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Carol Starre-Kmiecik portraying Amelia Earhart

Burton - Usher in your holiday season at the elegant Friends of WomenSafe Christmas Tea.  Enjoy nibbling on dainty sandwiches, freshly-baked scones with clotted cream and jam while hearing the life story of Amelia Earhart and shopping a Chinese auction offering a variety of enticing certificates, baskets and unique items.  Sunday, December 11, 2011 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the Red Maple Inn, 14707 S. Cheshire Street in Burton.  Tickets are $45.00 per person.

Space is limited, so call 440-285-3741 today to make your reservations.  Thanks to the generosity of Lake Health and the Red Maple Inn, we are able to provide this wonderful afternoon at such a reasonable price.

Friends of WomenSafe is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation with the sole mission of generating unrestricted funds for WomenSafe.  In our first four years we’ve donated $140,000.00 to WomenSafe and built a strong team of over 60 members.  We’re actively seeking new friends to help plan and execute fundraisers.  This is an excellent opportunity for you to lend your talents to a growing organization that provides support for people in crisis.  Why not join us today?  Ask for a membership application when you call #440-285-3741.

 

Mantua – The seventh bi-annual Mantua Christmas Tour of Homes kicks off this weekend. Four area homes are on the tour, including the home pictured above. Owner Christina Thompson and cousin, Cara Jean Somoskey with the help of other family and friends, decorated to the theme ‘Christmas at home with Christy at Fieldstone Cottage’. The wonderfully eclectic decorating style displays beautiful artwork, antiques and mementos from Christy and her family’s worldly travels. From the Henry VIII room, to the Victorian bedroom showcasing a whimsical Alice in Wonderland tree, your senses will be engaged. The Mantua Christmas Walk Tour is sponsored by the Mantua Rotary. A Craft Show at the old village school and lunch at the Lutheran Church are also available during the tour hours. Proceed benefit the Rotary’s Scholarship Fund and other local school organizations. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the caboose at the Mantua Station Drug Store across from the high school on State Route 44. Tour is opened November 4, 5, 6 and November 11, 12, 13, the hours are Friday, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

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Windham Twp. – Windham Township Trustees met for their regularly-scheduled meeting last Thursday with trustees Dann Timmons, Brian Miller and Jesse Wirick, along with fiscal officer Jayme Neikirk, in attendance. The meeting was called to order and guest Betty Clapp, president of the board of trustees of the Portage County District Library (PCDL). Clapp was seeking support for the library levy that is on the ballot this fall. She stated that the library is currently trying to operate on a budget for 1997. The library receives about 95% of its funding from the government which has reduced funding to libraries considerably over the last few years. The library expects to see more reductions of  government funding. The levy will generate enough funding to extend library hours, restore staffing, update computers and more. The cost to a homeowner with a $100,000 home is $30 a year or $2.50 a month.  The trustees discussed the issue and agreed to endorse the library levy.

The minutes of the previous meeting were approved as presented.  In safety news, Timmons announced that the old rescue squad that was replaced with a new unit was sold to North Lawrence Fire Department. Questions about panic/ crash bars on the doors at the town hall were brought up at a previous meeting, which had Timmons researching the issue. Timmons stated that he was unable to confirm whether it was required or not. According to the American Disability Act it isn’t listed as a requirement, however, he is going to have the fire chief inspect the building and see if it is a requirement for the fire department.

The next item on the agenda was the roads. Supervisor Rich Gano reported that the salt was in and the trucks are ready to roll for winter. A discussion was held about removing five dead trees on Colton Road in the road right-of-way. After the discussion the trustees approved the removal of the trees for $700, providing they received something in writing from the resident stating he didn’t object to the removal. In other road news, the trustees approved the crack sealing of Wadsworth, Werger and Bryant Roads along with paving an apron at the bus turn- around on Wadsworth Road. The job is contracted to Hard Labor of Windham.

Zoning issues: the board held a public meeting prior to the regular meeting to discuss proposed zoning changes.  The changes were a hot topic and the trustees were unable to address all the proposals so a vote on the changes was not taken. Another public meeting on the issues can be expected. Several residents wanted clarification on accessory building height. One place in the current zoning code states no taller than 15 feet and another says 35 feet. Timmons said it was vague and that they had set a precedent of 15 feet when the trustees had previously turned down other requests and sent them through the zoning board of appeals process. Timmons said he was uncomfortable making any adjustments different from the precedent until the zoning code is updated, because he was concerned about former applicants suing the township. Trustees Miller and Wirick also stood firm on the issue. Until the code is updated to 35 feet the resident will have to apply for a variance and go through the appeals process.

Wirick updated everyone on the status of the NOPEC Grant Project on the town hall and service garage. Everything is just about done except the electrical work which is supposed to be completed soon.

In other news, the cemetery footers are scored out and if the weather cooperates they should  be poured next Wednesday October 12, 2011.

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

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Here’s your chance!  You can make an investment that will return at least $4.00 for every $1.00 invested and the more you use it the more you get back.

Sound good?  Great!  All you have to do is support the 1-mill levy on the ballot this November 8 providing funds for the Portage County District Library.  Every library system in Portage County–Ravenna (Reed), Kent Free, Portage County District Library–is asking for support from the communities that they serve.  Local libraries have been hit hard by the current economic situation (Who hasn’t…other than the really high-end folks?) because of the severe cut-backs in state funding(A thirty per cent reduction since 2001..and the library budget is funded 95% by the state).  Our libraries have done just about everything that they can, short of setting up casinos in the reference section, to continue to offer the services that their patrons are seeking but it’s been tough.

Belt tightening?  Not since “Mammy”  yanked the corset strings on Scarlett in “Gone With the Wind” have you seen such tightening…and they’ve been doing it for ten years!  Hours have been reduced, staff has been reduced, materials have been shorted(Remember the magazines you used to be able to get?  Gone! The free CDs and videos?  Gone!  That nice story-lady in the kids section?  Gone!  Quiet Thursdays when you could get some reading or some research done?  Gone! ).  And it could get worse!  The PCDL is operating at the same funding level as 1996.  Can you do that?

The levy request for the PCDL is one mill–Reed and Kent Free are slightly more and still a bargain–amounting to about $2.50 per month if your house is valued at $100,000 (fat chance for a lot of us in the current market).  Forego a couple of  large everything pizzas–that means you, Wide Load–and you’re paid for the year.  How easy was that!

And what do you get for the money, small as it is?  You get access to e-government and job resources, you get support for literacy and reading for children, you get equal access to information for everyone(even those without the internet or magazine subscriptions or electronic whiz-bangs), you get a source for self-education and improvement (Yes, even YOU can improve!).  And you get all this at the branches in Aurora, Garrettsville, Randolph, Streetsboro and Windham as well as through Library Express and Outreach Services to homebound individuals and nursing homes (Happy reading. Aunt Elsie).  Teachers and students in Garfield, Rootstown, Streetsboro, Field, Waterloo, Crestwood, Southeast and Windham will be able to benefit too.  It’s money spent by Portage County that stays in Portage County (Just like Vegas…maybe the casino thing would work!)

Think about it.  Think about access to computers and internet; think about book groups and other adult programs; think about music, movies, literature; think about recorded and digital books; think about job search assistance; think about story times and summer reading programs; think about information resources; think about community and coming together.  They can all start at your library.  Think about getting back to 2001; then think about what we can do together to continue to go forward.

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The Rotary Club of Mantua announces its seventh Biennial Christmas Tour of Homes, November 4, 5, 6 and 11, 12,  13.  The usual Friday hours have been changed this year to 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. while the Saturday and Sunday hours remain the same:  Saturday, November 5 and 12, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday, November 6 and 13, 12:30 to 5:00 .  Tickets for the tour are $10.00 and may be purchased at the Caboose, Mantua Station Drug, on Main Street, beginning half an hour before the  homes will be open, at 10:00 a,m,, and during the rest of the day.  Tickets for children between five and 12 years of age will be $5.00.  Homes will not be open before 10:00 a.m.

An accompanying craft show under the sponsorship of Crestwood Band Patrons will be open during tour hours at TLExpress (the old Village School) located on the west side of Main St.  The craft show, as always, is open to anyone, those taking the tour and those who are not on the tour and may be visited as many times as visitors wish to shop.
Lunch will be available each day at Christ Lutheran Church, also on Main St.:  Fridays, between 4:00 and 7:00, Saturdays, 11:00 to 2:00, and Sundays, 12:30 to 3:30.

The opening event, the Candlelight Tour, will be on Thursday evening, November 3, beginning at 7:00.  Hors d’oeuvres and pastries will be served at the lovely home of Architect Lee and Gretchen Prozak..  Reservations are necessary for all Candlelight Tour tickets at a cost of $20.00 and may be reserved  at 330–274-2376.  Candlelight Tour-goers will also have time to visit the other homes that evening or later during regular tour hours either weekend.

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Nelson Twp. – Nelson Township trustees met for their regularly-scheduled meeting last week with Trustees Joe Leonard, Bill Wilson and Jim Turos along with Fiscal Officer J. David Finney in attendance. The meeting was called to order by Chairman Joe Leonard and the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag was recited. The fiscal officer presented bills and wages, along with bank reconciliation and funds status report. After reviewing the fiscal officer’s items the board approved the expenditures along with the bank reconciliation. Finney also read an invitation he received for the trustees to attend the grand opening of the surgical center at Robinson Memorial Hospital slated for October 25, 2011 and a letter from Garrettsville requesting to be notified of any oil/ gas permits issued in the township.

Chuck Vanek, road supervisor reported that they had spent most of the rainy days working on the trucks and expect to have a “mowing marathon” this week as it has finally quit raining. Vanek also reported that the culvert on Pierce Road continues to wash out and asked what he should do with it now. After some discussion, the trustees decided to draft a letter to the county engineer for assistance in the matter.

Mr. Bill Wilson had nothing to report.

Mr. Turos reiterated Vanek’s report by stating the road crew had been busy working on the trucks during all the rain.

Leonard presented the board with the electric updates and heating and cooling update bids for the community house. After some discussion the trustee voted to accept the lowest bid on the electric service and awarded the contract to Mike’s Electric. The board decided to table the heating and cooling bid until they have a chance to re-appropriate the funds. The heating and cooling expenses will exceed the grant amount so the funds will need to be re-appropriated before the work can begin.

Leonard also presented two zoning changes that he would like the trustees to approve before sending them on to the zoning commission for approval. The first one was to allow temporary use of a camper on an undeveloped piece of property while owner is working on developing the property. The other change was to allow home based businesses in the township. Both measures have restrictions on them and were modeled after other township’s codes in Portage County. After some discussion the board approved the suggestions and will send them to the zoning commission.

Other reports presented were the Harvest Moon Festival, which reported that the event was a success, food bank is expected to be open in January, and the portable storage building at the park should be up soon.

Guest Todd Peetz from the county planning commission explained what services they offered and how they could assist the township with a variety of issues.

The trustees meet on the first and third Wednesday of each month at the community house at 7:30. The public is always welcome to attend and see what their elected officials are doing in their township. More Nelson news and information can be found on the website www.nelsontownshipohio.org

Nelson Twp. – Nelson Township trustees met for their regularly-scheduled meeting last week with Trustees Joe Leonard, Bill Wilson and Jim Turos along with Fiscal Officer J. David Finney in attendance. The meeting was called to order by Chairman Joe Leonard and the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag was recited. The fiscal officer presented bills and wages, along with bank reconciliation and funds status report. After reviewing the fiscal officer’s items the board approved the expenditures along with the bank reconciliation. Finney also read an invitation he received for the trustees to attend the grand opening of the surgical center at Robinson Memorial Hospital slated for October 25, 2011 and a letter from Garrettsville requesting to be notified of any oil/ gas permits issued in the township.
Chuck Vanek, road supervisor reported that they had spent most of the rainy days working on the trucks and expect to have a “mowing marathon” this week as it has finally quit raining. Vanek also reported that the culvert on Pierce Road continues to wash out and asked what he should do with it now. After some discussion, the trustees decided to draft a letter to the county engineer for assistance in the matter.
Mr. Bill Wilson had nothing to report.
Mr. Turos reiterated Vanek’s report by stating the road crew had been busy working on the trucks during all the rain.
Leonard presented the board with the electric updates and heating and cooling update bids for the community house. After some discussion the trustee voted to accept the lowest bid on the electric service and awarded the contract to Mike’s Electric. The board decided to table the heating and cooling bid until they have a chance to re-appropriate the funds. The heating and cooling expenses will exceed the grant amount so the funds will need to be re-appropriated before the work can begin.
Leonard also presented two zoning changes that he would like the trustees to approve before sending them on to the zoning commission for approval. The first one was to allow temporary use of a camper on an undeveloped piece of property while owner is working on developing the property. The other change was to allow home based businesses in the township. Both measures have restrictions on them and were modeled after other township’s codes in Portage County. After some discussion the board approved the suggestions and will send them to the zoning commission.
Other reports presented were the Harvest Moon Festival, which reported that the event was a success, food bank is expected to be open in January, and the portable storage building at the park should be up soon.
Guest Todd Peetz from the county planning commission explained what services they offered and how they could assist the township with a variety of issues.
The trustees meet on the first and third Wednesday of each month at the community house at 7:30. The public is always welcome to attend and see what their elected officials are doing in their township. More Nelson news and information can be found on the website www.nelsontownshipohio.org

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Garrettsville-Hiram Rotarians are out and about again, with their annual–well, mostly–roadside clean-up on St. Rte 82 between Garrettsville and Hiram.  You know the line,”the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak”?  Well, it sort of applied  in this instance.  Those that were able to show up–they definitely showed in fluorescent vests–(several auxiliary possibilities were unable to make it) did yeoman service by removing several bags of the usual detritus–bottles, cans, paper, UTAOs (Unidentified Thrown-Away Objects) and some items best left unidentified too precisely.

This followed the meeting on October 3 when plans for the approaching Reverse Raffle and Silent Auction were put in train for the big event coming up on November 10 at SugarBush Golf. Sponsorships are available  for those wishing to make a contribution.  Tickets also can be obtained from any member.  A top prize of $ 1000 is mighty tempting and the auction items look good too.

The club maintained its community-minded chops once again by making a donation to the JAG MVP campus surveillance fund being mounted by a group hoping to place security cameras and equipment on school facilities to reduce threats to public safety and property security.  The possibility of securing a matching grant from Rotary District 6630 was also brought up; it will be investigated.

Steve Zabor, district-governor-in-waiting and member of the Mantua-Shalersville Rotary Club, is slated to attend the October 10 meeting.

Bob Jackson, secretary-treasurer par excellence, is sorely missed but recovering.  He will, no doubt, return better than ever, though that would be hard to do.

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Mantua – 4C’s is raffling off a quilt called “Fruit of the Spirit, Fruit of the Orchard V” in the “Hunter’s Star” pattern. The drawing will be held on November 12 at the 4 C’s Craft Fair held in the Shalersville Township Hall from 9:00-3:00. The quilt maker is Ellie Monroe and tickets are available from her at $1.00 each or 6 for $5. The quilt will be on display at Monroe’s Orchard, 6313 Pioneer Trail from October 13 through November 11. All proceeds from the quilt raffle will go to support the food shelf. Ellie has been donating a quilt to benefit the 4 C’s, for several years and this year it is more important than ever because of the rising cost of food and the increase in numbers of people using the food shelf. Our heartfelt thanks go out to Ellie for her dedication.

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Middlefield – Mrs. Mona J. Trybus of Middlefield has been named the 2011 recipient of the prestigious Chapman Award. Each year, the Geauga County Library Foundation bestows this award on an individual who, through his or her actions, has best promoted the interests of reading and books.

Mrs. Trybus’ devotion to the library began with the founding of the East Geauga Friends of the Library in 1973.  She served as secretary/treasurer, wrote its newsletter for several years, compiled scrapbooks of the organization’s history and events, and helped to raise the funds necessary to include a meeting room in the library that opened in 1977.  She continues her Friends volunteer work every Thursday afternoon in the Friends’ book sale room in the new Middlefield Library.

It is safe to say that without Mona J. Trybus, there might not be a new Middlefield Library.  She tirelessly visited businesses and individuals, seeking donations to the campaign fund for the successful bond issue that made the Middlefield Library a reality.  Recognizing the significance of her contributions, the Library Board named the conference room in the new library the Mona J. Trybus Conference Room.  In addition to raising the funds, Mrs. Trybus continues to serve as campaign treasurer for Geauga Citizens Preserving Libraries, funding all campaign expenses since 1991.

A member of the Library Board for 30 years until her retirement in July 2011, Mrs. Trybus served on every committee and in every officer capacity on the Board.  She was appointed to the Geauga County Library Foundation Board in 1993 as a Library Board representative until her retirement from the Library Board earlier this year.  At that point, the Foundation Board recognized her great contributions and sought her permission to appoint her back to the Foundation Board as a community representative.

A native of Altoona Pennsylvania, Mrs. Trybus married Dr. Henry G. Trybus in 1957 and moved to Middlefield. She has two daughters, one son, and nine grandchildren.

Mrs. Trybus will receive her Chapman Award from the Geauga County Library Foundation at a reception in her honor on Friday, November 11, 2011, at Middlefield Library.

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Hiram – Let’s face it. We live in a celebrity-obsessed culture. We’re fascinated by Charlie Sheen’s meltdowns, Lindsey Lohan’s on-going rehab saga, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s libidinous adventures and crave the latest scoop on the Kardashian clan. Even in a tough economy, celebrity magazines continue to enjoy robust sales, as Americans just can’t seem to get enough of their favorite stars. To celebrate that obsession, there’s Celebritease!, an outrageous new fast-paced game that tests players’ knowledge of celebrities. Think of it as part Charades, part Trivial Pursuit. Celebritease! was created by the Communications Factory, a creative boutique in Cleveland.

“Surveys show Americans can more readily name celebrities than important people who have tremendous impact on our lives, like Supreme Court judges,” notes Brad Turner of the Communications Factory. “This game is a natural extension of our fixation with celebrities.”

[pulledquote]“Players will enjoy playing again and again!”[/pulledquote]Celebritease! is designed for players age 12 and older. It comes in a colorful tin (referred to as the “Hollywood Bowl”) and consists of a 60-second timer, 216 celebrity and 24 wildcard chips. The object is to accumulate the most celebrity chip points by the time the “Hollywood Bowl” is empty. The leader, or “teaser,” of the starting team selects a celebrity chip from the Hollywood Bowl while someone else starts the timer. The teaser then has one minute to give clues – singing, dancing, drawing, acting out or speaking – to help his or her teammate identify as many celebrities as possible in that time. Clues can include anything except the actual name of the celebrity. “Celebritease! features the famous from all walks of life – Hollywood, the sports world, politicians, musicians, even well-known writers and fictional characters,” Turner explains. “So, regardless of your background or interests, it’s as simple as it is fun. And since the game play is different each time, players will enjoy playing again and again.”

According to Turner, the fun doesn’t stop with just this version of Celebritease!, however. “Future editions, such as a children’s version, sports eras, Biblical characters, history, and more are already in the works.” Celebritease! is manufactured and assembled in Northeast Ohio and is currently available at Myriad Games in New Hampshire, Games by James stores in Minnesota and Time Well Spent in Colorado. It’s also available at each store’s online properties: https://shop.gamesalute.com, gamesbyjames.com and www.timewellspentgames.com. Suggested retail price for Celebritease! is between $20-25. For more information about Celebritease!, like us on Facebook or call us at 330.697.9320.

Bettina’s Antiques and Miniatures Company, located at 264 West Main Street, recently opened its  doors for business. Owner Sue Sheppard said owning a Victorian tea room was her heart’s desire but Ravenna already had one of those so she decided to go with her other love, antiques and miniatures. The store is named after her late mother Bettina Sheppard, and  carries antiques, a variety of miniature items for dollhouses and supplies for fairy gardens. Sue stated that Bettina means tiny which her mother was and so are the items she sells in her store.

When one walks in the store they will see a portrait of the store’s namesake on the wall along with some antique pictures. She also has numerous doll houses, fairy gardens as well as any miniature item one would need to accessorize a dollhouse. The world of doll houses and miniatures is not just child’s play; it is  for the grown up as well.

Bettina’s has just about anything one would find in a furniture gallery only a lot smaller. She carries furniture, appliances, and accessories in a variety of scales so she is sure of have the correct size for the doll house one is trying to decorate. The store has all the accent pieces one would look for as well. Expect to find miniature dishes, towels, bed coverings, table cloths, pottery, wallpaper, etc. Anything needed to set and  decorate a full size room, she carries for a miniature room. So, your doll house needs a sewing room? Well, don’t worry, she has all the accessories for that, right down to the pattern pieces, iron and ironing board.

The miniature world is actually like living in fantasy land. Design your house or room (Yes, she sells just rooms if you do not have the space for an entire doll house.) as you would like. Are you into Victorian but not sure you want your life-size home all decked out in it? Then consider doing a room or a doll house in Victorian style. The store has just about everything one would need and Sue will help you select items for your house or room if you desire help.

Your old house needs some TLC? No problem, she can help with that too. Sue also repairs doll houses and can  help find  replacement parts for one as well. A one stop shop for those who love miniatures.

The store hasn’t forgotten about the kids either. It also carries the Melissa and Doug line of houses created for children. So bring in the kids. In fact she even has a play area for kids when they come in the store with mom. They can play with the store  doll house while mom works on decorating her own house/room.

The future plans for the store are: to open her shop up for meetings, group workshops and classes on fairy gardens which have become extremely popular as of late.  She also plans to have adult “play days” where adults can bring their houses or rooms in and work on them while exchanging ideas with others.

Check out this unique store and you too may fall in love with the miniature world.

Bettina’s is open from Wednesday thru Saturday 11 am – 3 pm.

[pulledquote]“It’s for the kids, we will be there!”[/pulledquote]The Middlefield Police and Fire Departments held the second annual “Middlefield Car Show” event as a fund raiser for the “Shop with a Cop” program. The event was well attended and raised as $4,955.

The “Shop with a Cop” program is a unique program that provides resources for Middlefield area children to holiday shop for themselves and their families. The children get to holiday shop with a member from the Middlefield Police and Fire Departments. The “Shop With A Cop” program is very special to us in that it brings holiday joy to Middlefield area families that otherwise might not be able to celebrate with food and gifts”.

I want to deeply thank everyone that attended the car show. The weather was great, a short rain shower did not stop folks from visiting, then the sun came out and we had a beautiful day for the event. All of the proceeds raised at the car show will support the Shop with a Cop program. The Shop with a Cop program operates solely upon fund raisers and donations.

Special “Thank You” to Carl Hornung, Dennis Parton, Mike Davison, Middlefield Fire Department Chief Bill Reed, and the Middlefield Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary for their participation of coordinating the car show. There were Hot Rod Car enthusiasts that came from as far as Pennsylvania.

“When people learned that the proceeds from the Middlefield Car Show went to the Shop with a Cop program”, they said, “It’s for the kids, we will be there!” This is so heartwarming, that people from all over are so willing to support our community programs.

The “Shop with a Cop” program is a wonderful program that the Middlefield Police Department intends to hold every year. Donations make the program possible. “I would like to thank all of the sponsors of the Shop with a Cop program.” “We hold this program close to our hearts and it means a lot to us, if it was not for your generous donations we would not have been able to offer the program to the community.” If you would like to provide resources for the Middlefield Police Department “Shop with a Cop” program, please call Chief Ed Samec  (440) 632-5225

Hiram  –  On Saturday, October 29, 2011, the Weekend College program at Hiram College, along with the Office of Graduate Studies, will celebrate the 35th anniversary of Weekend College by hosting the first annual Adult Learning SuccessFEST to inspire interested adults to make a commitment to return to college.

The Weekend College, established in 1977 is the oldest adult learning program in Ohio, and is geared to the needs of working adults, who may be too busy with jobs and family to attend traditional college classes. SuccessFEST will provide attendees with a multitude of information, activities, counseling, and testimonials from other adults who have succeeded in their lives after earning degrees at the Hiram Weekend College.

Throughout its tenure, the Weekend College has graduated more than 2200 students, in a range of eight different undergraduate majors and the Masters of Art in Interdisciplinary Studies (MAIS).  The event is also being held in concert with National Non-Traditional Student Recognition Week, sponsored by The Association of Non-Traditional Students in Higher Education, to recognize and celebrate nontraditional student success across the United States and Canada.

“Many working adults think they are too busy with families and careers, or simply lack the confidence to pursue their dreams and success by earning a degree,” said Paul Bowers, Dean of Extended Learning at Hiram College. “SuccessFEST is specifically designed to show interested adults how they can leverage support networks to break down barriers and get on the road to success.”

SuccessFEST begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, October 29 in the ballroom of the Kennedy Center on the Hiram campus, and will offer the following opportunities to interested adults:

  • Attend confidence-building mini-classes and experience Hiram’s intimate, personal learning approach
  • Hear how other adult learners overcame barriers and achieved success
  • Talk with current Weekend College students about how they juggle family, career and education
  • Attend financial aid and transcript evaluation sessions, and tour Hiram’s campus
  • Network with other non-traditional students, engaged, caring faculty, staff, and  successful alumni

Attendees will also be treated to a special buffet luncheon and hear presentations by:

  • Jean Mackenzie, entrepreneur and founder of Mackenzie Creamery, in Hiram, and recipient of the 2011 Portage County Environmental Conservation Award
  • Sandra Lisko, a 2007 alumna of Hiram College, and vice president, regional marketing manager, Huntington Bank
  • Warren Blazy, a 1991 Hiram College alumnus, owner and CEO of Blaze-N-Dee, Inc., food safety consultants.

SuccessFEST is free, please register at www.hiram.edu/successfest or call 330-569-5161

Hiram  –  On Saturday, October 29, 2011, the Weekend College program at Hiram College, along with the Office of Graduate Studies, will celebrate the 35th anniversary of Weekend College by hosting the first annual Adult Learning SuccessFEST to inspire interested adults to make a commitment to return to college.
The Weekend College, established in 1977 is the oldest adult learning program in Ohio, and is geared to the needs of working adults, who may be too busy with jobs and family to attend traditional college classes. SuccessFEST will provide attendees with a multitude of information, activities, counseling, and testimonials from other adults who have succeeded in their lives after earning degrees at the Hiram Weekend College.
Throughout its tenure, the Weekend College has graduated more than 2200 students, in a range of eight different undergraduate majors and the Masters of Art in Interdisciplinary Studies (MAIS).  The event is also being held in concert with National Non-Traditional Student Recognition Week, sponsored by The Association of Non-Traditional Students in Higher Education, to recognize and celebrate nontraditional student success across the United States and Canada.
“Many working adults think they are too busy with families and careers, or simply lack the confidence to pursue their dreams and success by earning a degree,” said Paul Bowers, Dean of Extended Learning at Hiram College. “SuccessFEST is specifically designed to show interested adults how they can leverage support networks to break down barriers and get on the road to success.”
SuccessFEST begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, October 29 in the ballroom of the Kennedy Center on the Hiram campus, and will offer the following opportunities to interested adults:
Attend confidence-building mini-classes and experience Hiram’s intimate, personal learning approach
Hear how other adult learners overcame barriers and achieved success
Talk with current Weekend College students about how they juggle family, career and education
Attend financial aid and transcript evaluation sessions, and tour Hiram’s campus
Network with other non-traditional students, engaged, caring faculty, staff, and  successful alumni
Attendees will also be treated to a special buffet luncheon and hear presentations by:
• Jean Mackenzie, entrepreneur and founder of Mackenzie Creamery, in Hiram, and recipient of the 2011 Portage County Environmental Conservation Award
• Sandra Lisko, a 2007 alumna of Hiram College, and vice president, regional marketing manager, Huntington Bank
•  Warren Blazy, a 1991 Hiram College alumnus, owner and CEO of Blaze-N-Dee, Inc., food safety consultants.
SuccessFEST is free, please register at www.hiram.edu/successfest or call 330-569-5161

Garfield Meeting House - Photo: Benjamin M Coll

Hiram, – The Garfield Institute for public Leadership at Hiram College will host a celebration of the legacy of James A. Garfield, Saturday October 15th at the National City Christian Church, 5 Thomas Circle NW, Washington DC.

The event, part of the Hiram’s observance of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, will focus on the achievements of Garfield, who was President of the Western Reserve Eclectic Institute, the precursor of Hiram College, and had a distinguished career as a general in the Civil War before his election to Congress and as the 20th president of the United States.

Dr. Allan Preskin, former professor of history at Cleveland State University, and a noted Garfield biographer will deliver the keynote address at the celebration, along with remarks by Thomas V. Chema, current president of Hiram College, and John C. Koritansky, Professor of Political Science at Hiram and Chairman of the Garfield Institute. The Hiram College Chamber Singers and Western Reserve Women’s Chorus will provide Civil War Era songs.

The event is the centerpiece a three-day visit to the nation’s capital by the students and faculty of the Garfield Institute for Public Leadership in which they will tour the White house, and confer with government officials on the economy. The Institute selects and prepares students to assume the responsibilities of public leadership by developing expertise in matters of public policy, foreign and domestic, grounded in Hiram’s traditional liberal arts education. Garfield scholars and faculty travel to Washington every year for experiential learning outside the classroom.

For more information about Hiram College, please visit www.hiram.edu.

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Last week in the 11:00 Trio League, Collin McGurer rolled his first 600 series ever, a very nice 613.  Collin rolled 191 and 198 the first two games and then started the third game with 6 strikes in a row on his way to a 224.  Collin came into the day with a 192 average, high for the league.  Collin is an eighth grader at Garfield Middle School and a top prospect for the High School bowling team next year.

Coach Rick Ewell commented that while big games are impressive, bowling consistently for a good series is even more impressive.  And a number of bowlers did just that, with all three games over average.  Billy Potteiger was over his 86 average all three games with 99, 102, and 104 for a nice 305 series.  Cameron King, whose average is 120, shot games of 156, 144 and 126 for a 426 series.  Taylor Mick was over average all three games too, with 114, 113, and 109.  Ali Franklin shot 120, 134 and 125 for a 379 series.  And “The Sinless Pins” team members all accomplished the feat.  Alex Wilt started the day with a 55 average and rolled games of 97, 142, and 99 for a very nice 338 series.  His teammate Mark Butto (75 average) rolled 106, 76, and 85, while Zach Britton (81 average) rolled 105, 112, and 92.

Good games were also rolled by Ryan Ambler, 197, Emma Dockery, 189, Nick Toke, 169 (42 pins over average), Jaret Doraski, 171 (36 over), Jake Yeatts, 160 (32 over), David Durst, 132 (27 over), Noah Hoffman, 127 (26 over),  and Trevor Matheney, 143 (24 over).

For the 9:00 Trio League, high game and high series belonged to Drew Tushar with a 163 game and 415 series.  Kassie Fedor rolled a 146 game and 387 series.  Drew currently has high average for the league of 125 but Kassie is right behind him at 123.  Austin Wise rolled a 134 game, shooting 53 pins over his average of 81.  Travis Horner rolled 110, 40 pins over his average.  Other good games:  Clark Jackson, 95 (33 over), Steven Miller, 119 (31 over),Isaac Trickett, 69 (26 over), Nathan Phillips, 124 (26 over), Jack Norris, 105 (23 over), Kannon Borrelli, 66 (22 over), and Savannah Britt, 92 (22 over).

Alex Gage and Jack Cigany shared high game honors for the bumper bowlers last week with scores of 100.  Charlie Britt had games of 99 and 98.  Other good games were rolled by Gavin Dunfee, 96, and  Zach Seebacher, 91.

Clarke Kolmorgan and Matt Lyons tied for the high series in the Scholastic League last week with 584.  High series for the girls was rolled by Kim Wampler with 460.  Brent Jones had high game for the week with 217.

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Last Friday the winless Bombers took the field against a much-improved Waterloo football program. The results of the game were very disappointing for the host Windham Bombers, a 40-0 loss to the Vikings. The Vikings defense held Windham to just five first downs and 124 total yards. Meanwhile the Waterloo offense rolled up 395 rushing yards. This week the Bombers have a good look at their first victory since week three last season as they travel to East Canton to take on the winless Hornets.

People say. “When you play your rival you can throw out the records” that saying holds no better example than when LaBrae and Newton Falls play. No matter the sport, no matter the year, either team has so much familiarity with schools that are right next to them, because they grow up playing against one another and know their tendencies. Last week the previously winless Tigers played host to the one-loss Vikings, and Newton Falls’ Chance Marsh rushed in the end zone from five yards out in overtime to cut the Tigers deficit to one 26-27. Obviously the Tigers saw something they could do well and decided to go for the two-point conversion and the win. After C.J. Gregory hauled in the pass for the two-point play there was jubilation in the Falls as the Tigers have knocked off their rival 28-27. The Vikings fall to 5-2 on the season and are currently ranked third in division 3 region 13 for the OHSAA playoffs (the top eight teams in each region make the playoffs). As for the 1-6 Tigers, they will travel to Champion to take on the 2-5 Golden Flashes.
The Crestwood Red Devils continue their struggles dropping a 21-56 decision to the Kent Roosevelt Rough Riders last Friday. Crestwood in all likelihood has played five of their seven games against playoff bound teams, while the remaining three games are against teams they should better compete against. Starting this week as the 1-6 Red Devils travel to 2-5 Field. Crestwood last beat the Falcons in 2006.

The Cardinal Huskies hosted the undefeated Kirtland Hornets last week and came up on the short end of a 45-20 decision. The 20 points scored are the most points Kirtland has given up all year. Cardinal (1-6) looks for answers this Friday as they host the 3-4 Independence Blue Devils.

After last week’s 21-38 loss to Mogadore, Garfield (4-3) looks to regroup on homecoming week as they host the 4-3 Woodridge Bulldogs. After the G-Men jumped out to a 14-6 lead, the Wildcats scored 18 straight points for a 10-point halftime lead 14-24. Garfield would score a lone touchdown in the second half only to allow Mogadore two more touchdowns. Currently the G-Men sit 13th in the computer rankings and need to win  and get some help to make their second straight post-season appearance.

Freedom Township – The Regular Meeting of the Freedom Township Board of Trustees was called to order by Chairman Hammar at 7:30 pm on Thursday, September 15, 2011. Present: Trustees James Hammar, Roy Martin, John Zizka; Rosemary Nicholas, Fiscal Officer; Jeff Derthick, Zoning Inspector, Charles VanSteenberg, Road Supervisor. Also present: Harold Cain and Charles Duffield.
Mr. Hammar led the assembly in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mr. Martin made the motion, seconded by Mr. Zizka to approve the minutes of the August 18, 2011 Regular Meeting as presented. Motion carried.
Mr. Hammar made the motion, seconded by Mr. Zizka, at 7:35 pm to move to Executive Session to discuss pending litigation. At 7:48 p.m. Mr. Martin made the motion, seconded by Mr. Zizka, at 7:48 pm to return to Regular Session.
Zoning: Mr. Derthick reported that two nuisance letters were sent out. The Board of Appeals has two hearings scheduled for September 20. He continues to have problems with the zoning office computer and presented the trustees with quotes on a new computer from HardParts Technology Services in Ravenna. After discussion, Mr. Hammar made the motion, seconded by Mr. Martin, to purchase a new HP desktop computer and monitor from HardParts Technology Services in Ravenna for $499.00.Motion carried.
Mr. Derthick will talk with them about transferring the data from the old computer to the new one.
Roads: Mr. VanSteenberg reported that flooding had occurred on Hewins Road again Saturday. Mr. Ruffing wants to know if trustees will put the pipe in for him. He already has the pipe, and he will pay for the stone. The trustees reviewed the current culvert policy. Mr. Zizka made the motion, seconded by Mr. Hammar, to install the pipe for Mr. Ruffing on Hewins Road for a flat fee of $50 for labor; Mr. Ruffing to supply the material. Motion carried.
Mr. VanSteenberg said he’d like to order grits for the roads this winter. Brugmann’s is asking $10 per ton; Ballentine’s price is $6.50 per ton. Mr. Hammar made the motion, seconded by Mr. Zizka, to purchase up to 200 tons of grits from Ballentine’s at a price of $6.50 per ton.  Motion carried.
In other business, Mr. VanSteenberg reported that they have been ditching on Asbury and Hewins. A plugged gutter at the Community Center caused some flooding. The rental house also had some water issues, and they tarred the flashing around the chimney which hopefully will solve that problem. Mr. Martin said he thought we should take out one concrete slab of the walk at the rear of the Community Center and fill it in with gravel, until we can put in a ditch and drain. Mr. Hammar agreed. Mr. VanSteenberg suggested that we have Karen Martin put up new wallpaper at the town hall. There was no objection. Mr. Hammar suggested we get some samples and prices to consider.
Cemetery: The chip and seal work has been postponed because of rain.
Park: We won’t hear anything about the grant until late October.
Fire: Mr. Martin reported on personnel issues and noted that the Chief had applied for a grant for safety equipment.
EMS: Mr. Zizka distributed minutes of the last meeting. A new full-time paramedic has been hired.
They wrote off $1,680 for residents for the month of August. Chief Friess agreed to split the cost of replacing the cutting tools for the Jaws of Life. Lightning struck the phone system and wiped out three computers, base radio, and current breakers for the scrubber.
Regional Planning: Mr. Hammar reported that they granted some extensions and are working on minor zoning changes for Suffield.
Fiscal Officer: The trustees signed the bank reconciliation for the period ending 8/31/11. They also signed a deed for Drakesburg Cemetery, Lot No. 642, Graves A/B (Kaiser). The price of salt for the 2011-12 season is $42.72 per ton (down from $43.20 last year).
Mrs. Nicholas said she continues to work with Burnham & Flower in setting up the Health Reimbursement Account, to be effective October 1, and needed a resolution to set up a special account at Middlefield Bank for this purpose.
Mr. Martin made the motion, seconded by Mr. Zizka to have the HRA bank account established at Middlefield Bank. Motion carried.New Business:
Crown Castle Lease: Mr. Hammar made the motion, seconded by Mr. Martin, to notify Crown Castle that we have no interest at this time in extending our current lease agreement for an additional twenty years. Motion carried.
Nuisance Complaint: Mr. Zizka said a neighbor to property still owned by Lawsons on Slagle Road complained that the grass has not been mowed. His concern was that should the vegetation catch on fire, it could possibly spread to his parcel. Mr. Zizka made the motion, seconded by Mr. Martin, to send a letter to Mr. Lawson asking that he have someone take care of mowing his property on Slagle Road. Motion carried.
Trespassing Complaint: Mr. Zizka said he got a call from the owner of property immediately south of Drakesburg Cemetery who again brought up the matter of trespassing on his property, and the township fence being in need of repair at the back of our property. The property owner also suggested that if we do replace the fence that we put a gate on it so that we could mow outside the fence, on his property.
There is no evidence of anyone going through our cemetery. Mr. Zizka suggested that one solution might be to close the cemetery gates at night, as we used to do. Mr. Hammar agreed this could be done.
Mr. Martin suggested the resident post “no trespassing” signs on his property and call the Sheriff if someone trespasses. It was agreed by the trustees that this is not a township issue, it is a civil matter. Mr. Zizka will convey this to the property owner.
Mr. Zizka has samples of hold harmless clauses (from the OTARMA web site) and will be working on an agreement with adjoining townships. It will be sent to Mr. Meduri for review. Mr. Zizka will contact the townships involved. He also had a hold harmless agreement to be used when community service work is done. This will be provided to Mr. VanSteenberg to have signed in the future.
Mr. Hammar has not had any contact with Attorney Smith regarding the oil well lease issue. He will set up another appointment for the trustees to meet with him.
Regarding electricity for the pavilion, Mr. Hammar will check with Mr. Rothermel to see what his schedule is, whether he has time to do the work, or if he would prefer that we find someone else.
During the meeting, warrants #5737 – 5752 in the amount of $5,845.78 were presented to the Trustees for approval and ordered paid by signature.
There being no further business, Mr. Martin made the motion, seconded by Mr. Zizka, to adjourn the meeting at 9:02 pm. Motion carried.

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Windham – The Windham Historical Society is back in business after the stunning success of the Windham Bicentennial celebration in July, in which the Society was an active partner.
The next meeting is Monday, October 17 at the Brick Chapel on North Main Street, where year-long activities will be planned.
Tentative plans call for a Fall Festival and Chili Cookoff, an organization Christmas party, and sponsorship of several scholarships for Windham High School students.
The Society is also still selling Ralph Pfingsten’s marvelous book on the Ravenna Arsenal, which would make a great Christmas gift, with President Lynnea St John being the contact person. The book is $50, with a percentage of the sale cost going to the Historical Society.
At the September meeting, donated materials came from former Windham teachers Warner Taiclet, Judy Blewitt, and Lou Anne Kilgore.
The Society is always interested in obtaining, whether permanently or on loan, any object with relevance to Windham. Items of special interest include films, pictures, scrapbooks, ephemera, newspapers, advertising, tokens, school items, sports items, or family genealogy. The society has extensive facilities for copying paper items.
For more information on the Society or to purchase the Arsenal Book, please call President Lynnea St. John at 330-326-6061, or email her at lynnya45@yahoo.com.

Garrettsville -  Garrettsville Chamber of Commerce holds a $750 cash raffle with proceeds from the raffle going to scholarships for J. A. Garfield and Hiram College students. This year’s grand prize is $750 along with an added second prize food basket from local merchants and a third prize fun basket from local merchants. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased from most Garrettsville merchants and eateries, as well as the Weekly Villager, Skylanes Bowling Alley, Huntington and Middlefield Banks. The ticket prices are 6 tickets for $5 or $1 each. The drawing will be held October 20, 2011 at the close of Business Showcase located at J. A. Garfield High School Gym. The showcase opens at 5pm and closes at 8pm. Winners need not be present for the drawing.

Middlefield – By community request, the Middlefield Library will be hosting the “Middlefield Mayoral Candidate Forum” on Wednesday, October 12 at 7:00 pm.   Learn the candidates’ platform and views. The forum will consist of three rounds: opening statements, question and answer session, and closing statements.  The public may submit general questions for the second round.  All questions must be submitted before the beginning of the forum.  Questions will be randomly selected from the submitted questions.  Question submission slips will be available at the Middlefield Library prior to the forum.  Watch and make an informed decision on the future of the community. The Middlefield Library is located at 16167 E. High Street, Middlefield, Ohio 44062.

Garrettsville – Garrettsville’s newest piece of public art is quite smashing.  Pictured on the cover you can see the progression of their work – and artists Carly McLoskey, Sam Buganski, Annie Wilthew, Chris Mathews, Karen Root, Edena Rankin, Clarke Kolmorgen, Samara Pasek, Arianna Beskur, Austin Bracken, Jeff Lange, Michael Paolone, Lauren Greathouse, Selina Slaughter, Shelby Grenzow, Mike Heisler, Kayleigh Mathews  and mom, Samantha Beskur.
The new work is replacing the old representation of a mill wheel which was on the former wall of the railroad overpass on Windham St. (St. Rte. 82) east, west of Sky Lanes.  Both drew upon local history for their inspiration and they have showcased the ideas and imagination of their creators and their community.
Don’t stop the car in the middle of the road to look but check out the locomotive depicted on the wall there.  Do you see what the print in the striking red circular engine front spells out?  Do you see the date?  Nice job of making a coherent whole of their artistic aims and their historical motivations.
And to see who did the actual work on the piece, see who’s got poison ivy.  They’ve had to suffer for their art.  Michelangelo would be proud!

Hiram – In the Mayor’s report to Village Council,  Mayor Bertram thanked all who have offered condolences after the death of his business partner and law associate Dennis Zavinski, who was killed in an automobile accident on  SR 14, in Streetsboro, September 10, 2011.
On Tuesday, September 6, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. the Commission conducted a meeting to approve/amend the engineering site plans for the addition, by Verizon, of six (6) additional cell antennae on Hiram College property between the college townhouses and the physical plant. After a review by the commission, the plans were approved.  Pending the approval of the performance bond by the Village Solicitor, the project will go forward.
The Village has applied for a Community Challenge Planning Grant in the amount of $140,000 (Total Project cost of $175,000). Hiram Village’s commitment of $9,000 in cash and in-kind services, along with Hiram College’s commitment of $26,000 of the local share in cash and in-kind services will total our $35,000 local share. This Planning Grant will produce the Community Master Plan that will guide our community’s growth for the next 25 to 50 years.
As for the $50,000 NOPEC energy efficiency grant the construction is currently proceeding. Please note the new energy-efficient lighting throughout the municipal building and service garage. Windows, insulation and doors on the village structures will completed late this year.
Also, as reported, Ferdinand Fojas, M.D. has offered to sell the old school property to the Village for $160,000 with a credit of $30,000. The Village is awaiting a decision on the grants that were applied for in February 1, 2011.  The two (2) ODNR grants total $94,000. However, the Village is constrained not to enter into a written Purchase/Sales Agreement until the State rules on the two (2) ODNR grant applications, The ruling is now scheduled for October  24, 2011.
The Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC) Grant bids came in at approximately $9,000 over the proposed 50% grant with other 50% to be financed by the college. On August 30, 2011 Council accepted the bid of Tri Mor Construction of Tallmadge, OH.  The project is proceeding as planned for $177,500 which is a 50% grant for Hinsdale Rd. Extension with Hiram College bearing balance of the costs. A formal commitment contract was signed last month by Hiram College President Tom Chema  and approved in Ordinance 2011-18 and Resolution 2011-15.
On June 24th, July 15th and again on August 2nd, 2011 Mayor Bertrand and Village Solicitor Tom Reitz met with President Chema and Attorney Douglas Paul, counsel for the college along with Village Builders Inc., township trustee, Steve Pancost and township legal counsel Mr. Al Schrader, and legal counsel for the taxpayers’ suit and the township’s appropriation lawsuit in an effort to settle all litigation. Settlement proposals are currently being drafted and exchanged by legal counsel of the parties.
There are a number of ongoing construction projects: Miller Hall, Hinsdale Hall and the  College Library along with the resurfacing of Henry Field and the complete remodeling of all the locker rooms at Price Gymnasium. The College will be installing approximately 210 new state-of-the-art dressing rooms, showers and bathroom facilities. There was a dedication on Saturday, September 10, 2011.
In recognition of this project it has been suggested that, although the College owns the right-of-way, that council pass an emergency resolution of congratulations and join the College in renaming the right of way “Terrier Drive” (effective immediately).
The Mayor whole-heartedly endorses Ordinance 2011-23 requiring all who are paid by an employer with its principal place of business located within the corporate limits of the Village of Hiram pay the Hiram income taxes, as almost all other Ohio municipal income taxes require. After all, Hiram Village gives 100% credit for all other municipal income taxes paid by village residents.
The next regular Council meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at  7 p.m.
All meetings are held in Council Chambers, Rosser Municipal Building, (330) 569-7677,  11617 Garfield Road, Hiram, Ohio 44234, except as noted.

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The Windham Bombers dropped their fourth straight game of the season and their 11th dating back to last year. Unfortunately for the Bombers 41-0 loss to the undefeated Rootstown Rovers is not the worse news. Regrettably, the schedule is not in the Bombers’ favor this week as the Southeast Pirates host the Bombers this Friday. The Bombers and Pirates last met in October of 2003 with the Pirates coming out on top 26-7.
The Newton Falls Tigers have one of the toughest schedules around. The first four games they have played, the teams have a combined loss of one. Last week the Tigers fell to undefeated Girard 24-55. This week the Tigers host 4-0 Brookfield.
The Crestwood Red Devils bulked up their schedule as well. The four losses this season were  all to  potential playoff teams. Last week Ravenna traveled to Mantua and walked out with a 56-3 victory. This week the Red Devils host 1-3 Norton Panthers.
The Cardinal Huskies fell victim for the fourth straight game, this time in overtime, 27-24, to the Skippers from Fairport Harding. Cardinal comes home this week to host the 1-3 Black Knights from Newbury.
Garfield lost their second in three weeks last week by falling to the undefeated Pirates 24-7. While Wyllie’s 44-18 record and two playoff berths since the beginning of the 2005 season are impressive, it is the 9-13 record against teams with winning records that jumps out at me. This week Garfield has a date with 0-4 East Canton at JAG Stadium before clashing with the undefeated Rovers next week.

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The  Literary Musical Club held their meeting on Sept. 14th at The Community Center in Nelson.We were pleased to have such a nice turn out. It is always nice to see all the members  come for our day out.
We celebrated everyone’s birthday all at one time. We had a birthday party for everyone. The tables were  birthday- decorated and we had birthday cake with all the trimmings. Each  member brought a birthday present. These presents were to be useful items that can be used to keep house. The items were gathered up and donated to the new home in Ravenna for the homeless women veterans. This home is supported by the Veterans of America. It is for women and they need your help.
Last month we gathered and went to lunch. Some husbands were there also. Always nice to share our good time with our partners.
Our next goal is to collect some handmade items to be used in a Santa Shop for the children in the Windham School. This is a place for the children to be able to come and buy a gift for their mother or father. We need some help in getting handcrafts for this program. All you members who are crafty please try to help us.
For the members who do not come to the meetings on a regular basis we need your help also.
The next meeting will be October 12. This will be a musical experience. Come and tap your toes and sing along. See you there.

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The September meeting of Heart of Doll Country was on September 6th, 2011. and all but one member were present.  After the reading of the minutes, and the treasurer’s report, the group discussed first the upcoming trip to the Kent Museum of Fashion to see the exhibit, “On the Homefront”, a Civil War display.  The date of October 8th was picked for this trip, with lunch at the Pufferbelly Restaurant to follow.

Next up was a discussion on the Christmas trees we decorate for the Geauga County Library.  We decided to do this at our next meeting, October 4th and members were asked to bring ornaments to help decorate the trees.  These are table top trees which are donated to the library, and distributed to patrons to decorate.  They are put on display at the various branches, and people bid on them to raise money for the library.

The next Luncheon was brought up, and we may not be able to hold it when we first discussed, due to doll people attending the UFDC convention those weekends.  Pat Dutchman will report back on this.

Our Christmas party will be held at the home of Carolyn Englert, on November 1rst.  It will be a potluck, and members are asked to bring an unwrapped, new toy to be given to charity.

At Share and Tell, member Sue Lehota talked about the travel dolls exchanged by her daughter and a lady in New Zealand on behalf of their respective children.  The dolls are sent with travel journals, and the two women exchange photos of where the dolls were taken and purchase accessories to be sent back.
Carolyn Englert gave a program on provenance in doll collecting, and shared a picture of her grandmother with the doll Carolyn inherited from her.  Provenance is the history of the doll, or any other collectible object, and adds to its value.
The next meeting will be held on October 4th, at the United Methodist Church in Garrettsville.  If you are interested in coming, or would like more information on the club, call Carolyn at 330-527-4888

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Garrettsville – Village Council met on Wednesday, September 10, for their regularly  scheduled monthly meeting.   A Public Hearing on changes to Zoning Ordinances 2011-37, 2011-38, 2011-39, 2011-40, and 2011-41 was to have taken place, but due to a clerical issue, the hearing had to be postponed.  The public hearing on these ordinances will take place before the scheduled council meeting on November 9, 2011.

Minutes from the August council meeting and a motion to pay the current bills were both approved.  Revenue, expenditure, cash balance, and income tax reports were again reviewed.  The Mayor commented that the village remains fiscally “in good shape”.
The Mayor and Village Council presented a plaque to the JAGS girls’ softball team for “a job well done” in winning their second-in-a-row title.

The Mayor then recognized resident Karen Krenzel whose village property was damaged recently by flooding caused by a misrouted repair to a village storm sewer line.  Ms. Krenzel presented a report on the cause of the flooding and also submitted an estimate for repairs to her pastures.  Furthermore, she asked council to provide for future needs to maintain the repair that would keep flooding controlled.   Council unanimously passed a resolution approving repairs not to exceed $1100 and will work with Ms. Krenzel in establishing a maintenance contract.

Next the Mayor recognized Cecilia Swanson, representing the Portage County Library system.  She discussed the library levy that will be on the November ballot and asked council for their support and endorsement of the levy.   Ms. Swanson stated that the levy was a 1-year/5-mil levy to cover current expenses for the library system.   She also informed council that state funding has been drastically cut over the last 10 years which is why the library system has had to cut staffing and materials and abbreviate the hours they are opened.  They are hoping that with the passage of the levy  the library system can return to near 2001 operating levels.  Council unanimously passed a resolution to support the Portage County Library Levy efforts.

Ordinance 2011-36, which will provide regulations for the use of large portable signs within the village had its third reading.  It will also be placed on the agenda for the public hearing in November.  Ordinance 2011-47 was passed as amended under recommendation from the BPA, establishing a policy limiting bulk water purchases in the village.

Discussion resumed about Garrettsville’s athletic fields and how to control use, limit liability, and collect revenue to help with improvements, repairs and upkeep.   Ordinance 2011-45 was read for the second time reflecting a decrease in the fee schedule from its first reading.  Concern was voiced again about the fees being too high.  It was decided to table further discussion until the October meeting, to give council time to further investigate their options.

Council voted to enact Ordinance 2011-50 authorizing a request to the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation for clarification on coverage of unpaid reserve police officers working for the village.  The ordinance also authorizes the mayor to enter into any necessary contracts to effect coverage.  Council also voted to enact Resolution 2011-51, which authorizes the necessary tax levies and certifies them to the county auditor, and two other resolutions authorizing the village clerk to initiate internet auctions for the sale of two vehicles that had been confiscated and used by the drug task force.  Proceeds from the sales go back into the drug fund.

Discussion also resumed regarding the importance of declaring an urban renewal for the village.  Ordinance 2011-48 would allow the Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) ordinance that is already on the books to be reactivated and updated.  The passage of the ordinance provides options for the village in enticing new businesses to the area. One possibility is tax abatement.  It was also discussed on whether this ordinance should be passed as an emergency measure to allow it to take immediate effect.  The vote carried 4-2 to enact the ordinance as written and not on an emergency basis.

Council unanimously passed resolution 2011-53 declaring an emergency and authorizing the village solicitor to obtain title for the village to the property located at 8143 Main Street (the old Irwin Hardware building) The village solicitor received notice from the county prosecutor’s office that they are seeking forfeiture of the property due to tax foreclosure.
Council passed emergency Resolution 2011-54 which declares a nuisance and directs the owner of the property in question on Brosius Road to make any necessary repairs or replacements to comply.

Discussion was held from a recommendation from BPA to council to allow Arcadis to provide engineering services related to the cost and design of the elevated support system and walkway for the water main located under the Liberty Street/Water Street Bridge.  The cost is estimated to be between $14,000 and $17,000 for the engineering service.  Council passed a motion to authorize the engineering services.

The Mayor suggested a “safety service” to the taxpayers in providing financial assistance in the removal of  dead or dangerous trees on their property.  The property owner would be required to pay $200/tree and the village would cover the rest.  Council approved the expenditure, not to exceed $10,000 for the project.

The Mayor declared that Halloween trick-or-treating times had been set.  It will be October 31st from 6-7:30 p.m.
During roundtable discussion Councilman Matson reported that the fire department is moving forward with plans for an equipment storage building.  Next, Councilman Kaiser informed council that the Community EMS building had been hit by lightening during a recent storm.  He reported that there was damage to the radio system, computers and phone system as well as some other electrical issues.  Councilman Kaiser stated that vital information from the computers had been backed-up and it didn’t appear that any information had been lost.  He also stated repairs were in progress, and the phone system was now operational.

Councilman Klamer thanked council and the planning commission for waiving the permit fee for the building of the new football stadium ticket booth.  Mr. Klamer reminded everyone that the business showcase is October 20, 2011 from 5 to 8 p.m. in the James A. Garfield High School Gymnasium.  He closed by mentioning that the high school art students are planning to begin painting the old railroad bridge abutment on S.R. 82 near Sky Plaza on September 27th.

Councilwoman Clyde brought up the subject of the leaf vacuum that has been discussed in prior meetings.  She asked if a purchase would be happening before this year’s leaf season.  After a brief discussion of the issue, no determination was made, however Council President Rick Patrick offered to continue looking into pricing and options.

The Mayor reported on the opening of the new Robinson Health Care Center in Garrettsville. [ed. note: the health center officially opened on September 19th, 2011.]  He stated that the street department is cleaning the boardwalk, and the new municipal lot behind the old Irwin Hardware store is waiting on the weather for the chip and seal to be completed.

Council President Patrick thanked and praised everyone involved in the Peach Social/Car Cruise in August.  He stated it was one of the biggest and best they’ve had.  He reported that light poles on the Windham Street bridge, still needed to be fixed and markers still had to be installed.

The next regular Village Council meeting will be held on October 12th.  A public hearing will begin at 7:30 p.m. and the meeting will commence immediately after at Village Hall.

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Mantua – The officers and members of the Mantua-Shalersville Fire Department were joined by officers and members from the Auburn, Aurora, Garrettsville, Kent, Ravenna City, and the Windham Fire Departments during the Potato Festival Parade to pay respects on  the 10th anniversary of 9-11.
A piece of structural steel from one of the towers was displayed on the bumper of M.S.F.D. Engine # 1 during the parade. This piece of steel belongs to the Ravenna City Fire Department. M.S.F.D. Engine # 1 also displayed mourning bunting on each side and two sets of firefighter gear were placed on the front bumper to signify the missing/deceased firefighters.

The two flags that were carried by the firefighters were a firefighter mourning flag and a special 9-11-01 United States flag that was donated to the M.S.F.D. by a Shalersville resident.

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Mantua -  In today’s world, peace needs to become more than just a word.  On Sept. 21, 2011, Crestwood Local Schools took  part in an international art and literacy project, Pinwheels for Peace, by “planting” pinwheels with messages of peace at Crestwood Intermediate and Primary Schools.

Pinwheels for Peace is an art installation project started in 2005 by two art teachers, Ann Ayers and Ellen McMillan, of Coconut Creek, Florida, as a way for students to express their feelings about what’s going on in the world and in their lives. In the first year, groups in over 1,325 locations throughout the world were spinning pinwheels on September 21st – there were approximately 500,000 pinwheels spinning throughout the world. Last year, Pinwheel’s for Peace’s sixth year, over 3.5 million pinwheels were spinning in over 3,500 locations, including the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia, Canada, the Middle East, Africa and South America. Locally, Counselor, Mr. Gary Traveny  coordinated the Pinwheels for Peace project this year.

This project is non-political – peace doesn’t necessarily have to be associated with the conflict of war, it can be related to violence/intolerance in our daily lives, to peace of mind. To each of us, peace can take on a different meaning, but, in the end, it all comes down to a simple definition: “a state of calm and serenity, with no anxiety, the absence of violence, freedom from conflict or disagreement among people or groups of people.”
Crestwood students created pinwheels — pinwheels of all shapes and sizes – as part of the creation process. The students wrote their thoughts about “war and peace / tolerance/ living in harmony with others” on one side. On the other side, they drew, painted, made a  collage, etc. to visually express their feelings. The students  assembled  these pinwheels and on International Day of Peace they  “planted” their pinwheels at the Intermediate and Primary schools as a public statement and art exhibit/installation. The spinning of the pinwheels in the wind  spread thoughts and feelings about peace throughout the country and the world.
For more information, go to http://www.pinwheelsforpeace.com or contact Mr.Traveny at 330-422-3103.

Ravenna – McDonald’s at 418 West Main Street in Ravenna held their grand opening last Friday as they débuted their new state-of-the- art eco-friendly facility. Owners Chuck and Mary Galloway eagerly showed us the new facility and highlighted some of its amenities such as the new dual drive thru, low-energy LED recessed lighting in the dining room, new energy star-rated equipment will use 20-30% less electric and gas than the previous equipment  and the earth tone décor that is relaxing and has a comfortable, homey feel to it. “I’m so proud of this beautiful new building. When I made the commitment to rebuild, I had my staff members, regular and new customers alike, as well as the entire community in mind.  I knew that it had to be special and something that everyone was proud to call ‘his or her’ McDonald’s,” said Chuck Galloway, McDonald’s owner and operator.

Local and county government officials, city and township representatives along with chamber members and members from the business community were on hand for the ribbon-cutting ceremony.  Mayor Joseph Bica Jr., along with owner Chuck Galloway, did the honors of cutting the ribbon officially announcing that they were open for business. After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, the community leaders were served cake and coffee to celebrate the event.

The previous McDonalds building was demolished in late May to make way for the new eco-friendly store. During the construction phase of the facility the employees were shifted to Galloway’s other stores and remained employed thru the entire construction period. The existing employees of the store are now training 35 new team members to complete the staffing of the new store. The store currently has 71 team members meeting  customer needs.

Hours of operation at 418 West Main Street McDonalds are Mon –Thurs 5:30 am -11 pm, Fri. 5:30 am – midnight, Sat. 5:30 am -11pm and Sundays 6am -11pm.

Newton Falls – Businesses are still open on the main street of Newton Falls after an early morning fire destroyed apartments above the shops. The store most directly affected is Healthy Treasures, a merchant specializing in organic items as well as offering natural health services, which is directly below the apartment that caught fire and has closed until further notice while damage can be assessed. Though most other businesses in the main strip are still open, for the time being the road accessing the center of the town is closed to traffic, and pedestrians are cautioned to be mindful when shopping at the other businesses, as the building where Healthy Treasures and those apartments are located is considered unstable and unsafe. The Police Department does not know when the road will reopen;  the most important thing right now is to keep residents and visitors to the town out of harm’s way. The blocked-off area also includes the Health Advocate Services offices and  Davis Insurance.  Currently the Davis Insurance Agency is working out of their other office, The Griffith Agency, Inc. located in Girard.  That office phone number is 330-545-5489.
The Brew Basket, a cafe located in the detached building on the other side of Healthy Treasures, permanently closed its doors several weeks ago.

A very special mention of gratitude is extended to the members of Station 43, the NFPD, and other emergency responders who were called out in the wee hours of Saturday morning to fight this fire and did what they could to keep the flames from causing even more damage than was done.

On October 1st, the Newton Falls Firefighters Auxiliary welcomes in fall by sponsoring their 22nd Annual Chili Cook-Off, usually held right in the middle of town. Information will be provided as soon as available as to any possible changes in the expected set-up for this year’s event due to the potentially precarious situation. Look for updates and save the date to come support the firefighters of Station 43.

Windham – Recently families and staff enjoyed Open House at Katherine Thomas Elementary in Windham.  Pictured are Amanda, Payton, Quinn and Pat Justham and building principal Mr. Kujala.  This year’s Open House theme was “Passport to KT” which encouraged families to visit several areas of our school and several local community organizations who had displays.  Local organizations that attended were GreenTree Counseling Services, Windham Renaissance Center, Windham Athletic Boosters, PTO, Market Day Fundraiser, Boy Scouts, and Early Learning Center.  Families could also see SmartBoard demonstrations and see students demonstrating on age-appropriate websites in the computer labs.

Garrettsville – If you need to take a little breather from life’s hectic pace, Numa Café is for you. The new eatery is housed just inside the doors of Praise Assembly of God across from James A. Garfield High School at 10280 State Route  88. The café officially opened Monday, September 19 with an introductory menu of hot and cold specialty drinks, soups, salads and quick breakfast selections.

‘Numa’ is derived from the Greek word for ‘spirit;’ literally, ‘breath.’ For this reason, Pastor Greg Ebie says it’s the perfect place to catch your breath, sip on a latte, fruit smoothie, espresso, frolatte, Italian soda or spiced apple cider; take in a flavorful breakfast or quick lunch; access the wireless Internet; sink into an overstuffed couch or sit at a candle-lit table with friends. The fresh-roasted specialty coffee beans are sourced from Numu Coffee of Toledo.

It all started two years ago, “When God woke me up with a vision of our opened-up lobby; newly redesigned to accommodate better fellowship and ample space for people to simply hang out and relax,” Pastor Ebie recalls. “We want to use Numa Café as an opportunity to build relational bridges with people in the community. It’s a good place to catch your breath and rest.”

The café is managed by Pastor Ebie’s son, Greg Jr., who holds a serve-safe certificate in restaurant management. Making the most of its location just across the road from the high school, the café will take lunch orders for teachers (and the public) throughout the day and have meals ready for pick-up.

Numa Café is open before and after school for the students. Pastor Ebie plans to supply tutors to help student patrons with their homework. He also has board games available for downtime. He plans to host a musical coffeehouse, where local artists have a venue to demonstrate their talent, and where friends can sing karaoke together.

So far, the high school crowd has shown great enthusiasm for the café. As one teen told Pastor Ebie, “It’s the coolest thing to happen to Garrettsville in — like — ever!”

Pastor Ebie wants the café to be a hub for community outreach. Every Friday night, he will donate all proceeds to the JAG Marching Band Boosters, to build up the fund established to replace marchers’ 30-year-old uniforms. He wants to bolster community service organizations and neighboring churches, as well. “We’d like to work with People Tree, local firefighters and others who are sponsoring fundraisers for worthy causes,” he says.

Numa Café is now open Mondays through Thursdays, 6:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; and Fridays, 6:30 a.m.-11 p.m. to accommodate the high school football crowd. Call 330-527-2777 to place orders. See this week’s ad in The Villager for discounted introductory offer coupons.

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Garrettsville – Regional author, Julia Fuhrman Davis, who recently published her easy-to-read, inspirational, self-help autobiography, WAKING UP and Changing My Life, will be in Garrettsville on Wednesday, September 28.
Davis will be at The Village Book Store, 8140 Main Street from 2:00 – 4:00 pm to greet readers and sell and sign copies. She will read at 2:30 pm.

In addition,  Davis will speak to the Garrettsville Metaphysical Chat Group from 7:00 – 9:00 pm about her transformation, at Charles Auto Family, 10851 North St (Route 88). She will have copies of WAKING UP to sell and sign.
The book describes how the author’s life imploded.  Something within let her know, “I can’t do this anymore!  I cannot keep saying everything is okay, when it is not okay!”

Vivid details, powerful examples and real dialogue describe the first three years of her personal journey into awareness and self-care.  Her narrative lets the reader see the possibility of taking back personal power and creating constructive choices.  The author’s story is timeless and universal; it touches women and men of all ages.  WAKING UP changes lives.

Weeeeellll, a fine time was had by all!

Or at least they all certainly appeared to be enjoying themselves at  the sixth annual Garfield Alumni Banquet held last Saturday at the Garfield Elementary School.  Several classes–’56, ’61, ’66, ’71, ’81 & ’86–were especially recognized for hitting milestone years (twenty-five and up) with most of their faculties intact and their memories probably even more fun than events were at the time in the hallowed halls of Garfield.  The late Don Moore, who labored for years to get the alumni association organized, up and running, would have been proud.  The committee which put together this year’s event (all nine of them) certainly can be as well.

The meal, catered by Guido’s, had filled in any empty corners with cake when Superintendent Chuck Klamer began the program for the evening.  First on the agenda was a brief presentation by Betty Clapp, of the board of Portage County Library District, speaking of the up-coming library levy on the ballot in November.  She outlined the grave funding situation created by the drastic reduction of state support for libraries in all communities and the many, varied services offered by local libraries.  She encouraged all in attendance to support the levy, pointing out that the cost   would be low–$ 2.50 per month for the owner of a $100,000 home–the benefits would be many–including computer access to job-seekers and portals to government sites–and the need is great.

Board members in attendance included  David Vincent, ’70, Deral White, ’72 and Guy Pietra (He’s an import).  Several of those introducing themselves shared bits of Garfield history : Class of ’52 was the first to be graduated from “James A. Garfield High School”, because prior to the consolidation, the communities of Freedom and Nelson had maintained their own schools, the Class of ’56 was the first to attend school in the core building of the present high school/middle school complex ( ’55 got to put the time capsule in the cornerstone but not attend their graduation year in the building).  Siblings and family groups showed up across the years (Think : Vincent, McClintock, Lange, Thrasher, etc.).  Honored classes rounded up their members for sharing good times once again; several local hot spots (We do too have them!) lit up after the gathering ended…some to tour the new, bigger, better high school/middle school with their guide, the intrepid C. Klamer, some to continue the reminiscences in new venues.

For the ending, see opening line : A fine time was had by all.

Newton Falls – Miss Ohio 2011, Ellen Bryan, stopped by the town’s small community center for a meet-and-greet on Saturday, September 17th to take a brief break from her month-long bike tour. While signing autographs and posing for photos, Ellen talked about her work with the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and what the opportunity to visit the hospitalized children across Ohio has meant to her – a part of her life she plans to continue after passing on the crown to the next Miss Ohio. “I’ll never let go of it completely,” she said. “They get into your heart.”

As the current titleholder, Ellen is able to wear her crown and sash when visiting the children, and their eyes light up when she enters the room. Explaining that she won’t ever lose the title of Miss Ohio even when she relinquishes her crown and sash, she hopes to continue seeing the children when her reign is over and raise money for the organization that will aid in their recovery.

On the cycling mission since August 29th, at the Newton Falls point Ellen had 550 miles behind her with about 300 left to go. After the meet-and-greet she headed to YSU to sing the National Anthem at their evening football game and looks forward to the Bike Tour finish line on  quickly-approaching September 24th. To follow the rest of her route, read her blog, or for more information on her quest, visit www.missohiobiketour.com. You just might see her on a road near you!

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Mesopotamia - The 10th Annual Mesopotamia Fall Heritage Day, to be held at the Mesopotamia Commons, on Saturday, October 1, 2011, from 10 am to 4 pm.
There is no admission charge for this event.
The Mesopotamia Fall Heritage Day brings together skilled artisans in traditional Amish and Yankee crafts from the greater Mespo area. Crafters in period costume perform outdoor demonstrations that include soap making, quilting, rag rug weaving, basket weaving, apple butter cooking, blacksmithing, candle making, leather working, spinning, and much more. An annual quilt raffle is held on the premises at 3 PM.

The Mesopotamia Fall Heritage Day is a family-friendly event that features homemade ice cream, apple butter-making, an Amish bake sale with fried pies, a delicious lunch stand. There are old-fashioned quality craft sales and fun festivities that appeal to all ages.
This year Sister Jean the Ragtime Queen will perform ragtime music on the piano.  Children will be enlisted to play on old spoons, rhythmic instruments and antique washboards.
Proceeds from this event are contributed to the Mespo Chamber of Commerce. For more information, contact Scott Schaden at 440-693-4295.

Portage County District Library will host levy campaign meetings in the upcoming weeks. The Windham Library (located within the Renaissance Family Center) will host a meeting on Tuesday, September 27, beginning at 6:00 pm. Windham area residents interested in learning more about the Library’s levy, or those interested in helping out during the levy campaign, are encouraged to attend.
There will be a meeting at the Garrettsville Library on Thursday, September 29, beginning at 6:30 pm. Garrettsville area residents interested in learning more or helping out with the levy campaign are encouraged to attend this meeting.
The Library will have a l mill, 5-year operating levy on the November 8th ballot. During this meeting, Library representatives will share facts about how state funding has decreased within the last several years, what the Library has done to help compensate for the loss in operating revenue, and why your support for the levy is so very important to a successful future- the Library’s and yours.

Garrettsville Summerfest Committee members and sponsors (pictured above) recently celebrated a successful 2011 SummerFest by presenting Mayor Craig Moser (center) with a check for $2,000. This donation to the Village of Garrettsville will be used for the Boardwalk Lighting Project currently underway. Photo: Benjamin M. Coll

Garrettsville – This past April, Village council approved expenditures for repairs and improvements to the downtown boardwalk lighting.  The project, which has been broken down into three phases, will total approximately $24,000 when completed.  Village council agreed to the first two phases – about $18,000 in work. The third phase of lighting will be funded through donations.

Currently, Scotchman Electric has begun removing the old electrical conduit, fittings  and any remaining broken lighting.  They will install heavy duty electric boxes, conduit and fittings in preparation for the lighting.  An industrial “blue ice” commercial grade LED strip light will be secured under the boardwalk railings. In addition, two “Garrettsville–style” street lamps which had been in storage will also be placed in this area and will provide lighting from dusk to dawn.

Phase III  will provide lighting from the boardwalk to the municipal parking lot –  the walkway over the falls.   In May, the Garrettsville Area Chamber of  Commerce made a donation in the amount of $2,000 to the village for this project.  Late in August, the SummerFest Committee presented Mayor Moser a check for $2,000 as well for the lights. An effort is currently underway to raise the remaining funds needed to complete this phase.
Council President Rick Patrick stated that he and the mayor would like to have the final phase of this project paid for and complete in time for next summer.  “When finished, the lighting enhancements will not only provide a more secure walkway at night but will be esthetically pleasing”, stated Patrick.  “Long term it would be nice to eventually add lights on the banks and under the bridge as well.”
Anyone interested in making a contribution to Phase III of the lighting project should contact Village Hall at 330 527-4424.

Ravenna - The 33rd Annual Balloon-A-Fair kicked off last week with the Children’s Parade on Thursday. The annual event ran through the weekend which included parades, food, live music, 10 Mile race, car and antique tractor show along with craft show and fire works.  The highlight of the weekend was when the cloudy skies parted just as 20 hot air balloons took to the heavens, fulfilling their theme “Patchwork Skies”

Saturday morning the grand parade stepped off at 9am just as the 10 mile race got under way. Floats, bands, and fire trucks paraded through town as eager children stood along the sides waiting on the candy each unit tossed out to them. Main Street was turned into a carnival as food vendors, crafters, entrepreneurs and political booths, lined the streets all vying for ones attention.  The crowds of people flooded the streets looking for their favorite carnie food while listening to a variety of music at both ends of town.

The gates at Sunbeau Valley Farms opened at 4 p m with folks abandoning downtown at record speeds to stake out a claim on the farm to watch the balloon launch. By the 5:30 launch time the farm was jam-packed with spectators  of all ages anticipating the beauty of the balloon ascension.

Twenty balloonists prepared their balloons for launch under the watchful eye of a large crowd. All were  rewarded as the balloons took to the skies one by one. The sky was turned into a patchwork canvas as the balloons started to ascend. Within an hour of the scheduled launch, 20 balloons had taken to the skies to the delight of the crowd.  Following the launch, folks mellowed out  to some great music and the evening was capped off with fireworks.

Sunday the Sunbeau Valley opened its gates at 9 am with a car and antique tractor show, along with a craft displays.  The day proved conducive to the second balloon launch of the weekend while folks kicked back and listened to the sounds of Melanie May, anticipating the ascension of the balloons.  At 5:30 the second balloon launch of the weekend was a smashing success, as once again the balloons turned the partly cloudy skies into a colorful canvas of patchwork, resembling one of grandma’s quilts. This launch was the highlight of the event as the crowd cheered as each balloon was sent aloft, capping off the weekends events.
The Balloon-A-Fair was originally conceived 34-plus years ago by a group of folks who wanted to see Ravenna celebrate one of the city’s earliest industries – toy balloons manufactured by the Oak Rubber Company,  located in the city. The annual celebration is traditionally held on the third week of September, highlighted by  balloon launches and fireworks if  the weather permits.

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Ravenna – Robinson Memorial Hospital has officially renamed the Med Center One in Streetsboro to the Robinson Urgent Care Center at Streetsboro. The newly named Robinson Urgent Care Center is located at 9318 State Route 14, at the Robinson Health Center at Streetsboro. The Robinson Urgent Care Center will continue to provide uninterrupted services with the name change.
The Robinson Urgent Care Center is open seven days a week and provides services for minor accidents and illnesses such as sprains, simple fractures, ear infections, skin infections and more.
Robinson Memorial Hospital would like to remind the public that in the case of an emergency such as chest pains, shortness of breath, severe abdominal pain, severe headaches or signs of a stroke, go to the nearest emergency room.
Robinson Memorial has been providing urgent care services to the residents of Streetsboro since 1984.

Ravenna – The Ravenna Balloon A-Fair Children’s Parade, sponsored by Ravenna McDonalds, will take to the streets on Thursday, September 15, 2011. Registration will be from 5:30 – 6 p.m. at the downtown Ravenna corner of S. Prospect & Spruce Street. Entry judging will be from 6 to 6:30 p.m. with the parade stepping off at 6:30.
The theme of this year’s parade is “Ravenna’s Children Color Our Dreams of Tomorrow” and is open to all children pre-school age through 5th grade.
Ronald McDonald & Magic Show will be on hand to perform after the parade.
In addition, the Ravenna Balloon-A-Fair committee would like to thank this year’s balloon sponsors: Allen Aircraft Products, Inc; Ameri Gas Propane; Bennett Land Title; Fred Berry; First Place Bank; Haasz Auto Mall; Klaben Auto Stores ; Jack Kohl Agency; Judge Kevin Poland; Middlefield Bank; Portage Community Bank; Portage County Sheriff’s Association; Ravenna Giant Eagle; Ravenna Walgreens; Record Courier; Robinson Memorial Hospital/Summa; Trexler Rubber Company and Woodruff Electric.

Nelson Twp. – Nelson Township Trustees met for their regularly-scheduled meeting last week with all board members present. The meeting opened with the Pledge of Allegiance and the reading of the minutes from the August 17th meeting. The minutes were approved as read as well as the bank reconciliation and expenditures.
The trustees opened sealed bids for chip-n-sealing of Pritchard, Paul, Sofia, and Bancroft Roads along with the service garage entrance. The township had received two bids one from Hughes Contracting and one from H Luli Contracting. After a discussion on the bids the trustees awarded the contract to H.Luli Contracting for $47,413.40 to do all the roads and service garage entrance. The contract was awarded to the lowest bidder.
The board received two applications for open positions, one on the Zoning Commission and one on the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA). Trustees Bill Wilson and Joe Leonard were unfamiliar with one candidate and would like to meet him prior to appointing him to the BZA. The other candidate, Mr. Monroe Kuhns, was very familiar to the board and was appointed to serve on the zoning commission. Mr. Kuhns is the first Amish man to serve in a political position in the area.
Road supervisor Chuck Vanek said the 2003 plow truck needed some body work and they would do it in-house. He originally stated that they would spot sand the bed, but after some discussion the trustees agreed to have the entire bed sandblasted along with doing the grease fittings, brakes and other mechanical work before winter hits.
He also requested 60 ton of asphalt to be used to repair roads. The trustees approved his request.
It was noted that they were unable to get the Community House in compliance with the American Disabilities Act (ADA) in time for elections so the voting will remain at the service garage at Pixley Park.
Pixley Park has a new sign installed and some playground equipment installed as well. Thanks to the Tabor Family for donating the playground equipment to the park. The work continues on the dugouts and the 16’x 16’ storage building and will be finished soon. The Pixley Park Development Committee has set October 1, 2011 as the date for the Harvest Moon Festival and Pig Roast at the Community House.
The trustee agreed to purchase one new computer to be used by the zoning inspector and township garage. The computer and proper software is not to exceed $600.
The trustees agreed to contact J.C Electric and see about getting the heating and cooling electrical service ready for the new system. The deadline with the grant to get the entire project finished is approaching and they need to get the work done soon.
Leonard stated that a concerned citizen asked if the township would hold a meet the candidate night at the Community House. the township will not host the event but the citizen may organize one and use the Community House.
One resident inquired about using his camper to stay on his property over the weekend while he is clearing the land and getting it ready for a permanent dwelling. Trustee Leonard had previously been contacted about the issue and had sought out legal counsel from the prosecutor on the issue. Since zoning doesn’t directly address the issue, it is illegal to do so according to assistant prosecutor Chris Meduri. Leonard addressed the zoning commission and thought this was another area that they needed to update in their zoning code. It was suggested that they have written in the code various uses provisions for conditional permits for various reasons. The commission will look at this issue, but for now he can not use a camper as a temporary unit while working his land.
The board meets on the first and third Wednesday of each month at 7:30 pm at the Community House. More township news can be found at www.nelsontownshipohio.org.

Middlefield – You have probably seen statistics thrown out and about in the media regarding the advantages of music programs in local schools.  Some statistics show that students who are in band tend to do better in their other classes and are more likely to stay in school.  There are many programs to “Save the Music” (a VH1 program) and are designed to keep music in the schools especially during these times of extreme budget cuts.  There is a definite division in thinking regarding music, and the arts as a whole, among many Americans.  Some believe it is not as necessary as skills training or college preparation classes.  Others believe that society would be lacking in humanity, empathy and basic feelings without the arts.
Music can be a friend to the lonely, an encourager to the heavy laden, bring  relaxation to the tired; it can lift your spirits, take you back in time, and change your attitude.  Music is at the heart of life, in my humble opinion.
Roadhouse Music located at 15910 West High Street in Middlefield (440.632.0678) is a premier location for musical equipment, sheet music, repairs, announcing equipment, parts and so much more. They live and breathe music for students as well as adults.
John Burton opened Roadhouse Music in January 2004 and has made quite a name for himself and the store in the local area, not just with schools but  with musicians as well  for the quality and the quantity of products and services offered.  They even offer vintage instruments, which is a rare commodity today, due to so many on-line auction sites.  At Roadhouse you can actually see a wide range of vintage equipment.  When I visited, they had a 1934 Gibson guitar which was playable and quite beautiful.
Some of the services offered include a full range of school band instruments to rent or buy, electronics set-up and coverage for events or permanent installation of equipment for groups and others who need public speaking equipment. They can buy/sell/trade instruments or equipment; you can buy sheet music or access it electronically, buy a beginner’s pack to help future musicians get started, take lessons, get parts for your instrument, have a broken instrument repaired. Just about any other instrument-related need you might have can be taken care of by John and his crew.
One of the many advantages of utilizing local merchants is the high level of customer service you receive.  When you purchase an instrument at Roadhouse Music, they make sure it is right before you take it home and the knowledgeable staff  makes sure your purchase is exactly what you were looking for. Plus, their prices are comparable to those big box stores.
They are members of IMSO (Independent Music Store Owners).  This membership adds years and years of experience and assistance to further help with your shopping needs.  Have a question that Roadhouse Music cannot answer? No worries…they can query IMSO and glean knowledge from many sources to help get you what you need.
Many smaller stores have closed in Northeast Ohio in the last few years due to economic hardships.  John feels it is their high level of customer service that has allowed the doors to stay open.  The love of music is everywhere, in all the nooks and crannies of Roadhouse Music.  So if you are looking to learn to play, buy an instrument, get one repaired or other number of music related services, think about Roadhouse Music in Middlefield as being your first (and only) stop.  Check out their website (http://www.roadhousemusic.org/) for more information and current hours.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once said that “music is the universal language of mankind.”  That language is fluently spoken at Roadhouse Music, why not stop by and speak  for yourself.

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Troy Twp. – Come see history in the “re-making!” Sandy Zikursh (rhymes with “licorice”), well-known historical impersonator, will be performing at Brooks House Assisted Living Community remembering the pioneers who settled the Western Reserve. Donning period costume, Ms. Zikursh will recreate the life and times of a pioneer woman forging an existence out of the wilds of what is now northern Ohio. Venture back to the early 1800’s when Ohio was part of “The West!”
Join us Thursday, September 29, 2011, at 7:00 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Plenty of seating is available in the great room at The Pines at Brooks House Assisted Living, 18122 Claridon-Troy Rd. (SR 700), Hiram, OH, located in Troy Township, about 5 miles north of Hiram OR about 1 mile south of SR 422. Refreshments will be served. If you have any questions, e-mail Fran at: thepinesatbrookshouse@gmail.com, or call Christine at (440)834-0260, ext. 4.

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Windham Twp. – Windham Township Trustees met for their regularly-scheduled meeting at the town hall last Thursday. The minutes were approved as presented and the meeting moved on to zoning issues. Zoning inspector Rich Gano said he was having more request for zoning permits and things were picking up in that area. Gano asked the status of the question he had asked previously on the restoration of a mobile home verses removal of one that is in violation of the zoning code. Trustee Dann Timmons stated that he would check with prosecutor on the issue. The zoning board has listed their proposed amendments to the zoning code; copies were available at the meeting. After some discussion the board moved to set a public hearing on the new proposals for October 6, 2011 at 6:30, which is a half hour prior to the regular meeting, residents are urged to attend. Anyone who did not receive a copy of the proposed changes and would like one, may pick up a copy at Dann Timmons’ office located at 8132 Main Street in Garrettsville.

The zoning board announced they have tabled a decision on mowing vacant properties until they receive more information on how to enforce it.
Road Supervisor Rich Gano said Bryant is deteriorating quickly and after some investigation he figured that chip-n-sealing would be best solution. The best estimate Gano obtained was $33,000 for chip-n-sealing of the road. No decision was made on the road situation as the trustees want look at other more cost effective options. Other road issues that were discussed were Wadsworth, Werger and Hewins again no decisions were made.

This brought out a discussion on the budget. Timmons stated that with local governments losing 25% of state funding next year and 25% the following year that the trustees were going to have to tighten their belts and watch their monies. He said with the cuts, the township would lose about 25% of their operation budget since they receive about 45% of their funds from the state.
The board approved the removal of a tree at the cemetery that was struck by lightning. Lawrence Eckman was awarded the contract to remove the tree and grind the stump; estimated cost for the entire project is $1500.

The new lights are up on the Green along with the old ones. After numerous attempts to get the old lights removed, the township was left with no choice but to terminate their agreement with the village on paying a percentage of electric bill for the old lights as the new lights are on the township’s bill. The old lighting was installed under a joint agreement with the village that supposedly saved the township money. In the agreement the township would reimburse the village for the electricity used for the lighting. The lights, though on township property, were considered village-owned because the bill was in their name. Ohio Edison will not remove the old lines without the village’s permission. The township says they had a verbal agreement with Mayor Rob Donham II who later decided it needed to go through zoning. A zoning application was filed and the township claims the mayor verbally agreed to it but kept cancelling the work order for Ohio Edison. A call was placed to Mayor Rob Donham II and he claims he has never agreed to the removal of the lights because the township has yet to submit a photometric plan for the new lights. The mayor claims they need to be sure that the new light’s illumination meets the village’s zoning requirement for lighting of public spaces before the old ones can be removed. The mayor says it is all about safety. A call to Mr. Timmons was placed to ask about the photometric plan. Mr. Timmons said he was unaware that the township needed to have that; he assumed the zoning application was all they needed. Timmons stated he will look into the matter, but in the meantime a letter has gone to the village stating the townshio will no longer pay the electric bill for the old lights.

In safety news, Timmons announced that the new rescue squad the fire board purchased last spring was in service and the old one has been sold to North Lawrence Fire Department.

The trustees next meeting is October 6, 2011 at 7 pm in the town hall. A public hearing on the proposed zoning amendments will be held at 6:30 the same evening.

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Middlefield – Pirate Musician Joshua Nelson will be performing at the Ye Olde State Renaissance Faire at Settlers’ Village in Middlefield on September 10, 11, 17 and 18.
Nelson was born and raised in the small town of Burton before moving to Los Angeles, but his alter-ego Rillian Rauchbach has led a more unusual life. Rauchbach is an orphan who murdered his abusive care-taker uncle and then was captured by pirates. Because of his singing voice, Rauchbach’s life was spared, and he was welcomed onto the ship as a cabin boy and shanty-man. While on the ship, Rauchbach met up with three other pirate musicians who together formed the pirate band “Rillian and the Doxie Chicks.”

“Rillian the the Doxie Chicks” released two CDs, “Get Down (Like an Anchor)” and “Left in the Longboat.” The pirate band performed many shows in California, including the Disneyland red carpet premieres of “Pirates of the Caribbean” 2, 3 and 4.
Nelson will be performing at the Cow Stage at Ye Olde State Renaissance Faire. CDs will be available for purchase. Settlers’ Ye Old State Renaissance Faire is an annual event and will feature live music, demonstrations, puppet shows, comedy acts, improv, a talent show, jousting, vendors, and more.

Settlers’ Village is a village of shops located at 14279 Old State Road on the corner of Rt. 608 and Nauvoo Rd. For more information call Vancura Gallery at 440-632-1124 or visit www.settlersmiddlefield.com.

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Friends of CASA for KIDS of Geauga County will present its fifth annual Kids’ Safety Day at Century Village in Burton on Saturday, September 10th from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Held on the beautiful grounds of Century Village near Burton Square (Rtes. 87 and 168), this free event is designed to teach kids and their families how to stay safe in many different environments. Representatives from area police and fire departments as well as other organizations will be on hand to teach about bike safety, fire safety, outdoor safety, water safety, firearm safety and more. Safety Town and safety education demonstrations will also be held to provide information, interactive experiences and valuable resources for everyone concerned.

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Hiram – The Hiram Women’s Chorus and the Hiram Men’s Chorus will begin rehearsals for this season on Tuesday, September 13, at 7:30 PM in Frohring Music Hall on the Hiram College Campus. These College-Community ensembles are open to all area singers (high school and older) without audition.
The Women’s Chorus is directed by Damaris Peters Pike, and the Men’s Chorus by Jose Gotera. For part of each reheasal the groups come together to form the Hiram Community Chorus, which will be singing a rousing arrangement of “This Is My Country” this fall.

For further information, call Damaris at 330-569-7643 or email pikedp@hiram.edu. See you on the 13th!

Portage County – As many of you have heard, the Portage County Board of Commissioners recently decided to begin the steps to put the county owned nursing home for bid to sell it. The beautiful facility, called the Woodlands at Robinson, is a 99 bed facility. The county has struggled for some time to keep this business afloat and compete with private sector businesses. When the nursing home does not bring in enough revenue to cover expenses, the county’s general fund (your tax dollars) make up all of the difference. It was obvious that something had to change.
The first step was to bring new leadership to increase the number of residents and improve the financial picture. The employees of the facility stepped up and worked harder than ever. Beginning in late Spring, the census increased from an average of about 65 residents to more than 85. In spite of this huge success, financial challenges loomed.

The State of Ohio taxes private nursing homes using the “bed tax.” This is a tax that private companies pay per bed, per day, regardless of whether a resident fills the bed. In the State budget, the legislature originally intended to end the counties’ exemption from this tax. Ultimately, we were spared one more year. However, when this is implemented it will cost the county facility approximately $500,000 per year.

The state also reduced the amount of reimbursement that nursing homes receive for Medicaid patients. Based upon the current number of patients, this means a loss of approximately $278,000 per year.

In addition to these challenges, there are expenses and limitations to being a public employer which make it difficult to continue to operate a business which competes with private businesses.

The Board of Commissioners originally decided to pursue turning over the nursing home to Robinson Memorial Hospital. Turns out, Ohio law does not allow a public hospital to buy it. So we spent many tedious weeks looking into the hospital leasing the facility. Unfortunately, the hospital identified approximately $1million in repairs that needed to be performed before they would lease it. The general fund cannot afford this amount. The hospital also could not afford it.

This led the Board to investigate a private company leasing the facility, with ultimate control and ownership still with the county. We then learned that Ohio law requires money to be escrowed because there is still public debt on the building. This would require us to escrow $6.9 million plus interest, for a total of more than $8 million. You need not be a math genius to see that if we could not afford $1 million, we could not afford $8 million.

Now the Board is looking at the final option, a complete sale of the facility. As difficult as this decision has been, all other options have been exhausted and the financial forecast is too grim to continue if we can find a better option. The next steps will likely take through the end of the year, assuming the Board receives an acceptable bid.

It is my personal belief that, if we sell to the right business, this preserves a beautiful facility in the Ravenna area and protects a number of jobs that would be in jeopardy in the county.

Opening Convocation at Hiram College (Source: Hiram College)

Hiram – The installation of two faculty members to endowed chairs in ethics, and liberal arts was the focus of convocation ceremonies to start the fall term Thursday, September 1 at Hiram College.
Along with the initiation of the Class of 2015, Colin Anderson, associate professor of philosophy, and Rick Hyde, professor of theater arts, were installed in the George & Arlene Foote Chair in Ethics, and the Howard S. Bissell Chair in the Liberal Arts, respectively.

The tradition of academic chairs began in Elizabethan times, when chairs were a luxury. Most people sat on wooden stools, benches or cushions on the floor. But when a teacher was raised to a position of professor, he was presented with an actual chair as a symbol of his elevated status in the world of learning. Now, academic chairs are endowed faculty positions, made possible by the generosity of donors who are committed to sustaining excellence in teaching and scholarship.

In his installation speech, Anderson said Hiram has a unique responsibility, as a residential liberal arts college, to spread ethics education beyond the classroom in order to educate the whole person.

“Hiram has the higher purpose of ethics across the whole curriculum, but also beyond the curriculum,” he said.
In turn, Hyde told the students that while factual knowledge and being a good student are good goals, it is more important to learn the lessons to be learned from going beyond just the facts.

“We remember the story we tell, not the facts,” he said.