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Garrettsville put on its best green last week as folks were determined to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with style during the Second Annual St. Patrick’s Day Celebration sponsored by the Garrettsville Area Chamber of Commerce. The event brought everyone out of winter’s hibernation to celebrate the holiday that has everyone claiming be Irish, even if it is only for a day.  Pictured above with Leo and Michael are the winners of this year’s Leprechaun Contest.
Many started the day early with Kegs and Eggs, green eggs and spam or corned beef hash at local eateries. Several leprechauns were spotted early in the day including  Garrettsville’s own Leppy and his “sons” Leo and Michael, who unleashed their antics on the village throughout the day.  They were even joined by two other “guys in green” claiming to be long-lost relatives as they traveled from establishment to establishment making merriment along the way.
The town was really bustling by late afternoon — green beer was flowing, reuben’s, corned beef and cabbage, and potato soup were a-plenty.  Local eateries were packed as Garrettsville celebrated the night away with entertainment galore — bagpipers, an Irish folk band, cloggers, face painters, a magician / balloon artist and  even Mickey Mouse!!
While the town partied late into the night the leprechaun’s vanished, which left folks wondering if they really saw the little green guys or did they just overindulge in too much green beer.
No pot-o-gold was found.

Portage County – You may not realize it, but you are surrounded by real heroes every day… ordinary people who react quickly, courageously and selflessly during emergencies. The American Red Cross of Summit and Portage Counties takes time each year to honor the Real Heroes of Portage County, shining the spotlight on heroic individuals who would never be recognized otherwise.
As a community leader in emergency preparedness and response, the Red Cross presented the 12th annual Real Hero Awards to 18 Portage County individuals on March 12 at the Bertram Hotel and Conference Center in Aurora. Presented by Robinson Memorial Hospital, the ceremony was filled with inspiring stories about how each of these everyday heroes reached out to others in life-and-death situations, averting great tragedy and saving lives in the process.
Portage County Corrections Officer Derek McCoy was presented with the event’s highest honor, the Certificate of Merit Award. This award is reserved for an individual who saves or sustains life by using skills and knowledge learned in an American Red Cross Health and Safety Services course. His actions exemplify the highest degree of concern for someone in distress.

While making his rounds at the Portage County Jail, Officer McCoy received a radio call that an inmate needed assistance. When Officer McCoy – a Red Cross trained CPR/First Aid instructor – arrived on the scene, he found a young male inmate lying unconscious on the floor of his cell.

Recalling his Red Cross training to “Check-Call-Care,” Officer McCoy detected that the man did not have a pulse and was not breathing. Instructing another officer to call for additional help, McCoy began CPR compressions. Within seconds, the facility’s nurse arrived with an AED. Officer McCoy applied the pads but the machine determined “No Shock Advised,” so he continued compressions and rescue breathing.

When the local EMS arrived, they found that the inmate had a faint pulse and was now breathing, thanks to the immediate emergency measures Officer McCoy had taken… saving the inmate’s life.

  • Other Real Heroes receiving honors were:
  • Kenny Weaver and Ken ‘Scotty’ Scott, brothers-in-law who were fishing from their boat on Lake Erie in October when they discovered four men in the water with their boat sinking fast. First, they threw life jackets to the men who had already been in the cold water a half-hour. Then they pulled each one from the frigid water, into their boat, and to shore, where they notified the Coast Guard and got the survivors to safety.
  • Samantha Kollman and Sgt. Pat Domos. Samantha was exercising at a fitness center with her mother, Rhonda, when Rhonda suddenly fell to the floor, unconscious with no pulse and no breathing. After yelling for someone to call 911, Samantha began CPR on her mom. Aurora Police Sgt. Pat Domos responded to the call and took over CPR. He also administered two shocks to Rhonda with an AED before she regained consciousness and could breathe on her own. Paramedics then flew her to Metro Hospital. Rhonda made a full recovery.
  • Larry Nething was s a newly-hired PARTA bus driver when he picked up Geraldine Herron from the Ravenna Senior Center. But she was stung by several wasps as he escorted her to the bus. Soon, she slumped down in her seat with her head rolled back. Larry immediately called the dispatcher. The ambulance soon came and Geraldine was rushed to Robinson Memorial, where she was treated for anaphylactic shock.
  • Ohio State Patrol Sgt. Les Brode and Mark Kinzer, Assistant Foreman for the Ohio Turnpike Commission, both responded to an emergency call at milepost 191, where a vehicle had crashed into trees. The driver and passenger were still inside when the car burst into flames. Each responder had fire extinguishers in their vehicles and raced to the car. As Brode fought the fire, Kinzer carried the passenger from the car. Together, the men pulled the driver from the car. Brode administered CPR to the driver, who has suffered a heart attack prior to the crash. He unfortunately died at the scene. But the passenger was life-flighted to a nearby hospital and made a full recovery.
  • Jane and Bill Wallbrown spearheaded the creation of Act 2 at West Branch High School and the community at large, in partnership with Akron Children’s Hospital. This is a set of procedures for teachers and coaches to follow when a child suffers a head injury and is in danger of concussion, to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment. Their efforts follow the debilitating experiences suffered by both of their teens, who received concussions during an indoor softball practice and in an ATV accident.
  • Richard Polivka, Streetsboro Police Officer, responded to a man suffering a heart attack at his residence. The man was lying unconscious on the floor with no pulse and not breathing. Polivka administered CPR until paramedics arrived. They used an AED device to shock the man’s heart, which helped him resume breathing before being rushed to the hospital.
  • Aaron Cotes, Streetsboro Police Officer, responded to a 911 call from an auto repair garage, where he found Steve Loar lying in a pool of blood as a result of a deep gash in his neck… the result of an exploded fan shroud from the truck he was fixing. Cotes applied direct pressure to the gash with shop towels, slowing the blood flow. Loar was slipping into shock when paramedics arrived and began advanced life support. An emergency helicopter flew Loar to the hospital. He made a full recovery.
  • Streetsboro Police Dispatcher Josee Acklin and Police Officers Richard Polivka and Jason Hall responded to a fire at Portage Pointe Apartments last winter, only to discover that a tractor-trailer rig had jack-knifed into a snow bank, blocking the route as fire engines arrived at the scene. Acklin and Hall worked to redirect engines along alternate routes as Polivka evacuated tenants from the building. Hearing cries for help, he saw firefighter John Braska in a second-story room engulfed in fire. He provided him with a ladder with just moments to spare before a wall of flames burst from the broken-out window.
  • Kathy Hampton, Keith Richmond, Yvonne Watters and Scott Danna are members of  First Response Team, an emergency management group atGE Healthcare facility in Aurora, providing medical emergency response within the facility. Hampton was first to respond to co-worker Mike Donofrio, who had collapsed during a meeting. He was not breathing and had no pulse. She was on her third round of CPR compressions and breaths when Richmond and Watters arrived with the AED and applied the pads. Danna, who had called 911, coordinated the team’s response. Following extensive heart surgery, Mike made a full recovery and returned to work.

All of these heroes  – as event chairperson Lisa Perez said, “turned tragedy into triumph — and heartbreak into hope.”

The American Red Cross of Summit and Portage Counties works on the local level, responding to disasters; teaching first aid, CPR and aquatics; keeping military families in touch; and providing blood products for sick and injured patients. The Ravenna office of the Red Cross can be reached locally at (330) 296-9991 or at www.summitcounty.redcross.org.

Huntsburg – Right on the outskirts of Middlefield, right off of Burton-Windsor Road and Clay Street is a most unique shopping experience.  Yoder’s Coleman is located at 15890 Durkee Road in Huntsburg.  Their phone number is 440-636-6224.  Their normal business hours are Monday through Saturday from 8 am until 5 pm.

You will find much more than just Coleman items at Yoder’s Coleman.  They offer a full line of battery lamps that are beautiful, decorative and functional plus a full range of batteries.   The houseware items will thrill any cook.  You will find stock pots, canning supplies, pressure cookers, linens, kitchen gadgets, cookware, bakeware, Thermos®, air pots, cook books and so much more.  They offer stationery items, cards, sewing supplies, purses and tote bags at great prices.

There are many home décor items to choose from, including Thomas Kinkade decorative pieces, figurines, wind chimes and American Expedition items.  The American Expedition line celebrates America’s love for the great outdoors and wildlife with mugs, coasters, clocks and tumblers.
Children will love Yoder’s Coleman too.  They have a great assortment of puzzles, children’s books, stickers galore, toys and games.  You will find toys that stir the imagination and inspire creativity.

The baby section is sure to please the mom-to-be and baby with comfy blankets, baby toys, bibs, clothing and other necessities.
Lest we forget the store’s namesake…Yoder’s Coleman offers a variety of Coleman camping products.  They can also repair the Coleman lamps, lanterns and camp stoves you already own.  The weather recently may not remind you of camping, but camping season is fast approaching and you may want to check your equipment to see if any of it is in need of repairing.  If so, you can contact David Yoder to discuss the repair process.

Looking for classic, older Coleman lanterns? He has those too.

Yoder’s Coleman may be a bit tricky to find but it is well worth the trip.  You will want to be on Burton-Windsor Road, the section between St. Rts. 608 and 528.  You will want to turn north onto Clay Street, then almost immediately you will want to turn left onto Durkee.  You will then head down Durkee less than a mile and you will see the sign for Yoder’s Coleman on your right.
It is a fun store to visit with great prices.  Mr. Yoder is a wonderful host and will make you feel welcome.  The next time you are out and about in Middlefield, you may want to stop and see the delightful finds you will discover at Yoder’s Coleman.

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Middlefield - On February 26 the Middlefield Police Department and CWE Championship Wrestling Experience teamed up for fun filled night of “High Flying”, “Hard Knocks” and “Total Excitement”. The wrestling event was a fund raiser for the Middlefield Police Department’s “Shop with a Cop” program. CWE promoter  Kyle Terreri and Chief Ed Samec discussed the event as a fund raiser several months ago. Kyle contacted several CWE and PWO (Pro Wrestling Ohio) wrestlers and talked to them about “Shop with a Cop”. The wrestlers were excited and honored to do what they could to promote and raise funds for the program. Some of the wrestlers came from as far away as Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The evening’s event was exciting and even included Chief Ed Samec stepping in the ring for some pro wrestling action. “Chief Ed will do anything that is necessary for the community, I think that is pretty obvious given that fact that he stepped in the ring with Jason Gory”, Mayor Poole said.  On behalf of the Middlefield Police Department, we would like to thank all of those who attended the event and supported our “Shop with a Cop” program.

Garrettsville - The Garrettsville-Freedom-Nelson Joint Fire District is proud to place in service a new 2011 Chevrolet Silverado 1-ton truck, which will be used as a brush truck (replacing a 1963 model). This truck was purchased due to the department being awarded a FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant in 2010 in the amount of $42,188. Pictured here are (Left to Right) FF Scott Dillon, FF Jeff Kaiser, Fire Board Member Jim Turos, FF Bill Harris, Chief David Friess, Bruce Abraham from Charles’ Chevrolet, and Captain Jason Judge

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Garrettsville – Village Council met on Wednesday March 10 for their monthly meeting.  The minutes of February’s meeting were approved without correction.  The Mayor reported that the equipment for the new canine police vehicle has arrived, but the vehicle will not be here until the end of April to early May.  He also mentioned that spending had exceeded revenue so far this year, but that would even out with income tax filings.  Councilwoman Clyde suggested a finance meeting was needed soon, council then voted to have that meeting at 6:45 P.M. before the next council meeting in April.

Next on the agenda Council voted to pass (with one abstention) ordinances 2011-07 and 2011-08 pertaining to collection of charges for delinquent sewer and water bills in the Village.  All bills unpaid after 18 days will be assessed a penalty of 10% and water service may be cut off if the bills remain unpaid.

A public hearing will be held at the next council meeting to address several proposed ordinances.  Ordinance 2011-11 amends existing rules in order to permit internet sweepstakes cafes and Ordinance 2011-12 clarifies regulations pertaining to livestock and poultry housed inside the Village.  Planning Commission has recommended some changes to existing regulations including minimum acreage, containment, and exclusions.

Council formally accepted a donation from Ted and Jeannette Poole toward the sidewalk project on Liberty Street.  The Mayor brought up an issue concerning private organizations using The Village’s fields for sporting and other events.  After some discussion, Council recommended they needed to develop a fee schedule and some type of contract that would also address property damage for leagues using  the fields in the future.

During roundtable discussion Council President Rick Patrick stated that ODOT has started working on the sidewalks for the newly reopened SR 82 Bridge.  He also said the streetlights on the bridge are now operational and confirmed that a letter was sent to ODOT requesting a clear sealer and not the opaque sealer that was used on the SR 88 bridge after its rebuild a few years ago.  He also reminded everyone of the up coming St. Patrick’s Day events.  The celebration will extend from Sky Plaza down to Garfield Plaza and involves many of the village’s business and restaurants.

Mayor Moser commended the road department for the great job they’ve done over this winter keeping the roads passable.  He also mentioned this has been one of the worst freeze/thaw winters for the roads in a while.  They will be looking at the costs involved for repairs to the area roadways.

Councilman Kaiser reported on an accident involving one of our rescue squads that was en-route to Geauga Hospital.  He said the front-end damage to the squad was approximately $13,000.  He also said that the insurance company approved a rental squad while the repairs were made to the damaged one.

Village Council briefly adjourned to executive session.  After session it was stated that police officer Dunn was formally off probation and approved as a full-time sergeant.  Council also authorized the mayor to enter into formal written negotiations with Sun Bank which is offering the old Paul’s Do-It Center property to the Village.
The next regular Village Council meeting will be held on April 13th at 7:30 p.m. at Village Hall.

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Windham – The Windham Volunteer Fire Department (W.V.F.D) Joint Fire District board met for their regularly-scheduled meeting with four of the five board members. The board’s first action was to approve the fiscal report and expenditures. After a month of research and review, the board has approved the purchase of a new ambulance. The board goal is to try to purchase a new ambulance every five years so that they have an ambulance that is no older than 10 years in service. The oldest ambulance will be marketed and if it isn’t sold before the new one arrives they will trade it in on the new one. The new ambulance will not arrive for about 120 or so days after it is ordered.

Fire  Chief   Iwanyckyj reported that he had a fire fighter who needed to take  the 36- hour fire class and he had two who wanted to take the 84-hour transition class at Maplewood the cost for the classes are, 36 hour class is $335 and the  84 hour class is $635 per person.  Both classes qualify for the state reimbursement program. The board agreed to pay for the classes. The chief also requested that the board consider paying extra staff to be on call for the weekends. He stated that the department is loosing money because they have to have Community Ambulance cover for them when they are out on another call. He stated that since there are two ambulances available, having enough people on call to staff the second squad would allow the department to recoup the cost of the runs now going to outside organizations. After some discussion the board agreed to  additional manpower to be on call over the weekends and review the new policy in six month to determine if it is cost effective. Iwanyckyj appointed Justin Martin, Nate Bushek, and himself to a grant committee. The committee will look for grants and apply for them as they become available.

Len Polichena gave the maintenance updates and reported that most of the trucks were in good shape except engine 2811. This truck is at Kepich Ford for ball joints, brakes and other issues. He also reported that engine 2815 is waiting on parts but is able to make runs while waiting.  Other maintenance issues, seat belts for the jeep have been ordered and will be installed as soon as they arrive, trucks are being put on an oil change schedule, and the van will eventually need tires but for now it is ok.
In other news, the board accepted the resignation of Don West and hired Kevin Kulesa as a medic. Mr. Kulesa was recommended by the chief. The fire board meets on the second Thursday of each month at the fire station at 7 pm. All meetings are opened to the public.

Windham – The Windham Historical Society continues their busy 2011 schedule on Monday, March 21, at 7 PM in the Brick Chapel on North Main Street in Windham.

The program for this meeting will be presentations by two Windham High School seniors, Jeremy Isler and Jarrod Davis, as the final step in their pursuit of Windham Historical Society scholarships.

These scholarships are underwritten by the Stuart Higley Foundation, administered by descendants of one of Windham’s founding families. The Higley Foundation has been a long-time benefactor of the Historical Society.

Jeremy will be speaking about the history of the Taft farm on Route 82, one of the oldest farms in Windham Township.
Jarrod, who has been an intern with the Historical Society for several years, will talk about the history of the only major industry in Windham, the Harbison-Walker Refractories.

The Brick Chapel opens at 6:30 to all interested visitors for a meet-and-greet and a chance to look at exhibits before the meeting, including the wonderful new Huber King art archives.

The Windham Historical Society is ramping up all of its activities, which will culminate in the Windham Bicentennial Celebration beginning July 28th, a homecoming for thousands of Windhamites around the globe.
The Society is always interested in obtaining, whether permanently or on loan, any object with relevance to Windham. Items of special interest include pictures, scrapbooks, ephemera, newspapers, advertising, tokens, school items, sports items, or family genealogy.
For more information on the Society or the Bicentennial plans, please call President Lynnea St. John at 330-326-6061, or email her at lynnya45@yahoo.com.

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Newton Falls – Newton Falls 4th of July Festivities Committee is in the final planning stage.  We are so excited this year because it is our 25th Annual Car Show. That’s right. Can you believe 25 years?  We are going to start this year’s car show with a Street Dance on Friday, June 24, at 7:00 to 11:00 in Downtown Newton Falls.  On Saturday, June 25, the Car Show will begin, with parking starting at 11:00, registration 11:00 to 3:00 and trophies will begin an hour early, at 6:00.  We are planning a Chinese Auction and 50/50 Raffle.  Entertainment will be provided by a DJ and area dance studios.

Our 4th of July Raffle drawing will take place this year on July 4th at 8:00 p.m. at the City Park (winners need not be present).  Grand Prize will be $5,000.00; 1st – 46’”LCD HDTV; 2nd- Apple iPad; 3rd- 15” Laptop Computer; 4th- Xbox 360 with Kinect; 5th- Kindle eReader.  The tickets will be available at local businesses very soon.

The Bike Show will be on Sunday, June 26. The Poker Run begins at 12:00 noon and vendors will be set up from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm.  The Field Events will start at 6:00 pm and DJ Fast Freddie will entertain us.
4th of July Parade will be on Monday, 4th of July starting at 10:00 am sharp.  Line-up will begin at 8:00 am in front of the Church of God.  A military flyover is planned.
Entertainment will be provided nightly, June 30 thru July 4, at the City Park by the beer tent.  Please look for more information to come.
Our Spectacular Fireworks display will be on Monday evening, July 4th, at 10:00 pm at the City Park.
All of this information is available at our website nfjuly44444.com or contact us by email at nfjuly44444@aol.com.

Columbus – On Saturday, March 5th the Garfield and Crestwood boy’s bowling teams competed in the State Championships at Wayne Webb’sColumbus Bowl.  It was the first trip to State for both teams.

The G-Men got off to a great start in game one, led by Kyle Bolton’s 258 and Cody Berg’s 251.  They got some clutch bowling the rest of the way from teammates Mack Hawkins, Clark Kolmorgen, and Howard Moore to finish in 4th place and qualify them for bracket play.
In the head-to-head best-of-five baker series the G-Men defeated Carrolton High School 3 games to 1 advancing them to the semi-finals where they faced the #1 seed Wapakoneta team.

After falling behind 2-1, the G-Men rallied and won game four by the score of 210-206 to force game 5.  Garfield had a small lead going into the 7th frame when back- to- back splits let Wapakoneta take control and eventually win the game 208-176.
It was a valiant effort for their first state appearance. Coach Howie Moore was very pleased with their bowling and vowed that they will be back next year with almost everyone coming back.
Individually, Kyle Bolton earned 1st Team All-State honors along with Cody Berg receiving Honorable Mention All-State.
The Crestwood boys were in contention after the first three actual games, but couldn’t put together a big baker game and ended up finishing 12th.

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Portage County - On March 12, the Portage County Chapter of the American Red Cross honored some real heroes for life saving acts of courage.  More than 200 people gathered at the Bertram Inn in Aurora for this event.  Both civilian and professional emergency responders from throughout the county were recognized for turning heartbreak into hope during 2010.  Lisa Perez, Chair of the committee, reminded that tragedy does not discriminate, emphasizing the importance of first aid, CPR, and trying to help a person in need.  Ms. Perez credits her real life heroes, honored last year, for being alive today after her own medical emergency.  The day’s biggest salute was to Portage County Correction Officer Derek McCoy for his assistance of an inmate in the county jail.  Officer McCoy’s actions, based upon his Red Cross training, helped save a life.  He received the American Red Cross Certificate of Merit.  This is the highest honor given by the organization and is signed by the President of the United States.

Please join the Villager in saluting Officer McCoy and the other heroes honored this year:  Sergeant Les Brode, Mark Kinzer, Officer Aaron Coates, Dispatcher Josee Acklin, Officer Richard Polivka, Officer Jason Hall, Samantha Kollman, Sergeant Pat Domos,Kathy Hampton, Keith Richmond, Yvonne Watters, Scott Danna, Kenny Weaver, Ken “Scotty” Scott, Jane and Bill Wallbrown, Larry Nething, Ron Wood, and Tim Ray.

Garrettsville – Where can you start in the morning and celebrate all day? Garrettsville of course! Head on down to Garrettsville for a mile and a half of food, fun, entertainment and more this St. Patrick’s Day, Thursday, March 17th. It’s no blarney, grab your friends and neighbors, head on downtown for great food and savings at area restaurants and businesses.

The wee little town of Garrettsville knows how to celebrate, and they are starting first thing in the morn’. Begin you daylong celebration with a hearty breakfast, and a beer if you are so inclined. Sean’s Pub, Miller’s Family Restaurant and the Main Street Grille are serving up morning meals that will help you fuel up for a long day full of fun.

If you can’t get yourself up and at’em in the morning hours and you need to start your day a lunch or dinner, Garrettsville restaurants will still be cooking up tasty specials all day long. The best melt-in-your mouth corned beef can be found in our area restaurants. Choose from The Brick, Cal’s, SkyLane Lounge, Miller’s Family Restaurant, The Eagles Club, Sean’s Pub and the Main Street Grille, or eat at a few if you can’t decide!

Picky eaters or just wanting to celebrate in your home, don’t worry we’ve got you covered. Dairy Queen, Domino’s, Zeppe’s, and McDonald’s are a sure way to please your picky eaters as they top the list of kid’s most wanted dinner spots. Don’t forget to get your mint oreo blizzard and shamrock shake for dessert! Or for the parent’s, stop by That’s The Spirit and pick up some Irish Ale or your favorite drink to toast the day.

The James A. Garfield Historical Society will be open for visitors to stop in and enjoy a look back at the past. Local shops will also be open extended hours. Visit the Cornerstone Emporium  and The Shaker Tree for some of your own treasure hunting.

Have you got a little Leprechaun in you? Unleash your Leprechaun and dress up to enter the 1st annual Leprechaun contest that will be held outside the Historical Society on High Street at 7pm. Use your imagination and be creative for a chance to win $75/first place, $50/second place or $25/third place. Take a chance and earn a little extra green for your evening!

No celebration is complete without entertainment and this year there will be more to see and hear. Dancers will be clogging, bag pipers piping, Kindred Spirit will be entertaining you with sweet Irish melodies, face painting for the children and even Mike the Magician. There is entertainment for all ages this St. Patrick’s Day!
Don’t forget to keep your eyes open for Garrettsville’s own Leppy the Leprechaun! He had so much fun last year that he has invited his friends Leo and Michael to join him. These tricky little leprechauns are always up to something and they are sure to add excitement to the celebration.

Garrettsville – The James A. Garfield Historical Society trudges past boring stuff like maintenance and repair concerns and into the future with plans for a festivity on March 17, St. Patrick’s Day, possibly tying in with the local green-tinged activities by offering Irish genealogy searches for any suspected Hibernians in town for corned beef and cabbage or green beer or Irish dancing. Check out the society’s headquarters on the day.

Also moving forward are plans for offering Vintage Photo Fun during this year’s SummerFest Las Vegas-themed activities.  Patrons will be offered the opportunity  to have vintage-style sepia photographs ( no flash powder!) taken while wearing some of the JAGHS antique garments and posed before appropriately historic backdrops.  See how much you look like your grand mother!
Also in the works : Julie Fredrickson is organizing a minor league version of Antiques Roadshow, a sort of Appraisal Project for those dusty items in the attic or basement that you’ve always wanted to know more about.  These have been popular  in the area and this one will feature local dealers, auctioneers, appraisers, etc.  Start cleaning now; Aunt Hazel’s chamber pot must be worth something.

The Portage County Historical Society will be holding a historical forum on March 26 at the headquarters in Ravenna…open to all….make reservations

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Windham Twp. – Windham Township Trustees met for their regularly-scheduled meeting last week with all trustees and the fiscal officer present. Trustee Dann Timmons announced that the NOPEC Grant has been approved and the first payment should be received soon. New lighting on “the Green” will be the first project slated to begin soon so it can be  ready for the Bicentennial celebration this summer. Other projects will be started as the weather breaks.
The chairman Dann Timmons recognized guest Bill Isler Sr. from Islerscaping. Islerscaping has handled all the mowing, fertilizing and flower bed maintenance for the township. Mr. Isler presented the new contract for mowing as $164 per each mowing not to exceed 25 mowings for 2011, for a maximum cost of $4,100 per year. The annual cost may be lower because price is determined by how many times they need to mow, with mowing to be done after grass exceeds 3 3?4”. Other expected landscape costs are $125 for edging, $400 for pruning small trees, $534 for mulch ( this cost has risen sharply due to skyrocketing cost of mulch and Islerscaping has had to increase the cost this year to cover their costs), $50 for fertilizer and $25 for each plaque that they install on the memorial trees. The memorial trees are planted free as a public service with the $25 cost covering the purchase of the plaques and hardware. After some discussion, the board approved the contract with Islerscaping.
Brian Miller stated that he invited Todd Teets, a representative from Regional Planning to the meeting to help resolve zoning questions about the new proposed zoning changes.
Many residents felt some of the new proposed changes would infringe on their rights as property owners and felt the folks on the committee were not in touch with what they want for Windham. The representative stated that it was the residents’ community and they should eliminate items that don’t reflect the desires of the community. Zoning sets the minimum standard for the township and by not having a standard anyone could do anything to their property with little or no regard to their neighbor’s property or property values.  Timmons stated that they have sent the proposed zoning changes the public has problems with back to the zoning commission and they will revisit the areas in question and re-present it to the trustees. The trustees will then schedule another public meeting on the issue. In other zoning issues Zoning Inspector Rich Gano stated that Horners are starting to gather more junk on their property. He said he counted 90 tires and caught a roofing company dumping shingles there earlier in the week. Last year the township removed 8000 tires and assisted the Horners in cleaning-up the property after years of legal battles with them over multiple zoning violations. Trustee Timmons stated that he will look at the court documents and contact the prosecutor about the violation.
Road Supervisor Rich Gano said he had to repair two culvert wash outs, one on Gotham Road and one on Frazier Road from the heavy rains. He stated that he also purchased three ton of limestone from Lakeside Gravel for the repairs.
The township trustees meet at the township hall on the first Thursday of each month at 7pm.

Ravenna - Lt. Col. Robert “Buzz” Patterson has agreed to give a presentation in Portage County on March 18th, 2011 at 7:00 pm at Ravenna High School,6589 North Chestnut St, Ravenna, Ohio.

Lt. Col. Patterson is an Air Force pilot, decorated for his service in Bosnia, Somalia, Grenada and the Persian Gulf.. Toward the end of his career with the Air Force, he served as senior military aide in the White House under President Clinton and one of five carrying the nuclear football, traveling everywhere with the President which gave him a unique perspective that he will cover in his presentation.

Lt. Col. Patterson retired from the Air Force in 2001 and wrote his first book, “Dereliction of Duty” which became a New York Times best seller. He followed that with “Reckless Disregard, another well-received book and began an internet radio show.
He has also appeared on Fox News, Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly programs CSPAN, MSNBC and has been sought out for comments on some current affairs. As a journalist, he was imbedded with the troops in the hardest time of the Iraq war.

In an interview, Lt. Col. Patterson stated he is often asked why he wrote the books and continues to speak for our troops. He advised he was influenced by Oliver North, who often embedded with the military. Also, his military friends asked him to embed with the troops and tell the truth. Active duty personnel are not allowed to voice opinions. The media’s portrayals are not necessarily accurate. As a journalist, he went on patrol with the fine men and women serving our country. He found the war was going much better than was being portrayed in the media. Lt. Col. Patterson plans to continue to be a voice for our men and women in the military.

Hopefully many will plan to attend this event. It will be a great opportunity to hear this best-selling author, ask questions, and purchase his books which he will personalize and autograph. Please join in afterward for sharing reasonably-priced refreshments and other information that will be available.
Cost of tickets are $15.00 for adults, $10.00 for students with ID and can be purchased through the Portage County TEA Party office at 330 474-3878.

Portage County – Maplewood Career Center is teaming up with The Renaissance Family Center, Kent Free Library, Reed Memorial Library, and the Portage County Libraries to offer free job opportunity workshops throughout March in Portage County.

The workshops will be approximately 90 minutes and will focus on how to be prepared for job opportunities, how to find new job opportunities, and how to develop an effective career strategy. In addition, there will be a brief discussion on current Portage County job trends and educational services offered by the libraries and Maplewood’s Adult Education Department.

These workshops are open to all who are of working age, preferably 16 and older. There is no registration, however, seating is limited and will be served on a first come first serve basis on the following dates and locations:

Tuesday, March 22, 6pm – Renaissance Family Center, 9005 Wilverne Dr., Windham, OH  44288.

Wednesday, March 23, 12pm – Garrettsville Library, 10482 South St., Garrettsville, OH 44231.

Thursday, March 24, 6pm – Kent Free Library, 312 West Main St., Kent, OH 44240.

Friday, March 25, 12pm – Aurora Memorial Library, 115 East Pioneer Trail, Aurora, OH 44202.

Saturday, March 26, 12:30pm – Pierce Streetsboro Library, 8990 Kirby Lane, Streetsboro, OH 44241.

Thursday, March 31, 6pm – Reed Memorial Library (Jenkins Room), 167 E. Main St., Ravenna, OH  44266.

Freedom Twp. – Highlights of the February 17 meeting of the Freedom Township Trustees were:
A representative of the Ohio Plan (insurance agency) presented information on a plan similar to the OTARMA plan which has been used for some time. This will be considered at the March 3 meeting.
Zoning Inspector Derthick said a letter was sent to the business at the corner of 700 and 88 regarding trailers parked in the road right-of-way. A violation regarding unlicensed trailers has been sent to the prosecutor. Mr. Hammar said the Zoning Commission is working on hydronic furnace regulations.
Mr. VanSteenberg reported water in the ditch on Stamm Road backing up on the road and freezing. One of the owners will replace 80 ft. of pipe in the ditch plus his driveway culvert. At Mr. VanSteenberg’s suggestion, trustees waived the $5.00 per foot permit fee since it was a pre-existing condition.
A special meeting will be held February 22 at 10:00 a.m. to discuss roadwork and other spring projects.
Mr. VanSteenberg reported needed repairs for the ’95 Kodiak truck. Trustees Hammar and Martin voted to spend $1,860 on repairs plus $500 for axle repair. Mr. Zizka abstained. Motion carried.
Mr. Hammar is looking into software programs for cemetery records.
Mr. Martin reported on the Feb. 8 Fire meeting. The bid for the new tanker is $293,000. The grant has not been released yet. The chief and two others will attend the Monroevill Fire & Expo this weekend. They will be participating in the Portage County Incident Management Team Command and General Staff Functions for Local Incidents scheduled March 21 through March 26.
Mr. Zizka provided copies of the January 13 and 27 EMS meetings. They continue to work on revising Standard Operating guidelines. They will bill the Windham Joint Fire District $1,550 for the month of January.
The  ad for the Zoning Inspector position was discussed. Mr. Zizka suggested that  zoning hours be changed to eliminate Thursday morning. This  can always be added back in when business picks up. A unanimous vote was cast for the limit of Tuesday and Saturday morning.
Mr. Hammar continues to investigate high speed internet possibilities, including a proposal received from DISH for a price ranging between $19 and $35 per month.
Mr. Zizka said work at the parsonage is completed by County-Wide and the doors have been installed at the church

Mantua - Every year, Crestwood students are recognized for outstanding contributions in the classroom and in the athletic field. Students who help in the community are no exception.
Crestwood senior Kyle Vertoch, a member of the National Honor Society, is organizing a rummage sale as his NHS service project to benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Vertoch’s aunt and grandmother are both afflicted with the disease.

The sale will be held April 1, and he is asking the community for donations.
“A rummage sale is a good way to get both the community and the high school involved,” said Vertoch. “Everyone has stuff lying around the house that they don’t need anymore. I’m currently running announcements at the high school and hopefully I can find a way to reach out to the community.”

According to the NHS website, NHS is a national organization established to recognize outstanding high school students in grades 10-12. More than just an honor roll, NHS honors students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of scholarship, leadership, service, and character. Chapter membership not only recognizes students for their accomplishments, but challenges them to develop further through active involvement in school activities and community service. There are currently 52 students in NHS at Crestwood, none of whom are sophomores.

“We decided early on that we wanted to place our focus on the element of character and service,” said Crestwood Teacher and NHS Advisor Nancy Groselle. “We can get a pretty good feel of what the students are about by the time they finish their sophomore year. In fact, up until this year we only had seniors in NHS, but by changing the induction ceremony from spring to fall, we were able to extend participation to both juniors and seniors. The community service project allows students to exhibit the tenets of not just service, but also leadership and character. Kyle is a great student and displays these characteristics every day.”

The NHS rummage sale will take place April 1 from 10 am until 7 pm in the Crestwood High School cafeteria. Anyone with articles to contribute can drop them off any day in the high school library from 2:40 to 3:30 pm beginning March 21. Cash donations will also be accepted.

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Hiram Twp. – The March 1st meeting of the Hiram Township Trustees was opened by Mr. Brewer with the reading of the minutes from the February 15th meeting.
Highlights from the gathering include the announcement that the new fire truck has been picked up and “is ready to go.” Firemen are being trained on driving the truck both during the day and at night, so residents will be seeing it on the road more for that purpose.
Questions from the audience touched on the possibility of firemen being trained in traffic direction procedures during emergencies, specifically citing a recent house fire which required obstruction of the roadway for a bit of time. The response was that the sheriff’s department was in charge of traffic direction, but that the firemen will jump in if there is a shortage of help. As a helpful note in making it safer for our first-responders to do their jobs, drivers should always pay attention to their surroundings at all times, but need to be extra vigilant and aware when emergency vehicles are around. Other issues brought up included dropped 911 calls from cell phones and difficulties in transferring to the proper departments. Ms. Schulda will have the issue addressed on the agenda at an upcoming commissioners’ meeting.
In old business were updates on recycling and trash; questions about the potential 2% tax to be paid by the township to the village; the consideration of instituting bonds on those who wish to participate in fracking, to replace roads affected in Portage County when such as action is performed; and exploring the idea of getting a portable scale to start enforcing weight limits already in place for trucks on local roads.
In new business, the road crew is planning to chip-and-seal some roads; they will be looking into gathering bids for the project.
A motion was passed to adjourn into executive session for the purpose of discussing litigation and personnel legal matters with an attorney. Updates will follow as available. The next meeting will be March 15th at 7pm, Township Hall.

Newton Falls – Kiwanian Barry Silliphant appeared at the Newton Falls library to give away ID Stickers to the young parents who transport their kids in safety seats.  Wednesday’s reading program director Chrissy Braun was excited to have Barry explain how important the sticker project is to anyone who uses child safety seats.
The need for stickers came about after a car accident took place near Dayton, Ohio.  The driver was a babysitter and not related to the infant who was strapped into a safety seat.  The driver was killed and the baby was unhurt.  It was hours before the parents were notified because nobody could identify the child and make the necessary call.
The safety sticker lists names, addresses, phone numbers, allergies, and additional emergency information to guarantee that the child will receive prompt attention.

One of the many moms to take stickers home is Christine Harley. She is pictured holding little David in one hand and the safety sticker in the other.

Put a sticker on every safety seat that the child uses.  Grandparents that have extra seats for their cars should use the stickers too.
To get stickers for your child’s safety seats stop by the office of Kiwanian Tom Palmer, attorney at law,  41 W. Broad street. Newton Falls.

To get involved in this project or many others join Kiwanis.  Meetings are Tuesdays at  6:30 p.m. at the  Covered Bridge Inn Resturant.

Columbus - Area wrestlers did a fantastic job in representing northeast Ohio and their respective high schools in Columbus last week.
Leading the way were the Crestwood Red Devils who qualified a school record seven wrestlers.  After finishing second in the Akron Firestone district the week before, head coach Dave Wrobel was confident that his team could make a run at a top 5 finish in Columbus.  Five of his seven qualifiers had previous state tournament experience and that experience paid off in the first round as the Red Devils won 5 out of 7 matches Thursday afternoon.  On Friday the Red Devils found themselves competing against many of the pre-tournament favorites in their respective weight classes and success was harder to come by.  When wrestling concluded for the day the only Red Devil to be unscathed was senior Cody Ryba who kept alive his hope of being Crestwood’s first state wrestling champion since 1994 (Brian Singleton).  Coach Wrobel, like most wrestling coaches had mixed feelings as he assessed the results from Friday’s action.  He felt his team “competed well” … was “ecstatic for Cody Ryba’s results” …  and “dealt with the pain of not seeing all his wrestlers make it to the placement round”.  On Saturday evening, Cody Ryba put the finishing touches on a brilliant season for Crestwood when he won the 171 lb. championship with a 5-4 decision over Jake Cramer of Oak Harbor.  The victory moved Crestwood up to 6th place in the final team standings.
The Garfield G-Men qualified three wrestlers for the state wrestling tournament which was also a school record for them.  Coach Alan Harbert was “pleased with how well we competed” … “thrilled that all 3 kids were wrestling in the placement round” … and “very excited that two of his wrestlers were underclassmen and would be returning to his practice room next season”.  Kevin Stock was the highest finisher (4th) for the G-Men but lost his chance to wrestle for an individual championship when he was defeated in his semi-final match, 8-7.  The final score was  ultimately decided by a penalty point earlier in the match.
Cardinal’s Casey Johns lost his opening match and then rallied to win his next four matches to make the consolation bout. Johns found himself in familiar territory matched against his freshman nemesis from Beachwood, Sammy Gross, whom he defeated in the districts by a pin in the second period. Sammy, however, got his revenge by besting Casey 4-1 in Columbus.

Cardinal’s other state placer, Ziegler, won his first round match before falling to the eventual second place finisher. In the consolation bracket Chad won two more matches before falling to a third place finisher and winning his fifth place match 7-3.
The Southeast Pirates were looking to get back on track after a one-year absence from the state wrestling tournament.  The Pirates had two wrestlers qualify this year, with one of them trying to finish a Cinderella season.  Junior Tylor Brokaw placed 5th in the sectional wrestling tournament two weeks ago and thought his season was over, only to gain entrance into the district tournament last week as an alternate.  Tylor took full advantage of his second opportunity by placing 4th at districts and punching his ticket to the state tournament.  His story book season ended in Columbus when he lost his first two matches.  Teammate Ravonne Lawrence did however take 6th place at 171 lbs to give second year Coach Bob Noall his first state placer.  Coach Noall was extremely happy for Ravonne,  “he did all the right things to put himself in position this year and hopefully it will lead to bigger things for our program”.

Complete results can be found at the OHSAA website:  http://www.ohsaa.org

Newton Falls – Recently, a café that usually tantalizes customers with its breakfast and lunchtime offerings opened its doors after hours to treat local ladies to a special evening of food, fun, and fashion.

In celebration of women in business, the Brew Basket in Newton Falls hosted a Ladies’ Night complete with opportunities for socialization, relaxation, and some retail therapy in a comfortable atmosphere without the need for venturing out into the crowds at a mall or big box stores.

Tickets sold in advance entitled those in attendance to goodie bags, café samples, and special discounts from vendors presenting designer purses, glittering jewelry, and the freshest make-up techniques. Representatives from Miche handbags, Lia Sophia jewelry, and Mary Kay cosmetics were on hand to show the lovely ladies how to pair the latest trends in purses, jewelry, and make-up with their own personal fashion tastes and varying lifestyles.

Models chosen at random from the audience were invited to participate in a casual catwalk, showcasing the designs from the three independent consultants. Licensed massage practitioners provided some extra pampering by way of chair massages in between fashion show segments.

Door prizes were also awarded from each company’s line of products with up-to-date merchandise on display for a bit of window shopping.

Although this was the first time for such an occasion at the coffee shop, the owners hope to have another similar experience in the near future. In the meantime, keep your eye out for other upcoming events for various tastes ~ there’s always something brewing at the Brew Basket!

Garrettsville – On March 11, 2011, Charles Klamer will celebrate a benchmark which makes him the longest-serving school district superintendent in Portage County. On that date in 1991, Klamer became superintendent of the James A. Garfield School District.

Over the next 20 years, he was to pull the flailing school district from the brink of bankruptcy, oversee a successful tax levy that allowed for the construction of a new middle school and a renovated high school, and guide the student body’s scholastic improvement so the district would reach the state’s highest rating for performance in standardized tests, attendance and graduation rates: Excellent with Distinction… all this despite the fact that JAG schools spends less per pupil annually than all but two other school districts in the county. (In 2005, Klamer retired, then was immediately rehired by the board at a lower salary, saving the district about $90,000 over two years.)

With all of this in mind, and Klamer’s current contract set to expire July 31, the JAG Board of Education has extended the superintendent’s contract for another four years. Klamer’s salary under his new contract will remain at $60,000 annually.

Why didn’t the superintendent simply let his current contract run out, so he could retire, satisfied, with the district at the top of its game? “The people keep me here,” Klamer says with a broad smile. “This is my home; this is my community.”

That was not always the case. Before coming to the Garrettsville area, Klamer was superintendent of the Bloomfield-Mespo School District in Trumbull County for nearly 10 years, following two years there as a middle school and high school principal. “But I had my eye on the James A. Garfield School District all the while,” Klamer sys. “I felt that this district had a lot more potential than it showed from the road, whenever I drove by on State Route 88.”

When Klamer became JAG superintendent in 1991, he arrived on a chaotic scene where a “lack of trust, a lack of transparency, and a lack of acceptance of one another had been the rule. The district was basically bankrupt, having accumulated a lot of debt,” Klamer recalls. The levy had failed eight times already, and was about to go on the ballot for a ninth time.”

“But I’m a rather positive person,” Klamer says. “And I came here with a vision. This was one of the only local school districts remaining with a centralized business community that catered to kids — a roller rink, a bowling alley, Dairy Queen and other family-friendly restaurants, parks, a safe atmosphere, strong churches and civic involvement, and caring parents. I believed in this district from the start.”

Klamer deflects any credit given to him on behalf of the district’s achievements. “”It’s not what I’ve accomplished but what the kids, the community, parents and staff have accomplished since I’ve been here. These people work hard and are committed to excellence.”

Looking toward the next four years, Klamer’s main challenge is to sustain Excellence with Distinction. “It’s one thing to get on top academically. It’s quite another to maintain it!”

Garrettsville –  Don’t ever underestimate the power of setting a lofty goal. Call it an unrealistic challenge, an impossible dream or a ridiculous notion. But Chris Perme calls it DONE! And the reward is well worth the time and effort to make it happen.

Christopher Perme, CLTC, Financial Services Professional at Perme Financial Group in Garrettsville, has been a financial planner since 1989, helping his neighbors and friends secure their nest eggs, plan for retirement, and otherwise manage their finances wisely. But now he has gained the corporate spotlight, being named the 2010 Gold Associate of the Year through MassMutual’s northeast Ohio office, known as Skylight Financial Group.

Despite being a small-town agent among big-city competitors from the Cleveland metro area, Perme outperformed 85 regional agents from MassMutual. He was named among 250 premier producers nationwide who qualified as Blue Chip Council members in 2010. He was 15th among 5,200 in premium production, and ninth of 5,200 (third in the region) in annuity production. He increased his own rate of life insurance production by 700% in 2010. Perme’s combination of exponential production, agency and community involvement, plus his wide breadth of offerings elevated him to MassMutual’s highest award for northeast Ohio.

How did he do it? Perme says, “I’m driven. I’m competitive. I set a goal and I went for it. What I realized was, once you hit that goal, and you’re up on stage accepting that award, you realize, it wasn’t so hard after all. If you see where you want to be, you’ve just got to build a bridge to get there. I am finished with self-limiting behavior and the way of thinking that says, ‘You can’t do that!’ Figure out how to get it done. Period.”

Perme acknowledges he has had help with bridge-building, primarily from his office manager, Melissa Wilde, who sees to it that all the increased paperwork goes through accurately and securely; and his wife, Jenette, who is patient with his long and odd working hours…as well as their children, Christopher (9) and Jordan (7). He also credits this community with being composed of “Mayberry” qualities that make his job easier and a joy to do.

“It’s different out here,” Perme says affectionately. “This community is not made up of people who throw all their money into McMansions they can’t afford to furnish. They tend to be reasonable and responsible with their money. They actually have stuff paid off rather than going deeper in debt. So it’s very rewarding to help these true Americans prepare for their futures and better their situations.”

Perme grew up in Kirtland, but settled in Garrettsville in 1996 with his family after establishing his office along Eagle Creek at the intersection of Main and Freedom Streets, in the heart of the village’s downtown district. Perme loves the small-town atmosphere, where he can do a professional job without worrying about big-city expectations.

“If I’ve got a tie on, will that make your investments go up?” Perme asks. “Of course not! I love a community where I can do the same work in jeans and my ball cap. There’s no better place to work and live than right here, in the middle of nowhere.”

Windham – The W.V.F.D. Joint Fire District Board met for their regularly scheduled meeting recently.  Prior to the meeting each board member had an opportunity to see the possible new ambulance for the district. The new ambulance is a 2010 Ford E-450 super duty that is set up exactly like the primary ambulance they are already using. This unit, if purchased, will replace the older of the two units they have in service. After viewing the ambulance, they called their regularly-scheduled meeting to order. First item on the agenda was to choose a chairman and vice chairman of the board for the new year. The board chose Dann Timmons as the chairman and Donny Altiere as the vice chairman. Next item on the agenda was the approval of the minutes of the last meeting, bank reconciliation, and January bills and wages.

Fire chief reported that all the trucks were in good shape except for truck 2815.

Engine 2815 was sent to Wire Wizards in Akron to have electrical work done to the inverter when the alternator shorted out. The alternator was replaced as well as two regulators in the inverter.

The chief also reported that the fire extinguishers, Scot Air Paks and new radios were in, however the air packs came without audio which is needed and the board agreed to order them. When the department purchased these previously they came standard with the air paks but now they have to be ordered separately. The Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (M.A.B.A.S.) is been revamped and is ready to be used. This procedure is set up for our dispatchers to make calling for mutual aid departments easier. When activated, the dispatcher will be given a box alarm and number. In the number is all the information he/she needs to call out the mutual aid. Such information includes the fire department, equipment needed and phone number of the M.A.B.A.S. requested.

The chief stated that the office is almost completed and they will be soon working on painting the meeting room. The firemen will do the labor. All the board will need to do is purchase the paint. The chief also reported that after they had evaluated everyone’s gear and discovered that two sets are outdated and two other sets need to be cleaned. The gear was sent to Warren Fire who routinely handles their equipment needs. Finally the chief reported that Rich Gano has submitted a resignation for retirement from the fire department. Mr. Gano has faithfully served the community for 29 years as a firefighter and a medic. The board regretfully accepted his retirement and thanked him for all the years he had served the community faithfully.

Mr. Terry Fund from Lifeline Emergency Vehicles presented figures to the board for the purchase of a new ambulance. After some discussion the board tabled the approval of the purchase until next month so the board could review the proposal and inquire about a lease-purchase.

The fire board meets on the second Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. at the fire station. All meetings are opened to the public.

Did anybody see the animals lining up two-by-two down by the bridge?  Holy Cow! (Bull and cow, if you want to get technical.)  What wild weather!  March, acting like a typical cat, couldn’t wait to “come in like a lion” and pounced on the last day of February.  What a crazy Monday.  Flood warnings were posted all over northeast Ohio.  Ice was churning down rivers at some of the highest levels in decades.  Garrettsville was swamped for a while, with police barricades on village streets…including   in front of the firehouse.  Low spots turned into lakes and caused motorists to slow to a crawl to avoid the “paddlewheel” effect. {with apologies to Alfred Lord Tennyson : Flooding to the north of us, Flooding to the west of us, Flooding to the east of us , Flood at our center.  Scarce one from G-Ville could exit or enter…. “Charge of the Light Brigade”}

Then the temperature proceeded to drop like a stone and it was back to snow again.  How often in winter do we have the high temperature  for the day arrive at just after midnight…or hear thunder and see lightning through clouds of ground fog?  While it’s pounding down rain?  Good grief!

If we are to be compensated for the sturm und drang of this whole episode, it may well be in an outstanding sap run this year.  Warm during the day/cold at night is supposed to be the magic formula and we’ve been approaching that–more or less–for a couple of weeks now.  It’s probably not much fun for the maple producers, having to slosh out to the sugarbush to check the buckets–dilution is not our friend; it already takes upwards of forty gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup… or the lines, if plastic tubing is involved, our little rodent friends love that stuff… and the sugar shack to keep the boilers going full bore.  At least hanging around roaring fires gives some hope that your toes will not freeze and drop off to rattle around in your boots.  Tromping out in the woods does not have that benefit.

One thing I remember from my misspent youth (what a cutie– navy blue snow suit and stocking cap, dark boots with frozen toes inside) was riding on the back end of a sap vat on a horse-drawn sledge through the woods and winding up at the sugarhouse to eat hot dogs,  either boiled in the sap or roasted on sticks at the fire under the boiler.  The organizers of the operation always kept dill pickles and saltine crackers handy to cut the sweetness a little…heck, everyone was out there for the day and wound up drinking sap rather than hauling water out to the woods.  For a change, every so often, somebody would put a small pot on the fire someplace and cook some syrup down to soft ball or hard ball stage and then pour it on snow to make what was known as maple taffy.  You could also cool the stuff a little and beat it together with snow to make “maple ice cream” (It was wise in that situation to check the snow very carefully…yellow snow does NOT make vanilla.).  I have a feeling that is not quite how things are conducted nowadays.  Perhaps a field trip to Apple Maple Products is in order.

Actually, a quick check of the “You’re Invited” section indicates that an inquisitive sort could find several places to find out possibly more about maple product production than they ever wanted to know.  Give one a shot.  It’s bound to be interesting.

Also interesting is the proliferation of  pancake breakfasts… lunches…dinners…suppers…whatever now showing up in just about every neighborhood hereabouts.  Butter melting. Syrup flowing.  Sausage sizzling.  Buckwheats rule!

Get out and enjoy the fruits–metaphorically speaking–of the season.  We might as well get something out of it.  ”The lamb” part of March won’t be “waggin’ his tail behind him” for a while yet.

Baaaa.

Windham Village council met for their regularly scheduled meeting in council chambers at village hall.  Council members in attendance were Rachel Barrett, Scott Garrett, Kelly Meszaros, and Jena Miranda. Council member Phil Snyder was away for a family emergency. Fiscal officer Lloyd Billman reported that the expenditures for January were $ 150,437.91 and the bank reconciliation for January with an all-funds reconciled balance of $561,620.73.

Council president requested an executive session to discuss personnel issues. Council members returned from the executive session after a half hour with no business to vote on from the session.

The board had a prior request from Mr. Dave Apthorpe who is the plant manager for Harbison Walker. Mr. Apthorpe had concerns over new water and sewer rate the village instituted last month. Apthorpe claimed the company’s previous consumption was 685,000 gallons for a month and their bill was $5,768.89. This last month they used 615,000 gallons and were billed $11,838.75. Apthorpe complained that this was double his previous bill for fewer  gallons used. Mayor Rob Donham stated that they re-configured how they bill water and sewer rates to make them more fair. In the past everyone was billed for minimum usage and those who were single or used less water were being billed for water they didn’t use or need. The rates are now billed per 1000 gallons used. The new rates would encourage conservation and equalize the injustice for the low volume users. In the past many residents who used the least amount were funding those who used the most water like the area businesses. Mr. Apthorpe complained that this was a 125% increase and what was he supposed to tell the corporate head why his budget he submitted for the year won’t work. The mayor explained that this was how it was going to be and suggested they look at ways to use less water or loop their water so they could re-use it to reduce their cost.  (Harbison’s large consumption of water is used to cool their machinery.) Donham also offered administrative help to explain to Harbison’s corporate head why the bills have increased.

Paul Blewitt also had a prior request to speak. He was questioning the village’s hiring practices. He wanted to know what it took to get an interview, if and when they actually advertised the position and if they interviewed applicants for the full-time temporary labor position at the water plant. The mayor responded by saying they don’t disclose personnel issues to the public,  however they follow the guidelines set by the Ohio Revised Code (ORC) and the codified ordinances of the village. After some bantering back and forth the mayor stated that they did interview some of the applicants and they hired the best candidate for the position.

In other business, council authorized the purchase of a 2007 Crown Victoria Police Cruiser. The action ratified the authority council gave the police chief at a previous meeting to purchase a cruiser. Council also approved the carry-over of the balance of the police chief’s sick leave hours from the State of Ohio Department of Mental Health at Northcoast Behavioral Healthcare where he had been previous employed. They also adopted the new sewer rates, tabled the adoption of the water rates and tabled a contract with Glacial Energy of Ohio Inc and the contract with the Library. The contracts were tabled so their legal counsel could make changes to the verbiage of the contracts. Lastly Cecelia Swanson from the Portage County Library thanked council for helping them relocate to another facility in the village. She also inquired about the further use of the structure only so they knew how much they needed to dismantle, clean etc. The mayor told her to leave what they wanted and they would take care of it since it appears that the building that housed the library will probably be demolished. The village council meets on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. at the village hall.

Middlefield - Vinny’s Authentic Italian Eatery located at 15620 West High Street in Middlefield is sure to please any lover of Italian food.  Vinny’s offers its patrons mouth-watering Italian cuisine at a very reasonable price.  You can expect good, fresh food as well as friendly service.  Their hours are Tuesday through Thursday from 11:30 am until 8 pm, Friday and Saturday from 11:30 am until 9 pm and Sunday from 12 pm until 7 pm.  They are closed on Monday.

Appetizers include fresh fried mozzarella, calamari, bread sticks and more.  Pick a pizza with your choice of toppings or choose from one of the specialty pizzas: White pizza, basil portabella, or meatball morsel.  You can even pick up a slice or two of cheese or pepperoni for lunch (between 11 am and 4 pm).  There are several wonderful entrees to choose from, including pasta, Chicken Picatta or Marsala, Veal Marsala, sautéed shrimp, lasagna and vegetarian options.  They also offer “sangwhiches,” salads, soups and a kid’s menu.   Sides include Italian Risotto-rice with cheese and mushrooms or with shrimp and spinach.  Be sure to leave room for one of the delicious desserts of Tiramisu, Cannoli, Spumoni, caramel apple cheesecake or chocolate confusion cake.  When you are there check out their specials too.

Blaze Tishko and Sam Crea, the owner’s of Vinny’s, have a wonderful and interesting story.  Both men ended up at Newbury High School, although not friends during school,  Blaze knew Sam’s younger brothers and visited the house all the time.  Sam’s mother owned a restaurant called Kitty’s Place.

After high school Sam became a police officer and then went into construction.

Blaze worked at a friend’s uncle’s restaurant in Little Italy.  There he started washing dishes and eventually started to do some of the cooking.  Blaze thought about chef’s school but decided to take a different path, hotel management.  This is when Blaze learned the business from all angles; he washed more dishes, waited tables, tended bar and worked room service in hotels from Cleveland to Columbus and back again.  He left the business for two years to tour America and Europe with his band.  After the tour, he met a woman, married her and quit the band for good.

That is when he started running a restaurant for his stepfather, and decided to move to Geauga County to raise his family.  Unfortunately, the restaurant endeavor did not work out, but Blaze soon found out he was going to be a father and decided he needed to have a trade job in order to raise his family.  He began work as a union bricklayer but did not particularly like it so a friend got him a job at Sand Ridge Golf Course.  After golf season, he got work at Fowler’s Mill as a server then moved into management, but ended up going back to work at Sand Ridge the next season.

Then came a job at Welshfield Inn which helped Blaze to hone his craft and learn the actual business of running a restaurant.  Unfortunately Blaze got cancer and had six months of chemotherapy that laid him up.  There were days he could not get out of bed for being so weak.  The people at Welshfield Inn really helped him through this rough patch.

Blaze then started working at Fowler’s Mill again.  It was there that he and Sam started thinking about and talking about opening a sandwich/pizza shop, this went on for a few years.  With chemotherapy done and a new zest for life, Blaze found this time to be right to make a change and he was ready.  Soon they found a location (the one they are in now), bought a pizza oven and opened Vinny’s on March 1, 2010.

Both Blaze and Sam are completely committed to adhering to strict Italian cooking and recipes as well as always providing the customer with a superior product.  You will not find a deep fryer or dried seasonings on the premises.  This is not fast food but it is great, fresh, authentic Italian food.  Food is in these guys’s blood and it shows in the quality and commitment they have.  It shows in the taste of the food and in the atmosphere.  They know what they are doing.

They are approaching the anniversary of their first year in business and have a loyal following.  If you want to learn more about Vinny’s, check out their website at www.vinnyspizzashop.com.  The next time you have a craving for authentic Italian cooking, why not try Vinny’s.  You will not be disappointed.

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Janet Esposito, Portage County Auditor, is reminding all County residents to make sure they are receiving all the tax reductions they are entitled to off their real estate bills. Senior citizens 65 or older are entitled to the homestead credit for real estate or manufactured homes. Even if a resident turns 65 during this year, they also need to apply before the deadline of June 6, 2011. Prior to July 1, 2007, this credit was based on income and age. However, now it is based on age ONLY. Also, if a homeowner is under 65 but permanently and totally disabled, they are  entitled to this reduction. Taking the few minutes to complete this application could bring the homeowner between $300 to $400 a year in tax savings.

There is one more tax savings program  of   2-1?2% Owner Occupied Real Property Tax Reduction. To receive this reduction, the home needs to be the resident’s principle place of residence and can only be received on one home for real estate or manufactured homes. You must own and occupy your home as your principle place of residence on January 1 of the year that you apply. If you have retained Life Use (LU) or Life Estate (LE) on the deed where you live, you can also apply for the above credits. The same deadline of June 6, 2011 also applies to this application.

If you wish to check and see if you are currently receiving these reductions, please look at your real estate tax bill for a dollar amount opposite HOMESTEAD and 2 1?2% HOMESITE. If no amount appears on these lines, please contact our office at (330) 297-3569 or (330) 297-3570 or (330) 297-3571 to request an application to be mailed to you. Also, you are more than welcome to visit our office at 449 S. Meridian St., Ravenna, 5th floor, Monday thru Friday 8am to 4:30pm or our website is www.portagecountyauditor.org.

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March is around the corner and that means the March Maple Madness Driving Tour is ready to roll.  The tour is sponsored by the Ohio Maple Producers Association and maple producers across Ohio.  The event takes place March 12 & 13, 19 & 20, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This year there are 40 stops in Geauga County, Ashtabula County, Portage County, Lake County and across Ohio that will be open for the free, drive-it-yourself tour.  Experienced sugar makers will be on hand to answer questions and conduct the tours.

Several Saturday only stops are Amish sugarhouses.  Dress for the weather with coats and boots.

A complete tour stop list will be available at each stop or can be printed off at www.ohiomapleproducers.com. Some of the stops will be small operations where enough sweet, golden syrup is made for the family’s annual needs and some are  large commercial operations.

New to the tour this year are Hale Farm, Hueston Woods and Hancock County Park District.  The Burton area will also have a bus to select sugarhouses, fee charged.  For complete  bus information visit www.ridethebigbus.com.

For more information on the tour or maple production, contact Terese Volkmann, Tour Chair,  440-834-1415, or Volkmann@simcon.net.

Maple syrup is made in only a very small part of the entire world.  Geauga County and northeast Ohio are in the heart of this amazing area.  Maple syrup production in northeast Ohio dates back to Native Americans who tapped the maple tree each spring to make sweet sugar.  The tradition continued, beginning with early settlers and has survived  today.

Visit a maple operation during the 2010 March Maple Madness Driving Tour and learn about pure maple syrup.

Garrettsville – Charles Chevrolet is supporting the Garrettsville community through a partnership with Garrettsville Baseball League. The dealership will provide baseball equipment, instructional clinics, a monetary donation, and an opportunity to raise an additional $10,000 in funds through a Chevy vehicle giveaway-fundraiser.  The effort by Charles Chevrolet is part of the Chevy Youth Baseball initiative being rolled out across the nation from March through July 2011.

“Baseball is a great American past-time and Chevrolet is proud to have a longstanding history with this tradition on a national level. Charles Chevrolet is bringing that level of commitment for youth baseball to the Garrettsville community, where our customers and their families live,” said Bruce Abraham, vice president for Charles Chevrolet. “Our youth baseball program in Garrettsville is truly cherished and we are happy and excited to support the kids in a significant way.”

Charles Chevrolet will present the Garrettsville Baseball League with equipment kits complete with equipment bags, baseball buckets, dugout managers, and Chevy Youth Baseball t-shirts.  The sponsorship includes clinics with experienced instructors from former MLB/MiLB players and coaches or the Ripken Baseball professional staff.

In addition, a one-time monetary donation check will be presented by Charles Chevrolet to Garrettsville Baseball League.  The team also will have an opportunity to raise additional funds for their use as part of a Chevy Youth Baseball Fundraiser.  Sponsored leagues across the country will each receive 2,000 fundraiser entry tickets to distribute for a suggested donation, and the league will keep 100 percent of proceeds raised.  At the end of the fundraiser, there will be five winners of a Chevy Equinox or Chevy Cruze vehicle of choice (up to $30,000 in value), and in each participating market there will be a secondary prize of a home entertainment center valued at $1,000.

Chevrolet is recognized on the national level as the “Official Vehicle of Major League Baseball.”  “Chevrolet vehicles are made for families and we hope the kids or their parents will consider a Chevrolet as an official vehicle of their household,” said Abraham.

Chevrolet has expanded its support of MLB to the youth baseball players in communities across the country through the Chevy Youth Baseball program. The Chevy Youth Baseball program began in Atlanta in 2006. In 2010, more than 980 Chevrolet dealers participated in Chevy Youth Baseball and helped raise more than $3 million for youth baseball programs across the USA.  Now going into its sixth year, more than $10 million has been contributed to youth baseball in the communities where Chevrolet’s customers live, work, and play. Currently, 1,423 Chevrolet dealers are participating in this national program.

For more information about Chevy Youth Baseball, please visit www.youthsportswired.com.

Pictured above are (front row) Hallie Zdanczewski, Caitlyn Isler, Julia Brookover; (back row) Jeremy Isler, Sarita Greene, Marietta Brown, Barb Burns, Kendra Wilmington - Manager of the Windham Salvation Army, and Principal Michael Chaffee

Pictured above are (front row) Hallie Zdanczewski, Caitlyn Isler, Julia Brookover; (back row) Jeremy Isler, Sarita Greene, Marietta Brown, Barb Burns, Kendra Wilmington - Manager of the Windham Salvation Army, and Principal Michael Chaffee

Windham – Recently the students of Windham Junior and Senior High Schools had a canned food drive to benefit the Windham Salvation Army.  The students collected over 300 canned goods and raised $120.  As a reward for reaching their goals, the students were treated to a demonstration from the Portage County Sheriff’s Department Canine Unit.

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Burton – Do you long for the taste of real homemade baked goods made with fresh ingredients from scratch?  If so, Countryside Home Bakery located at 17075 Mumford Road is the place to go.  Countryside Home Bakery offers many different types of baked goods such as breads, dinner rolls, pies, cookies, pecan rolls and their specialty cinnamon rolls.  You can also find a variety of fry pies on Fridays and Saturdays.  In order to provide their customers with other  quality food options, they also offer  locally-produced regular and sugar free jams and jellies, dill pickles, barbeque sauce, cashew crunch, honey, maple syrup and concentrated homemade iced tea mix.  Want something special, no problem, they also take special orders.
Ivan Bender, the owner, explained that the bakery opened in 2005 to help supplement the family income but has turned into a successful family-run business.  Mr. Bender explained that it is the use of fresh ingredients, the homemade touch and the wood burning baking oven that has helped make the business a success along with a lot of hard work.  The baked items contain real butter and they use canola oil in the baking as often as possible.  Mr. Bender explained that there are just some things that do not work well with canola oil, but they use it whenever they can.  They use tried and true traditional recipes and basic baking techniques.
Mr. Bender also explained that everything is homemade, even the pie fillings.   The idea is to provide their customers with high quality, homemade baked goods.  That idea has worked as their customers come back time and time again and they gain new ones all the time.
The bakery is normally open Wednesday through Saturday from 8 am until 5 pm.  The bakery is located approximately 1.5 miles on Mumford off of Route 168, also known as Tavern Road. There is a sign at the corner of Mumford and 168.  If you are traveling on Route 422, turn onto Mumford Road and drive approximately 2.25 miles north.   The bakery is located between Patch Road and Nash Road on Mumford.
Do not forget about them when holidays approach, during those special times of the year they offer holiday cookies and gift baskets as well as specialty baked items.  You can get your dinner rolls and breads there.  You can make any meal special with homemade breads and rolls from Countryside Home Bakery.
If you have specific questions or want to place a special order, you can call them at 440-834-0776, please let it ring; someone will pick up or you can leave a message. The bakery may be a little off the beaten path, but is well worth the time and the trip to stop and taste the difference freshness and traditional homemade baking makes.  Countryside Home Bakery is another one of many Geauga County treasures.

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Burton – Division III of the annual Friends of the Burton Public Library Chess Tournament was completed Saturday, February 19, by 7 participants from northeast Ohio.
One player, Nathan Ferris, a 12th grade Perry High School student won all four of his games and the first place medal.
Two players scored three points each:     Jonathon Bumbarger, a sixth grade Wickliffe student;    Christopher Koschki, an eighth grade Berkshire student from Claridon.
A playoff game determined Bumbarger to be the second place winner with Koschki taking third place.
Division IV (Adults) will be played Saturday, February 26

Call the Burton library at (440)834-4466 to register.  The rear entrance to the library will be open at  10:00 a.m. to admit participants.   The tournament is free and open to all.

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I apologize for no bowling article last week; I was bowling in the Ohio Women’s Intercity Tournament last weekend in Sandusky.   We had a great time (and I bowled fairly well).  So this time I have two weeks of scores to report.
This week’s high series was rolled by Kim Wampler.  Kim had 210 her first game and a 538 series.  Kim’s team, the Attitude Adjustments, was on a roll; Jessica Potteiger shot 526 and Ryan Ambler shot 522, with a high game of 214.  Zach Hoffman and Collin McGurer both shot 203 their last games; Zach rolled a 533 series.  Shannon Kerr had a whopping 173 game, 77 pins over her average of 96.  And teammate (and sister) Emma Kerr was 48 pins over the first game with her 118 game.   The Dominators team was 142 pins over average the first game; Belladonna Titschinger was 46 pins over average with 124, Ali Franklin was 46 over with 160, and Shayne Carter was 50 pins over with 134.  Other nice scores:  Noah Hoffman, 124 (30 pins over average), Taylor Mick, 133 (30 pins over), Kayla Hunt, 117 (49 pins over), Jaret Doraski, 178 (42 pins over), Nick Toke, 158 (36 pins over), Zach Capron, 138 (48 pins over), Kurt Bokesch, 164 (43 pins over), and Noah Shannon, 164 (33 pins over).
In the 9:00 Trio League, Danny Painley had high game with 163.  High series was rolled by Ashleigh Quiggle with 362.  Other nice games were rolled by Nathan Slaughter, 140 (62 pins over average), Danielle Tuttle, 126 (49 pins over), Joey Ewell, 134 (45 pins over average), Floria Gerardino, 116 (40 pins over , Nathan Pallotto, 126 (38 pins over), Matt Hale, 100 (35 pins over), Makayla Gough, 114 (34 pins over), and  Adam Norris, 127 (34 pins over).
Last week’s high scores in the 9:00 Trio League were rolled by Emma Dockery.  Emma shot 139, 173, and 180 for a very nice 492 series.  Other nice games:  Kassie Fedor, 152, (54 pins over), Nathan Phillips, 147 (52 pins over), Danny Painley, 140 (44 pins over), Jack Norris, 99 (42 pins over) and Courtney Lytle, 131 (41 pins over).
High series last week in the 11:00 Trio League was Collin McGurer with 502.  Collin also shared high game honors with Adam Tanner with games of 186.  Some other nice scores were rolled by Nick Toke, 181 (60 pins over average), Andrew Morrissey, 153 (48 pins over), Jaret Doraski, 181 (47 pins over), Kurt Bokesch, 166 (47 pins over), and Lucas Titschinger, 125 (40 pins over).
Top scores in the 9:00 PeeWee League were Kalen Caris with 105, Hannah Madden with 98, and Alex Gage, also with 98.  Last week’s high bowlers were Travis Horner with 127 and Isaac Trickett with two games of 96.
Owen Wolff had high score in the 11:00 PeeWee league with 125.  Darrion Sidwell shot 105.  And last week’s high PeeWee scores were  Katie Fazi  with 108 and Jordan Kwiecinsky with 97.

Garrettsville –  It’s gonna be sweet! …Not just the edible set of candy confections, but the entire production of “Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory”, the spring musical taking the James A. Garfield High School stage April 7-10. Come and see how Violet Beauregarde morphs into the Blueberry Girl, how snotty Veruca Salt can be, how the Oompa-Loompas make all that candy, how strange Willie Wonka really is, how Charlie makes everything alright, and so much more.
Why Willie Wonka? “We wanted a show that appeals to the whole family, something that everyone would enjoy,” says producer Joe Gaither. “It’s kind of a funny story really… Do you remember that AT&T commercial that ran all summer long? The one with the paper sketches interacting on the streets of a city with the music of “Pure Imagination” sung by Gene Wilder (the original Willy Wonka)?  That’s where the idea came from.”
Most of the lead roles are being played by high school students and some of the younger roles are being played by middle school and intermediate school students. “The nice thing about theatre at Garfield is that the kids really adapt well to their roles,” Gaither says. “With a little costume, makeup, and some attitude, the audience will never know that an adult role is being played by an 18- or perhaps a 16-year-old.”
People routinely ask which movie is this production closest to, the Jonny Depp or Gene Wilder version? Gaither responds, “Well, the Jonny Depp version is closest to the book (by Roald Dahl) but the music comes from the Gene Wilder version. You will find a lot of similarities to both movie versions in this stage performance.”
Anticipating another sold-out performance (like last year’s Beauty & the Beast), Gaither has pre-show tickets going on sale February 28. This year, assigned seating is being utilized, so patrons will be able to select the seat of their choice (based on availability). Payments must be made in order to reserve tickets. Gaither has the layout of the auditorium posted on the school website to make it easier for parents and the community to view a seating chart as well as a form to mail in ticket payments. You will find links to these in the “NEWS” section at the top of the right column of the James A. Garfield High School home page: http://www.garfield.sparcc.org .
People may also call high school secretary, Mrs. Young, at (330) 527-4341 or can stop in at the high school front office during business hours (8 a.m. – 2 p.m.) to purchase tickets.  If you call to reserve tickets, payment must be received within 24 hours or the reservation will be forfeited.
Ticket prices are $7 for adults and $5 for students 18 and under, and for senior citizens. All checks must be made out to James A. Garfield Local Schools. All sales are final; there are no refunds or changing of seats and dates after purchase is made.
Showtimes are at 7:30 p.m. April 7-9, and 2 p.m. on April 10 (doors open 30 minutes prior to start).
Fundraisers are in motion to offset costs for the musical, including school dances, silk rose sales, a concession stand, and program ad sales. ‘Breakfast with the Characters of Willy Wonka’ will also be hosted at James A. Garfield Elementary School in early April, before the start of the school day.  Information will be sent home with all elementary students.

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Mantua – The Mantua-Shalersville Area Chamber of Commerce met on February 16, 2011. The featured business was GoRilla Productions of Mantua. Owner Brent Simon offers custom web design, web maintenance, website tune-ups, and multimedia production. He offers quality services at prices that are affordable.
Crestwood School District is happy to announce that this year the 8th graders will be taking the first trip to Washington D.C. The Scholarship Committee is planning to give out two $1,000 scholarships and is asking for businesses to sponsor holes at the golf outing to help cover the scholarships. Scholarship applications are due by April 19. Applications can be found online at the Mantua-Shalersville Chamber website with complete rules and mailing information.
The Portage County Soap Box Derby has cars and needs drivers. Businesses are also welcome to sponsor a car. For more information on drivers and sponsors, please call Dean at (330) 351-3035, Kelly at (330) 541-1075 or Barb at (330) 931-0537.
Eddie Brunner announced that the Downtown Revitalization now has its 501-c3 status. She reported that they are working on getting money from the County Commissioners and trying to obtain grants.
The majority of the meeting was given to the discussion of the ordinance that the Mayor would like to have put on the ballot limiting truck access on certain common routes into Mantua. The Mayor claims that trucks are causing major damage to certain roads. There are many trucking companies located in Mantua that employ local residents. Also many businesses in Mantua depend on the trucks to get supplies or they can count on supplying trucking companies and drivers with fuel, food, parts and service. The Mayor was invited to attend the Chamber meeting but was unable to attend. It was decided that the Chamber Officers would try to meet with the Mayor before the next meeting.
The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 16th at 7:30am.

Nelson Twp. – Nelson Township Trustees met for their regularly scheduled meeting with about ten residents in attendance. Fiscal officer Mr. Finney presented bills and wages to the trustees; after reviewing them they approved the affidavits. The trustees noted that the windows at the community house were installed and the doors should be in by the end of March.
Mr. Turos gave an overview of the state township meetings that the trustees attended. Items they discussed were cyber liability, snow removal liability, roads, and bridge liability. Mr. Turos also stated that he had the opportunity to share with other townships the legal situation Nelson is in with U.S Liquids. He said he found many were interested in the situation because they were also approached by a “green” company that was interested in establishing a product recycling center in their township.
Trustee Wilson stated that they had received an offer to have the gas well swabbed out this week and this would be cheaper than previously thought. Before the well could be swabbed, they need to prove who is the owner of the wells and pump. Once that is determined, the wells will be swabbed and they will be able to start using the fuel from them in the maintenance building. For the last few months they had been heating the building with portable units.
Trustee Leonard stated that he is still investigating the fuel tank situation and it appears they can do most of the work themselves saving the township money.  New EPA mandates are the reason Nelson has to replace their current tanks with double-walled tanks. Trustee Leonard also stated that the Block Watch Program conducted by Sheriff Doak was attended by 30 residents. The program lasted an hour and everyone seemed interested in seeing this instituted.
Leonard also reported that the web site was up and running. After some investigating and checking with the prosecutor, it was recommended that they not do a blog on the website.
Fiscal officer Finney reported that the general fund of the budget was very tight and he wasn’t sure where else he could cut. This brought up a discussion on the rising insurance cost for township employees and elected officials. Mr. Turos stated that “The insurance cost are a cancer that is eating away our funds”. He also stated that, “It is the trustees responsibility to take care of the roads and cemeteries and the funds are just being eaten up by insurance costs and it has to stop.” The trustees agreed they would have to do something with the insurance costs and would look into it in the near future. Finney stated that the other designated funds were good it was just the general fund that was running very lean.
Mr. Leonard re-introduced Boy Scout Josh Gula from Mantua who is a member of the Nelson troop. Mr. Gula brought drawings for the trustees to check out for the two signs he will build for the township. The signs are Gula’s Eagle Scout project. One will be located at the new baseball field at Pixley Park and the other at the Community House.
The trustees decided to move the township meeting to the Community House until May, that way there will be no confusion over the meeting place while they solve the heat dilemma at the maintenance garage. The trustees meet at 7:30 on the first and third Wednesday of each month.

Garrettsville Mayor Craig Moser and Council President Rick Patrick took a gentlemen’s bet, whether the bridge it would reopen by Monday, February 21 or not.  Guess who won?  Pictured are ODOT Engineer-Craig Dunbar, Community Ambulance-Pam Collins, Fire Chief Dave Friess, Ambulance Chief Chris Sanchez, Mayor Craig Moser, Police Chief Tony Milicia, Council President Rick Patrick, and Councilman Bob Matson.

Garrettsville Mayor Craig Moser and Council President Rick Patrick took a gentlemen’s bet, whether the bridge it would reopen by Monday, February 21 or not. Guess who won? Pictured are ODOT Engineer-Craig Dunbar, Community Ambulance-Pam Collins, Fire Chief Dave Friess, Ambulance Chief Chris Sanchez, Mayor Craig Moser, Police Chief Tony Milicia, Council President Rick Patrick, and Councilman Bob Matson.

Garrettsville – The break in winter weather we experienced last week was just what ODOT needed to take the wraps off the State Route 82 Bridge and re-open it to vehicle traffic… nine months after the old bridge was closed for demolition and reconstruction.
The new, rolled steel frame bridge spanning Eagle Creek at Windham and Main Streets (SR 82) opened on Thursday, February 17 after being closed since May 2010. The historic arch bridge that once linked motorists to downtown Garrettsville had been built in 1932.
“It has been a long and complicated struggle for everyone; especially the Main Street merchants,” stated Council President Rick Patrick.
The new bridge was originally scheduled to re-open in early October 2010, but the extensive demolition process, time-consuming detail work, weather problems and engineering snags accumulated, prolonging the bridge closure. In January 2011, ODOT engineer Craig Dunbar warned that bridgework had to be suspended throughout the remainder of winter, because concrete would not set unless we experienced several consecutive days of dry, above-40-degree-days. Considering the severity of this winter’s weather, Dunbar expected to get back to work in April, with the total project coming to completion in May, one year after the project began.
But that prolonged delay did not sit well with Patrick, who wanted to relieve local businesses and patrons from the inconvenience of the extended bridge closure. “I have been in contact with Craig Dunbar right from the beginning, and just recently had told him that enough is enough! The weather is getting warm enough to re-open for vehicles and we need to make it happen. Craig has been very cooperative throughout the whole project and agreed to do what it would take to get it reopened that week,” Patrick said.
A stretch of sunny, spring-like weather last week melted away the mounds of snow that had covered the bridge all winter, and allowed work crews to make saw-cuts across the deck of the bridge pavement, providing road surface traction. Plastic sheeting came down from around the bridge railings, allowing the concrete to cure in the sun. Roadblocks were removed, detour signs came down, and surprised motorists began crossing the new bridge on Thursday.
The noticeably wider bridge features baluster concrete railings and is illuminated by antique replica iron lamp-posts with etched-glass globes. It is open to motorists, but is not totally completed. Sidewalks, landscaping, concrete sealing and road striping have yet to be done, and a special dedication of two historical markers will be made in the late spring or early summer… and then the $1.8 million project will finally be done.

Garrettsville – True artists are said to look at the world differently. They tap into that side of themselves that allows them to find beauty and melody in things that other people just see as objects. Vox Voronet is a band made up of four musical artists who derived their band’s name from a color of blue seen in a fresco, Voronet Blue. This vibrant, intense shade of blue signifies the intensity of their music.
Vox Voronet’s members came together last spring to create a style of music that is both appealing and intriguing. Like many bands, each member started out with a passion for music. Andy Kohler, originally from Nelson, plays guitar and sings; Chris Wetzl, originally from Youngstown, plays the bass and synthesizer and sings; Matt Kluchar, also from Youngstown, plays drums and sings; and Scott Teresi, originally from Garrettsville, plays the piano and saxophone. Each band member brings his own style and influence to create a unique style of music.
The band’s indie/pop music —  music that is independent of major labels — and its direction are in the hands of the band itself,  not grounded in any specific genre of music. When they practice and play in concert, each member listens to the flow created by the other members and joins in with his own contribution. Their goal is to capture their audience with their music, allowing them to be swept away in the moment and crave more when it is over.
Vox Voronet started doing live shows in the fall of 2010, their first show being at Sadie Rene’s in North Canton. They have played at many different venues since. The band continues to practice and create new music. Their long-term goal is to rework their live performance music into studio format to create a CD for distribution. Currently you can hear them at http://voxvoronet.bandcamp.com and www.youtube.com/voxvoronet. You can also follow them on Facebook to see where they are performing next and what they are up to.
If you are intrigued by this band and their unique sound, you have a chance to see them locally on March 4th. The band is returning to Scott and Andy’s hometown of Garrettsville to perform at the Roller Hutt from 10-11:30pm (admission is $5). This isn’t just a show for the younger generation, parents are welcome to attend and enjoy the show.

“Sizzlers” star Pastor Rick Hughes.

“Sizzlers” star Pastor Rick Hughes.

You’ve still got time to get to some Family Week activities sponsored by the Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary Club.
Friday, February 25 is Friday Night Out.  Take your whole troop to one or more of the local activities-bowling skating, dining, etc.–featured in the Villager pages.  Make an evening of it.  Connect.  Enjoy.
Saturday, February 26 is the Family Fun Festival at the James A. Garfield Elementary School from 11:00am to 2:00pm…food, fun inflatables…games, great doughnut holes…what a good time!  Ask-A-Doc is a new wrinkle and an introduction to Dr. Jessica Bittence, who’ll be the guiding light at the coming Robinson Health Center at Garrettsville.  Come meet the “new kid on the block,” get your blood pressure checked, get information on services and support groups offered by Robinson.  Stay for the awards and prizes.  Bring the family. Make a day of it!
Of course, you missed the 10th Annual Family Music Festival.  It was the kick-off event for the whole week and featured performers from across the spectrum of local talent, from Jill Waters, who opened the proceedings with the National Anthem (accompanied by Rotarian Jim Irwin), through the “Sizzlers” of the Nelson United Methodist Church (You know how the TV people do those “roasts” of celebrities ?  Well, this was a “kinder, gentler”…funnier…version for local consumption.  No major flames but some cute sparks), the Singing Grannies, the choir of the Windham United Methodist Church, the Windham Country Classy Red Hatters, harpist Ellen Eckhouse with a medley of Irish tunes, Tom and Brenda Mesaros and those ever-popular Friends– Roy Pancost, Dale Lacan, and Butch Seiler.  Tina Lemley rounded off the afternoon by leading the audience and performers in singing a family-themed farewell.  Great stuff…and just the beginning!

Hiram – Hiram College’s Lindsay-Crane Center for Writing and Literature invites you to attend a convocation with poet and essayist Rebecca McClanahan on March 1, 2011 at 7 p.m. in the Pritchard Room of Hiram College Library.
Rebecca McClanahan has published nine books, most recently Deep Light: New and Selected Poems and a suite of memoir-based essays, The Riddle Song and Other Rememberings, which won the 2005 Glasgow Prize in Nonfiction. She has also authored four previous books of poetry and three books of writing instruction.
McClanahan’s work has appeared in The Best American Poetry, The Best American Essays, The Pushcart Prize series, Poetry, Kenyon Review, The Georgia Review, The Gettysburg Review, Boulevard, and Ms. Magazine, as well as in anthologies published by Beacon, Norton, Doubleday, St. Martin’s, Putnam, Penguin, and others.  She conducts readings, workshops, and lectures throughout the country, and teaches in the low-residency MFA programs at Queens University and Rainier Writers Workshop. Her current work-in-progress, a multi-generational nonfiction saga of an extended Midwest family, focuses on the difficulties and rewards of communal bonds.
The Lindsay-Crane Center wishes to thank the following organizations for their generous support of this event:  Building Community Through the Arts, the Office of Institutional Advancement, the Office of Alumni Relations, the Office of Special Events, and the Department of Education.

Mantua – About 400 parents, teachers, current and incoming high school students attended Crestwood High School’s first ever 8th Grade Information night, Feb. 15 at Crestwood High School. Forty-five different high school groups participated in the event, ranging from academics to extra-curricular and co-curricular subjects. Many of the tables that the high school students created for the student showcase involved interactive activities and games. Some offered prizes and giveaways.


bout 400 parents, teachers, current and incoming high school students attended Crestwood High School’s first ever 8th Grade Information night, Feb. 15 at Crestwood High School. Forty-five different high school groups participated in the event, ranging from academics to extra-curricular and co-curricular subjects. Many of the tables that the high school students created for the student showcase involved interactive activities and games. Some offered prizes and giveaways.

About 400 parents, teachers, current and incoming high school students attended Crestwood High School’s first ever 8th Grade Information night, Feb. 15 at Crestwood High School. Forty-five different high school groups participated in the event, ranging from academics to extra-curricular and co-curricular subjects. Many of the tables that the high school students created for the student showcase involved interactive activities and games. Some offered prizes and giveaways.

Crestwood Middle School students and their parents were invited to the event which was organized in order to help ease the critical transition between middle school and high school.

“Statistics show that if a student is not successful during his or her 9th grade year, they are much more likely to continue to be unsuccessful during their remaining years of high school and are at an increased risk of not graduating,” said Crestwood High School guidance counselor and event organizer Tracy Kuntz. “We feel that providing guidance and support to students and their parents when they are making the transition from middle school to high school is critical in helping our students to have a successful start to their high school career and future.”
In addition to the student showcase that took place in the high school gym, there were two additional presentations: The first featured high school counselors outlining graduation requirements and scheduling classes for high school. In the second presentation Kent State University Geauga branch representative Tom Hoiles discussed what 8th and 9th graders should be doing now to plan for college after high school.\
“This was the first time that we held this event at Crestwood High School,” said Kuntz. “The participation and dedication that was shown by our high students and staff was remarkable. Everyone came together to make the evening great. This was truly a team effort and a huge success for our students, our building, and our community.”

Mantua – About 400 parents, teachers, current and incoming high school students attended Crestwood High School’s first ever 8th Grade Information night, Feb. 15 at Crestwood High School. Forty-five different high school groups participated in the event, ranging from academics to extra-curricular and co-curricular subjects. Many of the tables that the high school students created for the student showcase involved interactive activities and games. Some offered prizes and giveaways.Crestwood Middle School students and their parents were invited to the event which was organized in order to help ease the critical transition between middle school and high school.“Statistics show that if a student is not successful during his or her 9th grade year, they are much more likely to continue to be unsuccessful during their remaining years of high school and are at an increased risk of not graduating,” said Crestwood High School guidance counselor and event organizer Tracy Kuntz. “We feel that providing guidance and support to students and their parents when they are making the transition from middle school to high school is critical in helping our students to have a successful start to their high school career and future.”In addition to the student showcase that took place in the high school gym, there were two additional presentations: The first featured high school counselors outlining graduation requirements and scheduling classes for high school. In the second presentation Kent State University Geauga branch representative Tom Hoiles discussed what 8th and 9th graders should be doing now to plan for college after high school.\“This was the first time that we held this event at Crestwood High School,” said Kuntz. “The participation and dedication that was shown by our high students and staff was remarkable. Everyone came together to make the evening great. This was truly a team effort and a huge success for our students, our building, and our community.”

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Windham – The wait is finally over for the patrons of the Windham branch of the Portage County District Library. Last Thursday, the library opened to débuted its new facility after being closed for about a month. The library is now located at 9005 Wil-Vern Drive inside the Renaissance Family Center (RFC). The hours to the library have changed so please note the new hours: Monday & Friday 10:00am – 4:00pm and Tuesday – Thursday 12:00pm – 6:30 pm. The library is still waiting on internet connections for their computer lab and phone lines but all other aspects of the library are open. The staff anticipates having all services up and running with in the next two weeks.  They also expect to have their same phone number as soon as the phone company releases it. Watch for the children’s programs to be announced soon.

50

Hiram – All council members were present during the February 8th council meeting except Councilperson Donley.  At 7 pm, Mayor Bertrand called the meeting to order.  After a moment of silence and the Pledge of Allegiance, the Mayor asked for approval of the 1/25/11 Special Council Meeting minutes and the motion was passed as were the minutes from the 1/11/11 regular council meeting.
The Mayor then asked if there were any public issues to be addressed.  A concerned citizen spoke up regarding her concern about the local bar at Hiram College.  She had found out from Facebook and other sources that the bar was planning on having exotic dancers, a wet t-shirt contest and that there was underage drinking and fights occurring.  The Mayor asked the police chief to address those concerns as well as the fire chief.
The police have been aware of these allegations and have been doing routine ID checks especially during the peak business times.  It was thought that the dancers and contest had been cancelled.  Two arrests were made from the fight mentioned above and that  situation was controlled.  The fire department has gone there to check for fire code violations and to verify that the establishment is well within its occupancy limits.  During one check, the occupancy limit was exceeded, the place was closed for a few hours and allowed to reopen as long as limits were kept to the standard.  After much discussion, it was determined that the police and fire were employing diligence to keep the area safe and keep underage patrons from drinking.  They will continue their vigilant stops and watches.
The Police Report was submitted to council along with the yearly report.  The report detailed past and on-going police training schedules and requirements.  Sgt. Fletcher retired after 19 years of service as well as many other years of service elsewhere.  He was praised highly for his service and commitment. The police chief reported that arrests were up.  They are increasing the off-duty police rates to be more current.
The Fire/EMS Report was submitted to council.  They answered 42 calls last month with an average response time of six minutes and two seconds.  The new fire truck is in and they proudly showed it off after the meeting.  They are very happy with the craftsmanship.  The fire/EMS crew has worked very hard getting all the equipment installed and it should be in service shortly.
The village administrator’s report was submitted to council.  He reported that the cemetery fund spent a little more than the income to date.  The first check for the NOPEC grant has arrived and it was allocated to replace the furnace which was an unexpected expense but he was glad to have had the funds.  The new furnace is a highly efficient unit.  There are still two more payments coming from that grant.
The Mayor’s report was also submitted to council.  He detailed more about the NOPEC grant and how it is to be used for energy efficiency and energy improvements.  He commented on a Public Works Grant.  He explained that the Village is trying to purchase some Hiram College land  (at no cost to the residents): no word back at this time regarding the purchase.  He met with the President of Hiram College to discuss a contract increase for fire and police over a two year period.  He also mentioned that the trash hauler contract would include the college.
The Fiscal Officer’s Report was submitted to council.  The fiscal officer urged the council to come up with a five-year plan; to set aside funds for improvements, repairs, and to prepare for other future costs.  She asked for a motion to approve the financial report submitted and it was passed.  She then asked for a motion to pay bills and it was also passed.
Ordinances:
2010-24: Trash Hauler – Removed from table.
2011-01: Zoning Permit and Fee Schedule (2nd reading) – There was more discussion regarding the fee schedule.  It was thought by council, that the proposed increase of variance fees to $250 was too high for residents.  It was determined that the fees charged help cover costs associated with inspections for variances.  A motion was introduced to make the fee $50 instead of $250, the motion was passed.
2011-02: An ordinance amending the permanent appropriations in several funds and declaring an emergency.  A chart was distributed that outlined the funds that needed amendments.  The motion was passed.
2011-03: A resolution authorizing the application for and subsequent acceptance of grant funds by the Village of Hiram and declaring an emergency.  There was concern that the rates were not reflected in the resolution.  The verbiage was changed.  The Village Administrator will present the current resolution for second reading at the next meeting.
The meeting then convened into Executive Session.

The Weekly Villager has prided itself on covering local area news for over 30 years. Our readers look to our paper to provide stories that have meaning to each community.  We also pride ourselves on being a family-friendly newspaper.
Our reporters cover meetings and events, many of which can be controversial. We do our best to report the facts. Our aim is to provide our readers with an unbiased look into situations which at times can be very emotional.

Over the years we have fielded many phone calls asking why we did not report all of the “he said, she said” activity at a meeting or event.  Our answer is simply this — we will report the news objectively.

We firmly believe that once again, another small American town will overcome the in-fighting and band together!

That being said, we at the Villager feel that Newton Falls is a great community, one which has a lot to offer its residents, businesses and visitors and one which we are proud to be associated with!

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Garrettsville – Just when it appears that there will be no end to stagnating winter doldrums, Family Week breaks up the monotony with live entertainment, contests, dinners out, a health fair and carnival of fun. Sponsored by the Garrettsville-Hiram chapter of the Rotary Club, this annual weeklong celebration to empower the family runs from Sunday, February 20 – Saturday, February 26. And it’s all free!
New this year is a Health Fair on Saturday during the Family Fun Festival, 11a.m.-2 p.m. Robinson Memorial Hospital will be at Garfield Elementary School to introduce Dr. Jessica Bittence of Garrettsville Family Medicine and the Robinson Health Center at Garrettsville, which will open near the high school and Just for Kids child care center on State Route 88 later this spring. Dr. Bittence will be at an “Ask-A-Doc” table, so the community can meet her and ask questions. The doctor will offer blood pressure readings and hand out information on different services and support groups Robinson offers.
The week’s activities kick off with a Music Festival featuring live performances by local vocal groups at 2 p.m. Sunday, February 20 at Garfield Middle School’s Iva Walker Auditorium.
Tuesday, February 22 is Grandparents’ Night at Portage County Library’s Garrettsville Branch, from 5-6:30 p.m.
Friday, February 25 is Family Night Out, with participating local merchants offering special deals to inspire families to go out together for the night. (See the ad in today’s Villager.)
Winners of family-friendly contests will be publicly awarded at Rotary Family Week’s Recognition Program on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m., following the festival. Students aged K-12 from Garfield, Windham, private and home schools are competing in an art contest with pieces that reflect the Rotary Family Week Theme: “Putting Families First.” Judges will select from each grade category the three entries that best reflect the Family Week Theme, originality and neatness.
A community-wide photo contest (open to all residents of Freedom, Garrettsville, Hiram, Nelson and Windham) is also based on the “Family First” theme in two categories – individual photo and a photo collage. These family photos reflect any one or all of the following characteristics:
• Having Family Fun Together
• Memorable Family Activity
• Our Family Adventure
• Reflecting a Family Tradition
• A Humorous Family Moment
• A Special Family Vacation
• Other Family Photos depicting special events or memories
The Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary Club has also searched out the longest-married couple living in the communities of Freedom, Garrettsville, Hiram, Nelson, and Windham. The Longest-Married Couple in our area will be honored during the awards ceremony on Saturday, February 26. In addition to being recognized, the couple will receive an assortment of gifts from local businesses, including Sparkle Market, IGA, Art N Flowers, The Hiram Inn, and Main Street Grille Restaurant.
Finally, the selection of a Family-of-the-Year (from Freedom, Garrettsville, Hiram, Nelson, or Windham) will be celebrated as part of Rotary Family Week, because “Strong families are the building blocks of strong communities,” says Rotary president Amy Crawford. A family exemplary of the Family Week theme will be recognized and honored Saturday afternoon, with an Ohio Family Fun prize package.
Eligible families have been nominated by community members who submitted essays describing how the family puts their family first and increases family time together. This contest — and the entire line-up of Rotary’s Family Week activities — was founded on the basis of former First Lady Barbara Bush’s famous statement, “Our success as a society depends not on what happens in the White House but on what happens inside your house.”

Garrettsville  – Just when it appears that there will be no end to stagnating winter doldrums, Family Week breaks up the monotony with live entertainment, contests, dinners out, a health fair and carnival of fun. Sponsored by the Garrettsville-Hiram chapter of the Rotary Club, this annual weeklong celebration to empower the family runs from Sunday, February 20 – Saturday, February 26. And it’s all free!
New this year is a Health Fair on Saturday during the Family Fun Festival, 11a.m.-2 p.m. Robinson Memorial Hospital will be at Garfield Elementary School to introduce Dr. Jessica Bittence of Garrettsville Family Medicine and the Robinson Health Center at Garrettsville, which will open near the high school and Just for Kids child care center on State Route 88 later this spring. Dr. Bittence will be at an “Ask-A-Doc” table, so the community can meet her and ask questions. The doctor will offer blood pressure readings and hand out information on different services and support groups Robinson offers.
The week’s activities kick off with a Music Festival featuring live performances by local vocal groups at 2 p.m. Sunday, February 20 at Garfield Middle School’s Iva Walker Auditorium.
Tuesday, February 22 is Grandparents’ Night at Portage County Library’s Garrettsville Branch, from 5-6:30 p.m.
Friday, February 25 is Family Night Out, with participating local merchants offering special deals to inspire families to go out together for the night. (See the ad in today’s Villager.)
Winners of family-friendly contests will be publicly awarded at Rotary Family Week’s Recognition Program on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m., following the festival. Students aged K-12 from Garfield, Windham, private and home schools are competing in an art contest with pieces that reflect the Rotary Family Week Theme: “Putting Families First.” Judges will select from each grade category the three entries that best reflect the Family Week Theme, originality and neatness.
A community-wide photo contest (open to all residents of Freedom, Garrettsville, Hiram, Nelson and Windham) is also based on the “Family First” theme in two categories – individual photo and a photo collage. These family photos reflect any one or all of the following characteristics:
• Having Family Fun Together
• Memorable Family Activity
• Our Family Adventure
• Reflecting a Family Tradition
• A Humorous Family Moment
• A Special Family Vacation
• Other Family Photos depicting special events or memories
The Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary Club has also searched out the longest-married couple living in the communities of Freedom, Garrettsville, Hiram, Nelson, and Windham. The Longest-Married Couple in our area will be honored during the awards ceremony on Saturday, February 26. In addition to being recognized, the couple will receive an assortment of gifts from local businesses, including Sparkle Market, IGA, Art N Flowers, The Hiram Inn, and Main Street Grille Restaurant.
Finally, the selection of a Family-of-the-Year (from Freedom, Garrettsville, Hiram, Nelson, or Windham) will be celebrated as part of Rotary Family Week, because “Strong families are the building blocks of strong communities,” says Rotary president Amy Crawford. A family exemplary of the Family Week theme will be recognized and honored Saturday afternoon, with an Ohio Family Fun prize package.
Eligible families have been nominated by community members who submitted essays describing how the family puts their family first and increases family time together. This contest — and the entire line-up of Rotary’s Family Week activities — was founded on the basis of former First Lady Barbara Bush’s famous statement, “Our success as a society depends not on what happens in the White House but on what happens inside your house.”

52

So did you make it down to the Community EMS Boot Camp last Saturday? Why not? You still have time to join in the effort to shaping up our community. Joining doesn’t mean you have to lose weight, maybe you would like to simply tone up or get into shape for the upcoming summer. The point is that you can still join the other sixteen participants by calling Community EMS at (330) 527-4100.
In my last article I told you how well we at the Villager did on our physical fitness test. (Yes, I’ve still got muscles hurting that I had forgotten that I even had!) This week I promised to let you know what our plans are for reaching our goals. Michelle has set her personal goal to tone up. She has decided to focus on walking and doing sit-ups; push-ups are not high up on her list as she feels that each paper-delivery day she gets plenty of upper body work out. Chris has set her personal goal to strengthen her core muscles to help alleviate back pain and lose a little weight. She has decided to change her eating habits, exercise and keep a positive outlook. (Secretly, Michelle and Chris want to make sure they live long enough to become a burden upon their children.)
I have set my personal goal to lose some weight and get into shape. This week I began the weaning process. (I know it sounds like procrastination to you all, but from a professional procrastinator like myself I assure you it is not.) I have cut down on the salt, sugar, soda pop, and snacking. I have also kept myself out of the kitchen after 7pm and am drinking more water.
I also plan to add some exercise at least three times a week – beginning Monday. Like a true friend, Michelle has offered to steal my hidden stash of candy and run, thus causing me to chase her and that would definitely count as exercise. If you have Time Warner you may be surprised that there are many exercise channels that allow you to do anything from kickboxing to Pilates. I am going to focus on aerobics to help burn calories. I would like to start losing some weight before I switch my exercises to tone up.
Need some helpful ideas on getting started? How about keeping a small notebook to record what you have eaten, how much water you have drunk, and how long you are exercising. This may not seem like much, but it gives you something to look at to improve upon. Remember that reaching your goal is competition with yourself, not others. How about finding that favorite summer outfit in the back of your closet, go ahead and try it on. Does it fit? Hang it on your closet door and try it on every week to measure how well you are doing. Stay away from the scale! I don’t own a scale for a reason – they are more depressing than the evening news. Exercising also causes you to build muscle that weighs more than fat. If you don’t totally avoid the scale, then at least don’t step on it every day; it does nothing for your ego.
Community EMS Boot Camp is planning fun things for the participants to do, including canoeing and walks. Not only can you improve your self-image and your self-esteem but you can make some new friends while you are at it!

57

Garrettsville – Village Council opened their monthly meeting on Wednesday, February 10th  with Mayor Moser  recognizing Council President Rick Patrick’s half-century birthday; they then got down to business.  The mayor, five council members, the village solicitor & clerk-treasurer were all in attendance (councilwoman Karen Clyde was absent).  The minutes of February’s meeting were approved with one minor correction to who was in attendance.  There was a quick discussion about tax revenue increasing and upcoming bills that would need to be paid before a motion to pay the current bills was passed.

The first thing on the agenda was to clarify the definition of employee comp time as presented in the village employee manual.  After much discussion, it was deemed that the intent of the original definition was that no employee shall carry more than forty hours of comp time at any time.  The mayor and council further clarified the issue by stating any comp time earned in excess of the forty hours will be paid as overtime by the end of the pay period in which it was earned.  Currently, employees carrying more than forty hours will be paid for the overage in the next pay period (the end of February) to bring everyone down to the forty-hour cap.   It was also suggested an ordinance was needed to purge the employee manual of confusing verbiage.

Next, council passed a motion to pay the Garrettsville branch of the Portage County Library a portion of the cost of their annual 2010 utilities as has been done in past years.

Up for discussion next were the vehicle replacement options for the village police department.  The new vehicle will be replacing an older, high-mileage cruiser and will also be able to accommodate the K-9 unit.  After looking at what was available and considering the benefits and needs of the department, council voted to approve the purchase of an outfitted Chevy Tahoe.  The cost of the base vehicle through Charles Chevrolet is $26,914.55 and will come from the general fund.  The equipment needed to outfit the new cruiser will cost $16,136.85 and will come from the drug & alcohol fund.  Council President Rick Patrick said the cruiser that is being replaced will be auctioned off.

Councilman Chuck Klamer reported on the status of the sidewalk project.  He said the plan is to finish Center Street and then move to Liberty Street.  He also reported that no determination has been made yet to whether the sidewalks on Liberty Street will be on the east or west side, but that the east side would have a tie-in with the [Reserve at Eagle Creek] development which is required to put in sidewalks as part of zoning.  It was decided to table further discussion on the project for now.

The mayor updated everyone on the Economic Development Board meeting that was held February 3rd.  He stated the topic of discussion was whether chicken coops were against village ordinance or not.   He said currently residents were allowed to keep the fowl as long as they were contained and not allowed to roam free.  A motion was passed for the Development Board to do more research on the subject before a final determination is made.  The mayor also stated that talks are on hold with T-Mobile for the antenna project for the top of the water tower.

Council President Rick Patrick gave an update on the SR 82 bridge.  He said all work is on hold until the weather stays above 40 degrees.  The contractor still has to make cuts in the concrete decking which can’t be done in the cold temperatures.  He also said the state’s plan is to seal the bridge with the same colored sealer they used on the South Street bridge.  He said the contractor advised him to send a letter to the state requesting a clear sealer.

Patrick also updated everyone on the accessorizing of the new dump truck and said the old truck it replaced will be listed on eBay soon.
The next regular Village Council meeting will be held on March 9th at &:30 p.m. at Village Hall.

Garrettsville – Brian Gorby is a proud father. And he has every right to be. His son, Travis, has been selected as McDonald’s Student Athlete of the Week, representing the Greater Cleveland/Northeast Ohio area. A television news crew from WEWS Channel 5 traveled to the Garrettsville G-Plex sports complex on Tuesday night to video and interview the freshman soccer standout for broadcast on Wednesday.

Travis  — who just turned 15 in October — coaches a soccer foot skills clinic every Tuesday night at the G-Plex for rookies aged 4 -14. Travis started every varsity game this year as a freshman at James A. Garfield High School, playing outside midfielder. The JAG varsity soccer team won a record number of games this past season, advancing to the state regional tournament against CVCA, which ultimately won the state title.

Not only did Travis earn his varsity letter, but he received the Top Freshman Award from Head Coach Michael Coney, and the Portage Trail Conference Scholar Athlete Award for Academic Achievement while participating in the sport. Travis maintained a perfect 4.0 grade average while taking Advanced Placement college-level classes…  with perfect attendance, too.

Travis has been playing soccer for 11 years now — on 55 different teams. He has played in almost 500 soccer games, scoring 650+ goals and making 700+ assists. While in eighth grade, he was playing on four different teams in four different leagues at the same time (finishing up two indoor leagues while playing on two outdoor leagues). The teams went a combined 44-1-1, with Travis scoring 96goals and 106 assists, primarily playing the center midfielder and forward positions.

While WEWS Channel 5 puts Garrettsville in the regional spotlight, its prestigious honor is especially significant for Travis, who has been selected for an award usually set aside for upperclassmen; and among peers from big schools in the most competitive athletic divisions.

Since 2007, relatively few student athletes from Portage County have been named McDonald’s Student Athlete of the Week. The only former James A. Garfield student listed is Olivia Dressler, named during her 2008-09 senior year; one of the top female goal scorers in Ohio soccer history.

The McDonald’s Student Athlete of the Week honors teens who are “true all-stars, both on and off the field.”  Nominations are taken on behalf of those deserving recognition for hard work and a winning attitude.

Coaches, teachers, friends, family members, teammates, classmates or neighbors can submit the names of students who excel at their game, give back to the community and value education. News Channel 5 honors athletes each week who set examples in the classroom, on their team and in the community.

Travis is accustomed to achieving high aspirations at a young age. While in middle school as a member of Beta Club, he was selected as a People to People Student Ambassador and traveled throughout Europe for three weeks during the summer of 2009, visiting Belgium, England, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

He has also been Student of the Month at Garfield almost every year since first grade, and has won numerous other academic and athletic awards over the years, including a Portage County D.A.R.E. essay award when he was in fifth grade.

According to Travis’ father, “His trophies and medals almost clutter his room because there are so many, and I have cut out many articles and saved stacks of newspapers with his name in them for his scra book, along with all of the academic and athletic awards programs from the school that I save with his name in them. He has numerous letters of recognition and congratulations from the superintendent, the board of education, his past principals and teachers. I could go on and on… and if you couldn’t tell, I am very proud of him (I’m proud of all three of my sons).”