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Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary entertained their soon-to-depart Rotary Student Exchange ambassador, Rachel Schwan at the regular  noon meeting  at Cal’s II on June 9, 2014 for questions about her preparations for the big adventure.  This included getting through the visa process and a convention of exchange students coming up at Otterbein, the daunting challenge of learning the Thai language, contact with her host family via Facebook—with pictures—the current political climate in Thailand( It’s quieter in the north where she’s going), the pervasiveness of Buddhism in the culture and the unknown factors that make it all so exciting.

The other guest at the meeting, Mr. Rich Brown, was introduced as “the Closer” by Delores McCumbers, who is acquainted with him through his working with McCumbers-Brady Realty as an agent of a title company.  His brief description of the duties of title companies was interesting and enlightening.  He’ll be invited back, no doubt.

Also on the docket : possibility of supporting a program encouraging first and second graders in mastering basic math skills—more consideration and discussion will be coming; reservations are due by  July 21 for attendance at the Indians’ game on August 1 for Rotary Night—“Dollar Dogs” and more; reading of the letter sent to the District regarding a possible grant enableing the local club’s participation in a rebuilding project; the village sign beautification crew will be mobilized on Thursday at 10:00 a.m.

More next week; Garfield athletic director, Jim Pfleger, will be on hand to outline the plans and progress of the upgrades coming to the Garfield athletic facilities.

Garrettsville - The Friends of the Garrettsville Library announce a book sale (in the meeting room) at the Garrettsville Branch of the Portage County District Library June 16 – 21, during library hours. All proceeds from the book sale go to the Friends of the Garrettsville Library which helps fund collection development, programs for the public, and other things the library may need.

Saturday, June 14 will be a members only set-up day from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. Monday, June 16 will be a members only set-up day and preview from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday June 17 – June 20 is open to the public during library hours. Saturday, June 21 is open to the public from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm.

Since the last book sale many new titles have been donated to the Friends of the Garrettsville Library and there will be a selection of adult, young adult, and children’s books, with fiction and non-fiction titles.  Memberships to the Friends’ group may be purchased leading up to and during the sale. If you are not a member, and wish to attend the members only pre-sale, you are welcome and encouraged to join the Friends of the Garrettsville Library. Memberships start as low as $5.

Materials that are left over from the book sale will be distributed to other organizations; new donations after the sale will be needed and greatly appreciated.

The library is located at 10482 South Street in the Village Park.  For further information, call the Garrettsville Library at 330-527-4378.  For additional information about library programs, materials, and services, please visit the Portage County District Library website at www.portagelibrary.org.


bikesHiram – The Hiram Police Department is educating children on the importance of wearing a bike helmet. Chief Ed Samec announced that the Hiram Police Department is participating in the AAA Helmet Smart Program again this year. Helmet Smart is a unique program for promoting bicycle helmet usage through positive reinforcement.  Hiram police officers will issue “safety citations” when they see children wearing a bike helmet while riding a bicycle. The “safety citations” can be redeemed at Hiram Gioninos, also AAA will also be holding drawings throughout the summer for children who mail a portion of their “safety citation” back to AAA. These children will have a chance to win new bicycles.

Every year more than 500,000 children are rushed to hospital emergency rooms due to bicycle injuries, with one third of the injuries being to the head and brain. In fact, head injuries are involved in nearly 85 percent of all bicycle fatalities. Children who do not wear their bike helmet are 14 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than children wearing a helmet. “It’s interesting to note that crashes happen close to home on sidewalks, in parks, on bike paths, or driveways and do not involve motor vehicles,” said Chief Samec. “We want to stress to children and parents a bike is a vehicle and not a toy. Using helmets reduces the risk of brain injury by 85 percent and can prevent tragic life-long consequences.

Hiram Village Mayor Lou Bertrand said, “There are a lot of children that enjoy riding bicycles in Hiram. I am a strong proponent of the Helmet Smart program and I am pleased that our police department takes a proactive approach to safety.”

Hiram police officers will be issuing the safety citations along with parent/child safety pledges, and example forms that show correct use of a bike helmet and literature.

Mantua – The Rotary Club of Mantua would like to congratulate Crestwood high school junior Morgan Strenk.  Morgan is the winner of the prestigious Rotary Youth Leadership Award scholarship. This award will enable Morgan to participate at a camp held at Baldwin Wallace University from June 8-14, 2014.

Approximately 50 juniors from the northeast, Ohio area will participate at this camp.  The award is only given to juniors so they may use the leadership skills learned at camp for their senior year of high school.  The general unanimous comment from the students that have completed the camp is: “it was the best thing I have ever done in my life”.  We look forward the future accomplishments from this outstanding student.


Ryan Louis Acker

Mikayla R. Ashba

Madison Claire Barber

McKenzie Marie Blau

Sasha Rose Brotman

Bianca Rae Brown

Lindsey Nicole Burnett

Courtney Karam Call

Cassandra Cameron

Tyler Alex Chapek

Cody Allen Charvat

Julie Anne Combs

Branden Matthew Conrad

MacKenzie Anne Cossick

Dominic Allan DeLuca

Julie Ann Dingman

Kaylee Ann Marie Evans

Kaitlyn Elena Freiling

Luke Anton Freiling

Joshua Michael Garrett

Mackenzie Elizabeth Gilliland

Max Franklin Gilliland

Breanna Marie Girolamo

Marc Alan Girolamo

Gage Kristopher Green

Jessica Cheyenne Hackett

Erica Rose Marie Harris

Brandon Donald Haycox

William Frederick Hess

Laura Marie Hinkle

Stephen James Horvath

Dakota James Kaschalk

Harley Henry Kelly

Charles Michael Kepich

Hunter Brooke Klarich

Edward Joseph Koziol

Jonathan Douglas Kreuz

Samuel John Kwasniewski

Amy Jane Lasco

Joseph S. Lencoski

Tia Marie Shoshanna Rose Maier

Timothy James Malkus

Lisa Michele Marcy

Keanu Anthony Samuel Martin

Megan Marie McCartney

Ian Loel McClellan

Caroline Marie Milano

Ryan James Miller

Nicholas Millet

Mike Thomas Molnar

Ian Matthew Moore

Alison Margaret Moss

Zachary Steven Motil

Peyton Elizabeth Neumore

Christian Hunter Pallagi

McKinley James Parker

Kathryn Elizabeth Paul

Kyle Andrew Pillar

Romolo Giuseppe Rabasi

Jonathon David Ramsey

Darren Keith Redd

Chelsea Nicole Reed

Olivia Lauren Roach

Priscilla Jessica Sandoval

Stephen Edwin Saurman

Dustin James Simmons

Ronald George Simpson

Steven Matthew Sitko

Branson Blaine Race Skidmore

Gabriela Mara Spangler

Devon Scott Stivers

Megan Thomas

Anthony Charles Tiber

Logan Davis Timmons

Katherine Rose Uterhark

Brandon James Vander Maas

Jason Anthony Voskion

Benjamin Alan Wiley

Joshua David Williamson

Gabriel Thomas Wilson

Emma Jane Yokules

Danielle Megan Young


Garrettsville – Garrettsville Summerfest is celebrating it’s tenth year and they are “Rockin’ to Rebuild” the section of Main Street that burned in the March fire. The theme this year is “Rockin to Rebuild” with a portion of the proceeds from this year’s festival going to the #GarrettsvilleStrong Fund which has been put in place to assist in the rebuilding.

Last year, Summerfest added a coloring contest, an essay contest and a photo scavenger hunt. They were so popular that they are back again this year. Some of these contests have early deadlines, so do not procrastinate.

The first one is easy. Grab a pencil, pen or key board and tell us what the past 9 years of Summerfest have meant to you  — or —  how the March fire has impacted you with regards to the changes our town has and will experience. (Choose one topic)  Be creative in telling your story. We have three age categories and word counts for each group. Ten – twelve year olds will need a 50 – 100 word essay; Teens 13 years old – 18 years old will need to write a 200 word essay; Adults, 19 and older will need 300 words.

You can mail or drop-off your essay at the Weekly Villager office located in downtown Garrettsville at 8088 Main Street Garrettsville, OH. 44231. Office hours are Monday – Wednesday and Friday 10 am – 5 pm, Thursday 12-5 and Saturday 10 – 2.  The last day to enter is June 20, 2014 by 5pm. All essays should be typed. No emailed essays will be accepted and we are not responsible for essays lost or delayed in the mail.

The younger kids will not be left out. We are offering a coloring contest for the kids 10 years old and under, broken down into the following categories, Preschool, 5 & 6 year olds, 7 & 8 year olds and 9 &10 year olds. A picture will be supplied and found on the Garrettsville Summerfest website at www.garrettsvillesummerfest.com. Colored pictures will be due on June 24, 2014 at the Weekly Villager at 8088 Main Street by 5pm.

Winning essays and pictures will be displayed during the festival and prizes will be awarded on June 27, 2014, during Opening Ceremonies of Summerfest.

Back by popular demand is the photo scavenger hunt. Gather a group of two, three or four friends or do it as a family, grab a camera or camera phone and snap pictures of items on our list. This is a festival activity and there is no charge to enter it. The list will be available at the information tent in the center of town and the contest will run all weekend long until 2 pm Sunday.  Stop by the information booth and register your group or family and pick up the list. Participants do not  need to attend the festival all three days to participate; there are bonus photos on the hunt that can replace specific events.  Most pictures will require at least one member of your group in them. You do not develop the pictures. When you have found all of them, bring your phone/ camera to the information tent, show us your pictures and we will verify them. Folks will need a minimum of 25 of the required items and then they will be entered into a drawing for festival bucks and for one free car raffle ticket for your group. Festivals bucks are tickets that can be used at any food vendor (excluding the  St. Ambrose’s Chicken Festival) during the festival.

We realize that not everyone can be here all weekend long and have made alternative pictures you can take to replace the scheduled events. Taking a picture of our many sponsors booth or team member with a logo can replace a special Summerfest event. Politician pictures can also replace a scheduled event.

Winners will be drawn at 3 pm on Sunday.


chamber-scholarshipGarrettsville – On June 4th the Garrettsville Area Chamber held their annual Scholarship Luncheon at Cal’s Restaurant.  Each year the Chamber awards three scholarships to graduating Garfield High School seniors.

Pictured above are the 2014 recipients of the scholarships.  Amber Wenger (right) will be attending Kent State University to study Nursing; Trevor Chambers (left) will be pursuing a degree in Safety Management at Slippery Rock University; Laura Wilburn (center) will attend Youngstown State and NEOMED  where she will be working towards her medical degree.

Congratulations and best of luck to all!


6-1-14 Emma and Travis

Emma Twardzik and Travis Gorby were selected as the 2013-14 Garfield High School “OHSAA Scholar Athletes of the Year”. Ironically they were both soccer players and have played together since 2005 on various travel teams, etc.

The criteria for the Award was.

1. Minimum of 3.25 or above G.P.A.

2. Minimum of Four Varsity Letters.

3. Three of the Varsity Letters must be in the same sport.

4. Must have taken either the ACT or SAT national tests  (Emma and Travis both scored above 27 on their ACT).

5. Team leader/Good role model.





The Newton Falls Area Commerce Association opened its May meeting by relaying any communications received since the last assembly. This included an email sent by Robert Gensler, Jr., who could not attend the meeting, expressing his comments regarding the proposed changes to the bylaws that were submitted during previous meetings. His email stated that he recommends no changes at this time.

After the minutes from last month’s meeting were approved, old business was addressed. First up was the Finance Committee’s recommendation regarding the Kiwanis Labor Day Run sponsorship request presented at the April meeting. To ensure no appearance of a conflict of interest due to his involvement in many city events, President Lyle Waddell, who is also the town’s mayor, turned the direction of the meeting over to the Vice President for this discussion. After much conversation about the mission statement of the NFACA, the desire to support community events and causes, and how to effectively and fairly utilize the association’s budget, the membership ultimately rejected the Finance Committee’s recommendation of donating $75 in favor of a higher contribution. The membership voted to donate $300 which would place them in the second tier of sponsorship (according to the guidelines offered by the Kiwanis members) and provide a larger spot on the T-shirts for the sponsoring logo. Since this amount is over the $75 threshold, as stated in the existing bylaws, the amount endorsed by the membership will then be presented back to the Finance Committee which has ultimate approval. As a matter of housekeeping, during this time the financial report was also presented and approved.

A second topic up for discussion is the continued attempt at coordinating a Small Business Saturday event. Mr. Jim Drake of the town’s Parks and Recreation committee was present to relay information about a wine tasting scheduled for August 16th on the grounds around the Community Center from 2pm-11pm. The event, intended to raise money for beautifying the parks, will include a concert by G-Force and opportunities for businesses or vendors to be spotlighted through advertising sponsorship. Mr. Drake stated that they will be inviting wineries from all over Ohio to participate, so this might be a good opportunity for the chamber to become involved and help out as co-sponsors. After much discussion, the membership voted to co-sponsor the event in conjunction with Small Business Saturday, and Carol Sole, the chairperson for the SBS committee, will be meeting with Mr. Drake to find out exactly what that will entail.

The floor was then returned to President Waddell who continued the agenda with new business. A committee is needed to plan the annual summer picnic, so “Santa” Rick Kerlin and Councilwoman Nancy Hoffman were volunteered to assist in that. There will be further discussion on the details of the picnic and whether to open the event up to the community, instead of just the NFACA members and their families, at the next meeting. As a reminder, membership renewals are due by the end of the month. Also, by way of membership news, new members Gionino’s Pizza and Accurate Land Surveying, LLC were voted into membership.

Also at the afternoon’s meeting, Mr. Paul Woodard, the school district superintendent, mentioned the recent successful Senior Service Day which is already being looked forward to for next year. In an effort to beautify the town, the students did mulch and landscaping work around the parks, and are even willing to help businesses beautify their properties during the next service day. The work the students did was commended and it was relayed that there are great kids in town – as much as we see vandalism, there is the other side too and we have hard-working kids in our community. Before moving to the next item on the agenda, Mayor Waddell expressed his gratitude for the students’ efforts.

By way of the city manager’s report, Mr. Haney reminded everyone that the water tower is under renovation, during which it will be cleaned and refurbished. To be noted, the water pressure in town might be a bit lower for the time being, and the efforts are expected to be completed, probably within the next 4-5 weeks. As an added touch, the words “Newton Falls” will now be painted in orange and black letters on the side of the tower. Also of note, the new additional Senior Van has been approved at Eastgate and will now go to the state level where it should be about 3-4 months before the city learns whether it will be funded.

Before open discussion, time was given to the current Vice President, yours truly, so that I could announce to the group in person that due to pursuing career goals and focusing on other professional obligations I will not be renewing my membership at the end of the month. Since the membership term does not run the same as the election term, that meant I would be resigning as Vice President and someone would be needed to fulfill the remainder of my term until the election at the end of 2014. After my remarks, during which I expressed gratitude for the honor of serving as Vice President, Carol Sole was nominated and elected to complete the open term effective June 1st. Also allotted a moment for brief remarks, Police Chief Gene Fixler reflected on the recent levy attempt and reassured that “the police department is always going to be there to give you the best service we can.” He noted that although the levy did not pass, which will affect operations, they will continue to do their best to help out whenever they are needed. The department is also looking into starting a civilian auxiliary program to help direct traffic, etc. during emergencies or community events.

During the brief open discussion it was suggested again that to promote goodwill in the neighborhood a series of community awards should be established recognizing pleasant aspects of the area such as “Prettiest Garden”, etc. which would also help connect the association to the town.

The next NFACA meeting will be noon on Tuesday, June 10 at Roby Lee’s.


Newton Twp. – The Newton Township Cemetery Association calendar for 2015 will feature photos of the tornado damage that destroyed property 30 years ago in Newton Falls. The calendar price is $10.00 and may be purchased in mid-June from Association members or by calling 330.872.0236 or 330.872.5452.2015. Calendars can be obtained at that time from Art Effects, Newton Falls Printing, Nussles Florist and Roods Wallpaper and Paint. They will also be available at the 2014 Newton Falls Schoolmates Reunion on June 14th .

A walk in the cemetery located at the Pricetown United Methodist Church is in the planning stages and will be held in September or October. The Association will participate in the Pricetown Church Festival on July 19. The 2015 calendars will be sold at the festival and there are still a few 2014 calendars available featuring the north side of Broad Street.

The Association will make a decision on its 2014 project at its next business meeting. The monies profited from the April 6th dinner will be used to partially fund the project. One of the cemetery improvements being considered is the repair of the wrought iron fence at Newton Falls East Cemetery on North Canal Street.

The next meeting for the Cemetery Association will be June 19, 2014, 6:00 P.M. at the Township Administration Building on Newton Falls-Bailey Road. All residents of Newton Falls and Newton Township are invited to attend the meetings which are held the third Thursday of each month.


Hiram – At a recent meeting of the Hiram Village Council, Village resident Susan Merrill thanked Council for the effectiveness of the emergency siren that sounded during a recent storm. But she inquired as to how people without cell phones and radio or television reception would know when an emergency is over. This prompted a discussion about whether a long blast of the siren could signify an emergency, while another, shorter blast could signify an “all clear”. This topic will be discussed at the next Safety Committee meeting, and their recommendations will be presented to Council at an upcoming meeting.

Next, Township Trustee Kathy Schulda shared that the Township Trustees are in the process of reviewing a proposed contract between the Township and the Hiram Village Police Department. Under the terms of the contract, the Township would agree to hire the Village Police Department for 10 hours per week from June through December of 2014. This time would be spent on traffic enforcement, in high-visibility and targeted areas, and would not detract from services provided in the Village. The proposed effective date of the contract will be June 18th, allowing time for both Village Council and Township Trustees to approve this resolution. Currently, Township residents needing law enforcement assistance must call the Portage County Sherriff’s office.

Later, in his report, Mayor Bertrand reported that Chairman Norm Christley had canceled the Planning & Zoning meeting scheduled from May 6th due to no pending business. Further, he advised Council of his recommendation that the Village Recreation and Park Board request input from Todd Peetz at Regional Planning and Chris Craycroft from Portage Parks prior to putting forth proposed resolutions regarding the planned development of the Hiram School Park property. On the matter of the AMATS Sidewalk Grant, the Mayor reported that the Village received an estimate to construct the new sidewalks in Hiram at $336,000. This amount includes the cost of $43,515 in engineering fees, and an AMATS grant of $268,000, making the local cost share estimated at: $67,200. In addition, the Mayor noted that the Village is currently accepting bids to sell the old Fire Hall located near the Village Post Office. Bids will be opened at noon on June 9th.

Lastly, Mayor Bertrand noted that planning had begun for Hiram’s Fourth of July festivities. As in previous years, Dr. Willard Greenwood will be taking the lead, with assistance from Council member Chris Cobb, Fire Chief Bill Byers, Police Chief Ed Samec, Village Administrator Bob Wood, and additional volunteers. For more information, contact the Mayor’s office at (330) 569-7677.

In other news, it was noted that the Hiram Corner Store and Café, formerly known as Fire & Ice, has applied for a liquor license. Council approved the application, pending Zoning Inspector approval that the proposed usage is appropriate and in compliance with Village codes and ordinances. In legislation, Council approved Resolutions renewing an existing Tax Levy for EMS and Fire Fighting purposes, and authorized an agreement between the Village and the College for work on a hike and bike trail.

The next meeting of the Hiram Village Council will be held on Tuesday, June 10th at 7 pm.


For the ninth year in its more than 30 years of history the Garrettsville Eagles Club No 2705 has award four $750.00 scholarships to family members of members.

Bradley Kowalski is a  2014 graduate of Windham High School as valedictorian and is accepted both by Bowling Green and Kent State universities. After he makes his choice will major in Pre-Med aiming for Sports Related Physical Therapy.

Brad was involved in sports, varsity letterman. second team honors in baseball. He had part-time jobs and contributed community services.

Kaylie Johnson, is a 2014 graduate of Champion High School and will attend Mt. Union majoring in Early Childhood and Special Education. Her goal is to be K-3 or a special ed teacher in a public or private school.

Kaylie was member of the Honors Society, Student of the month in February, 2014, member of the Key Club, CTC Varsity Bowling Team and Color Guard. She is involved in church youth group and church nursery.

Rebecca Kern is a 2014 James A Garfield High School graduate and has been accepted by Bowling Green University this fall. She plans to be an Intervention Specialist with a degree in Special Education.

She was president of the National  Honor Society,member of the Marching Band, Pep Band, Concert Band, involved in Yuletide Revels, Christmas Celebration and counselor at Camp Fitch. In her spare time she is employed at Miller’s Family Restaurant.

Justin Vaughan is a 2014 graduate of Crestwood High School and will attend Slippery Rock University in PA. He is aiming for a degree in Sports Management. He will minor in Journalism with hope of being a sports writer.

He was captain of the Tennis Club for 3 years, member of the Community Service Club, Yearbook, Awarded Coaches, Captain and Participation recognition.Went on two missions to help those effected by hurricanes, cleared streets, and put on events such as Halloween Carnival and Father-Daughter dance.

The scholarships awarded are in addition to the club’s support of several community services which we hope to continue in future years with the support of our members and the community.

Morgan Aebischer

Stephanie Alexander

Ziad Al-Noubani

Daniel Anders

Kyle Angermeier

Trevor Baldwin-Hoobler

Brianna Bandy

Katie Bartlett

Shelby Baughman

Austin Bracken

Anna Brigham

Jessica Britton

Alan Broadwater

Simeon Brown

Marilyn Brunton

Samuel Buganski

Mason Butler

Victoria Carnahan

Trevor Chambers

Chase Chapman

Kaley Collins

Jared Damko

Cassie Daniels

John Davenport

Brandon Davis

Jamie Davis

Holly DeYoung

Olivia Doraski

Seth Duvall

Michael Ebie

Tessa Flattum

David Forgony

Ashley Freiberg

Christopher Gadus

Katlyn Gembicki

Krista Gholson

Caitlynn Gilles

Candace Glinski

Travis Gorby

Sasha Gough

Assyria Gray

Kevin Griggy

Racheal Gruszewski

Alec Hartman

Jewels Haylett

Ryan Hecky

Kyle Heim

Ethan Hoffmann

Zachary Hoffmann

Courtney Hood

Sarah Hyde

Adriene Kearney

Jessica Kelley

Megan Kenesky

Rebecca Kern

Erica King

Kayla Kuzniakowski

Yakira Lane

Jeffrey Lange

Thomas Learn

Andrew Lininger

Savannah Lorinchack

Tiffani Lucas

Nicole Lytle

Thomas Macerol

Fredrick Maxey

Skyy McCune

Whitney Miller

Joshua Moore

Alexandria Nowak

Sarah Perkins

Renee Perrault

Emily Perrine

Tyler Petersen

Roger Pierce

Nathan Pinson

Zachary Porcase

Kennedy Porter

Nathan Pratt

Edana Rankin

Megan Rohrbaugh

Karen Root

Cooper Roubic

Shay Sane

Dustin Savick

Jonathan Seaman

Kurt Selesky

Allison Seneff

Zachary Silvis

Kaitlyn Siracki

Zoey Smith

Jay Spencer

Summer Stevens

Shannon Stowe

Nicole Thompson

Brittany Thornton

Samantha Tubre

Emma Twardzik

Andrew Weisbarth

Amber Wenger

Laura Wilburn

Scott Williams

Anthony Workman

Mirsadies Yon

Shannon Young


Ian Sterling Adams

Jacob Louis Agle

Victoria Hope Andexler

Clyde Douglas Arnett

Taylor Leigh Atkins

George William Baran

Landis Grant Bates

Douglas Guy Battiest

BreAnna Lee Benner

Carrigan Alyssa Benoit

Ryan Adam Bernhard

Tod Allen Bevilacqua

Lauren Olivia Bissell

Charles Wesley Blankenship

Megan Leann Blankenship

Mikayla Rae Blankenship

Tyler Richard Brady

Sarah Ann Bridgman

Kyle Stephen Brookover

Miranda Louise Brothers

Emily Katherine Bruyere

Travis James Burkett

Erin Marie Calvey

Brittany Renae Campbell

Samantha Lee Canepa

Samantha Rose Cannella

Jordan Ashland Carver

Danielle Raye Cavanaugh

Jenna Marie Cisar

Madison May Cochrane

Kyle Stanley Cox

Anthony James Crabtree

Matthew Thomas Czerny

Damon Conrad Daugherty

Alexander James DeHoff

Carolyn Ann Diczhazy

Kayla Faith Diroll

Erin Marie Dunkin

Morgan Jolene Engelhart

Daniel Troy Evans

Jessica Marie Felker

Brian Charles Ferguson

Michael Robert Fletcher

Mariah Lynn Focareto

Julianna Sereita Forster

Amanda Elizabeth Fosnight

Cheyenna Sky Frederick

Dustin Charles Friend

Tyler Joseph Gall

Mathew David Gerdes

Angela Marie Goodrich

Ashlea Josette Gopp

Meaghan Michelle Green

Nathan Perry Green

Mackenzie Diann Gregoire

Carley Renee Gross

Monica Elizabeth Groves

Matthew Dominic Gualtieri

Hannah Lynn Hall

Joshua Tyler Hampton

Dillon Scott Harmon

Eric Robert Harris

Amber Lynn Harrison

Holly Lynne Hays

Sierra Mae Hobbs

David Anthony Hocevar

Daniel Adam Holmberg

Ryan Michael Houpt

Christopher Keith Howell

Patrick Lee Hoyack

Brooke Nicole Hunter

Summer Nicole Hurd

Cody Joseph Imars

Kenn Edward Jackson

Alyssa Nicole Jaehn

Jonathan Thomas Jastal

Nicholas Steve Jelinek

Taylor Paige Jenkins

Kristen Elizabeth Jones

Nicholas Robert Kehres

Hannah Lee Kelley

John Roger Kilbourne

Daniel Jacob Klatik

Amanda Jane Krakowski

Victoria Eve Krause

Samantha Marie Kulish

Kayla Rita Kulla

Shawnee Nicole Kvasnicka

Nicholas Robert Labas

Elizabeth Rose LaMarca

Stacey Elizabeth Larch

Jose Francisco Lebron

Allison Renee Little

Kyle Thomas Lohr

Joshua Tyler Lorence

Jacob William Lovick

Randi Kristine Lyle

Matthew Allen Lyons

Danielle DeNyse Magyarics

John  Luke McCraw

Nolan Blake McGarvey

Taylor Courtney Michael

Marissa  Elizabeth Midgley

Darian Payton Milam

Abbey Melissa Milkovich

Arizona Rose Misseldine

Jacob Connor Monreal

Samantha Nicole Moore

Jenna Marie Morgenstern

Kathleen Yeva Murray

Conner Samuel Nemec

Alaina Marie Nuti

Olivia  O’Brien Cobb

Jack Edward Onders

Jonah Tyler Onuska

Brendan Jay Osborne

Dylan Ray Parker

Katey Irene Paxton

Nicole Chessie Perkins

Julia Louise Pfaff

Charles  James Phillips

Rebecca Margaret Pochedly

Gary Thomas Pope

Joseph Frank Prenosil

Rachel Marie Quesenberry

Chad Alan Randall

Clayton Austin Jesus Ramirez

Taylor Lynn Rector

Velonte Marquis Reddick

Carley Jean Reid

Joseph Donald Reyes

Mary Ruth Richards

Daryl Ross Riley

Challis Margaret Roberts

Anna Marie Claire Romano

Tyler Austin Roth

Skylar Sierra Scala

Dillon Errol Scott Schaefer

Ashley Nicole Seneff

Charles Francis Shahan

Kaitlyn Mackenzie Shahan

Ariel Nicole Sherry

Nathan Michael Silcox

Melissa Rose Skocdopole

Kaitlin Michelle Slaker

Makenzie Kenneth Snodgrass

Abigail Lynn Soltisz

Hanna Elizabeth Spencer

Emily Ann St. Hilaire

Dakota Lee Stanley

Jonathan Peter Stewart

Julianna Nicole Stewart

Raymond Michael Stewart

Henry Arnold Strahan

Zachary Ian Strenk

Reanna Leigh Szarka

Chase Marie Tayerle

Nicholas James Thomas

Katie Lynn Tibbs

Ashley Renee Todd

Craig Darrin Turner

Allison Rae Vannoy

Amber Lynn Vargo

Justin Martin Vaughan

Christopher William Vince

Deena Marie Vodila

Jacquelyn Renee Wagner

Aaron Richard Yonker

Nicholas John Timothy Zeleznik

Jake Anthony Zemaitis

Marisa Lynn Zolgus

Sarah Jane Zolgus

Logan Louis Zuponcic


Emeric De Sermet de Tournefort

Iya Erkenovna Tsedenova


Sherry Jones and Mayor Rick Patrick prepare to draw the winning ticket.

Sherry Jones and Mayor Rick Patrick prepare to draw the winning ticket.

Garrettsville – Months ago I challenged the James A. Garfield students to take an active part in a fundraising effort to kick off renovations to the schools’ athletic facilities. Our students accepted the challenge with great fervor, and I am proud to report that the “Challenge Raffle” winner was drawn at noon on Friday, May 30th by Mayor Rick Patrick in the James A. Garfield Board Office.  The winner of the $1,000 grand prize was Stephanie Kristoff. The winning ticket was sold to her by her son, kindergartner AJ Kristoff.

On behalf of the James A. Garfield Schools I would like to congratulate Mrs. Kristoff and thank everyone who sold and purchased tickets for the raffle.  I would also like to thank Mrs. Sherry Jones for organizing this successful effort.  Without her passion, organization and impeccable record-keeping we never would have been able to experience such success.

The final breakdown for the raffle is as follows:

Total Sales:  $28,260.00

Expenses:     $6,041.86

Net Profit:  $22,218.14

It is important to note that $4,173.14 of the expenses went directly back to the kids in the form of t-shirts, gift cards and a skating party at Roller Hutt.  These rewards kept the excitement and motivation going throughout the raffle.

With the funds collected, improvements will be made to the stadium this summer to make play safer for our athletes. As you drive by the stadium you will begin to see the following work taking place:

Phase 1 – Safety of players and fans – Total Cost:  $17,938.57

?  Replace wood posts and ropes with four foot safety fencing ($6,438.57)

?   Install new goal posts ($0 – donated by G-Men Foundation)

?  Stabilize visitor bleachers with a permanent concrete pad ($11,500)

?  Move field away from home bleachers by 10 feet ($0)

The remaining $4,279.57 will be deposited to the JAG All Sports Booster account and used for Phase 2, which will focus on the spectator experience.  The next steps for the project are outlined by the following Phases:

Phase 2 – Spectator seating

?  Purchase safety and ADA compliant aluminum bleachers

?  Construct new press box

Phase 3 – Fan experience

?  Construct new concession booths

?  Construct permanent ADA compliant restrooms

Phase 4 – Scoreboard and track

?  Construction of all-weather track

?  Installation of new field scoreboards

This is just the beginning of the work that needs to be done.  Our athletic facilities are tired and need attention. It is inspiring to see so many individuals working together toward the goal of making them safer and more enjoyable for our students and spectators.

As always, if you have any questions, please call me directly in the office (330.527.4336) or on my cell (216.534.7413).


Photo courtesy of Michele Elias

Photo courtesy of Michele Elias

Well.  Don’t miss the next one.

The next “do” at the Candlelight Winery, that is.  The recent evening featuring food trucks and other festivities was an unqualified success, with  only the Premier Crepes truck left standing by the end of the evening—the others had run out of food, they were so popular.  Entrees were available, so were dessert items, there was seating inside and outside, good reviews of just about everything were floating around.  There was a raffle supporting #GarrettsvilleStrong ; there was music—Steve Howell finished up the evening to general acclaim (There were inquiries about the good doctor’s next CD), mellow and entertaining.  Early on, the Fox Channel 8  TV crew was out to see how we country folk get on…very well, thank you.  The new landscaping focused on a pond with a fountain, gravel paths, strategically-located tables and firepits, a mix of sun and shade locations for the early evening  (The spanking-new coop and the chickens were a bonus).  Both locals and outlanders  looking for a good time seemed to be having a fine night out.  It got the Sheri Johnson seal of approval and Patrick Hayden’s celebration put an end to any dissent.  It was a swell occasion.  Watch for announcements of any future celebrations.  You don’t want to miss this much enjoyment this close to home.

Photo courtesy of Michele Elias

Photo courtesy of Michele Elias

Community EMS  and Chief Chris Sanchez put on a nifty little down-home parade on Saturday, May 31 which showed off some of the equipment used in life saving situations—squad vehicles, for instance—and the individuals charged with running the affairs of the EMS district(Mike Elias, John Zizka, Jeff Kaiser, Tracy Brunner) as well as units of the Garrettsville/Freedom/Nelson Volunteer Fire Department and visiting units from the Windham Joint Fire District.  The James A. Garfield Marching Pride played rousing tunes, the Grand Marshal, Fire Chief David Friess and the Garrettsville Police were all part of the show as well.  The whole extravaganza wound up at the Community EMS headquarters on Forest St., where hot dogs, beans, salads, chips and beverages were part of the picnic atmosphere.  There were even inflatables—a slide and a bounce house—for the kids.  Adults could participate in health screenings offered by the local University Hospitals staff.  It was all about our health—not simply emergencies.  Watch for it next year.

Then it was on to the Village Book Store, where author Laura Peskin was available to discuss and/or sign a copy of her new paperback book, Deep Cover Cleveland (Vol. I).  It’s an interesting book, chock-full of tidbits of history, prehistory, illustrations and even geology.  Since the State of Ohio has pretty much abandoned the serious study of Ohio’s history and geography, this is a nice little catch-up on the points that you might have missed.  Lots of local names dropped throughout keep the reader looking for more and learning along the way.

Photo courtesy of Village Bookstore

Photo courtesy of Village Bookstore

Village Book Store no doubt has more copies available for purchase, as well as other eclectic choices and you can find just about any special-order items that you might fancy.  Stop in and check out the selection.  There will be more authors making appearances through the year.  Stop and inquire.

Graduation was inspiring, as usual, and touching this year, as a memorial  diploma was awarded to the dad of Nick Stock, who died in a tragic auto accident.  “Gone but not Forgotten” about says it.

O.K., now that the ugly old asbestos siding is being removed from the 150+ year-old building downtown in preparation for its restoration, the advertising on the antique siding underneath can now be seen.  Pretty cool, actually, but I can’t make out all of the words.   I got, “CARRIAGES, WAGONS and SLEIGHS” on one space, “SEEDS and POTATOES (I think) on another and “FARM IMPLEMENTS” on the third but I think that there are at least two other words that I can’t decipher.  Anybody want to clue me in?  I think that it would be neat if “the look” could be maintained and the words restored “as is”.  It’s  a formidable old building—a survivor, so to speak– and as soon as the wreckage in the back is removed( More parking?), it may become the symbol of a rejuvenated downtown.  Not that carriages are likely to make a comeback….

And speaking of carriages…the improved situation for “horseless carriages”, all the way from Hiram  through Garrettsville to the Trumbull County line, due to the completion of the resurfacing of State Route 82 is a welcome change.  Should make SummerFest more enjoyable.   ROCKIN’ to REBUILD, indeed.  Now if the Liberty St. bridge could  just be finished a little bit ahead of schedule—the decking seems to be on right now—so that the World’s Largest Tractor Parade can be routed around there to disperse, we’ll be good to go.  TOTALLY!

Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary will be entertaining their Rotary Youth Exchange student, Rachel Schwan, next week to hear more about last-minute preparations for her departure for Thailand to spend a year as an informal ambassador of our community under the auspices of Rotary International.  What an adventure!

Evelyn West will be the local delegate to RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Assembly) this summer at Baldwin-Wallace.  Laura Wilburn was the recipient of the Rotary scholarship awarded to a senior Interact member; it was presented at the Senior Awards Night on May 28.

The Wadsworth Rotary has issued an invitation to their “Gear Grinder” bike tour coming up on July 19.  Information is available.

The G-H club will be doing some beautification work at the signs marking entrance to the village as part of a Rotary contribution to ongoing rebuilding efforts.  Hostas and daylilies figure in the plans, as well as several work sessions.  Contributions from other regional Rotary clubs have totaled over $3500 and await a formal project launch.

Programs of ten to fifteen minutes in length are being sought, with members taking one meeting per month to outline their professions to acquaint the entire group with the make -up of the membership.

Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary meets Mondays at noon in Cal’s II.  Come check them out.


MHSocietyMantua – Wayne Enders is coming to Mantua Center’s Christian Church on June 16th at 7:00 p.m. for a presentation put on by the Mantua Historical Society. Wayne will enlighten members, guests and general public with an account of Rev. E. E. Lamb, who was the minister of the Rootstown Congregational Church during the American Civil War. Rev. Lamb crafted a eulogy that spoke to the profound sorrow the nation was experiencing after Abraham Lincoln’s death. The church is located at the Mantua Center’s green, off  State Route 82 and Mantua Center Road. Light refreshments will be served.

At the last meeting of the Mantua Historical Society, the members visited the Shalersville Historical Society museum and outbuildings, which are very nice and worth visiting. In the picture, Lois Summerlin, member of the Mantua Historical Society, and Ron Kotkowski, president of the Shalersville Historical Society are standing in front of the original desk of the Shalersville Town Hall that was purchased by Judge Lovell Gates from the township and donated to the museum by Ralph Gates.

MHS welcomes anyone desiring to join the organization; dues are $8 for a single and $12 for a family; we will meet every third Monday of the month until October.


Kent –  The group REALIZE Firearms Awareness Coalition is hosting a FREE Firearms Appraisal Fair at the Ravenna VFW, 5998 New Milford Road, Ravenna Ohio on June 10 from 4:30 to 8:00 pm.

Multiple area gun shops will participate in the 2nd annual FREE firearms valuation event.  Area citizens are invited to bring their collectibles, family heirlooms, gun show finds and firearms that they have general questions about.   The event starts at 4:30 pm,  Attendance is free,  and no firearms will be bought or sold there.

Participating locations include:  Targething Pro Shop-Garrettsville, Jansen Brothers Hardware- Mantua, Sporting Defense-Brimfield,  The Gunrunner Auctions – Burton and a variety of expert / specialists.

Amanda Suffecool,  Director of REALIZE  Firearms Awareness Coalition, said “We are pleased to have the VFW Post 1055’s support in hosting this educational event.  It’s not often that we have multiple somewhat competing businesses working together in one location.  This is not a buy/sell event, but a real opportunity to get various opinions on the value of your items. “

She went on to say “Firearms are an investment and REALIZE Firearms Awareness Coalition takes its charter seriously in the area of education.   We want to help folks in understanding the value of the firearm in your gun safe, closet or the box under the bed.”  And there is always that old bumper sticker line of  “ I sure hope my wife sells my guns for what they are worth, and not what I told her I paid for them.”

REALIZE Firearms Awareness Coalition presents seminars on a monthly basis. Each of the monthly programs features a local expert offering their perspective and expertise and covers a topic that is of interest to the firearms community.   On the docket for this year is a “CAR Shoot”,  a program on the use of pepper-spray for self defense and a concealed carry fashion show.

garrettsvillestrongdonationGarrettsville –   Last week, students of the upper campus at Warren John F. Kennedy Catholic High School collected money for the food cupboard in Garrettsville, which had burned down during the March 22nd fire. One of the students of this school, Bart Kitko, lives locally in Garrettsville & responded to the office of Mission and Ministry at the school, Mrs. Dolan Dixon, to help with this collection. Several students purchased the Garrettsville strong tee-shirts in order to bring awareness to the destruction of the many businesses the fire had caused.

On Friday, May 30, several of the students, including Bart Kitko, brought the school’s offering –$322.75 to the founder of the cupboard, Mike Elias.

Mantua – At the last meeting of the Mantua Village Council, Village resident Jim Oster, requested Council’s approval on behalf of the DMRC, to post a banner spanning Main Street to promote the Art on the Hill event. Council agreed unanimously to grant this request, pending Zoning approval, specifying that the banner is removed three days after the event. DMRC has already received approval from the two landowners where the proposed banner would be affixed. Art on the Hill will take place in Mantua on Saturday, July 12th from 10 am – 6 pm.

In addition, Beth Sluka spoke to Council on behalf of the Mantua Potato Festival Committee. Ms. Sluka requested permission for the Festival to have fireworks at this year’s event. The proposed location across the river from Buchert Park, near the service building, was deemed unsafe, as it is too near the propane pipeline. The Potato Festival Committee will work with the Mayor, Village Administrator, Police Chief and Fire Chief to identify another, more-suitable location.

In other news, the Soapbox Derby will be held at the Buchert Park on Saturday, June 14th. The race takes place on High Street, near the park. Later that month, the Boy Scouts will hold a flag burning ceremony in conjunction with American Legion Post 193 at the Park on June 21st at 11 am. Any wishing to properly dispose of an American flag that has been worn beyond repair is encouraged to bring it to the Park and take part in the ceremony.

In her Financial Report, Fiscal Officer Jenny August reported that $100 was donated to the park fund by Dave Pifer in memory of his sister, Ruthie Pifer Aldrich. In addition, $1,290 was donated to the Cemetery Board in her honor. A public hearing was scheduled on June 17th at 6:45 pm for the purpose of approving and adopting a permanent budget for 2015. This hearing will be immediately followed by the regularly scheduled Council meeting.

Council is entertaining a Resolution for a five-year, 3.85 MILL tax levy for general construction, resurfacing, and repair of streets, roads, and bridges within the Village. The proposed levy would cost taxpayers an estimated $12 per $100,000 home. Lastly, Village Engineer Rich Iafelice reported that his team had visited the water treatment and wastewater treatment plants. They have developed a list of necessary repairs and will work with Council to prioritize the tasks and funds needed. Some of the projects and costs involved may help the Village qualify for a grant through Ohio Public Works Commission.

Councilman Bill Zoller reported, on behalf of the Fire Board, that Mantua-Shalerville Fire Department received an upgrade to its Insurance Services rating. Based on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the best ranking, Departments are judged on performance, speed, efficiency and training. As of May 1st, 2014, the MSFD now ranks at a 4/4y. The last score received by the MSFD was a ranking of 6/9 in 1994.This phenomenal improvement in ISO rating should lead to a decrease in insurance premiums for property owners in the Mantua-Shalersville community.  Residents are encouraged to contact their insurance companies to determine if the new ISO rating will decrease their premiums.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Mantua Village Council is Tuesday, June 17th at 7 pm.


Garrettsville – The Brittany Myers Scholarship Fund was founded in 2001 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 is held on the first Saturday in August.  This event generates the monies for the scholarship program in which two scholarships are awarded each year to graduating seniors at James A. Garfield High School. Students’ GPA, community service, academic and athletic achievements, future goals and a 300 word essay are taken into consideration when choosing the winners. This year’s recipients are Amber Wenger and Cooper Roubic.  Congratulations seniors!

In addition to the annual scholarships, the fund has also contributed to the Youth Softball League and the Special Needs Program at James A. Garfield School.

For more information on the fund raiser, or to make a donation, please feel free to contact Jamie Cain at (330)221-6338.



Geauga County has been experiencing an increase in the needs of families and children in the past several years. This has caused the demand for certified foster and adoptive parents to increase as well. There are many families in crisis in our own neighborhoods that require the supportive services of our agency. You and your family could be part of the support.

Children need a nurturing family that can provide them with stability, love, and guidance, while their own family works on making positive changes, so they can be reunified.

Consider becoming a foster and/or adoptive family for the Geauga County children who need and deserve your support. The agency will walk you through the process of becoming certified, providing support along the way.

There will be an information meeting on Monday June 16, 2014, at 10:00 am, at the Chardon Public Library, located at 110 East Park St., Chardon, Ohio.  Please RSVP by June 13, 2014 to Amanda Ward at 440-285-1205, or email at warda01@odjfs.state.oh.us.


dday2014It’s not “Saving Private Ryan” or “The Longest Day” or “Band of Brothers” but it is a commemoration of one of the greatest military operations in the history of warfare, which we all know, to our sorrow, has stretched across millennia.  D-Day, June 6, 1944 brought together Allied forces from the United States, Canada, Britain and the Free French partisans to storm ashore to begin the liberation of France and the end of the Axis presence in western Europe.  It was preceded by months of code-breaking, prevarication (Operation Bodyguard) and preparation.  It culminated on the beaches (Operation Neptune) — Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, Sword—as part of Operation Overlord.  The greatest seaborne invasion in history is being remembered by world leaders, politicians, royalty, historians, and survivors (About 300 American veterans are expected to attend);  those survivors are growing fewer every year, by the seventy-fifth anniversary of the event, virtually all will be gone.

We have some local “skin in the game.”  Airborne Infantryman Alex Gerez, James A Garfield High School graduate, is  a part of the group that is involved in the  re-enactment scheduled to take place on this historic occasion, probably the last commemoration of its kind.  There will be a mass parachute drop, memorial services, tributes , speeches and remembrances.  Some  650 American military personnel will be taking part in various events.  One of our own carries on his broad shoulders the pride we all feel in the events and outcome of that momentous day so many years ago.

D-Day, June 6, 1944

D-Day, June 6, 2014



Pictured above (left to right) are Eric Eiermann, Ryan Everett, Mark Butto and Nick Crawford.

Garrettsville – Last year, the Street Beats drum line made their debut at Garrettsville Summerfest using boom whackers and performing as an impromptu flash mob through out the entire weekend.  After a few performances, they developed a following and folks began to ask “Who are they? When will they perform again?” This led to a sudden rise in popularity until Summerfest ended, and the group sort-of disappeared as far as the public was concerned.

The Street Beats are a drumming group that was birthed when Nick Crawford saw a similar group at in 2012 while he was on vacation. Nick organized a group of fellow percussionists and began writing music, and doing the choreography for them to practice, with the ultimate goal of performing at Summerfest.  The group held organized practices bi-weekly with many impromptu practices in between and then debuted at Garrettsville Summerfest in 2013.

The original group was comprised of James A. Garfield percussionists, Nick Crawford, Eric Eiermann, Chad Curry, and Mark Butto, however this year they added Ryan Everett when Chad’s schedule no longer permitted him to participate.

Nick was the organizer of the group and has quite a music history. Nick began to show an interest in music at a very early age. He started off playing the piano. In fifth grade, he tried out for percussion for the school band and has been drumming on everything since. Since that time, he’s played with the Notre Dame Indoor Percussion Ensemble for two years. He’s performed in numerous piano recitals. He played at NEOUCOM for a business dinner, played in the high school musicals as part of the orchestra, and for local churches as a substitute pianist. And most recently, he became a member of the Bluecoats Drum Corp.

Mark Butto has been drumming on just about any surface he can find since he was about six years old, when his older brother Nick taught him how to play and he hasn’t stopped since. One time, Mark got four paint cans and practiced playing them (like the quads) and then decided to bring the paint cans in the house and dropped the cans and paint spilt all over our dining room floor. The family got it all cleaned up but he will never live that one down! His teachers say they have to tell him to stop drumming on the desk with his pencil. Mark plays quads in the marching band, drums in the jazz band and drums for the youth band and worship team at his church (Life Church). His newest adventure is playing the snare drum for the Geauga Highlanders Pipe and Drum Band.

Eric Eiermann is the third member of the group. Eric started off playing the trumpet in the school band. In his second year of band, he switched to the drums. He currently plays the snare drum for the James A. Garfield High School Marching Pride and will be a senior next fall.

Ryan Everett is the newest member to the group and will be a senior next fall at James A. Garfield Schools. Ryan is the son of Casey and Shelley Everett and has been involved in music since he was very young. He started with the keyboards; he now plays the drums, the ukulele and bongos. His mother claims it can be a little noisy at their house as he drums on everything, using whatever he can find including pencils, silverware and such. Ryan is unsure what avenue he will take when he goes to college in 2015.

The Street Beats will once again be performing at Summerfest in flash-mob style. Come out and watch these young men as they dazzle you with their drumming talents and choreography. The guys may march to the beat of a different drum but they easily mesmerize a crowd.

Garrettsville Summerfest will begin Friday night June 27th and runs until Sunday night June 29, 2014.



Newton Falls – After weeks of tantalizing tidbits of a ray of sunshine here or a that-IS-a-shade-of-blue sky there, isn’t it… (such a tease, that Mother Nature!) it seems that warm weather is now here to stay and creatures in all shapes and sizes, fur and feather, are getting the chance to come out and play. There is a plethora of events coming up for those of us of the two-legged persuasion, some to aid others, some to entertain, and some simply to help us finally (FINALLY!) enjoy the summery season. Here’s just a few of interest:

*Falls Home Remodeling is teaming up with the Red Cross to host a BLOOD DRIVE on June 9th from 2pm-6pm at their showroom at 104-A East Broad Street in Newton Falls. Those who meet eligibility requirements (17 years of age or older, at least 110 pounds, etc.) are encouraged to come by and help save lives. Be sure and bring a photo ID. If you can’t make this one, there will be another opportunity on June 18th from 2pm-6pm at the Community Center on Quarry Street. For more information about eligibility or to make an appointment in advance, call 1-800-RED-CROSS.

*From donating blood to kicking cancer’s tush: another great cause to help in the fight to save lives is coming to Newton Falls starting at 6pm on Friday, June 13th. The American Cancer Society’s RELAY FOR LIFE will be held at the NF High School throughout Friday night and into Saturday. To find out how you can help “create a world with less cancer and more birthdays,” or to buy a luminaria in advance, visit www.relayforlife.org or call Tristan Codner at 1-888-227-6446 ext. 2226.

*More summer fun traditions continue in downtown Newton Falls with the annual CAR SHOW which is celebrating its 28th year of lining the streets with classic vehicles on June 21st. Entrant registration starts at 9:30am and ends at 2pm with 131 trophies being awarded at 6pm. There is a $10 fee for show car parking/registration – as always this is a free event for spectators. Forty different classes will be spotlighted in one place! As if that isn’t enough shiny painted hoods under one afternoon sun, there’s a new class this year: Micro Cars! The event will also feature a Chinese auction, 50/50 raffle and a benefit raffle, proceeds of which go to the upcoming Fourth of July celebration. (I expect my favorite attraction, the coinciding Strawberry Festival sponsored by the First Christian Church, to return again this year as well, and you can bet I’ll be making a beeline right for the shortcake and ice cream smothered in juicy red berries. Mmmm.) And for those fans of the two-wheel variety, the bike show is the next day. For information, call Tony Sabo at 330-360-4546 or visit www.NFJULY44444.com.

*FIREWORKS, fireworks, fireworks! And a parade, of course, but the big news is always the Newton Falls fireworks, and on Friday, July 4th, the Community Center is the place to be for the yearly hoopla of carnival rides, games and music culminating in the light show across the heavens once night falls. Come for the morning display of firetrucks, floats and marching groups bedecked in festive colors starting at 10am and check out the rest of the fun activities until 10pm when all eyes will be on the sky!

*There’s always something going on at the Community Center, and when the July 4th festivities are done that “something” will be made a little bit more special by the Parks and Recreation Committee who are planning a unique event for the end of summer. An opportunity to raise money to maintain the parks, a WINE TASTING is scheduled for August 16th on the grounds outside from 2pm-11pm. More information will be available as preparations progress, but the organizational committees are expecting to invite Ohio wineries to participate and have already scheduled a band, G-Force, to provide music throughout the evening.

Whether you’re on vacation for the season or just have a day to take a break, Newton Falls has plenty to offer a quick get-away this summer.



Newton Falls – On Saturday, May 17th  American Legion Post 236 with the assistance of Boy Scout Unit 67 placed flags honoring the veterans at the Newton Falls Westside Cemetery.  About 25 people showed up and worked through the chilly air, rain and some even toughed out the hail to get the job done.



WINDSOR, ONTARIO  —  Hiram College Alum and former Head Swimming and Diving Coach Jack Groselle ’76 added to his already impressive world record total this season with three more records in the 60-64 age group which he set at the Windsor Masters Swim Meet in Windsor, Ontario.

Groselle posted world record times in the 200-meter individual medley (2:24.75), the 200-meter freestyle (2:05.07) and the 100-meter free (55.87 seconds).  His time in the 200-meter IM bettered the previous record by over a second (2:25.98) which was held by Timothy Shead.  His mark in the 100-meter free improved upon the previous record of 56.63 seconds turned in by Richard Abrahams and his mark in the 200-meter free surpassed his own record time of 2:06.13 which he set earlier this season.

Groselle ended up competing in a total of seven events at the meet, posting the top time in each race, with additional victories in the 100-meter IM (1:06.10), the 100-meter butterfly (1:04.05), the 100-meter breaststroke (1:12.38) and 50-meter free (25.59 seconds).  Three of his four times in these events were within a second of breaking the current world record and he was within 1.5 seconds in the other event.

“This was a really good meet for me and I am very happy with the results,” said Groselle

Earlier this season, Groselle had world record times in the 200-meter free (2:06.13) at the “Milford Meltdown” in Milford, Mich. on March 16.  Prior to the meet in Milford, he recorded his first record-setting performance of the season back in early February at the 27th Annual “Super” Swim Meet in Brighton, Mich. in which he swam a time of 4:35.15 in the 400-meter free.

Groselle, a 1976 graduate of Hiram, was a standout collegiate swimmer.  He was the Division III National Champion in the 50-meter free in 1976 and was a two-time All-American in addition to being an two-time All-Presidents’ Athletic Conference award winner and the PAC Most Valuable Swimmer (1976).  Groselle held as many as six school records during his collegiate days and currently still owns the school record in the 50-yard free (21.20 seconds) which he set in 1975.

He recently stepped down as Head Swimming and Diving Coach at his alma mater after a combined 22 seasons at the helm.



continued from May 16th edition….

Though the film’s opening scenes chronicled events that happened on the grounds of Kent State, production took place on location at Hiram College because, our handlers said at our inquiry, Kent’s campus has changed significantly enough over the thirty years that Hiram’s facilities were closer to what Kent had looked like back then. In any case, I had just returned from my own small college out-of-state, so I felt right at home as a campus coed.

All of my scenes took place in the evening and since we needed hours of dark sky to allow for multiple takes, our filming schedule reflected the nighttime requirement. Though most of the production people reported at the crack of dawn, ready for a long day, my first call time wasn’t until 4pm. That didn’t mean I had it any easier, however, as I wouldn’t leave set until the wee hours of the next morning. Good thing I’d had practice staying up late (and being productive while doing it!) pulling study all-nighters during the previous semesters.

When not on set, we were kept in a “holding tank” in one of the campus’s lecture halls and every so often an assistant would come in and say they needed five or ten or however many extras for a given shot. Whoever volunteered first to follow the assistant would be led to wherever they were filming at the moment and instructed on where to stay and exactly what to do. Eager to participate, I was always one of the first extras to line up at the door and it completely perplexed me that many of my fellow background-fillers didn’t seem to care if they ever went to set, preferring to lounge in the lecture hall seats and chat with each other! While we waited for the next assistant to show up, we were kept entertained by a DVD playing on those oversized television carts, staples in public school classrooms, and stayed awake by munching on whatnots from the snack table (known in “the biz” as “craft services”). At one point when the assistant arrived, I excused myself from the conversation I was having with the girl next to me and asked if she was going too. Her response was that she wanted to find out what happened to the squad captain of the cheerleading flick we were viewing. I remember thinking “Did you come here to watch a movie or be IN one?!” Needless to say, it was the latter for me and I fully planned to take advantage of every moment so I enthusiastically went down the steps with the other extras who had gathered at the door. Ironically enough, at that particular instance we were directed to the college’s auditorium and, once placed in the theatre-style seats, told that for this scene we had to pretend we were watching a movie on the big screen and that while we were minding our own business, the main characters of the film we were making would be racing through the aisles and trying to stir up trouble.

So two girls I’d never met before that moment and I had to act like we were friends out for a fun evening, clinking soda bottles and munching on popcorn while we “watched” the fake show. The prop department provided us with authentic vintage items such as classic Coke bottles that were still intact with the liquid inside after all these years. WHATEVER YOU DO DON’T OPEN THE BOTTLE! We were told. Apparently simply holding it was enough to make the atmosphere seem real. But we were allowed to eat the popcorn, billowing out of era-appropriate containers, which I suspect was swiped from the craft service table anyway. The hardest part of the evening was that, although this particular scene was meant to be less than a minute or so of screen time, we spent four hours filming it due to all the different camera angles that the director wanted to employ, which involved far away shots, cuts to different parts of the theatre, and a series of close-ups when each actor said their lines. Four hours filming a scene… that eventually didn’t even get in the movie! When the final product was released the next year, the movie theatre scene had wound up on the cutting room floor!

Luckily, that was not the only scene I’d participated in as I had four more days of filming, all with later call times than the last. In what was quite possibly the most affecting situation for the storyline that I would be a part of, all hands were on deck in the middle of the campus green. All the extras, some dressed as students like me, some given helmets and unloaded rifles to represent National Guard soldiers, faced each other in the commotion that was to simulate the riot which would set off the rest of the events in the movie. Though we were all uncredited, nameless faceless surroundings, the director singled out a few of us to portray brave students who would break through “enemy” lines. Moving quickly through the group of appropriately-clad young adults, he pointed to this one and that one, and his assistant would tell “This One” and “That One” the choreography of the path they would run in order to ensure the effective placement of the cameras as well as for the safety of all involved. The guns may not have had live ammunition in them, but it would still hurt if one’s face smacked into the barrel while dashing around. After watching four other people become the featured few, to my delight the director soon turned to me and said “You! In the bandanna!” and with that I unofficially became “Girl in the Bandanna #5” and was given instructions on how to run through two very tough-looking soldiers and past the camera crew. I waited for my cue and while the others were waving large protest signs (provided by the art department) and shouting chants about love and war, I took off where I was told, secretly hoping I wouldn’t pull a Cinderella moment and leave my sandal in the mud for a crew member to trip over. (Thankfully, I didn’t.)

There are several other noteworthy instances, but quite possibly my favorite one of the experience was the last scene we filmed that week. It was already 2am and this time a group of us were seated on the hillside listening to one of the main characters played by Meredith Monroe (famous most recently as Hotch’s wife on Criminal Minds) quite determinedly protesting the use of napalm during the Vietnam War. After the protest, Jonathan Brandis’s character walks from the hill to talk with her, picking his way through the extras sitting on the grass, but he had to start his path off scene for the camera to catch him mid-stride so the director made him back up and back up and back up…. until he backed to where I was sitting and stepped right on my bare toe! Once we had been placed we weren’t allowed to move, or make noise, so I just had to wince from behind him. But hey, it wasn’t so bad… how many people can say Jonathan Brandis, the hot former-child star, stepped on her toe?

Shortly thereafter we all followed another actor, Jay R. Ferguson, who had been riled up by the protest and decided to burn down the ROTC building nearby, encouraging us all to run after him. The climactic part of the scene involved him breaking a window and throwing a small torch inside. In the movie this is quite an effective moment, but I try hard not to smirk when I remember seeing a fully-geared up firefighter crouching inside waiting with a fire extinguisher to snuff out the torch the second it cleared the window.

The director had been concerned we would not wrap the scene by the time the sun came up and we would lose the dark of night. By now it was after 5am and the sky was just starting to lighten. We all waited as the director’s assistant yelled “checking the gate!” to make sure the shot was clean and then shortly after we all cheered as “gate is clean!” was announced. After the wrap was official and I made my way to my car parked near the actors’ trailers, I happened to walk right by Meredith at her door. In my one groupie moment of the whole experience, I mentioned I was a fan of her work as Andi on Dawson’s Creek and requested a photo, to which she kindly obliged, even enlisting a crew member friend nearby to snap my camera. In many old-timey Hollywood movies, the iconic ending scene involves the characters riding off into the sunset, but as I drove off, the sun rose in my rear-view mirror, setting in mind a chapter in my story I will never forget. And, if I ever do, it’s immortalized on the silver screen so all I have to do is watch the DVD!


Mantua – Specialist Adam Scott Hamilton was one of the top marksmen in his unit and was assigned as a sniper. Since joining the U.S. Army in March, 2009 Specialist Hamilton has been awarded the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal. But he was more than that to Crestwood student Nick Krestan — Adam was his big brother. Three years ago, when Nick was a student at Crestwood Intermediate, he and his classmates wrote letters to Adam, sharing what they were learning in the book, On the Wings Of Heroes  by Richard Peck. Nick’s class, and the entire school, read the book as a part of the school’s first One Book, One School program that year. Unfortunately, Adam, who was serving in the US Army in Afghanistan, died in battle on May 28th, before he had the chance to meet his brother’s classmates at CIS. Adam was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart and NATO medal. He was 22 years old.

At the time of his death in 2001, a tree was planted in his honor on the grounds of the school. This past Friday, Adam was once again honored by Crestwood Intermediate School when his memorial was dedicated in the presence of his family. The dedication coincided with the closing event of this year’s One Book, One School program, which again featured Peck’s book, On the Wings of Heroes.

“It fills our hearts to know that these communities wrap their arms around and comfort us. It’s wonderful how much people care,” beamed Adam’s father, Scott Hamilton. “Memorial Day is so much more than hot dogs and a day off. It’s so important to help keep Adam’s memory alive, and all the other men and women who are lost.”  After the dedication, Crestwood students, the Hamilton family, and area veterans enjoyed a jalopy parade similar to the one described in Peck’s book.

As spectators waved American flags, the Crestwood marching band led the parade, which also featured Army vehicles and classic cars. Through their month-long literacy program, CIS students and staff raised money for the National Museum of the U.S. Army in Virginia. In addition to a financial donation, two bricks will be placed in the Museum’s walkway — one in honor of Mantua veterans, and one in honor of Specialist Adam Hamilton, with the designation ‘On Wings of Heroes’ to commemorate this year’s program. In addition, students and community members have the opportunity to register veterans into the National Museum of the U.S. Army soldier database. The Soldier’s Registry provides an opportunity to recognize and honor soldiers who are currently serving or have previously served in the U.S. Army, Army Reserve, or Army National Guard. The Soldier’s Registry will be prominently displayed at The National Museum of the United States Army, and is available at no charge. For more information, visit armyhistory.org.

“It’s amazing how they were able to bring students in touch with what happens during war,” continued Hamilton, noting that the U.S. has been engaged in war in the Middle East for over ten years. “There are a lot of families impacted,” Hamilton noted, “but events like this can effect them in a positive way.” He expressed his hope that some day, some of today’s students might return here to share his son’s memorial, and today’s experience, with their own children.

Specialist Adam Hamilton is survived by his parents Scott and Connie Hamilton of Kent and Nancy Krestan, of Mantua; as well as his siblings Nick Krestan; and Brandon, Shawney and Taya Hamilton. In his honor, the family has created the Adam Hamilton Memorial Academic and Athletic Scholarship Fund. The Fund helps keep his memory alive through recognizing major accomplishments of Kent Roosevelt students, where Hamilton graduated in 2007. Each year, the Fund awards two $10,000 scholarships – for graduating male and female Kent Roosevelt High School students. For more information, call (330) 274-2961.


Mantua – At the last meeting of the Crestwood School Board, the 2014 District retirees were honored for their combined 255 years of service in the District. Middle School Principal Julie Schmitt, Intermediate Principal Michelle Gerbrick, Director of Pupil Services Mike Maglionico, and past School Board member Martha Phillips spoke on behalf of the retirees, sharing laughter and a few tears as they thanked their colleagues and wished them well. Superintendent David Toth remarked, “I’d like to commend these people for their efforts and dedication and thank you for your service. You’ll all be missed.”


Crestwood District retirees Patricia Eskridge, Pamela Braden, Mary Lou Bernotas, Edward Nichols, Janet Wilkins, Gerrie Zimkosky, and Eileen Shahan were honored at the last School Board meeting. Retireees Theresa Duesing and Rick Hall were not present that evening.

Next up, District Treasurer Jill Rowe presented an updated five-year-forecast for the district. The forecast represents budget cuts and payroll reductions, as well as considerable savings in forecast healthcare costs. Regarding the improved budget, Ms. Rowe stated, “It took a lot of hard work to get here.” In similar news, Superintendent Toth shared that he and his team had completed several grant applications that would help provide Crestwood with resources to become a 21st century learning campus.

The Straight A grant is valued at between $1 million and $15 million, and could provide funds for online courses, STEM classrooms, and resources for a media center that would be available to the community. Other grants include a federal health and wellness grant to cover the cost to employ additional therapists and guidance counselors to the District, and a grant to fund a K-grade four summer reading program. Grants will be awarded later this year. Mr. Toth explained, “It’s part of my job, and my team of administrators, to find money to help our kids and teachers to the betterment of Crestwood.”

In other news, Primary School Principal Cindy Ducca and Intermediate Principal Michelle Gerbrick explained the latest changes and how their schools are working with the Third Grade Guarantee. They highlighted plans to help those students in danger of scoring below the acceptable target reading scores, and outlined the many ways the school is currently intervening and providing additional support to the students and their families. In addition, a summer reading program has been implemented. Afterward, School Board member Dave Becker commented about the dangers of becoming too test-focused, stating, “We want to develop a love of reading, not a fear of testing.”

Later, Crestwood High School teachers Angus McDougall and Sarah Moore shared their thoughts on teaching the American Experience Academy, a cross-cultural class in experiential learning. According to McDougall, the class helps students develop a unique skill-set that helps them, “engage with learning.” McDougall shared that the program benefits the district in many ways, including as a collaborative opportunity among other buildings within the district, serving as a field trip destination for classes at the Intermediate School. In addition, next year’s program will incorporate a journalism element, where students will write articles and shoot photos about various aspects of the Academy.

The next regularly scheduled school board meeting will be held on Monday, June 2nd at 7 pm in the High School Library. In addition, previous meeting minutes and video recordings of school board meetings can be viewed at crestwoodschools.org.



Mantua - The story of the Four Chaplains will be presented by the American Legion Post #193 of Mantua, on Sunday June 8, 2014 at the First Congregational Church of Freedom at 10:30a.m.

On February 3, 1943, the U.S.A.T. DORCHESTER, torpedoed by an enemy submarine, tragically sank. Of the 902 young men on board, only 230 survived.  672 young men paid the supreme sacrifice. Included in the 672 were Four Men of God — a rabbi, a Roman Catholic priest, a Methodist minister, and a Dutch Reformed minister – – all Army Chaplains.

These Four Chaplains gave their lifejackets to save four soldiers and, in so doing, gave up their only means of survival. They were last seen on the deck of the ship with their arms linked together and their heads bowed in prayer as they went to their watery graves in the North Atlantic off the coast of Greenland. Each chaplain received the Purple Heart and Distinguished Service Cross posthumously.

The four Army Chaplains were: George Fox, Alexander Goode, Clark Poling, and John Alexander. They calmly guided men to their boat stations, opened a storage locker and distributed lifejackets. Then they coaxed men, frozen with fear, over the side. Soon the supply of lifejackets was exhausted. Several survivors report watching in awe as the Four Chaplains gave away their own lifejackets.

These four men of God had given away their only means of saving themselves in order to save others. The chaplains gathered together, and led the men around them in a prayer and a hymn. They linked their arms together as the slant of the deck became severe. And just that way, with their arms linked in brotherhood and their heads bowed in prayer, they sank beneath the waves.

This service is a tribute to those courageous chaplains and the 672 brave young men who lost their lives on that fateful night. Further, this service honors all those who have served, and whose courage and faith have sustained our country.

Pastors Jim and Janie Melick invite you to come and join us for this special service of remembrance and faith of the Four Chaplains who served God and country with their lives.

The First Congregational Church of Freedom is located at the intersections of State Route 88 and State Route 303 in Freedom Township.


Hiram Twp. – At a recent meeting of the Hiram Township Trustees, there was a brief discussion regarding the tax issue between township employees and the Village of Hiram. Road Supervisor Tom Matota shared some questions raised by his crew. After a brief discussion, it was agreed that Service Department employees would forward their questions to Chairwoman Kathy Schulda, who would, in turn, follow up with Village Solicitor, Thomas Reitz. It was decided, however, that from this point forward, the crew would keep track of the time they spend within the village versus within the township. Further, Fiscal Officer Stan Carlisle will withhold local taxes from each paycheck based on the documented number of hours reported.

In other news, Road Supervisor Matota reported that his crew would begin mowing along roadsides and the cemetery very soon. They had been busy trimming trees and doing patchwork on winter-damaged roads. In addition, Mr. Matota will be working with the league manager to discuss maintenance plans and needs at the township’s baseball diamond in Hiram Rapids. The Port-O-John is now in place near the field. Trustee Steve Pancost will request a copy of the League’s insurance information to be filed.

In old business, the appropriate records have been organized and stored, and those no longer required were destroyed. Fiscal Officer Carlisle will file the appropriate paperwork to document this. The Board of Zoning has been asked to meet concerning distances of oil holding tanks from a home and the FHA VA standards. That meeting was scheduled for June 24th.

Shortly thereafter, the trustees went into executive session. When they resumed, Chairwoman Schulda announced that the trustees have reached an agreement to purchase 31 acres in Hiram Township on State Route 82, west of State Route 700.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Township Trustees will take place on Tuesday, June 3rd at 7 pm. In the Township Hall.


Garrettsville – The May 19, 2014 meeting of the James A. Garfield Historical Society was focused on three main items :

***The Mott building will be open on May 24 during the Main Street CAR SHOW and on June 7 for the regular, first-Saturday-of-the-month Open House from 10:00 to 2:00.

***Many of the surviving documents—maps, abstracts of land titles and transfers, etc.—which had been in the Mishler office, which survived the Buckeye Block Fire, will be coming to the society.  There are records dating back to the establishment of the Connecticut Western Reserve, a treasure trove for research and historical interest.

***Christmas Walk is coming!  The signs need repainting.  The advertising should  begin to be organized, with special emphasis on local and senior groups.  Questions arose as to whether it would be worthwhile to attempt to make transportation arrangements, when these were not fully utilized in 2012.  Valorie McCullough asked if there was a count from 2012 regarding the number of meals and refreshments served.  Inquiries will be made.  The Nelson United Methodist Church will be on the Walk this year in recognition of the celebration of their bicentennial.  All in attendance expressed    appreciation and thanks for the excellent refreshments  donated by the church following the recent historical marker dedication.  They were a great addition to the event.

The winner of the society’s scholarship will be announced at the James A. Garfield High School Senior Awards program on May 28.


Shalersville - Free well water monitoring will be conducted  at 3:15 P.M.,  Sunday, June 1, 2014, at Sand Hill Stable on State Route 303, just west of the 303/44  intersection. Participants are asked to arrive as close to 3:15 as possible.

Trained water monitors from Concerned Citizens Ohio will test for chemicals and salts that can show possible contamination from nearby drilling, injection wells, or pipeline leaks.

These water evaluations are not EPA certified, but they do provide a baseline in the event of contamination. CCO recommends that private water wells should be tested by an EPA certified lab, such as the Portage County Health Department, especially now that new pipeline construction threatens to pass  close to individual water wells.

How and where a water sample is taken is important. If possible, run cold water for a full ten minutes before the water reaches hot water heaters,  softeners, or other treatment. Collect the sample in a clean, large mouth glass jar (such as a mason jar)— at least two cups’ worth.  Names should be on jars.

Since  Sand Hill Stable, our new location, is a private barn, we ask participants  not to disturb any of the animals.  The barn is one of northeastern Ohio’s first examples of 100% use of renewable solar energy, and it is a privilege to be there.

While awaiting test results, Concerned Citizens Ohio coordinator Mary Greer will present an update on county efforts to improve road quality near injection wells, which receive heavy truck traffic, and an update on the monitoring water well program now being designed to alert residents who live near the injection well on Allyn Road in Hiram. the monitoring well program will be similar to the Garrettsville  program, though not as in-depth.

For further information, call Mary Greer, 330-472-8086




Streetsboro – After learning about lemonade stands and fundraising at school, Streetsboro students Bradley Stevens and Owen Murphy enlisted the help of their friends Connor Stevens; Jaedon Keba, Hayle and Mason to launch their own lemonade stand.

Working together these young entrepreneurs raised $80 for the #GarrettsvilleStrong fund! Last Friday Connor, Bradley, and Owen met with Chamber President Benjamin Coll at Middlefield Bank to make their donation.

Scrappers Baseball – Enjoy a baseball game of your choice throughout the 2014 season and help rebuild Garrettsville in the process. Scrappers baseball ticket vouchers are available at the Villager Office (Mon-Wed & Fri 10-5; Thur 12-5 and Sat 10-2) or by contacting Dale Ochwat (814) 853-5095 for $8 each. For every ticket sold, $4 will be donated to #GarrettsvilleStrong.


Garrettsville - After securing ownership of the former Grist Mill last Friday, owner Mike Maschek has spared no time in beginning the asbestos abatement of the property. Crews have been hard at work carefully removing the faded brown siding from the building, and the result is evident.

Once the materials containing asbestos have been removed from the premises, demolition can begin on the two dilapidated structures behind the main building.



Mantua Twp. – In a recent meeting of the Mantua Township Trustees, Zoning Inspector John Dickey reported that he had issued verbal notices to 28 residents for excess, unlicensed vehicles. He also reported that the new signs were now posted in the proper locations at the LaDue Reserve development.

Cemetery Sexton Jim Aldrich reported that he has received $1,065 for foundation fees, 1,925 in burial fees, and $2,540 in grave fees. He also reported that the newly refreshed signs have been set in place. The trustees thanked Mr. Aldrich and the volunteers who accomplished the job.

Frank Horak reported on behalf of the Veteran’s Memorial Committee that they are in the final stages of preparation on the Memorial, and that plans are in place for the Memorial’s dedication on Monday, May 26th at noon, immediately following the Memorial Day parade and ceremony at the cemetery. The committee plans to use the Town Hall to display documents, and ask the Historical Society to open their museum for the occasion.

Later, Trustee Jason Carlton read an email from Assistant Chief Matt Roosa of the Mantua-Shalersville Fire Department asking him to let township residents know that the department received an upgrade to its insurance services rating. The email explained that on average, the ISO evaluates fire departments every 10 years.  The Fire Department was last evaluated in 1994. Based on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the best ranking, departments are judged on performance, speed, efficiency and training. The last score received by the MSFD was a ranking of 6/9. As of May 1st, 2014, however, the fire department ranks at a 4/4y. This phenomenal improvement in ISO rating should lead to a decrease in insurance premiums for property owners in the Mantua-Shalersville community, so residents are encouraged to contact their insurance companies to determine if the new ISO rating will decrease their premiums.

In other news, Fiscal Officer Marie Stehli requested a budget workshop to be held on June 10th at 7 pm, and a budget hearing to be held on July 3rd at 7pm, followed immediately by the regular trustee meeting. In addition, she requested that the trustee meeting originally scheduled for Thursday, July 17th be moved to Tuesday, July 15th due to scheduling conflicts.

Lastly, the trustees discussed the proposed road repair list, estimating that 4.76 miles of township roads will need chip and seal work, and 13.39 miles will require crack seal work.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Mantua Township Trustees will be held on June 5th at 7 pm in the Township Hall.


Last Wednesday, at the rescheduled May 21st village council meeting, council approved Ordinance 2014-13.  The new ordinance will increase water rates 7% on July 1, 2014, another 7% on January 1, 2015 and another 7% on January 1, 2016.  The Ordinance then allows for a 2% annual increase beginning January 2017.  These increases are for water rates only and will not affect sewer rates.  The increase in rates will help build cash reserves that are needed for replacement projects and any emergency repairs.  There are still some sections of 100+ year-old pipes awaiting replacement.

Council did say at the previous month’s meeting that they do have the authority to suspend a scheduled future  increase and said they will if sufficient funds are in reserve for capital improvements and repairs.

Mayor Patrick announced that the Portage County Commissioners awarded a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to the village.  Funds from the grant will be distributed in 2015 and will provide for streetscape improvements on Main Street that include new 14-foot wide sidewalks and new lighting.  The CDBG grant requires no matching funds from the village.  The village applied for the grant as part of an effort to rebuild Main Street after the devastating fire on March 22 that destroyed one quarter of downtown Main Street buildings.  The grant has nothing to do with the GARRETTSVILLESTRONG efforts for rebuilding organized by the Garrettsville Area Chamber of Commerce.

In other business, council tabled Ordinance 2014-14, an Ordinance pertaining to compensatory time, and approved the following: Ordinance 2014-21, pertaining to compensation for the village solicitor when acting as the zoning inspector, Ordinance 2014-22 allowing the mayor and village clerk to sign plats for recording  the Fox Hollow subdivision, and Resolution 2014-23 authorizing a temporary change in employment status for the head dispatcher while she attends the Police Academy.  Council also approved a motion to allow the mayor to accept repaving bids for Brosius Rd.

Mayor Patrick announced that it is a “done deal” and Pizza Hut will be starting construction soon for their new store in the west end of Garfield Plaza.

If you’d like to know more of what is happening in your community attend a meeting.  The next regular Village Council meeting is scheduled for June 11, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. at Village Hall.


Nelson Twp – Officials present at the May 21, 2014 trustee meeting were fiscal officer J. David Finney and township trustees Joe Leonard, Mike Elias, and Tom Matota. Also present were, Roads Supervisor Chuck Vanek, Zoning Inspector Anna Mae VanDerHoeven.

After the meeting was called to order, Finney asked the Trustees whether there were any additions to the evening’s agenda. With no additions made, the meeting proceeded as scheduled.

Eric Thoren, Assistant Chief of the Garrettsville Freedom Nelson Joint Fire District, informed the trustees that the department had been elected to host a water shuttle training session. He was in attendance to request permission to make use of the Pixley Park parking lot to setup the equipment and pump water off. The department plans to shoot water off into the swampy area. Training would be scheduled for 8am on Sunday, June 8th and would last about 2 hours. Matota made a motion to allow the fire department “to do whatever they need to do” for their training exercise. All trustees voted in favor of the motion.

As the next order of business, Finney presented the trustees with copies of the May 7th meeting minutes, as well as the bills & wages to be paid, totaling  $52,103.24. The trustees also received copies of the fund status report; at the time of the meeting the townships pooled funds totaled over $353,584.77. Matota asked Finney to elaborate on a few items in the bills & wages. Elias made a motion to pay bills and wages as presented. All voted in favor.

Finney reported that he will need to make an appointment with the county engineer, as there seems to be a gap in communication regarding the road projects. The township is waiting on the engineer’s office to provide specifications for the roads, a wait that is impeding the township’s ability to set dates for advertising, receiving and opening job bids. Finney also mentioned that the mower and tractor purchase have been moving along thanks to assistance from Matota. Finney spoke with the tractor dealer who said the tractor has arrived and is being prepped. The mower should arrive for it by mid-June.

VanDerHoeven has talked to Lisa at Regional Planning about demolishing the structure (known locally as “the feral cat house”) on Newell Ledge Rd first. The vermin and numerous feral cats in the property are posing a great concern for neighboring property owners. Lisa also informed VanderHoeven that asbestos testing is currently being conducted at all properties. The results should be received by the end of May.

Vanek reported that Pure Ionics had no knowledge of selling the township the equipment in place at the Community House. The company had no record of the equipment. Matota would like to see the old equipment removed, especially if it’s not being used/not hooked up. Vanek also mentioned that his crew was getting things prepped for Memorial Day. They have also begun patching soft spots in roads. Matota asked about the new part-time positions, and Vanek responded that the first new hire is working well.

Elias reported that he had spoken with ODOT regarding Speed Limit on SR 305. He was informed by an ODOT representative that the amount of traffic on SR 305 is insufficient to change the speed limit. They are aware of the Amish population along the road, and the increased foot traffic, which was taken into account when setting the speed limit. ODOT will, however be putting up signs along the road to alert motorists of the presence of pedestrian, and buggy traffic.

Leonard reported that the playground equipment for Pixley Park has been delivered, and is ready to assemble. The goal is to have the equipment assembled sometime in June, and Leonard would like to have as many many volunteers from the community as possible.

Matota reported that he attended the County Engineer Association meeting. He presented the other trustees with information from the meeting.

Leonard reported that the Salt Barn footers are scheduled to be poured during the first week of June. He also reported that there has been some trouble getting people to quote the fuel tank project due to its small scope. The design for the fuel paddock has also changed slightly, which has the bollards moving to the face exterior.

The meeting was adjourned following the signing of checks.


Portage County - This annual race held on the Saturday after the 4th of July is presented by the Portage Park District Foundation, with assistance by the Portage Park District and dozens of volunteers, partners and sponsors.  This years event will be held on July 12, 2014

Go solo or grab a friend and create a team to have a great time for a good cause in beautiful Northern Portage County. The Headwaters Adventure Race starts and ends in historic Mantua Village and involves a 2-mile run on the Headwaters Trail past a State nature preserve, a 10-mile cycle past scenic landscapes and preserved farmlands, and a 5-mile paddle on the lovely Upper Cuyahoga State Scenic River.  Register early if you need to rent a boat; boat rentals are limited to the first 50 canoes and 50 kayaks.

Registration and additional information can be found on-line at http://portageparkdistrict.org or by contacting the Portage Park District by phone for more information: 330.297.7728.


Ravenna - Coleman Adult Day Services is offering an informational session to those Portage County families and caregivers who are feeling the stresses of being the main support of a loved one in need, targeting those who are assisting someone who has Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias. This free event will be held on Tuesday, June 10th at 5:30p.m. at the Coleman Adult Day Services facility, 6695 N. Chestnut St., in Ravenna, near Ravenna High School. A free dinner is included and our staff will also be present to provide care to your loved ones if needed. Although this session is free, an RSVP is required by June 3rd as seating is limited to only 75.

Dr. Jim Collins, Ph.D., is guest speaking on the very serious matters of both caregiver burnout and depression as well as medication misuse among the elderly.  Dr. Collins has taught gerontology, sociology, anthropology, and psychology which paved the way to providing training, education and motivation to senior care companies, hospice, home health care, and hospitals for more than 20 years. He is known for his writings, consulting, and his continuing education classes both live and online.

Dementia is not a single disease in itself. Instead, it’s a collective term used to describe a group of symptoms affecting thinking and social abilities severe enough to interfere with daily functioning. It indicates problems with at least two brain functions such as memory loss, impaired judgment, language, and the inability to perform some daily activities.

Unfortunately, dementia is an incurable disease and can get extremely frustrating. The feelings of anger, guilt, discouragement, worry, and social isolation are very common. However, services and facilities such as Coleman’s Adult Day Services make it easier on the chosen caregiver. They provide an affordable alternative that allows caregivers time for work, personal or other family needs. While at Adult Day, caring and certified professionals will treat your family member like one of their own. They will participate in structured, therapeutic and social activities that are goal oriented for mind, body, and spirit that will provide stimulation and the best opportunity for success for our participants.

CEU certificates for 2 hours will also be available for any nurses and social workers that may need them. For more information regarding the June 10th informational session or to RSVP please contact Coleman Adult Day Services at (330) 296-3214.


Calling all tractor lovers, owners, or those who have access to tractors, Summerfest is looking for you! That’s right — the Summerfest Committee is looking for  tractor owners for the Seventh Annual Tractor Parade held during Garrettsville Summerfest on June 28, 2014 in Garrettsville.

tractor-parade-riderThis year’s Tractor Parade Theme is “Breast Cancer Warrior” and will have everyone seeing pink on  Saturday.  The committee is asking participants to consider decorating their tractors in pink to honor those that have fought breast cancer, those who are in the middle of the battle and those who lost their battle.  Those who have a warrior might want to add a trailer to their tractor so they can bring their warrior along in the largest tractor parade in Ohio.

The parade will be Saturday, June 28th at noon with the line-up beginning at 9am. Once again, they will have the tractor preview prior to the parade’s noon step – off at James A. Garfield High School. One will want to arrive early and take some time to mingle with other tractor enthusiast and show off their “baby.”

Registration for the tractor parade has begun and can be done at Century 21 GoldFire Real Estate at 8028 State Street in Garrettsville. Registration can also be done on-site on parade day.  Just arrive early to get registered.  Questions may be directed to Kathie Lutz (330) 687-5900. Please be aware that drivers must have a valid driver’s license to operate the field tractors on State Route 88.

This year trophies will be awarded in the following categories:

1) Oldest Tractor

2) Most Unique Tractor

3) Best Decorated tractor to the theme “Breast Cancer Warrior”

4) Best Decorated “Warrior Wagon”

This promises to be an exciting event, when tractors of all sizes and ages rumble down the streets of downtown Garrettsville in an all-inclusive tractor parade. Let’s make this the best parade ever by exceeding the record for Garrettsville, which is 220 tractors.

The Tractor Parade is sponsored by Century 21 GoldFire Real Estate

Garrettsville Summerfest is traditionally held on the fourth full weekend in June at the intersection of State Routes 82 and 88 in downtown historic Garrettsville. This year’s festival theme is “Rockin’ to Rebuild”. www.garrettsvillesummerfest.com 


Garrettsville – On May 31, 2014 Laura Peskin will be signing her new book and greeting readers at the Village Bookstore, 8140 Main Street, Garrettsville.  The book, Deep Cover Cleveland: 99 little known things about Northeast Ohio, vol. I, has two full chapters on Garettsville in relation to the gristmill, waterwheel,  maple sugar/ candy industry and Crane family.  The book also has much on Randolph, Mantua, Chardon and Akron.

The first of a series, Deep Cover Cleveland vol. I allows long time residents of a region, as well as newcomers, to view their home with new eyes — with fascinating buried facts dancing before them.  Though the subject matter for this work is not well known, it should be.  Far from bringing trivia to light, Deep Cover Cleveland presents topics of natural, cultural and social import and ties them to larger events in the region and world.  Volume I, spanning geologic time and the last ice age up to the financial depression of 1893, uncovers forgotten facets of Northeast Ohio’s changing landscape, prehistory, Native American heritage, unique architectural history, and more, always keeping the area’s people primary.

Laura Peskin, an almost lifelong greater-Clevelander, has contributed to Ohio Archaeologist and the Ohio Cardinal.   Peskin’s writings have been linked to research websites around Cleveland including those of Shaker Heights Library and Bluestone Heights.  Peskin started her own business in the 1990s and later earned an MA at John Carroll University.

The Village Bookstore is a member of the Garrettsville Area Chamber of Commerce. Your continued support of member businesses helps promote the local economy, and funds many of the community activities you enjoy.

Garrettsville – Garrettsville can’t get enough pizza.

Pizza_HutAt least that’s the point of view of Hallrich, Inc., which is adding a Garrettsville location to its network of Pizza Hut pizzerias. Mayor Rick Patrick said that Hallrich signed ownership papers last week, making the pick-up/delivery drive-through a soon-coming reality.

Garrettsville’s Pizza Hut will be nestled between State Street Salon and Domino’s Pizza on State Street. The new building will include two additional spaces for lease to another fast food franchise or two.

There are already 92 Pizza Hut “InnerCrust” restaurant locations in Ohio, scattered among 24 counties of Ashland, Ashtabula, Columbiana, Coshocton, Geauga, Hancock, Henry, Knox, Lake, Lorain, Mahoning, Medina, Morrow, Ottawa, Portage, Shelby, Stark, Summit, Trumbull, Wayne and Williams, plus the cities of Piqua and Solon, and the Village of Sunbury. Locally owned and operated, Hallrich, Inc. spawned the Pizza Hut franchise in Ohio.

According to company marketing material, parent company Pizza Hut was founded in 1958. It began with two brothers borrowing $600 from their mother to start a pizzeria in in Wichita, Kansas. Pizza Hut has now become the biggest pizza company in the world.

Hallrich Incorporated is the company which bought a modest Pizza Hut franchise and then brought it to Northeast Ohio in 1968. At the time, there were fewer than a hundred Pizza Hut restaurants open nationwide, and the menu featured only three items: pizza, beer and soft drinks. Today, Hallrich employs more than 2,000 Ohioans in a variety of service and management positions.

Hallrich has helped launch two new Pizza Hut concepts; the Italian Bistro and WingStreet eateries, the latter offering a variety of wing flavors, wing meals sandwiches, and entrée salads.  Hallrich continues to revitalize the Pizza Hut brand with new signage, remodeling, and a more contemporary restaurant décor.

In terms of  community involvement, Hallrich supports the Book-It national reading program, offers fundraising programs for non-profits, and makes pizza donations to hot meal programs. Further, Hallrich has donated to the Harvest Program and Alex’s Lemonade Stand foundation to help fight against childhood cancer.

Mayor Patrick says the timeline for groundbreaking and opening of the new restaurant has not yet been settled, but a Hallrich representative will meet with the Village Planning Commission during its next meeting at 7pm on Thursday, June 5.

Garrettsville already has Domino’s Pizza, Zeppe’s Pizzeria, Italian Garden, Cal’s and The Pasta House. But Pizza Hut’s market study determines that this small village has a big appetite for pizza and pasta, and is confident that it will make plenty of room for Pizza Hut, as well.

Garrettsville – The blighted feed mill at the intersection of Main, Center and Water Streets is about to be transformed into a focal point of beauty, usefulness and historic pride. The long-vacant property changed hands last week from principal owner Martin Paul to local developer Mike Maschek.

The current state of the former grist mill. Photo by: Estelle R. Brown

The current state of the former grist mill.

Photo by: Estelle R. Brown

The change in ownership — effective May 23, 2014 — will set in motion a series of events which should result in a fully restored property within six months, Maschek reports. The abatement process of removing asbestos siding, shingles and other hazardous materials is to have started by midweek. Then excavators will demolish the two sagging rear storage buildings which face Water Street and clear the grounds for a green space in time for Summerfest the last week of June.

According to a statement made by attorney Douglas K. Paul, “Plans for the property include the preservation and rehabilitation of this landmark building and property which has served the area for 100 plus years in many different capacities, most recently, and likely the longest, as a grist mill. Earlier plans had called for the building to be demolished. Retaining this building may be an important element in Garrettsville’s historic landscape,  given the recent loss in the historic district as a result of the downtown area fire on March 22, 2014.”

The front showroom facing Main Street is structurally sound and will be restored as a landmark befitting the actual focal point of downtown Garrettsville, Maschek says. Built in 1852, it served the village as a carriage shop, general store and feed supplier before going out of business more than 10 years ago.

Photo of building dating back to the late 1800’s courtesy of the Paul family.

Photo of building dating back to the late 1800’s courtesy of the Paul family.

All subject to approval by standards set for the Garrettsville Historic District, plans call for the renovated building to feature stouter corner posts and a stone front face up to the second floor porch, which will wrap around to the back of the building for a view of Silver Creek. New windows, siding and roof will be installed, all according to historic design and colors of the early 1850s. Plans also call for a four- or five-foot glass-enclosed cupola to be added to the roofline, to light automatically each night as a warm beacon shining over Main Street. The Paul family has also committed to erecting a historic plaque out front.

The interior spaces of the basement, first and second floors — about 3,000 square feet — will be completely remodeled with new heating, electric, plumbing, insulation and drywall to create retail and office space, to be made available for rent or purchase before the end of the calendar year.

“It will be beautiful,” Maschek forecasts. “My goal is to bring Garrettsville’s hidden glory alive; to bring life back into this village and opportunity back to the fire victims who lost their businesses. I want the center of town to be lit up with promise, representing Garrettsville’s best. The fire was terrible for everyone but I believe that God will bring beauty from the ashes. ”

Maschek owns a majority of the block which burned in the March fire, and he expressed a sense of obligation to provide the burnt-out business owners viable options to return downtown as soon as possible. Restoration of the Buckeye Block is moving slowly, with demolition and clearing of the ruins now complete. Soon the vacant lots will be leveled off with soil and seeded with grass. Once the grass is established, the fencing will come down and a green space will be available to the public until rebuilding starts.


Garrettsville – Pictured From Left to Right, are the painters of the new banners hanging in front of James A. Garfield High School: Danielle Konecek, Shannon Stowe, Renee Perrault, Savannah Sheer, Dicey Miller, Edana Rankin, Casey Mansell, Anna Brigham, Ally Milano, Libby Frato-Sweeney, Madisson Geddes, Brittany Davis, Whitney Miller, Todd Barton.  Not Pictured: Madeline Lininger, Katlyn Simpson.

Garrettsville - Take THAT, Creepy Karpis! A northeast Ohio tornado watch didn’t stop interested folks from turning up at the Iva Walker Auditorium on Wednesday, May 15, 2014 to get the low-down on “Two Grants, and Three Giant Leaps” for the James A. Garfield Schools and the Garrettsville Communities.  Perhaps they were reassured by the tommy-gun toting G-Man at the door.  Persons of note from across the county and a gubernatorial representative from Columbus were on hand, as was Mayor Rick Patrick and a spokesman from the Ohio Historical Preservation Office.  Hiram College’s departing president, Thomas Chema bade the district farewell and acknowledged the coming of the college’s first woman president,  Dr. Lori Varlotta, and the willingness of the institution to participate in  the rebuilding after the “Buckeye Block Fire”.

It had all begun with a welcome from Julie Thompson, historian and recent Hiram College graduate, who had organized the evening, and the playing of the National Anthem by the James A. Garfield Band(It was at least partly about a national event, after all).Superintendent  Ted Lysiak gave opening remarks and thanks to the participants and the custodial staff which always finishes up the parade.  Rick Patrick acknowledged the outstanding services provided by the First Responders, from GFNVFD and mutual assistance communities, on the occasion of the fire and recognized the members who were in attendance.  Congressman Dave Joyce was introduced by JAG student Mark Butto and gave remarks of encouragement and support.  Kit Semplak, president of the James A. Garfield Historical Society, greeted the crowd and  offered a glimpse of the history of the lost Buckeye Block; the youngest member of the historical society, Grace Edwards, presented a summary of the Last Great Train Heist and its national     effects.  Then came the re-enactment of the event itself as narrated by Julie Thompson, based on the book by Alvin “Creepy” Karpis, gang leader.  The Garfield drama students in period attire brought the event to life and even hustled some celebrity  hold-up victims across the stage.  These were none other than the current county commissioners—Kathleen Chandler, Maureen Frederick and Sabrina Christian-Bennett.  These worthies, at the conclusion of the re-enactment, unveiled the fact that the Village of Garrettsville had been awarded a CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) to the tune of $75,000 to aid in the re-development—streetscape, lighting, parking, etc.—of the business district.

The wrap-up of the event came after brief remarks by Jonathan Vimr of the Ohio Historical Society when the new state historical marker(which had been draped in a Garrettsville bicentennial throw) was revealed with a flourish by Kit Semplak and Portage County Auditor, Janet Esposito.  Ta-Daaah!

The JAG band played the Garfield Alma Mater.

The great variety of tasty and timely refreshments after the ceremony were graciously provided by the Nelson United Methodist Church.

Thanks to all.


In my spare time I love to run. Whether it’s inside or outside, I just love to set a pace and go, leaving all of my worries behind, it’s a great way to get away for a while. But what does my running have to do with my wine column this week? Well this weekend I ran in the Cleveland Rite Aid 10K and one of the advertisements was a list of 6 races that all have to do with wine!

Napa Valley has a long list of races throughout the Summer and into the Fall. Some of my favorite races include the Napa to Sonoma Wine County Half Marathon that will be taking place on July 20th. This overly popular race requires you to enter a lottery to be accepted into the race. How neat would it be to run 13.1 miles through wine country in California? Or get ready for the Wine Country Half Marathon along California’s Central Coast Vineyards in May 2015. The winner of the half marathon is awarded their weight in wine!

Looking for a few races on the east coast? Head on over to Loudoun County, Virginia next weekend (May 31) Virginia Wine Country Half Marathon. This race has plenty to offer, winding roads, hills and valleys, plenty of scenic vineyards to run through and a lot of champagne to enjoy at the end of your race.

Another great race that is even closer to home is the Farmatholon that is on July 19th this year at Maize Valley Winery in Hartville, Ohio. This is a great cross country race that covers approximately 3 miles or a 5K that has obstacles that are farm-themed. If you have ever heard of the Warrior Dash or other off-road “Mud Race” it is sort of similar to that. For instance they have included hay wagons, both large rounds and smaller square bales of hay, obstacles in the vineyard, logs, barrels, mud pits, farm creeks and more. For details, go to www.maizevalleywinery.com.

Finally one last race that I have to mention is the Geneva Grape Jamboree 5K in September. It’s an easy run, mostly flat ground but the finish at the Grape Jamboree festival is definitely a good motivator to cross the finish line.


Don’t forget Candlelight Winery is proud to be hosting a Food Truck Rally and Music Benefit for #Garrettsville Strong. The event will be held on Saturday, May 31st from 1-10pm! The Rolling Pig, Wholly Frijoles, Zydeco Bistro, Stone Pelican Rolling Cage and Premier Crepes will be serving their specialties all day while listening to local  musicians: Steve Vanderink (playing 1:30 – 3:30), The Usual Suspects (playing 4:30 – 6:30) and Steve Howell (playing 7:30 – 9:30).  Guests will have the opportunity to shop over 15 vendors, enter to win some great raffle prizes and so much more! A portion of the proceeds from the food trucks will be donated to #GarrettsvilleStrong as well as the money raised in the raffle drawings.



Amanda is the Co-Owner of Candlelight Winery located at 11325 Center Road, Garrettsville. For more gift ideas or wine lists from the winery, please visit www.candlelightwinery.com.