedule to meet ones needs. She doesn’t have set hours and is available  evenings as well. She can be reached  at 330 687-5483 or on the web at Jamie@sitkocounseling.com. One may also visit her web site for more information about the counseling facility. www.sitkocounseling.com .
Sitko opened the counseling center nearly three years ago after she discovered she had a passion to help folks. The counseling sessions are confidential and she offers several options for treatments. Persons  who are unsure if counseling would be beneficial to their well-being are encourage to book a 30 minute, free consultation to determine if the services will meet their needs.
The beginning encounter  will be more in-depth than a regular session and can last up to two hours. The session will cost $125 for the initial visit. The following therapy sessions usually last about 90 minutes and are $90 per therapy session. For those who have budget challenges she does offer a sliding scale for those who ask. Besides individual therapy, she  offers group therapy sessions as well.
Currently, she doesn’t take insurance and isn’t affiliated with any specific insurance company but many of the services she offers are reimbursable by health insurance plans that offer mental health services.
Sitko offers and is trained in the relatively new therapy known as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Desensitizing of Triggers and Urge Reprocessing (DeTUR) as well as the traditional talk therapy.
Although considered new, EMDR has been around for 20 years and is a non-invasive method that has proven to be more effective and quicker than other forms of counseling.
EMDR therapy uses bilateral stimulation, right/left eye movement, or tactile stimulation, which repeatedly activates the opposite sides of the brain, releasing emotional experiences that are “frozen” in the nervous system. This helps the neurophysiologic system, the core of the mind/body connection, to finally free itself from blockages and reconnect itself. This ultimately brings one to the road to recovery much more quickly  than traditional talk therapy.
Many could use counseling services, whether it is just to unload or long term therapy. Either one can be addressed at Sitko Counseling. If one is unsure whether counseling will help them or if Sitko is the right therapist, they should consider giving Sitko Counseling a try by using the 30-minute free consultation. The free session will give one an idea if her services would benefit them. Sitko Counseling is located in the Hiram Professional Building a cross the street from Hiram Post Office.


Geauga County –  It’s the  perfect way to get out and explore the county, enjoy new venues and have a chance to win some great prizes!  On May 5th twenty-five  locations are participating & offering free samples, tours, demonstrations, sales and give-a-aways. Pick 10 stops, visit and get your map stamped, then join us for fun at the Finale and great prizes!
Participating locations are offering everything from free chocolate to free herbs, a chance to try ballroom dancing, and a chance to tour a dairy farm, definitely something for everyone. The event will run from 10am to 4pm with a finale celebration at Middlefield Market Pavilion (indoors.) The building will open at 3:00pm with vendors, entertainment, snacks, a silent/chinese auction, and prize drawings begin at 4:00pm. To eligible for the prize drawings you must visit at least ten stops, have your map stamped at each location, and turn it in at the finale by 4:00pm.
Prizes and auction items will be baskets and gift certificates from area businesses. Tour stops are Amish Home Craft & Bakery, *Auburn Pointe Greenhouse, Buckeye Chocolates, Country Arts & Jewelry, *Country Collections Antique Mall, Countryside Home Bakery, *Cross Creek Rug Hooking Studio, Crossroads Country Café, *Deep Springs Mineral Water, End of the Commons, *Four Green Fields, *Fred Astaire Dance Studio, Geauga County Airport, Geauga County Habitat for Humanity ReStore, *Hastings Dairy & Tours, *Kalle Naturals, Lalelure Vineyards, *Locally Blown Glass, Ma & Pa’s Gift Shack, *Mullet’s Footwear & Country Cedar, *Off Center, Richards Maple Products, *Sunrise Farm, UH Geauga Medical Center , and White House Chocolates. (*Designates first time stops) Participants can get a list of all of the stops, their activities and a map, by calling the Geauga County Tourism Office 440-632-1538 or 800-775-TOUR, online at www.TourGeauga.com or at any of the participating member locations.
Check out our interactive tour map or click on the icon for more information and join us for this Celebration of National Tourism Week.

Garrettsville – Pack up your favorite unique or antique mail and your forks, the James A. Garfield Historical Society’s May meeting will focus on postcards and pie, a show-and-tell with a twist.  If you’ve got a postcard with a pie on it–cherry stains don’t count–bring it on down to the Mott Building on Main St. on Monday, May 21 at 7:30 for the event.  If your postcard has something to do with local history, you’re in the running too.  If it’s just old, old and interesting, there’s a spot for you as well.  The more, the merrier!

Aurora – The Church in Aurora is one of the most prominent landmarks in the City of Aurora.  With its towering white steeple and beautiful architecture there is no question why so many couples, my husband and myself included, choose to share their wedding vows there every year. This is the perfect setting for every fairy tale wedding. It is center stage in Aurora, across the street from the town’s gazebo, a perfect place to snap those once- in-a-lifetime wedding photos. As a little girl I used to drive by the church and see the beautiful brides in front of the church and hope that some day I would be the bride walking out the front doors of the white church, surrounded by many bridesmaids and bubbles, listening to the majestic church bells ringing as I walked down that path to wedded bliss. This fantasy came true for me in April of 2008. Since that day the Church in Aurora has been such a special place for me, I wanted to honor it by sharing a little of its history and encourage everyone in the community to check it out.
Although many young couples begin their futures in the Church in Aurora, the church, both building and congregation, has a very rich history. The church can be traced back to the early 1800’s when a young Reverend was sent from the Missionary Society of Connecticut to minister to the settlers of the Western Reserve. As there were only a couple of families to preach to, the congregation first met in homes of the settlers and then later in the Aurora town hall and school. The church was officially established in 1809 with a growing congregation but still no building to call home. Soon the congregation decided to take on the task of raising a church building.  Finances being very depressed at the time, the church members donated their time and materials for the building project instead of money.  After much hard work, prayer and fundraising the church building was erected in 1822 and finally dedicated in 1824. At the time of its dedication, the building had a brick exterior and much smaller footprint than the structure that stands today. The brick church served the community well but by the 1870’s it had to be torn down. Soon after, a new wood structure would take its place.  That wood structure is the center of the white church that is still standing.
Over the last decades the building has had several face lifts and expansions, bringing it to be the beauty that it is today. The sanctuary, the only original piece of the 1870 building remaining,  is the home of a beautiful and quite massive, organ that was added during World War I.  It was built in honor of those church members that served in the war.
Serving God and the community in Aurora for more than two centuries, the Church in Aurora is more than a historical landmark and site for weddings. It is still a place for the local community members to come together and worship.  Services are held each Sunday at the Church in Aurora at 9:30 AM and 11:00AM.  The church offers many activities for its members and also for other  members of the community.  Rev. Dr. William Schnell, the current Senior Pastor, and Rev. Kevin Horak, the Associate Pastor, are also involved in the community. You can often see Rev. Horak stepping out from behind the pulpit and onto the stage at Aurora’s local community theater.
The church also invites the residents of the local area  in each year for its annual The Nutcracker Sweets Fine Arts and Crafts Show.  It is held each fall at the church and will be held again this year in October.  This is a great opportunity see all of the local crafts and crafters but also get a peek at this great historical landmark that we have in our own community.
Whether it is for a Sunday morning service, a wedding or a craft show, everyone should share in the beauty of this treasure that we have in our own back yard.


Aurora – 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. In her fourth novel, Umrigar, who is a native of Bombay, India, explores class and religious distinctions in modern day India as college friends who have grown apart are reunited when one is stricken with cancer.  Her previous books include The Space Between Us, If Today Be Sweet, and Bombay Time, as well as the memoir, First Darling of the Morning.


Aurora – On April 22 through 29, an empty warehouse in Aurora will become the stage for the village’s annual spring treasure trove sale, which organizers say has raised more than $80,000 for local sports teams, clubs and more.
The event, held at 999 Chillicothe Road just south of Aurora Farms, will kick off April 22 at 10 a.m. with early bird hours until noon.

Come out and meet the author  Richard A. Markwardt on April 28th at 1 p.m. at the Village Bookstore, 8140 Main Street in Garrettsville.
Markwardt, a resident of Garrettsville,  will be available to sign copies of his book, Sometimes Life Just Doesn’t Seem Fair.
One of life’s more important lessons is learning that fairness is not determined simply by what happens to us. Jake learns this lesson one day when he travels to school and back on an adventure that teaches him that fairness is something to be demonstrated, not earned.


Chagrin Falls – Bestselling author Eric Metaxas will be speaking at Parkside Church in Chagrin Falls on Friday evening, May 4. Metaxas will discuss the men of faith who are the subjects of his New York Times bestsellers, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy and Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery.  The event is sponsored by Agape Christian Academy and will be held in the Commons at Parkside. Tickets are $40 each and include dinner.

Garrettsville – Village Council met for their regularly scheduled monthly meeting on April 11.  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 unanimously approved, all Council members were present.


Portage County District Library celebrated National Library Week by recognizing the hard work and dedication of its many Friends of the Library and community volunteers. During the week, the community was reminded of what valuable assets they are to Portage County District Library. In addition to the recognition, tables were set up to display Friends of the Library membership applications.

Pictured above (L-R): Stephanie Chimenti, Leah Kuno, Desiree Gabriel, Shane Andrews, Jess Berry, Rachelle King, Elise Lambert, and Sarah Roborecki.

Garrettsville  – Step into Facet Salon & Spa at the Total Lifetime Care complex at 1 Memory Lane, and you almost feel like Dorothy entering the Emerald City. Only it’s not garish. You just feel like you’re not in Kansas — or Garrettsville — any more. Instead, the Tuscan-inspired earth tones, stone- and wood- accented interiors and leather furnishings create a warm, welcoming atmosphere for this upscale oasis.

That’s by design, say co-owners and Garrettsville natives Shane Andrews and John Paul Mitchell Systems stylist and national educator Rachelle King. Facet Salon & Spa was a name both partners agreed upon when discussing the many dimensions of wellness that TLC provides to the community: Andrews Eye Care provided by Shane’s father, optometrist Tim Andrews; the family physicians’ practice headed by Shane’s mother, Annette Andrews, MD; and the TLC fitness center.

“Facet is the final piece of the puzzle, as we envisioned it when we first established TLC nine years ago,” says Andrews. “We’ve got the medical side, the feel-good fitness side, and now the final polishing, so you can leave here healthy, fit and pretty, too.”
The full-service salon and day spa offer options for the entire family, including fresh color and cuts for women, cuts and shampoos for guys and kids, styling for special occasions, manicures, pedicures, facials, spray tanning, tanning beds, massage rooms, and even two infrared saunas for detoxification and weight loss. In addition to Paul Mitchell hair products, Facet’s facial line is Bio Elements, and nail services feature OPI and Shellac.

King says the salon’s highly-trained group of stylists, make-up artists and nail technicians comprise a “a multi-faceted team who will make your visit to Facet an amazing experience. We cater to many dimensions of beauty, relaxation and refreshment, where each guest is a gem.”

King has been a stylist since 1992, when she graduated from Maplewood Career Center. An entrepreneur by nature, it wasn’t long before she was manager of Golden Mirror salon at the Sky Plaza. In 2007, King branched out and established a hip, new Paul Mitchell focus salon in the historic Ohio City neighborhood of Cleveland. With 14 stylists at that location, the Studio has earned media coverage in every major national salon industry magazine, King says. In 2010, Crain’s Cleveland Business named King one of its Top 40 Under 40. She recently departed Golden Mirror and now is focusing on Facet, the Studio, and her national training circuit with Paul Mitchell.

Call (330) 527-4347 to schedule appointments at Facet Salon & Spa beginning Tuesday, April 24. Regular business hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m., and Saturday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Watch for a grand opening celebration in about a month.

Kassie Fedor’s 387 was the high series last week for the 9:00 Trio League.   Kassie just edged out Eric Lawless who shot 377.  Star of the week was Wilson Jackson.  Wilson was 111 pins over his average of 72, with games of 119, 114, and 94.  Eric Schaefer was also over average all three games.  Eric’s average is 58 but he rolled games of 87, 82 and 87, 82 pins over average for the day.  Other good games:  Clark Jackson, 136 (47 over), Travis Horner, 123 (34 over), Nathan Phillips, 139 (34 over), Austin Wise, 117 (30 over), and Matt Hale, 112 (27 over).

Ravenna –   On April 19, 2012, Robinson Memorial Hospital will participate in a disaster exercise conducted by the Northeast Central Ohio Regional Disaster Planning Consortium (NECO). Disaster exercises or mock drills are held annually to test the plans and response times of participating hospitals and emergency management agencies. This year’s exercise will stage a tornado sweeping through 13 surrounding counties with 53 agencies participating.


Mark your calendars. The Garrettsville Area Chamber’s 19th Annual Community Yard sale is slated for May 5 & 6, 2012, beginning at 9am until 4pm. So start cleaning out the closets and get ready to make some cash on those unused and unwanted items one has lying around. Remember, what might be considered trash by you could be someone’s treasure.

Registration for the yard sale  is going on now and one may contact Jerry or Lynnette Kehoe for registering information 330 527-2722. Registration forms are available in the Weekly Villager newspaper, Jerry Kehoe’s Used Cars and on line at www.garrettsvillearea.com. The forms will need to be dropped off at Jerry Kehoe’s Used Cars at 10755 South Street (corner of state route 82 and 88) in Garrettsville. The fee for the event is $10 and Garrettsville village permits are waived if you register for this chamber event. The $10 fee will mean: free advertising for their event, signs and maps of their location. One will also be able to highlight a few specific items in their sale that will be listed on the back of the map along with their address. The deadline for registering is April 28, 2012.

This annual event is not limited to village residents, Windham, Hiram, Nelson, Freedom residents are encouraged to participate as well.  If one lives out of the region and they want to participate, they can register for a space at the bowling alley in town or at Freedom Park, and an additional charge may apply for these spaces.

The last few years the event has had over 200 participants selling their wares which draw thousands of visitors to town to shop for bargains and eat at local restaurants. This not only boosts the local economy on these two days, it also showcases the area and many return on another day to shop or eat.

One should start planning now. Whether you are looking to get rid of unused or unwanted items or hunting for a bargain, get ready the Community Yard Sale is right around the corner and you will not want to miss this opportunity to make some cash or find a bargain.

The 19th Annual Community Yard Sale is sponsored by the Garrettsville Area Chamber.  More Chamber news and events can be found at  www.garrettsvillearea.com

The Garrettsville Area Chamber of Commerce and the Garrettsville Economic Development Group are excited to announce the 1st Annual Business Awards.   These awards will be presented during an Awards Event in August.

To be nominated for an award, the business must be located in the Garrettsville, Freedom Township, Nelson Township, Hiram or Hiram Township limits.

Anyone can nominate a business. Nomination forms are available online at  garrettsvillearea.com and weeklyvillager.com. All nominations must be received by June 29, 2012.  The winners for each category will be voted on by majority of the committee.

The categories are as follows:

Small Business of The Year:  This award is presented to a community business with ten or fewer employees. The Small Business of the year has demonstrated best business practices and has made substantial contributions to improving the business, social or educational atmosphere of the community.

Industrial Business of The Year:  This award is presented to a manufacturing or other industrial business with ten or more employees. The Industrial Business of the Year has demonstrated best business practices and has made substantial contributions to improving the business, social or educational atmosphere of the community.

Retail Business of The Year:  This award is presented to a  business that sells goods directly to customers and has a physical storefront in the community. The Retail Business of the Year models customer service and provides a destination that brings customers from local and beyond into the community. This business has also used the storefront to advance social or educational opportunities in the community.

Best Place to Work:  This award is presented to a business which demonstrates a model workplace.

New Business of The Year:  This award is presented to a  business that has been in the community for 18 months or less and has demonstrated best business practices and has made substantial contributions to improving the business, social or educational atmosphere of the community.

All nominations must be received by June 29, 2012 to be considered. Please submit your nomination(s) to 2012 Business of The Year, c/o The Weekly Villager, 8454 Windham Street, Garrettsville, OH 44231.

Make your nominations online at: http://garrettsvillearea.com/awards.html

You know how, in literature there’s this thing called foreshadowing, where something that happens in the story is, like, a clue to what’s going to happen further on, a rehearsal for later action, say if Jack and Jill stumbled on the way up the hill prior to falling down–when Jack “broke his crown and Jill came tumbling after”–that kind of thing?  Well, anyone who did not suspect that our fifth honoree for the James A. Garfield Hall of Fame this year was going to “go somewhere, do something, be somebody” was simply not paying attention.
Jeffrey Wayne Richmond graduated from James A. Garfield High School in the class of ’79 and headed off to Kent State University, leaving a “show biz” trail behind him all the way.
His resume’ included agitating for–and succeeding at–bringing musicals–“Oliver” to start to the Middle School stage (Fagin was made for him) then moving on to the high school (in between, there was a stint at the Tidewater Dinner in Virginia where he played The Artful Dodger opposite Vincent Price in “Oliver” and acquired an Equity card) and establishing a tradition in drama–and music– which continues to this day.  He sang in the French class Christmas carol presentations, wrote the ”Hormone Blues” for extra credit in biology class, designed the original logo for the Garfield marching band, played the tuba (and allegedly once disappeared from the field in the middle of the halftime show when the lights went out for the twirling of fire batons, leaving only his instrument, his uniform and a pair of red boxer shorts), played against type as the neatnik Felix in “the Odd Couple”, directed “Please Don’t Drink the Water”, performed in “Pippin” and “Once Upon A Mattress,” did  cartoons for the school newspaper, wrote mini-musicals of his own–“Cowgirl on Broadway”, “Greasers on Parade”–that he inveigled friends into performing in and all sorts of groups into watching.  Not bad for a high school career, eh?
At Kent State University the beat went on.  He co-authored a number of musicals (including a musical version of “A Christmas Carol” where people served as furniture and prop pieces) and participated in many productions of the Musical Theatre Department, being considerable influenced  by Profs Erdmann and Zuccaro.  One independent project involved organizing a summer production of “Music Man” in Garrettsville, starring the mayor of the village as Professor Harold Hill, drawing in performers from all over and being the organizing force of what became  the Garrettsville Community Players (Which went on  for another fifteen years).
Then it was on to the Big Leagues.  In Chicago, Jeff worked at The Second City and Child’s Play Touring Theatre before beginning to compose music for the TV series Saturday Night Live in New York.  In 2006 he left SNL to produce and compose music for the situation comedy, 30 Rock.  He has appeared as an extra in the show on several occasions and since 2010 has directed four episodes (“Argus”, “Plan B”, “The Ballad of Kenneth Parcell”, “Today You Are A Man”).  The “30 Rock Original Television Soundtrack Collector’s Edition” features book and music by Jeff Richmond.  He is the musical director for the show and the executive producer.
In 2008, Jeff composed the score for the film “Baby Mama” which starred his wife, Tina Fey, opposite good friend, Amy Poehler.  He has also appeared in a recurring role on Late Night with Conan O’Brien as the short character of “Russian Hat Guy.”
Sure sounds like Hall of Fame material, right?
The Hall of Fame dinner and ceremony will be held at James A. Garfield High School on April 28.  The public is invited. Tickets will be available by calling 330 671-0228 or jokesh@frontier.com.

Mantua – Crestwood Drama Club has worked hard to produce their version of ‘Once Upon a Mattress’, a comical twist on the Princess and the Pea. In this student-directed production, club officers planned the blocking, choreography, and directed the construction of the set.  Students reported to one another and held one another accountable.  They, with the support of administration, organized adults and each other to create a successful show.  Two former Crestwood Drama presidents helped students plan sets and lighting. It is the kind of dedication and learning that educators and parents hope to see.


Aurora – Each year, the American Red Cross presents the Real Heroes awards to those residents of Portage County who have acted courageously and selflessly in a time of emergency, often at great risk and sacrifice to their own personal safety and well-being. These ordinary individuals have acted courageously by reaching out to help others in times of greatest need. Disasters were averted and lives were saved.  This year’s event will be held on Saturday, April 14 at 10 am at the Bertram Hotel and Conference Center in Aurora.  Cost for the event is $25.00 per person.  Reservations may be made online at www.summitcounty.redcross.org, or by contacting Shelley Sprang at 330-535-2224 or shelley.sprang@redcross.org.


Windham – Spring has officially arrived and if you have been lying around all winter then it is time to get outside and get moving. Here is an event you will not want to miss and it will not only help you get moving it will help a local group generate funds to restore their park.


Ravenna – FOX 8’s own Dick Goddard will be the guest speaker at the Seniors Spring Into Knowledge event at the  Reed Memorial Library. The event, co-sponsored by the Library and Crossroads Hospice, will be Friday, April 20 from 9:30 am – 1 p.m.
From 9:30 to 11 meet with representatives from several local agencies with information aimed at keeping you active and in your home.   At 11 watch a Silver Sneakers demonstration. This exercise program is specifically for senior citizens to improve your health.


Hiram – A summer Fine Arts Workshop has been added to the slate of learning opportunities and activities this summer at Hiram College

For three Saturdays (July 7, 14 and 21, 2012) from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM on Hiram College’s campus, students will learn printmaking (silkscreen), painting and drawing.  Young artists will work with Hiram faculty to expand their artistic abilities, aesthetic judgment and advanced visual skills. The workshop will conclude with an art show for family and friends.  The fee to participate is $55 and covers all meals, art supplies and materials.


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

Windham – The spooky world of the paranormal is coming to the Windham Historical Society. At their monthly meeting on Monday, April 16, at 7 PM at the Brick Chapel, 9001 North Main Street, all interested listeners will hear how Windham once stood at the center of the world of psychic research.


CLEVELAND—The roar of dralions (a clever blending of eastern dragons and western lions) could be heard throughout lower Cleveland over the holiday weekend, drawing thousands to their temporary home within Cleveland State University’s Wolstein Center. Billed as a performance that “transcends the boundaries of imagination”, the performers and crew of Cirque Du Soleil’s Dralion masterfully achieved just that.

Running April 4th through 8th, spectators were transported to a dazzling world of rich colors, moving instrumentals, flowing textiles and awe-inspiring acrobatics. Audience goers were treated to a bevy of phenomenal acts showcasing the talents of over fifty performers, at a level of perfection that could only be delivered by Cirque Du Soleil.

Reflecting over 3,000 years of Chinese acrobatic arts, the various acts in Dralion successfully blend eastern traditions with western culture. Over the course of the performance, audiences were treated to spectacles ranging from juggling to a high-stakes game of “Diablos”, Cirque’s unique spin on a classic children’s toy–the Chinese yo-yo. For fans of high-flying excitement, their thirst for aerial thrills was quenched by acts such as “Pas de Deux”, an aerial dance requiring both strength and flexibility from the couple intertwined in a band of blue cloth.

The level of talent on display each night was undeniable, but what goes into bringing a performance of this caliber to an arena like the Wolstein Center? On April 4th, the Weekly Villager was offered a chance to find out.

Tracing its origins back to 1999, Dralion was originally conceived and produced as one of Cirque Du Soleil’s Grand Chapiteau (big top) tours. Production Manager Alain Gauthier explained that in an effort to increase the accessibility (in terms of location), the show was “brought into a new reality” in 2010 when the Cirque creative team “redid [the technical aspects of Dralion] from scratch”. Stressing that while “[the show] remains artistically the same”, the arena tour has enabled the production team to rework the lighting and costumes to “achieve the quality of vision that both the designers and audiences expect”. Working together to produce a “stereo image”, an attempt at creating a unifying experience for audience goers, the creative team believes that “every seat should be a good seat”.

For Cirque Du Soleil, the spectacle comes not from the performers alone, but the blending of aural and visual performances. Not even the stage–described as a “twelve-agon”–escaped the creative team’s eye.
Seeking to reduce load-in/load-out times on the tour, Cirque Du Soleil’s stage supplier developed a unique “no-tool” stage that eliminates the need for screws and nails. Relying on magnets and a host of locking pins, the individual segments that compose the stage can be quickly assembled or disassembled with the “swing of an orange rubber hammer” and an allen key.

When the Dralion trucks arrive at a venue, laden with over 400,000 pounds of equipment, costumes and supplies, it is all hands on deck. Traveling with a permanent crew of 24 technicians, the production crew typically hires upwards of 60 local workers to help with load-in and over 75 for load out. Arriving one day ahead of opening night, load-in typically lasts 8-10 hours while the set and all equipment can be loaded out within 3 hours. Gauthier states that the current load-out record for this year’s tour is about 2 hours and 28 minutes.

Whether you missed your chance to see Dralion or want to experience the magic again, Cirque Du Soleil will be returning to the region in July with a new production which promises to deliver the same level of spectacle and excitement. Cirque Du Soleil’s Michael Jackson the Immortal World Tour blends the King of Pop’s music with “[a] riveting fusion of visuals, dance and fantasy” that will draw audiences into “Michael’s creative world and literally turn his signature moves upside down”.

For more information about Cirque Du Soleil or The Wolstein Center, visit their websites at: http://www.cirquedusoleil.com  and http://www.wolsteincenter.com

Photographs from Dralion


CLEVELAND—Billed as a performance that “transcends the boundaries of imagination”, the performers and crew of Cirque Du Soleil’s Dralion achieve just that. Running April 4th through 8th at Cleveland State University’s Wolstein Center, spectators are drawn into a dazzling world of rich colors, moving instrumentals and flowing textiles. Showcasing the talents of over fifty performers, audience goers are treated to a bevy of phenomenal acts at a level of perfection that can be only delivered by Cirque Du Soleil.

Reflecting over 3,000 years of Chinese acrobatic arts, the various acts in Dralion successfully blend eastern traditions with western culture. Over the course of the performance, audience goers are treated to many astounding spectacles including these favorites:

Single Handbalancing
Requiring impressing strength, flexibility and control, this act features an artist executing a series of impressing figures while maintaining her balance atop canes of various heights.

The artists of Dralion take traditional Chinese dragon and lion dances to new heights in this stunning act. Featuring dynamic and energetic tumbling sequences, acrobatics on large wooden balls and the Dralions themselves; this act is a crowd pleaser.

Putting a new spin on a classic children’s game, Diablos features four performers each with a Chinese yo-yo attempting increasingly difficult maneuvers, attempting to outdo each other in dexterity and ingenuity.

Tickets for Dralion are still available through the Wolstein Center and may be purchased online by clicking here.

Want to learn more about what goes into bringing Dralion to an arena near you? Find out in next week’s Villager.


Calling all amateur photographers in the JAG School District, it is time to sort through and find the perfect picture. The 4th annual photo calendar contest is now underway. Do you have that one amazing photo you took that you want everyone to see, but you aren’t sure how to go about it? Well, submit it to The Garrettsville Area Chamber of Commerce along with a $5 entry fee (per photo) and see if your photo gets published in the 2013 Chamber calendar. Make sure you include your name, address, phone number and a brief description of the photo. Also be sure to put the location that the photo was shot at. All Entries are due by August 31. Submit in person at the Middlefield Banking Company, Garrettsville branch, or by email to news@weeklyvillager.com. Winners and prizes will be determined by the Calendar Committee. All profits are used towards the purchase of the hanging baskets flowers that are placed in and around town each year. There is no theme this year, so that means the sky is the limit! Get your creative juices flowing and snap away.


Drew Tushar had the top game in the 9:00 Trio League with a very nice 184. Drew also had the high series with 422. Teammates Isaac Trickett and Eric Schaefer were both over average all three games and tied for the most over average for the day. Eric rolled games of 76, 78, and 78, putting him 64 pins over average. Isaac shot 73, 87, and 54, also 64 pins over average. Other good games: Clark Jackson, 136 (49 over), Travis Horner, 132 (44 over), Eric Lawless, 156 (36 over), Ashleigh Quiggle, 134 (27 over), Matthew Hale, 110 (26 over), Barrett Jackson, 124 (25 over), and Austin Wise, 107 (21 over). In the 11:00 Trio League, Ryan Ambler was the top bowler with a 211 game and 523 series. Lucas Titschinger shot 178, his highest game ever, which was 79 pins over his average. Danielle Tuttle was 61 pins over her average with her 167 game. Belladonna Titschinger rolled a triplicate series – three games of 110. Other nice games were shot by Zachary Britton, 157 (39 over), Emma Dockery, 180 (34 over), Jacob Tanner, 130 (26 over), Ian Huebner, 71 (25 over), Noah Hoffmann, 131 (22 over), Zachary Capron, 117 (22 over), Nick Toke, 154 (22 over), Jeff Dunfee, 128 (22 over), and Ali Franklin, 140 (21 over). Gavin Dunfee had the high score for the PeeWees with 108. Other good games: Alex Gage, 103, Brooklynn Horner, 99, Tessa Burnworth, 97, Emily Linamen, 95, Thane Sidwell, 95, and Owen Norris, 90. This was the first week for the return of the 1:00 shift as the Teen Texas Shoot Out league started. The top series was rolled by Jessica Potteiger with 601. Jess had games of 195, 199 and 207. Adam Tanner started out with six strikes in a row and ended up with a 222 his first game. He added a 201 and 171 game, ending up with a nice 594 series. Other good scores were rolled by Kyle Brigham, 201, Collin McGurer, 200, and Tiffany George, 217. Over the past couple of weeks youth bowlers traveled to Warren for the Pepsi Tournament. A number of Sky Lanes bowlers conquered the lanes there and are now qualified to advance to the State Pepsi Tournament. Congratulations to: Kassie Fedor, Anna Morrissey, Taylor Mick, Ali Franklin, Chase Zupancic, Matt Hale, Isaac Trickett, Wilson Jackson, Eric Lawless, Ian Huebner, Austin Sledz, Barrett Jackson, Zachary Britton, and David Durst. And good luck at state!

Sky Lanes hosted the Portage County Singles/Doubles Tournament on Sunday, March 25, with 88 bowlers from Sky Lanes, Twin Star, and Kent Lanes. Scholarship money will go to the top three stops in each division. Following are the tournament results (place, name, series with handicap and Smart Scholarship): Singles: Pee Wee (bumper) division 1 Darrion Sidwell 509 $100
2 Alex Gage 491 $50
3 Thane Sidwell 483 $25
Bantam/Prep division: 1 Barrett Jackson 698 $100
2 Cameron King 642 $50
3 Jarrod Gill 640 $25 Joey Ewell 640 $25 Major/Juniors Division: 1 Anna Brigham 667 $100 2 Brent Jones 657 $50 3 Austin Moore 622 $25 Doubles: Bantam/Prep Division: 1 Clark Jackson/Wilson Jackson 1255 $100 each 2 Lucas Titschinger/Jacob Tanner 1241 $50 each 3 Zach Britton/Jacob Britton 1234 $25 each Major/Juniors Division: 1 Dustin Tushar/Kyle Brigham 1296 $100 each 2 Jessica Potteiger/Clarke Kolmorgan 1295 $50 each 3 Liz Persuhn/Brent Jones 1187 $25 each Complete tournament results are available on the Portage County Youth bowling Facebook page.


On March 17th and 18th, four youth wrestlers from Garrettsville travelled to Youngstown to wrestle in the OAC State tournament held in the Covelli Centre. Brandon Gibson, Luke Porter, Logan Kissell, and Connor Hrubik all qualified in tournaments earlier in the year to earn a spot to wrestle in this coveted tournament. With 32 wrestlers in each bracket, it is the most grueling tournament held during the season in the state. Luke Porter came away with a 3rd place finish and Logan Kissell took 4th. The following weekend four G-Men made their way down to the Nutter Center in Dayton for the Ourway state tournament. Brandon Gibson, Luke Porter, Ryan Finney, and Connor Hrubik battled hard and made the community proud. Brandon Gibson and Connor Hrubik both placed 4th and Luke Porter came away with a 5th place finish. Congrats to all of the boys and keep up the good work!!


Members of 20th Century Club met March 15th at the James A. Garfield Historical Society building on Main Street in Garrettsville for the last business meeting of the year.  Co-hostesses for the evening were Nasreen Kitko and Gay McCoy.  Roll call was an interesting Civil War fact.  The program was delivered by Jan Boehm on GONE WITH THE WIND. Following the program, members were treated to an assortment of St. Patrick Day treats and encouraged to walk around the historical building.  Members will next meet at their annual Spring Party on April 19th at the Garfield Building in Hiram OH at the intersection of Rt. 305 and Rt. 82.  The Spring Party committee comprised of Jan Boehm (Chair), Jeannette Marvin Hall, Nasreen Kitko, and Cherri Wolfe, will plan the dinner and ordination of officers.


Windham – The Windham Historical Society heard presentations from their Scholarship winners, Caitlyn Isler (l.) and Julia Brookover (r.). Caitlyn presented a talk and artifacts from Richard Nixon’s visit to Windham in 1972, just before the news about Watergate broke in the national headlines. Julia gave a sociological  Powerpoint presentation about her family history, and how the Ravenna Arsenal facilitated people from other areas coming to the Windham area to meet and form families. The Historical Society scholarships are underwritten by the Stuart Higley Foundation, administered by descendants of one of Windham’s founding families.

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.


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


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.


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.


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.