Garrettsville – Did you notice the flower baskets that have appeared?  While hanging the baskets on the new bridge, Colleen Steele and Barb Bejger, members of the Silver Creek Garden Club,  realized the ladder wasn’t high enough.  While Colleen was afraid to climb onto the railing,  Barb jumped up without hesitation and  hung up three of the baskets. While they were attempting the fourth, the bridge crew came and hung the last basket!

Garrettsville-Hiram Rotarians were still looking for students from James A. Garfield H.S. or Windham High School to attend the Rotary Youth Leadership Award camp to be held at Hiram College , June 12-16.  Any interested individuals who will be seniors…or even juniors…in the 2011-2012 school year should contact a Rotarian ASAP.  Best bet might be Delores McCumbers at McCumbers-Brady Realty.  Could be a terrific experience.The local group affirmed its community commitment with a donation to the Hattie Larlham Foundation for a memorial honoring  the late Charles Abraham who had been a long-time supporter of the organization.Good times coming : District picnic on June 18 in Akron;     G-H summer picnic on the third Monday in August, likely at Bonney Castle in Hiram on the college campus; the annual reverse raffle fund-raiser in November (2nd Thursday) is already on the drawing board; plans are afoot to enlist the local Boy Scout troop in the fall roadside clean-up; interest in gaining new members–invitation to Dr. Jessica Bittence.
They keep rolling

This past week we lost an important person in our community, Charles Abraham. Charles came to Garrettsville and started Charles Chevrolet & Oldsmobile in 1957. For Charles that was only the beginning. He set the ground work for his family and the business community in his 50 plus years in Garrettsville to build Garfield Plaza with his partner Max Everett, build the Forest Street Apartments, build the existing dealership in the 60’s and many other properties. I remember talking with him in December 1989 when he purchased the Paul Patry  Buick Pontiac building (now Portage Motors). He said to me that his wife Mary was upset that he purchased the Patry building. She thought that it was time that he slowed down and enjoyed life. Well, from what I learned to know about Charles over the years was that “Slow Down” was not in his vocabulary. He  had many ideas and was very instrumental in the development of Garrettsville. He was not afraid to get involved. He was an inspiration to me as a businessman. He was very generous as to the many scholarships and donations to various organizations, not just in the Village but also in Portage County. Sure, there were times that we did not always agree on things but I learned to have the utmost respect for  Charles. I will miss the times when he would come into Miller’s Restaurant for breakfast and our breakfast group would make him laugh,  and times at lunch, of conversations on various topics, when he came to Garrettsville,  his favorite pastime, golf. I would just like to say Thank You, Charles for all that you did to make our community a better place to live in.


Rick Patrick
Garrettsville Council President

Charles Abraham, better known as “Charlie” to many in the Garrettsville community, passed away on Saturday, May 21, 2011.  That date happened to be Armed Forces Day and it brought to my mind the first memories I had of Charlie some 30 years ago.  I attended the annual Memorial Day celebration at Park Cemetery in Garrettsville and remembered seeing a tearful man who stood to say a few words about honoring our U.S. Military Servicemen, Past/Present/Future, words and tears straight from his heart. It wasn’t long before I was informed of his car dealership, his dedication to the Garrettsville Village government and a vision of restoring our downtown Main Street.Charles was always among the first to promote and support the residents and business community of the Garrettsville area.  He and his family members were friends to many.Then Charlie told me a story about a wonderful facility located in Mantua. This facility was HATTIE LARLHAM, a “home away from home” for children of all ages that were afflicted with severe, life-threatening health challenges.  He, once again with tears in his eyes, told of a woman named Hattie Larlham who was a nurse at the old Robinson Memorial Hospital many years ago and was known to take severely ill/disabled children home with her to give them special care and tend to them.  Hattie and her husband helped hundreds of families care for these very special children and  eventually began to add on to their own home and over the years built a facility recognized throughout the United States.  Charlie showed a compassion for the establishment and continuous maintenance of the Hattie Larlham facility.  His love, dedication and financial support to serve the children was genuine.    Twenty-five years ago, Charlie and a group of men formed an annual amateur golf outing at Sugar Bush Golf Course.  The purpose of the outing was to raise funds to donate to the Hattie Larlham Foundation.  The annual event has grown over the past twenty-five years, thanks to Charlie, and has contributed over $500,000 through the course of the years.  Last Wednesday, May 25th, was Charlie’s funeral AND the 25th Anniversary Celebration of the Hattie Larlham Sugar Bush Golf Classic.  There was a sell-out crowd of participants and it was agreed that Charles Abraham was smiling down on the event, he ordered sunshine for the day and for Hattie’s children.  A huge Thank You to the family of Charles Abraham and to “Charlie” for your years of devotion to the Hattie Larlham legacy.  Charlie, you are missed.

Gretchen Cram
Hattie Larlham / Sugar  Bush Committee Member


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Geauga County – Turn your trash into someone else’s treasure and put a little cash in your own pocket. Booth spaces are still available at the Annual “Treasure Among the Trees” Flea Market. Outdoor spaces the size of two parking spaces, can be reserved for $25.00. To purchase your spot, call Teresa Runion at 440-279-0882 or email teresarunion@hotmail.comGeauga People for Parks is hosting the 7th Annual “Treasures Among the Trees” FLEA MARKET at The West Woods picnic area, 9465 Kinsman Road, Russell Township on Saturday, July 9, 2011, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Dozens of vendors will be selling their treasures: food, including kettle corn; antiques & collectibles; glassware; jewelry, artwork, toys, tools, plants, books & games, soaps , handmade items, woodturnings, bird baths & bird feeders, clothing, housewares, linens & dishes, doll clothing, trains and pottery.All proceeds from the flea market vendor space rental and the volunteer booth will go to support Geauga People for Parks, a volunteer political action group that supports Geauga Park District.The mission of Geauga Park District is to “preserve, conserve and protect the natural features of Geauga County, and to provide the opportunity for people to enjoy and appreciate those resources.” Your park district is currently protecting over 9,000 acres of land in Geauga County, which includes 18 open parks and other preserves; two nature centers with natural history and nature art exhibits; more than 50 miles of trails allowing access for a variety of activities; ponds for fishing; picnic shelters and more.  For more information about “Treasures Among the Trees,” contact Teresa at 440-279-0882.

Garrettsville – This past week the sixth graders at James A. Garfield (JAG) Intermediate School had the opportunity to discover our nation’s heritage first-hand as they toured Washington D.C. The highlights of the trip were the National Cathedral, Arlington National Cemetery, memorials, monuments, and Mount Vernon. This was a trip that many of them will remember forever and for some of them it may be the only time they get to walk through the pages of history at our nation’s capital.  The National Cathedral was the first stop and it wowed the students with its 215 stained glass windows that depicted biblical stories as well as secular ones, gothic architecture, tapestries, sculptures, bells of the carillon, along with Woodrow Wilson, Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan’s crypt and so much more. The Cathedral left them standing in amazement, especially when they learned that the building took 83 years to complete because of the war, which made the cathedral the longest construction project in our nation’s history.They then moved on to Arlington Cemetery which was a somber affair as the students viewed the graves of the Kennedys then watched in wonder at the changing of the gueard and soldiers placing flags at every grave stone in the cemetery.  They learned why the grave stones of the Confederate soldiers had pointed tops verses flat-topped stones that the Union soldiers had. The cemetery gave the students a new perspective on why we celebrate Memorial Day.Late in the evening, the students had the opportunity to view the Jefferson and the Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) Memorials.  The Jefferson Memorial was a memorial dedicated to Thomas Jefferson and was a sight to behold as one walked around the tidal basin to approach the spectacular monument. The boys and girls stood in awe at the large statue, the enormous pillars and the writings of Jefferson. The FDR Memorial was a group of four memorials with each containing a water feature. The water features depicted the four terms Roosevelt served and they ranged from raging waters during the tumultuous times of his term to the quiet still waters depicting his death when he was at peace. The memorial had several statues of Roosevelt on display as well.Early Friday morning the students headed out to see other monuments and memorials. The tour guide explained how the Korean War Memorial was designed to depict soldiers in a rice paddy in Korea. On a wall behind the scene were actual pictures from the war engraved in the wall, truly a sight to behold. The guide explained to the students that the radio man would be the enemy’s first target.  He went on to explain that by eliminating the radio man they shut down communication, crippling the army’s plan of attack. The Vietnam Wall was another somber place the students visited. When approaching the wall the students were told the history behind the memorial as well as how the men and women who came home from the war were welcomed with protests rather than parades and appreciation that we see today when soldiers return from war. The students who had family members killed in action took the time to make an etching of the name from the wall.  The tour took the class of 2017 through the Lincoln Memorial, World War II Memorial along with Iwo Jima, the Air and Space Smithsonian and the Natural History Museum. After a quick tour of Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington, the students headed for home. The fast paced trip was just a snippet of what Washington D.C has to see and learn about. The kids were able to see the lessons from their history books come to life, leaving them with a greater desire to learn more about our history and a new perspective on our military. We boarded the buses and headed for home, leaving me to reflect on the two-day excursion. For many of the adults the highlight of the trip was watching student’s faces as the history on our nation began to unfold for them.  The excitement, the reverence, and the ahh ha!  moments were a priceless memory that I, for one, will never forget seeing. The chatter on the bus ride home left me to surmise that everyone seemed to enjoy the outdoor classroom experience. It has left  the students and chaperones with memories from a trip that will be forever etched in their minds like the names on the Vietnam Wall.

Garrettsville – Recently the Garrettsville Community Center located in Sky Plaza hosted an art exhibit for the James A. Garfield School District students with the hope of it becoming an annual event. The show featured flat pieces only since the center didn’t have a way to display or protect three-dimensional pieces. Art teachers in each building selected work from various students, K-12, to be displayed in the show. The show was an exhibition not a competition so no awards were given.   One of the art teachers stated that the Portage County Art Show had gotten so big that they were only able to enter a few pieces from a few students, this exhibit provided more students a chance to showcase their work. The art department hopes the show will continue to grow, allowing more students to have their work displayed for the community to see. The art show was open to the public and ran for three days May 13th-15th during regular business hours of the Community Center. The artwork was displayed on the walls of the center organized by grades.Congratulations to those students whose artwork was displayed. The school would like to thank the Community Center for all their hard work in organizing the show.

Mantua – Crestwood Intermediate School dressed in red, white and blue and took up flags to celebrate heroes today.  The inspiration for this celebration was their One School, One Book program.  The entire school — the lunch room staff, students, teachers, principal and counselor — is  reading the book On the Wings of Heroes by Richard Peck.  Set in World War II, it has provided these young students (grades 3 to 5) an opportunity to walk through history.  Replicating a jalopy parade from the book, veterans rode around the bus loop in old cars and an army jeep.  Students waved flags and chanted, “Go USA!”   An entire museum has been created to help students see and understand items they read about in the book. The staff has worked together to create and share different activities to enhance the educational experience.  Other activities have included visiting heroes from our community. Mayors, firefighters, mail carriers, and two deputy sheriffs were all represented.  Veterans and family heroes have also been invited to lunch with the students.  Using the book as a starting point, students have used their reading to create stories, write poems, journal entries and develop letter writing skills.  Students extended their outreach by raising money for the memorial to celebrate the heroes of Flight 93. There is a vibrant excitement humming through the school that is reflected in the interaction of community members, students and their families, school staff and our nation’s veterans.  In the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, “Do not even attempt a job if you do not plan to do the best you know how.”  Crestwood Intermediate School’s One Book, One School reflects these words.

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Portage County – The topic of cyber bullying, its effects on students and ways to reduce it have been added to the summer school-based training focused on creating safe environments where children and teens in crisis are supported.The Crisis Intervention Team Education Collaboration (CITEC) training is scheduled for July 18-22, 2011, at the Streetsboro Police Department.  Sponsored by the Mental Health & Recovery Board of Portage County, the 40-hour program is designed for school personnel including teachers, administrators, guidance counselors, psychologists, bus drivers and other school employees. The goal is to increase awareness of mental health problems and learn how to prevent and manage crisis situations.As one of the programs during the week, a local expert in cyber bullying will discuss the topic, which will include the types of problems that are being reported in Northeast Ohio and information on combating the online form of violence.The cost of the training is $100 for the week. Registration deadline is July 8. Brochures are available by calling 330-673-1756, ext. 203, or email CITEC organizers are also announcing that Hiram College will be offering two graduate credits along with Kent State University and Ashland University. The schools handle the charge for the graduate credits.CITEC is based on the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training for police officers. CIT was developed in 1988 in Memphis following the tragic shooting by a police officer of a man with mental illness.“This is not just something I use in my professional life but in my everyday life,” said Deb Horner, a teacher at the Portage-Geauga Juvenile Detention Center and CITEC planning partner.Both CIT and CITEC emphasize the understanding of mental health problems, the need for community collaboration to help people with these problems and specific techniques to manage individuals who are experiencing behavioral and emotional crises. The ultimate goal in a crisis situation is to de-escalate the individual to keep everyone safe and to then get them the appropriate help that they need, such as hospitalization rather than incarceration.The CITEC curriculum offers information about mental health disorders, sexual abuse, PTSD, depression and suicide, developmental disorders including autism, domestic violence, school safely plans and substance abuse.  In addition, training focuses on community resources and de-escalation techniques and role plays to practice skills.Organized and funded by the Mental Health & Recovery Board of Portage County, the program is a cooperative effort by a group of dedicated individuals led by teacher Carrie Suvada. Mrs. Suvada is a veteran educator of students with disabilities in the Waterloo Local School District. She is joined on the planning committee by Joel Mowrey, Ph.D., associate director of the Mental Health & Recovery Board of Portage County; Major Dennis Missimi of the Portage County Sheriff’s Office; Streetsboro Officer Andy Suvada who is CIT-trained and was Ohio CIT Officer of the Year in 2008; and Horner. Committee members also provide some of the training along with professionals from local education, mental health and substance abuse treatment agencies.For more information, call Joel Mowrey, Ph.D., associate director of the Mental Health & Recovery Board of Portage County, 330-673-1756, ext. 203, or email him at

Shalersville – A ribbon- cutting and open house was held for the new Portage County Water Resources Operations and Maintenance Equipment Garage  on Tuesday, May 24th. The facility is on Infirmary Road in Shalersville at the Water Resources lab location. The building will extend the life of vehicles that had always been parked outside year-round and save on repair costs that can now be done in-house, Water Resources Interim Director Jeff Lonzrick said. Inside storage also provides for regular maintenance of the equipment and vehicles. Large trucks and equipment  in surrounding counties as well as Ravenna and Kent are kept and maintained in-doors.  The county had received a $288,000 federal stimulus fund (American Recovery Reinvestment Act) grant for the construction of the new building, with construction cost to the department of $1.4 million.   No property tax or income tax dollars and no transfers of funds from general government are made into the Water Resources Department. The Water Resources department is not funded by county general fund monies, but by water and sewer user fees for the services it provides, tap fees from new water and sewer connectors and project-specific grants. One of the issues with the diesel engines on the equipment is that they start based upon heat and compression, not plugs, as an ignition source. Therefore when the vehicles were parked outside, the colder it was, the harder starting became which took much longer to get out to work on a problem,  Lonzrick said. The block heaters that diesels are equipped with, in an attempt to keep the block properly warmed and provide a heat source for starting, are not very effective in extreme cold or wind chill situations, he said.  This is eliminated by internal storage at temperatures greater than 58 degrees. Also, diesel fuel is not as refined as gasoline and has tendencies to thicken and gel in cold weather, making starting very difficult until it is warmed up and thinned out.  The valves, hydraulic booms and cylinders, cranes, pumps and electronic controls and air brakes freeze up when left outside. Corrosion and overall deterioration are also due to the freeze and thaw caused by extreme hot operational temperatures and the severe cold external temperatures when cooling, he said. The facility will also have a shop for electrical assembly so more work can be done in-house at a cost savings. It  has 6 truck bays, which are large and high enough to allow for double stacking of vehicles and equipment, making 12 bay areas, and also allowing  room for maintenanceThe department currently maintains 11 wastewater treatment plants in the county, over 100 pump stations, 3 water plants and 2 water booster stations.  Water Resources has a staff of 49 professionals including, biologists, engineers, plant operators, equipment operators, engineering technicians, and administrative staff.

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Mantua – Earlier this month, students at Crestwood Middle School were greeted in the morning with upbeat rock music, donned “rock-themed” attire and enjoyed a rock concert, all in an effort to encourage students to read. “Read like a Rock Star,” was the theme for this year’s Right to Read Week, a week promoted annually by the Ohio Council, International Reading Association (OCIRA) to stress the importance of reading in our society.  According to OCIRA, fostering a lifelong love of reading is an important goal and is essential for success in many subject areas.The “Read Like a Rockstar” theme was developed by a committee of middle school teachers who promoted daily sustained silent reading, along with other activities including studying the history of rock and roll on the Internet, and a “Music and Lyrics” poetry contest. Entries were judged on creativity and musicality. Winners of the contest were: 6th grade, Ashley Prater; 7th grade, Cate McSwain, and 8th grade, Cameron Moodie.Getting into the spirit of the week, students and staff were encouraged to dress up to match “Rock ‘N Roll” themes like “Reading Makes You Bright,” when all were allowed to wear “shades” for the day. There also were daily announcements with music, a D.J., and a Rock Trivia Contest. All trivia contest winners received “book bucks” to be used at the Spring Scholastic Book Fair the following week. The week ended with a concert provided by the local classic rock band – “Led It Be.”“What a great “Right to Read” week the students and teachers had,” said Principal Julie Schmidt. “They had many opportunities  to read their choice of literature, as well as express themselves through themed days. The rock concert was a great culminating activity where students were able to listen and dance to the various genres of Rock and Roll they learned about during the week. Thanks to the teachers who organized the week, and to the students who made the week so fun, with their energetic participation.”

Nelson Township – Nelson Township Trustees met for their regularly scheduled meeting at the Community House with all trustees and fiscal officer present. Chairman Joe Leonard led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance and brought the meeting to order. Fiscal officer Dave Finney presented the minutes, current funds status, bills and wages, purchase agreement with the state for salt purchase and  letters from various groups. The board approved the minutes, payment of bills and wages, and the contract to purchase salt through the state purchasing group. By purchasing salt through the state, the township is able to save a substantial amount of money. Chuck Vanek, road supervisor, reported that the heavy rains have been hard on the roads with several roads having washout problems. He also stated that the county will help them flush out the culvert on Pritchard Road and the township road crew will continue repairing the washouts.  Mr. Vanek also reported that due to the weather they had not been able to get the cemeteries taken care of as they ordinarily do but, he plans to have work done in the cemetery and also get veteran grave markers and flags out by the end of the week. Vanek said he and Jim Turos have been working on getting a new sign for Pixley Park and should have prices by the next meeting. Trustee Bill Wilson presented his findings on dumpster costs from Sunburst Disposal. After some discussion the board approved to changing garbage service from Universal Disposal to Sunburst at a savings of nearly $20 a month. Wilson also requested that the zoning inspector be accompanied by the sheriff and/or other outside individuals to re-inspect the raceways and the facilities (hold ponds, etc) at U.S. Liquids since there have been several complaints about the smell issue again.  Wilson stated that he is afraid if they don’t keep on the company about the issue it will get pushed to the back burner and go unresolved.  A letter was sent to trustee Wilson from the Garrettsville Police Department requesting permission to use and/or close township roads for a 5K race held during SummerFest. The trustees will issue a letter granting the request. Memorial Day Services are scheduled at Nelson Circle Monday, May 30, 2011 at 10:00 am, however if it is wet it will be held at the Veterans’ Memorial near the Community House. Joe Leonard stated that he has the revised blueprints for the electric at the Community House ready and they will need to apply for the electrical permit for proceeding. This led to a discussion on the electrical service needs. One contractor thought they would need to upgrade their electric to a 400 amp service while another thought the 200 amp service they have is plenty. Wilson believes the 200 amp service they have is enough as well. Leonard will look further into the matter before proceeding with the project. Leonard said some of the local Amish men are working to fix the blown-over dug out at Pixley Park. He also said Brugmann Sand and Gravel will donate 80 tons of sand to the park to help with the drainage problem. The township will be responsible for the cost of transporting the sand. After some discussion, the township determined that it would be more economical to out-source the transportation of the sand rather than do it themselves.Discussions were held on the park committee and trustees’ squabbles, Community House upstairs  use, and  road   maintenance. The trustees decided to let the Park Committee handle the park issues, with trustee Leonard acting as a liaison between the park committee and the board of trustees. This would free up the trustees so they can focus on keeping the townships roads maintained. A resident questioned the use of the upstairs because they thought at one time it was condemned by the fire department. Dave Finney will research this before any use of the upstairs will be permitted.The trustees meet on the first and third Wednesday each month at 7pm at the Community House, however the June 1, 2011 meeting will be held at 6 pm with the all -boards meeting following it. The all-board meeting is a public meeting for residents to ask zoning questions. The zoning commission, zoning board of appeals and the assistant county prosecutor will be on hand to answer any questions one might have. For more Nelson news visit their website at

Middlefield – Are you looking for something different to do this Memorial Day?  Middlefield Market offers the thrill of a live auction, the slower pace of walking the flea market and a great place to get a really good meal all while saving money.  Middlefield Market is located at 15848 Nauvoo Road, just about 500 feet east of Settlers’ Village and Middlefield Cheese.  You can check their website at live auction, which starts at 8 am, will offer live plants, the freshest produce and eggs around, chickens as well as a myriad of other items such as tools, furniture and more.  The Sale Barn will be full of tables with folks that have great items at great prices.  Many of the vendors are there every Monday.  You can shop for unique items as well as everyday products like cleaning and food items.  Most of the individual vendors are cash and carry, while the auction house does take credit and debit cards for payment on auction winnings as well as cash.If you have never participated in a live auction, do not worry.  Tom and Tina Mooney, the owners, have made it easy for everyone to participate.  When you arrive, just check in at the office in the back of the main sale barn.  You will need to show your ID and then you will be given a temporary number which you will show when you want to bid on something.  If you win the bid, the item and your number will be entered into the computer system.  When you are ready to check out, simply go back to the office and show them your number.  The clerks will have an itemized list of the auctions you won, then pay and you are on your way.Once you have looked around at all the many items available for sale, be sure to stop by the Farmers Grill.  Roxanne Blair, who owns the grill, offers breakfast as well as lunch to visitors at Middlefield Market.  You can enjoy eggs, sausage, bacon, pancakes and hash browns before you start shopping and bidding.  People come from several counties just to have her special Breakfast Pizza Deluxe.  Prices are so reasonable, you won’t believe it.For lunch Roxanne offers sandwiches such as hot dogs, hamburgers, fish, chicken Philly Steak and gyros with sides of French fries, onion rings or mozzarella sticks.  You can also enjoy pizza by the slice or just get a whole one.  For dessert try an apple fritter or cinnamon roll.  A variety of beverages, hot or cold, are offered, as well as a kid’s menu.The auction and flea market are known in the area because  they have been a staple of Mondays in Middlefield of many, many years.  The Mooneys have continued the tradition and have made Middlefield Market a fun place to shop.  There are a variety of other shops on the property.  You can find everything from antiques, jewelry and beads, gently-used furniture and clothing, to wood-burning equipment and more!  It is truly a fun-filled, family-friendly day.  Memorial Day is one of the busiest sale days, so you may want to plan to get there early or you may have to walk a spell.  Don’t forget that you can enjoy the live auction, the flea market and the Farmers Grill every Monday.  Just that Memorial Day is extra fun and extra busy.  Come out to beautiful Middlefield and enjoy a day full of shopping, great deals and great eats!

Garrettsville – On Sunday, the day after Armed Forces Day, the J.A. Garfield School District held its district-wide concert.   The twenty-first annual event featured band students from each grade, including the fourth grade recorders, and  honored those who have served and are serving our country.  The high school band opened the program with our National Anthem while Reservists from the United States Air Force (USAF) based in Youngstown presented the colors before a packed gymnasium of family and friends. Each of the school bands (fifth grade through High School) had an opportunity to showcase what they had accomplished during the school year.  The bands wowed the crowed with movie tunes, songs from the Beatles, patriotic songs, John Phillips Sousa Marches and even the “William Tell Overture”. Our fourth graders were featured when they played two numbers showcasing their newly acquired skills on the recorders. The fifth grade band amazed everyone with their accomplishments after only 6-7 months of lessons, while the Sixth Grade band entertained the crowd when their percussion section dressed as construction workers when they played “Construction Zone”.  The seventh grade band entertained the crowd with sounds from the Beatles, while the eighth grader played the “William Tell Overture”. One of the concert’s highlights was when the high school band performed the Battle Hymn Republic with community choir members representing St. Ambrose Catholic Church, Garrettsville United Methodist Chancel Choir and members of the high school choir — this was truly a sight to behold and hear.  When the high school band hit the first note one could hear a pin drop in the gym. The crowd rose for the occasion as the USAF color guard stood at attention. Before too long everyone was lost in the moment, especially when the choir joined the band in their rendition of the Battle Hymn of the Republic. The concert’s grand finale was when all the schools bands played the fight song together.  The bands rocked the house down while the audience stood in awe of their children’s accomplishments. Both events were totally breathtaking. The 7th & 8th grade bands along with the high school band are under the direction of Theo Cebulla. The fifth and sixth grade bands are under the direction of Joe Gaither while the recorders were under the direction of Mr. Ken Fox.  Congratulations to all participants on a job well done!

Hiram – Armed forces veterans and their families who want to take advantage of their GI educational benefits will be able to access a wide range of services, including beginning or continuing their college education, when Hiram College opens its new resource center for veterans  on the campus this fall.The center will be one of the first in a private institution in the State of Ohio, and will offer help to veterans and their dependents in accessing their GI educational, medical, mental health, career counseling advice and many other benefits, as well as a place to connect to other veterans.“We are proud of those who have served our country,” said Thomas V. Chema, President of Hiram College. “And we are committed to helping them to take full advantage of their GI benefits to be successful in their return to civilian life.”Plans call for the center to be staffed by professionals who will provide information and screening for federal and state veteran programs, such as education, group therapy and mental health counseling, job training and placement and financial advice. They will also assist veterans in completing and filing the paperwork to claim their benefits.Research shows many veterans never take full advantage of their benefits, which often also extend to their families, either by choice or lack of information or access to services. For example, many veterans assume that their educational benefits, which pay college costs, can only be used at public colleges and universities. In fact, most veterans’ benefits are sufficient to pay tuition at private colleges and universities, such as Hiram.  The new resource center at Hiram will be located in the newly renovated space in Miller Hall, and will feature a lounge area as well as service and counseling areas. Services will be available to all students using veteran benefits.       The College currently has 14 veterans enrolled and hopes to have 20 before the   center  opens.

Garrettsville – You know summer’s on its way when the first Car Cruise of the season overtakes Main Street in downtown Garrettsville. It’s also a message of confidence… that the relentless rainshowers of springtime will make way for the sunny skies of summer. There’s a car cruise for every month of summer, complete with live music, trophies and prizes.Sponsored by the Garrettsville Area Chamber of Commerce, the Cruisin’ Calendar kicks off on Saturday, May 28, from 5-8 p.m. with a Cruise on Main Street (State Route 82), featuring Switch Band. Bring your lawn chairs, relax and enjoy the music while admiring historic vehicles, muscle cars and other automotive eye candy. (Rain date May 29.)Next month’s event will be Saturday, June 25 from 5-8 p.m.  — rain or shine. Cruise Night in Garfield Plaza (SR 82, west of SR 88 Dairy Queen parking lot with extra parking beside Domino’s Pizza) will feature live entertainment by Dennis Chandler. This will be in conjunction with SummerFest on Main Street, complete with fireworks at dark. So bring your lawn chairs and plan to spend a carefree day (and night) on the town.Cruise on Main Street returns on Saturday, July 16 (rain date July 17) from 5-8 p.m.  with the Boys are Back Band. Then there’s a venue change August 13 (rain date August 14), with Cruise Night at the Fire Station, from 5-8 p.m. on Elm Street, west of SR 88 off SR 82). Dennis Chandler returns for the live entertainment. This final Cruise Night of the season celebrates the harvest with the annual Peach Social. Bring your lawn chair and join in for peach pie, peach ice cream sundaes or a simple bowl of fresh-picked sliced peaches.Trophies are awarded following each car cruise, for Best GM, Best Ford, Best Other, Best Mopar, Best Custom, Best Truck and Best of Show. The top 50 receive dash plaques, compliments of Rick Patrick’s Auto Sales & Service. There’s also a nightly 50/50 drawing and for cash prizes and merchandise. All events are alcohol-free and family-friendly.Cruise nights are sponsored by the Garrettsville Area Chamber of Commerce, backed by nearly 30 local businesses. See for more regarding the Chamber. For more information on the car cruises, contact Rick Patrick at (330) 527-2682 or

Hiram – The Hiram community will conduct a Memorial Day parade and services at Fairview Cemetery on Monday, May 30, 2011, starting between 11:00 and 11:30 a.m.The Parade will step off from the Hiram Post Office and proceed to Fairview Cemetery.  The featured speaker is Lt. Col. Donald Hazelwood, Military Science Professor and R.O.T.C. battalion commander at John Carroll University. Prayers will be offered by Father Leo Wehrlin of St. Ambrose and St. Michael R.C. Churches. Crestwood School children will recite Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and the Crestwood Scarlet Guard will be providing the music.Also participating will be the Hiram Township Trustees, Hons. Kathleen Schulda, Steve Pancost and Tom Bosma; Hiram College President Tom Chema, Professors of Music Damaris Peters Pike, Assistant Music Professor  Dawn Sonntag with Marine Recruit Austin Kepple and WWII Veteran and former B17 Pilot Keylon Clark. Both Hiram Fire and Police Departments and the U.S. Army Color Guard will parade. Hiram Scouts will be distributing flowers on veterans’ graves. Military veterans will read the names of the veterans entombed at all Hiram cemeteries.After the services all are invited to a public reception at the James A. Garfield Meeting House on the College campus.

Mantua – The Boards of Education for both Crestwood Local Schools and Ravenna School District approved resolutions today to share food service operations beginning July 1, 2011. The agreement between the two districts is potentially the first shared services agreements in Northeast Ohio for public school districts. As approved by the boards, Jennifer Bujak-Hirsch of Crestwood Local Schools will continue to oversee food service operations for Crestwood Local Schools while also assuming food service responsibilities at Ravenna. Hirsch’s responsibilities will include: staff hiring and evaluation, ordering, invoicing, concession stands, overseeing free and reduced lunch programs, and attending mandatory conferences. Each district will save approximately $20,000 per year under the agreement.“This agreement really is a win-win for both districts,” said Crestwood Superintendent Joe Iacano. “Jennifer has done a wonderful job for Crestwood students, and I’m excited for her to take the next step in her professional development and implement this very innovative agreement.”Discussions between the two districts to share food service operations began after the announcement that Ravenna’s current director of student nutrition, Linda Grant, would be retiring after 30 years of service.“For 30 years, Linda has been respected both personally and professionally at Ravenna Schools,” said Bill Wisniewski, director of business operations, Ravenna School District. “She has been a tremendous help in ensuring this plan is successful and has even made herself available to help after she’s retired.”The proximity of the two school districts was one of many factors the two districts identified when agreeing to this position, said Gregg Reink, director of administrative services, Crestwood Local Schools. Reink and Wisniewski will also continue to work together as the program continues to develop over the summer months.“Flexibility and ongoing dialogue between the two school districts is essential for this to be a success,” said Dr. Tim Calfee, superintendent, Ravenna School District. “I have been excited about this opportunity ever since Mr. Iacano discussed it as a possibility. I applaud both boards of education for being leaders in public service.”Bujak-Hirsch recently became a certified school nutrition specialist, one of only 1,100 nationwide and the first in Portage County. In addition to her experience at Crestwood, Hirsch has worked in food service management for Sea World Ohio, Six Flags Worlds of Adventure and the Akron Zoological Park. She is also a member of the National School Nutrition Association and the Ohio Nutrition Council.    “I am just excited about the possibilities to bring this creative and innovative idea to the public sector,” Bujak-Hirsch said. “I know my experience in the private sector will help me implement a program that benefits both districts and the students and staff at Crestwood and Ravenna.”

Well, it was another full week for “movers and shakers” all over town. To wit :

Graduation parties…Hiram College, U. of Akron, KSU. All of the big schools turned ‘em out to look for jobs. Jean Marvin snuck in a birthday bash with her graduation party (Master’s in Nursing)
The James A. Garfield Historical Society met on Monday–as they do every third Monday in the Mott Building at the corner of Main and High streets–to (1) deal with old business (an inquiry about participation in the Memorial Day activities, a reading program sponsored by the University of Akron, correspondence from the Ohio Local History Alliance, a letter from the ODNR concerning abandoned mines in the area, a letter from Robert Sawyer in regards to information about Hart Crane), (2) plan for an excursion to the Hudson Historical Society arranged by member Gwen Mayer, the archivist with the Hudson Library, (3)advance arrangements for the Vintage Photo Fun opportunity to be offered during SummerFest, (4) discuss issues–literally–with the Ohio Historical Society microfilm of defunct Garrettsville newspapers, (5) get more details on the up-coming Appraisal Fair, wherein local experts will be offering opinions on items presented by owners interested in gaining more information on family pieces and attic refugees; more to come,(6) cleaning and repairs to the building. (7) miscellaneous–demolition of the building at Paul’s, sign-out for borrowed items, awning for the Bonnet Shop, the Windham bicentennial, placement of the Maple Industry commemorative plaque.
The Rotarians met, as usual on Wednesday
The Red Cross Bloodmobile came to St. Ambrose on Thursday. We do pretty well here, providing a vital service with very little fanfare and excellent co-operation among the sponsoring churches in the area. Everybody takes a turn at signing in donors and bringing in cookies, beverages…even soup, sometimes, when it’s cold, and the Family of St. Ambrose offers its accessible facility for this life-saving work. Community, with a capital CARE..
Friday and Saturday saw the presentation of the dramatic production “The Test” at Garfield H.S., a thought-provoking and often hilarious exposition of the many tests that are a part of life. The answers were not always given and they were not all “true/false”. Excellent production.
Sunday saw the Second Annual Machine-O-Mania / Touch-A-Truck at Garfield High School and the District-wide Spring Band Concert at the same location…full parking lots.
The early weather scared off some but by eleven o’clock, things were looking good and the more intrepid were able to climb all over the big–we’re talkin’ BIG–trucks and other pieces of equipment that had been brought to be on display. Apologies to Praise Assembly of God across from the school. Hope that the sirens and buzzers and other assorted noises didn’t interrupt any prayers or over-ride any music; sermons are seldom affected by such irrelevancies.
Special thanks to all of the businesses and groups who brought their apparatus (or is it apparati?) to be on display and in play for the whole four hours. And to all of the attenders (Tom and Jean Russell come in their truck just to support the cause–Academic Challenge–and to show the flag for antique autos). The Portage County Mobile Command & Communications Center was there with radar weather, DVDs of Emergency Management situations handled, all kinds of cool stuff. The James A. Garfield Transportation Department made a bus available for walk-through. Interstate Towing brought three units–bright, shiny, tough-looking (Could have put my car in their back pocket). Tri County Building Supply sent a cement truck cleaner than usual on the job. The Community EMS, fresh from their parade and open house on the previous Saturday, sent two units and explainers to go with them. Scotchman Electric, with soon-to-be-graduate Sam in charge (The rest were probably working the Boy Scout doughnuts ‘n’ delicacies tent at the Yard Sale) of the high-rise bucket truck, was a fine contribution.. Kepich Ford was represented by a big, boss pickup truck that likely could have hauled my house down the road on a roller skate; it had that kind of muscle. DSI Bulk Transport/ Bonner Farms presented a tanker truck that hadn’t even been used yet–shiny! Our local truck hero, Deral White and his CSX Transport truck –bunk beds, coffeemaker, TV, micro…all the comforts of home…maybe more–were there. The truck competition medal was dangling from the mirror but he didn’t flash his gi-normous ring around, modest fellow that he is. GFN Volunteer Fire Department had two engines on deck and two firefighters as accompaniment. The ladders went up, the compartments opened, the sirens howled–great stuff! The Time Bandit Racing dragster was a big draw for little kids and motor-heads alike. The crew (Thanks, Phyllis) offered pictures in the cockpit–how cool it that? The engine man (Thanks, Jim)blew out the decibels when they fired up the engine and fed it automotive Red Bull–POW! BAM! ROAR! (Sorry, Praise Assembly) The driver (Thanks, Jeff) climbed in and out, gave explanations, greeted grandchildren, was a great proponent of the fun anybody can have when they find an activity and a crew that they can truly get involved with. The whole thing sort of reminds me of a Dr. Seuss book, Oh the Things You’ll Do, the Places You’ll Go! Indeed!
Watch for this next year…bigger and better!
Then it was on to the Band Concert. This was a biggie! Lots o’ bands–5th grade, 6th grade, 7th grade, 8th grade, High School–plus a recorder ensemble from the Elementary School. Lots o’ people on both sides of the gymnasium, fanning themselves vigorously to move some–warm–air. Lots o’ good music to go around.
There was a patriotic cast to the affair, highlighted by the appearance of a flag unit from the U.S. Air Force Reserve based in Youngstown presenting the colors at the center of the assembly. Moving.
Moving as well was the Sousa favorite, “The Stars and Stripes Forever”…. Go, piccolos!…and the penultimate number, a rendition of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”, combining the high school band, the high school chorus and a community chorus. A wall of sound! Let’s hear it for all of the participants, the listeners…and the organizers of the event, Mr. Fox, Mr. Cebulla, Mr. Gaither. The finale, of course, was the Garfield “Fight Song”
Research has shown that education in the arts boosts academic achievement. Excellent!

Pictured are two young racers who enjoyed the opportunity to climb into the cockpit of The Time Bandit.

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This will be the last bowling article until leagues begin again in the fall.  Thank you to everyone who helped with the youth leagues this year, and to everyone who enjoyed reading about our youth bowlers!  This year’s summer bowling camp will be August 10-12.  Each day, bowlers will get instruction from coaches; lunch will be served each day.  The cost is only $25 for the three days.  Contact Sky Lanes for more information or to sign up.In the final week of the 2010-2011 Teen Texas Shoot-Out league, the high scores were Ashly Bernatowicz with a 227 game and 605 series.  Clarke Kolmorgan rolled 211 and Anna Brigham rolled 188.  Good luck to Ashly and Clarke who, along with Brent Jones and Liz Persuhn, got a free entry to the state team tournament thanks to their good performance at regionals.May 14 was awards day.  After awards were given out bowlers got pizza and then the music was turned on and the lights turned off for some cosmic bowling.  Congratulations to all the following winners:9:00 Trio LeagueLeague Champs – 1st half – The Devils Emma Dockery Nathan Pallotto Ericq WilliamsLeague Champs – 2nd half – Peace Makers Kassie Fedor Floria Gerardino Ashleigh QuiggleHigh Average –  Boys   Drew Tushar  109 Girls   Emma Dockery  127Most Improved Average –  Boys   Nathan Pallotto +16 Girls   Danielle Tuttle +19Girls High Series Scratch    Emma Dockery 524Girls High Game Scratch    Kassie Fedor 187Boys High Series Scratch    Drew Tushar 410Boys High Game Scratch    Dan Painley 164
11:00 Trio LeagueLeague Champs – 1st half – The Gummi Bears Jaret Doraski Collin McGurer Nick TokeLeague Champs – 2nd half – Attitude Adjustments Kim Wampler Jessica Potteiger Ryan AmblerHigh Average –  Boys Zach Hoffman 165 Girls Jessica Potteiger 153Most Improved Average –  Boys Austin Sledz +22 Girls Jessica Potteiger +15Girls High Series Scratch    Jessica Potteiger 553Girls High Game Scratch    Kim Wampler 234Boys High Series Scratch   Ryan Ambler 616Boys High Game Scratch   Adam Tanner 219

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Burton – Remember the days when a car was a thing of beauty and American- made?  When every fall you anxiously waited for the new models to be unveiled?  When an American- made car was parked in every driveway?Step back in time to the glory days of American cars every Wednesday night from May 11 to September 28, in Burton Village, when vintage cars and vehicles return for Burton’s original Cruise Night.  The evening’s activities run from 5:00 to 8, and it is free.Historic Main Street comes alive with the rumble and roar of vintage vehicles and the foot tapping music of the 50’s and 60’s.  Bring a lawn chair to sit and talk or you can wander the street peeking under the hoods and seeing how powerful engines once looked.  Tom & Jerry’s Diner will be serving up classic burgers and fries or try one of their evening specials.Depending on the weather, it’s not unusual for more than 100 vehicles to park along Main Street.  It’s an opportunity for old friends to meet or to make new friends.It’s an event that welcomes everyone of all ages. Rain or shine, there are also door prizes and a 50-50 raffle. Cruise into Burton Village this summer with your classic car or just to enjoy Wednesday Cruise In Nights.



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Hiram – The Communications Factory, Hiram’s only advertising agency, is proud to announce its selection of Meghan Caprez as the firm’s ninth college scholarship recipient. Ms. Caprez, a senior at Our Lady of the Elms High School in Akron, earned the $1,000 award from the Factory to help her offset some of the costs associated with her college education.Chosen from a large field of highly qualified applicants from across Northeast Ohio, Caprez demonstrated a great knack for balancing the academic rigors and extracurriculars of high school with her passion for journalism. Meghan was an integral member of the Elm Leaf, the student-run school newspaper, earning the role as Managing Editor, along with accolades for both her writing and her layout skills. She also served as President of the Speech and Debate Team, placing in area oratorical competitions — even qualifying to the Ohio High School Speech League State Finals. All of which she was able to accomplish while maintaining Honor Roll status throughout her high school tenure.“Meghan’s undying enthusiasm, perceptiveness and wit, diverse skills and talents, compassionate leadership and team orientation, obvious passion for journalism and communications, and transformative spirit all make her an exceptional choice for the Factory’s scholarship,” beams Carrie Tangenberg, English Teacher and Newspaper Adviser at Our Lady of the Elms High School.Brad Turner, “plant manager” of the Communications Factory, continues to be impressed by the turnout for his firm’s scholarship offering. “Each year I’m thrilled by the caliber of intelligent and hardworking young adults that apply. And this year is no different. We’re proud to support future leaders, like Meghan, with our scholarship.”Meghan joins eight other previous winners of the Scholarship that include: Kristie McLeod from Firestone High; Katherin Polenick from Warren G. Harding High; Megan Fraley from Willoughby South High; Mason King from Hudson High; Ben Everly from Rootstown High; Daniel Hurd and Lauren Ilenin from Crestwood; and Keely Davidson from Stow-Falls. The Factory’s scholarship will be awarded again next year to another deserving area senior. Interested students should keep an eye on the firm’s Web site ( and local papers for the early 2012 announcement.

Mantua – Crestwood High School’s applied math class did more than just apply their learned math skills.  Along with the trigonometry class from James A. Garfield, these juniors and seniors competed in a series of competitions with their homemade trebuchets, miniature medieval-style catapults, in Crestwood High School’s gymnasium May 4. From designing with blueprints to construction of these catapults, the students improved their skills in problem-solving, creativity and team work.  “The kids loved it,” said Mrs. Moon, Crestwood’s Applied Math Teacher.  “Principal Sommers went out and purchased the wood, hammer and nails.  He even took the wood home and helped cut it to the students’ designated measurements.”The Crestwood students studied trigonometry in their applied math class to prepare them for the event.  They applied what they learned in order to make an adjustment on the string to get the best angle for launching marbles from their trebuchets. Design stipulations were also put into place and could not be violated.  One stipulation was that the counterweight, which held down the marble launching arm, could not be over three pounds.  Another stipulation was that the arm couldn’t be over 30 centimeters long.In teams that consisted of two to four students, a total of 33 juniors and seniors competed in four contests. The Distance competition awarded the trebuchet that launched the marble the furthest.  The winners of the Precision competition had the smallest perimeter out of three launches.  In order to win the Accuracy competition, the launched marbles had to hit a certain mark placed on the floor and the fourth competition was to shoot the marbles through the basketball hoop in the gymnasium.Crestwood’s applied math class and James A. Garfield’s trigonometry class came close to a tie in the number of competitions that were won.  The winners of the Distance competition were from James A. Garfield. “El Tigre the Intimidator” was created by Will Yon, Stevie Boone, Emily Hughes, and Lauren Greathouse.  Crestwood seniors, Samantha Zuponcic and Kelsey Bascombe, were the winners of the Precision competition.  The Shoot the Hoop competition was won by Josh Fehrenbach and Wes Skupski, also of Crestwood.  There was a tie in the Accuracy competition with James A. Garfield students, Brent Marshall, Kelli Mulhern, Quinn Coleman and Paige Collins; sharing honors  with Tyler Harris, Samantha Baldwin, and Emma Cozzens of Crestwood.James A. Garfield’s trigonometry teacher, Mr. Englehart, and Mrs. Moon  had taught together at Garfield High School and both had attended Crestwood High School. “It was a well-rounded project and such a great success that we are going to make in an annual event,” said Mrs. Moon.

Newton Falls –  Newton Falls American Legion Post 236 recently held its 2011 elections.  District Commander Jim Campbell and Post 540 Commander Roger Garber  installed the new officers.  The new officers are Bob James, Commander, Duncan Shetterly, Trustee, Donna Watson, 2nd Vice Commander, Cari Delgado, Service Officer, Ron Widowfield, Chaplain, Bob Cameron, Trustee, Arden Baillie, Trustee, Bob Shaulis, Treasurer, Bill Smith, Sgt. Of Arms, Russ Mason, Adjutant, and Joe Ball, 1st Vice Commander.On May 9, 2011, American Legion Post 236 presented the Newton Falls Safety Department a Polaris ATV equipped with lights and sirens.  The vehicle cost over $14,000. In photo, Police Chief John Kuivila thanks Post Commander, Bob James while Post members look on. Members and friends of the post enjoyed a tour of Camp Ravenna, the Ohio National Guard Regional Training Center on May 10, 2011.  Captains Dunlap and Yates, along with 1st Sgt. Bosley, pointed out facets of the new facilities, as well as sections of the old Ravenna Arsenal.

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Aurora – Aurora Historical Society invites the community to a Grand Re-Opening Party at the Aurora Historical Museum from  2 to 4 pm Sunday, May 22, lower level of the Aurora library building, 115 E. Pioneer Trail.The party will feature a ribbon-cutting ceremony, guided tours through the renovated archives, activities for children, including an up-close look at Aurora’s historic fire truck, a new exhibit on early Aurora homes and structures, door prizes and free refreshments.“This is a great opportunity for residents and their families to tour the restored museum, including back rooms that are usually closed to the public, and to hear the story about the flooding that spurred the recent renovation,” John Kudley, Historical Society president said.The museum has been closed since the incursion of water into the archival storage room in the summer of 2010. Rapid response and close cooperation between the Society and the city of Aurora helped mitigate the damage. The museum is housed in the city-owned building, which in turn is overseen by the Aurora Library Trust.Museum members, city officials, friends and the community will honor the volunteers who spent endless hours on the meticulous clean-up and celebrate the restoration of the museum’s extensive collection of furniture, commercial, agricultural and home accessories, tools, memorabilia, textiles, maps, photographs, documents and books used by residents and businesses in Aurora for the last 212 years.Grand Re-Opening visitors will also enjoy:Five historical project applications submitted by Aurora High School seniors who applied for the Vernon Biggar Scholarship. The award winner will be honored at the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the start of the program. The permanent museum exhibit:  “CHEESEDOM: Quality Cheese Making Brings Early Fame, Profit and Employment to Aurora.”New comprehensive exhibit: “Historic Homes and Structures of Aurora, Ohio”.Aurora Historical Museum is open to the public from 2 to 4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday, or by appointment. For more information call 330-995-3336.
The Aurora Historical Society is committed to enhancing & maintaining the community identity of Aurora by preserving & communicating its rich history. For more information: 330-995-3336,, or

Freedom Township – The Freedom Township Board of Trustees met on May 5 in regular session. The meeting was attended by trustees James Hammar, Roy Martin, John Zizka; Rosemary Nicholas, Fiscal Officer; Jeff Derthick, Zoning Inspector; and Charles VanSteenberg, Road Supervisor. Also present were Charles Duffield and Harold Cain.Much discussion focused on springtime roadwork and the upcoming Spring Clean-Up, which is scheduled for June 9, 10 and 11 (Thursday, noon to 6 pm; Friday, noon to 6 pm; and Saturday, 9 am to 3 pm). Acceptable items will be decided during the June trustees meeting.Two holes on Hewins Road have been filled with gravel and asphalt. Brush pick-up has also begun. High winds caused a downed tree on Stamm Road, plus brush on other roads, which were cleared. 170 geraniums from Pochedly’s were ordered for the cemeteries, at $1.00 each (same as last year).Both Hammar and Martin received calls from Richard Bonner, complaining about the condition of Goodell Road. Trustees approved a contract with Henry Luli Construction in the amount of $910 for work on Goodell Road, and to purchase 110 tons of #310 slag from Rick Kuntz for $16 per ton for use in repairing the road. Hammar said he is working with Scott Miller of the County Engineer’s office on the Issue 1 application for Vaughn Road. Nicholas said she intended to contact Miller for an explanation regarding the $20,000 increase in the engineer’s estimate for Stamm Road. This public works project was accepted with an assumed local share of $46,800; but now it looks like a local share of closer to $67,000 will be required, depending on how the bids come in. VanSteenberg had an estimate from H. Luli Construction in the amount of $5,250 to chip and seal the drive at Drakesburg Cemetery. The township would be responsible for patching the low areas and pot holes. Luli said if the township provided the #8 stone, he would deduct $500 from this amount. Zizka asked about getting another quote but VanSteenberg said Luli is the only one who does this type of work. Zizka said he is not saying the work isn’t necessary but neither the cemetery drive nor the Goodell Road work was on the agenda. He said the trustees need the opportunity to consider these things, not come to a meeting and get blindsided by these proposed expenditures. No action was taken; it was tabled until the next meeting.VanSteenberg purchased a diamond saw blade for $111.80 at Fastenal for cutting asphalt. He will keep track of the footage to see how much use this blade offers, compared to the other blades in use. Zizka will check to see if the brush has been picked up on Hewins. Cemetery: Cain noted that several stones are leaning at the West Cemetery. VanSteenberg said they have been that way for years. Mr. Hammar will look into it.Nicholas had a request for deed transfer from Sallie Hubeny. Trustees approved the transfer of Lot 414, Graves C & D, Drakesburg Cemetery from Sallie Hubeny to her niece and nephew, Lisa May Stewart and Richard Stewart; and to waive the $15.00 transfer fee. The trustees signed a letter thanking Ms. Hubeny for her many years of volunteer service to the township.Park: Hammar said the trees donated by Soil & Water have been planted. The trustees signed a thank you letter to Mr. Bierlair for donating the trees. There is some debris at the park, from the old school, which Zizka said should be moved. VanSteenberg said it should be covered over, then smoothed out. Hammar said, if it’s covered with grindings, it can be used for additional parking. No action was taken.New Business:Trustees agreed to purchase 300 tons of sodium chloride (rock salt) through the Ohio Department of Transportation Cooperative Purchasing Program for the 2011-2012 year. The week of May 15, 2011, was established as Emergency Medical Services week, with the theme, EMS: Everyday Heroes, with an open house held Saturday, May 14. Nicholas had forwarded to the trustees an e-mail from Crown Castle regarding the cell tower. Verizon (the only tenant) will come off the tower on April 30, 2012.
The roof on the east side of the town hall requires upkeep. Martin said we should accept Mr. Miller’s offer of a credit and apply it toward the porch work. Zizka said he and Duffield looked at the roof in detail, and the main concern is appearance; not durability or integrity. Cain said that he was opposed to leaving the roof the way it is; the contractor said it was a bad job and offered to redo it. He also questioned what happens with the warranty if we leave it as it is. Martin said there is nothing wrong with the roof as far as function; it is purely cosmetic. Because of finances, Hammar prefers taking whatever credit Miller offers, and apply it to the porch. Zizka said township employees may be able to remove the old porch, which would also save some money. He will contact Miller and also get a written quote from Milano for the concrete work.No offers have been received for the 1994 one-ton truck. Zizka said he would give the township $200 for it. Mr. VanSteenberg will call C&B to see what they will give for it.Hammar has an appointment with an attorney in Alliance who is an oil well specialist. He invited Mr. Zizka and Mr. Martin to accompany him.During the meeting, warrants #5522 – #5556 in the amount of $26,596.27 were presented to the trustees for approval and ordered paid by signature. The Freedom Township Trustees meet the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of each month at 7:30 p.m. at the Town Hall, located at the triangle of State Routes 303, 88 and 700. These meetings are open to the public, and residents are encouraged to attend.

Garrettsville-Hiram Rotarians were treated to a unique look at what for some is Terra Incognita, our great (in more ways than one) northern neighbor, Canada…specifically, Dennis Guenther’s  home province of Alberta (along with Saskatchewan and Manitoba, known as the Prairie Provinces).  Names familiar to travelers, such as Lake Louise and Banff, Medicine Hat and Calgary shared map space with Nanuvut and PEI in sketching Canada as a whole and a quick historical outline pointed out the Native American–Cree, Chippewa, Blackfoot, etc.– background as well as the early French and British settlers and fur traders’ influence on the formation of the nation.  Alberta became an official province as part of that nation in 1905.One Canadian icon with which many in the U.S. are familiar is the RCMP–Royal Canadian Mounted Police–the Mounties, who always get their man; they were established in 1873, originally to deal with whisky and gun issues as pertaining to the Native American peoples, both on and off the reservations.  They still operate as the national police force, still mounted, with a showpiece unit called the “Musical Ride” which appears when pageantry and precision are on display.The 1890’s saw vast numbers of immigrants come to Canada, just as they did to the “lower 48” in the U.S., many Americans, many ethnic, language and religious groups.  Economic changes came with the opening of cattle and grain farms of giant proportions as well as the railroads to take these goods to markets all over the world.  Another economic factor entered with the discovery of oil in 1914; this factor got another boost in the ‘30’s and ‘40’s when additional oil and gas deposits were found.  By 1990, eighty-one per cent of Canada’s oil was being drawn from this area, much of it being exported to the United States.  By 2006 over 1.25 million bbl of oil–much of it from the Athabaska oil sands–was coming from Alberta…and supporting an excellent universal health care system in addition to a list of outstanding universities and colleges.Named for Princess Alberta, daughter of Queen Victoria, the Province of Alberta has a distinctly conservative political aspect in the capital of Edmonton and a more “frontier-flavored” visage in Calgary–home of ”the Stampede” and many of its tourist attractions.  It’s where many western movies are shot and it’s where the “Chinook” winds can change the temperature more than fifty degrees in a flash…or a breeze.Hi, neighbor!

Burton – EcoWater/Servisoft of Middlefield is celebrating their seventh annual Customer Appreciation Day and Open House on Saturday, June 4th from 9 am until 2 pm.  They are located at 14299 Kinsman Road in Burton, just one mile east of Burton Square.  This year will mark their 46th year in business.This annual event provides a way for everyone at EcoWater/Servisoft to thank their customers for their business but also allows for new relationships to be formed.  Water softening salt, water treatment chemicals and filters are offered at the lowest prices of the year as a way of saying thank you.  Each customer will also have the chance to win a great prize donated by EcoWater/Servisoft or another generous local businesses.  Do not forget to stop by the food table for hot dogs, pizza and beverages.This year there will be a Home and Garden show featuring several local businesses.  You will be able to talk with representatives from AC Drain Rite, Geauga Credit Union, Geauga PC, Koon Landscaping, Radioactive and Stollard Farms to name a few.  Geauga County Sheriff Junior Deputy Rick O’Shay will be there for part of the day; he is an adorable 34” tall mini horse.  The Customer Appreciation Day and Open House is a time for the community to come out and experience great prices, good food and old-fashioned fun.  Chuck and Ella Hall started Servisoft of Middlefield in 1965 to help local residents have better water.   In 1987, EcoWater was added to the name.  Still a family business, EcoWater/Servisoft of Middlefield provides products for purchase or rent, salt and bottled water delivery and exceptional service on almost every brand and type of equipment.  Integrity and reliability are the names of the game at EcoWater/Servisoft of Middlefield, along with the business philosophy to always exceed the customer’s expectations. They offer their services to residents in six counties.  They are also the largest commercial dealer for EcoWater in the country.  Awards and accolades line the walls, but it is the dedication to doing the right thing that has allowed this company to stand the test of time.  The first Saturday of the month (unless it is a holiday) is always a salt sale, where water conditioning supplies can be purchased on discount, but the Customer Appreciation Day sale allows for a deeper discount and a lot more fun.  So whether you are an existing customer or thinking about becoming one, you are welcome to stop by on June 4, meet everyone and find out just how much EcoWater/Servisoft has to offer for your water treatment needs.

Garrettsville – The winner is… well not yet, but they are getting closer as the field narrowed  Sunday for those who vying to become the next Garrettsville Idol. This past Sunday, forty -three contestants competed on stage at James A. Garfield School with the hope of becoming the next Garrettsville Idol. The finals for the event will be held June 26, 2011 at SummerFest with Big Chuck and Little John as emcees. This is a show you will not want to miss. The Semi-finalists competed in two fantastic shows before an audience of friends and family. The first show featured the youth and teens while the second show featured the adults. Each contestant had the opportunity to sing one song with accompaniment for the audience while the judges determined those who would move on. After two hours of performances in each session the group was narrowed down to 24 contestants who will be featured in the Garrettsville Idol held at SummerFest the last weekend in June. SummerFest is the annual festival held in Garrettsville the last weekend in June. About  10,000 people attend over the course of the weekend. The event is a family-friendly festival with games, contests, parades, food, rides, fireworks and continuous live entertainment  throughout  the day on  three stages. This year’s theme “Biggest Game in Town” will be the biggest event of the summer and you will not want to miss it. Mark your calendars so you too can join in the fun at this year’s SummerFest.Each year the festival’s primary funding comes from the car raffle and t-shirt sales. This year’s car is nicely-equipped Chevy Cruze made right here in Lordstown, Ohio. It will be raffled off after the Garrettsville Idol competition on Sunday night of the festival. Tickets are now available at SkyLanes Bowling, Middlefield Bank and various businesses through out the community. The tickets are $20 each or six for $100 if purchased prior to the festival. Once the festival starts all tickets will all be $20 each. Commemorative t-shirts are on sale as well; they can be purchased at Middlefield Bank, Huntington Bank, Miller’s Restaurant, SkyLanes Bowling and the Weekly Villager for $10 each. In previous years the shirts were almost sold out before the festival. By purchasing shirts early you can be certain you can get the color and size of your choice. This year’s SummerFest is sponsored by Charles Chevrolet-Buick, Garrettsville Chamber of Commerce, Carlson Funeral Homes and Cremation Services and the Weekly Villager. The festival is traditionally held the last weekend in June at the corners of S.R.82 and S.R. 88 in downtown Garrettsville. More information can be found at

Garrettsville – Prior to the regularly scheduled council meeting, members met at 6:45 p.m. on May 10th for a review of the Village’s finances.  Mayor Craig Moser reviewed the village’s financial accounts and recapped major expenditures from the 2009 & 2010 while highlighting those planned for the 2011 fiscal year. Councilwoman Clyde  asked if a list could be prepared for items that may need to be purchased in the 2012 and 2013 fiscal years.  This would allow time to review, plan and budget for them. Payroll for the village is the largest annual expense and will be approximately $811,000 not including benefits. Income tax revenue for the village is coming in at a consistent rate.  The village is working hard  to collect all outstanding balances that are due.  In addition, an effort is being made to collect from those residents who have failed to file their Village income tax. At last count, there are approximately 1/3 of the village’s residents who have not filed their income taxes with the village. Representatives from the J.A. Garfield wrestling and men’s bowling teams were recognized by village council for their accomplishments during the winter sports season. Council also recognized Chuck Klamer for his 20 years of service as superintendent of the Garfield school system. Attorney Tommie Jo Marsilio addressed village council as a member of the business community and resident. Marsilio and the Weekly Villager shared their frustration with council regarding  all of the “hoops” that required jumping through to simply move their offices from one end of town to the other. Zivoder, Villager co-owner explained that the paperwork is not user-friendly and one must guess as to what areas the business owner is required to complete.Marsilio expressed concern over the processes  and has offered her service to help fix them.  The mayor accepted her offer and will be in touch. Both Marsilio and Zivoder, active business and chamber members,  feel that the paperwork, hours of availability and approval processes need to become more user friendly if the Village wishes to attract more business. In other council news, ordinances 2011-12, 2011-14 and 2011-15 which clarified the regulations pertaining to livestock, defined poultry and the housing of chickens within village limits were all defeated.  Chicken and roosters are not allowed in the village.Ordinance 2011-24 authorizing the village to enter into a contract with the Ohio Department of Transportation for the purchase of rock salt was approved. Resolution 2011-25 was passed proclaiming the week of May 15th as Emergency Medical Services week. All were invited to attend the EMS parade on Saturday May 14th. Fran Teresi, representative from the Board of Public Affairs addressed council regarding concerns on hydraulic fracturing. The village recognizes the importance of its water sources and after much discussion, passed Resolution 2011-26 calling on the Governor and Ohio State Legislature to place a moratorium (or enact a ban) on hydraulic fracturing until an adequate environmental study is completed showing that it can be done safely without impacting local water supplies. Council plans to share this resolution with the surrounding township trustees in hopes that the message will carry forward. Councilman Bob Matson gave an overview from the recent Economic Development Board meeting.  Matson also spoke to council regarding the prospect of forming a Joint Economic Development (JED) partnership with Freedom Township.Matson  stated that he had spoken with members from the Freedom Township trustees and that they would be interested in exploring the options.  Garrettsville currently has an industrial park area equipped with  sewer and water, while Freedom Township has the land that would make accessibility to the industrial area ideal for future businesses. A motion was passed to move forward into exploring the possibility of a JED with Freedom Township. Bob Matson will take the lead on this project. Rick Patrick, council president, addressed the council regarding Summerfest.  Patrick stated that he was “appalled by the complaints he has heard in the village that SummerFest is getting too big”.  Patrick went on to say that Garrettsville should be proud of this festival and that it brings visitors to our community who patronize our establishments during the time that they are in town.  Patrick also thanked Aaron King and the SummerFest committee members who volunteer their time year ‘round to make the festival happen.  Village council approved the SummerFest contributions of additional street and police department expense as well as the cost share for additional patrolmen with the SummerFest committee.Sidewalk construction for Liberty Street from Center Street to Water Street will occur this year.  Three bids were received and All American Concrete was awarded the contract. The village approved the  chip and seal for  parking lots located at the library, boardwalk and the street department.The Memorial Day parade is scheduled for  Monday, May 30th.  The opening ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. at the Baptist Cemetery Veterans’ Memorial  and the parade will step-off at  9:30 heading towards Park Cemetery. Village council will meet again on June 15th at 7:30 p.m. All are invited to attend.

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Windham – The WVFD Fire Board met for their regularly scheduled meeting for May at the fire station with all board members and fiscal officer present. In the fire chief’s report, Chief Iwanyckyj asked the board if they could partition part of the meeting room off to make a lounge for the medics who are on call. The cost of the partition would be paid out from the firemen’s fund. After some discussion the board gave their approval for the men to make a lounge area. The chief showed the board the molding they received from Johnsonite for the meeting room. The molding was donated to the firemen. The chief stated he has access to a reduced rate pulse oxygen sensor that the firemen will purchase from the firemen’s fund if the board would agree to purchase the finger sensor for the unit. The unit is needed for the second ambulance. The board approved the finger sensor for the new oxygen sensor.   The fire chief said they were covering most of the EMS calls, with a few being covered by North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) and Community Ambulance. Windham has also done a few mutual aid calls for Community Ambulance. This brought up the discussion on whether they should change their first back-up responder from NEAS to Community Ambulance to improve response times. After a discussion it was determined that the response times were within the national average for rural areas so they determined to leave well enough alone and review the system again in six months. In maintenance report Mr. Polichena reported that the trucks were in good shape, he has installed the new light bar on truck 2817 and took the light bar from that truck and had it installed on the fire jeep. Truck 2815 is in need of new tires due to dry rot. Polichena will get prices by the next meeting.A discussion was held on the fuel tank situation and it was determined that they would need to develop a plan for purchasing fuel rather than trying to bring current tanks up to the ever-changing EPA codes. The chief will look into fleet fuel purchasing with Circle K. Circle K is open 24/7 so obtaining fuel would not be a problem. The chief will explore the options and report back to the board next month.The board adjourned to en executive session, to discuss personnel matters. After the executive  session the board reconvened and addressed the multi-gas detector issue.  The fire chief said the charger for the unit had disappeared and the unit they have is useless without a charger. The cost to replace it would be $103.90. They use the detectors to detect harmful gases such as carbon monoxide, propane, natural gas etc leaks. The board approved the request. With there being no other business, the meeting was adjourned. The fire board meets on the second Thursday of each month at the fire station at 7pm. Meetings are open to the public.

Hiram – On Tuesday, May 17, 2011, representatives from the James A. Garfield, Crestwood and Woodridge Local Schools along with Roxanne Sorrick, Head of Teacher Education and Project Director for Hiram College  traveled to Columbus to accept a Teacher Planning Grant and begin advanced planning for the 2011-2012 school year. During the 2011-12 school year, Hiram College teacher candidates will be placed at the partner schools for clinical experiences where they will work collaboratively with their cooperating teachers to integrate technology into the curriculum. The school partners are Woodridge Primary, Crestwood Primary, and James A. Garfield High School and Middle School. The Teacher Planning Grant provided each partner with $12,500 for hardware and software and a shared fund of $50,000 for professional development. Each school partner identified a focus for technology purchases based on district goals and technology implementation priorities. Purchases include iPad2, iTouch, laptops, digital microscopes, wireless capability, and audience response systems. Grant funds will provide for a Community Technology night at each school partner site, distance learning opportunities for students and teachers/teacher candidates, as well as a collaborative conference for all participants in May 2012. Grant goals were based on the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Standards for both students (NETS-S) and teachers (NETS-T).“We are excited to be selected as one of the 11 recipients of the grant,” stated Sorrick. “The funds will provide new avenues of teaching and learning at these three school districts and prepare Hiram College teacher candidates to effectively integrate technology into the curriculum for 21st century learners.”This Teacher Planning Grant represents the collaborative work of four bodies of education, all equally committed to academic excellence, innovation in teaching and learning, and building relationships in schools and communities in Northeast Ohio and beyond. Relationships are perhaps the backbone of any educational endeavor. It is through collaboration that educators find new ideas, challenge existing assumptions, and reach new avenues that provide stronger, richer learning opportunities for all students.

Garrettsville – Registration is underway for the 1st annual Garrettsville Summerfest 2011 5k run and 1 mile fun run/walk. This all road race to benefit glioma childhood cancer research will take place on Sunday, June 26th at 9 a.m. Event organizer, Jacob Vaughn and his assistant Diana Morris invite everyone to participate.  All proceeds will benefit Friends of Melana, an organization set up to find the causes, treatments and cure for glioma childhood cancer.Friends of Melana was named after Melana Matson who was a young girl from Garrettsville who in 2009, was diagnosed with glioma cancer. Melana was only 9 years old.  She lost her battle just 10 months after her diagnosis with glioma cancer. In Melana’s memory and for those affected by this disease, Friends of Melana is a foundation dedicated to helping fund the fight for childhood glioma cancer. Glioma cancer is the second highest cause of cancer deaths in young people; 85-95% of children who are diagnosed with a malignant glioma tumor die within five years. It is badly underfunded by major cancer societies. The Children’s Glioma Cancer Foundation is dedicated to funding global research into the causes, prevention, treatments, and cure for the dealiest childhood brain tumors known as gliomas. This race is in memory of Melana, participation in this race means 100% of the proceeds go to Friends of Melana.Free beverages will be provided during and after the race. A post-race party is being planned for all race participants. Prizes include medals for top place finishers  of  the 5K Run (1st, 2nd and 3rd) in each age group (8-14, 15-19, 19-24, 25-34, 35-45, 46-57, and 58+)If you would like to contribute, but are not able to participate in the walk/run, consider sponsoring a lady bug mile marker. These markers will be  placed along the race route. Contact Jacob at 330 632-0072 for more information.   Registration has begun and you must register on-line at or follow the link from must be one of the first 200 racers pre-registered by June 10th  to guarantee your t-shirt.  Cost is $20. Race day registration is available for $25, t-shirts not guaranteed.   Anybody can come for 1 mile, competitive or notIf you have any questions about this race, please contact Jacob Vaughan at  or (330) 632-0072.  For more information or inspiration please visit

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Ravenna – Habitat for Humanity of Portage County’s work to provide affordable housing has helped Habitat for Humanity International rank as the sixth largest homebuilder on Builder magazine’s top 100 list.  With 6,032 closings in 2010, this is the second time Habitat for Humanity has placed in the top ten.  “Our placement on the Builder 100 list is a testament to what can be accomplished when people work together,” said Larry Gluth, senior vice president of U.S. and Canada for Habitat for Humanity International. “So many families in the United States and around the world face an incredible need for affordable housing, and this need only increases during challenging economic times. Habitat works every day to help these families, and we are grateful for the generosity of our donors, volunteers and advocates who have joined our efforts to help families obtain safe, decent and affordable homes and to strengthen communities.”  In 2010, Habitat of Portage helped more than 3 families obtain affordable housing and plans to continue working with volunteers, local businesses and churches to provide affordable housing in Atwater and Ravenna by the end of this year. Since 1988, the affiliate has built or renovated more than 56 homes. “We are thrilled that our work to provide affordable housing has contributed to Habitat’s ranking as the sixth largest builder in the United States,” said Brian Reitz, Executive Director at Habitat of Portage County.  “We are proud to help families obtain affordable housing, and we thank our supporters for their commitment to helping families in need.”  The Builder 100 list is an annual compilation of the largest homebuilders in the country. In 2009, Habitat for Humanity ranked eighth on the list with 5,294 closings, marking the first time the organization made it to the top 10.    Habitat for Humanity of Portage County is a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian ministry serving Portage County by working with qualified persons with housing needs to help them create a better community in which to live and work. Habitat welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing.  For more information, or to donate or volunteer, call 330.296.2880.

During the May meeting of the Newton Falls Chamber of Commerce, the focus of the discussion centered on the Association’s members. Though the Covered Bridge sign on Route 5 and First Street is full, there is still one spot available if anyone is interested in advertising there. Currently a space holder is simply filling in for the time being.Linda Nord, a local resident, was officially welcomed as a community member and her application for an individual membership was approved.In old business, membership renewals are due as the membership year runs from May 1st to April 30th. Plans to revamp the website are in the works, with the intention to increase benefits for current members by way of spotlighting businesses or setting apart those involved in other ways.  If anybody wants to contribute ideas for this project, please contact Shawn.In new business, the Association is continuing to discuss ideas on how to draw new members. Anybody in the community can join whether they own a business or not, and since the organization is officially the Newton Falls AREA Commerce Association, that means members do not have to live in the vicinity of the town itself to be an affiliate. Membership dues vary based on voting privileges and distance from Newton Falls. More information can be found at other news, plans for the citywide garage sale are under way. The dates for the sale will be August 5, 6, and 7. Registration forms and information on how to participate by having a sale that weekend will be available soon.  A motion passed to support the Fourth of July Committee by purchasing $100 worth of raffle tickets. In past years, the Association has bought tickets with the intention of splitting any monetary prizes, if won, by giving 50% back to the Fourth of July Committee.Highlights from the City Manager’s memo include that the legislation concerning contractor registration has been tabled by Council for at least ninety days as they are looking for alternate ideas before a decision is finalized. Also mentioned is a plan to officially name the park between Shop ‘n’ Save and the waterfall. If Council decides at the next meeting to dedicate it as “Veterans Park,” the ceremony would take place following the Memorial Day service. This year’s Arts in the Park festival is being planned for late summer. Anyone interested in helping out should contact Christine Newman.The Association’s next meeting will be Tuesday June 14th.

Garrettsville – Do you have some time on your hands and want to help out your community? Have you considered helping out with SummerFest, the annual festival held the last weekend in June in Garrettsville? SummerFest Is looking for individuals,scouting groups, civic groups etc. to help out with various events at this year’s festival. What they need is folks who would like to donate some of their time and be a part of the biggest event of the summer.Two areas where help is needed are the canoe livery and the Grand Parade. The canoe livery needs folks who can help register participants, help with life jackets, etc. while the Grand Parade on Sunday needs people who can help direct participants to the right area as they line up for the parade. There are even more than these two areas where help is needed — all fun!One doesn’t need to give up an entire day; just a few hours would be a great help. If you would like to help out in any  of these activities or for other events please contact Aaron King 330 524-2646This year’s SummerFest is sponsored by Charles Chevrolet-Buick, Garrettsville Chamber of Commerce, Carlson Funeral Homes and Cremation Services and the Weekly Villager. The festival is traditionally held the last weekend in June at the corners of S.R.82 and S.R. 88 in downtown Garrettsville. More information can be found at

Middlefield – To honor  women, Mary Yoder’s Amish Kitchen is planning a special event just for women. Ladies in all walks and areas of life are invited to join us for the Ladies’ Tea & Treasure event on Friday, June 3rd, at 4:00 pm.  You will enjoy a buffet luncheon which includes assorted finger sandwiches, a fruit cup, tossed salad, beverage, and assorted desserts.  We will celebrate with a door prize and special discount coupons, and more.We are excited to have Laura Straniero here to talk about the freedom from slavery being extended to women in Bolivia through the work there, and to show the Suti Sana handbags that help to make that freedom possible.Tickets are $15.00, and can be purchased at Mary Yoder’s Amish Kitchen, or online at

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Ravenna – The Buckeye Trail is a hiking trail that circles the whole state of Ohio and is 1,444 miles long. It is built and maintained by the Buckeye Trail Association (BTA) and numerous volunteers.As a non-profit organization, they strive to provide outdoor recreation through hiking and backpacking to all four corners of Ohio. Now the BTA wants to expand the backpacking opportunities in the northeastern part of the state. Through co-operation with the Army Corps of Engineers and West Branch State Park they have started construction on a backpacking trail that will extend the Buckeye Trail around the Michael J.Kirwan reservoir and will be 25 plus miles long when completed. There will also  be two overnight shelters for camping along the trail.Matthew Funk,the Mogadore section supervisor, says that right now there is  nowhere in this corner of the state to actually backpack and he’s out to change this. “Right now if a person wants an overnight experience while hiking, they either have to go across the state line into Pennsylvania or down into southern Ohio to find backpacking opportunities. We are hoping to give hikers in this area something right in their back yards.”What is needed is to get as much community support for this project as possible. It will take multiple years to complete this project and we need all the help we can get. Volunteer opportunities abound, from actually building the trail to having people adopt small segments of it, to maintaining it  once it’s in place.We have work parties planned for different weekends through the spring,summer and fall seasons.So if anyone wants to come out and help us build trail,it would be greatly appreciated.All tools will be provided,so all someone needs is a lunch, drinks,gloves,and a good attitude.People with carpentry skills are also a plus for there  will be numerous bridges that need to be built. Boaters can also help by ferrying people and tools to the spot where we’re working to save long walks by the volunteers.If you are a hiker living in the surrounding area, come out and help us make this dream a reality. To volunteer please contact Matthew Funk at or call (330)310 9022 to get on the list.When the next trail building event comes up you will be notified.

Garrettsville – Wow!  That Was The Week That Was.  A Hot Time In The Old Town from stem to stern, so to speak.  Started off with Mother’s Day, went on to the Marching Pride Band dinner (Congratulations to the outstanding students recognized : John Hecky–John Philip Sousa Award. Curtis Cosner–Semper Fidelis Award, Carrie Holcomb–four-year letter award. Sam Russell–Patrick S. Gilmour Award and LeeAnn Brosius Memorial Scholarship. Molly Everett–Junior Arion Award) and on to the big parade on Saturday, May 14 in recognition of Emergency Services Week.This was the sixth annual observance of this important community asset.  The Community Emergency Medical Service has been in existence as a joint district including the townships of Freedom and Nelson and the Village of Garrettsville since 1980.  At the present time there are 8 paramedics, 2 EMTs–intermediate, 9 EMTs–basic, one clerk and one mechanic and chief Chris Sanchez  safeguarding community health and safety in a variety of situations.One of the more enjoyable situations was the open house at the district headquarters following the parade.  About five hundred hot dogs and their fixin’s disappeared…along with chips of all sorts, beverages, sweets, the usual… numerous fingers were printed, raffle items won, demonstrations observed, balloons blown up…a great time following a great parade.The procession had begun with Garrettsville Police Chief, Tony Milicia, followed closely by the Grand Marshal, Garfield superintendent, Chuck Klamer and his lovely wife, Linda.  The James A. Garfield Marching Pride Band stepped along smartly.  Trustees from the community entities involved–John Zizka, Freedom, Bill Wilson, Nelson, Jeff Kaiser, Garrettsville–were accompanied by their wives.  The newly-formed fire auxiliary group was there.   Portage County Sheriff, David Doak put in an appearance, as did mobile units from nearby communities, Troy and Windham.  There were ambulances aplenty and fire trucks from large–very large–to small–brush fires, anyone?  The message?  We’ve got you covered.There was a good turn-out to catch the festivities and excellent participation at the open house.  It was an illustration and an affirmation of two key words : COMMUNITY & SERVICE.  Great show!

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Windham – The regularly scheduled meeting of the village council was rescheduled for April 27, 2011. The council was missing one member. The pledge of allegiance was recited and the meeting began. The last council meeting the fire chief explained that the village had received a warning about their fuel systems not being in compliance with the new standards. After doing some research, the village decided to eliminate the fueling system and enter into a contract with Circle K. Legal council presented the contract to purchase their gas and diesel fuel at Circle K. Circle K is opened 24/7 so there would be no problem obtaining fuel when they need it. Council approved the contract with Circle K.Council president Linda Rininger reported that she and Chief Fixler attended Government Day at Head Start. The two read books to the kids and joined them for a tomato soup and grilled cheese luncheon. The police chief was a hit with the kids.A discussion was held on the payment for Portage County Hazard Materials Response Team for 2008, 2009, & 2010. Council decided they would pay the 2008 & 2009 bill. They determined they would turn the 2010 bill over to the fire district as they would be the ones handling Haz-Mat matters. Council approved the re-hiring of Loretta Workman as a part-time dispatcher. Workman recently resigned her full-time position as a dispatcher for Windham to take a job elsewhere. Council filled her position with a full time position so when she wanted to return to the department all they could offer her was a part-time position.Windham’s recent purchase of used cruisers has left them with two old cruisers they do not need. Council authorized the chief to sell the cruisers at to see what he could get for them.Council authorized the fiscal officer to apply for credit with the Tax Exempt Lease Corporation for the purchase of new water meters. The current water meters are out dated, inaccurate and require one to physically go to each meter to read it costing the city valuable labor time. The new meters will be read by an infrared scanner that can be done from a vehicle rather than walking house to house. After approving acquiring credit for the meter project council also approved to replace meters throughout the entire village. Council meets regularly on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. at the village hall.

Kent – James A. Garfield graduate and Kent State University senior, Shannon Gallagher was recently inducted as a charter member of the Kent State chapter of Sigma Nu Tau Entrepreneurship Honor Society, the first academic honor society dedicated to entrepreneurship. The mission of Sigma Nu Tau is to promote, recognize, honor, and reward academic excellence in entrepreneurship and to encourage and recognize the practice of principled entrepreneurship.  Six other students, three community entrepreneurs, and five faculty members were also inducted into this charter group.  Shannon (pictued above with Jeff Hoffman) is majoring in both fashion and entrepreneurship and was inducted in a ceremony and program that featured guest motivational speaker, Jeff Hoffman, founder of

Garrettsville – The Summerfest Committee is now accepting pet photo entries at the Middlefield Banking Company located at 8058 State Street Garrettsville, for the annual Pet Idol Photo Contest. The contest is one of many that are held during Summerfest the last weekend in June.If you are an amateur shutterbug and have a cute Rocky, Fluffy, Fido or other animal species, well start snapping away and get those pet pictures entered in the Pet Idol Photo Contest before time runs out. It may only be spring right now, but before long Summerfest will be here and you will not want to miss this opportunity to showcase your pet’s picture in the contest.The photo contest is open to any amateur photographers and will have three categories: cat, dog and other. Owners can submit either a black and white or color photo, however the photos will be judged in the same category. Photos need to be unframed, unmounted with name, address and phone number on each entry. A $5 entry fee is required with each photo entered and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Portage County APL. All photos must be received by Thursday, June 23, 2011 to be eligible. The photos will be on display during the festival.Therefore, if you think your lizard or fish are just the cutest thing, then snap a picture, down load an entry form off the website and drop them off at Middlefield Bank in Garrettsville. Entry forms, complete rules and more information can be viewed on the website or specific questions can be directed to Aaron King at 330 524-2646.This year’s Summerfest is sponsored by Charles Chevrolet-Buick, Garrettsville Chamber of Commerce, Carlson Funeral Homes and Cremation Services and the Weekly Villager. The festival is traditionally held the last weekend in June at the corners of S.R.82 and S.R. 88 in downtown Garrettsville.

Garrettsville – It’s fairly common for someone to ride their bicycle across the country. It’s quite another when that someone is a survivor of inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis and colon cancer… with an ilieostomy.An ostomy is a surgically created opening from an internal organ such as the intestines or ureters to an external point on the body, usually in the abdomen, so that diseased or damaged portions of the patients’ organ can be removed or treated for disease. The piece that is created to pass through from inside the body to outside is called a stoma. Bodily excretions such as stool, mucus and urine pass through the stoma into a special bag on the outside of the body, which the wearer empties on a regular basis.Bob Baker is taking a break as a self-employed builder to bicycle across the country for a cause – to raise awareness and funds for the treatment and eventual cure of colon-related diseases; and to combat the stigma associated with ostomies. He and his traveling companions — retired engineer Andre Simonpietri and retired urologist Herb Schettler — cycled through Garrettsville last week, just 11 days into their 4,000-mile tour, which started in Stamford, CT on April 16. They’re riding about 60 miles per day over the next three months, noting Bob’s 50th birthday in June, before reaching the West Coast in Seattle, WA. Bob was 40 when he was diagnosed with colon cancer… and that was after 27 years with inflammatory bowel disease and ulcerative colitis, which plagued him with bloody diarrhea and other flu-like symptoms since being struck with it at age 15. He was forced to finish high school by phone – one year late – and dropped out of college because he couldn’t sit through class.“It was like having the flu for 2,000 days straight,” Baker recalls. “I could not control my bowels and my immune system was shot. I lived moment-to-moment in survival mode, always worrying about where’s the nearest bathroom. Up until that time, I had been athletic, popular and active. But that all changed the first day I filled the toilet with blood.”But Baker dealt with it for nearly three decades before being diagnosed with colon cancer and being faced with a choice: battle with Stage II colon cancer AND inflammatory bowel disease OR get the diseased tissue (thus the disease) surgically removed. This would entail getting an ilieostomy and wearing a bag daily to remove bodily waste.Ostomies are used in the treatment of diseases of the intestines and/or bladder, and are most commonly used to treat inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohns/Colitis as well as certain cancers. The three most common types of ostomy are:Colostomy – a portion of the large intestine is removed or re-routed temporarily or permanently.Ileostomy – a portion of the small intestine is removed or re-routed temporarily or permanently.Urostomy – urine is diverted from the kidneys, often to bypass a diseased or removed bladder.Baker is unabashed when it comes to straight talk about bathroom issues. In fact, he and the 1.5 million people with inflammatory bowel have developed a sense of humor about their very serious health issues.The United Ostomy Association of America (UOAA) produces an annual “Colondar,” a calendar featuring young colon cancer survivors as models. Baker — the 2006 Great Comeback Award-Winner and UOAA Vice President  — appears in the 2007 Colondar as “Mr. December” and on the cover ( photos of beautiful, happy, vivacious — but scarred — patients serve to increase awareness of the good life and the absence of limitations for many who live with an ostomy. They also stave off the stigma often associated with ostomy, and raises funds for UOAA’s educational and awareness programs. And although its cause is unknown, there is a hereditary component to the disease… Now Baker’s 19-year-old son has been diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease.Baker had avoided an ostomy at all costs until a slight shift in his thinking allowed him to realize the dreaded procedure was actually his ticket to freedom to enjoy the rest of his life in ways he had been unable to before. His ileostomy offered him convenience and control, opening back up the ability to leave the house, go out, ski, bicycle, travel, and live an otherwise full and active lifestyle. “It opened up a whole new world for me,” including the opportunity to lobby Congress and speak to former President George W. Bush, Baker says. His Phoenix Cycle Tour is a celebration of his new life, thanks to the ileostomy he got eight years ago. (The colorful Phoenix is a mythical immortal bird which rises up — reborn — from the ashes of death and destruction.) This tour follows a 2010 UOAA/Colon Club-sponsored ride called “Get Your Guts in Gear,” from Manhattan to Saratoga Springs, NY, in which Baker raised $11,000. His goal by the end of his Phoenix Cycle Tour is to raise $100,000 for the cause. Along the way, he will meet with members of 320 support groups scattered across the country, and hopefully gain both local and national awareness.“I had forgotten what it feels like to feel good,” Baker says of his former life. “Getting an ilieostomy was miraculous for me. I am the poster boy for this cause. This ride is a big celebration.”

Camp Ravenna – Early Saturday morning almost 200 people sacrificed sleep when they arrived at 7:30 a.m. at the Renaissance Family Center for a tour of Camp Ravenna.  The excited folks enjoyed coffee and donuts while they waited on the buses to take them to see first hand what really lays behind the gate at Camp Ravenna Military Training Facility aka the Ravenna Arsenal. The four hour tour was set up by the Windham Historical Society as a fundraiser for the Bicentennial to be held later this summer. The group traveled by school buses that were paid for by the historical society to see what goes on and to get a little history lesson on the camp. Everyone was greeted by the Garrison Commander Lieutenant Colonial Ed Meade. Meade addressed everyone and told a little bit about what we would see and he introduced each bus to their tour guide.  The tour took us to the old stone arch bridge that spans Sand Creek which fascinated everyone. Our guide Major Richard Saphore explained that the bridge was constructed in the late 1800 and the military recently spent $250,000 on restoration of the bridge. A large percentage of the restoration money was spent on scientific research to determine the type of mortar they would need to use to replicate the original mortar of the bridge. At the bridge one could see the dam the Boy Scouts built years ago and see a small water fall. Everyone was thrilled with the sight, took advantage of the photo opportunity and asked many questions about the camp. The second stop took a detour around a broken culvert to see a bunker. The bunkers are virtually invisible from an aerial view and even had trees growing on top of them. They built the bunkers in staggered rows 1500 feet apart to prevent a chain reaction of explosions if one was filled with ordinances was hit. Currently they do not store any ordinances in the bunkers but occasionally they store weapons from drug raids there until the case goes to trial, then the weapons are destroyed. The cost of removing the bunkers is staggering so for now they are used for storage for a variety of items. The camp has 693 bunkers.  The next stop on the tour took one to what used to be the officers housing and a tour of one of the houses. The officers’ housing is set up in a circle simulating an old pioneer village. The colonial houses built in the early 1940’s had beautiful hardwood floors, three- four bedrooms, two baths and a fireplace; although the houses are not in livable condition and are now used for training purposes, one could see that they were once a place of splendor. The former officer’s houses will be torn down in the future, but for now they use them to train drug dogs and train military personnel.  The Readiness Center and the newly built barracks were the next stop. There one saw new recruits learning how to properly wear fatigues, get ready for basic training, and glimpses of the small mess hall. The barracks that were recently finished gave one a snapshot of a soldiers’ life at the camp. There are three barracks that can house up 2500 soldiers and the last one was recently finished and is waiting on furniture.  The last stop of the tour took the group to the simulated training area. The humvee rollover simulator was interesting to see. The simulator is computer programmed to simulate any type of situation the soldiers may find themselves in when using the humvee. The humvee simulator is an actual humvee set on a mechanical arm that is computer controlled. The mechanical arm rotates the humvee to various degrees including the ability to do a 360. The simulator rotates the vehicle at various degrees imitating a rollover, which the soldiers learn how to escape from different angles and scenarios. The driving simulators are programmed to simulate any vehicle the military has to offer and have the feel of actual driving. If you are driving on a rough road the seat will bounce you around as if you’re actually traveling on a road. Each simulator computer stores data and allows one to see how they did and what one needs to do to improve their skills. The artillery simulator was real interesting too. Tourists had the opportunity to see how a computer can control the scene that the shooter sees and how the laser weapons are used to improve marksmanship. The computerized laser guns tell you if you’re jerking when shooting, hesitating or improperly holding the gun and even give one the feel of a real gun when they feel the recourse of every shot fired.  It also records how many shots were fired, how many hits, and how many kills. The simulator shooting scene can be changed from a clear day, to fog, rain, night time, cloudy etc. giving a soldier a chance to prepare for all types of adverse conditions. The tour lasted four hours and just showed snippets of what all happens behind the intriguing gates of Camp Ravenna. To see the entire facility in action one would need to be a soldier, however the portions we did see, really gives one an idea of what happens behind the gates and the role Camp Ravenna plays in our nation’s security and the freedoms we all experience everyday.

Logo for the proposed yogurt shop
Logo for the proposed frozen yogurt shop

Hiram – Want a place where you can take a minute to sit down, relax. and enjoy the cool sweet taste of Frozen Yogurt?If you would be willing to take a moment of your time to fill out a short questionnaire, a local frozen yogurt cafe could be on the horizon…and just around the corner from your home…in the Kennedy Center Basement Food Court at Hiram College.Several dedicated students, Bonnie Brentar ‘13 and Monica Lucas ‘14, inspired by Professor Fillner’s entrepreneurial class at Hiram College, are seeking approval of the Steve Jones, Vice President of Finances at Hiram College.  Professor Senary and his Managerial Accounting class, with special assistance from Forrest Reed, Josh Buzbee, Bradley Stachowski, and David Miller, are working to conduct research and help formulate a business plan for the cafe. The frozen yogurt cafe will, of course, be available to the public. We need your IMMEDIATE input to assure that this will be a winning venture. Fill out a short questionnaire today at or

Windham – The children of Windham’s KT Elementary preschool were treated to a visit from Yo-Yo the Clown.  Steve Blasko from Youngstown has performed for over 40 years.  He demonstrated for the children how he transforms himself into a clown. Teacher’s Aide Ms. McLean and a student, Briah Daniel, joined in the fun by applying clown makeup.  The preschoolers smiled and watched in amazement as Yo-Yo made each of the them an animal-shaped balloon. Registration is now open for next school year.  If interested, please come to KT Elementary.  Any questions, call the school at 330.326.9800.

Ravenna – Ravenna Stadium was the site of this year’s Relay for Life event to benefit the American Cancer Society…which is to say, benefits us all.Groups from all over Portage County were in evidence : the BOMB (Bunch O’ Mighty Believers) of the Garrettsville UMC, Suffield UCC, Ravenna GE Lamp Plant, Destiny’s Fighters, Cousins for a Cure, Fortis College Honor Society, Streetsboro BSA, many more, all determined to do as the Society urges–Celebrate, Remember, Fight Back.This year’s theme connected with Disney productions which allowed for lots of imagination in group displays.  Aladdin appeared, as did Pirates of  the Caribbean, the Beast…you get the idea.  Among the most poignant sights…symbolizing very personal interest… were Team Lori, the numerous purple shirts with “I am living proof” emblazoned on the back, and a lone young man running in a white T-shirt which said, “Runnin’ 4 Dad”.  Survivors?  One must hope so.One might also be admonished by the various Society signs all around the track urging smokers to quit, couch potatoes to get moving, reminders of the new drugs available, note to everyone to get health check-ups, personal  responsibility for combatting the cancer enemy on all fronts.  The purpose was serious but there was fun to be had in getting bailed out of the Cancer County Jail or taking the Survivors Lap or wearing pink-and-white camo shirts or cerise fishnet hose or figuring out the “Nose picker” which was a green papier-mache plaque that looked like…,well, what do you think it looked like? Activities went on all day and all night, as each team kept at least one walker on the track at all times…through the music…as Orbit (Akron Aeros mascot) visited…during the lumenaria ceremony…the dancing…good times to propel us all through the hard times …to the cure.Mark it on your calendar for next year.  More participation, more promise, more hope.

Aurora – Aurora Memorial Library would  like to  remind teens that there is still time to sign up to see authors Lisa and Laura Roecker (pictured above) discuss their debut novel, The Liar Society, a murder mystery set against the backdrop of an elite private school.  The authors will appear on Saturday, May 7, at 1:30 p.m. in the downstairs gallery.  Refreshments will be served, and teens can enter to win a copy of The Liar Society. There will be a book signing afterwards and copies of the book will be available for purchase.The Aurora Memorial Library is located at 115 East Pioneer Trail in Aurora. To register, teens may call the library at 330-562-6502 or visit To learn more about the Roeckers and their journey into writing a young adult book, check out their blog at

Windham – The state budget is in and said what everyone hoped it wouldn’t say — big revenue losses for the Windham School District. The board of education (BOE) was hoping it would not come down to loss of jobs but after running on bare bones the last few years a Reduction in Force (RIF) was their only alternative if the district is to survive. At the March BOE meeting the district announced that it would eliminate 26 positions and they would determine the specific staff members after analyzing everyone’s credentials. The other shoe so to speak fell as the BOE felt it had no alternative but to RIF 23 employees and adjust their curriculum.  Mr. Gregg Isler superintendent said it was a difficult but necessary process that needed to be done so the district can survive. The list of staff cuts included art, music and band instructors; however they will be offering those electives in some capacity next year. So those who are wondering about the new band uniforms, yes they will be worn and used in the 2011 -2012 school year.  Some of the staff cuts involve elective courses that only had a few students interested in taking them. The courses they eliminated will be replaced by more interesting classes that will benefit the students and still fulfill college requirements. Prior to the RIFs the district had students fill out a survey on what electives they would like to see offered and the number one desire was to have a Science of Sports. This class would help students mathematically figure out the entire hows and whys of the sports facilities, equipment, and etc. using mathematical computations. The district anticipates having the full elective course list in place in the next week or so. Questions were asked about the future of the district. Isler said he anticipates that they will have to continue to adjust their staff and budget over the years but doesn’t anticipate that it will be as severe as this year. The district plans to announce they will have a public forum in the near future to answer any questions the public may have on these issues.  I took to the streets last week to see what the public had to say about the cuts in the district. The over all feeling was Ohio needs to change the way it funds districts and they need to do it soon. Many thought it was a sad day for public education in the community, and felt badly about the losses the district faced, while hoping there would be some changes in the funding that would allow the district to bring some of the staff back for the next school year. While there were those who felt bad, others were more indifferent about the scenario and pretty much were resolved to the attitude of it is what it is. Many of the folks who weighed in on the issue were quick to put the blame on student losses to open enrollment and on the housing units demolished in the projects. So I checked with the district and found they have 101 students opened enrolled in other district while taking in only 46 from other districts. So there are some losses here that effect the over all budget. I also checked on the housing situation and yes they have torn down some of the project housing but most of the ones they took down were unoccupied and in poor condition. The tenants who occupied some of the units that were demolished were relocated to other unoccupied units in other buildings. So this has had little if no effect on the situation.In other BOE news, the board approved to house their own multi-handicap unit in the elementary school rather than bus them to other schools. Isler stated, “That they feel confident that they can best serve those students needing this service, in their own district.” They also approved to have an ED behavioral unit at the Jr. / Sr. high school. Lastly the Board announced that they would make up their calamity days at the end of the school year. Seniors will be required to return to class for two days after commencements due to state requirements. The state allows seniors to be dismissed from three days of classes, however by adding the calamity days at the end of the year forces the district to either change graduation day or have the seniors return after commencements. The board chose to have the seniors return. The BOE meets on the fourth Thursday of each month at 7 p.m.

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Ravenna – There’s a new administrator at Portage County’s nursing home, The Woodlands at Robinson in Ravenna. When Christa Mayes took the position on April 1, The Woodlands was home to 65 residents. As of April 29th, there were 80. The Woodlands is on the grow, so anyone considering short- or long-term nursing home care should visit before the 99-bed facility is at capacity, Mayes says.The Woodlands is in the process of taking admissions because one of Mayes’ primary objectives as new administrator is to increase the census. The other main objective is to get systems in place which will increase the nursing home’s efficiency and effectiveness. This includes increasing revenue, educating the staff, and increasing public awareness.Mayes — a Hiram Township resident — serves on the Ethics Committee at Robinson Memorial Hospital   and comes to the Woodlands after 15 years in administration at Aurora Manor. While there, Portage County Commissioner Maureen Frederick had visited the Manor and noted how pleasant and clean the facility was. So when it came time for The Woodlands to hire a new administrator, Mayes was approached to help meet that need. The  county  nursing home has been located at 6831 North Chestnut St. in Ravenna for about 10 years. Portage County Commissioners oversee its operation, helping to set policies and guidelines. The facility features activity rooms, resident lounges, physical and occupational therapy suites, speech therapy, a central courtyard and an exterior activities terrace. Additional amenities include a full-service kitchen, beauty salon, dental office, two stories of resident rooms and a full basement for medical service and support for its occupants. Residents benefit also from a close relationship with Robinson Memorial Hospital and its medical services.“It’s a beautiful facility,” says Mayes. “It’s open, spacious, has lots of light, and the staff takes pride in being nurturing and caring, cheerful and friendly. Our focus is on care. We also have 100 volunteers that work here, which shows how supportive the community is.”According to The Woodlands website, “It is our primary goal to restore and  maintain the health of our residents in a spirit of compassion and concern.  The health care team strives to meet the holistic needs of our residents, including the physical, psychosocial, and spiritual aspects of their care. We promote resident and family education to allow each individual the opportunity to prevent illness and achieve optimal health.”The Portage County nursing home offers short- and long- term medical care.  This also includes skilled care for patients who need an individualized plan of progressive treatments and therapies while recuperating from a hospital stay. Typical circumstances for short-term rehabilitation services include recovering from knee or hip replacement, stroke, or broken bones; or needing intravenous antibiotics. The only requirement for consideration is that the patient requires around-the-clock skilled nursing care. The facility accepts Medicare, Medicaid, private insurances and private party payments.According to, The Woodlands has an above-average rate of registered nurses per resident per day of 49 minutes compared to the Ohio state nursing home average of 36 minutes. The facility had 22 deficiencies in previous two state inspections (in 2006-2009) compared to the Ohio average of 11 and six complaints compared to the state average of three. The Woodlands had five fire safety deficiencies in the previous two state inspections, which is better than the Ohio state nursing home average of 11. Mayes says  that  The Woodlands just had “a great state survey” that demonstrates improvements over the previous two inspections. “Stop in for a tour and see the changes,” she encourages. The Woodlands will be reaching out to the community during National Nursing Home Week, May 8-14, with the theme, “Fulfilling the Promise.” Watch for event details in coming weeks.To schedule a tour or to learn more about what specific services are offered at The Woodlands, call (330) 297-4564 or (330) 298-4530 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary Club was recently privileged to hear from two very able competitors in the Four-Way Test Speech Contest.  Both entrants were from James A. Garfield High School and each gave a presentation worth of recognition.

Travis Gorby, freshman, was first up and got an immediate audience response by intoning, “O-H”…which got “I-O” right back at him.  He went on to reveal a T-shirt with the logo of his favorite soccer team, which hailed from Barcelona.  “The Hook”, as they say, was set.

He went on to disclose his athletic bona fides–as player, referee, teacher, fan–relating to the sport.  His point was that all too often soccer “don’t get no respect” …certainly not as relevant to its growing popularity in the United States, its world-wide participation profile and its increased acceptance in interscholastic competition.

Shelby Handshue, senior, with plans to attend KSU majoring in biology, was up next with a focus on creativity, its many facets, its development, its practical manifestations and its importance to future advances in many areas –economics, education, medicine…even other fields which have not  emerged for consideration yet.

These were certainly among the top competitors for this contest in recent times.  Both were well-prepared and knowledgeable on their topics, staking out their positions an delivering their messages in an animated, confident manner.  It was tough to choose the rankings.

Both received Rotary checks for their efforts.  Travis will go the the district Four-Way Speech Contest to represent the local club.  Shelby will be the alternate.

Spring roadside clean-up is coming.  Sign up, if you’d like to help.