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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Weeeeellll, a fine time was had by all!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For further information, call Damaris at 330-569-7643 or email 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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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