Home Community News Ravenna


Ravenna – Each year the Parade Committee selects the Grand Marshal from a pool of candidates that has been submitted by the citizens of Ravenna.  The candidate must be a community-minded Ravenna resident who has had a positive impact in the community. The committee asks that when nominating, the reason and some background information be included.

The Grand Marshal will preside over the grand parade and all other festivities of the Balloon A-Fair Festival.  The Balloon A-Fair Festival will be held September 17, 18, 19 & 20 2015.

Written nominations for Grand Marshal should be submitted no later than February 6, 2015.  Mail to: Ravenna Balloon A-Fair, Attention Parade Committee, and P.O. BOX 454, RAVENNA, OHIO 44266.  For more information, call 330-296-FAIR. 

Ravenna – The inaugural Robinson Memorial Hospital Hospice Hope 5K Run/Walk was held on October 4, 2014. Robinson Visiting Nurse and Hospice staff coordinated the day’s events to raise funds to continue providing care to  uninsured and underinsured Portage County residents. Robinson Visiting Nurse and Hospice serves over 300 patients a year.  In 2013, over $127,000 in charity care was provided to ensure a patient’s comfort at the end of life regardless of their ability to pay.  

Despite the poor weather, 173 runners/walkers came to the Ravenna High School stadium to begin the course. The run/walk went through neighborhoods, utilized the bike and hike trail, ending in front of the stadium.  

The overall winners were Joel Dagenhardt with a time of 17:22 and Grace Homany who finished at 23:40.  

Other winners, by age bracket, were:  

1-14 Troy Dyers Calli Hahn

15-19 John Kilbourne Morgan Englehart

20-29 Dennis Kirimi Ashley Kassimer

30-39 Andrew Adam Meredith Black

40-49 Robert Black Jessica Bittence

50-59 Joe Tarantino Kathy Beers

60-69 Darrell Gammon Linda Black

70 + Bob Chittenden Phyllis Spangler

With the help of our Gold Sponsors: Altercare Post-Acute Rehabilitation Center, Inc., The Woodlands at Robinson Health and Rehabilitation Center, and Giving Well Family Foundation; our Silver Sponsors: Dave and Kathy Pangallo, Bill and Eddye White – Twin Star Lanes, North East Ambulance Service, and Giant Eagle of Ravenna; and numerous Bronze Sponsors and friends of Hospice, the event was able to raise over $10,000.  The day would not have been as successful without the assistance of the Ravenna Police and Service Department, the Ham Radio Club, the residents of Lincoln Street, our many volunteers and the Ravenna High School.  

For more information on Robinson Visiting Nurse and Hospice or how you can help people at the end of life, contact 330-297-8899.

Ravenna – Come join Portage Park District volunteer Naturalist Joe Malmisur and Dr. Sarah Maybe on Monday Dec 8th for the second in the Park District’s birding in Portage County series. It doesn’t matter if you did not attend the first session, we will be reviewing what we covered on Nov 10th.  The second session will focus on bird anatomy and the Christmas Bird Count that will take place on Dec 14th. Special guest instructor, Jamey L. Emmert, Wildlife Communication Specialist for the Ohio Division of Wildlife will be talking about bird anatomy and will review the idea of size and shape in identifying birds. We will have several actual bird mounts, from the small Hummingbird to the very large Sand Hill Crane, to get a good perspective on size and shape. It should be a HOOOOT!

This event will be held at the Portage Park District office located at 705 Oakwood St G4, Ravenna, OH.


Ravenna –  Portage APL and their furry friends invite you to attend PAWS TO TASTE 2014 Wine and Beer Tasting to benefit Portage Animal Protective League.  This year’s event will be held on Saturday, December 6th at the Overlook in Kent (formerly the Fairways at Twin Lakes) and tickets are $50.00 per person (assigned seating).  Event sponsorships are also available. The evening will include a sampling of select wines, Great Lakes beers, heavy hors d’ oeuvres, a silent auction, wine pull and raffles.

What a great way to enjoy a night out and also help animals in need. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every time you went out for drinks or food, it made a positive impact on your community?  Well, rest assured, Paws to Taste will meet that requirement! Have fun = help homeless animals.  For more information or to make reservations please call the Portage APL at 330-296-4022 by November 28th. You can also register online at http://www.portageapl.org/paws-to-taste-2014/  Join us in welcoming the holiday season by a warm fire!

Portage APL is also looking for donated auction items like gift baskets, sports items, art, jewelry, spa items, gift certificates and more.

The Portage APL is a private, nonprofit organization and relies on the generosity and kindness of individuals and businesses to make our community a safer place for thousands of animals, who have no voice.  We continue to rescue animals every day and the need is constant.


The Portage County Crisis Intervention Team graduated its ninth class in October. Class members attended a week-long training sponsored by the Mental Health & Recovery Board of Portage County and the Portage County Sheriff’s Office. The purpose of the class is to provide safety forces with tools including de-escalation techniques to work with people in crisis, some with mental illness. Class members were Ashley Baden of Coleman Access; Deanna Tackett of Coleman Access; Dispatcher Josee Acklin of the Streetsboro Police Department; Officer Nicole Lipcsey of the Kent Police Department; Fire Medic Brock Bailey of the Streetsboro Fire Department; Lt. Jim  Bucks of Streetsboro Fire; Officer Jeff Blubaugh of Robinson Memorial Hospital; Sgt. James Mitchell of the Sheriff’s Office; Officer Jared Bowen of the Kent Police Department; Officer Joseph Hadaway of Kent PD; and Ptl. Steve Chapman of the Hiram Police Department. Instructors and coordinators included Sgt. Andy Suvada of the Streetsboro PD, Officer Jeff Futo of Kent State University Police Services, Major Dennis Missimi of the Sheriff’s Office and Joel Mowrey, Ph.D., executive director of the MHRB.


Ravenna – Robinson Memorial Hospital has taken steps to have the entire emergency and case management departments’ workers go through specialized training and role-playing scenarios to best treat patients with mental health issues.

“Dealing with people who have behavioral issues can be challenging, stated Sharon Hissom, lieutenant, Police and Protective Services. “The patient can be calm to combative. With training, direct care staff (emergency department and case management) can learn techniques to de-escalate the patient before their behavior escalates and other types of intervention are needed.”

Bringing a training course to Robinson Memorial was a project of Lieutenant Sharon Hissom of Robinson Memorial Hospital Police and Protective Services and Darla Andrews, Occupations Development. Every one of the officers on staff at Robinson Memorial goes through crisis intervention team training, a 40-hour training course offered through the Portage County Sheriff’s Office. When the officers went through the training this year, Lieutenant Hissom thought it would be beneficial to bring back a similar training to the hospital staff.

The de-escalation training provided by Robinson Memorial is a combination of the crisis intervention team training that the officers undergo at the Sheriff’s Office and CPI (Crisis Prevention Institute) training, which the hospital already provides to its employees.

Besides class discussions, employees will have real live scenarios in how to handle patient situations. Actors from the Kent State University theatre program will act out scenarios while staff de-escalates the situation. Staff will experience patients who are dealing with mental issues. Members of the community and the Mental Health and Recovery Board will also attend the training to observe the interactions.

“It’s one thing to talk about what to do in certain situations; it’s a whole different learning event when what you are taught needs to be put into action,” stated Hissom. “The actors dress the part and never fall out of character. Because these actors are not known to staff, the role play is taken very seriously. Another simulation activity places the staff members in a scenario where they actually hear voices speaking in their ears as they attempt to complete assignments and answer questions. The goal is to enhance understanding and compassionate care for individuals experiencing behavioral issues and to decrease the risk of injury for all.”

Courses began October 1 and will run through November 20.


Ravenna – Stop by Portage APL on September 27, 2014 from 11-3 for a rummage sale and help homeless animals.  From small appliances and books to dog and cat supplies and household items, there’s something for everyone.

People interested in donating items, can bring the items to Rt. 14 Storage and Embroidery M-F 9-5 and Sat 9-1 in Ravenna up until the day before the event. No clothes, large appliances or furniture, old TV’s or computers please. Items should be gently used or new and in good working order.  Portage APL will take items like books, jewelry, handbags, small appliances, tools, home accessories and more. There will be 50/50 and basket raffles as well as refreshments.

And of course, since the event is being held at the APL shelter, there will be plenty of homeless animals waiting for new homes.  All animals available for adoption are up to date on vaccines, spayed or neutered, checked for appropriate disease and free of fleas and worms.  Many are also microchipped and have an additional medical history.

The Portage APL is a private, nonprofit organization and relies on the generosity and kindness of individuals and businesses to make our community a safer place for thousands of animals who have no voice.  We continue to rescue animals every day and the need is constant. Please give a needy animal a loving place to call home!


Ravenna – The Portage County Gardeners is hosting a Holiday Craft &Gift Boutique at the garden center 5154 S. Prospect St. Ravenna, Ohio 44266.

Opening night is on Thursday, October 16 from  4-8p.m. The boutique will continue Friday and Saturday Oct 17 & 18 from 9-3 p.m.

There will be hand crafted items created by the members, mums, bulbs, knit wear, Halloween and Christmas crafts,  baked goods, a Chinese raffle and a special limited raffle for a huge grape vine decorated tree with 2nd and 3rd prizes and more.  Thursday evening will have free appetizers, with a $5.00 fee for you entrance ticket, and then on Fri. and Sat. the entrance fee is $1.00 with  luncheon available.

Come out and start your holiday shopping of these lovely handcrafted items.

Thinking of decorating your home for the holidays? This is the place to find unusual items for gifts or for you. Decorate your home entrance with the beautiful mums available.

Ravenna – The Portage County Health Department would like to remind all parents of incoming kindergarteners and 7th graders that their children will be required by Ohio law to have certain immunizations in order to attend school. Kindergarteners are required to have 5 doses DTaP, 4 doses Polio, 3 doses Hep B, 2 doses MMR, and 2 doses Chickenpox. 7th graders are required to have a combination booster shot of tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis vaccine, otherwise known as Tdap. Additional vaccines are recommended for this age group including the meningitis vaccine and the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. All of these vaccines are available at the Portage County Health Department.

Regular Childhood Immunization Clinics are held every Wednesday from 8:00am-12:00 noon at the Portage County Health Department. Additional locations for childhood immunizations provided by the Portage County Health Department are Kent City Health Department-every 3rd Wednesday from 3:00pm-5:00pm and Windham Renaissance Family Center-every 4th Tuesday from 11:00am-3:00pm.

Cost is $10 per shot, FREE to those who cannot pay. Medicaid, Buckeye, Care Source, and United Health accepted. Please bring immunization records.

Ravenna – This is definitely the hands-on workshop you’ve been dreaming of. With a few basics, you’ll making candies to take home with you as well as sampling a few as you work. Yum!

On Saturday, November 8th from 10 am – Noon, you’ll learn what chocolate to use, how it should be handled, and how to turn the basic melted chocolate into a variety of different candies. See how to create a nut bark and delicious peppermint bark using simple microwave recipes.

At the conclusion of this workshop, you will be able to create a variety of simple, delicious chocolates, nut brittles, barks and more.

Participants receive instructions and recipes, plus a nice collection of your own handcrafted confections to enjoy after class.

Register today — the class will be held  at 5154 S. Prospect St. Ravenna,Ohio. The fee is  $25- call Helena at 330-673-0577 for pre-registration and payment information. Deadline for registration is Oct. 25, 2014. Class Size: 20 (no children under 10)

Ravenna – For a child, being able to draw may be the only way of telling adults about a terrible, frightening or violent experience. Two young area children who are working through trauma have been drawing for NiCole Bartlett, a therapist at Children’s Advantage in Ravenna.

One of the simple drawings shows a family room with a mother and beloved pet. The other is Bartlett’s office with a poster that reads “Color Outside the Lines.” These are the children’s safe places from bad dreams, anger and fear.

Bartlett and fellow staff members at Children’s Advantage, a mental health center treating children, teens and families, trained for a week with national experts this past summer to further develop the agency’s services for Trauma Informed Care. TIC is a general term for trauma services including the use of sensory tools such as drawing and music to support children and teens as they talk about how trauma has affected them. The focus is not on the behavior but what caused the behavior. TIC further guides the therapist in ways to separate the child or teen from the traumatic experience and allow him or her to heal.

The trauma may be abuse experienced by the child or teen; witnessing family violence; homelessness; illness; separation from family; or being involved in a horrific incident such as a fire or accident.

“The art shows me what it is like for this child. It important to understand what has happened to him or her. We become a witness to the trauma which is very important to the kids. They welcome it,” said Bartlett.

The Mental Health & Recovery Board of Portage County provided funding for the training which included staff from the Children’s Advocacy Center of Portage County located at Robinson Memorial Hospital. The center works with children, teens and their families when abuse has been reported, reducing the number of interviews and supporting families with education and referrals.

Children’s Advantage Clinical Director Mary McCracken said the agency is seeing numerous youngsters whose symptoms mirror how adults react when they experience or witness violence or terror. CA staff is specifically using Structured Sensory Intervention for Traumatized Children, Adolescents and Parents (SITCAP) therapy and seeing progress with youngsters and families.

“My child was having great difficulty with bad dreams and seeing creepy shadows. The process with the art and talking helped her. She no longer dreams like she did and she feels safe. In my opinion, it is very important to heal from trauma so you move forward in life,” said one of the parents. The names of the families interviewed were not used to maintain confidentiality.

Jean West, a SITCAP trainer and school social worker from Missouri who led part of the training in Ravenna, explained that children who have experienced trauma will have behavior problems, physical problems such as stomach and headaches, depression, anxiety and often lack the ability to trust adults. They carry shame and often blame themselves. They are more likely to run away and become involved with the juvenile justice system.

“Safety and familiarity are scary. Chaos becomes normal,” she said describing long-term trauma victims.

With the activity of drawing or another form of expression, the young person can identify the trauma even if he or she cannot give it a name. With the help of a therapist, the feelings and behaviors are named, talked about and “contained ” or understood, an important way allowing the child to re-establish order and control.

SITCAP therapy is based on brain and physiological research with youth.  The workshop included presentations by Dr. William Steele, founder of the National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children™ who developed the therapy method. His work treating children with trauma started in 1990 before children were included in the diagnostic category of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Part of the training for the local workshop, SITCAP is used in thousands of schools and agencies across the country and undergoes continuous field testing and rigorous evidence-based research.

Steele explained that prolonged exposure to stress from trauma causes changes to the brain that reduce a young person’s ability to verbalize emotions. His method gives therapists the tools to help youngsters de-stress with drawing, relaxation, deep breathing, exercise, talking and music.

CA case manager Traci Gibbons said a breakthrough for one of her teen clients came when the teen brought her a cd with music she had copied. Gibbons said the music described how the young person felt; giving Gibbons the key to unlock the trauma and start the healing process.

Working with parents is also a large part of the method, helping them understand what their child has experienced, Steele told workshop participants.

“I was shocked to learn that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder affects children and could cause behavior change. We are now aware of the cause of our child’s behavior and how to help him make positive changes. He began to talk about his feelings with the therapist and he felt safe again,” said a parent of the second family interviewed.

Children’s Advantage receives funding from the Mental Health & Recovery Board of Portage County to provide mental health services to children, teens and families who are Portage County residents.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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


Ravenna - The Portage County Gardeners recently held a mozzarella cheese making workshop. Fifteen people took the class instructed by Marilyn Tyger and Helena Parry.

After cooking up the milk and other cheese making ingredients, the group had to persevere to get  the curds to finally process into cheese.  Sarah Perdue and Mary Jo Ryan were given a round of applause as they finally got their curds to form into some cheese.  All of the participants were given cheese making ingredients and recipes to take home to make their own cheese.  The instructors also provided samples of mozzarella to taste along with fresh garden tomatoes and zucchini  from the Parry garden. Tyger prepared her  dip mixes for tasting as well.

The next event of the PCGC is a canning workshop on Aug. 9 from 10 a.m. to noon.

Also on Aug. 9 the PCGC will hold a Mink Shed/Garage Sale from 9am.- 2p.m. Slate roof shingles, basket reed, crafting supplies,bottle tree kits and much more will be available.  For further information call Diane Jendrisak 330-673-4982 or Mary Jo Ryan 330-296-3633.

Ravenna – On August 16, 2014, Portage APL and the Paws for Golf Committee hope you will join them for a fun filled day of golf.  All proceeds benefit the APL and the nearly a thousand animals rescued and adopted each year. The outing will be held at Sugar Bush Golf Club in Garrettsville from 12pm – 7pm.  This 18-hole scramble includes a cart, lunch, free beverages, gifts, BBQ dinner as well as skill and door prizes!

To register call the APL at 330.296.4022. Cost is $100 per golfer or $35 for dinner only.

The Portage APL is a private, nonprofit organization and relies on the generosity and kindness of individuals and businesses to make our community a safer place for thousands of animals, who have no voice.  We continue to rescue animals every day and the need is constant.

To register or for more information, please call the Portage APL at 330.296.4022 or visit our website at www.portageapl.org


Ravenna - Coleman Adult Day Services is offering an informational session to those Portage County families and caregivers who are feeling the stresses of being the main support of a loved one in need, targeting those who are assisting someone who has Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias. This free event will be held on Tuesday, June 10th at 5:30p.m. at the Coleman Adult Day Services facility, 6695 N. Chestnut St., in Ravenna, near Ravenna High School. A free dinner is included and our staff will also be present to provide care to your loved ones if needed. Although this session is free, an RSVP is required by June 3rd as seating is limited to only 75.

Dr. Jim Collins, Ph.D., is guest speaking on the very serious matters of both caregiver burnout and depression as well as medication misuse among the elderly.  Dr. Collins has taught gerontology, sociology, anthropology, and psychology which paved the way to providing training, education and motivation to senior care companies, hospice, home health care, and hospitals for more than 20 years. He is known for his writings, consulting, and his continuing education classes both live and online.

Dementia is not a single disease in itself. Instead, it’s a collective term used to describe a group of symptoms affecting thinking and social abilities severe enough to interfere with daily functioning. It indicates problems with at least two brain functions such as memory loss, impaired judgment, language, and the inability to perform some daily activities.

Unfortunately, dementia is an incurable disease and can get extremely frustrating. The feelings of anger, guilt, discouragement, worry, and social isolation are very common. However, services and facilities such as Coleman’s Adult Day Services make it easier on the chosen caregiver. They provide an affordable alternative that allows caregivers time for work, personal or other family needs. While at Adult Day, caring and certified professionals will treat your family member like one of their own. They will participate in structured, therapeutic and social activities that are goal oriented for mind, body, and spirit that will provide stimulation and the best opportunity for success for our participants.

CEU certificates for 2 hours will also be available for any nurses and social workers that may need them. For more information regarding the June 10th informational session or to RSVP please contact Coleman Adult Day Services at (330) 296-3214.


Ravenna - The annual Portage County 4-H member recognition and achievement program was held recently at Maplewood Career Center.  4-H members and clubs were recognized for outstanding performances in 2013.

Lto R   Doug Rohal- Leadership Washington Focus trip, Morgan Bellar- Sea Camp, Jacqueline Moss- Citizenship Washington Focus trip, and Jacob Rohal- Forestry Camp Photo: Roberta R. Gallagher

Lto R Doug Rohal- Leadership Washington Focus trip, Morgan Bellar- Sea Camp, Jacqueline Moss- Citizenship Washington Focus trip, and Jacob Rohal- Forestry Camp
Photo: Roberta R. Gallagher

Among the awards presented were Blue Ribbon Awards for club secretaries and treasurers who submitted accurate and complete record books for their clubs.

4-H Week Window Decorating/ 4-H Awareness contest winners included the Edinburg Seambusters, Creatures N’ Features, The Outlaws, Everything Under the Sun, Portage County Shepherds, Kitchen Crew, The Alpha Pack, Field Nimble Thimbles and Country Cooks, and the Garrettsville Town Trotters.

The Portage County 4-H Life Skills Committee awarded $500 scholarships to members who have taken on  life skills projects. Recipients included Rachel Maefs, Garrett Rohal, Tyler Flynn, and Rachel Neal.

Clubs that met the criteria of Clubs of Distinction/Honor Clubs included the 10thCavalry, Critter Getters, Edinburg Seambusters, Everything Under the Sun, Garrettsville Town Trotters, Goats-R-Us, Kitchen Crew, Kritters & Kids, Market Masters, Nosey Nibblers, Paws-N-Claws, Portage County Shepherds, Portage County Unleashed, Portage Projects, Portage Steakmakers, Rootstown Small Ones, St. Joseph Green Rangers, The Alpha Pack, and The Outlaws.

The dog, goat, horse, and small animal committees recognized members in the areas of leadership, citizenship, most improved, and a number of other species specific awards.

County Gold Medal Award winners were Cory Mathia for horses, Megan MacIntyre for dogs, Samantha Eckhart for swine, Jamie Willis for sheep, Kyle Kissamore for beef, Seth Allen for poultry, Ryan Kissamore for goats, Emma Tuel for clothing and textiles, and Pachel Parks for achievement.

4-H Camps and Trip Award winners included Jacqueline Moss for Citizenship Washington Focus Trip, Caroline Blay and Douglas Rohal for Leadership Washington Focus Trip, Morgan Bellar for Sea Camp, Emily Simmons for Carving New Ideas Workshop, Emily Starkey for Ohio 4-H Space Adventure Camp, Jacob Rohal for Forestry Camp, and Nathan Kline for Ohio 4-H Leadership Camp.  These camps and trips are sponsored by the Portage County Randolph Fair Board.


Ravenna – TOPS –Take Off Pounds Sensibly, Ravenna Chapter #1941, celebrated their annual awards and recognition recently. The theme of the program was “Follow the path to your dreams”.

Pictured above (left to right)  Chapter Winners- Stephen Rohal, Patti Calvarese, Carolyn Helmling, Debbie Horning, and MaryLou Priest

Pictured above (left to right)  Chapter Winners- Stephen Rohal, Patti Calvarese, Carolyn Helmling, Debbie Horning, and MaryLou Priest. Photo: Roberta Gallagher

Chapter winners included Debbie Horning-1st place division 3, MaryLou Priest- 2nd place division 3, Carolyn Helmling- 1st place division 4, Patti Calvarese- 1st place female division 9, and Stephen Rohal- 1st place male division 9.  The five winners lost a combined total of 268 pounds in 2013.

In addition, the chapter took part in the TOPS Annual State Recognition Days held in Cincinnati recently. The theme was “Chase your dreams with TOPS” celebrating all the state winners for 2013.

Members honored at State Recognition Days included Cherryl Duffield for maintaining her goal weight as a KOPS (Keep Off Pounds Sensibly) for 4 years, Patti Calvarese for State 2nd place female division 9, and Stephen Rohal 1st place male division 9 for the state of Ohio.  Stephen will go on to represent Ohio at the TOPS International Recognition Days being held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, home of TOPS International, in July.

Ravenna Chapter #1941 was honored as a “TOPS Top 10 Chapter” in the state for weight loss with an average loss of 8.6 pounds per member for the year.

Anyone interested in Taking Off Pounds Sensibly is invited to attend Thursday mornings at the Maplewood Christian Church 7300 SR 88 Ravenna. Weigh-in is between 9 and 9:45 with the weight loss program beginning from 10am until 11am.


Pictured left to right: Diane Jendrisak, Co-President of the Portage County Gardeners, and Chair of the May Mart/Plant Sale& Nancy Polz, chair of Pre-Sale. They are getting ready for the upcoming events at the garden center at 5154 S. Prospect St. Ravenna
Pictured left to right: Diane Jendrisak, Co-President of the Portage County Gardeners, and Chair of the May Mart/Plant Sale& Nancy Polz, chair of Pre-Sale. They are getting ready for the upcoming events at the garden center at  5154 S. Prospect St. Ravenna

Pictured left to right: Diane Jendrisak, Co-President of the Portage County Gardeners, and Chair of the May Mart/Plant Sale& Nancy Polz, chair of Pre-Sale. They are getting ready for the upcoming events at the garden center at 5154 S. Prospect St. Ravenna

Ravenna – The Portage County Gardeners are hosting several upcoming events at the garden center in Rootstown.  The address for the center is 5154 S. Prospect St. Ravenna, Oh 44266

The first event is a Mother’s Day sale on Sat. May 10 from 9a.m.- 2p.m. There will be hanging baskets and patio pots for sale at various prices for the Mother’s Day Sale.  Then on Fri. eve May 16 – 4-7p.m and on Sat. May 17- 9-2 p.m. there will be a May Mart/ Plant Sale which includes home-dug perennials, area nursery  stock of annuals, baskets, patio pots, vegetables, herbs, raffles, lunch, a display of the winning posters from the Soil and Water Conservation Contest, a display by the Master Gardeners’, a PCGC membership display, and a bake sale. Thirdly, a Canning Workshop will be offered at the garden center on Sat. June 14, from 10- noon. The cost for this workshop is $25.00 .  Those interested in the Canning Workshop need to contact Helena Parry at 330-673-0577 for a reservations and pre-pay.

Finally, on June 17 the center will host Noelle Clark from Petitti’s Garden Center for a program called ” The Junkyard Up-Cycled Garden.”  Mark your calendars for the plant sales, the canning workshop and program.  You will be delighted.


Photo: nickshamhart.com

Photo: nickshamhart.com

Ravenna – Nick Shamhart will be speaking at Reed Memorial Library on Sunday, April 27 at 2 p.m. as the final program of the library’s Local Authors Series.

Nick Shamhart’s writing ranges from romantic comedy to thriller. He is the author of the theologically- and psychologically-driven series based on the afterlife called the Balance Books, and the romantic comedy, The Knight’s Wife. Nick’s latest work, The Fog Within, is his best-selling and highly acclaimed dramatic look into the mind of a severely autistic woman.

Nick Shamhart lives in Cleveland with his wife and two daughters. For more detailed information visit his website, www.nickshamhart.com.

All programs in the Local Authors Series are free and do not require registration. For more information visit Reed Memorial Library at 167 East Main Street, Ravenna, or call (330) 296-2827 (ext. 200).


Ravenna – Robinson Memorial Hospital’s Health Education Center and PARTA Regional Transport has partnered together for Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.

Colorectal Cancer is the third leading cancer killer in the U.S. and can be found early with testing, when treatment is most effective. Throughout the month of March, PARTA buses will be displaying posters with facts and information about colorectal cancer, with thanks to Frank Hairston, PARTA Marketing Director. 

The National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS) announced Maplewood Career Center student Holly DeYoung from Garrettsville, OH, has been selected to become a member of the esteemed organization. The Society recognizes top scholars who have demonstrated outstanding leadership, scholarship and community commitment. The announcement was made by NSHSS Founder and Chairman Claes Nobel, a senior member of the family that established the Nobel Prizes. 


Ravenna – The Portage County Board of Elections is seeking energetic, civically-minded area residents to serve their community by becoming poll workers.
With the coming year’s elections for governor and other statewide offices, the need is critical. “We need thoughtful, respectful people to work the polls now more than ever,” Director Faith Lyon said.  The county needs around 600 volunteers to staff the polls at its 62 polling locations on election day.  Added Deputy Director Brad Cromes, “Without strong poll workers, we simply could not do what we do – they’re the backbone of our operation.”

To become a poll worker, applicants must be registered to vote in Portage County, have no felony convictions, and read and speak English clearly.  Duties include setting up the polling location, answering voter’s questions about the process, and assisting voters with voting equipment.  “If you can work a bank ATM, you can assist with the voting machines,” Lyon said.

Poll workers are paid $120 for their work on election day and $20 for attending a two-hour training, available on nights and weekends.  Workers who return election supplies to the Board office on election night receive an additional $5.
To apply to become a poll worker, residents can visit the Board’s website at http://www.co.portage.oh.us/election and download an application or call the office directly at 330-297-3511.  The deadline for applications is Monday, March 31st.


Ravenna – In celebration of the Valentine’s holiday and in hopes to increase adoptions, Portage APL is holding an adoption event, called My Furry Valentine. February 14-15, adopters will receive 14% off of cat and dog adoption fees (reg. fees for dogs are $150 and cats are $50).  Also, each animal adopted will go home with a brand new toy, treats, a blanket and a collar (for dogs), while supplies last.  

Ravenna - Portage County Auditor Janet Esposito is warning property owners to beware of companies offering to assist with tax valuation appeals. “Property tax values are available at the Auditor’s Office, where the staff or I will be happy to explain what values are on record and how to file an appeal. The entire process is free.”


Ravenna – Avoid the doldrums of winter and participate in a fun program at your local public library. The theme for Reed Memorial Library’s 2014 Winter Reading Program is “Destination: Anywhere.” Adults and Teens will have a chance to win prizes from February 17 through March 17, 2014. For every book you check out (including audio and ebook formats, but excluding movies on DVD and VHS) you will get a ticket. Fill out the ticket, turn it in, and you are entered into the weekly prize drawing. If you do not win the weekly prize, your ticket is automatically entered into the Grand Prize drawing. Prizes will range from gift cards to books and surprises. Remember the more times you enter the better your chances of winning a wonderful prize.

Ravenna –The Portage County Business Round Table will hold a seminar on February 25th at Maplewood Career Center. The topic will focus on matching skills to needs to affect your bottom line. The event will begin with a continental breakfast/networking at 7:30 am, followed by the program starting promptly at 8:00 am and will be concluded by 9:00 am.

The program will feature presentations from three agencies:


·  Hattie Larlham – Lauri Molnar, Business Development

·    Portage County Board of Developmental Disabilities- Jaime Nichols, Community Employment Manager

·  SAW (Solutions At Work)- Marilyn Jares, Sales Manager


This seminar will highlight the benefits of working with these agencies such as:


· Gaining employees with excellent dependability

· Receiving ongoing comprehensive support

· Skills matching and training

·  Assessment opportunity (two weeks free employment)

· Cost effectiveness


To register, please contact the Portage Development Board, at 330.297.3470, tdaniel@portagedevbd.org or your local chamber of commerce. Persons who pre-register will pay $10 (cash or check). Persons who do not pre-register will pay $15 at the door.

The registration deadline is February 18th, 2014.



Ravenna -  It may surprise many people to learn that 25 percent of those who die every year in the U.S. are veterans. To help provide care and support that reflect the important contributions made by these men and women, Robinson Visiting Nurse and Hospice has become a national partner of We Honor Veterans, a pioneering campaign developed by National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“Robinson Visiting Nurse and Hospice has been honored to care for many of the veterans of Portage County. We are excited about furthering our partnership with the VA and the opportunity to learn more about the specific needs of the veterans we serve,” stated Dina Douglas, LISW-S, Social Work and Bereavement Coordinator for Robinson Visiting Nurse and Hospice. “Robinson Visiting Nurse and Hospice is dedicated to developing relationships with the many providers of care, including the Veteran’s Commission.”  


Ravenna – Shopping the day after Thanksgiving has become the ‘stressful norm’ in our chaotic American lives as we hit the trail running in our quest to find ‘that perfect gift’ for everyone on our shopping list.  BUT it doesn’t have to be that way.  After more than 31 years as a family celebration in downtown Ravenna, Midnight Madness has proven that Christmas shopping can be a fun and ‘stress-less’ event.  


Ravenna – Ravenna Balloon A-Fair’s annual lighted Christmas Parade “Treasures Under The Tree” (sponsored by Fortis College) will take place in downtown Ravenna on Main Street at 7 p.m. on Saturday, December 7. Line up begins at 6pm at the corner of Main Street & Myrtle and at East Plaza parking lot.

The parade includes themed floats, dancing and marching groups. Leading off the parade will be the Ravenna High School Band under the direction of Drew Adametz.

Santa Claus straight from the North Pole will arrive on a Ravenna Fire Truck. Local youngsters will have a chance to share their Christmas wishes with Santa following the parade at the Buckeye Mini Mall, located at 250 E. Main St.

For parade information call the Ravenna Balloon A-Fair at (330) 296-3247or Mark Short at 330-297-1586.



Ravenna – “Health Literacy” is the ability to read, understand and find health information. A large gap exists between the way healthcare issues are communicated and how most people understand that communication. In fact, according to the National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy, nearly 9 out of 10 adults have difficulty using routine health information.

Ravenna – On October 2, Robinson Visiting Nurse and Hospice volunteers were honored for their dedication and service to Robinson Visiting Nurse and Hospice and the Portage County community. The annual event, held at the Ravenna Elks Lodge, celebrated those who are committed to serving individuals and families in hospice care.


Ravenna  – In collaboration with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Robinson Memorial Hospital is providing a one-day opportunity for the public to safely dispose of expired, unwanted or unused prescription drugs and other medications on Saturday, October 26, 2013 from 10 am – 2 pm in the parking lot of the Robinson Medical Arts Building, 6847 North Chestnut St, Ravenna.


Ravenna – The drawing for the Big Brothers & Sisters $10,000 Give Away was held on Saturday September 7, at the Kent State University football game. Because all 200 tickets were not sold, it was a 50/50 raffle with the winner and the agency each receiving $1850.

And the lucky winner was…ticket #55, Triangle Pharmacy!

Big Brothers & Sisters thanks everyone who participated in the fundraiser. All proceeds go to our one-to-one mentoring program for the children in Portage County. We hope everyone will particapte in the Give Away next year.

For more information on volunteering for our program, please call 330-296-6655 or visit www.bbsportage.org.


Ravenna – The smell of angel wing begonias and pride filled the air at the Maplewood Career Center’s Adult Basic and Literacy Education (ABLE) GED graduation on Thursday, June 6, 2013.    The room filled up with approximately 250 guests as they witnessed the 2013 GED graduates walk down the aisle to “Pomp and Circumstance.”    Doris Schoning, Coordinator of the ABLE Program and Director of the Portage County Literacy Coalition, welcomed the GED graduates, their guests, and friends.   The evening started off with a round of introductions and speakers, which included:  Randy Griffith, Superintendent of Maplewood Career Center, Sarah Lawry, representing Senator Sherrod Brown, and Kathleen Clyde, Ohio House Representative.   


Ravenna – It was a spellbinding event on Friday, May 24, 2013, at the Ralph Regula Conference Center located at NEOMED in Rootstown, Ohio.  The Portage County Literacy Coalition (PCLC) held its 22nd annual “Jeopardy-Style” Spelling Bee.  This year there were five teams that competed against each other.  The Community Action Council of Portage County retuned to try and hold the winner’s plaque for another year against Deluxe Corporation of Streetsboro, Delta Systems, Inc. of Streetsboro, NEOMED of Rootstown, and “Team Herb” of Ravenna.  This year we had a very special team.  In July 2012, we lost a very special member of the Portage County Literacy Coalition, Herb Schoning.  He was a previous president and board member, a teacher, tutor, friend, and yearly team sponsor of “Group One.”   We had two Adult Basic and Literacy Education teachers and a volunteer tutor represent “Team Herb.”

Ravenna – The Ravenna Lions will be celebrating 60 years of serving the Ravenna Community on Friday, June 28th at the Ravenna Elks Club, 776 N. Freedom Ave. Social hour starts at 6:00 pm, and dinner will be served at 7:00 PM.

The buffet dinner consists of; Sliced Roast Beef au jus, Pretzel covered chicken, roasted red skinned potatoes, Steamed green beans, Garden tossed salad, Rolls & butter. There will be a choice of coffee, iced tea and water. Desserts will be provided. There will also be a cash bar provided by the Elks.

Our special guests this evening will be District 13-D Governor John Woodside.

The cost is $25 per person and is open to the public. If you’d like to come celebrate with us, please send your payment to Club Treasurer Rick Fredrick, 1861 Algonquin Place, Kent, Ohio 44240.

The deadline for all reservations is Monday, June 19th. Please make all checks payable to the Ravenna Lions. For more information please contact Lion President Deborah Sunderland at 330-730-2114.


Ravenna Recreation Department still has openings its Summer Playground Camp program for children entering K-7th grade in the Fall 2013 and the Jr. Camp Counselor program for children entering 8th, 9th and 10th grade in Fall 2013. Program is held at John Tontimonia City Park from June 10 to August 9 (No camp July 4th).

Call the Parks and Recreation office at (330) 296-2864 for more details and costs for the 9 week program which includes breakfast, lunch and field trips, and swimming.

Scholarships which are awarded based on income are also available to help off the cost of the program.

For more information stop by at 530 North Freedom St., weekdays 8a.m. to 12 noon and 1p.m. to 4:15 p.m. or call the Recreation office at 330-296-2864.



Ravenna – On April 25, Robinson Memorial Hospital, in conjunction with the Northeast Central Ohio Regional Disaster Planning Consortium (NECO) and a number of emergency management agencies, held a mock disaster exercise to test the hospitals’ abilities to respond to a devastating ice storm which swept through the region resulting in numerous simulated casualties and fatalities.

All 50 participating agencies among 13 counties were given the same scenario in order to assess their collaborative efforts in planning and responding, communicating with each other and sharing supplies, equipment or staff when possible. “Through these exercises, hospitals continue to show great capability in using systems and processes that will ensure appropriate care can be provided for our patients in the midst of a disaster or incident that threatens the safety of the community ,” said Sarah Metzger,  Director of the Akron Regional Hospital Association. “Hospitals tested the ability to share multiple critical resources with other partner hospitals and agencies with great success. It was clearly demonstrated that hospitals and community partners are able to respond together to fulfill the needs of the community.”

Functional exercises and mock disaster drills such as this one serve the purpose of testing each hospital or agency’s internal disaster and crisis communication plans. “These exercises serve as a valuable learning tool because they emphasize not only what we are doing well, but also areas where improvements can be made,” said Metzger. “An outcome report will be distributed to all participating hospitals and agencies which will highlight areas to focus on improving upon for next year.”

Ravenna  – The Portage County Business Round Table offers seminars on useful topics to area business owners.  On Wednesday, May 29, 2013, the featured topic for the morning event is the Ohio Small Business Development Center and how it can help existing business stay and grow in Portage County. The meeting will be held at Maplewood Career Center (7075 St. Rt. 88, Ravenna, OH 44266)

The event commences at 7:30 am with registration, networking, and continental breakfast.  The program starts promptly at 8 am and concludes at 9 am.

The program speakers are Susan McGann, a Certified Business Advisor with the Small Business Development Center, and Keith Harris, President and CEO of Kero International, Inc.

To register, please contact the Portage Development Board, 217 S. Chestnut St. in Ravenna, 330.297.3470 or by e-mail to tdaniel@portagedevbd.org or your local chamber of commerce. Persons who pre-register will pay $10 (cash or check), and are responsible for payment whether they attend or not.  Checks should be made payable to the Portage Development Board.   Persons who do not pre-register will pay $15 at the door, and no shows will be invoiced.  The deadline to register is May 22, 2013.


Ravenna – At Relay For Life events, communities come together to honor cancer survivors, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against a disease that has already taken too much from each of us. That’s why 531 participants on 38 teams have already raised over $56,500 for the Relay For Life event at the Ravenna Stadium this Friday and Saturday, May 3 & 4th – to raise funds to find a cure for the disease that affects so many lives.


Ravenna –  On April 25, 2013, Robinson Memorial Hospital will participate in a disaster exercise conducted by the Northeast Central Ohio Regional Disaster Planning Consortium (NECO). Disaster exercises or mock drills are held annually to test the plans and response processes of participating hospitals and emergency management agencies. This year’s exercise will stage a disaster that impacts 13 surrounding counties with 50 agencies participating.


Ravenna – Fortis College in Ravenna will host an open house at 3 p.m. on April 24 featuring a unique attraction that has revolutionized medical education. The campus is located at 653 Enterprise Pkwy., Ravenna (330-297-7319).

As part of the event, attendees will get to see and interact with Fortis College in Ravenna’s technologically advanced METIman patient simulator. METIman is used for numerous simulated clinical nursing experiences, including chest management, asthma management, and respiratory distress. The patient simulator gives students an immersive opportunity with visual, auditory, and tactile learning experiences.


Ravenna – The Portage County Health Department held its 1st annual open house April 2, 2013. “This was a chance to introduce the public to our staff and to educate them on the services we provide for them every day,” said DuWayne Porter, Health Commissioner.

The open house provided residents with many hands on events including getting their blood pressure checked, taking part in a hand washing demonstration, learning how to calibrate their meat thermometers, and listening to several presentations including water concerns due to fracking and traveling safety. Fourteen county residents took advantage of the How to Stay Healthy While Traveling presentation; receiving a voucher to waive the $50 consultation fee.

A special thank you to the MRC Volunteers Jane Moser, Jim and Lucille DeMarco, Karen Tymcio, and Susie Plaisted who helped make the open house a success.

The health department is open Monday through Friday from 8:00am-4:30pm and can be reached by phone at 330-296-9919.

For questions, contact Becky Lehman, PCHD Health Educator at 330-296-9919 ext. 137



Ravenna  – The Portage County Board of Elections is seeking energetic, civic-minded area residents to serve their community by becoming poll workers.

While she does not believe the coming year will be as busy as last November’s presidential election, Director Faith Lyon said “Individuals can apply at any time – and we are always looking for good and thoughtful workers.”  The county needs around 600 volunteers to staff the polls at its 62 polling locations on election day.  Added Deputy Director Brad Cromes, “Without good poll workers, we simply could not do what we do – they’re the backbone of our operation.”