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The Great Garrettsville Fire

Certain dates stand out in our collective memories: December 7, 1941 as Pearl Harbor Day; September 11, 2001 as the worst terror attack on U.S. soil. But for Garrettsville locals, March 22, 2014 is branded forevermore as that awful day when the Great Garrettsville Fire brought down the historic Buckeye Block Buildings on Main Street.

What started as a small blaze on the roof behind Miller’s Lawn & Garden quickly spread to become the greatest disaster to befall this historic village. Exhaustive efforts from local firefighters (supported by more than 100 firefighters from 34 neighboring departments) were no match for the hungry blaze which tore through the 1850s-era wooden structure which had just been freshly renovated and fully occupied by a dozen businesses.

Between lunchtime and dinnertime that fateful Saturday, what began as a simple hot seal-and-patch roof repair job became the assumed (although never officially determined) spark for the blaze which leveled the Buckeye Block — all except for the tiny brick and firewalled law office building which withstood the devastation. It remains as a lone witness to the level grassy field on which it now stands, six months later.

As measured by the crowd-filled streets the day of the fire — and the outpouring of support for the community ever since — people here and nearby take the Great Garrettsville Fire seriously and personally. But no one felt the loss more keenly than Mike Maschek, the primary owner of the building. He had just completed the renovation project which had transformed the Buckeye Block Building from a sorry, sagging eyesore to a thriving example of “revival and restoration,” as he called it.

True to form, this man of vision and faith choked back any signs of defeat. The day after the fire, Maschek stated, “To be continued… It’s still all about revival and restoration.”

Funding a Miracle

Unfortunately, Maschek is not a magic man and he hasn’t erected a replica of the Buckeye Block Building within the blink of an eye on that grassy lot. He is, however, a believer in miracles. Maschek says $3-$4 million is required to reconstruct the Buckeye Block according to modern building codes. Insurance payments covered just a fraction of that total, and a government grant Maschek had hoped to secure by now never materialized.

However, an $80,000 grant is promised from Portage County to be used for streetscaping, landscaping, lighting, and infrastructure along the historic district once the reconstruction project is under way.

Maschek is also holding out hope for receiving a generous grant from a private source which would be more than sufficient for reconstructing the Buckeye Block. If that does not come through, Maschek trusts that funds will materialize some other way.

Meanwhile, the community-generated GarrettsvilleStrong Fund, managed by the Garrettsville Area Chamber of Commerce, has accumulated $72,871.87 (as of 9/11/14) in its account. This ongoing fundraising effort will award monies toward the re-building effort once a plan is approved.

New fundraisers associated with GarrettsvilleStrong include:

• Limited Edition T-Shirts sponsored by the 900 Coalition, on sale at The Villager. (Only 100 total T-shirts were printed).

• Harlem Ambassadors Basketball Game, Oct 25 – Five JAG alumni and five teachers will take on the Harlem Ambassadors in a fun-filled family event.  Proceeds to be split between GarrettsvilleStrong and Phase 2 of the JAG Stadium rebuild project.

• Chipotle of Streetsboro fundraiser – (Date and time TBA)

Ongoing GarrettsvilleStrong efforts include:

• Destination Vacations Fundraiser – Michelle Ford at Destination Vacations is offering a $100 donation to GarrettsvilleStrong with the purchase of a 6-day or longer all-inclusive vacation, cruise or Disney trip booked through August 31, 2015. Call Michelle at (440) 391-9896 for details.

• GarrettsvilleStrong Book – Pam Montgomery is creating a book that will contain history about Garrettsville and compiled stories and pictures from people about past events relating to the downtown section that burned. She will also feature a “Main Street is on Fire” section with related pictures and stories. People can submit their stories and may take out advertising at the back of the book, with proceeds helping to pay for printing. Contact Pam at (330) 527-5744 to participate.

•  Photo & Video DVD – Rich Teresi is making a DVD video/slide show of the fire. The DVD will contain about 200 unpublished pictures and 30 videos taken during the March 22nd fire.

Anyone with new ideas for fundraising projects to help fund reconstruction of the Buckeye Block can contact the Chamber at (330) 527-5761 to register with GarrettsvilleStrong.

Revival & Restoration, Continued

Some people are dreamers. Others are doers. It’s rare to find someone who embodies both… and rarer still for that person to be a builder by trade. But Maschek is that rare mix of a man. So, while his property insurance proceeds from the fire were a virtual drop in the bucket toward Buckeye Block reconstruction costs, they were sufficient for generating a new site of revival and restoration nearby.

Just a stone’s throw from the Buckeye Block, at the intersection of Main, Center and Water streets, stands the long-vacant and once-integral hub of historic downtown Garrettsville, last known as Paul’s Feed Mill. The wood frame mill, built in 1852, served the village as a carriage shop, general store and feed supplier before going out of business more than 10 years ago. The mill and its outbuildings were dilapidated, blighted and poised for demolition.

But Maschek saw promise in the mill’s history and its nearly 4,000 square feet of floor space. He saw potential for the Buckeye Block’s business owners to have a new set of options for moving their enterprises back to Main Street within months; not the years it could take for the Buckeye Block to rematerialize if full funding isn’t secured soon. (The construction project itself could be completed within 12 months, from dig to finish, Maschek estimates.)

Maschek took ownership of the mill in May. Abatement, gutting and demolition of the outbuildings began immediately with excavation following, to the tune of $80,000 just to open up 175 feet of frontage for future commercial or residential growth along Water Street behind the mill. Maschek says there is ample space there for two buildings plus a parking lot for up to 18 cars, plus the option of a cantilevered deck that could reach halfway across Silver Creek.

Renovation of the historic mill took shape following demolition, first with the removal of old siding which revealed the original wood exterior and faded handpainted signage from the 1800s (“CARRIAGES, WAGONS AND SLEIGHS,” “SEEDS,” “FARM IMPLEMENTS,” etc.) But that history will soon be re-preserved behind modern vinyl siding of a historic crimson hue.

Meanwhile, a stone front face has been built up to the second floor. New windows and roof have been installed, all according to historic design standards of the early 1850s. Topping it off, a glass-enclosed cupola now accents the roofline, automatically lit every evening as a warm beacon shining over Main Street. The Paul Family has also erected a historic plaque out front.

The mill now features a finished basement with repaired original foundational stonework, a bathroom on each of its three levels, and a warming kitchen on the main floor. Drywalling was being done last week. Painting and siding will follow over the next couple weeks. Historic features of the original craftsmanship remain, including exposed posts, beams, and stone walls. A new concrete patio from the rear entrance leads to a ground-level wraparound porch primarily facing Water Street and the newly-renovated Eagles Aerie across the way. Renovation of the mill should be complete by November, Maschek says.

‘Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day’

While it has been a morale booster for the village to see a central historic downtown building return from the near-dead, its future use is yet to be determined. Maschek’s original intent was to sell the building to an owner who would lease out space to local businesses, with priority access going to any of the dozen burned-out merchants who wanted to return to Main Street.

However, that’s just one viable option. Maschek has an offer from a potential buyer who would use the mill primarily as office space. And although Maschek typically prefers renovating rather than owning buildings, he admits he has grown fond of the mill and would consider retaining ownership to ensure it functions more as a community center. “Everything is conjecture at this point,” he says. “But I am excited about what I’d like to do with the mill. It would change the atmosphere of this community.”

So, there are no final answers yet concerning the future of the mill or the Buckeye Block. The funding status of the Buckeye Block and completion of the mill renovation should both be realized by November. So before the New Year, we may know what direction each is heading. When pressed for answers, Maschek responds, “I know what I need for today. I don’t have tomorrow’s money yet. So I do all I can right now with the resources I have today.”

For now — six months since the Great Garrettsville Fire — Maschek feels, “We’re right on schedule.” Pointing to Ecclesiastes, he says, “There is a purpose to every season. God does things — and allows things — for a reason. ‘There is a time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to weep and a time to laugh’.”

“We can’t live in the past. We can’t live in the future. The time for living — and building — is now, while we have the opportunity, informed by the past and looking forward to the future.”

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Windham Board of Education (BOE) held their regularly-scheduled meeting on August 28, 2014 at the high school.

Melissa Roubic presented the Maplewood report.  The biggest news to report was the summer construction of the animal science lab, is now completed. This is a new program added to the Maplewood Career Center and it appears to be a hit with the students.

The superintendent Gregg Isler reported that the feed back from the animal science program at Maplewood Career Center has been good. He also reported that the district once again is trying athletic passes. Adult passes will be $40 and they will receive 10 passes to use at the sporting event of their choice. Student passes are $25 and again that will get them 10 passes to use at the event of their choice.  Passes are good until the end of the school year.

The enrollment is now down nine students from last year. As of August 28, 2014, there are 585 students enrolled in the district.

Jr. /Sr. high school report was summarized by Mr. Isler as Mr. Chaffee was coaching a volleyball game. Chaffee will email the board members a full report.  Isler stated that Mr. Chaffee has met with all the grades and went over the handbook. Students entering the 6th grade had all the changes mailed out to them.

Mr. Kujala was unavailable for the meeting and turned in a written report.  Kujala reported that they added Cori Morrison to the high school special education services team and added Miss Leah Kook to special education services as well. Kook will work in Katherine Thomas (KT) Elementary in the morning as a 1st grade intervention specialist. She will also work with Miss Kovach in the preschool department in the afternoon.

The spring OGT’s were in and students with disabilities scores had dramatically improved over the previous year. The special services will continue working with these students, helping them improve their scores.

In transportation, Craig Alderman reported that the bus radios are working out well  and have been a great help with communicating. One bus failed inspections over the summer and the district had to replaced door at a cost of $1593.82 in order to bring the bus into compliance. The bus now is in compliance and ready to roll.

In food service, Samantha Pochedly reported that she has met with the manager of Pizza Hut in Garrettsville and they have program that allows schools to use  Pizza Hut’s school-style pizza in their cafeterias. Pochedly says they are working out the details and the school-style pizza meets all the government standards for fat, whole grain and salt.

In other BOE news, the board approved the hiring list of certified substitutes, OAPSE Negotiated Agreement effective July 1, 2014 – June 30 2017, three supplemental contracts and the noncertified substitute list. Lastly, they approved the agreement with Robinson Hospital for athletic training services. The contract is for the 2014-2015 school year and will cost the district $4928.00.

The next BOE meeting is September 26, 2014 at 6:30 pm at KT Elementary.

Windham Twp. – Windham Township Trustees met for the regularly scheduled meeting with trustees Dann Timmons, Brian Miller and Rich Gano in attendance. The township fiscal officer Jayme Neikirk and zoning inspector Joe Pinti were also in attendance. The trustees approved the minutes from the last meeting and they approved the expenditures, before the chairman, Dann Timmons opened up the floor to the political figures who were in attendance.

Auditor Janet Esposito introduced herself and explained all the responsibilities her office handles. Esposito said she has an open door policy. If one has any questions about their property values for tax purposes feel free to give her a call and she will see if there is anything that can be done. Esposito is on the fall ballot for county auditor.

Vicki Kline, who is the current county treasurer and is running for county commissioner, Kline said, her experience as county treasurer will help her be a better commissioner as she now understands how government finances work.

The last political figure is Becky Doherty who is running to fill the seat of Judge John Enlow, who is retiring. Doherty has worked in other counties with prosecutors and believes she is up for the challenge. Doherty would like to establish a mental health and drug court in Portage County.

Former township resident Larry Cogley donated his time to evaluate what would be needed to fix drainage issues at the cemetery.  Cogley presented his findings but was unable to give a cost for the project because contractor’s pricing can vary. The trustees did not make a decision on the issue.

In roads, Brian Miller said salt prices could be an issue this winter.  The trustees voted to sell the old salt spreader.  They also discussed replacing tires on the small truck.  Miller reported that the road crew has been busy ditching and mowing along the roads. Timmons reported that the asphalt had been laid at the cul-de-sac on Frazier Road. When it is completed, the township will add the cul-de-sac to the dedicated road right-of-way.

Josh Johnston was at the meeting and passed out a copy of the townships’ home page of the new web site. www.windhamtownship.org. Johnston created and will maintain the site for the township. Zoning forms, zoning regulations, the minutes from the meeting and other valuable information is on the website.

In zoning, Joe Pinti said he issued two permits for the month of August. The zoning permits and such are available at the township website, but those who do not have internet connection may still get hard copies of the forms etc from the zoning inspector.

Rich Gano reported that currently the Move Ohio Forward Fund has not released any more money. Gano also suggested a tornado siren be installed out in the township near Bryant Road so residents in the area could be alerted. The cost for the entire project is $22,000. The trustees will consider it. Gano also suggested that they find a place to install the hydrant they bought a few years ago. Timmons said they will see if they can find a convenient place for it.

The chairman opened up the floor to the residents. One resident asked the trustees to consider changing their policy on rehiring employees each year and only offering a one year contract. The resident said it was unfair to the employees and it also made it difficult for the employees to obtain loans and such when they only have a one year contract. He also pointed out that none of the other townships in the area does that anymore. The trustees will take the idea under advisement.

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

New-Hoses

Garrettsville – The Garrettsville-Freedom-Nelson Joint Fire District is pleased to announce we have been awarded a Federal AFG (Assistance to Firefighters Grant) by FEMA for 2014. The grant was submitted last year, with an extensive selection process taking place before acceptance or declination by FEMA. The grant was proposed and awarded with the purpose of replacing a significant percentage of our fire hose inventory that was manufactured as early as 1984 (and non-compliant with NFPA fire code). The grant was awarded at $24,901 with a 5% contribution by the fire district. This means the fire district only paid $1,245 for $24,901 worth of equipment. Actual amount of FEMA money awarded to the fire district was $23,656. The grant replaced 500 feet of 1 ¾’’ (diameter) hose, 1,600 feet of 2 ½” hose, 1,500 feet of 3” hose, 2,000 feet of 4” hose, six nozzles, and three siamese adapters. No grant writing costs were incurred due to all grants being collaboratively managed by fire district employees. All received equipment has been placed into service with our thanks to FEMA.

Melana-Good-Picture-2-1Garrettsville – The Friends of Melana Foundation was formed 3 ½ year ago in Garrettsville to help foster awareness and provide funding for children’s glioma brain cancer research. The local foundation was named in memory of nine-year-old Melana Matson whose life was claimed by the disease in 2009. Founded by Garrettsville residents Norm and Joyce Fashing, Melana’s grandparents, the group has raised nearly $60,000 in funding for children’s glioma cancer research, the second leading cause of cancer deaths in young people.

Glioma brain cancer research has been grossly under funded for decades and children diagnosed with the disease had been basically given a death sentence. Children stricken with the disease are unlikely to live beyond five years, and with some as little as nine to twelve months from date of diagnosis.

In 2011, the Friends of Melana joined forces with their parent foundation, the Cleveland based Prayers From Maria Children‘s Glioma Cancer Foundation. The two non-profit groups pool their resources and have, to date, awarded two $100,000 research grants as seed money to researchers. The start up funding is necessary to establish promising preliminary research data before being considered for a government continuation grant. The first grant went to Cleveland MetroHealth Medical Center and the second to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.

Both grants have produced some very positive results. The MetroHeath group has been awarded a $3.3 million continuation grant from the National Cancer Institute, and the Boston group has finally been able to take biopsies from gliomas in children without causing fatal harm, and has also developed treatments for two of the five mutations that have been identified and commonly found in children’s gliomas.

On September 8th it was announced that the Melana Matson Memorial research grant of $250,000 was awarded to Dr. James P. Basilion, associate professor of radiology and biomedical engineering at Case Westerm Reserve University.

Although the Friends of Melana Foundation is a small, grass-roots non-profit group working in a basically rural geographical area in northern Portage County, the group is highly regarded by the parent foundation because of its efforts and contributions to the cause. In recognition and appreciation for Friends of Melana’s contributions, the Children’s Glioma Cancer Foundation will name the next grant ‘The Melana Matson Memorial Grant’, the first grant awarded in honor of a stricken child.

According to Friends of Melana President Norm Fashing, “We are very excited, truly blessed, and honored by this recognition. It gives us a shot in the arm to keep us going in the fight against childhood cancer. No other child should have to go through what Melana had to endure with this deadly disease.”

Friends of Melana is a partner with the Prayers From Maria Foundation, a 501 C3 non-profit foundation, www.stopkidscancer.org. Donations towards further research can be mailed to: Friends of Melana, P.O. Box 204, Garrettsville, Ohio, 44231.

mantua-pie

Mantua – You might say that the Rotary Pie Auction at the Mantua Potato Festival was a “Smashing” success. Unexpectedly, it became a “pie in your face” experience for some.  That is, if you were willing to up the ante and pay extra bucks to put a pie in the face of the famous baker. At the suggestion of the auctioneer bidding started out at $250 per pie but then he surprisingly upped the stakes to $500 “if you would like to put the pie in the face of the baker”.  At least three people stepped up and did just that.  $500 was paid to “pie in the face Police Chief Harry Buchert (right), and the young children of School Superintendent Dave Toth seized the moment to “pie in the face” dear old  Dad (above).  A crowd of  100 or more looked on and was thoroughly delighted by the antics of the bakers and the buyers.  It is a credit to our community that these two leaders so good naturedly stepped up to the plate (pie).

Some of the comments overheard from the crowd were: “This was so much fun; it was good to see so many community leaders on stage having fun. What good sports these community leaders are; We had a great time, be sure to do it next year; I didn’t know that Rotary did events like this.”

A total of about $3,000 was raised by Rotary’s Sandy Verduin who engineered the Pie Contest.  The profits will go to send young adults to the RYLA leadership camp.

riteaid

Garrettsville – All that’s old is new again at your neighborhood Rite Aid.

The store, located at 10764 North Street for nearly two decades, earned a Wellness Renovation that brings shoppers a more inviting, personalized experience to their store and pharmacy experiences, aimed to improve their overall health. Of 25 stores in the northeast Ohio district, this is the fourth to receive the Wellness Renovation.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at 10am on Thursday, September 11, including cake and refreshments for customers throughout the day. This will kick off a three-week Grand Opening featuring special promotions and sales.

The five-week renovation process has resulted in a new color scheme with wood grain accents; a more open floor plan with warmer lighting and wider aisles for improved product visibility; pharmacy discounts; and new product categories, including gluten-free foods, an organic section and a $1 aisle. Immunizations are also available at the pharmacy for the flu, shingles, whooping cough, pneumonia, and measles/mumps/rubella.

A new Wellness Ambassador role has also been added to the staff, so a customer assistant is on the floor at all times, available to help customers find products, look up their Wellness Points, or assist at the pharmacy.

Store Manager Tammy Fitz says that she and Pharmacy Manager Julia Polz are also hosting quarterly health & wellness events. The first event is a free health screening, 12noon-4pm on Saturday, September 27. Nurses will be on hand to provide free assessments for blood pressure, kidney function, glucose and cholesterol levels.

Renovations have been ongoing since July 21. The final touches should be made late this week, with a recoated parking lot and new lights.

“This ushers in a new customer experience,” says Fitz. “It’s cleaner, brighter and updated. Once you get re-oriented to the new layout, you’ll appreciate being able to see everything better and find items more easily.”

The new and improved Garrettsville Rite Aid also has extended pharmacy (and drive-through) hours: 8am-9pm Mondays through Fridays; 9am-6pm Saturdays;and 10am-6pm Sundays. The front end store is open 8am-10pm daily. Call (330)527-2828 for more information.

“It’s friendly, it’s bright, it’s more convenient than ever,” Fitz says. Welcome to the new Rite Aid.

Geauga County Auditor Frank J. Gliha announces that 2014 is a Triennial Update year for Geauga County. Based on our analysis and analysis of the Ohio Department of Taxation we have come to the conclusion that the property values set in 2011 have met the goals and standards sought by the Ohio Department of Taxation for the 2014 Triennial Update. With the exception of a few condominium complexes, the property values that were put in place in 2011 will remain until2017 when the next county-wide reappraisal will occur. During the week of September 8, 2014 the Appraisal Department will have appraisers in the office to discuss any questions taxpayers may have about the 2014 Triennial Update.

Our office has analyzed the relationship of the market values carried by the Auditor’s Office to the sales prices that have occurred over the past three (3) years. The Auditor’s Office utilized several software programs in concert with its G.I.S. System to perform quality control with the understanding that establishing property values is an important and sensitive issue. These quality control measures assist our staff in insuring that fair and equitable values have been placed on every property.

Auditor Gliha reminds residents that the Auditor’s Office will have extended hours on the week of September 8th to help answer any questions property owners may have. Besides the normal hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday -Friday, the office will also be open Wednesday evening September 10th until6:00 p.m.  The office is located in the Courthouse Annex, 231 Main Street, Suite 1A, Chardon, OH 44024-1293 or can be reached by calling: ( 440) 279-1600.

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“Many of the events of the annual cycle recur year after year in a regular order. A year-to-year record of this order is a record of the rates at which solar energy flows to and through living things. They are the arteries of the land. By tracing their response to the sun, phenology may eventually shed some light on that ultimate enigma, the land’s inner workings.” 

 – Aldo Leopold, A

 

Phenology for September in Portage Parks

•  Days becoming shorter – 1 hour and 18 minutes  less daylight by the end of the month

•  Autumnal Equinox – First Day of Fall – Sept. 23

•  New Moon – Sept. 9th

•  Full moon (Full Corn Moon or Full Harvest Moon) – Sept. 24

•  Danger Danger…..Yellow jackets, hornets and wasps become aggressive! (change in their diet)

•  Trees are beginning to change color, their true color. Generally you can identify different species by their fall color:

Maples – Red/Orange   Ash – Maroon

Tulip Poplar – Yellow    Hickory – Yellow

Red/Scarlet Oak – Red/Copper

White/Pin Oak – Red

•  Bucks begin to shed their velvet in preparation for the rut.

•  Fall migration begins for many birds. Look for large flocks of birds congregating including Blackbirds. Swallows, Vultures, Swifts. Flycatchers, Thrushes, and Warblers making their way south through Towner’s Woods and Dix Park, waterfowl and shore birds on the mud flats and waters of Berlin Lake, Lake Pippen, and Seneca Ponds, bat migration begins for several species including the Red bat. Several hawks and some Falcon species will be making their way south including Broad Wing hawks, Sharp-shined hawks, and Merlins (falcon). Keep an eye out for Night Hawks as they pass through.

•  Wildflowers in bloom include: Several species of Goldenrod, New York Ironweed, New England Asters, Flat top Asters, Boneset, Chicory, Evening Primrose, Bull Thistle, Cattails, Nettles, Wingstem, Great Lobelia, Teasel, Rattlesnake Master and several sunflower species.

•  Mushrooms in the woods include but not limited to : Indian Pipe, Chicken of the Woods, Bears Tooth, Velvet Foot, Jack-o-Lantern, Old Man of the Woods, Hen of the Woods, and Puffballs.

•  Wooly Bear caterpillars begin crawling. What will they tell us about the up-coming winter? Monarch butterflies making their way to Mexico. Check out Swamp milkweed for evidence of these magnificent insects.

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Local students ages 14 through 18 have the opportunity to participate in Northeast Ohio Medical University’s (NEOMED) inaugural Brain Bee, a competition that will test their knowledge of neuroscience.

The Brain Bee will take place at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015, at NEOMED. The overall winner of the competition will receive an all-expenses paid trip to the National Brain Bee Competition in Baltimore, Md., for themselves and their support team.

The International Brain Bee was founded in 1999 and is the worldwide neuroscience competition for high school students. The competition motivates students to learn about the brain and inspires them to pursue neuroscience careers to help treat and find cures for neurological and psychological disorders. Brain Bees test student’s knowledge of the human brain including such topics as intelligence, emotions, memory, sleep, vision, hearing, sensations, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, schizophrenia, epilepsy, depression, addictions and brain research.

Monthly Saturday tutoring sessions are available to help students prepare for the Brain Bee. Tutoring sessions will occur from 9 a.m. to noon on Sept. 20, Oct. 25, Nov. 22 and Jan. 10 at NEOMED.

“Participating in a regional Brain Bee is a great way for high school students to foster academic relationships with neuroscientists and meet students with similar interests from other local high schools, Dana Peterson, Ph.D., M.Ed., assistant professor of anatomy and neurobiology, said. “We are excited to offer monthly preparatory Brain Bee sessions that will begin this August.  We see these sessions as a way to extend and reinforce these important mentoring relationships between NEOMED faculty and staff and area high school students.”

Students may register at www.neomed.edu/admissions/programs/brain-bee   <http://www.neomed.edu/admissions/programs/brain-bee>.  For more information about the Brain Bee, please contact Dana Peterson, Ph.D., M.Ed., assistant professor of anatomy and neurobiology at 330.325.6476 or dpeterson@neomed.edu.

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Starting September 2nd, according to the Mantua Shalersville Fire Department, State Route 44 will be closed just North of Canada Road as ODOT repairs the bridge. These bridge repairs are estimated to take 75 days. In order to keep MSFD response time to a minimum, the Department has opened a temporary, second station for the duration of the project. (See story page 1).

Similarly, the Village has elected to pursue a proposed levy on the November ballot to generate $75,000 per year, for a total amount of about $375,000 over the next five years, to fund necessary road improvements. Mayor Linda Clark noted that 100% of the revenues raised would be dedicated for the construction, reconstruction, resurfacing and repair of streets, roads and bridges in the Village. To find out more about this issue, residents are invited to attend a public meeting in Councils Chambers on either September 16th at 6 p.m. or October 21st at 6 p.m.

During the Public Comment portion of the meeting, council heard from several residents regarding ongoing water drainage issues. Residents’ specific issues were heard; Village Administrator David Akerley shared the village’s plans for catch basin repairs in nearby areas he anticipates will help remedy the situations. In addition, Mayor Clark commended Mr. Akerley and his team for exemplary service during the recent water main break, sharing similar sentiments from residents who called and wrote notes of appreciation.

In other news, Council approved participation in a Volunteer Day on August 25th, and agreed to allow volunteers to scrape and paint the red and white street markers along Main Street to Second Street. Volunteer Day was part of Portage County’s Celebration Week. In addition, Council also approved a request from DMRC for volunteers to repair and paint the Village of Mantua sign that was erected to commemorate the Village’s Diamond Jubilee. The Village has agreed to supply the tools and paint required to complete the project.

Lastly, Boy Scout Dan O’Sickey asked council for permission to construct two or three large benches along the Esker Trail in Mantua Village to earn his Eagle Scout rank. The benches would be constructed off-site using materials donated by the Red Gate Saw Mill in Mantua. Council approved his request, and O’Sickey and his crew of volunteers will have the benches installed by October 8th. The Esker Trail is located behind the Water Treatment Plant near the Cuyahoga River in the southwest portion of the Village. The trail is named for the eskers, or deposits of sand and gravel that dropped through ice tunnels in a melting glacier. These ridges, in the shape of long serpentine mounds, were deposited throughout the region during the Pleistocene Ice Age. The Esker Trail is located in the southwest corner of the Village near Mats Road, and runs between a small lake and the Cuyahoga River. In 2011, Eagle Scouts Cash Harris and Kyle Wright constructed an observation deck at the Esker Trail.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Mantua Village Council will take place on Tuesday, September 16th at 7 pm, immediately following the proposed road levy informational meeting, which begins at 6 pm.

 

It’s that time again.

School has begun and so have a number of other activities.  Most of them could use some volunteers to keep things moving along and produce the best outcomes for all concerned.

Booster groups of every stripe need help in their fund-raising  activities.  Picture yourself hustling hot dogs at a game or topping off a root beer float for sale to a thirsty customer.  Statisticians and scorekeepers are frequently in short supply—the season gets longer with every game gone by and more looming into the winter. The chain gang at football games is NOT made up of elves who live under the bleachers, you know.   Somebody has to help with and/or supervise the clean-up—indoors or outdoors, a mess is a mess.  Tickets must be sold and accounted for.  Merchandise, ditto.  Elementary schools have activities going on all of the time that could use a little adult supervision and contribution…of course, it behooves one to act like an adult and actually be a  desirable role model in addition to counting coupons or putting up pictures, or whatever.  Act responsibly so kids can see how it looks; they get enough of the bad stuff on TV.

Community groups—Lions, Rotary, Kiwanis, Eagles, Masons& Eastern Stars, church folks, etc.—are always looking for help and support.  New in town?  Show up to make new friends and get all of the latest on what’s happening around and about(The jungle telegraph has direct lines to many of the most active).  Have you a hobby?  Dollars to doughnuts there’ll be someone around who shares your interest, or would, if you’d get out and promote it(I’m still mulling over an offer to take up horseshoes).

There are things to do, places to go, people to see.  In the immortal words of Auntie Mame, “Life is a banquet and most poor fools are starving to death”.

You could at least try an appetizer.

 

fresh-start

The Rybak family enjoys lunch & breakfast at the same time, as breakfast is served all day long at the Fresh Start Diner.

Garrettsville - “We start every meal fresh so you can start the day fresh.” That’s a fitting motto for Fresh Start Diner, which quietly moved into 8126 Main Street in downtown Garrettsville one month ago.

Owner Andy Olson brought the independent franchise to town after working eight years as head cook and assistant kitchen manager for the Chagrin Falls Fresh Start Diner. Co-owners Ken Frankenberry and Bob Wyman started the Fresh Start franchise in Twinsburg, then added the Oberlin and Chagrin Falls locations. Olson worked at the Twinsburg location before Frankenberry and Wyman purchased it.

Olson realized it was time to start his own business when his old friend and fellow cook, Jeremy Quiggle, mentioned he was looking to sell The Pasta House building and equipment at this location.

Olson was raised in Windham Township and now resides in Shalersville, so Garrettsville is familiar territory for him. He went with a soft opening for Fresh Start Diner rather than a big publicity splash, so he and his staff could ease onto the community, work out kinks without much ado, and gain a solid clientele through word of mouth.

The approach seems to be working. The dining room on late Monday morning was bustling, drawing college kids, senior citizens, couples and families for home-made breakfast and lunch entrees made from fresh ingredients, served promptly by pleasant wait staff.

The plentiful breakfast and lunch menu includes gluten-free, vegetarian and multigrain options to accommodate various dietary restrictions and preferences. And while it features traditional diner fare, it offers creative options for discerning palates, like mocha multigrain pancakes with real maple syrup, home-made home fries, and quality breads.

Olson did note that certain food choices are more popular in one location versus the other. Perhaps it shouldn’t be too surprising that the Garrettsville group orders more meat and potatoes while the Chagrin Falls clientele prefers fresh fruit and cottage cheese.

The Fresh Start concept is simple, as stated on their website: To provide our customers with a high quality dining experience. We offer plentiful portions of delicious, freshly prepared food at reasonable prices, in a clean setting, with friendly and attentive service.

Fresh Start Diner in downtown Garrettsville is open Mondays through Saturdays, 6:30am-2pm; and Sundays, 8am-2pm. Breakfast is served all day long while lunch is served 10:30 to closing time. The diner can be reached at (330) 527-2700 or at  freshstartdiner.com.

Andy Olson invites you to come on in. Because it’s always the right time for a Fresh Start.

sthelensunicycle

In days gone by, St. Helens Unicycle Drill Team was known for putting Newbury, Ohio on the map and they were the highlight in many parades all over the country.  The group traveled all over the United States performing in Richard Nixon’s and Jimmy Carter’s inaugural parades, Orange Bowl half-time, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and even at the Cotton Bowl. They were one of the most watched parade entries, besides the large balloons in the New York parades.

They were famous. They were seen on television shows like Good Morning America, Real People, Big Blue Marble, PM Magazine, To Tell the Truth and ASAHI Japanese Television. They had arrived, so to speak.

The unicycle team did more than just ride; they did many stunts as well. They would do ramp jumps over people, play football on the high rise ones, jump rope on a unicycle and do some juggling. They also did some choreographed riding and even  did some stunts with a basketball. Back in the day, they might hold a bar on the shoulders of the riders of two moving unicycles and have someone doing basic acrobatic moves, like hanging upside down on the bar while riding. They were very talented and were often sought out for parades and events.

The current team is young. Many of the riders have only been riding for a few months but have the drive and potential to develop into solid cyclists in time. They claim it takes 10 -15 hours to learn to ride a unicycle and longer to master the basic skills like step-mounting, and rocking. Both skills are needed to ride well. This team is not yet to the caliber of the team of yesterday, but they will get there. The team from the 1980’s had mastered 12.5 feet tall cycles and some could ride the 23 feet tall units, while today’s team highest is  9 feet. In the meantime, they keep practicing to advance their skill level.

A trip to visit the team at practice was enlightening. Some of the parents there were riders of the 1970’s. They shared memories they had, like traveling around the country and seeing things they never would have gotten to see. The long- time friendships were discussed as well as building teamwork skills and discipline. Nancy Newport Winters said she loved it and helps train the new members, along with the other parents of the young riders.

It all began in 1965, when the parish’s priest, Rev. James J. Moran aka Father Moran   purchased a single unicycle for physical education class. Every student who went through the school had to be able to ride a unicycle around the gymnasium at least once. The skill caught on and the children began riding them in parades, thus The St. Helen’s Unicycle Drill Team was born. Folks who saw them in parades began referring to the school as the “school on wheels.”  Fr. Moran founded and directed the team; he also set  the guidelines. His most famous saying that encompassed the spirit of the team was “ If you’re not here for the Glory of God and St. Helen,  then get off the bus!

The group began performing in 1965 and continued until 1993 when the group disbanded.

In 2013, a group of former students of St. Helens gathered for a reunion and  they decided to resurrect the unicycles. Steve Kekedy was one of the folks  interested in seeing this group return and helped organized a make-shift drill team that rode in the 2013 Maple Festival in Chardon of that year. They began practice and soon the children of the adult performers of the 1970’s and1980’s began cycling. Later in 2013, they appeared in the Newbury Memorial Day Parade and were spotted at Middlefield Summerfest Parade as well. They were making a come back.

The group has continued to grow and once again is being sought out for parades and such. In 2014, they were seen at the Maple Festival in Chardon, Garrettsville Summerfest, and Middlefield Summerfest as well. If you missed them and would like to see them again they will be at the Potato Festival Parade in Mantua, on September 7, 2014, Brimfest in Brimfield, on September 20th and at the Grape Jamboree in Geneva on September 27th and 28th. More information and questions about the team can be directed to Steve Kekedy at 440 708-6324.

ShpCopHiram – It may seem early to be thinking about the Christmas season, but a good cause requires extra time and commitment. That’s why the Hiram Police Department and the Village of Garrettsville are teaming up with a Shop With A Cop Car Show on Saturday, September 6, 9am-2pm.

The car show will be held on Hayden Street, which will be cordoned off for the event from the Hiram Post Office at State Route 82, all the way up through the Hiram College campus, to Hinsdale. The free event will feature antique and classic cars and trucks lined up along the street, door prizes of merchandise from local sponsors, a 50/50 raffle, trophies, a deejay, music, food trucks, Maggie’s Donuts and family fun. No pre-registration is required to show your car. Just show up that morning to be included, says Hiram Police Chief Ed Samec.

The Hiram-Garrettsville Shop with a Cop program benefits underpriviledged children and families in the Crestwood and James A. Garfield school districts, giving children the opportunity to go Christmas shopping for themselves and their families alongside local police officers and volunteers.

Chief Samec says that counselors and administrators from the school districts will select six students from each district whose families are experiencing severe financial hardship. Each of these students will be  given a $250 budget for Christmas gifts for their parents, siblings and themselves.

“These kids go onto the Christmas season knowing they won’t have any gifts,” Samec explains. “But when they learn they’ve been selected for this program, you should see the looks on their faces, see the hugs they give to the volunteers who help them shop for gifts. They have nothing. They are so excited to buy gifts for their family members, they forget to pick anything out for themselves. That’s the furthest thing from their minds.”

The goal is for every child to enjoy the holiday season. So fundraising events are coordinated by Chief Samec and Garrettsville Mayor Rick Patrick throughout the year to bolster the Shop with a Cop fund so more underprivileged children can receive gifts this coming holiday season. Local sponsors pitch in with donations of cash and merchandise.

In May, a pancake breakfast featuring a special visit from the Easter Bunny generated nearly $800 toward the fund. Chief Samec has also applied for grant money to bolster the fund. For three consecutive years, this program has benefitted from a Hiram Trust Grant valued at $2,000.

Mayor Patrick, whose name is synonymous with car shows & cruises, says, “Our police departments work hand-in-hand so the Shop With a Cop program can help out more families in the area. Children come to us with a wish list, and we take them to the Streetsboro Kmart to fulfill their wishes as best we can.”

2014 marks the third year for the Garrettsville-Hiram Shop With a Cop program. It’s the second year for the car show, but it was such a great success last year — raising $865 — it’s expected to be an annual event. Each year, the program grows to help more families. In 2012, eight families benefitted; in 2013, 10 families were included; in 2014, 12 families will be helped. But Chief Samec says there is still a long line of deserving families he’d love to be able to assist.

“The way the economy has been, I don’t see unemployment numbers improving much. Statistics seem to say that unemployment numbers are improving, but it’s actually just that people have run out of unemployment benefits and they no longer qualify. But jobs are still hard to find and people are still having a hard time.”

So come on out to the Shop with a Cop Car Show in Hiram on Saturday. It’s more than fun and games. It’s a meaningful way to create happier holidays for neighbors in need.

 

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Kent –  REALIZE Firearms Awareness Coalition in conjunction with the Northeastern Chapter of A Girl and A Gun are hosting the Fashion Show event at the Tanglewood Country Club in Chagrin Falls, Ohio  the evening of  September 17th.     Live models will demonstrate a variety of concealed carry options for women.

REALIZE Firearms Awareness Coalition is a not for profit organization based in Portage County that spends their time and effort on gun safety, gun education and public Pro Gun Awareness.   This is just one of the many ventures that they put forth in a year.

The fashion show is something new, something different.   From purses to shirts, holsters to underwear, the live models will demonstrate how well designed clothes and accessories allow quick access without advertising that a woman is carrying a gun.  The intent of the fashion show is to highlight that there are many different  ways to holster a firearm safely and go about one’s day.   Manufacturers such as Urban Moxy, Designer Concealed Carry, Deep Conceal,  Undertech Undercover, Silver State Apparel and more are submitting items that keep a weapon from standing out or telling the public “she’s got a gun”.    As the twelve live models make repeated trips down the runway, the audience will see both the unique and expected.

Amanda Suffecool – Director of the not for profit group REALIZE firearms Awareness Coalition stated “This is different, bigger than any other Fashion Show for Concealed Carry firearms that we have heard of or seen.   Carrying a loaded firearm is more challenging for women than it is for men,  as women dress differently.   This show is intended to show what you do not/cannot see;  that even though you feel it stands out,  you really cannot see it.   Women put a gun on their person and are sure that it is screaming “GUN” and that is not the case”.

The event will be filmed and produced into a TV ready Docu-Educational event that will then be shared across the county.   Women’s shooting organizations are lining up for their copy of the DVD to host their own virtual Fashion Show at an event in their circle of influence.   At this point, more than 3000 women from clubs and organizations from Maine to California are on the list and waiting for ability to host their own local fashion show.

The event starts at 6:00 pm with an informal mix and mingle. At 7:00 pm the fashion show begins and the event ends with drawings for a number of pertinent and impressive door prizes.    Go to www.REALIZEfac.com for more information about the fashion show and the organization.

 

The Mantua Farmer’s Market sponsored by Christ Lutheran Church would like to thank all the vendors who have participated thus far.  The market continues on Saturdays until September 27th with room for more vendors.  Price is $5.00 per date with all vendor fees going into the church’s Handicapped Entrance Fund.  This project was recently completed and is a great asset to the church.  The market is held in the church’s parking lot at 10827 North Main Street, Mantua.  Call 330-274-2868 for more information.

Chagrin Falls -  Cleveland is well-known for its vibrant art & culture scene. More artists are thriving in Northeast Ohio, making it an amazing community for artists and buyers. In September, the Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show will be launching their newest show in the Chagrin Falls area.

In the past, the show has been in Rocky River, Solon, Columbus and most recently, Cleveland Heights. Now, Avant-Garde is expanding to more locations due to its growing popularity.

Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show’s founder, Becki Cooper, is proud of the show’s growing popularity. “I think our show is a unique addition to Cleveland’s growing art scene. The different vendors bring a unique twist on their goods, giving the show a quirky and fun twist.”

Keeping with the Avant-Garde theme, there will be a wide variety of goods like wine bottle lights, art, jewelry, home goods, adorned clothing and more. The different goods create a great experience for the customer. “It’s great to be able to choose from such a wide variety and range of artists and crafters,” said Jordan Anders, a longtime supporter of Avant-Garde Art & Craft Shows. “At the last show, I picked up a beach glass necklace, homemade dog treats and decorations for my latest apartment! It’s hard to leave empty handed!”

Another reason the show keeps growing is because of their dedication to support the local community. A part of this show’s proceeds will benefit the American Heart Association’s Annual Heart Walk. “Heart disease affects many people and we’re very excited to support such an important cause” says Cooper.

This year’s Chagrin Falls Fall Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show will be held at Federated Church- Family Life Center located at 16349 Chillicothe Road, Chagrin Falls, OH 44118 on Sunday September 14th, 2014 from 10:00am-5:00pm. Tickets are $3 at the door and children under 12 are free.

Attention all singers!  The Hiram Community Chorus, made up of the Hiram Women’s Chorus and the Hiram Men’s Chorus, will begin the fall season with a rehearsal on Tuesday, September 9, at 7:30 pm, in Frohring Music Hall on the Hiram College campus.    New members are welcome, and no audition is required.  The Men’s Chorus is directed by Jose Gotera, who teaches voice at Hiram College and Cleveland State, while appearing as a soloist around the area.  The Women’s Chorus is directed by Damaris Peters Pike, Professor of Music Emerita at Hiram College, where she teaches two courses each year and directs the community choruses.

The Fall Concert is scheduled for Friday, December 12, at 7:30 pm, in Hiram Christian Church.  Titled “The Sounds of the Season,” it will feature traditional Christmas songs along with a variety of other music.  Anyone with questions about the choruses may call Professor Peters Pike at 330.569.7643.

cops-fishing

Hiram – The Hiram Police Department held its  Third Annual “Cops and Kids”fishing day event at Camp Asbury on Saturday August 23rd. The event was a huge success! The weather was perfect, participants caught lots of fish, and plenty of new friends were made.

“Cops and Kids” fishing day presents an opportunity for area children to enjoy the day fishing with police officers of the Hiram Police Department.  The event builds lifelong bonds between children and police officers. Parents are encouraged to attend the event, as family unity is also a part of the program. Every child that attended the event received a free Zebco fishing rod/reel combo, an event T-shirt. Thank you to Haylett’s BP for supplying lunch at the event, Buckeye Worm Farm for supplying the bait, Camp Asbury for hosting the event for the third year in a row, Berg’s Eye apparel for the wonderful T-shirts, Great Lakes Outdoor Supply for their sponsorship, and everybody that came out and spent the day with us.

The Hiram Police Department will be holding a Car Show on September 6th. on Hayden Street in Hiram Village from 9am-2pm.  (Story Here)

It is said that the show must go on and, despite quite the heavy down pour, the show certainly did just that at the Portage County Randolph Fair which recently showcased locals “Livin’ the Dream 2014” during its 156th season.

Clear skies and sunshine shone at various points during the weeklong festivities, encouraging visitors to take their time perusing a wide variety of skills on display ranging from handmade crafts and artwork to homegrown and kitchen-preserved produce to aptitude with raising and training animals.

Though there were exceptional events continually on the schedule, a few days were designated with special themes such as the Kids’ Day on Thursday, which is when those same sunny skies opened up for an impromptu rainstorm unfortunately drenching the spectators but fortunately serving as a way to cool down the late summer heat. Nevertheless, those present enjoyed the cornucopia of offerings that included amusement rides, a K-9 demonstration, mini horse shows, Little Squirts tractor races and “make and take” activities geared just for the younger crowd. Friday acknowledged senior citizens and veterans with free admission and spotlighted entertainers reminiscent of the good ole days such as Elvis (well, an impersonator at least) and the not-at-all-minuscule sounds of the Akron Big Band.

Festival fans had the opportunity to explore the plethora of participants throughout several different styles of venues whether in the barn stables corralling cows (beef and dairy alike) or the aforementioned mini horses and their not-so-mini counterparts; livestock pens housing sheep, goats, pigs and even alpacas; or exhibit buildings presenting everything from flower arrangements, sewing selections and fine art to a veritable rainbow of delectable edibles in the form of jams and jellies, wine (red, white, blush and dessert subcategories just to name a few), right-off-the-tree-or-bush fruits and the freshly made pies and pastries that go with them. Due to the recent trend in home brewing, a new category may be created next season for homemade beer as well giving a new twist to look forward to for those who make a tradition of fair attendance year after year. And for an extra taste of creativity, “art” projects combining ingenuity with natural materials found right in one’s garden allowed viewers to look at vegetables with a new perspective as a barrel-racing scene made out of a cucumber obstacle course was run by a cherry tomato-topped peapod “cowboy” riding a corncob “pony” protected by a green bean “fence” while another tongue-in-cheek landscape depicted an iceberg (of iceberg lettuce, of course) obstructing the world’s most famous cruise ship. The scarecrow army returned as well with one section portraying straw-stuffed likenesses of prominent inventors in history.

Regardless of which roof the products were under, ribbons were awarded fair-wide in several classes and categories and the recipients’ entries were proudly tagged with an array of blue, red, white and yellow, with large purple ruffles designating a Best in Show.

Other honorable mentionables to notice while meandering along the grounds were humorous competitions such as a rooster crowing challenge and costume contest for various types of four-legged friends in addition to the grooming games and live races that required humans and animals to team up their talents to succeed in their endeavors. Grandstand crowd favorites returned with tractor pulls, bull riding and the quintessential smash’em ups that feature the brave contestants in the Demolition Derby. And if the flashing lights and noisy sound effects didn’t draw attention to the giant contraptions on the midway, the temporarily thrilled (or terrified?) shrieks of the carnival kiddies riding high above the numerous food stands certainly did. It wouldn’t be a county fair without plenty of snack choices, namely those that are fried or on a stick, to munch while enjoying an afternoon of being hoisted by a colorful metal apparatus into the air and any festival veteran knows that successfully combining both without some kind of messy aftermath is a talent all its own!

To learn even more about this long-standing fixture in our nearby farming world, or to find out how to be involved next year, visit http://www.randolphfair.com/ or call the fair office at (330) 325-7476.

 

According to the Mantua Shalersville Fire Department, as of September 2nd, State Route 44 will be closed just North of Canada Road as ODOT repairs the bridge. This road closure is estimated to take 75 days. In order to keep MSFD response time to a minimum, the Department has opened a temporary, second station for the duration of the project. This temporary station is located north of the construction area, at F&S Automotive, to aid the Department in providing services to residents north of the construction area. Two firefighter/paramedics, a fire engine and an EMS unit will staff this satellite location. The main MSFD will maintain normal staffing of four, as well as the remaining equipment at their permanent location south of the village on State Route 44.

In the course of the last township meeting, trustees asked for an update on the Township Hall repair project from Cal Brant, the owner of Brant Carpentry. He let the trustees know that a swarm of honeybees had recently relocated themselves in the attic of the building. As a beekeeper, Mr. Brant is confident in his ability to successfully remove the bees and complete the project. Mr. Brant reported that the project is progressing, and that he anticipates completion of repairs and residing of portions of the exterior of the building by the end of fall. To continue moving forward, Trustees approved a motion to set aside $6,000 for Township Hall improvements. It was noted that Brant Carpentry donated roughly $800 of work on the project thus far. Mr. Brant also reported that the new exterior siding has been received, and asked that any volunteers willing to help prime or paint siding for the project should contact him at (330) 274-3538.

Next, Brian Tayerle reported on behalf of the Service Department that although weather has delayed chip and seal work, road repairs would begin soon. In addition, he reported that his two-person department would like trustees to investigate the potential of hiring a part-time person for the winter months to help ease the burden of plowing township roads. Mr. Tayerle stated that eventually, he’d like to expand the Service Department back to three people, as it had been previously. Trustees agreed, discussed options, and agreed to bring more ideas and suggestions on the issue to their next meeting. In addition, Mr. Tayerle noted that the Service Department has been stocking grits, which will be stored for winter, and mixed with salt to help extend the Townships salt supply during the coming winter months.

Trustee Jason Carlton noted that the price of road salt for Mantua Township and the 20 other communities participating in the ODOT salt bid was 300% higher than last year’s prices. Suppliers state that their salt mines can’t meet the increased demands, as communities in Ohio and surrounding states, still stinging from last year’s brutal weather, have increased the tonnage of salt they hope to order. Trustees agreed to join the ODOT bid at a reduced quantity, and will continue to investigate alternative sources to purchase salt at a more reasonable rate.

Lastly, Trustees Festa and Carlton revisited the public comment rules and procedures prior to opening up the floor to allow for such comments. Per Mr. Festa, “a trustee meeting is no place to promote vendettas or personal agendas.” Mr. Festa voiced his opinion that responses of that nature were, “uncalled for, and a disruption of the meeting.” Mr. Carlton concurred, stating,” We want to hear what you have to say, but everyone should have the same opportunity.” He urged that respondents keep their township-related comments brief to allow all residents who wish to comment an equal opportunity to do so. In addition, he reminded those in attendance that public comments are not a mandatory part of township trustee meetings, and as such, all parties commenting should do so in a respectful manner.

The next meeting of the Mantua Township Trustees will be on Thursday, September 4th at 7:30 pm in the Township Hall.

 

Garrettsville-Hiram Rotarians were treated to a surfeit of riches in the area of interesting and relevant speakers  at their meeting on August 18, 2014.

They heard first from District Governor Mike Devanzo from the Medina club  who thanked members for being a part of the great sharing  of time, talent and treasure which is the spirit of Rotary.  His encouraging vocal exercises led him to announcements about the upcoming “Dine to Donate” event on October 23(the day before World Polio Day) co-ordinated with local Bob Evans restaurants, and the District 6630 foundation day on November 9.  This led him to Rotary’s new focus on increasing membership and boosting Rotary Foundation contributions.  In aid of this, Rotary Days, with featured activities in area clusters will be highlighted this year.  Rotary offers many opportunities to serve, locally, statewide, nationally and internationally.  The sum is greater than its parts.

Next up was Chris Scheuer, “the Y Guy”, who will be co-ordinating programs and activities out of the former Garfield Intermediate School on Park Ave., Garrettsville.  The roll-out will be accomplished “with all deliberate speed” based upon the expressed desires of the community.  So far, the flag football, youth soccer and Jr. Cavaliers have been well received.  Child care registration is on-going; information is available at childcarereg@clevelandy.org or by calling 216-263-6860.  Active adults will be next  on the menu and their ideas and requests are being sought; the website www.clevelandymca.org could be helpful or the local operations director, Kim Curry is also a resource (kcurry@clevelandymca.org/ 330-367-9720).  More input, more volunteers are being welcomed.  There is an open house on Park Ave. on Thursday, August 21.

Third presenter of the meeting was Michael Charney, candidate for the State Board of Education in District 7.  He is an experienced educator with insights not only in his field but into the workings of the political and legislative processes which go into the functioning of the State Board of Education.  The current member  representing District 7 is not a graduate of public schools and is, in fact an advocate for private schools, charter or for-profit.  Mr. Charney proposes shining a light—lots of light—on the workings of the non-public, non-accountable schools receiving public money and wasting it.  He has also been active in the formation of the Cleveland Teachers’ Institute aiming to expand the capabilities of educators in Northeast Ohio.  Accountability is an across-the-board goal.

After all that, the Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary Club voted to sponsor the Dictionary Project in the third grade of the Garfield Schools to give every third grader a dictionary of their very own.  What an encouragement!

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Discover the Crooked River –  9/6/14 9:00am – 2:00pm

Join Park District volunteer naturalist on a leisurely float down the Cuyahoga River enjoying the last days of summer. Meet at Camp Hi and we will be shuttled to Eldon Russell Park and make our way down to Camp Hi looking for king fishers, beaver, and maybe a river otter. Please call Camp Hi 330-569-7621 to register. Cost is $15.00 which covers the cost of the shuttle and canoe.

 

Meet the Beavers  – 9/7/14       Breakneck Creek     6:30pm-8:30pm

Make your reservations now for a night at the beaver lodge! Maybe not  AAA rated, but luxury accommodations  for our furry friends. Join a Park District volunteer naturalist as we discuss this industrious creature and hopefully see them preparing for the winter at one of three active beaver lodges located at Breakneck Creek.

 

Geology of Towner’s Wood and Lake Pippen – 9/14/14  Towners Woods  10:00-12:00

What is the origin of Lake Pippen and why is it significant. What evidence or clues might lead us to think that the glacier did indeed leave its mark on Towner’s Woods. Come and join the Park District volunteer naturalist let’s see what we can find.

 

Whats in Franklin Bog?  – 9/28/14   Franklin Bog   2;00pm -4:00 pm

No its not Bigfoot or the Creature from the Black Lagoon. Maybe buried treasure?   Join the Park District volunteer naturalist and we will search over hill and dale, well, actually, a “bog” to see what hidden gems might be lurking there.

 

Don’t forget to participate in the Wild Hikes Challenge.  More information can be found on-line at http://portageparkdistrict.org

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Mantua – At the last meeting of the Crestwood School Board, Principal Cindy Ducca introduced two new teacher recently hired to the district: Miss Amanda Marlow, who will teach kindergarten, and Miss Tessa Mannarino, who will teach first grade. Next, Middle School Principal Julie Schmidt introduced new hire Dave Verhotz, whose focus will be on science. Lastly, High School Principal Dave McMahon introduced several new staff hires, starting with CHS alumna Jessica Mazanetz, recently added to the roster, covering AP US History and AP Government. In addition, Mr. McMahon congratulated Erin Miller, the new Choir Director, and welcomed Assistant Principal Craig Boles. Mr. Boles joins Crestwood after completing his internship in Administration at Waterloo, where he taught health and physical education. In addition, he is a former football coach. Lastly, Superintendent Dave Toth welcomed back former retirees Kristy Jones and Betty Minor, who will be returning to the Crestwood District this fall.

In addition, Mr. Toth shared that during the summer, the Technology team has installed chrome book computer labs at the Primary, Intermediate and Middle Schools, and has added 16 more wireless access points at locations throughout the high school. In addition, he shared that the Ohio Department of Education has changed the requirements for graduating seniors. While the number of credits required for graduation remains the same (4 units each of English & Math, 3 units each of Science & Social Studies, ½ unit each of Health & Physical Education, and 5 electives), new tests and an exit exam will be implemented, as well as a points system, details of which will be forthcoming. These new requirements will take effect for the class of 2018.

In other news, Transportation Manager Bill Andexler announced that two new buses were purchased for the District, and will be in service for the coming school year. In addition, parking lots district-wide have been sealed and patched in preparation for the coming school year.

This Sunday, August 24th, from 5-8pm, Crestwood Schools will hold Community Day at Crestwood High School. Come for an evening of family fun, including bouncy houses, magic, balloon twisting and face painting. A pep rally will begin at 7pm. In addition, the fire and police departments will give tours of a fire truck and police car, and local organizations will be on hand to share community information. Please bring extra school supplies and new or gently used backpacks to “Stuff the Bus” for less fortunate families in the community.

Lastly, Open House is on Monday, August 25th — Crestwood Primary and Intermediate Schools will be open from 5 – 7 pm, while the Middle and High Schools will be open from 6 – 8 pm. All Students’ begin the 2014-2015 school year on Tuesday, August 26th.

The next regularly scheduled School Board meeting will be held on Wednesday, September 3rd in the CHS Library at 7 pm.

 

The James A. Garfield Local School District has got a TON of things—programs, activities, competitions, etc.—coming up.  Here’s a quick look; check the district website for more info or watch for stories in The Villager.

8/20—the Elementary School addition is to be finished – Frantic activity

8/21—the Steering committee tours the facility –   Frantic activity

8/23—the State Superintendent inspects the facility – Frantic activity

8/25—Faculty and staff arrive to gird up their loins for the coming year – Frantic activity

8/26—Students(grades 1-12) return, full of p&v and potential  – Frantic activity

8/28—Kindergarteners enter, wide-eyed and wondering

9/1—Labor Day, no school  – Deep breath

9/15—Waiver Day, no school for students, teachers pause to reconnoiter

9/16—Onward and Upward!

9/20—Saturday, 10:00a.m. Official ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new James A. Garfield Intermediate School, with various IMPORTANT PERSONS (That would be the Garfield public…and officials of all sorts) in attendance.  Garfield Alumni Banquet opens at 5:00p.m.  for meet-n-greet, 6:30 p.m.for dinner (Reservations due by September 1).

And that’s not even counting the additions and corrections to the athletic facility—new fencing , new goal posts, etc.—and the BIG GAME with the Harlem Ambassadors vs the Garrettsville Inspectors (Garfield alumni) on the basketball court on October 25 to support continuing improvements on Main Street & the athletic field.

Stay tuned.  Get involved.

 

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LeavesA

Are the trees trying to tell us something?

Their leaves are expected to change colors in the Fall, not mid-August. But it’s not your imagination; hues of red, yellow, orange and even brown are evident already throughout northeast Ohio. Why?

According to our neighbors in Pennsylvania, CBS Pittsburgh reports that a record-cold summer has led to this early onset of autumnal color. Pittsburgh is on pace for the 9th coldest summer since record keeping began in 1871, says Meteorologist Dennis Bowman. The dog days of summer simply passed us by; some locals have even turned on their furnace on recent chilly nights.

The Polar Vortex pattern that we experienced in January also caused cold temperatures in July. “There has been a frequency of cold fronts this summer, and the weather for June, July, and August has been substantially below normal,” Bowman said.

Leaves change color normally in early fall in response to shortened amounts of daylight and colder temperatures. The green-colored chlorophyll breaks down, allowing the other chemicals in the leaves to stand out and show off their brighter colors… normally in September and October.

According to Cleveland NewsNet5 Chief Meteorologist Mark Johnson, the color change is not widespread; just a sprinkling of trees showing color. The vast majority of local trees are still green. So the early color change we see is likely due to plant stress. Trees can be weakened by a variety of natural and man-made factors.

Of course, persistent cool temperatures can stop the sugar-making process in the leaves earlier than normal. Excessive moisture can also shut down a tree’s process of photosynthesis. On the other hand, excessive heat and drought can cause trees to go dormant prematurely. The stresses can occur over several seasons or even several years. Insects and disease can also weaken a tree and cause early leaf color. Man-made causes include disturbing the root systems of a tree for construction or landscaping.

Johnson points to environmental stress over the past couple of years as the culprit for our early fall colors. During the summer of 2012, northern Ohio experienced 90 degrees or higher on 28 days. Then last winter, we experienced four separate episodes of temperatures dropping to between -10 and -15 degrees. Many trees suffered bud damage from last winter’s frigid temperatures.

So, tree stress has been common across northern Ohio the last couple of years. But Johnson predicts the majority of local trees will begin to change colors in September, right on cue.

 

back-to-school-kids

Find tons of great school spirit wear, and Garrettsville apparel at the Villager Emporium (8088 Main Street, Garrettsville)

*** Denotes Bus Route Changes for 2014-2015

*** Bus #1 Middle / High AM  

Driver – Jama Peterson

6:35 Leave garageRight on S.R. 88, Right on S.R. 303, Right on Asbury

Left on Streeter

Right on Limeridge

Left on Schustrich, Left on Vaughn, Left on Goodell

Right on Limeridge, Right on Streeter

Turn around at barn

Right on Limeridge

Left on S.R. 303

Left on S.R. 700

Left into Blackbrook Trailer Park

Left on 700

Right on Hankee, R onto to Village Dr.

Back to School

 

Bus #1  ELEMENTARY AM 

8:10 1ST PICK UPFrom Ravenna, Left on 88 – 303- 88, Left on Nichols

Left on Hankee, Left on 700

Right on 303, Right on Asbury

R on Streeter, L on Stamm

R on Hankee

Right on 700, Right into Blackbrook Trailer Park

Pick up @ mailbox

L on 700, R on Hankee/Freedom St.

Right on White St.

R on 88, Back to school

 

*** Bus #2 Middle / High AM  

Driver – Dreama Adkins

6:30 Leave garageLeft on 88, R Liberty St.

Left on Windham St. (82)

Right on Water

Left on Liberty, Left on Park

Right on Maple, Right on Center

Right on Knowlton, Left on Paul St, Left on Sophia

Left on Center

Right on Garfield Drive

Right on Center

Right on High

Right on Maple

Right on North Street(88)

Right onto  Meadow Run, Right onto Clover Lane

Right on Meadow Run

Left on North Street (88)./corner of Harris

Back to High School

 

Bus #2 Elementary AM

8:00 Leave garageLeft on S.R. 88, R on Liberty, Left on 82

R on Water

Left on Liberty,Left on Center

Right on High

Cross Maple

Right on Main, Right on North (88)

Right on Meadow Run, Right on Clover

Right onto Meadow Run

Left onto North, Pick up on Corner of Wolff

Left on Elm Street

Right on Forest

Right onto State Street

Go through light , Left on Center St.

Group Stop

Right on Liberty, Right on Park

At Corner Group Stop

Right on Maple, Left on Center

Straight on 82, Right on Freedom

Left on 88

Back to Elementary School

 

Bus #6 Middle / High AM  

Driver – Beverly Girdler

6:40am Leave garageRight on 88, Left on Nichols, Cross over 303

Turn around at Vair, Back down Nichols,R on Smalley

Left on Slagle

Cross over 303

R on Gotham

R on Stanley

R on 303

R on Nichols, If Stephanie called to ride THEN cross over 88, if not riding then turn R on 88

R on Anderson, L on 88

Back to School

 

BUS #6  ELEMENTARY AM

7:45am Leave garageRight on 88, cross over 303 to Nichols

Left on Nichols

Turn around at Vair, Back down Nichols

Right on Smalley

Left on Slagle

Cross over 303

Right on Gotham

Right On Stanley

Right on SR 303

Right on S.R. 88

BACK TO SCHOOL

 

*** Bus #7 Middle / High AM  

Driver Helene Christopher

6:25am Leave garageL on 88, R on Freedom, L on 82, R on Center,L on W/P,  R on 305 E

Left on 282

R Into Nelson Trailer Park

Right on 282

R on Bancroft

Cross 422, Bancroft /Chalker

Left on Reynolds Rd

Left on Hobart

R on 422, U turn @Reynolds, down 422

R on Fenstemaker

Right on 305

Go around Circle, Continue on 305 W

Left on Brosius

Right on Center St, L on 82, R on Freedom St.-Pick up

Left on 88,

Back to School

 

BUS #7 ELEMENTARY AM

7:45am Leave garageLeft on 88, Right on Liberty,

Left into Eagle Creek

Turn around then pick up

Left onto Liberty, Left on Silica St.

Left on Brosius, Right on Center

Left on Parkman, 1/4 around circle, Right on 305(E)

Right on Bloom

Right on Knowlton

Left on Center

Right on Garfield Dr.

Merge to the Right.

Right on Center St.

Right on Maple, Left on South St., Right on Zupancic

Right on S.R. 88, Straight onto Hewins- by Roller Hutt

Right on 88

Back to School

 

Bus #8 Middle / High AM  

Driver Pattie Avenmarg

6:42am Leave garageRight on 88, R on 303, L on 88, Left on Freedom Rd.

Right on Vair Rd.

Right on King

Left on 88

Turn Left into Hales 2nd drive, turn around back, turn right onto rt 88, go around back, then Right on 88

Left  on Limeridge, Left on Wygle Road, turn around, go back down Wygle

Turn around at drive on right past corn field

L on Limeridge

Turn around at last drive, Left before S.R. 303, garage in rear

Left on 88

Right on 303, Right on Asbury

Left onto 88

Right on 303

Left on 88

Back  to School

 

BUS #8 ELEMENTARY AM

7:45am Leave garageRight on 88, Right on 303, Left on 88

Left on Freedom Road

Right on Vair Road

Right on King

Left on 88

Turn around in Hales 2nd drive,

Left  on Limeridge, Left on Wygle Road, turn around, go back down Wygle

Turn around at drive on right past corn field

Left on Limeridge

Right on 303, Right on Asbury

Left on 88

Left on 700, Right into Freedom Park- by recyling

Left on 88/303,

Left on 88, Left on Nichols, Right on Anderson

Left on 88

Back to School

 

*** Bus #9 Middle / High AM  

Driver – Shelly Pemberton

6:30am Leave garageLeft on 88, Right on Liberty, Right on Center, Right on Brosius

Right on Riverview

Right on Brosius, Left on Pierce, R on Hopkins

L on WP, R on Pierce

Right on Newell Ledge

Left on Silica Sand, Go to Colton Rd, Turn around, Left on Silica Sand

R on WIndham Parkman

Go Around Circle, at Y stay Right,

L on Hopkins

R on Pierce

Left on Brosius

Right on 82,

L on on Liberty

Left on 88, Back to School

 

Bus #9 Elementary AM

7:45am Leave garageLeft on 88, Right on Liberty, Right on Center, Right on Brosius

Right on Riverview

Right on Brosius

Right on Hopkins

Right Pierce, Right on Newell Ledge, Left onSilica Sand, Go to Colton Rd, turn around, Left on Silica Sand

Right on Win/Parkman- Pick up all the way to the Circle

At Nelson Circle, Take the Y to the RIght, Center Rd-Left on Hopkins

Right on Pierce

Left on Brosius

Right on 82

Left on Liberty, Left on 88, Back to school

 

*** Bus #10 Middle / High AM  

Driver – Danny Deakins

6:35 Leave garageLeft on 88, Right on Freedom, Left on 82, Right on Center, Right on Knowlton, Right on Parkman, Left on Collins.

Left on Bloom

Right on 305, Right on Kyle

Left on Knowlton

Right on Shanks-Down

Turn around, go back down  12486Shanks-Down

Left on Knowlton

Straight on Nicholson

Left on 305, Left on Kyle

Right on Knowlton

Right on Windham Parkman Road, go around circle to Nelson Parkman

Left on Pritchard

Left on Prentiss

Cross over Ely, turn around at Turos

Left on Ely, Left on Brosius

Right on 305, Left on 88, Back to School

 

Bus 10 ELEMENTARY AM

7:42 Leave garageLeft on 88, Right on Freedom St., Left on 82, Right on Center, Right on Knowlton, Right on Win/Parkman, Left on Collins, Left on Bloom

Right on Knowlton

Turn right to stay on Knowlton

Right on Shanks-Down

Turn around 2486 Shanks-Down

Left on Knowlton

Go straight on Knowlton,Turns into Nicholson

Right on 305, Left on Fenstemaker

Left on Kennedy Ledge

Left on 282

Left on 305,Right on Kyle

Right on Knowlton

Left on Center, Right on Maple, Left on 88, Right on Freedom

Left onto Village Drive/Vanderslice

Corner of Village/Vanderslice

Right on Freedom, Right on White,Right on 88

Stop at JFK- AM ONLY

 

Bus #12 ELEMENTARY AM 

7:50am Leave garageL on S.R. 88, Right on Freedom St., Left on Windham St., Right on Center St., Left on Brosius

Cross Over 305

Right on Ely

Right on Prentiss

Go to Turos Farm, Turn Around, Back down Prentiss

Cross on Ely

Right on Pritchard

Turn Left on Nelson Parkman Rd. Turn around

Turn Right on Nelson Parkman Road

Right on 305

Right on Mills

Left on 88, Left on 82, Right on Liberty, Right on 88

Right on South Park Ave.

Turn around at next Road

Left on 88, Back to School

 

*** Bus #17 Middle / High AM  

Driver – Debbie Ellison

6:35am Leave garageL on 88, L on State/ 82

Go to turn around at top of hill- A-frame house pick up

Left on Wheeler Rd.

R on Shawnee Trail

Right on Wheeler Rd.

Right on Wrenwood

Right on Wheeler Rd., Right on S.R. 305,

Left on 88, Right on Mills

Right on 305

Right on 88

Back into North Coast Energy on R, Back down 88

Right on Norton,

RIght on Mumford

Left on Grove, Left on Udall

L on Norton

Right on Mumford

Right onto S.R. 88

GROUP STOP French/South St. (88)

Left on Hewins

Right on 88, Back to school

 

BUS #17 ELEMENTARY AM

7:50am Leave garageLeft on 88, Left on 82

Go to turn around at top of hill, go back down 82

L on Wheeler

R on Wrenwood

R on Wheeler, R on S.R. 305

Left on S.R. 88

ON Right- Back into North Coast Energy drive- Back down S.R. 88(South)

Right on Norton

R on Mumford

After Pick up

Right onto S.R. 88

Corner of French Street to South Street

Right on Crestwood

Right on 88-JFK

Back to Elementary School

 

*** Bus #18 Middle / High AM  

Driver – Rose Broadwater

6:40am Leave garageLeft on 88, Left on White, Left on Hankee/Freedom, Left on Nichols

Right on S.R.88, Right on S.R. 303, Right on S.R. 700

Right on Streeter

Turn around in Nottingham’s driveway, go back left on Streeter, Cross 700

Right on Stamm

Left on Hankee, Left on Asbury

Left on Streeter

Left on Stamm, Right on Hankee

Cross over 700, Hankee/Freedom

Right on S.R.88

Back to School

 

BUS #18 ELEMENTARY  AM

7:40am Leave garageLeft on S.R. 88, Left on Freedom St., Left on Nichols

Right on 88, Right on 303

Right on Limeridge

Right on Vaughn, Right on Schustrich, Right on Limeridge

Left on Goodell

Left on Goodell, Left on Limeridge, Right on Streeter

Turn around @ barn, Right on Streeter,

Cross Limeridge

Cross Asbury

Cross over 700

Left on Nichols Rd.

Right on Hankee/Freedom St.

 

Bus #25 Elementary AM

Driver – Debbie Woodrum

7:30am Leave garageL on 88, R on Freedom, L on Windham St., R on Center,R on 305 E.

Left on 282

Back into Prichard, Back down 282

Left on Bancroft

Right on 422. U-turn at bottom of hill, Continue on 422

Right on Bancroft/Chalker

Left Reynolds Rd.

Left on Hobart

Right on 422, U-turn on 422 at Reynolds,

Right on Fenstemaker

Right on S.R. 305

Right on 282, Right into Nelson Trailer Park

Turn around at mailboxes, Pick up at Pavilion

Left on 282, Right on 305

Right on Parkman, Right on Center, Back to School

14-986-Site-Traffic-Plan

The opening of school at James A. Garfield will bring many new things this year.  A new 17,500 square foot addition will welcome our fifth and sixth grade students and staff. All students in grades 7-12 will have new laptops. The construction of the new addition will bring a new traffic pattern for parents during pickup and dropoff times.  This map should help provide some direction for everyone as you return to school on August 26. We will also have staff members at specific areas the first week back to assist everyone with these new traffic patterns.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the district office at 330.527.4336.

 

388

Burton – Traditional music – bluegrass, old-time, blues, folk, polka, calypso and more – will be the centerpiece of a day-long festival on Saturday, Aug. 16 in the Geauga County village of Burton.

The Raccoon County Music Festival, which runs from noon to 8 p.m. in downtown Burton, will feature performances on two stages, square dancing, spontaneous jamming and workshops for children (blues guitar and songwriting) and adults (clogging and old-time banjo). There will be food for sale at the festival, but event-goers are also permitted to bring their own meals as well as chairs and blankets.

Admission is $10 for those ages 13 and older; $4 for children ages 6-12; and free for children under 6.

The festival will be held at the Geauga County Historical Society’s Century Village Museum, 14653 East Park St., Burton. Historical village buildings and the Crossroads museum store will be open. The event is sponsored by the historical society.

For up-to-date information on the event schedule, visit www.raccooncountymusicfestival.com or the festival’s Facebook page.

The Raccoon County Music Festival brings excellent local and regional musicians together for one day of traditional American music. What distinguishes each of festival performers is that each has dedicated himself or herself for years to learning and expanding the tradition.

Performers this year will include Geauga County’s Kate & Ray Ritchie (folk songs), Cleveland’s The Polka Pirates (polka), Ashtabula County-based Young & Blue (bluegrass), Lakewood based Kristine Jackson (blues), Washington D.C. based Bill Schmidt & Friends (old-time), Cleveland’s The SpYder Stompers & Sister Sugar Pie (Pre-War Country Blues), Geauga County’s The Family Dog (folk and originals), The Five Islands (early calypso), Brady Lake’s Tina Bergmann & Bryan Thomas (hammered dulcimer & bass), and Sacred Harp (traditional Appalachian singing).

About the festival name: It comes from the name of the host county, Geauga, which is said to be derived from the word “sheauga,” a Native American word meaning “raccoon.”

About the festival’s origins: The first Raccoon County Music Festival was held on July 4, 1977, a year after the National Bicentennial had cultivated countrywide interest in American history and tradition. The festival was originally conceived as a venue for the performance of tunes and songs passed down through the generations via the oral tradition. Over the years, the festival has taken many forms, but it has always focused on traditional American music. In the past, festival events have included fiddle, banjo, and flat picking guitar contests, an open stage, clogging, fiddle workshops, spontaneous “jamming” and main stage performances by local and nationally touring performers.

About the festival’s history: Raccoon County Music Festival was a yearly event from 1977 until 1989. Thereafter the festival was held intermittently until finally it stopped running after 1999. In 2006, the festival was revived as a celebration of the Geauga County Bicentennial.

You probably didn’t know: In 1987, a young Alison Kraus & Union Station graced the festival stage at Century Village Museum. And from 1982 to 1988, Jim Blum, the WKSU folk music radio personality and Geauga County resident, directed and hosted the festival.

About the sponsors: The mission of the Geauga County Historical Society is to ensure that the history of Geauga County is preserved for the education and appreciation of present and future generations. The historical society was founded in 1873 for the express purpose of “collecting and preserving interesting facts pertaining to the early settlement” of the county. The society’s Century Village Museum is an authentic representation of a Western Reserve Village from 1798 to the turn of the 19th Century. It boasts more than 22 historically accurate buildings and more 15,000 museum artifacts that include original art from the 1800’s, antiques, textiles and more.

390

Middlefield  – On September 27th, back by overwhelming demand… the TWO headliners at the 6thAnnual Hometown Hoe-Down will be the Whiskey Courage Band, and Blazin Bills amazing BBQ! On the 27thfrom 6pm-10pm, the Middlefield Market Pavilion (indoors) will transform into the perfect setting for some good ole’ fashion country fun! The evening starts with the BBQ blazing right outside as ribs & chicken are cooked for the buffet, which is served 6:30pm-8pm. Buffet also includes the best of the best Geauga County restaurants with salad, baked beans, veggies, Amish baked rolls, desserts and soft drinks. The ‘Brew Saloon’ will once again be open for those of you looking for a tall cold beer. Or have some fun and head over to the Wine Wagon for a chance at the Wine Pull.

Dust off your dancin’ boots as Whiskey Courage is back by popular demand! If you are not familiar with the band they play a great variety of upbeat Country/‘Southern Rock.’ Get up for a fun interactive line dance lesson or just enjoy watching the fun!Get great deals in the silent & Chinese auctions and, f course everyone gets into the excitement of the “Cow Plop Drop!” That’s right, this is one contest nobody can ‘rig,’ it’s all up to the cow!

Geauga County Tourism hosts this event annually as a fundraiser for marketingGeaugaCounty to  visitors, which in turn supports our local businesses, restaurants & lodging facilities.The Hoe-Down provides a great return on investment to benefit the county while having a fun night out, so round up your friends and join the fun! Thank you to Presenting Sponsor Great Lakes Cheese, the proud manufacture of the world gold medal winning Adams Reserve Cheddar.

Tickets are now on sale $30 per person/$50 per couple ($10 for kids 4-11) and can be purchased by phone with a credit card.  If space allows ‘walk-in’ tickets may be available at the door for $35.Reservations highly recommended!If you are interested donating an auction item or becoming a sponsor contact Geauga County Tourism 440-632-1538; 800-775-8687. You can also “Like” Geauga Co. Tourism on Facebook to keep up on all the details, of visit our website for more details www.TourGeauga.com.

346

Perhaps you’ve heard it said recently that technology is today’s pencil. That’s quite evident at James A. Garfield local schools this year, where a $5 Million Straight A Grant is providing every student in grades 7-12 with an HP Chromebook.

While parents should pick up their child’s laptop computer before the first day of school on August 26, they still have a traditional list of school supplies to purchase, as well. It’s tempting to think pencils and paper have gone the way of the dinosaur by now, but here’s a look at the seventh grade supply list:

  • 1 Large Box of Tissues (given to 7th period teacher)
  • Loose Leaf Paper
  • Pencils
  • Erasers
  • Colored Pencils
  • Highlighters
  • 2 pack black Sharpie Markers
  • Spiral Bound Notebooks (2-3 subject and 3-1 subject)
  • 4 – 2 in. binders
  • 5 tab dividers (4 packs)
  • Folders
  • 3X5 Index cards
  • Ruler with inches and centimeters
  • Earbuds or headphones

With the exception of earbuds or headphones, these items have stood the test of time over the generations. And shopping for them still stands as a demarcation between the fun of summer and the anticipation of a new school year.

However, the way we shop for back-to-school supplies has changed. In the name of convenience and speed, online spending for school supplies is outpacing in-store spending, growing 16% and reaching $27 billion in online sales over a three-year period. Combined sales for Back-to-School and Back-to-College readiness is estimated to hit $72.5 billion US dollars this year, according to the National Retail Federation. The Federation expects families to spend $670 on average during the back-to-school season, up 5% over last year, on supplies, clothes and electronics.

Multiple studies of consumers have confirmed that free shipping provides the most powerful incentive to convert consumers to online shopping. Just beware of free shipping offers tied to purchase thresholds. These are a tried-and-true way to lure shoppers into spending more than they intended.

According to USA Today, retailers like Staples, Wal-Mart, Old Navy, Sears and Kmart top the list for offering cheap prices and price-matching guarantees to customers in an effort to stay relevant and competitive over the back-to-school shopping season.

While August is crunch time for back-to-school shopping, peak shopping days for 2014 will likely be Wednesday, August 27 and Thursday, August 28, when summer clearance and back-to-school promotions converge. But the back-to school shopping season lasts through Labor Day (Monday, September 1), which retailers consider the Black Friday of the third quarter.

Be a smart shopper. If you can hold out for major purchases until Labor Day, you may get your best deals a couple weeks after class has already begun.

 

Windham – Windham Village will place two levies on the ballot this fall. The first one  is a 1.38 mill levy that is expected to generate $25,000 for the parks and recreation. The second levy is a .83 mill levy that is expected to generate $15,000 to continue subsidizing the Portage County District Library (PCDL, Windham branch only.

The first levy, Resolution R-2014-19 will be primarily used to improve and maintain the park; however Mayor Rob Donham did say some of the funds may go to renovating the community center as well. This is a five year levy that will begin in 2015 if passed.

The second levy, Resolution, R-2014-18 is to help the village keep their commitment to the Library. The Village is already subsidizing the Windham Branch of the PCDL. They currently pay $2400 / quarter towards the Library’s rent at the Renaissance Center and have agreed to go to a percentage rate rather than a flat rate.  Earlier this year, the library asked if the village would help with the increasing costs by going to a percentage rate rather than the flat rate. The village agreed to do so up to a 5% maximum increase.  The levy is for five years and will begin to generate funds in 2015 if passed.

Next, council voted to memorialize the village’s policy on subsidizing the Windham branch of the PCDL. All this resolution does is to have the subsidizing of the PCDL in writing for the records.

Other council actions were accepting of the resignation of Jay Estabrook from the police department and the hiring of Larry Shackelford as part-time specialist for the water and sewer department. They also approved the minutes, expenditures and bank reconciliation for June. The liquor license transfer at Windham Tavern was also approved along with Ordinance O-2014-17, that would establish and revise the salaries of and wages of all full-time and part-time employees within the village.  A discussion on the proposed Ordinance O-2014-18 that would adjust the water rate for those in the village was held. The ordinance was on a first read.

The village council meets on the fourth Thursday of each month at Village hall at 7pm.

315

Portage County – Is this really the “terrible twos”, threes and fours or is it something more? Is this behavior normal preteen rebellion? Why won’t any of the “advice” work with my child? What am I supposed to do now that the problems are serious?

If this sounds familiar, Carrie Martin of Kent understands and knows what it is like to love a child with a mental illness.  Her love and determination to support her child has motivated her to establish the NAMI Basics Support Group in Portage County.

The Basics Support Group is for the parents, grandparents and caregivers of children who have been diagnosed with or shown symptoms of mental illness prior to the age of 13. The group meets on the first Wednesday of the month,  7 p.m., at the Mental Health & Recovery Board of Portage County, 155 E. Main St., Kent. The next meeting is Sept. 3.

There is no cost to join the group which is sponsored by NAMI Portage County, the local chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

“For me and many others, there was no ‘normal’.  Or if you were lucky, and there was for awhile, then, something changed overnight.  The problems were really something more.  Unfortunately, at the time, there was no one for me to turn to: family, friends or religious leaders.

“They couldn’t help me any more than all the advice books could. They didn’t know what to tell me or their advice was often critical. Then you begin to doubt yourself,” Martin remembered.

A board member for the local NAMI chapter, Martin is encouraged that today more people understand that mental illnesses can have biological causes. It is more acceptable to acknowledge the problem and seek help, for both the child and parents.

Martin has received training through NAMI Ohio. She plans to eventually offer  the Basics Education Program classes in Portage County. Developed by NAMI, the six-week class provides information concerning various diagnoses, what is actually happening in young brains, resources and coping skills.  Martin encourages parents and others who care for a youth with mental illness to start attending the support group now.

“It is an opportunity for parents and caregivers to be heard and acknowledged by others who have experienced the same things, create friendships and maybe even get a little advice. We’re not doctors but we know what you’re going through and how you feel,” Martin said.

Martin joined NAMI about 6 years ago and has benefitted from the support she receives through the monthly chapter meetings, which are the second and fourth Thursdays, 7 p.m., also at the Mental Health & Recovery Board in Kent. The meetings are free and open.

“Today, there is help. There is hope. Mental illness and disability have come out of the shadows. It is more acceptable to acknowledge the problem and seek help, for both the child and the parents,” Martin emphasized.

For more information, call the Mental Health & Recovery Board at 330-673-1756. Learn more about NAMI Portage County at www.namiportagecounty.org.

Alie2

Newton Falls – Summer may be almost over, which means classes are about to start up again for the area’s youngsters (and college co-eds too!) but for one local student the learning didn’t stop just because the school bell rang signaling warm weather had arrived. Alie Orr, a soon-to-be ninth grader at Newton Falls High School, had the opportunity to spend part of her summer vacation attending a gathering of future leaders in Columbus. Youth from all over the United States converged upon our state capital for a weekend of workshops, projects, teambuilding and networking, hoping to return to their respective regions a little bit more talented, a smidge wiser and perhaps even with a few new friends on facebook.

Once Alie received her acceptance letter to the event, the National Young Leaders State Conference, thanks to a nomination by her seventh grade English teacher, Mrs. Clay, she started to fulfill the program’s curriculum requirements by producing a creative newsletter-type magazine cover about someone she admired (she picked her mom) and considered her goals and what she hoped to acquire from her time there.

For her part, Kristy Orr, Alie’s mom, had a big wish for her daughter’s attendance at the conference: to gain more confidence.

During the whirlwind weekend, students kept a special journal answering prompts in the book that required them to think deeply on different topics and to explore potentially new areas of discussion including conversations they would have in class. One workshop invited the students to imaginarily plan a community service project (Alie planned a fundraiser concert for autism awareness) while another put the participants in the spotlight, engaging them as discussion leaders, which helped polish their skills and become better public speakers. Though the service project Alie planned in class is only imaginary right now, she has organized a real one taking place this weekend: a bake sale to help the homeless in our local community, set up during the City Wide Yard Sale (August 15, 16 and 17).

Before she temporarily left the small town of Newton Falls for the big city of Columbus, one of Alie’s own goals was to talk more and make new friends and all around “to better myself,” she said. Sorted into themed teams of other kids her age from various parts of the country (the 8th grader sets were named after rivers), Alie as part of the “Amazons” spent the conference getting to know a diverse group of students and honed her social skills as well as her academic abilities.

She mentioned that the experience has indeed helped her ask questions more and be more engaged with those around her. “I spent four days with complete strangers and walked out with a bunch of phone numbers,” she said with a smile.

If there’s one thing this bright young lady hopes people will know about her it’s that there’s more than meets the eye and she may be quiet but that doesn’t mean she’s shy. “I’m not just a bookworm,” she explained. “I’m fun to be around and I pick and choose my friends wisely.”

So did Kristy’s wish for her daughter come true?

“I am most proud of her for finding herself,” Kristy said. “This past year was a difficult year for her and I’m proud of her for staying true to who she is, that she owns who she is. Embrace your weirdness!” And the confidence? Kristy mentioned that she has indeed seen a higher level of confidence in Alie. “I’ve noticed that difference ever since,” she said.

So what’s around the corner for this year? In addition to continuing her already full schedule of interests including playing snare drum in the marching band and serving as defender on the soccer team, Alie would like to study drama, journalism and photography in the upcoming school year as well. And if that isn’t enough to juggle, Alie is looking forward to being the first freshman at Newton Falls to take college classes at Kent Trumbull. As she doesn’t have a high school GPA yet which is a requirement for taking courses, this first semester will be strictly high school classes to officially earn that status. Then she will incorporate the higher learning one class at a time, to which she states there’s only one problem: her small height in comparison to all the older college students. “I’ll just have to wear high heels to look taller,” she quipped.

And for after she officially graduates from high school, well, she’s thought that out too. Although mom Kristy attended Kent State University and dad Ron is a Hiram College alumnus, Alie has her sights set on Ohio State with plans to study veterinary medicine. Alie’s love for animals is shown in the two cats and one dog that keep her entertained at home and caring for them is a good start for her intended career.

It appears that with a little bit more planning, a smidge of ambition and perhaps even a touch of luck, Amazon Alie will be achieving amazing accomplishments!http://www.envisionexperience.com/explore-our-programs/national-young-leaders-state-conference?region=ohio – what-to-expect

 

rain-barrels

Geauga County – The Geauga Soil and Water Conservation District’s Annual Rain Barrel Yard Art Campaign auction has begun and the barrels are at locations throughout Geauga County.  Six local artists and groups have donated their time, talent, and materials to the District by painting barrels and creatively transforming these recycled plastic barrels into beautiful and functional yard art.  These decorated rain barrels are now on display and available for silent bidding at various locations (as indicated below) for the months of August and September.  You can view all the barrels and also place a bid online by visiting Geauga SWCD’s website at geaugaswcd.com.

Minimum bids start at $90.  Don’t wait for a rainy day to place your bid… you can also “Buy It Now!” for $200!  Just include all the requested information and the barrel will be yours once method of payment is approved.  Any sold barrels will be indicated on our website and locations are subject to change with barrel sales.  Remaining barrels will be available for final bids at the Geauga SWCD Annual Meeting on November 6, 2014.

Here’s your chance to finally get a unique rain barrel while helping to protect our water resources.  Don’t delay, bid on a barrel today!  All proceeds will go toward the District’s environmental education programs.  Barrels can be found at the following locations:

1) Breathe by Yvonne Delgado displayed at Mazzulo’s Market (August) and Middlefield Cheese House (September)

2) Fantasy, Freedom, and Butterflies by Kay Hendricks displayed at Breezewood Gardens (August) and Lowe’s Greenhouse (September)

3) Gypsy Horse Go-Round by Mary Samide displayed at Beans Coffee Shop and Bistro (August) and Schneiders Saddlery (September)

4) Flamingo by Berkshire High School Art Club displayed at Blazin’ Bills (August) and Burton Library (September)

5) Watering the Horses by Byron Leffler displayed at Lowe’s Greenhouse (August) and Breezewood Gardens (September)

6) Grouchy by the Rodusky Family displayed at Geauga West Library (August) and Munson Western Reserve Country Store (September)

For more information visit the Geauga SWCD website at www.geaugaswcd.com or call 440- 834-1122.  Like us on Facebook to see updates on rain barrels and other news.  A special thanks to the artists for their generosity and to Ken’s Auto Body, Inc. in Troy Township for donating their time and materials to apply protective clear sealant to the barrels.

 

Kent – Dr. Beverly J. Warren, president of Kent State University, will speak at the Women’s Equality Day celebration organized by the League of Women Voters of Kent and the KSU Women’s Center on Monday, Aug. 25, 4:30 p.m. at The Overlook, 1519 Overlook Road, Kent.

The League will also announce the establishment of the Helen Dix Scholarship for non-traditional students in honor of LWVK charter member and community leader Helen Dix, who died last year.

August 26 of each year is designated in the United States as Women’s Equality Day. Instituted by Rep. Bella Abzug and first established in 1971, the date commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment, the Woman Suffrage Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which gave U.S. women full voting rights in 1920.

The Kent League is the local chapter of the League of Women Voters of the United States.  Established after passage of the 19th Amendment to educate voters, the LWV is a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

Newton Twp. – The Newton Township Cemetery Association members invite you to join us on a self-guided walk at Pricetown Cemetery, adjacent to the Pricetown United Methodist Church on Pritchard-Ohltown Road SW, also known as County Line Road at the intersection of East River Road in Newton Township. Parking will be available in the church parking lot.

The date is September 20, 2014 from 1:00 pm until 5:00 pm. A map will be provided marking the locations of the early settlers of Newton and Milton Townships.

The Newton Township Cemetery Association calendar for 2015, featuring photos of the tornado damage that destroyed property thirty years ago in Newton Falls, will be available during the walk and may also be purchased from Art Effects, Newton Falls Printing, Nussles Florist, Roods Wallpaper and Paint and from association members or by calling 330.872.0236 or 330.872.5452. The calendar price is $10.

The next meeting of the association is August 21st at the administration building on Newton Falls-Bailey Road. All residents of Newton Township and Newton Falls are invited to join the association. Membership fee is $5.00 for the remainder of 2014. Annual dues for the year 2015 is $10.00 for individual, each additional family membership is $5.00.

 

missles-in-portage-county

Ravenna - Camp Ravenna Joint Military Training Center (Ohio Army National Guard) is one of four new sites being considered by Congress as an “East Coast” national missile defense location. The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) hosted an informational open house for the public at Ravenna High School gymnasium on August 5, with representatives posted by various placards to answer questions from the public. An environmental impact statement is also being prepared for presentation to Congress.

If the local site is selected, ground-based interceptor missiles would be transported along public roads from Akron-Canton Regional Airport or Youngstown Air Reserve Station to Camp Ravenna. Lieutenant Colonel Chris Snipes said the 55-foot-long, 22-27-ton solid propellant missiles would be housed in 20 underground interceptor silos (missile defense complex), with possible future expansion of up to 60 such silos housed under Camp Ravenna’s 22,000 acres. Their range would be up to 10,000 kilometers to intercept an intercontinental ballistic missile.

During the public meeting, if a civilian wanted their concerns expressed in a formal report to Congress, they could fill out a survey form or speak to a court reporter stationed in a corner of the gym. People opposed to the missile interceptor site being located at Camp Ravenna taped paper bulls-eye symbols to their shirts, saying that Portage County is too densely populated for such a purpose, property values would plummet, and the community would become an attack target if the missile site were located here. They also voiced concerns that the large number of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) waste injection wells in Ohio makes the state more prone to seismic activity, which may not be a stable environment for ground-based missiles.

The other federally-owned locations under consideration include Fort Custer Army National Guard Base in Michigan, SERE East Navy Base in Maine, and Fort Drum Army Installation on New York. Thirty ground-based interceptor missiles currently stand at the ready for homeland defense from Fort Greely, Alaska and Vandenberg AFB in California. Aegis warships are equipped to deploy sea-based interceptor missiles.

In what was termed by MDA representative Ken Anderson as a “capabilities race” rather than an arms race, these additional East Coast sites are being submitted to Congress for consideration in order to bolster the homeland’s capacity to defend itself “against threats from nations such as North Korea and Iran.”

According to an MDA Fact Sheet, “One of the greatest threats facing the world today is the increasing proliferation of ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction.”

The estimated $1-$5 billion proposed Ballistic Missile Defense System at Camp Ravenna would “engage and destroy limited intermediate and long-range ballistic missile threats in space,” intercepting and destroying them before they reach their intended targets. In doing so, the MDA says, “The ultimate goal of missile defense is to convince aggressors that ballistic missiles are not militarily useful or a worthy investment and place doubt in the minds of potential aggressors that a ballistic attack against the U.S. or its allies can succeed.”

Camp Ravenna — formerly the Ravenna Arsenal — was used by the Army during World War II, employing up to 18,000 people to manufacture bombs and projectiles. The site became a National Guard training center in 1971 and now is used to train troops for deployments. Proponents of the missile defense plan see it as an opportunity for Camp Ravenna to be fully utilized again, with the potential for economic benefits for Portage and Trumbull counties.

Of the four sites under deliberation, none is “preferred,” but all meet the criteria for consideration. The environmental impact statement for Camp Ravenna could take up to two years to complete, assessing potential environmental changes on land use, water resources, air quality, transportation, socioeconomics and other factors. The Department of Defense has not made decision to deploy or construct the CIS at this time. This proposal is considered a fact-finding mission in response to Congress’ request in December 2013 for this study to be conducted.

For more details, go to www.mda.mil. Members of the public can respond to this proposal through September 15. Email comments to MDA.CIS.EIS@BV.com, fax to (913) 458-1091 or mail a written letter to Black & Veatch Special Projects Corp., ATTN: MDA CIS EIS, 6601 College Blvd., Overland Park, KS  66211-1504.

 

Garrettsville - Mike Maschek, the proud owner of the Garrettsville Feed Mill has the inside scoop for the new beginnings that he’s planning for not only his building, but his town. Maschek has always taken an interest in the Mill. For the past seven years, he’s stood from afar imagining the endless possibilities that could occur if the Mill were to be restored. Maschek believes that the Mill is the focal point and the center of Garrettsville, and he has many things planned for its new beginnings. Many people that have taken interest in buying the Mill have thought that it would be easier to just demolish the whole building and start from scratch. This may be the easy thing to do, but if someone were to demolish the building, all the history that is held inside, basically still in time, would be gone forever.

Maschek is known for saying: “You can rebuild all you want, but you can’t rebuild the history of a building.” He has a keen eye for hidden treasure. What others may see as garbage, he looks further into than  most eyes can see. He looks into the hidden possibilities that can come out of anything if the proper time and effort are put into it. As a strong believer in Jesus Christ; Maschek takes one of Jesus’ parables to a whole new level. Jesus talks about the lost treasure in Matthew 13:44-46. Good things are often hidden. “The Mill has been hidden for far too long. When I first laid my eyes on the Mill, I knew that it was something that would have great potential. The possibilities were endless. I kept visualizing what it could look like. The Mill is a focal point of the town and possibly the start of a great revival, both on the streets and in people. I feel like many people weren’t willing to pay the price to see the Mill restored. I believe that this will bring Garrettsville…hope again.”

The willingness of Mike Maschek to see the town of Garrettsville become the best that it can be is something rare, something that is uncommon to find in most people. Maschek who was also the owner of the majority of the Buckeye Block, sees a connection with the March 22 fire, and the Feed Mill. He says, “After the fire, the Feed Mill was a way for me to keep the momentum going. It’s kind of like a kick start to continue. It represents a city that is “Garrettsville Strong”.” We are not giving up. Jesus said, “You don’t take a light and hide it under a bushel, but you place it where it can be seen.” I am putting a lighted cupola on the top of the Feed Mill to offer encouragement, hope and new life to this community.”

Hiram - Starting out just ten years ago in 2004 with two full-time agents and two part-time assistants, Ohio Health Benefits, LLC  (OHB) in Hiram has more than doubled in size, filling their office space on Hayden Street. From health insurance issues and Medicare criteria  to navigating through the Affordable Care Act, OHB works to provide over 6,000 families, self-employed individuals, students, and retirees with affordable health insurance.

Fueled by his background in mechanical engineering, Auble and his team help translate the latest, often perplexing health care information into something his clients can easily understand. This is what really drives his business. “Since we are authorized to offer insurance from many carriers like AARP, Anthem, Medical Mutual, Summa, and more, my colleagues and I undergo constant training to stay apprised of the latest updates and developments in the healthcare arena.” Auble stated, “I really enjoy helping people by taking what most see as a complex, boring topic and explaining it to them in a friendly, understandable way. As a company, we strive to continue to grow and be the best in the industry as a regional authority on individual, family, health care reform and Medicare health insurance.”

In addition to running Ohio Health Benefits, Auble uses that same friendly and straightforward approach to help build businesses in his hometown. In addition to leasing out office space in the Hiram Professional Building, where OHB is located, he recently purchased the former Village Fire Hall. He’s currently in the process of transforming the space to become a cabinet showroom for Goodnight Kitchen & Bath, a company that was slated to open in Garrettsville prior to February’s fire. Hiram’s Mayor, Village Administration, and Police Chief have been very helpful in the process of bringing more businesses to Hiram, Auble shared.

For more information about OHB, visit ohiohealthbenefits.net.

 

Photo courtesy The Harlem Ambassadors

Photo courtesy The Harlem Ambassadors

Garrettsville - The fun begins at 7:00 PM on October 25th (doors open 40 minutes before tip-off), when the internationally acclaimed Harlem Ambassadors take on the Garrettsville Inspectors (Garfield High School Alumni) in a fun-filled, family-friendly evening of basketball showmanship featuring high-flying slam dunks, ball-handling tricks, and hilarious comedy routines at Garfield High School Gymnasium.

Bring the whole family to this event and experience laugh-out-loud comedy basketball for a good cause. There will be an opportunity to win an autographed basketball, purchase Harlem Ambassadors souvenirs, meet the Harlem Ambassadors during a free post-game autograph session, and snacks and beverages will be available for purchase.

A limited number of tickets are available for this event, which benefits the Garrettsville Area Chamber of Commerce’s  #GarrettsvilleStrong fund, and Phase II of the James A. Garfield Stadium Improvement Project.

Advance tickets go on sale Monday, August 18th and may be purchased online at garrettsvillearea.com/tix or at one of many area businesses including: The Villager (8088 Main St); Charles Auto Family (10851 North St); Miller’s Family Restaurant (8045 State St); Garrettsville DQ Grill & Chill (8013 State St); and the James A Garfield School offices when school returns.

Ticket prices are as follows: Adults – $10; Students (12 & Under) – $7; Seniors – $7; Family 4 Pack (4 Tickets & 2 Bags of Popcorn) – $30. Call 330-527-5761 for ticket information.

Stay up to date by visiting www.garrettsvillearea.com/basketball or by joining the event on Facebook.

Learn more about the Harlem Ambassadors at www.harlemambassadors.com

This event has been brought to you by the Garrettsville Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Garfield All Sports Boosters.

Sponsorship Opportunities for this event are available. Call 330-527-5761 to learn more!

 

Windham Twp. – The Windham Township Trustees met for a regular meeting on July 31, 2014 in the Windham Township Hall with trustees Dann Timmons, Brian Miller and Richard Gano present. The Fiscal Officer was absent.

The reason for having a regular meeting that was not at the usual time was to open bids for the chip and seal of Colton Road. The only bid received was from H. Luli Construction Company of Mogadore, Ohio for $25,822.92. The trustees expressed their pleasure that the bid came in slightly less than expected and they accepted the bid by unanimous vote.

In other road issues, Dann Timmons reported that Dale Soinski had completed the site for the cul~de-sac at the end of Frasier Road and is now waiting for pavement. Once the county engineers issues  final approval, the process to make the land donated by Mr. Soinski and the new construction part of the dedicated road will continue. Mr. Timmons also announced that Mr. Soinski indicated that he intends to place a gate on the vacated portion of the road to deter trespassing.

In zoning, Zoning Inspector Joe Pinti reported he will be posting his hours of availability on the township website when it is completed. In addition, he and Richard Gano are working on updating zoning forms to be more user-friendly. He will also be researching a potential zoning violation where the landowner may be using an unauthorized manufactured home as a residence. Finally, the board is still waiting for answers concerning funding  the removal of two non-residential buildings in the township that are in very poor condition and pose potential safety threats.

Richard Gano announced that Larry Cogley has completed his presentation concerning drainage in the cemetery and will be presenting it to the trustees at an upcoming meeting.

Dann Timmons announced that the fire district has not made any decisions concerning possible action since the Village of Windham terminated dispatching after agreeing to provide the service to the fire district through 2019. The inaction of the board stems from two members,himself and the village council representative,  having conflict of interest, and the unavailability of one board member due to illness. That one board member was George Bengtson who, sadly, just passed away. It is now the responsibility of the village council to name a village resident as his replacement. After discussions with the assistant prosecutor, Mr. Timmons suggested that the trustees could pass a resolution to waive conflict of interest that would allow Mr. Timmons to participate in the discussion and vote on a course of action by the fire board. Brian Miller and Richard Gano agreed and the resolution was adopted.

In other business, the Ohio National Guard’s Camp Ravenna Joint Military Training Site was selected as one of five possible sites for a missile defense site. The Missile Defense Agency, which operates under the authority of the U.S. Department of Defense, will be briefing local elected officials on August 5, 2014 at Reed Memorial library prior to a meeting open to the public. Brian Miller will attend on behalf of the township.

The Windham Township Trustees meet on the first Thursday of each month at the Windham Township Hall, however, the August meeting has been cancelled. The Trustees will next meet on September 4, 2014 at 7:00 pm.

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Ravenna - The Woodlands at Robinson recently held a free community carnival on July 26th. The carnival was sponsored by Clear Path Home Health, Crossroads Hospice, Dean’s Funeral Home, Dr. David Uhall, J & J Mobile Music, NEAS Ambulance Inc. and Saber Healthcare.

Highlights of the event included a visit from Slider, The Cleveland Indians Mascot who arrived via fire truck accompanied by the Ravenna City and Ravenna Twp. Fire Departments. The event was also attended by the Hiram Police Dept. and the Ohio State Patrol. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate to allow for the Life flight visit and outdoor movie that were planned.

Children enjoyed the other activities; face-painting, bouncy house, inflatable slide, and carnival games, and the predator safety demonstration. The DJ was also a big hit, allowing Slider to lead some line dances for the crowd.

The first annual event turned out to be a great success and planning has begun for the 2nd annual event next summer.

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Butterfly Hike:

· Annual Butterfly Count for Towner’s Woods, conducted by the “Chrysalis in Time” the Northeast Ohio Chapter of NABA (North American Butterfly Association). 10:00 a.m. August 23rd.

·  Led by Judy Semroc and Larry Rosche, naturalists with the Cleveland Museum of Natural History

· Collect and learn about butterflies as well as dragonflies and other interesting nature finds

· If you like, bring your own net, insect container, water bottle, insect repellent, etc.

·  Appropriate for all ages, we’ll start on the PORTAGE Hike and Bike Trail at Towner’s Woods, and then hit the Butterfly Trail.

·   We’ve had terrific weather every year for this!

 

Bat Program:

·   At Towner’s Woods Friday evening August 22, 8:00.

·  Get up close and personal as you learn about the species and lives of our local bats, and their importance to our ecosystem

· Presented by our friends at Davey Resource Group and volunteer “Batman” Mike Johnson, they will collect bats by mist netting across the trail

· Bring insect repellent and flashlight if you like.

 

Pre-registration is NOT required for either of these events

 

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Arrrooooo!

Arrr00000!

I saw a coyote out in the wild western edge of Portage County.  It’ll be bucking broncos and tumbleweeds next, by gum!

The occasion was a “two-fer” local attraction activity, as the Kent Lions held their annual corn roast at Beckwith’s Orchard and farm market ( I’m a die-hard Monroe’s Orchard and Farm Market customer myself, so it was all about new horizons)AND the Portage County Park District was inviting the public to step off on the Portage Bike and Hike Trail which just happens to pass near there off Lake Rockwell Rd.  Great opportunity to chow down on an iconic summer treat—not to mention the fresh-baked peach and apple pies—then walk off a few calories and learn a few things along the popular(and now supported) trail.  Such a deal!

So, we’re off from the information board at the trailhead, led by our intrepid volunteer naturalist, Joe Malmisur, heading for another info board near Breakneck Creek(complete with a display explaining how the stream got its name); it was about a two-mile trek in store for us.  We’re getting the lowdown on what kind of trees are along the trail, what kinds of flowers are in bloom, which ones are invasives, which are not, the various insects whizzing or fluttering by, miscellaneous tidbits of information on the whole outdoor scene.  Somebody said, “Is that a deer?”  Somebody else said, “Is that a dog?”  Somebody else said. “Is that a coyote?”  Just about everybody said, “Whoa! It is a coyote!”  So, of course, we all looked—the creature in question was maybe a hundred yards to the west– and the coyote looked back and crossed the trail a couple of times, not particularly alarmed, but apparently not interested in forming any lasting relationships with a bunch of pale faces in his territory.  Joe got out his binoculars and we could all try to get a better look before Mr. Wiley eventually decided that he had important business elsewhere.  Pretty cool!  How do you top that?

Well, it wasn’t exactly a downhill slide, even then, with few more fauna to accompany the flora.  We got an explanation for the behavior of the “Quaking” Aspen, a look at some galls; a couple of turkey vultures circled overhead checking to see if we had expired yet, ready to have us over for dinner—or just HAVE us for dinner.  We saw blackberry and black raspberry bushes, we listened for birds, we dodged bikers (What?  They think that they get to use this space too?), we looked at—and avoided– the poison ivy.

Ah, yes, the dreaded Toxicodendrons radicans, (also known as Rhus toxicodendrons or Rus radicans)…poison ivy to us rubes.  It sure is a healthy-looking plant, vigorous, even, and growing everywhere (It particularly likes edges of cleared spaces  where there are trees and shrubs to climb and more sunshine than deep in the forest, but anywhere will do).  Nobody got into that greenery but we did get some admonitory snippets of doggerel verse : “Don’t be a dope, don’t touch the hairy rope”, “Hairy vine, no friend of mine”, “Berries white, danger in sight”, “Leaflets three, leave it be”.  I do usually get at least a couple of itchy bumps per year but they’re almost certain to be little gifts from some cat or other who has spent time out frolicking in the shrubbery by the creek bank then wants to cuddle up with somebody inside.  That somebody is frequently me.

So…anyway…there will be more hikes of greater or lesser distance and difficulty over this late summer and fall—throughl November, I think—sponsored and led by the Portage County Park District and its volunteers (Joe Malmisur, Principal Factor)through six of the trails in the system(Some of them get  used more than once).  It’s the Wild Hikes Challenge, a program designed to encourage healthy recreation in the park system’s parks and trails; it’s a showcase for Portage County’s rich natural and cultural heritage.  It’s also likely to be  fun.  Individuals who complete 8 of the hikes—verified—will earn a hiking staff crafted by workers at The Hiram Farm.  Donations are suggested to cover costs.

Get the good on you.  Give it a try.   Take a hike.

 

Clarence-Henry

Hiram – There’s a new face on the block near the Hiram Professional Building. Hiram College Alumni and former football player Clarence Henry recently opened the Hub in the space formerly occupied by Da Bar. The new establishment takes its name from the business, which originally occupied the space in 1956. According to Henry, the name is meant to evoke an experience of a social gathering among friends. He hopes his venture provides that social networking experience to the surrounding business owners, community members and college students. Not surprising, since his opportunity at the Hub arose when Henry, a former bar manager, learned the location was available while visiting another local establishment. Originally from Florida, Henry and his family, his fiancé and three young children, now call Hiram home. In addition to being a business owner, Henry also plays football for the Ohio Golden Knights, the top ranked amateur football team in the Ohio Football League.

Since opening the Hub, Henry and his team of ten employees have added a pool table and dart league, and offers daily specials. On Tuesday Tequila Night, Henry boasts they serve the best margaritas in town. Each Friday is Ladies Night, with special prices on martinis, and special drink offerings for the men, as well. The Hub also boasts of having 10 beers on tap, from the standard Budweiser and Great Lakes, to Blue Moon, Alchemy Ale, and Guinness.

But wanting to be known as more than just a watering hole, the Hub will also be taking full advantage of its close proximity to Gionino’s Pizzaria by facilitating pizza, sub and wing orders to hungry Hub customers. In addition, Henry will soon be providing burgers from the recently re-opened Hiram Corner Store, and has plans to bring in local food trucks, O Loco Gringo and The Dogfather, who offer Mexican fare, as well as BBQ ribs and hot dog sandwiches — a perfect way to serve Hiram College students returning at the end of August. The Hub also has a DJ and plans to host karaoke, open mike night, and line dancing. To find out the latest news, be sure to follow the Hiram Hub on Facebook.

 

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This year’s 51sth Annual Ox Roast Fair the weekend of July 18-20 at St. Joseph’s in Mantua was a wonderful event despite some weather challenges. Mother Nature gave us a little bit of everything . . . a beautiful Friday, off & on showers for Saturday with cooler temps, and then a hot & humid Sunday. Crowds did not disappoint;  the fun and entertainment were delightful and the food was delicious, as usual. Folks from the surrounding area and even out of state visitors enjoyed the hospitality of the Parish Community of St. Joseph. Thank you to everyone who came out and supported, volunteered, promoted, donated, and worked this year’s great event. This annual parish fundraiser directly supports the educational and sacramental ministries of St. Joseph Parish.

The Fair’s raffle drawings were held at 9:30 p.m. on Sunday. For the event’s main raffle the 2nd prize of a $500 Kalahari Resort gift card was won by Nanette Van Auken of Mantua, and the top prize of $5,000 was awarded to Tom Gedeon of Garrettsville. A few lucky fair-goers were awarded prizes through the hourly drawings in which winners had to be present: Camille Bichsel, Deb Bukas, Gary Kwasny, and Amanda Willett.

The 50/50 raffle was held each day with the following prizes awarded: Friday – no winner ($$ rolled over to Saturday), Saturday ($1,351.00) – Marian Angus of Windham, Sunday ($597.50) – Anonymous of Hudson. The Knights of Columbus Women’s Auxiliary held a raffle for an RCA 46″ LED Flat-screen TV which went to Crystal Chevrier. Second prize of a Sports Basket went to Terry Frost. Proceeds from their raffle go towards furnishing the group’s “Christmas Family” with food and gifts for the entire family.

Now in it’s third year, the “Run of the Ox” 5K Run/Walk was held on Saturday morning with 82 participants despite steady showers. Coming out on top overall for the men were Pete Hannan, Jakab McConnell, and David Krause, and for the women were Rosalie Franek, Kira Edic, and Michelle Zuponcu. For a complete list of placement times, visit hmapromotions.net and click on race results.

A big thank you to event sponsors and donators: Oscar Brugmann Sand & Gravel, Coldwell Banker, Giant Eagle, University Dental of Garrettsville, Inc., F & S Automotive, Compass Packaging, Brooks & Stafford, Jake’s.

Another great crowd-pleaser was the Kiddie Tractor Pulls on Saturday. The Mantua Knights of Columbus donated their equipment for the little pullers and members helped run the event. Trophies were awarded to the following top winners. In the 4 & 5 age category, Colton Warnick, age 4 of Garrettsville, placed third, Matt Wright, age 5 of Butler, took second, and Dmitry Hruby, age 5 of Grafton, won the age level with his first place pull. For the 6 & 7 year olds, Sam Wright, age 7 of Butler, accomplished third place, Hank Winland, age 7 of Mantua, won second place, and Roxxy Bretz, age 7 of Mantua, beat them out for first place. The 8 & 9 year old level saw Kierra Lommler, age 8 of Streetsboro, placed third, Dominic Goff, age 8 of Shalersville, achieved second place, and Nathan Walker, age 8 of Shalersville, attained first place.

Sunday’s Frog Jumping Contest was a hopping good time. Congratulations to third prize winner Brandon Hall, age 8 of Kent, who was awarded $3.00, a stuffed frog toy, and an Ox Roast t-shirt, and to second prize winner Ally Clayman, age 10 of Mantua who won $5.00, a stuffed frog toy, and a t-shirt. First prize of $10.00, a stuffed frog toy, and a t-shirt was won by Brendan Fejes, age 9 of Mantua.

Thank you to all of our karaoke contest participants, our judges Tiffany Bolton, Skip (from Jake’s), Jason Stakowski, and a special thanks to Jake’s, the event’s sponsor. Congratulations to the following who came out on top! 1st ($200) – Connor Rowe, Mantua; 2nd ($100) – Mya, Ky, Mani & VV Hawkins/Whitehead, Ravenna; 3rd ($50) – Raymond Markward, Shalersville.

Girl Scout Troops assisted in collecting non-perishable products for Mantua’s community cupboard, the 4C’s on Sunday. They delivered canned goods and other items to the 4C’s who were most appreciative on behalf of those in need. As in years past, St. Joseph’s donated leftover food items to the Center of Hope in Ravenna who were most appreciative. In addition to the Girl Scouts several of our Parish Groups wish to thank all who supported their efforts at this year’s Fair. Members of the Knights of Columbus Council #3766 volunteer a tremendous amount of time helping with maintenance, set-up, and take-down as well as working throughout the Fair. Boy Scout Troop #575 members and their families continued delicious fund raising efforts with their Sausage Sandwich booth. This hard-working group of young men put forth a tremendous effort in helping with Fair set-up, cleaning the grounds, and take-down of the Fair. Members of Cub Scout Pack #3575 manned the Pop Booth once again this year. Thanks, guys! The Crestwood Band Boosters added to the Fair by handling the Dunking Booth to help raise funds for themselves and the parish. A similar agreement was made with the Crestwood Youth Wrestling group who did a terrific job assisting with parking on the grounds and with Aurora’s Our Lady of Perpetual Help Knights of Columbus Council #14186 who provided delicious kettle corn.

Trade booths at this year’s fair included: Carlton Harley-Davidson, Tupperware (Megan Starr), Judges Muldowney/Berger, Scentsy Wickless Candles, Shaffer Airbrushing, Mel Jabkul’s Crafts, Portage County Tea Party, Over The Line Productions (Caricatures), Ohio State Home Services, Inc., Crossroads Community Church, For Rednecks By Rednecks, M-Bellished Frames by CQPQ, Final Touch Construction, Bath Fitter, and University Hospital. Thank you to each of them for adding to the festivities. Our generous sponsors toward the fireworks display were 7 Up Bottling Group and Snapple Beverages.

A big thank you to a number of area businesses and individuals helped to sponsor our Truck, Tractor & Semi Pulls throughout the weekend: Special Moments Catering, Auburn Pipe, Aflac Insurance, Lyle Tayerle, Independent Agent, Auto Rehab, Jon Martin, Owner, Geauga Lake Auto Sales, Ferrara Electric (Joe Ferrara, owner), Lakeside Sand & Gravel, Penney’s Automotive, TL Service Center, F & S Automotive, Impressions Styling Studio (Gina Fischione), Acorn LPG (donating propane), Sunrise Springs (donating bottled water), Dr. Thomas Pesarchick, DDS, Osborn Landscaping, Industrial Connections, Kozsey Landscaping Service, My First  School, Aurora, Kodash Excavating, Mantua, Hiram House Salon & Day Spa (Tammy Lingro), Ittell Transportation (David Ittel, owner), and Central Petroleum Co. Visit the parish’s website for a complete list of pull results.

The Ox Roast Fair also wishes to thank several generous businesses who donated items for this year’s event: 7UP Bottling Group & Snapple Beverages; Sunrise Springs offered the bottled water used for making the Lemon Shake-Ups; Hermann’s Pickles of Garrettsville for several gallons of their delicious product; beer mug sponsors The Village Tavern, Carma Promotions, Lakeside Sand & Gravel, Jake’s, Oscar Brugmann Sand & Gravel, TL Service Center, Denny Herr & Sons Well & Pump, and Carlton Yarnell Chipping Service, LLC; raffle ticket printing costs were covered by McGinnis Amusements; Mantua Station Drug Co. helped with flyer printing expenses; and, Acorn LPG of Ravenna provided propane used throughout the weekend. St. Joseph’s would also like to express their appreciation to the Entertainment Stage sponsor, Carlton Harley-Davidson, to the Family Ox Land sponsor, Barky Mart, to the EMS Squad sponsor, Lakeside Sand & Gravel, and to this year’s Blessing of Bikes sponsor, The Village Tavern, and to anyone who donated or supported this year’s event in any way.

The Parish Community of St. Joseph’s looks forward to entertaining and meeting the Mantua community and beyond in 2015. Mark your calendars for the third weekend in July, 2015 (that’s the 17th, 18th & 19th) for St. Joseph’s 52nd Annual Ox Roast Fair. Be sure to visit their website, www.stjosephmantua.com, for complete details. They also have a Facebook page, St. Joseph’s Ox Roast Fair, with lots of photos and news.

Again, St. Joe’s thanks everyone who made this year’s Fair such a community success.

center-school

Mantua – One hundred years ago, children and teachers journeyed either on foot or in wagons, as the school bell chimed out each day at the Mantua Center School in Mantua Township. Over the years — through two World Wars and many generations of local families — the school remained, a central fixture within the township. Although the last group of students departed the building for the final time in 2004, students, teachers, community members, and even a special guest from Columbus will have the opportunity to go back to school, at least for a few hours, on Saturday, August 9th, from 1 to 4 pm.

Senator John Eklund will be speaking at Saturday’s special event. Eklund was a staunch supporter of the effort to get the building listed on the National Register of Historic Places, which occurred last fall. He represents Senate District 18, which includes Portage County and portions of Lake and Geauga Counties, and resides in Munson Township. In addition to Eklund’s remarks, the event will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the building, which was completed in 1914. Up through the 1940s, the school served grades one through twelve of the entire Township. At that time, it shifted enrollment to grades kindergarten through seven. Several of the school’s oldest alumni have been invited back to the event, and to meet Senator Eklund.

The Mantua Restoration Society, in conjunction with the Mantua Historical Society, is hosting the event on Saturday, to demonstrate what Carole Pollard refers to as, “the sweep of time the building has been through,” Both groups plan to have several exhibits throughout the building, highlighting world and local events that occurred throughout its century of life. In addition, a small classroom exhibit will showcase desks, materials, clothing and photos from the early life of the school. The event will include tours of the building, as well as  ice cream and cake to celebrate the building’s historic 100th birthday.

Part of the building’s history revolves around the school bell — the 1,500-pound bell that was originally purchased by the Township to be used as a civil defense bell. The bell is roughly three times the size of the one at the Township Hall. Apparently, it took quite an effort from Stamm Contracting to fix it in place at the top historic building. During a regular school day, the bell was rung at least four times, by pulling the bell rope located in the top floor landing.

Tom Rauber, who served as Principal from 1992 through 2004, was asked to contact the school’s former teachers and staff, to let them know of the momentous occasion. “There’s such a history there — It’s always neat to go back,” Rauber shared.  He’s been back to the school for various events, including the graduation party of a former student. Rauber’s student attended Center School, as did his parents. They chose to rent the gymnasium to host their son’s high school graduation party.

When the school closed in 2004, Rauber and his staff and students marked the occasion, in part, by sharing the stories of former teachers and students. As the final school day ended, the group rang the historic bell 90 times, once for each consecutive year the school was in operation. The interviews, as well as the rest of the closing ceremony, were recorded on DVD, and will be shared at Saturday’s event. At Saturday’s event, the bell will again be rung — and perhaps you or someone you know will have the opportunity to help ring it.

Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary Club members wished their local Rotary Student Exchange participant, Rachel Schwan, good luck and Godspeed on her adventure in Thailand for the coming school year.  They also welcomed visitor Skip Schweitzer,  columnist for The Villager.

Current items of business included : Carol Donley’s certification as a local student exchange co-ordinator, the Kent club is seeking volunteers for their yearly assistance to arriving foreign students at Kent State University, Tom Collins reported attending the Rotary Day ball game at the Cleveland Indians’ Progressive Field on August 1, with a special welcome and recognition by the Tribe announcer , updating of signatures on financial documents for banking purposes, reminder about the invitation to tour the new Garfield Elementary School project on August 11,checking steak orders for the steak fry on August 11 at 6:00.

Tom Collins reported on the Headwaters Trail project grant application to District 6630, citing assistance from Steve Zabor of the Mantua-Shalersville club and possible involvement of other clubs in the undertaking.  Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary is already working on beautifying the signs at the entrances to the village of Garrettsville as well as encouraging the increased use of the Headwaters Trail.  At least one of the project submissions by Kent State University students focused on promoting walking in the village and this might be something to build on and present to developers to keep the “small town feel” of the village.  There will be a meeting with the planners on the Portage County Park District and G-H Rotary will bringing input and ideas.

Dues are due.  Membership is open to all.  Meetings are held on Mondays at noon in Cal’s II.  Come check out the locals.  You could be the spark To Light Up Rotary.