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Nelson Twp. – On Wednesday, June 6th the Nelson Township trustees met for their regularly scheduled meeting with all trustees and the fiscal officer in attendance. Prior to the business portion of the meeting, chairman Turos recognized that evening’s guests, including Richard Bonner, Ohio EPA’s Bill Zawiski, Bill Steiner of Portage County Solid Waste District and Health Commissioner DuWayne Porter. 

photo by Krista Peterson

Garrettsville – Let’s hear it for those high-fliers!  The Garrettsville Aerie #2705 recently purchased the property right next to their facility on Water Street– a former wood-working shop( and goodness knows what else, over the years)–that had definitely seen better days.  Our fine feathered friends then had the place taken down (giving the GFNVFD a training opportunity, which they are always happy to seize) and out–quite an interesting basement, actually, part of it was apparently carved out of the rock on site–and plans are afoot to make this an attractive addition to the downtown scene at the corner of Water St. and Center.  Way to go!  Check it out when you see the motorcycle activity there during SummerFest.

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Do you have a green thumb and like to display your work? Well if you do then I have a show for you. This year the SummerFest has added a Flower and Garden Show to the venue. The event is sponsored by the Silver Creek Garden Club and the Bay Window.

Windham Library is pleased to announce Mariah Carter as the winner of our Guess the Number of Gumballs contest.  Mariah correctly guessed the exact number to win, congratulations Mariah!

For more information, call the Windham Library at 330-326-3145.  The library, located at 9005 Wilverne Drive, is open Monday and Friday, 10:00 am-4:00 pm; Tuesday and Thursday, 12:00 pm-6:30 pm; and closed on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. For additional information about library programs and services, please visit Portage County District Library online at www.portagelibrary.org.

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Garrettsville – On June 6th members of the Garrettsville Area Chamber met for their annual scholarship luncheon. Three seniors from J.A. Garfield were selected to receive scholarships.  The recipients were Mack Hawkins, who will be studying electrical engineering at  the University of Akron; Brent Jones who will be a forensic sciences major at Youngstown State and Jessie George who will be attending YSU as well.   Pictured above from left to right are Brent Jones, Sherrie Jones, Marciane Hawkins and  Mack Hawkins.  Jessie was unable to attend the luncheon as she was attending orientation at YSU.

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Mantua – The Portage County Soap Box Derby will be celebrating its tenth year in Mantua on Saturday, Preparing for the big day, are (from left), Ron Reed, Dean Olson, Barb Fleming, Becca Fleming, Randy Zigler, Briana Reynolds and Tyler Fleming.

The Soap Box Derby race will start at 9 a.m. on June 16, 2012 and will be sporting a new Finish Arch this year — a definite site to see!  Attendance is free and all are welcome.  There will also be a Car Show during the race, fun and food galore.  The Derby will run all day Saturday and you can view the races along East High Street.


The Geauga County Master Gardeners present their favorite event of the year, their 4th Annual Scholarship Benefit.  The Garden Tour, Plant & Art Sale is Wednesday, June 20th, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the Auburn/Bainbridge area.  Tickets, ($15 cash or check) and maps for the tour are available the day of the tour at Adam Hall Community Center, 11455 E. Washington Street, Auburn Township.  Tickets include a chance to  win garden center gift certificates.  This is your opportunity to freely peek behind houses, around shrub borders, over fences and down long private driveways to view some of the most vibrant, captivating and unique gardens in the county, large and small. 


It’s time for celebration! Graduations, festivals, and the yearly Summerfest are all just around the corner. Where do you start when it comes to planning your event? Portage County District Library has a number of available titles in the collection to assist you in with this task. Whether you’re planning a small gathering or large party, we are here to help you get the party started!


Summer revelers often take to the skies, rails and waves to embark on a vacation adventure. With the kids out of school and relaxed hours at the workplace, individuals and families generally find that summer is the ideal time to plan a getaway. For those who find they don’t have the funds this year, or simply prefer to stay closer to home, there are likely many different local events to enjoy instead.


Windham -  This past weekend Windham WVFD held their Annual Firemen’s Carnival. The event is traditionally held each year on graduation weekend with proceeds going to the fire station for equipment and supplies. The event has been going strong for over 32 years and features live music, food, rides, games, and good old fashioned fun.

The event opened Thursday night and folks came out to enjoy the food, rides, and visiting with friends and neighbors they hadn’t seen all winter.  Moms with little ones headed for the rides, teens did what teens do, eat, ride and just hang out with their friends, while the older folks visited with friends and took in the music.

Friday the event seemed to be off to a great start but then the rain came. The skies cleared out just in time for “Rebel Country Band” to perform the evening show.

Saturday, the grand parade stepped off at noon. Folks dodged rain drops all day and well into the evening, but they still came out, donning rain gear and umbrellas. The featured entertainment for Saturday was “Generation Gap,” “Sound Check” and “Bringing Benatar,” All the bands rocked out the night.

Those who were not into the music scene could enter the Texas Hold’em Tournament held at the fire station or try their luck at the 50/50 raffle.

Sunday brought the sunshine, and folks ventured back out to ride rides and eat carnie food. In spite of the weather, the event was deemed a success because folks dodged the rain and came out anyway.



The Ravenna United Fund, Inc. is sponsoring SummerFest 2012 from 10:00am – 6:00pm on Saturday, June 16 downtown Ravenna.

Opening ceremony by Mayor Joe Bica and the singing of the National Anthem by Linda Pierson will be held at 10:00am. Main Street in downtown Ravenna will be turned into a street filled with entertainment on Saturday. Be sure to bring your lawn chairs, sit awhile as you enjoy a fun filled day. Food and treats will be available throughout the day. An information table will be set up on the courthouse lawn where visitors can pick up fliers with details regarding the Ravenna SummerFest events of the day.

Joe Mazzola is organizing the Ravenna SummerFest Car Show, that will be displayed on Main Street, which will be closed to through traffic. Ravenna Guido’s and Ravenna Hometown Bank are sponsoring this event. The cost to participate in the car show is $5 per car. Registration begins at 9am. Drivers will be awarded trophies including Best of Show Stock and Best of Show Modified.

Participating merchants will hold sidewalk sales or hang signs in their windows to participate. Many of the merchants will set on the streets while others will have tables in front of their stores. Throughout the day there will be food vendors, merchant sales, sidewalk sales, D.J. and karaoke, as well as a Marshal Arts demonstration. There will also be face painting by Working Grass Loom from Historical Society.

There will be a Marlene Watt Memorial Event on June 16 as well. Participants will meet at Ravenna High School Campus, 6589 North Chestnut Street. Registration will be at 7:00am. The 2-mile run/walk will start at 8:00am, the 5-mile walk/run starts at 8:30am, and the 1-mile Paw- #4 kids starts at 9:30am.

We hope to see you, as well as your family at this fun filled day of events!

Jessica Goforth will tie the knot with her prince Nick Hundzsa Saturday, June 23, 2012 at 3pm in down town Garrettsville on the main stage at SummerFest. Garrettsville Mayor Craig Moser will officiate at the nuptials.

Jessica met Nick on a school playground when she was only 14 years old and Nick was 16 years old. They fell in love and helped each other through some very difficult times and still remained together. Eighteen years and two children later they find their love still is going strong and have lasted longer than many marriages, so the two have decided that now is the time to become Mr. and Mrs.

A co-worker of Jessica’s saw the SummerFest wedding article and she encouraged Jessica to write an essay on why she and Nick should be this year’s first couple. In the essay Jessica stated that she and Nick had been together a long time and always wanted to get married but they never had the cash to do so. Jessica said now that their children are older it is more important than ever that she and Nick tie the knot. She believes it is important that their children see their mom and dad as husband and wife rather than girl friend and boyfriend. She wants her children to see that things are just things and love, respect and loyalty are all one needs and, in the scheme of things, mean the most. So getting married is the ultimate dream for her.  The dream will become a reality on June 23, 2012 at Garrettsville SummerFest.

The wedding package will include, uniquely designed invitations by Villager Printing, a hairstyle befitting a queen from Luanne at Denette’s Golden Mirror, and flowers from Art-n-Flowers and The Bay Window, harp music from Ellen Eckhouse, Krista’s Photography will capture the memories and Carolyn’s Cakes will provide a wedding cake for the reception. Nick and Jessica will also receive wine from the Cellar Winery, dinner from Main Street Grille and Brewing Company and overnight accommodations at the Hiram Inn. On Sunday, the couple will return and ride in the SummerFest Grand Parade, which steps off at noon.

Just last Sunday, the James A. Garfield High School Class of 2012 celebrated its commencement exercises, the students officially closing the door on their high school career. Suddenly, all those teachers they spent day after day with were relegated to a file cabinet of high school memories… except for one or two great teachers who truly affected their outlook on life.

A good teacher is effective in transmitting information in such a way that the student is able to receive it, digest it and reinterpret it independently. A truly great teacher reaches beyond this level to effectively transform a student’s way of thinking, even their behavior or moral standards.

Garrettsville- The 8th Count Dance Studio presented “Red, White and Blue Salute” last Saturday in front of two, nearly sold out crowds at the Iva J. Walker Auditorium at James A. Garfield High School. The recital had over 80 dancers performing a variety of dance routines, including hip-hop, clogging, tap, jazz, ballet, and even a gymnastics routine. The dancers had the crowd totally involved in the show as they saluted the Red, White and Blue.


Garrettsville – The Brittany Myer’s Scholarship Fund was founded 11 years ago as a memorial to Brittany, a 9 year old little girl who lost her life in a tragic car accident in 2000. Brittany attended James A. Garfield Elementary School where she was an avid softball player and a complete joy to everyone. Left behind are her parents, Tom and Belinda Myers, along with siblings and many loved ones.

The Brittany Myers Memorial poker run organization holds an annual event to fund the scholarship program. From the proceeds of this event, two scholarships are awarded each year to graduating seniors at James A. Garfield High School. In order to be considered for the scholarship, students are required to write an essay on why they feel they should receive the scholarship. This year’s scholarships were awarded to Darian Roberts and Brent Jones. Congratulations!!

In addition to the annual scholarships, the fund also contributes a portion of their proceeds to the Youth Softball League and the Special Needs Program at James A. Garfield School.

For more information or to make a donation please feel free to contact Jamie Cain (330) 221-6338 or Becky Gough (330) 815-2575.  Visit our Facebook page for the most up to date information.


The Geauga County Library Foundation is currently accepting nominations for its 2012 Chapman Award.  This yearly recognition is bestowed on a special individual (or group of individuals) whose deeds have promoted the enjoyment of and value of books and reading and whose involvement has directly benefitted the Geauga County community.

The prestigious Chapman Award, inspired and named after the late Mrs. Newton B. Chapman of Chardon, is presented at the Foundation’s annual ceremony and social event in October.  Past recipients include Norma B. Chapman (1994), Anderson A. Allyn, Sr. (1995), Barbara Inderlied (1996), Donald Cornish (1997), Jeannette “Teeter” Grosvenor (1998), Patricia Caunter-Billington (1999), Isabelle Gardner (2000), Elizabeth “Lee” Fisher (2001), Amy Kenneley (2002), Beverley Buettner (2003), Hope Merryfield (2004), Larry Dolan (2005), Anne Prusha (2006), Paul Newman (2007), Betty Wallis (2008), Regina “Sunny” Doxey (2009), Nancy Speck (2010), and Mona J. Trybus (2011).

The deadline for submissions is Monday, July 16, 2012.  Nomination forms are available at all Geauga County Public library branches including Bainbridge, Chardon, Geauga West and Middlefield Libraries, Newbury and Thompson Stations, the Bookmobile, and at the Geauga County Public Library Administrative Center 12701 Ravenwood Dr., Chardon.  More than one nomination form may be submitted per person.

For more information, contact the Geauga County Public Library Administrative Center at (440) 286-6811.

The Geauga County Library Foundation is a non-profit organization that supports the Geauga County Public Library.

Garrettsville – SummerFest is coming. Have you ever thought about all the work that goes into making this event happen year after year? The entire event is organized and run by a few volunteers from the community. Each year, right after SummerFest is over, the committee meets and starts planning next year’s event. Yes, it takes year ‘round planning to pull off an event this size.

During the fall, they attend a convention to see what’s new for festivals and look at all sorts of possible entertainment for the next year. The committee meets several times in the fall, choosing a theme and looking at ways to make the next SummerFest better. In January, they meet more regularly to get the Garrettsville Idol open call date established, select a car for the raffle, hold a scotch doubles fundraiser at the bowling alley, select designs for T-shirts and start nailing down entertainers for the weekend event. By April, Idol semi-finalists are chosen, most of the entertainment is taken care of, and they begin to promote the many contests, the t-shirts and the car raffle. (The t-shirts and car raffle are the primary funding for the event besides our local sponsors) May, the Idol finalists are chosen and the committee kicks it into high gear. Finishing touches on entertainment, vendors, programs, advertising, contests, parade, etc. are worked on to bring the community the best event possible.

The week of SummerFest is pressure-packed as the committee makes sure everything is ready to roll. They decorate the town, they mark vender’s spots, check electric, set up stages and seating, decorate  the stage, answer questions, work with local safety forces and so much more, all to bring the community they love one of the biggest festivals in Portage County.

With all that being said, they could use a few more volunteers for the event. Don’t worry, they are not looking for  a year-long commitment like the committee members but you are more than welcome to join them if you want to be a part of planning next year’s event. What the committee is looking for are a few folks, who have a few hours to volunteer to help us make the festival run more smoothly.  We need some help during the festival to sell raffle tickets from the information booth and possible help with canoe races and the parade.  Even if you only have a few hours to help, that is fine, they do not need you all weekend unless you want to help all weekend. The festival starts Friday, June 22 at 6:30 pm and will run approximately 9 am – 11 pm on Saturday and 11 am until 10 pm on Sunday. You don’t need to have a huge chunk of time available to help, just a few hours here and there will be sufficient. So if you have some time and want to see the other side of the festival, contact Aaron King at the bowling alley 330 524-2646 for opportunities to volunteer.

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

Freedom  Twp. – The  regular meeting of the Freedom Township Board of Trustees was held on  Thursday, May 3, 2012 with all board members present.

After review and approval of the April 19, 2012 minutes Mr. Jeffrey Derthick gave the zoning report.  Derthick reported that there were several lot splits, additions and new home inquiries.  No written reports of zoning information available for the trustees.

Hiram – Those who come to worship at the 10:00 am service at the Hiram Christian Church on Sunday, June 10, will step back into history as local historical actor, Damaris Peters Pike, portrays Lucretia Garfield, wife of President James A. Garfield.  She will be speaking in the very location where President Garfield often preached when a student, teacher, and president at the Western Reserve Eclectic Institute, now Hiram College.

Lucretia’s father, Zebulon Rudolph, was one of the founders of the Hiram Church in 1835, when the Disciples of Christ movement was in its infancy, and she would have worshipped regularly there.  As Lucretia, Mrs. Peters Pike will relate events from the Garfields’ lives and share ideas from sermons her husband preached.

Damaris Peters Pike, Professor Emerita of Music at Hiram College, has performed her “Women of Note” since 1988 in Ohio and 14 other states.  All 11 of the “Women” are involved in music; Lucretia Garfield represents her first venture into American history, and she has chosen a historical figure “close to home.”

All are invited to join in worship with Lucretia Garfield.


The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) is a federally funded program designed to assist eligible Ohioans meet the cost of summer cooling.

The Summer Crisis Program assists income eligible households with at least one member age 60 or older, a household member with a documented medical condition, or households with an electric service disconnect notice.  Assistance is for a onetime payment of not more than $250.00 for electric service. 


Burton – Don’t miss what promises to be one of the most exciting events of the antiques show summer season.  Now celebrating its 51st year, the Burton Antiques Market returns to the Geauga County Fairgrounds for the first of this years’ semi-annual shows on June 9th.   With 400 of America’s leading dealers displaying their finest antiques and vintage collectibles, there promises to be something for everyone in all price ranges. 

Garrettsville – Four Fourth Degree Knights from the Garrettsville chapter of the Knights of Columbus brandished their swords and later shot their rifles during the village’s 2012 Memorial Day ceremonies on May 28. The color corps made quite an impression in full regalia, defying the oppressive heat and humidity dressed in black tuxedos, bow ties, white gloves, white baldrics, white-feathered black chapeaus, and black & red capes for the three Color Corps members (black & white for the Faithful Navigator, far right). 

Garrettsville - James A. Garfield senior Lauren Greathouse has worked for approximately six months on the new banners that are hanging proudly on the front of  Garfield High School. With the help of Jeff Lang, Lauren completed the banners in time to be hung for graduation. Lauren tossed around some ideas at the beginning of the school year, and after many discussions and the help of friends and the school staff, they decided that “Reaching Above And Beyond” was appropriate for the new banners. If you haven’t driven by the school to see them, be sure to do so, you will not be disappointed.


Garrettsville – Village Council voted unanimously to sell the Irwin Hardware building to Garrettsville Ventures, LLC.  The 1800s-era property, located on Main Street in downtown Garrettsville, has been a source of contention in the village for several years as the former owner let the building’s condition deteriorate.  Council had the arduous chore of figuring out if the building could be preserved, or if the landmark should be demolished.  Council voted back in 2010 to preserve the building and invested more than $40,000 in stabilizing the failing structure.  The village officially acquired the property this year after paying the remaining $4,576.13 of delinquent taxes two county entities refused to waive.

The village is selling the property for $4,577, 87-cents more than the paid off tax lien.  During the public hearing before the regular council meeting, Michael Maschek of Garrettsville Ventures, LLC shared with council his plans to renovate the property.

In other business, council approved allowing distilleries, breweries and wineries in the C-3 (commercial) zoning district.  The approval stems from the purchase of the Portage Motors building by Pete Kepich plans to turn part of the building into a distillery.  Some concern was raised about the potential stench of having this type of operation in the village.  Mayor Moser stated he didn’t believe it would be a problem.  He further stated all EPA regulations will be followed.

Council voted to amend existing Ordinance to allow the inspection of apartments located over commercial establishments to change from a one-year permit to three years.

Resident Gary Cox voiced concern when the subject of curbside recycling was brought up.  He believes “forcing mandatory changes onto every homeowner” is inappropriate.  He stated the current system now allows option and is fair for the village residents.  The village currently is taking a survey on the subject, available online at www.garrettsville.org.

Council passed an ordinance limiting the length of grass on properties in the village.  The new ordinance limits the height to six inches, the Mayor stated it would be at the discretion of the Police Chief to issue citations.

The Mayor asked for and council approved authorization to advertise for bids for waterline replacement that is needed on State Street.  The Mayor said the current lines between Dairy Queen and Wheeler road are over 100 years old.

A brief discussion was held about the planned demolition of Paul’s Grist Mill and the formal submission for a community development block grant by the private owner to the county for that project.  “The village can’t bail out everyone” came from the audience over concern that too many properties falling into disrepair from private owners were becoming burdensome to the village.

If you’d like to know more of what is happening in your community, please attend a meeting.  Village Council will next meet June 13, 7:30 p.m. in the Village Hall.

(l-r) Ohio Rep Kathleen Clyde, Lt. Col Ed Meade Garrison Commander of camp Ravenna, Windham Mayor Rob Donham second place finisher Ken Batcher and first place finisher Nick Chambers

Camp Ravenna – This past Saturday, Windham experienced a rare event, the opening of the north gates of Camp Ravenna AKA Ravenna Arsenal. The gates were opened for a few hours for the first 5K race through the facility to help fund the Windham Park Restoration Committee Project. Fifty- six folks came out to support the cause, with many of the participants coming from Ravenna, Mantua, Hudson and even as far away as Mogadore and Plymouth. 


Cystic Fibrosis has been a term that I have heard my entire life. It was not until last July that I met this disease face to face.  Huddled around her incubator, I met Claire for the first time. Her parents, two of my best friends on earth, were facing a horrifying reality. Their precious newborn was being tested for Cystic Fibrosis. We were so excited to welcome their first-born into the world, but at the same time so frightened and sad that she was not born as healthy as we had hoped.  She had been born with a blocked bowel, and was having some difficulty gaining weight.  Seeing as how this usually points to the disease they decided to start testing. Weeks later the results were back and they were positive for CF. 

Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary, at the meeting on May 5, interviewed candidates  to attend this year’s RYLA gathering at Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio, June 10-14.  They are proud to announce the selection of  Brittany Sisson and Andrea Sheller of Garfield High School and  Jake Sweet of Windham High School as their representatives to the program. Also present at the meeting was Darren Karlove who attended in 2010 and gave a thumbnail sketch of the activities involved and the positive outcomes they had in his life.  He was appreciative of the great mix of  talents, styles, backgrounds and leadership qualities that were present in the program and the participants.  He felt that it was a life-changing experience.  


The WVFD Joint Fire Board met for their regular monthly meeting recently with four of the five members present along with the fiscal officer. The board approved the minutes from last month’s regular meeting and two special meetings. They also approved the bank reconciliation, expenditures, and paid the bills.


South Russell – The Geauga Fresh Farmers’ Market will open its eleventh season on Saturday, May 19 with vegetable and flowering plants, spring produce and salad greens, hanging baskets, cut flowers, honey, maple syrup, cheese, meat, baked goods, soaps and lotions, and other seasonal produce and crafts. Hours are new this season – 9:00-Noon every Saturday, rain or shine, until early October.

Master Gardeners from the Ohio State University Extension Service will again be on hand in May to answer questions about growing seedlings and vegetables, and to answer your other plant questions. The Market is located in the South Russell Village parking lot at Rt. 306/Chillicothe Rd. and Bell St.

Special events this year will include cooking and grilling demonstrations, musical entertainment, kids’ day, corn celebration, strawberry events, the annual salsa tasting contest, and the annual tomato tasting contest. Keep up to date on special market events at www.geaugafarmersmarket.com

Music Lovers, listen up!  James A. Garfield instrumentalists will be on display Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. for their season finale.  The marching band will still be featured at Memorial Day and graduation but elementary, intermediate and middle school performers exhibit their tunes and talents this day along with the high school artists that they hope to emulate.  

Windham – In days gone by, folks who were able to send their youngsters to a pre-school program were usually of the elite sector and pre-school was considered an option only for those who were financially blessed. Pre-schools, back in the day, were few and far between and had long waiting lists. Now all that has changed and pre-schools are everywhere and more parents are seeing the need for  and value of early childhood education [and finding the means to do so]. Not only are they finding the means, they are also discovering that there is a pre-school in their area and it is more affordable than ever.

Hiram College held a Relay for Life event on Saturday, May 5th  thanks to the work of committee members (pictured  at left)  Jamie Zychowski, Zach Fincham and Rose Zychowski. Along with the help of participating teams, they raised more than $16,000 leading up to and during the event. They will continue to raise money through August 1st.

On the same night Ravenna Stadium held a Relay for Life event, with 40 participating teams, 600 participants and about 300 cancer survivors in  attendence. Relay for Life events are very touching and emotional for all who participate.

Berlin Center – On April 28th, 2012, David Corll of Berlin Center, Ohio completed his Eagle Scout Project in historic fashion.  Mr. Corll’s Eagle Scout Project involved the complete renovation of Lake Milton’s oldest cemetery.  Accompanied by his parents (Joann and Paul Corll), family and friends, and local dignitaries, the rededication ceremony was also honored to have the 8th Pennsylvania Regiment of the Northwest Brigade of the American Revolution present for the Presentation of Arms.

As David explained, “This cemetery was established in 1820 and was the burial site for many of the early settlers of this area.  Jacob Cole who fought in the Revolutionary War is one of the more prominent people laid to rest here.  When I was approached with possibility of renovating this hallowed ground for my Eagle Scout project, I did not hesitate at taking on the challenge.  I want to thank all of those individuals and companies that supported this great cause.”

The Olde Dutch Mill Cemetery (also known as the Riverbank Cemetery) is located on the banks of the Mahoning River in a grove of walnut trees behind number 1 green at Olde Dutch Mill Golf Course.  Course owner Ron Birchak commented, “When David approached me about this project, I knew this young man was about to embark on a very special moment in his life.   I introduced Dave to the Lake Milton Browns Backers and they agreed to help finance the project.  Along with their help and a ton of other people and businesses, Dave has helped resurrect an important piece of Lake Milton history.”

Mr. Corll is a senior at Western Reserve High School and will continue his education at ATI Wooster where he will be studying Beef and Swine Production.  According to his scout master Mike Smith of Salem, Ohio, “only 2% of Boy Scouts achieve Eagle Scout status.”  We are sure that with this kind of dedication, David will go on to be quite successful in his chosen profession.

If anyone is interested in visiting the cemetery, stop by Olde Dutch Mill Golf Course in Lake Milton, Ohio. (www.oldedutchmill.com or 330-654-4100)


Ravenna – On April 19, Robinson Memorial Hospital, in conjunction with the Northeast Central Ohio Regional Disaster Planning Consortium (NECO) and a number of emergency management agencies, held a mock disaster exercise to test the hospital’s abilities to respond to a devastating tornado which swept through the region resulting in numerous simulated casualties and fatalities.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*Early History Source The Visitor

The canoe races are sponsored by Therm-O-Link

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


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

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

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

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

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


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


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