by -

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

by -

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Opening Convocation at Hiram College (Source: Hiram College)

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

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

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

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

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

Windham – Early August 30th many Windham village residents were roused out of their sleep by fire sirens as the W.V.F.D. Joint Fire Department responded to two calls within a mile of each other in the village at approximately an hour apart. The first call was received at 2:28 am for a house fire at 9930 Blanton Drive and an hour later they received a second call for a fire in a multi-housing unit at 9590 Green Meadow Drive.
The W.V.F.D. Fire Department had two trucks and eight men on the scene within eight minutes of receiving the call. They also responded to the second call and were assisted by Garrettsville, Hiram, Mantua, Streetsboro, Newton Falls, and Braceville Departments as they battled both the blazes. The fires were put out by 6:30 am, however Windham Fire Department remained on the scene until 11 am to watch for and put out hot spots. Both dwellings were a totally destroyed.

The house on Blanton Drive was unoccupied and no one was injured in the blaze. The multi-housing unit was partially occupied causing the residents to scramble to safety in the early hours of the morning. All the occupants were able to escape the blaze. The fire department treated one resident for smoke inhalation at the scene.

The two fires were suspicious from the beginning and were investigated by the Windham Police Department, with assistance from the Portage County Fire Investigation Unit and the State Fire Marshal’s Office. Following the investigation, the fires were ruled arson.
The police department promptly began an investigation by responding to tips they had received from the community, resulting in an arrest. On Thursday Mayor Rob Donham II and Windham Police Chief Gene H. Fixler announced that an arrest had been made and they are confident that they have the right person. Police have declined to give the name of the suspect as it is a minor. The seventeen year old is currently being held on aggravated arson charges at the Portage County Juvenile Detention Center.

Image Source: (

It’s been a dreary decade of war, recession and political wrangling since our world was utterly ripped from its moorings on September 11, 2001.

Seems like it was just in yesterday’s newscast: The backdrop of the New York City skyline, gleaming in the morning sunlight against a picture-perfect blue sky. But marring the pretty picture was a commercial airliner, which had just slammed into the north tower of the World Trade Center. It was 8:46 a.m.


Before we could quite digest that improbability, the impossible happened just 17 minutes later: A second jet plane crashed into the south tower. The shades of my mind snapped shut. I realized this was no accident. This was The Moment; the dreadful moment which had quietly haunted me with nagging foreboding for as long as I could remember.
Every generation has its collective crisis… a historic tragedy that erases the world as we once knew it and replaces it with a shadowy version of its former self. After the initial stage of stunned disbelief and loss of assumed invincibility, we must adapt to the ‘new normal’ if we’re to move forward at all. 9/11 was the crisis that would test our generation’s mettle.

How are we adapting to 9/11, a decade later? First, let’s review:

The Twin Towers were attacked by al-Qaeda operatives who hijacked American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175. Within less than two hours, both towers collapsed as a result of the impacts. A third hijacked jet was crashed into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. A fourth airliner — United Airlines Flight 93, redirected toward Washington, D.C. — was brought down near Shanksville, Pennsylvania by passengers and crew who sacrificed themselves in order to save the nation’s capitol from becoming the next target.

The compound tragedies of 9/11 were overwhelming:

Nearly 3,000 victims and all 19 hijackers died in the attacks; 2,749 people from 83 different countries perished with the Twin Towers; New York City Fire Department lost 343 firefighters; 1,337 vehicles were crushed when the towers collapsed; 1.5 million working hours over 261 days were spent removing debris at the WTC site, thereafter known as Ground Zero; The fires at Ground Zero burned for 99 days, until December 19; 184 people were killed in the attack on the Pentagon; There were no survivors from any of the flights, and the majority of casualties were civilians representing 70 countries.*

A year after 9/11, National Public Radio collected reactions from everyday Americans, grappling with their attempts to cope with the national tragedy.

Here was a typical response… “Denial is no longer a luxury I can claim. Now I know that our nation is vulnerable. My grandchildren are vulnerable. All of us are… How can we heal all of this?”

Ten years have now passed since 9/11, and in conversations cropping up around Labor Day weekend bonfires, picnics and other get-togethers, mixed emotions and unanswered questions endured. Recalling that fateful day, most people worried, “What next? When, where and how will the next attack take place? And why do they hate us so much?”

Mothers of young children feared for their futures. “I have to be with my children if this is the beginning of the end,” one woman told her boss as she walked out of the medical office where she worked.

“Now I feel like I’ve lost the right to protect my kids,” said another. “It really impacted me when my youngest son was about to board his first airplane, and I couldn’t even wait with him or meet him at the gate when they got back. I couldn’t be a mom and be there for him.”
Others carried on in a state of denial, trying to maintain status quo and a sense of control as the world around them failed to cooperate. Young men felt overwhelming anger and the desire to retaliate immediately.

Children who were in elementary school when the War on Terror was launched, couldn’t comprehend the meaning behind the new fear and seriousness they suddenly saw in the faces of their parents and teachers. Later, they were frustrated by the consequences… a moratorium on long-distance field trips, the inability to travel to Niagara Falls without a passport, a sense of vulnerability during an otherwise carefree period of life.

“Now it’s here,” said another. “… Like a distant disease that had been wiping people out overseas, suddenly hits home and now we’re all exposed.”

Others saw things in a different light: “After getting past the initial shock, anger and sadness, what remains is a renewed love for life, and a heightened sense of compassion and tolerance…”

Perhaps we are adapting, after all.

* Sources: U.S. Department of State, USA TODAY

by -

Windham – Windham Board of Education (BOE) met for their  regular monthly meeting a week earlier to accommodate a board member’s work schedule.
Legislative report was given by Melissa Roubic who reported that Ohio House Bill (HB) H.B. 202 will limit the retire /rehire benefits of school employees that will effect some of the school’s employees. She also reported that the state’s changing the minimum required  number of school days to hours will make it a challenge if the new proposal to have all school instruction days  take place between Labor Day and Memorial Day. This bill is being discussed but currently is not a law. In other legislative news, the state has appointed a new committee to examine the possibility of making the funding to districts correlate with student performance.
In the superintendent’s report, Gregg Isler reported that the ACT scores for the district were still improving. He also reported that the buildings were ready to go, the school has received enough backpacks for students in K-5th grade, including new enrollees, and the Brick by Brick Scholarship Fund after this year’s dinner stands at $187,000. The dinner raised approximately $3700.
Principal Michael Chaffee acknowledged staff members Roger Eakins, Barbara Balchick, Robert Kujala, Dougle Hankins and Alysia Tinker for attending the technology workshop in Columbus and their tireless work on obtaining technology grants for the district. He also reported that band and fall sports were up and running. This year Windham will not be fielding a junior varsity football team due to lack of participants.
Craig Alderman, transportation and maintenance supervisor, reported that the parking lot light timers were way off and he is currently looking for digital timers for them. The current timers are out-dated, difficult to set and easily get off schedule. He stated that the school buildings and buses are ready to go. The 2011-2012 bus stop schedules have been posted on fliers and have been distributed around town. Parents, please note the new start time for Katherine Thomas Elementary school is 9 am. Due to the time adjustment, students can expect the buses to arrive about 10 minutes later than last year. Also new in transportation, after studying the dangers of the intersection verses the liability of children walking across private property, the board agreed to allow the bus to turn onto Wadsworth Road to pick up students. In the past students had to walk across private property to be picked up on SR 303 because of the limited visibility at the intersection.  The BOE will be asking the trustees for assistance in getting the state to post new signage stating that there will be a bus turning at the intersection. The bus will only make right turns on and off the road.
In other board new the board adjusted the position of Robert Kujala. He was originally hired to be the Director of Special Services/ Preschool His responsibilities will be elementary principal along with director of special services. The district hired Dr. David Root as part-time Education Administrative Specialist Consultant for the school year. He will be working in the special services department.  The board announced they have added extra responsibilities for Stacey Best who will be paid a stipend to assist the districts principals.  An executive session was held; with there being no decisions rendered, the meeting was adjourned. The BOE meets on the fourth Thursday of each month at 7pm at the board office.

Newton Township – For months now, members of the Newton Township Cemetery Association have volunteered their time and energy to bringing new life to a piece of local history – several pieces, in fact.
Multiple headstones, monuments, and other grave markers – many as old as the early 1800s – have fallen into disrepair due to age, the elements, and the misfortune of vandalism, and literally lie in pieces throughout the cemeteries in and around Newton Falls. The Cemetery Association has been working long hours to mend, patch, and restore these markers as close to their original condition as possible and bring dignity back to the final resting places of so many former residents of the small town. Always a continual process, the workers have been doing as much as they can before the snow falls, while contending with the challenge of a humid Ohio summer, beating the heat by spending precious cooler morning hours among the quiet granite and marble, Association members have made significant progress in the restoration plan.
Last Thursday morning, members from the local American Legion Post 236 stopped by the cemetery down the street from the fire station to present a check to the Association volunteers. Opened in 1813 and considered the first hallowed ground in Newton Falls, this is just one of the seven cemeteries under the care of the Township. The funds will be used for construction materials to repair headstones and landscaping elements in an effort to further beautify and honor the sacred spaces.
If anyone is interested in helping out and could spare a few hours with the project, the Cemetery Association meetings are the third Thursday of each month at the Township Administration Building. Also, they plan to have an informational table at the Firefighters Auxiliary’s Chili Cook-Off on Saturday, October 1st. They would love to share with you how you could be a part of this historical undertaking.

by -

Troy Township – Troy Township celebrated 200 years this past weekend as they resurrected their Homecoming that had fizzled out several years ago.  This year’s event was very similar to days gone by with added events for a modern day flair.

The celebration started Friday night with the first-ever Troy Idol. The idol contest was emceed by Linda Cain and had the following format: Each of the nine performers would sing before the audience and three judges, with the top five performers moving on to the final round. The top six ended up moving on due to a tie. When the last note was sung and the judges deliberated Maria Vrenko from Chardon was declared Troy Idol 2011. Runner-up was Caitlin Overton from Concord, Ohio and Garrettsville’s Kenny Brigham finished third. Congratulations to the winners.
Saturday was a jam-packed day with an Amish softball game, horseshoe competition, cornhole contest K-9 demonstration and more.

One of the highlights of the day was the garden tractor pulls. The event followed the Ohio Garden Tractor Pullers Association (OGTPA) rules, had a variety of garden tractors with folks of all ages competing. Those not participating staked out a claim to watch the pulls. For those who were not into pulls, Saturday evening could sit under the pavilion and listen to music, take a cruise through the Community House to see the memorabilia from past events, see the contents of the time capsule that was buried in 1976, and a craft show. The evening closed out with contra dancing in the Community House.
Sunday started off with worship followed by the car show, community chicken dinner, K-9 demonstration, tractor pulls, a grand parade and more.  Late in the day a new time capsule was assembled,  ready to be preserved for a later time. The event closed out with a 50/50 drawing, auction and raffles.

The celebration brought out folks from all phases of life to celebrate the townships 200th Birthday. The old-timers spent much of the day reminiscing and getting reacquainted with their neighbors. The younger crowd came to eat, listen to music, watch tractor pulls, hang with friends and create memories of their own so in 25 years they will have something to reminisce about. All in all, it was a good celebration that took folks back to a simpler time with a modern day pizzazz.

Happy Birthday Troy!

Garrettsville – The James A. Garfield Historical Society held their pot-luck picnic for the summer at the home of Iva Walker on August 15.  The food, as usual, was the highlight of the evening but plans for the approaching Antiques Appraisal Fair came in a close second.  A meeting held around a fire pit, with desserts on plates, can get plenty lively.  Stories are called for and recited, ideas drift in with the smoke.  Interest in all things historical…or hysterical…can take new and fascinating paths.  Volunteers (and the semi-coerced) were signed up for the fair and plans were laid for more activities throughout the year.  The uninvited mosquitoes and lightning bugs were in evidence as the gathering broke up.

Regular meetings of the JAGHS are held in the organization’s headquarters at the Mott Building on Garrettsville’s Main Street at 7:30 on every third Monday of the month.  All are invited.

For all of you out there who’ve been just waiting to join the Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary Club but got hung up on the meeting night, here’s your chance.  The group is moving back to its Monday night time slot and will be convening at the Kennedy Center in Hiram at 5:30.  The food and the service at the Main Street Grille and Brewing Company were outstanding , greatly appreciated and may be utilized at a later date for special occasions but Mondays are the “dark night” at “the Mill” so the change requires a new venue.  Many thanks to the accommodating chef, staff and the Kepiches for their hospitality.

On August 23 and 30 the G-H club will be meeting for special programs with the Mantua-Shalersville club.  Regular programming begins after the Labor Day holiday, on September 12.  Everyone is invited.

Middlefield – On Saturday Aug. 27, 2011, the Sparrow Christian Bookshop in Middlefield will be collecting manual wheelchairs, canes, crutches, and walkers for the Joni and Friend’s, Wheelchairs for the World program, between the hours of 9 a.m. 2 p.m.   Since 1994, the Wheels for the World ministry has presented the Gospel by delivering wheelchairs and Bibles in developing countries. But Wheels for the World is not simply about “dropping off a wheelchair”. It’s about changing the hearts, minds, and lives of people. It’s about transforming societies, village by village, person by person.  Each piece of equipment will be restored and given to people in need in developing nations.

Wheels for the World shares the love of Jesus Christ extended through the gift of mobility by bringing hope, joy and salvation to children and adults with disabilities around the world.

Sparrow Christian Bookshop is located at the intersection of Routes 608 and 87.  Store hours are Monday – Thursday 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Friday 9 a.m.-8 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Garrettsville – The Garrettsville Chamber of Commerce will host their 10th  Bi-Annual Business Showcase  on October 20, 2011 at James A. Garfield High School and they are currently looking for vendors for the event. The showcase gives Northeast Ohio venders an opportunity to market their business among friends for a nominal fee. The deadline for registration is October 1, 2011. Reservation forms can be obtained by contacting Michelle at the The Weekly Villager (330) 527-5761.

Cost for the event for Chamber members is $75, non-members is $120. Registration fee includes an 8 foot table, 2 chairs, bottled water and your business ad in our showcase booklet. Once again table sharing will not be permitted and table covers are not provided. Set-up will begin at 3pm and electrical check will be done at 4:30. Doors will open to the public at 5pm. Venders are expected to stay until the showcase ends at 8pm. The last nine showcases have been very successful so it is recommended that you reserve your space early as space will be limited.

Garrettsville Chamber works hard at promoting the region and hosting a variety of community events.   The Bi- Annual event supports the chamber’s scholarship fund. Each year the chamber awards three scholarships to deserving graduates. Two scholarships are awarded to James A. Garfield graduates and the third scholarship is for an area resident who plans on attending Hiram College . Each scholarship that is awarded will be a minimum of $1000.  Proceeds from the showcase go toward the scholarship fund.

Questions about the showcase can be directed to Chuck Klamer at (330) 647-0215.

Middlefield – Entrepreneur Magazine on-line published an article entitled “Crafting: A Silver Lining in a Tough Economy.1”  Although the article was published in 2009, much of its information rings true today.  It explains how a bad economy brings out the inner crafter in many people.  It is a well-known fact that when there are times of turmoil or economic downturn that crafting, in all forms, gets renewed interest.

I ,personally, remember after 9/11 trying to learn to knit as did many of my friends.  When the economy took a downturn a few years ago I started to cross-stitch again after many years of not doing any crafts.  Crafting is a way for people to stay close to home, use their hands for something productive and is a great way to give gifts without a lot of expense as opposed to being gifts for birthdays, baby showers and the like.  Crafting feeds that internal need many people have to go back to simpler times.

If you are looking to start a new craft, refresh existing skills or everything in between, The Craft Cupboard located in Middlefield may very well be the place you are looking for.  Sure you can shop in the big box craft stores, but Mary Lou and Roger Kalb, the store’s owners, have a delightful shop full of craft supplies as well as many types of pre-made craft items.  They also offer classes.  The Craft Cupboard is located at 14275 Old State Road at Settler’s Village in Middlefield (right behind Middlefield Cheese).  They are open from 10 am. until 5 pm. Monday through Saturday.  Visa, MasterCard and Discover are accepted.

Just looking around the shop I saw folk art paint supplies, stencils, silk flowers, idea books, penny rug kits, many different types of yarn, tins, untreated wood crafts, clay, doll parts, seasonal crafting items, jewelry making materials, ribbon, card and scrap-booking items, quilting supplies and fabrics – just to name a few of the items offered.  There are two rooms devoted to just fabrics and wools.  You can also find sewing accessories and patterns galore.

Please call Mary Lou or Roger at 440.632.5787 to find out more about upcoming classes.  Classes are usually run in the Spring and Fall, but it is always best to call if you are interested in learning what options they have available.
Their website,, offers a chance to view some of the kits and options available for crafting.  Nothing compares to walking into the store though.  It is like a candy store for crafters with craft ideas abounding from every available inch.  The longer you can stay and shop, the more ideas you will come up with and the more fun you will have.

After 32 years in business Mary Lou and Roger know their crafts.  They are available to help you find just the right supplies for just the right project.  The personal touch is one of many advantages to shopping at a local store rather than a huge mega-store.  It makes no difference if you are a seasoned veteran or new to a craft, crafting is for everyone.  If you have ever thought you are not crafty enough, forget that thinking…everyone has talent, sometimes you just need someone to help you find yours.  The journey is half the fun and at the end, who knows, you might have even learned something about yourself.  The Craft Cupboard is a great place to expand your horizons and stretch yourself.  Why not try a new craft today!

Do not forget to visit the other unique shops of Settler’s Village

Garrettsville -  Friends of Melana are hosting a murder mystery night to benefit Children’s Glioma Cancer. The dinner will be held at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Mantua on September 10, 2011 with doors opening at 6pm. The fun-filled evening will have the Curtains-up Theater drama group performing the mystery.

The mystery will focus on the finality of Rydell High as the graduates gather for their last hurrah. Expect to see your favorite Rydell High School alumni, whether it is Rizzo, Kanickie, Danny, Sandy, Frenchie or even Vince Fontaine as they reminisce about  their school days at Rydell High. The reunion will have a few surprises one being when one of the cast members turns up dead. The drama is an interactive theatre where the audience is part of the show and will need to figure out who dunnit. The tickets are $25 each and are on sale now by calling 330 357-9946 or can be purchased at Huntington Bank in Garrettsville or Miller’s Restaurant, also in Garrettsville.

The tickets include a catered dinner and the drama along with a Chinese auction, 50/50 raffle and a cash beer and wine bar. Gather your friends and come on out and celebrate a great evening with friends and to help a good cause. Proceeds from this event will go for children’s glioma in memory of Melana who lost her battle to the disease.

Children’s glioma cancer gets very little or no research dollars unless specifically designated to them because  the cancer is so rare. In the meantime, the treatments of the children are being done on a trial and error basis. Friends of Melana are raising funds so there will be more advances in research for better treatment options. The group hopes to see advances in the treatment to be done in a lab rather than on the kids, with the ultimate goal of finding a cure.

Friends of Melana were originally a support group for Melana’s family as they navigated through the stress of glioma with their daughter/granddaughter Melana. The group later shifted their focus to raising funds for a cure to honor her memory. Friends of Melana operate under Prayers for Maria which is a non-profit group raising funds for glioma research. For more information on the dinner, questions can be directed to Stacey Neer 330 357-9946.

Shalersville – A meeting to address residents’  concerns about fracking and land leases will be held in Shalersville, at the Shalersville Townhall, 9090 State Route 44, Ravenna,  on Tuesday, August 30th, 2011, at 7 P.M. SHARP.
Presenters will discuss the impacts of leasing and also address the leases currently circulating in the Mantua, Streetsboro, Shalersville, Freedom, Windham, and Ravenna area.  Time for Q & A from the public is planned.
Conflicting information from landsmen representing Chesapeake and other big corporations, landowner “association” representatives, and property owners worried about water and property values is growing in the area. The meeting will present impacts, risks, scope, and leasing facts in an accountable and researched manner.

Burton – The Great Geauga County Fair is Ohio’s oldest fair, featuring more than 65 performers, acts, shows and contests, including the annual Fair King & Queen Contest. It’s an ideal family-friendly destination over Labor Day weekend, September 1-5, 9 a.m. to midnight daily.

Since 1823, Geauga County residents of all ages have made their mark at the fair. In 2010, 14,000 exhibits were entered for judging in a variety of competitions and categories including livestock, horticultural and agricultural products, fine arts, domestic arts, antiques and collectibles, culinary and baked goods and many more.
The main grandstand features five live action shows this year, including Demolition Derbies, TNA Live Wrestling, Truck Pulls, FMX (Free Motocross) Championships, and a hot air balloon demonstration. Children 6 and under attend all shows for free. On opening day, TV8 Cleveland news weatherman Dick Goddard will host the Chicken Flying Contest at noon at the small grandstand.
Exhibit halls will be open from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. and rides will be operational from noon-midnight. All exhibits close at 8 p.m. on Monday. Registration for Junior Fair livestock sales starts at 2 p.m. on Saturday, September 3 in the arena.
Advance gate admission is $6; and an online advance sale five-day pass is $25 ( Daily gate admission is $7 for adults, while kids 12 and under attend for free. Also, parking is free at the fairgrounds. Thursday will be Youth Day, with admission free for those 18 and under; plus reduced ride prices from noon through 10 p.m. Friday will be Senior Day, Veterans’ Day & Youth Day; when anyone 65 and older, 18 and younger, and veterans attend the fair for free.
Four sets of young men and women from Geauga County have been nominated by their 4-H clubs for 2011 Great Geauga County Fair royalty. Those vying for the King & Queen crowns include:

Bryan Briggs

Bryan is the son of Rick and Lisa Briggs of Troy Township. He is a 2011 Berkshire High School graduate. While at Berkshire, Bryan was a five-year member of the marching band and concert band.  He is a 10-year member of Auburn Swine 4-H Club, being president for two years, and a three-year member of Breeders and Feeders. During his 4-H career he has held many positions in his clubs, including Health Officer and Environmental Officer. Bryan has served on the Junior Fair board and is a past president. He is a 4-H camp counselor and has done many volunteer hours with the Geauga Park District and the Department on Aging. This fall he is attending OSU ATI, studying beef and sheep management.

Rick Loveland, Jr.

Over the past eight years, Rick has been involved in Geauga County 4-H, Junior Fair, Junior Leaders, Junior Fair board, and his 4-H club, Little Porkers.  He has served as president of Little Porkers, President of his class, Vice President of Student Council, Editor of Ledgemont’s yearbook and newspaper, Teen Institute Youth Staff, LAB Alumni Representative, and Relay for Life Team captain. He has also been involved in National Honor Society, HOBY (a youth leadership conference), Project Love, Teens Against Bullying, and Envirothon. A senior at Ledgemont High School, he is a member of the Varsity Football and Wrestling teams.  Rick has raised swine for eight years, turkeys for three years and ducks for two years through Little Porkers.

Sam Sharpnack

Sam is a senior at Notre Dame Cathedral Latin High School and is the son of Linton and Patricia Sharpnack of Claridon. He is an active member of Geauga Caprine Kids, having served as President, Vice President, and currently as treasurer. He has received Gold Medal Awards for poultry, goats, leadership, and achievement and has also received the Ambassador of 4-H award.  He is a member of Junior Leaders and Junior Fair board and is a camp counselor. Sam is active in Spanish Club at NDCL and is a member of the track and cross-country teams, and has been a member of the football team.  He hopes to join the military after graduation from college.

Tom Somrack

Tom lives in Newbury with his parents, Larry and Colletta.The 16-year-old is a junior at Notre Dame Cathedral Latin High School.  Tom serves on the Campus Revitalization Task Force and is involved in St. Joseph of Arimathea Pall Bearer Society. Tom is also active at St. Helen’s Church, where he is involved in the Ross Group, cooking for spiritual retreats, and serving on the altar.  Tom is also a member of Boy Scout Troop 99 in Newbury. A Life Scout, he is working on his Eagle Scout badge by coordinating a project at the Geauga County Fairgrounds.  Tom is an active member of several 4-H clubs:  Flockmasters, Granny’s Kids, Junior Leaders, and Plantmasters, along with his activities on Junior Fair board and being a 4-H camp counselor at Camp Whitewood. Tom attended HOBY, a youth leadership conference, in the spring of 2011, and is a volunteer for Leadership Geauga. Tom runs a farmer’s market and shadows a veterinarian in hopes of pursuing a career in agriculture.

Sarah Anderson

Sarah is the daughter of Rick and Wendy Anderson. The 18-year-old is a graduate of Cardinal High School, where she participated in Cardinaires for four years, the school musical for four years, two years of varsity soccer, and two years in National Honor Society. She also spent the year as a Post Secondary Education student at Kent State.  Sarah has been involved in 4-H for 11 years, raising rabbits, ducks, turkeys, goats, and pigs. She is also a three-year member of Junior Fair board and was a member of Junior Leaders. In the fall, Sarah is attending the University of Findlay to pursue degrees in animal science and pre-vet medicine, specializing in large animals.  While pursuing her dreams, Sarah hopes to remain involved with 4-H as an advisor.

Elise Bruening

Elise is a senior at Madison High School and lives in Montville Township. She has been a member in several 4-H organizations for the past 12 years and has taken swine, dairy, and poultry projects to the Great Geauga County Fair.  She has held the positions of President, Secretary, Treasurer, Health, and Safety officer in these clubs and has been the recipient of a Gold Medal Award for Leadership and one for Achievement. She is also a member of the Geauga County Junior Leaders 4-H Club and is a counselor at Camp Whitewood.  At school, she is active in Math Club, Student Council, Prom Committee, and National Honor Society where she holds the office of President.  Elise has varsity-lettered in track, volleyball, and soccer.  She represented her high school at the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Conference. Following the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Elise co-chaired a fundraiser which raised over $1,100 dollars for Haitian orphans. She recently organized and completed a six-day, 325-mile fundraising bicycle journey from Pittsburgh, PA to Washington, DC and raised over $16,000 for Honor Flight Cleveland and World War II veterans. She will attend Lake Erie College as a post-secondary student, where she plans to get a head start on her goal of completing the Physician’s Assistant Masters degree program.

Kelsey Rumburg

Kelsey has been in 4-H for 10 years. She is the current President of her two 4-H clubs, Geauga Beef & Swine and All Cooped Up. Over the years, she has shown breeding beef, breeding sheep, pack goats, cavies, and poultry. Last year she completed and won the All Animal Showmanship Sweepstakes.  Kelsey is also the current Vice President of Junior Fair board, and treasurer of Junior Leaders.  She has been a camp counselor for two years.  Kelsey resides in Hambden Township with her parents, Ed and MaryBeth, and her many animals. She is a senior at Chardon High School and a full-time student at Lakeland Community College. She is a recent graduate of the Leadership Geauga Youth Program.

Ashley Winters

Ashley is 17 years old and a senior at Chardon High School, where, as a junior, she was an office assistant and a student tutor. This year she is a family consumer science teaching assistant.  She lives with her parents, Tom and Debbie Winters, and her sister, Leigh, in Hambden Township. She is the President of the Geauga County Junior Leaders 4-H Club and Braided-n-Banded Horse 4-H Club. Ashley has been a member of Geauga Horse & Pony Association for 10 years and represents them on Junior Fair board.  She is also a member of National Honor Society, Symphonic Band, the American Quarter Horse Youth Association, Northern Ohio Quarter Horse Association, and Northeastern Ohio Horseman’s Association. She has shown her quarter horse at all levels of competition. Ashley has been a volunteer visitor and made holiday gifts and cards for the Geauga County Home residents and has helped organize, collect, and wrap gifts for special families in Geauga County through Job and Family Services.  She plans to study medicine or animal science at the University of Findlay after graduation.

by -

Windham – Windham Library’s children’s garden participants were treated to an amazing exhibit at the August 8 meeting.  Fred Youngen, Pastor of the Windham Bible Church and Chairman of the Renaissance Family Center, shared his knowledge of honeybees. Youngen currently has eight active hives and brought a frame of live honeybees to show the children. He explained the activities and lifestyle of the honeybee.
For more information, call the Windham Library at 330-326-3145.  The library, located at 9005 Wilverne Drive, is open Monday and Friday, 10:00 am-4:00 pm; Tuesday and Thursday, 12:00 pm-6:30 pm; and closed on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. For additional information about library programs and services, please visit Portage County District Library online at

Windham – Last month seven members toured the Draime Estate Gardens in Howland, along with some guests and members of the Grass Roots garden club.  It is a private facility providing educational opportunities and hands on experiences to students of horticulture, art and science.  It is run by Kent State.  The 12 acre tour was magnificent.

The Dirt Daubers took part in the Windham Bicentennial parade July 30th, celebrating our 40 years as a club.

This month our guest speaker was Fred Youngem, a bee keeper.  He put on a wonderful program and even brought some of his bees, in a glass case, for us to see how busy, busy they are.
Next month we will meet at the home of Angie Smithburger on Sept. 12, at 7:00 with the program yet to be determined.

Garrettsville – The August meeting of The Heart of Doll Country was held at Garrettsville’s United Methodist Church on August 2nd.  After the minutes and Treasurer’s report were read, members discussed some upcoming proposed trips.  A visit to the Museum in Erie, Pennsylvania to see a display of life-sized needle sculpted dolls, the Strongsville Doll and Bear Show, and Kent State Museum of Fashion were all proposed.  We will check to see what the current display is at Kent, and decide if we will be going.  A lively discussion about next year’s luncheon was held, and a Christmas in July theme was decided upon.  We also talked about where we will hold the Christmas party this year, since we are not going to be meeting over the winter months.  At Share and Tell, member Barbara Dupay showed a carved wooden doll she had purchased from The Toy Shoppe, as well as passing out some catalogs from there.  Carolyn Englert had her Bleuette-type doll that had belonged to her mother.  Pat Dutchman provided refreshments as well as a program on Travel Dolls.  Jean Lawrence won the door prize, a lovely tote bag.  Sue Lehota held an extra drawing, which Carolyn won, a beautiful Japanese American Girl small doll.  The Heart of Doll Country meets on the first Tuesday of the month, at the Methodist Church, anyone who loves or makes dolls is welcome.  For more information, email

by -

The Antique Tractor Club of Trumbull County has had a busy summer.  They’ve participated in many parades, open houses, block parties, and sold gallons & gallons of bean soup for the Ashtabula Tractor’s clubs summer show.  We donated time & tractors plowing a field for the Grace Fellowship Church’s new property on Kings Graves Rd. in Vienna and so many other things I don’t have the space to mention.
We’ve been planning & having meetings to promote and prepare for our Annual Summer Show to be held at 1653 Ridge Road, Vienna Ohio.  This years show will be three days — Friday, Saturday, Sunday the 19th, 20th & 21st.We have 3 classes of tractor pulls (kiddie pedal tractors, bring your own or use one of ours) they are very competitive and a lot of fun to watch, garden tractors and the larger tractors everyone likes to compete between tractor brands.  What’s it going to be this year, Red, Green, yellow, gray or blue.  Come watch your favorite.  This year we’re promoting Fords.  Come and see how well you can drive a tractor or ride in our special made wagon (with nice cushy seats) on a trip through the fields and woods.  We have free homemade ice cream for all kids 12 & under.  Come watch Nick make ice cream right on the spot and a dish you’ll never forget  There is something for everyone including a flea market.  If you need more information, you can call: Joe Toth @330-240-6407 or Terry Taylor @330-637-8946.

Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary went into its international mode recently, entertaining Rotary Ambassadorial Scholars Yeonmin Kim of the Republic of South Korea and Sayuri Minakuchi from Japan at their August 10 meeting at the Main Street Grille and Brewing Company.  These well-spoken and personable individuals are both studying at Kent State University and made interesting presentations concerning certain cultural aspects of their homelands and their own educational paths.

Sayuri Minakuchi is a second-generation Ambassadorial Scholar; her mother had been designated as such during her scholastic career.  Sayuri spoke of the Japanese language, both spoken and written.  Japanese script is, basically, a simplified form of a system borrowed from the writing of China, employing seventeen sound elements–some English sounds are not among them.  Some  English/American words have appeared in modern Japanese usage without translation, especially in areas such as sports (baseball) or entertainment or food (pasta).  Students in Japan begin learning English as a second language from about the fifth grade level on.  Many international students–who have probably begun learning English in their respective countries at about the same time–come to the United States to study at least partly to improve their language skills, particularly in the area of idiomatic speech.  As is the case in most countries of the modern, industrialized world, some aspects of traditional culture are found side-by-side with western culture and can be confusing to the outside observer.
Yeonmin Kim spoke of  some social and political facets of  the Republic of South Korea,  where his Rotary District was #3670.  He is studying for a Ph.D. in Literature, with a focus on Irish literature, as he feels that there are certain similarities between South Korea and Ireland (Eire), particularly as regards the partition of the countries and their similar historical paths.  Political sensitivities and economics and hopes for unification play into the situations in both places.  The young father and former South Korean Marine also touched upon some topics that Americans actually did have a concept of, namely, tae kwan do and kimchi–a form of martial arts, and a signature Korean-style relish of sorts, that can do about as much damage as the fighting

Once again Rotary displays its bona fides  as a bridge between nations.

Addendum : the discussion continues for local Rotary groups–“sink or swim”…what stroke?  If you’d like to get into the conversation, visit your local club, they’ll love to have you and your suggestions.

Garrettsville – Village Council met on Wednesday August 10, for their regular scheduled monthly meeting.   Minutes from the July meeting and a motion to pay the current bills were approved.  Revenue, expenditure, cash balance, and income tax reports were reviewed.  Councilman Klamer discussed year-to-date revenue as compared to last year with Mayor Moser.  Both were pleased to report the village is currently financially sound.

The Mayor and Village Council presented a plaque to the family of Charles Abraham, in recognition of his life-long service, commitment and generosity to the Village of Garrettsville.  His promotion and support of the community was instrumental in its development.  Mr. Abraham (who passed away in May 2011) was a friend and inspiration to many.

A public hearing will be held before the September 14 council meeting to discuss several pending ordinances including Ordinance 2011-36, which will provide regulations to the use of large portable signs within the village and several other ordinances relating to clarification of zoning rules.

Discussion resumed from last month’s meeting about Garrettsville’s athletic fields and how to control use, limit liability, and collect revenue to help with improvements, repairs and upkeep.   Ordinance 2011-45 was presented on first reading, outlining a fee schedule and regulations for the use of these fields by outside organizations.  Concern was voiced about the fees being too high.  It was decided to re-evaluate and further discuss this ordinance at the September meeting.

Council voted to enact Ordinance 2011-46 that clarifies and updates the codified ordinances of the village in relation to the Garrettsville-Freedom-Nelson Volunteer Fire Department and the appointment of the fire chief.

Discussion also resumed regarding the importance of declaring an urban renewal for the village.  Ordinance 2011-48 was presented at first reading.  This ordinance would allow the Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) ordinance that is already on the books to be reactivated and updated.  The passage of this ordinance could be key in improving Garrettsville’s competitiveness to entice new businesses to the area partially through tax abatements that may be available from the state.

Ordinance 2011-47 was also presented at first reading and is a recommendation from the Board of Public Affairs (BPA) to establish a policy limiting the amount of bulk water that may be purchased and prohibiting the initiation of new bulk water accounts.  After some discussion council voted to send the ordinance back to the BPA for some revisions and clarifications before the next reading during September’s meeting.

Council gave approval to pay additional costs over initial estimates of work done on the Liberty Street sidewalks and the chip and seal of the new Garrettsville public parking lot behind the old Irwin Hardware building.  The mayor reported on the status of the Liberty Street bridge, that is closed between Center Street and Park Ave.  The mayor and Council President Rick Patrick met with the Portage County Engineer who told them that repairs can be made that would last between five and ten years for approximately $35,000.  To wait for demolition and rebuilding could take two to five years dependent on state and federal monies.  The mayor suggested the village offer a monetary incentive to get repairs done to the bridge by the engineer’s office before the end of the year.  After much discussion, council approved spending $10,000 toward repairs of the bridge with the understanding and assurance that the county would pay the rest of the costs, repairs would be completed by December 2011, and payment will only be made when the contract terms were met.

The guardrails at the post office parking lot were a topic of discussion at last week’s Planning Commission meeting and again tonight at the Village Council meeting.  The Planning Commission had asked the owner of the property to get his property surveyed to assure that the other adjacent owners’ property lines were not crossed by the ‘fence’.  The Planning Commission and Village Council understand the owner’s desire to limit access to his property, however, there was concern that the guardrail had been installed across property lines.  Permits would need to be applied for by each owner of the property that the fence may be on.  If one of the owners of the adjacent property does not want the guardrail, it will have to be moved to the actually property line.

Once business was taken care of, the mayor asked for  public comment.  A recommendation was presented for defibrillators to be carried in Garrettsville’s police cruisers.  A recent incident had prompted the recommendation after realizing that, in most cases, our police were first responders to 911 emergency calls and if the ambulance was out on another call, the police had limited resources to aid victims.  The mayor and council agreed it was worth exploring the suggestion.

During roundtable discussion, Councilman Hadzinsky commented on the cost to replace three fire hydrants.  He was surprised at the cost involved.  Councilman Kaiser reported his findings on purchasing a new leaf vac for the village.  He also stated trying to find a used one was very difficult.  The cost for a new one would be around $24,000 with a 45-60 day delivery.  Mr. Klamer asked council for approval of having Councilman Hadzinsky added to the Village Property and Sidewalk Committee.  Approval was granted.

Council President Patrick reported that the status of the Irwin property is still unknown.  He also stated he was approached by a resident to see if the village has a emergency shelter plan for those without basements during severe weather.  It was suggested that a formal plan should be made available to the public.  The Mayor reported on the economic development meeting from last Friday.  He stated the topic of discussion was “what would be an inducement for industry to locate here and what is distinguishing and unique about Garrettsville”.  He also wanted to remind everyone that school will be starting soon, the athletes and band students are already practicing and everyone needs to be aware of the students as they travel on our roads and sidewalks to and from school.

The next regular Village Council meeting will be held on September 14th.  A public hearing will begin at 7:30 p.m. and the meeting will commence immediately after at Village Hall.

Hiram – Mayor Bertrand called the meeting to order at 7 pm.  All members present.  The Mayor asked for approval of the minutes from the 7/12/11 meeting and the motion passed.
Guests and public comment:  Doug McGee of McGee & Associates, Inc. spoke on behalf of Hiram College: A HUD grant is available that college would like to apply for.  McGee would like to work with the Village on this 80/20 grant for a  Master Plan.  This new program was just announced on 8/3/11.  McGee wanted to apply  for $130k meaning that HUD would kick in $104k.  The Master Plan would cover the campus area and area around the campus which is part of the Village.
Councilperson Spencer questioned the distribution going to the college, he felt it should go to do work for the public.  The Council asked for more specifics; the grant is a planning grant for any neighborhood or any segment in the US.
Councilperson Spencer wanted to amend McGee’s proposal to allow it to be more for the village.  The monies go to writing the plan which would cover planning for what new facilities are needed in the area, documenting how are facilities being used at this time and a plan for the future.  A comprehensive plan will help the college make future plans and detail how it can benefit the community.  “If it benefits the college, it benefits the community” was McGee’s explanation.
The college is open to making amendments to  incorporate the village.  Council President Wadkins would like to partner with the college so that the benefits are for the college and for the village.  September 9th is the deadline.
The Mayor encouraged McGee to put something together and Councilpersons  Dempsey, Spencer and Donley agreed to work with the college as village representation.
Hiram 4th of July:  It was suggested that council consider taking over this endeavor.  It is a large undertaking and needs more people involved in the process.  The Western Reserve Kiwanis might be interested in taking over the project.  It was suggested that whoever takes over would want to keep Fire Department involved.  The best person to head the project would be someone who knows  the college resources as well as resources from the village.  This project needs a focus person or set of people.  The wonder of the event is that everyone participates.  The grant  for this event does not have to be done until May or June so there is time for the project to change hands.
Councilpersons Donley and Dempsey will discuss it further with the Kiwanis club and report back to the Council.  Elements of this event include the parade (Village entity), fireworks, kids games .  It is a great tradition and wonderful for village, but more volunteers are needed.   Will report back at September meeting with Kiwanis decision.
An update was provided for the Hinsdale Project.
Police Report: The Police Chief was unable to attend meeting, however the chief’s report was submitted to council.  No questions were asked.  There were 100+ activities for the month of July.
Fire and EMS Report:   The average response time was 4 minutes and  4 seconds.  The Fire and EMS are ahead 70 calls from last year.  Fire loss report $40-50K from last month.  Many calls lately have been coming in back to back but the department is doing a great job responding.
Village Administrator:    There was a major water main break on Sunday.  Most of the day was spent on repair work.  It was explained that periodically this is going to happen because of some of the materials used date back many years.  The break was on Route 305.
Mayor’s Report:    Highlights include: work was done with Planning and Zoning.  A  commission conducted a special meeting to approve/amend the Hinsdale project and the Commission approved plans so that it could go forward and be bid publicly.  A formal commitment was signed by Hiram College President Chema regarding 1.5 acres of land to be sold to the college.  The construction projects at the college’s Miller Hall, Hinsdale and  library are all progressing, as well as the locker rooms project.
Fiscal officer’s report was submitted.  Council needs to take action per the codes of the Board of Tax Appeals. A motion to approve tax appeals was passed.
A “Then and Now” payment in the amount of  $13,874  for fire truck #2 for ladder work as brought before the board.  Motion passed.
Another “Then and Now” item for over $3K for CT Consultants was submitted.  Some work needs to be done by them to work within the constraints of government.  There are certain procedures to follow.
The Village is getting a new phone system.  The current phone system went down on Monday. They were able to get it back up and running but for a while it was totally dead.  Council has a quote from Dunk Electronic Services for the new phone system and telephones.  A motion to ratify the fiscal officer’s actions  and a  motion to spend $7,804 of capital for phone system were  motion passed.
Fiscal officer’s report accepted, motion to pay bills was passed.
2011-12:  An ordinance continuing the investment policy for the Village of Hiram with respect to investing funds that can be made by the fiscal officer (third reading)-motion to adopt – so moved.
2011-19:  A resolution authorizing specific enumerated transfers by the fiscal officer between funds of the Village of Hiram from the General Fund (1000) to the First Energy Grant Fund (2908) in the amount of $919.88 and authorizing an advance of $5,651.20 from the General Fund to the First Energy Grant Fund and declaring an emergency.  Motion passed.
2011-20: A ordinance amending the permanent appropriations in the general fund by $6,572 and declaring an emergency. Motion passed.
2011-21: An ordinance amending the permanent appropriations in the First Energy Grant Fund by $12,224 and declaring an emergency.  Motion passed.  Motion to approve as emergency.  Motion passed.
2011-22: An ordinance amending the permanent appropriations in the State EMS Grant Fund by $2,100 and declaring an emergency.   Motion to adopt.  Motion passed.
2011-23: Amend Income Tax Regulations – First reading
2011-13: Transfer to Capital Contract (for township contract).  Motion approved.
2011-18: New Special Revenue Fund. Motion approved.
2011-19: Enumerated Transfers. Motion approved.

No other business.  Council went into Executive Session.  Meeting adjourned.

by -

Mark Twain House in Hartford

Hartford, CT – It’s been 25 years since my sister and I have simply hung out together for a week at her home in Connecticut. Last week, we did just that. One day, we took a tour of the Mark Twain House & Museum, just a few blocks away.
I had loved reading The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Prince and the Pauper, and various quotes and quips from the prolific writer. I had even impersonated him when I had to make a speech in seventh-grade language arts class, because we shared the same birthday, November 30.

But I never realized Mark Twain (actually, Samuel Clemens) had lived in Hartford. I’d only heard of his boyhood home in Hannibal, Missouri, of his adventures as a riverboat captain and newspaper journalist, then of his worldwide meanderings as an observer and critic of human nature, expressed in the spoken and written word. Having lived from 1835-1910, Clemens had a lot to say about the direction our country (and our world) was headed through a historic period of rapid change that covered the Civil War, the end of slavery, westward expansion, industrialism, Victorianism, racism, immigration, big government and foreign wars. With every observation he made, he delivered stirring comments that exposed the absurdity and shortcomings of human nature. Usually, he railed against injustice for the powerless at the hands of ‘dictators,’ which often came in the guise of respected authority figures.
Clemens was committed to walking the thin line between acceptable free speech and dangerous, inflammatory expression which would sully his name and result in censorship. Perhaps that’s why his pen name is so fitting. A “mark twain” is a traditional riverboat phrase, meaning “exactly two” fathoms of water. This was the minimum depth needed for boats to operate safely without running aground. Clemens was constantly navigating along that thin margin between safe and treacherous waters.

As we learned from the outset of our guided tour, Clemens reached way beyond his rough-and-tumble pedigree in his choice of a wife. Speaking of his own lineage, Clemens wrote, “my parents were neither very poor nor conspicuously honest,” and that almost all of his ancestors were born to be hanged – and for the most part were hanged, according to Clemens’ recently-released Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume I. It was published in 2010, 100 years after his death, kept under lock and key until Clemens was “dead, and unaware, and indifferent.” Therefore, he was free to speak his “whole frank mind” when he dictated his unsuppressed, rambling life story from 1876-1903 in fits and starts.

Olivia Langdon Clemens was born Olivia Louise Langdon in 1845‚ in Elmira‚ New York. Her father, Jervis Langdon, was very successful in the timber and coal business. The Langdons were one of the leading families of the community‚ both financially and in terms of their idealism, participating in the Underground Railroad and socializing with leading doctors‚ theologians and suffragists of the time.

Sam Clemens wrote about his future wife to his sister in 1869: “I take as much pride in her brains as I do in her beauty‚ & as much pride in her happy & equable disposition as I do in her brains.” Samuel and Olivia Clemens were married in 1870 and moved to Hartford in 1871. The family purchased land on Farmington Avenue and commissioned New York architect Edward Tuckerman Potter to design their house in 1873. Construction delays and the ever-increasing costs of building their dream home frustrated Clemens‚ but he and his family enjoyed what the author would later call the happiest and most productive years of his life in their Hartford home.

The sprawling house — set atop a hill overlooking the Park River and wooded rolling expanses — was part of a scholarly neighborhood known as Nook Farm. Harriet Beecher Stowe (author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin) was a notable neighbor, along with other famous writers, social activists, suffragists, actors and Civil War generals. Among his personal friends, Clemens counted Ulysses S. Grant, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Rudyard Kipling and Helen Keller, to name just a few.

The Clemenses’ house boasts 11‚500 square feet‚ and has 25 rooms (with many modern conveniences of the time, including seven bathrooms) distributed through three floors. Louis C. Tiffany & Co.‚ Associated Artists‚ (the son of the founder of the famed jewelry store‚ Tiffany & Co.) stenciled the walls and ceilings of their home to look like inlaid mother-of-pearl‚ particularly the entry hall.
He wrote, “To us, our house had a heart, and a soul, and eyes to see us with; and approvals and solicitudes and deep sympathies; it was of us, and we were in its confidence and lived in its grace and in the peace of its benediction.” The Clemenses and their three daughters lived in the whimsical Victorian mansion for nearly 20 years, until after daughter Susy’s death in 1896.

The Clemenses sold the property in 1903, after which other families moved in. But over time, it was converted to apartments, used as a children’s library, and finally as a storage facility. Its original features were covered over, taken down and nearly forgotten before renovations began in the 1960s to restore the house to its former look and glory, as the Mark Twain House & Museum.

Each room tells a powerful story. Learn more at or plan to visit yourself, next time you travel to Hartford, Connecticut.

Chicago – Intellectual property law firm Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione is pleased to announce the five finalists for its 3rd Annual Brinks Innovation Competition, a leading Midwest competition for entrepreneurs in clean and green technology. The five finalists are AquaMost Inc.; Catacel Corporation; cycleWood Solutions LLC; Ecologic Tech; and Lightweight Structures LLC.

Companies submitting entries in the Brinks Innovation Competition, held annually in conjunction with the Midwest Clean Tech Conference, are required to provide solutions to global challenges in such areas as environmental technologies, renewable and alternative energy, infrastructure and community improvements, or green building science, and must offer competitive returns for investors and customers. Products, services and processes eligible for entry must improve and promote the productive and responsible use of natural resources, reduce or eliminate negative ecological impact and provide superior performance at lower costs compared to other approaches. Each entry was evaluated by a panel of experts representing regional universities, venture capitalists and business executives familiar with clean technology.

The five finalists come from across the Midwest and are a showcase of diverse clean technologies in a variety of industries.
Locally, Catacel Corp., based in Garrettsville, engineers and manufactures novel, proprietary catalytic materials that significantly increase process output and improve energy and operating efficiencies.

Catacel shapes special metal foils into a variety of geometries, then coats the foils with different catalysts designed to enable specific reactions within specific environments. The resulting shaped and coated foils are used within components that enable combustion, catalytic partial oxidation, fuel reforming, tail gas combustion, gas-to-liquid, de-sulphurization, hydrogen production via steam methane reforming, and carbon capture processes. Such components are commonly  used in fuel cells, syngas and industrial gas applications.

By combining and improving heat transfer and catalytic functions. The reactors are smaller, lighter, lower-cost and more energy efficient than alternatives.

For nearly 30 years, Catacel has created unique solutions for environmental and energy applications, resulting in numerous new catalytic reformer products and efficient processes for manufacturing those products.

This year’s finalists will present their clean technologies to an international audience of early-stage investors, researchers, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and financiers focused on clean technologies, and corporate research and development and business development executives. Presentations are at Midwest Clean Tech on September 14, 2011, at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

Newton Falls – Recently Station 43 in Newton Falls played host for an emergency training procedure involving area fire departments. Members of three different stations – Southington, Lordstown and Mesopotamia – joined the first responders from Newton Falls in a tanker shuttle relay to practice how to efficiently haul water from one location to another.

How it works: one fire truck pumps water out of the river into one of the waiting fire trucks designated to shuttle the water to a location across town. Once there, the shuttle truck dumps the water into a collapsible pool serving literally as a portable pond from which the fire truck that is actively working on extinguishing the fire can pull needed water. At the same moment, a second shuttle truck en route to the river balances out the response time opposite the first shuttle truck so there is a continuous flow of water to the destination. The shuttle trucks will go back and forth to the river to replenish the available water in the portable pond as long as is necessary.

This maneuver is valuable in situations where there is no vast water supply or hydrant within easy reach of a pumper truck trying to fight a fire. In an emergency such as this, local stations will be called in for mutual aid and will work together shuttling water from the nearest water source such as a river or lake to the area on fire. This assembly-line type method is a more effective way of fighting fires as the designated trucks on site spraying water don’t have to continually hook and unhook heavy hoses and can instead spend the time and present resources actively focused on the task at hand.

After the practice concluded, participants were invited back to the host station and treated to a delicious homecooked lunch provided by the ladies of the Station 43 Auxiliary.

See your favorite first responders in action again soon and come support them as they take on members from the police department in the 2nd Annual Battle for the City softball game on Saturday, August 27th. This year the stands are open to the public and admission is free, with donations going to support the local USO. Will the second time be the charm for the firefighters or will the badges in blue put up their shields and successfully defend their 2010 title? First pitch is at 4pm!

Middlefield – Have fun at Settlers’ Village Ye Old State Renaissance Faire on Saturday and Sunday September 10, 11, 17 and 18 at 14279 Old State Rd. Middlefield Ohio. Pirates, Celtic Highlanders, Mother Goose and more will invade Settlers’ Village of Shops for two weekends. The Faire will feature live music, demonstrations, puppet shows, comedy acts, improv, a talent show and much more. Dress as a pirate, a renaissance or fairytale character, or your favorite costume and become a part of the Faire.
Learn how to become a Highlander and show off your new-found skills for all. Sing along with Settlers’ Pirates.

One of our featured pirates will be Rillian the Pirate from “Rillian and the Doxie Chicks”. They are most noted for performing for Disney at the release of the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ movies,  performing at the the “Red Carpet” industry premieres at Disneyland, as well as the public premieres of all three movies at Disney’s ‘El Capitan’ theatre in Hollywood. If you want to hear more, Rillian will also have 2 full length pirate CDs to be purchased at the faire.

Have you named Settlers’ 15-foot Holstein cow? Share it with Settlers’ Village for a chance to win dinner from Mary Yoders’ Amish Kitchen and a cheese basket from Middlefield Cheese.  Email your choice to, or mail or drop in with your suggestion to 14279 Old State Rd, Middlefield 44062. The winning name chosen will receive a dinner from Mary Yoder’s Amish Kitchen and a cheese basket from Middlefield Cheese.

The Phoenix Players from the Great Lakes Medieval Faire will be back again this year performing improv, street faire, dancing and much more.

Settlers’ Ye Old State Faire is a family-friendly faire offering fun activities for youngsters such as pony rides, a play yard, crafts, toys, face painting and puppet shows. Children of all ages will be greeted and entertained by Mother Goose and Friends.
Music will be performed by Renaissance musicians including Rillian the Pirate, Amy Timco, Jeff Hise and Terry Griffith.
Comedy acts I Verdes Confusi, Patchwork Players and Two Dumb Men and Their Swords will be performing through out the faire.

Along with the regular shops at Settlers’ Village which are: The Craft Cupboard, Tiny Stitches, Settlers’ Trains Cargo and Toys, Settlers’ Amish Co-op and Vancura Gallery, many Renaissance vendors will be joining them such as: chainmaille, Renaissance clothing, iron works, leather, swords, glass etching and tarot cards.

Do you want to show off your talent and win $200? Settlers’ Ye Old State Renaissance is hosting their first annual talent show. Two daily winners from September 10, 11 and 17 will perform for three celebrity judges: Police Chief Ed Samec, Mayor Bill Poole, and Garrettsville theatre “Impresaria” Iva Walker at the final competition on Sunday September 18.

For more information on Settlers’ Ye Old State Renaissance Faire call Vancura Gallery at 440-632-1124 or visit us online at

by -

Elementary/Intermediate Routes
*Estimated Times*

Bus #1
7:40    Gotham Rd.
8:00    Stanley Rd.
8:02    Slagle
8:05    Smalley Road
8:07    Nichols Rd.
8:27    Right on S.R. 88

Bus #2
7:55    Center St.
8:07    Garfield
8:12    Center St.
8:15    Maple
8:17    North St.
8:20    Clover Lane
8:25    Meadow Run
8:30    Wolff
8:32    Elm Street
8:35    State Street
8:37    Park
8:38    Maple/Center

Bus #4
7:35    Streeter
7:45    Stamm Rd.
7:50    Streeter
7:55    Stamm Rd.
8:00    Hankee
8:05    Blackbrook Trailer Park
8:15    White Street

Bus #6
8:00    Pritchard
8:03    S.R. 282
8:06    Kool Lakes
8:10    Nelson Trailer Park
8:12    S.R. 282
8:15    S.R. 305
8:20    Parkman/Center St.
8:25    Brosius
8:30    Crestwood Drive

Bus #7
7:40    S.R. 88
7:43    Asbury Rd.
7:50    S.R. 88
7:55    Limeridge
7:59    S.R. 303
8:00    Wygle Road
8:15    King Road
8:20    Vair Road
8:25    Freedom Road
8:41    S.R. 88/303
8:45    St. Rt. 88

Bus #8
7:50    Bancroft
7:55    S.R. 422
8:00    Bancroft/ Chalker and Herner
8:03    Reynolds Road
8:06    Hobart
8:10    S.R. 422.
8:11    Reynolds
8:15    Fenstermaker
8:20    S.R. 305
8:25    Bloom Rd.
8:38    Just For Kids Daycare

Bus #9
7:40    Silica St./Pierce
7:48    Right on Newell Ledge
7:52    East Silica Sand
7:54    West Silica Sand
7:58    Windham/Parkman
8:02    Pierce
8:08    Knowlton
8:12    Sophia/Paul St.
8:15    Hopkins
8:20    Pierce
8:25    Brosius-Homestead Manor
8:32    Hewins

Bus #11
7:55    S.R. 305
8:00    West Ely
8:05    South Brosius
8:10    Ely
8:13    Prentiss
8:15    East Ely
8:20    Nelson Parkman
8:25    S.R. 305
8:28    Mills
8:35    Southwood Apts.
8:36    Creekwood Apts.
8:37    South Park Ave.

Bus #12
7:50    Anderson
7:55    S.R. 303
8:05    Limeridge
8:10    Streeter
8:11    Goodell
8:12    Limeridge Rd.
8:25    Asbury
8:30    S.R. 303
8:35    S.R. 88

Bus #15
7:50    Collins
7:51    Bloom
8:00    Knowlton
8:05    Shanks-Down
8:08     Nicholson
8:10    S.R. 305
8:15    Kyle
8:20    Knowlton
8:25    High
8:30    Water
8:31    Liberty
8:33    Eagle Creek Dev
8:35    Sky Plaza parking lot
8:36    Highland
8:37    Freedom
8:38    Windham Street
8:40    Liberty

Bus #17
7:56    State St. & S.R. 82
8:00    Wrenwood
8:01    Wheeler Rd.
8:02    Shawnee Trail
8:04    Wheeler
8:10    S.R. 305
8:12    Left on S.R. 88
8:14    S.R. 88
8:16    Norton-(West)
8:20     Norton, back to Mumford
8:28    Mumford
8:33    Norton
8:34    Mumford
8:35    S.R. 88
8:39    French St to South St
8:42    Right on South Street, Right on Zupancic-AM ONLY!!!

Bus #18
7:50    S.R. 700
8:05    East Streeter
8:10    S.R. 700
8:15    Hankee/Freedom
8:18    Village Dr/Vanderslice
8:22    Freedom St.

by -

Middle/High School Routes
*All times are approximate*

Bus #1
6:40    Gotham
6:48    Stanley
6:55    S.R. 303
6:42    Slagle
6:55    Smalley Rd.
6:56    Nichols Rd.
7:13    Slagle

Bus #2
6:42    Center/Maple
6:45    Garfield Drive
6:50    High St.
6:51    Maple
6:52    North Street
6:54    Meadow Run
7:00    Harris Drive
7:01    Forest
7:06    Park
7:08    French Street
7:12    Vanderslice
7:15    White St.

Bus #4
6:25    Asbury
6:30    Streeter
6:40    Limeridge
6:51    Goodell
6:55    Limeridge
7:00    S.R. 303
7:10    Blackbrook Trailer Park

Bus #6
6:50    Kennedy Ledge
6:52    S.R. 282
7:00    Kool Lakes
7:02    NTP Shelter
7:07    Bloom Rd.
7:09    Knowlton
7:10    Sophia
7:12    Center St.
7:16    Liberty
7:20    Windham St.

Bus #7
6:30    S.R. 303
6:33    Freedom Road
6:35    Vair
6:40    King
6:45    S.R.88
6:50    Limeridge
6:55    Wygle
7:01    S.R. 88
7:05    Asbury
7:15    S.R. 88

Bus #8
6:40    Bancroft
6:45    S.R. 422
6:47    Bancroft
6:50    Reynolds Rd
6:52    Hobart
6:55    SR 422
7:01    Fenstermaker
7:03    S.R. 305

Bus #9
6:33    Hopkins
6:35    Center
6:37    Win/Parkman
6:40    Knowlton
6:45    Windham-Parkman
6:46    Silica Sand
6:49    Newell Ledge
6:50    Windham-Parkman
6:53    Hopkins
6:56    Pierce
6:57    Riverview Dr
7:01    Silica St./Pierce Rd
7:05    Brosius- Homestead Manor
7:10    Liberty
7:15    Hewins

Bus #11
6:35    Brosius
6:45     Ely
6:47    Adams
6:48    Brosius
6:50    Prentis
6:55    Ely
7:00    Nelson-Parkman Rd.
7:05    S.R. 305
7:10    Mills
7:20    S.R. 88

Bus #15
6:31    Liberty
6:33    Silica St.-turns into Pierce
6:35    Windham Parkman
6:36    Collins
6:37    Bloom
6:39    Knowlton
6:40    Knowlton where Nicholson meets Knowlton
6:55    Shanks-Downes
6:56    Nicholson Rd.
6:58    S.R. 305
7:05    Kyle
7:07    Knowlton
7:10    Knowlton
7:15    Windham St.

Bus #17
6:37    State Street & S.R. 82
6:43    Right on Wheeler Rd.
6:45    Shawnee Trail
6:46    Right on Wheeler Rd.
6:48    Right on Wrenwood
6:49    Right on Wheeler Rd.
6:50    Right on S.R. 305
6:57    Left onto S.R. 88
7:02    Right on Norton
7:04    Right on Mumford
7:09    Right on Norton
7:12    Right on Mumford
7:20    Right onto S.R. 88
7:22    Save 4 Group Stop

Bus #18
6:43    Anderson Rd.
6:57     S.R. 700
7:00    East Streeter
7:05    Cross over S.R. 700
7:10    Right on Asbury
7:12    Hankee
7:13    Stamm
7:15    West Streeter
7:16     S.R. 700
7:20    Hankee
7:25    Freedom St.

8th Count Dance Studio in Garrettsville  is sponsoring a “Biggest Loser” contest at the studio.  Registration is $25 for 6 sessions of Zumba. Each week a $3 fee will be charged which goes into the “Winner’s Pot”. There will be a weekly weigh in and the person who loses the most weight at the end of the six weeks will go home with the Winners Pot!! For more information or to sign up, contact 8th Count Dance Studio at 330-527-0358 or go online at

Newton Falls – Still looking for a job or wishing to find a different one? The Newton Falls Public Library is offering Make It Work: job hunting, networking, & resumes. The series includes how to network, job search, and write a resume that will get you noticed.  Participants are encouraged to attend all three of the two-hour sessions.  Class size is limited so register today.

•    The first session is Networking and Job Seeking on Tuesday, September 6, 1 – 3pm.  The instructor will help participants create a networking list and plan, practice a 30 second elevator speech, and go through some websites of interest.

•    Writing a Resume is on Tuesday, September 13, 1 – 3pm.  . This class focuses on the content of the resume, specifically writing accomplishment statements and summary statements. Participants are encouraged to bring the resume they are currently using to the class.

•    The final is Creating a Resume in Microsoft Word on Tuesday, September 20, 1 – 3pm. This is a basic Word class that teaches how to create a resume using Word and is especially useful for those responding to those employers who wish to have resumes emailed. Again, the instructor suggests that the participants bring a handwritten or typed resume from which they can work.

by -

Vienna – The Trumbull County 4-H Shooting Sports Pioneers Club will host a free NRA Youth Sportsfest on Saturday, September 24, 2011 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM at the Fish & Game Club of Vienna on SR 193 across from the Youngstown Warren Regional Airport.  The purpose of this event is to teach basic gun & archery safety, demystify firearms by providing hands-on experience, and provide an enjoyable learning experience to all youth ages 9 to 18 years old.

Participants will have the opportunity to safely shoot .22 rifle, .22 pistol, shotgun, muzzleloading rifle, and archery equipment with adult supervision.  We will have the Vienna Township Fire emergency squad exhibit at the event.  Youth and their parents will receive a gun safety lesson taught by a Certified Instructor prior to the shooting events.  A picnic lunch will be provided.

Pre-registration before September 9  is required at (330) 898-4486 or email at  Parents must sign a release.  And, no guns owned by the participants are to be brought to this event!!  Further information is available at (330) 898-4486.
Major funding is provided for this event by The Friends of the NRA Foundation and the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources.

by -

Warren – Anglers Anonymous of Warren will be hosting a first time fishing event for fifteen pre-registered ladies on Tuesday, September 6, 2011. The event will be held at Fish & Game club of Vienna on St. Rt. 198 across from the Cafareo aircraft hanger. There is no charge or fee for the event.

With the program being held on the pond of Fish & Game Club of Vienna, ladies will not be required to have an Ohio Fishing License to take part. The idea of  “Ladies on The Lake”  is also a part of the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s “Step Outside” program which is designed to introduce people to outdoor activities for the first time.

Ladies On The Lake will begin at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday evening and will encompass  a classroom introduction to basic fresh water sport fishing. Following the class room introduction, the ladies will be able to go out to the club pond which is stocked with game fish to actually apply their class room techniques.

Because this program is limited to fifteen ladies at a time, those ladies who are interested need to pre-register by sending their name, address, and  phone number to Anglers Anonymous c/o All Outdoors, 1404 Warren Ravenna Rd., Newton Falls, Ohio, 44444-9751 by  Friday, September 2 nd., 2011.

The ladies will be treated to pizza for the evening and four lucky ladies will go home with a complimentary gift basket  donated by Nancy Hagmire of Sluggmasters at Center of The World.

Ladies are encouraged to bring a fishing rod and reel if they have one. If not, the anglers will have rods and reels available. Ladies of all ages are invited to take part. The pond is accessible to handicap folks.

This is an opportunity for ladies to learn about a whole new recreation sport which can be most relaxing and restful.

Participants and spectators alike gathered at the GFN Fire Station to enjoy the final cruise of the summer. Close to 200 cars were on display -- some traveling from Canton and New Philadelphia. It appeared to be one of the best attended cruises. Before the end of the night all of the peach pies, sundaes and sliced peaches were gone. A big thank you to all who donated their time peeling, slicing and serving as well as those who baked and donated peach pies.

Garrettsville – The last Garrettsville Cruise Night of the season was just peachy, thank you very much.  Joe Leonard got to take his “new” fire engine out for several spins, with passengers and the ever-popular plush dalmatian on board.  The band was keeping things lively, interrupted at intervals by the inimitable Jerry Kehoe announcing winners of various raffles–prizes from all over town.  The crowd was sitting in chairs–shaded, if they were early…and lucky, strolling from vehicle to vehicle, catching up on the latest news, eating all things peach–peaches with ice cream, peach pie, peach pie with ice cream, peaches plain, peaches fancy…didn’t see any barbequed peaches, but I wouldn’t put it past anyone; I know that there is a peach salsa.  Where does one go from there?
You can tell by the shine that the entrants in the car show LOVE their cars and tend them assiduously–polishing here, upholstering there, historical accuracy, ineffable “cool”, all on wheels.  Fun!

Freedom Twp - The Regular Meeting of the Freedom Township Board of Trustees was called to order by Chairman Hammar at 7:30 pm on Thursday, August 4, 2011. Present: Trustees James Hammar, Roy Martin, John Zizka; Rosemary Nicholas, Fiscal Officer; Jeff Derthick, Zoning Inspector; Charles VanSteenberg, Road Supervisor. Also present: Charles Duffield, Dan Grafton, Pam Wilke and Kyle Wilke.

Mr. Hammar led the assembly in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Mr. Martin made the motion, seconded by Mr. Zizka to approve the minutes of the July 21, 2011 Regular Meeting as presented. Motion carried.

Zoning: Mr. Derthick reported that one permit was issued, for an addition. The building on Vaughn Road has been moved out of the township; we are still working with the Prosecutor’s office to make sure that it doesn’t come back. We are moving forward with the junk car and storage trailer cases, both on S.R. 700. Mr. Derthick has paper work for a variance as well as a conditional use that he will pass on to the BZA; their next meeting is August 16. The Zoning Commission will not meet in August. In response to a question from Mr. Zizka regarding the portable accessory building on S.R. 303, Mr. Derthick said they will be contacting the resident to get that issue resolved. Mr. Zizka also asked about the PODS unit on S.R. 88, and Mr. Derthick said this will be removed this month. Mr. Zizka said there was a new PODS on S.R. 303 between S.R. 700 and Asbury. Mr. Derthick will check it out.

Roads: Mr. VanSteenberg said they worked on getting the water and electric lines to the pavilion. The water is in; we are waiting for the electrician. Six residents called for brush pick-up this past Monday.

Todd Lamb Paving will start his road work the week of August 8, and Mr. VanSteenberg asked the trustees if they wanted Lamb to cover the trench between the town hall and the pavilion. The board agreed this was a good idea but suggested it be done last, after the road work, to give the trench more time to settle. Mr. VanSteenberg said that Karen Martin has finished the wallpaper and paint at the church building. It looks good, and a thank you letter will be sent to Mrs. Martin. Mr. Zizka said he had contacted the right-of-way agent for Dominion and told him that one excavation point has never been blacktopped and there also seems to be a crack most of the distance of the line they bored. Mr. Zizka suggested they clean the crack and put some sealer in it. The R/W agent said he would contact Dominion and the contractor. Mr. VanSteenberg said he’d like to have the trustees consider chip and seal for the town hall drive and parking area next year.

Mr. Zizka said the Bethel Springs Fellowship members painted the door and trim at the church building.

Mrs. Nicholas questioned the name on the sign in front of the building, and suggested it be changed to more accurately reflect its purpose and, more importantly, to protect our property tax exempt status.

After some discussion, Mr. Hammar made the motion, seconded by Mr. Martin, to name the church building the “Freedom Community Center.” Motion carried.  Mr. Zizka will follow through on this.

Park: Organic Roots will be replacing two trees at the Community Park this fall, as well as doing some fertilizing and trimming. Mr. VanSteenberg said that the Weed Wizard has not treated the ball field at the town hall. Mr. Zizka said the playground area also needs some attention, as well as the edges by the poles. Mr. Hammar will contact the Weed Wizard. Mr. Martin said the regulations have been changed and he may be able to spray for the township under his applicator’s license. He will check into this, as well as the insurance requirements. We have not received anything regarding the park grant application.

At the request of Mrs. Nicholas, Mr. Martin made the motion, seconded by Mr. Hammar, to transfer $2,000 from the General Fund to the Zoning Fund, to support the Zoning Fund. Motion carried.

New Business:

Crown Castle: Mrs. Nicholas will contact Mr. Meduri to see when he is available for a teleconference with Crown Castle’s outside counsel. She will relay this information to Mr. Hammar who will contact the attorney.

Health Insurance Renewal: Mrs. Nicholas reported that the insurance applications have been sent to Butler Insurance and to Burnham & Flower. Sean Sprouse of Burnham & Flower is planning on attending our August 18 meeting.

Old Business:

Town Hall Porch Update: Mr. Zizka said he talked with Mr. Miller regarding the town hall porch work and his quote of $9,500 did not include the $500 architect’s fee. Mr. Zizka will get more information and a sketch from Mr. Miller describing what he plans to do King Road Water Problems: Mr. Hammar said he has not had time to do anything on this. Mr. Duffield asked what the delay was, since the property owner had offered months ago to meet with the trustees. Mr. Hammar said he would definitely make some calls to set up a meeting.

Oil Well Lease: Mr. Hammar is waiting to hear from Mr. Smith, the attorney in Alliance. He has left messages for Mr. Smith who is out of the office. Mr. Zizka said he also called Mr. Smith’s office and the receptionist confirmed that he was out of the office.

Discussion followed regarding the Portage County Township Association meeting being hosted by Freedom Township on August 20, as well as the Freedom Community Picnic on August 21. Many details were discussed and finalized.

During the meeting, warrants #5664 – 5698 in the amount of $16,278.44 were presented to the Trustees for approval and ordered paid by signature.  In addition, EFT in the amount of $848.39 was made to the IRS.

There being no further business,  the meeting was adjourned at 8:35 pm.

Middlefield – Mayor Poole called the meeting to order at 7 pm.  All council members were present.

Approval of minutes from July 7, 2011:  Motion passed

Payment of bills in the amount of $339,581.20:  Motion passed

Fiscal Officer’s Report:  Report was submitted to council.  Fiscal Officer would like council to think about meeting Friday, December 30 for final meeting of the year to discuss cost cutting and budget issues.  Nothing was finalized at this time.  The income tax packet was also distributed to council.

Streets and Utilities Report:  There were a lot of street repairs done last month.  Many holes were patched up.  Grass mowing, field maintenance and street sweeping were also done last month.  There were six water leaks last month, they were repaired and some pipes had to be replaced.  At the time of the meeting, all leaks were fixed.  The cemetery project is completed except for some landscaping. Council thanked Charlie and his department for all the work they did to get the leaks fixed.

Police Report: Report was submitted to Council. Last month, there were 841 incident reports,  1070 incoming calls and dispatch was up last month.  There were  996 business checks and 34 traffic citations issued. Departmental training and CPR and AED certification/recertification took place last month.  The department received a new radar unit which was donated because of the department’s emphasis on safety.   Safety presentations were given.  The department handled a few high profile cases last month and the officers involved were commended on their excellent work.

Zoning Report:  Report was submitted to Council.  The town hall needs some maintenance.  That request was submitted, in writing, to the owners now that it is privately owned.

Recreation Department Report:  Report was submitted to Council.  The Cops and Kids fishing derby had over 150 participants this year and was a great success thanks to help from Police Department. Community support included worms and juice donated by Wal-Mart.   Community Days was another successful event even though the weather was a bit warm and the water leaks occurred in the area during this event.  Participants did not seem to mind.  The park was full the entire day.  There were many positive comments stated about the event.  The Department is now in transition from summer to fall programs and currently doing registration and preparing winter events.  Council commended Missy for a good job done this summer.

Ambulance Report:  Report was submitted to Council.  The work load is up but there were no issues to speak of.

Financial Report: Report was submitted to council.  There were no questions or comments.

Public Hearing regarding Ordinance 11-121:
Opened at 7:16 pm, there were no comments made and the hearing was closed shortly thereafter.

A concerned citizen wanted to thank Charlie and Dan on the work done on Glen Valley Drive.  It is more pleasant to drive on.  He also asked if Charlie get a quote for other work that needs done.  Charlie replied yes they did and will meet with contractor next week and will have a plan to move forward.  Everyone hopes that some of the work can get done this year.

Another concerned citizen had several issues to bring to the Council.  She thanked the Police Chief and all the police for their work during fireworks and power outage.  The Police handled the situation very quickly and kept everyone safe.

She is also concerned with Wal-Mart driveway, as she uses a motorized chair to get around.  She is concerned about being hit when entering Wal-Mart and asked if they would put in a sidewalk for pedestrians and wheelchairs access without actually having to be in the road. Council took the suggestion under advisement.

Another concern stated was if council was working toward bringing business to Middlefield.  She was concerned with the billboard just outside of town for an industrial park in Newbury that was advertising for new businesses to “grow” there.

Then she explained that residents need to be replied to when they ask questions of Council.  For example, she then asked if anyone take care of Tony Lombardo and the resident with flooding basement issue?  She wants the council to respond quickly to persons who bring issues to them.  It was stated that some residents feel that council does not care about residents.  She just asked that they respond in a timely manner.

1st Reading: Ordinance 11-117: Confirming the appointment of William R. Tench as a part-time police officer and establishing his rate of pay and declaring an emergency.   Motion passed.  Tench has worked in Portage County and comes highly recommended.

Ordinance 11:119:  Confirming the appointment of Bridget M. Jones as a part-time police officer and establishing her rate of pay and declaring an emergency.  Motion passed.  She is very highly recommended.

Ordinance 11:120: Approving the editing and inclusion of certain ordinances as parts of the various component codes of the codified ordinances of the Village of Middlefield, Ohio.

Ordinance 11:121: Rehiring Kathy Jacobs as “crossing guard” effective August 23, 2011, pursuant to specified terms and conditions, and declaring an emergency.  Motion passed.

Ordinance 11: 122:  Authorizing the Mayor and Fiscal Officer to enter into an agreement with the Village of Roaming Shores, Ohio, for Middlefield to provide Roaming Shores with dispatch services and declaring and emergency.  The Safety and Finance committee also discussed this issue and recommended that the agreement go for 15 months.  That time frame would give council time to review fees/pricing.  Councilperson Seyer was concerned that it is costing the village residents too much money and he will not support any of these costs.  Motion passed.

Ordinance 11:123:  Authorizing the Mayor and Fiscal Officer to enter into an agreement with the Village of Orwell, Ohio, for Middlefield to provide Orwell with dispatch services and declaring an emergency.   Motion passed.  Councilperson Seyer disagreed.

Ordinance 11:124:  Authorizing the Mayor and Fiscal Officer to enter into an agreement with the Village of Andover, Ohio, for Middlefield to provide Andover with dispatch services and declaring an emergency.  Motion passed.  Councilperson Seyer disagreed.

Ordinance:  11:125:  Authorizing Mayor and Fiscal Officer to enter into an agreement with the Village of Jefferson, Ohio, for Middlefield to provide Jefferson with dispatch services and declaring an emergency.  Motion passed.  Councilperson Seyer disagreed.

New Business:

  • Christ Covenant Church has requested to hold their Rib Burn Off. It would be the same as years past and held on the church grounds.  Motion passed.
  • Charges and polices for columbarium:  Dan put together an application which includes residential and non-residential rates, along with a discount break.  There are 18 policies involved with this project and are described in paperwork.  Inscriptions will be uniform so that the units stay good looking.
  • There is also a unit location guide.  Council urged participants to look it over.  The units are not offered for purchase yet, they wanted to wait until the project was complete.  All funeral directors in the area will be notified.  It was suggested that something be put on the village website regarding this issue.  Moved to adopt the columbarium rules and regulations and pricing schedule as proposed by the administrator.  Motion passed.
  • Will village look into establishing a crosswalk at Hillcrest?  Police Chief feels that a lot of children do cross from there.  He feels it is needed.  Mayor thinks a crosswalk needs to be manned and that an unmanned crosswalk may be more of a hazard.  The Village may need to get permission from state to do a crosswalk since it is a state road.  Council needs to find out if the state needs to give their permission, and then discuss it at a later date.

No other new business.  Meeting was adjourned.

Next meeting to be held  September 1, 2011.

Windham Twp. - Windham Township Trustees met for their regularly scheduled August meeting recently with all board members and fiscal officer present. The board approved the minutes from the regular July meeting and the emergency meeting as they were presented.

First item on the agenda was guest recognition. Lynnea St. John of the Bicentennial committee thanked the trustees for the use of the township Green for the Bicentennial Celebration held the last weekend in July. Residents in attendance also thanked the trustees and the Bicentennial Committee for a wonderful celebration. Speaking of thanks, the trustees would like to thank Pete Kepich of Kepich Ford for the use of their mustang convertible for the Bicentennial Parade.

Zoning inspector Rich Gano said there were several residents in attendance who would like to address a nuisance property located on Gotham Road.  The residents wanted to know what the township was doing about the eyesore and what they (the residents) could do to speed the process along. Residents claim the empty mobile home is housing pets and lots of garbage and they want to see the land cleaned up. They also complained that eyesore is lowering their property values and is making it hard for those on the street who are trying to sell their homes. Chairman Dann Timmons said they were working with the prosecutor on the issue and had to follow the proper legal procedures; which unfortunately will not be a quick process.  He told them to keep calling the authorities on the noise and pet issues. Some asked Timmons if they should contact the prosecutor’s office he said couldn’t hurt to apply a little pressure there as well.  Another resident also complained about the junk aka farm equipment in the front lawn at Timmons’s Farm.

Dann explained that the so called junk was farm equipment that they use and right now the barns were full of hay and the fields had crops in them so the equipment was being stored in the yard until they are done using it for the season and until space opens up in one of the barns. Timmons noted that the situation was exempt from zoning because it is considered agricultural. The concerns that the resident had would be passed along to Adam Timmons who runs the farm. Residents also complained about the farm smells as well, again it was stated that there was nothing the trustees could do since agriculture is exempt from zoning. Gayle Pootz will be presenting zoning amendments to the board soon. Prior to making any zoning changes to the code the trustees will hold a public meeting on the issue.

Discussions were held about removing the old light poles from the township Green. Dann said he would draft a letter to the village addressing the issue.

Residents questioned the installation of the new doors on the town hall. They claim the doors were installed backwards and none of the new doors have panic hardware on them which many thought were a requirement for public buildings. The trustees will look into getting the problem solved. Following the board’s approval to pay the bills and wages the meeting was adjourned.

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

Ya got yer debt crisis.  Ya got yer deficit crisis.  Ya got yer health/obesity crisis.  Ya got yer apes takin’ over the planet.  What else can go wrong?

OMG!  It’s Rotary!

Well, actually, it’s sort of systemic thing.  Communal and fraternal organizations (not to mention churches) everywhere are facing declining membership and participation.  Where once-upon-a-time every little town had its own Odd Fellows, Masons, Kiwanians, Lions, Rotarians, and so on, meeting in their own halls or church basements or meeting rooms on a regular basis, nowadays groups have gone out of existence or consolidated with others still breathing, numbers are down at scheduled gatherings and cherished projects and activities for the good of the community are in danger of elimination and/or reduction.  Where have all the members gone?

Well, it’s at least partly societal…partly economic, for sure.  There didn’t used to be so many things for kids to be involved in–sports, arts, you know all that–and for their parents to be following (driving to).  There used to be more business owners who lived in town, not answering to a franchise headquarters.  There used to be fewer women working outside the home (They always worked inside the home). There used to be a slower pace about a lot of things.  That was then; this is now.  What to do?

Local Rotarians (Garrettsville-Hiram, Mantua-Shalersville…do you see the consolidation?) would like to seek some community input…maybe some new members with great ideas…in their quest to address this situation.  Each club has a history of contribution and meaningful activity (Think Talent Shows, Family Weeks, Santa Claus deliveries, group excursions, Christmas Walks, exchange students, roadside clean-ups, Power of the Pen, many more) which they are loathe to abandon.  Plans may be undertaken to more co-operative ventures but these are LOCAL groups within an INTERNATIONAL framework (Check out the Rotary International float entry in the Rose Bowl Parade) and they like to focus on the people that they see every day.

So…have you any contribution to make?  Are you an individual who would like to “give back” to the community?  Would you like to know more people in your community, to make a difference?  Would you like to meet with like-minded individuals to try to put some of your hopes and dreams into action/reality?  Got some great ideas? Could you put a group on Facebook or Twitter?  Willing to actually WORK–on your own and with others– to get those ideas on the map?  Have they got a deal for you!!!
Come to a meeting (If that’s a problem, try to get to at least one and explain the difficulty, none of them are written in stone).

Garrettsville-Hiram meets at 5:30 on Wednesdays at the Main Street Grille and Brewing Company; Mantua-Shalersville meets at a place and time to be discovered.  They will be happy to see you.  They will listen to suggestions.  They will quite possibly have a program that you’ll really enjoy and learn from.  Could be something that you’ll really groove on.  Give it a shot.  Expand your world…it IS Rotary International, after all.

Speaking of which…M-S Rotary annual picnic at Camp Hi August 17 (They did an excursion to Porthouse Theatre earlier this month)…G-H Rotary president just received the Paul Harris Fellow Award from the Rotary International Foundation and the club recently entertained two Rotary Ambassadorial Scholars.  This is good stuff.  Think about joining…or rejoining, they’ll be glad to have you.

Nelson Twp. - Nelson Township Trustees met for their regularly scheduled meeting recently with all members and fiscal officer present.

The road supervisor Chuck Vanek reported that they had been working on hot patching on the following roads Adams, Pritchard, Prentiss and half of Bancroft roads. Vanek also stated that they were working on getting the township roads mowed as well. The new water well at the township garage is drilled and the water is better but no one has actually tasted it to see if it is. The bathrooms at the town ship garage need attention. Mrs. Vanderhoeven who cleans the facility stated that the urinal in the men’s room needs repaired as well as the toilet in the ladies room. Vanek said he would take care of it.

Trustee Bill Wilson reported that they were pulling the generator out of the old ambulance and it would be up for sale if anyone was interested.

Trustee Joe Leonard reported that the well was drilled and the water still has an oil smell to it but it looks better than the old well water. Aces Water Service got the approval from the county to fill the old well with concrete rather than the usual Bentonite. The oil in the well will cause the bentonite to break down where as the concrete will not be affected by the oil. Aces Water Service is considering flushing the new water well to remove any oil deposits that might be in it. The township hasn’t received an invoice for the work yet so the total cost for the new well in not known yet.

Pixley Park:   The trustees agreed to remove the sod from the batters boxes and replace it with gravel. They also agreed to put in a fire pit at the park for roasting hot dogs and such. In other park news the concrete slabs for the bleachers are poured and the bleacher will be installed soon. Thanks to the Pixley Park committee for picking up the tab for the bleachers and concrete at the park.

The trustees also decided to put in a yard hydrant at the park, so they will have access to water.
Fiscal officer J. David Finney presented the board with the new insurance option for the fiscal officer and the one trustee who was under a different policy. After explaining what the township could legally do with the option the two who it affected agreed to voluntarily go with the new option thru Ohio Township Association Risk Management Authority (OTARMA) The switch over could save the township as much as $12,000 – $20,000 depending on the number of health claims filed.

Questions were raised about the grass issue at the corners of SR 88 and Ely Roads.  Trustee Bill Wilson stated he would get someone to cut the grass to improve visibility at the intersection. Trustee Leonard stated that the old turkey farm property is under receivership and currently they have been advised by the prosecutor to stay off the land. A resident questioned why the zoning inspector hadn’t been up there to see what kind of mess they would be leaving for the township to clean-up. Leonard said he will inquire with the prosecutor on the issue, but as right now the owner has denied the zoning inspector access to the property. A resident questioned about having the meetings video taped and put on the web site. Leonard said he was ok with it, but after a discussion about storage of videos and other liabilities no decision was made on the issue.
In zoning inspector Anna Mae Vanderhoeven reported that the Board of zoning appeals will hear two cases next week for variances. She also reported that board member Chuck Sharp turned in his resignation effective immediately. Mr. Sharp cited health reason for the resignation. The trustees meet on the first and third Wednesday of each month at 7:30 at the community house. More township news is available on the web at

Pictured: Wally Lininger (left) being presented the commemorative plaque by District Governor Dave Gauch. In other Lions news, the celebration of 54 years of service to the Windham community and Lions International was recently marked by the installation of new officers for 2011/2012.

Windham – Wally Lininger was recently honored for his long and dedicated service to The Windham Lions Club and Lions International by being presented the Melvin Jones Fellowship.

Lions International recognizes outstanding individuals by bestowing on them an honor that is named for its founder, Melvin Jones. This fellowship is the highest form of recognition and embodies humanitarian ideas consistent with the nature and purpose of Lionism. The recipient of this honor becomes a model because of the exemplary service to his club and the community for which he serves.

In other Lions news, the celebration of 54 years of service to the Windham community and Lions International was recently marked by the installation of new officers for 2011/2012.

Burton – Enjoy an evening insect concert as cricket/katydid specialist and musician Dr. Lisa Rainsong introduces us to members of the Burton Wetlands insect orchestra.

Insect Orchestra: Nature’s Musicians will be presented on Friday, August 26 – 7:30 to 9 p.m. at the Burton Wetlands Nature Preserve, 15681 Old Rider Road, Burton/Newbury Townships.

A musician, composer and music theory professor at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Rainsong spent four months surveying the “singing insects” of Oakton Preserve and Observatory Park during the summer and fall of 2009, funded by a Geauga Park District Small Research Grant of $1,000. She has led this free, popular Burton Wetlands program three years straight. Registration is not required; those school age and older will experience it best.  Call 440-286-9516 with questions.

Garrettsville – James Irwin who was part owner and operator of Irwin Hardware on Main St. in Garrettsville for over 30 years,  is now an independent insurance agent known as “Irwin Health & Life”.

Jim services many individuals in the north east Ohio region. He  specializes in the senior age markets, (65 and older), those  who are in the Medicare and Medicaid markets.  Jim  also has many additional health and life insurance lines for those “under 65”.
Jim is hosting an educational seminar in Garrettsville on Monday, August 22, 2011 at the Portage County District Library from 6:00pm to 8:00pm.

This is a no cost affair that is open to the public.  The purpose is to inform and answer any questions that people may have concerning Medicare and  senior market products available in Ohio.

There will be no sales or applications given at this event. Jim will accept  appointments on request.

(Photo: Library of Congress)

Chardon – On October 14, 2011 at 9:30 a.m. in Judge Fuhry’s Courtroom at the County Courthouse, Geauga County Auditor Frank J. Gliha will hold a forfeited land sale.

The terms of sale are cash, money order, or certified check and any parcel purchased must be paid for by 3:00 p.m. the day of the sale.

There are 10 parcels located in Bainbridge Township, 1 parcel in Auburn Township and 9 parcels in Newbury Township
Parcel and tax map information marking the location of the properties are on display in Auditor Gliha’s Office at 231 Main Street, Chardon, Courthouse Annex, Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. and also on our website:

Registration for the sale will start at 8:30 a.m. in the Courthouse. All bidders must be current on all Real Estate Taxes owned in Geauga County.

Newton Falls – Tickets are on sale at the Superintendent’s Office located at 9091?2 Milton Blvd., for the upcoming Newton Falls Tiger football season from 7:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. The cost for reserved season passes for 5 homes games will be $40.00. We also have a 10-game pass available for adults to purchase for $50.00, and students 10-game pass for $30.00, which is good for any Varsity game, i.e., volleyball, soccer, football or basketball.
We appreciate the support that the community of Newton Falls has given to the football, soccer, golf, basketball and volleyball teams.   The first football game will be Thursday, August 25th, 2011, against Southeast at home.  Kick-off is at 7:00 p.m.

If you are a senior citizen (65 years of age or older & retired) and a resident of Newton Falls, you are eligible for a complimentary senior citizen’s pass. This will admit you to all home games.  See Mrs. Dunlap in the Superintendent’s Office for tickets and passes.

Pictured are the 2011 participants with Ken Childress & Jimmy Mullins (center). In the back row - Mike Shilling, Ryan Bell, Corey Riggs, Greg D’Aurelio, Patrick Myers, Dane Engelhart, Ann Toothman. Front row ia Paula Tooth & Jay D’Aurelio.

Mantua – A group of four adults and five high school teens from Mantua’s St. Joseph Church participated in the Housing Repair Program based at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Clintwood, Virginia, the week of June 18-25. Volunteers made the 400 mile, seven-hour trip to the western tip of Virginia for the week-long experience to help low-income residents maintain decent housing for their families by doing household repairs at owner occupied homes.After arriving and attending Mass, the group settled in. On Sunday they traveled to The Breaks Interstate Park to enjoy site-seeing and recreation in the area before work began on Monday.

Paula and Ann Toothman and Jay D’Aurelio worked mostly at the home of a women named Faye. Tasks included replacing her whole floor next to the window, repairs to the under pinning of her trailer and landscaping improvements, and painting trim on the trailer and the wood work on her deck. She was very friendly, sharing stories about her life growing up and things from a time gone by.
Greg D’Aurelio, Corey Riggs, and Dane Engelhart worked mostly at the home of Lucille and Bob. They braced up their porch/deck, put siding up on one side of their house, and scraped the house to get it ready for the next group of people. The homeowners were also very social with the group, making them cookies and fudge!

Mike Shilling, Patrick Myers, and Ryan Bell worked the farthest from town at the home of Catherine and her husband. Their responsibilities included adding to an existing deck and ramp to accommodate a gurney for the gentlemen of the house who is not doing so well. They also dug a ditch to handle water run off to the side of the mountain.

Not only did the experience include some hard work, but also meeting new people, learning new things, local site-seeing, and discussions around Appalachian issues. The group heard a coal miner speak and enjoyed a parish pot-luck picnic which included storytelling and folk songs from Ken Childress and Jimmy Mullins. They also took a trip up to Birch Knob Observation Tower, once the site of a fire tower that allows one to see Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and, on a clear day, Ohio. On another evening the group traveled to nearby Pound, Virginia to enjoy “Pickin’ in the Pound”, a bluegrass jam session held at the town hall. Several members even joined in with dancing, singing, and guitar playing. On Friday volunteers enjoyed music and dancing at the Jettie Baker Center, a theatre in Clintwood that was built in the late 1940’s that now features various entertainment.
All in all, St. Joseph volunteers had a good time. They worked hard and played hard. Each year Appalachian Experience participants genuinely feel a sense of accomplishment helping the truly needy of this area be safe, warm, and dry. Not only did they work hard but they’ve acquired friendships and a camaraderie with those they worked for and with.

Members of St. Joseph Parish have been taking part in this program since 1998. High School teens and adults are welcome to join us in future trips as we follow Jesus’ example and use our gifts to reach out to others! Watch for details in future bulletins about how you can become involved in 2012. For more information about St. Joseph’s Appalachian Experience, including details and photos from past trips, please visit or contact Kathi Trares at the Parish Office (330-274-2253 or

Windham’s Bicentennial is now just chapters in the history books but before we close the book out lets take a walk through the pages where memories were made, shared and lived. Folks from all over the country flocked back to Windham this past weekend to celebrate the town’s bicentennial. Some traveled from as far away as California and Mexico to be a part of history. The four-day event was dubbed as the biggest celebration Windham has ever seen. I do believe it measured up to the title as the township Green was jam-packed Saturday night as folks anxiously waited for the fireworks.
The rain tried to put a damper on the event as the skies opened up over the village about 30 minutes prior to the opening ceremonies, but like the postman, neither rain, sleet or snow could stop the event which went on without a hitch.
The opening festivities gave everyone a chance to get reacquainted with the town’s history as well as old friends that hadn’t been seen in a longtime.  The unearthing of the time capsule that was buried in 1986 and the children’s parade were the highlight of the first day’s events. There can’t be a birthday party without cake and there was plenty of delicious cake made by local cake artist Carolyn Miller. When the cake was cut it gave the old timers a chance reminisced about days gone by and wonder what the future would hold while the younger sector was looking to creating their own history and memories as they wandered the grounds.
There were class reunions, tours of the school, car shows, music for everyone, contests, a quilt show, an antique show, along with the artwork of the late Huber King and more. The kids were busy creating memories of their own on the train, in the bounce houses or learning about the animals from Jungle Terry. I even caught a few youngsters checking out the army tank up close and personal. Hmmm, I wonder if there were any seeds of being a soldier planted this weekend. Who knows? Only time will tell.
The Grand Parade Saturday morning had folks out early lining the streets with their chairs as they searched for the perfect spot to watch the grand parade. The 100 unit parade took about an hour and a half to run and left no one disappointed with the event. Floats, fire trucks, jeeps, civic groups, bands, baton groups all marched down the street wishing Windham a Happy 200th Birthday!
Saturday evening was another evening for making memories. One could see folks gathered in various parts of the Green socializing or just hanging out and enjoying the music. Some were catching up with old friend who came into town for the festivities others were just kicking back and taking in the entire scene. Fireworks capped off the days events as “Vicious Cycle” rocked out the night.
Sunday morning started off with a community worship service followed by an ice cream eating contest, burying of a new time capsule, awards and recognitions along with closing ceremonies. It was a bittersweet time as the bicentennial came to a close.
The event will go down in history as the biggest party Windham has ever seen and a time which memories were made. Yes, it was a party to remember, they came, they ate, they danced, they reminisced and most of all they created and shared memories that will last a lifetime. Happy Birthday Windham! May the next 200 years be as great as the first ones!

by -

Lake Milton –  Are you tired of the long, cold winter without access to fresh, locally produced foods?  Have you missed seeing your friends at the farmers’ market?  Well, your wait is over!  The Lake Milton Farmers’ Market will open at 8 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 6 at the Amphiteater located at the Beach at Lake Milton State Park on Grandview Road. Follow the signs. You can come by car, by walking the beautiful path or by boat and park at the new marina!
Opening day of the 2011 market season will feature fresh locally produced vegetables, fruits, and other seasonal produce as well as a variety of baked goods and much, much more!   Be sure to meet and greet our vendors to find out what they have planned for the coming season and learn what they have been doing over the winter.
Also on Saturday, Aug. 6, at 6 p.m. the Lake Milton Nature Arts Council will be hosting the annual Beach Party. The event features Rudy & The Professionals as well as a steel drum player born and raised in the Caribbean. The Beach Party is sponsored by MillerLite and Barefoot Wines. Food will be available for purchase from the Fifth Season Restaurant. Bring a beach blanket and/or chair. It’s at the area’s only “real” beach and discounted tickets are on sale now at the Lake Milton Pharmacy on Mahoning Avenue.
For a complete listing of the vendors who will be participating in the 2011 Lake Milton Farmers Market, please check out the website  The market will run through October every Saturday at  8 a.m.  The market is located at the Lake Milton Amphitheater, located just north of the swim beach and south of the dam on Grandview Road.  We look forward to seeing you there!
Farmers wishing to participate can call the Lake Milton State Park office at 330-654-4989.

by -

Portage County District Library’s August service spotlight shines on our children’s multimedia kits. When one book on a particular subject is not enough, look to Portage County District Library’s children’s multimedia kits. Each kit contains an assortment of books videos, toys, music and/or CD-ROMs with themes ranging from Alligators & Crocodiles to Music to Zoos. The Library also has a variety of math and science kits covering topics ranging from Fossils to Fractions. The latest additions to our kit collection are the Cultural Kits. These can be a wonderful aid for school reports and include the countries and regions of China, North Africa and Central America. Kits range in age appropriateness from preschool to upper elementary. Kits must be checked out on an adult or teacher card and for a two-week loan period. You can reserve a kit online or by calling a branch library location, and they can be renewed as well. To find a kit in the PLC catalog, select the “Media Type” search function and then the “Kit” link.
Don’t have a library card yet? Signing up for a library card is free and can be done at any branch library location, or by downloading an application online  at