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Garrettsville -  Michael Oddo, a comedian/hypnotist, will perform on Saturday, January 22nd.  He will do two family-friendly shows- one at 3:30 pm and the other at 7:30 pm in the James A. Garfield High School auditorium.  Each show will last from 60-75 min.  Tickets are $8 per person, per show (regardless of age). Oddo’s performances are to raise money for this years  junior/senior prom.  Students will be selling tickets at the high school girls and boys home basketball games and during lunch in the high school and middle school.

If you are interested in purchasing any tickets for yourself and/or a group of people please send in the money with your high school or middle school child or you can contact Mrs. Sweigert at the high school by calling (330) 527-4341.  All checks are to be made payable to  James A. Garfield High School.

Garrettsville – The Child Development Class at J.A. Garfield High School is eagerly awaiting the “Baby Think It Over” dolls.  Pat Wetzel, the teacher of the class has applied for a grant through “DonersChoose.org”  to receive two of the computerized babies for the classroom to use.

The purpose of the infant simulator, after the student has cared for it for a weekend, is to have the feeling that they are not ready for a baby.  Recent studies have shown the use of Baby Think It Over is more effective in changing the attitudes of adolescents toward parenting than other popular strategies such as shadowing a teen parent for a day.

The infant simulator weighs 6.5 pounds, it has an internal computer that simulates an infant crying as realistic, at random intervals 24 hours a day. The “parent” is given a non transferable key attached to a hospital bracelet on the wrist that must be inserted in the baby for a specific length of time to simulate feeding, bathing, diaper-changing and comforting.  Care sessions last from 5 to 35 minutes.  If the baby has been properly cared for, it will coo to signal the end of the session. If it is neglected or handled roughly (dropped, thrown, or struck), tamper-proof indicators on the computer will alert the instructor.

If you would get on line at the email address “ DonersChoose.org” and contribute any amount to make it possible for the students to participate in this worthwhile learning experience, the class would be so grateful.

Garrettsville -  Michael Oddo, a comedian/hypnotist, will perform on Saturday, January 22nd.  He will do two family-friendly shows- one at 3:30 pm and the other at 7:30 pm in the James A. Garfield High School auditorium.  Each show will last from 60-75 min.  Tickets are $8 per person, per show (regardless of age). Oddo’s performances are to raise money for this years  junior/senior prom.

Students will be selling tickets at the high school girls and boys home basketball games and during lunch in the high school and middle school.

If you are interested in purchasing any tickets for yourself and/or a group of people please send in the money with your high school or middle school child or you can contact Mrs. Sweigert at the high school by calling (330) 527-4341.

All checks are to be made payable to  James A. Garfield High School.

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Burton-Berkshire High School is proud to announce their Junior and Senior Students of the Month for December.  Congratulations go out to Nathan Dornback, Patience Elliott, Lisa Gregory, Melissa Koziol, James Rohaley and Spencer Wilson.  Great job and keep up the good work!

The Berkshire After Prom Committee is holding a raffle for Berkshire Juniors only.  New Directions Photography located at 11800 East Washington Street in Chagrin Falls (440.708.0965) has donated a Senior Portrait Package valued at $435 to be raffled to assist in raising funds for the After Prom.  They have also donated two $25 runners up prizes.  Raffle tickets, which are $10 each, can be purchased at any home basketball game.  The drawing will be held at the Spaghetti Dinner/Spring Musical After Prom fundraiser on April 8th.

The Berkshire Family and Civic Engagement Team is working alongside the United Way in Geauga County to help the community utilize the United Way’s 211 Help Line.  The 211 Help Line is available to all Geauga County residents either via the website (www.211Geauga.org) or by calling 440.285.3194.

Here is just a sampling of the service information provided through the Help Line.  You can find alcohol and drug programs, crisis services, employment services, food pantries, health care services, shelter for victims of domestic violence or for those who are homeless, parenting programs, many kinds of support groups, family services, volunteering and much more.  The Berkshire Family and Civic Engagement Team are made up of parents, community members, administrators and the Executive Director of the United Way in Geauga County.

Below is a list of upcoming Berkshire sporting events:

Varsity Girls Basketball:

Saturday, Jan. 15 (Cardinal HS) 6:30 pm at Berkshire High School

Wednesday, Jan. 19 (Grand Valley HS) 7:30 pm at Grand Valley High School

Saturday, Jan. 22 (Painesville Harvey) 2:30 pm at Harvey

Wednesday, Jan. 26 (Kenston HS) 7:30 pm at Berkshire High School

Junior Varsity Girls Basketball

Saturday, Jan. 15 (Cardinal HS) 5 pm at Berkshire High School

Wednesday, Jan. 19 (Grand Valley HS) 6 pm at Grand Valley High School

Saturday, Jan. 22 (Painesville Harvey) 1 pm at Harvey

Wednesday, Jan. 26 (Kenston HS) 6 pm at Berkshire High School

Freshman Boys Basketball

Monday, Jan. 17 (Hawken) 4:30 pm at Hawken

Thursday, Jan. 20 (Beachwood HS) 5 pm at Berkshire High School

Monday, Jan. 24 (Richmond Hts. HS) 5 pm at Richmond Hts. High School

Varsity Boys Basketball

Tuesday, Jan. 18 (Independence HS) 7:30 pm at Berkshire High School

Friday, Jan. 21 (Richmond Hts. HS) 7:30 pm at Berkshire High School

Tuesday, Jan. 25 (Hawken) 7:30 pm at Hawken

Junior Varsity Boys Basketball

Tuesday, Jan. 18 (Independence HS) 6 pm at Berkshire High School

Friday, Jan. 21 (Richmond Hts. HS) 6 pm at Berkshire High School

Tuesday, Jan. 25 (Hawken) 6 pm at Hawken

Varsity Boys Wrestling

Saturday, Jan. 15 (Ashtabula Edgewood) 9 am at Ashtabula Edgewood

Other matches are to be announced, please check the website (www.berkshireschools.org) for up to date times and locations.

There are a lot of great things happening at the Berkshire Schools.   Thank you to Superintendent Doug DeLong for the updates and news.

Chandler Bee and Ethan Milko (Photo: Iva Walker)

Garrettsville – Excitement filled the air.  Tension mounted as the contestants moved into position for the competition.  The crowd was hushed….  No, wait…this was the annual James A Garfield Middle School Spelling Bee…this crowd is never hushed…quiet, maybe…attentive, perhaps…but hushed?   In your dreams, Principal Tom Sullivan, organizer Jackie Lovelace, in your dreams.

The judges table featured a Webster’s Unabridged, three judges and the dreaded bell to signal lack of orthographic (Look it up) success.

The microphone–center stage–was adjusted  to pick up the veriest whisper from the height-challenged or the stratospherically-inclined.

And the words rolled forth: gnash, versatile, suffrage, grammarian, monstrosity …speaking of which, who picks these things out anyway?   One interesting moment of the event came about when Becky Kirk, who was cruisin’ up to that point, got the word, “yippee”.  The pronouncer spoke the word…silence…spoke the word again–with definition…silence…spoke once more, with feeling…then Becky turned  and said, incredulously, “Is that THE WORD?”  It was, and she spelled it right to move on to the next round.  At one point, all of the spellers in the rotation had missed their words, so everyone got another crack at the brass ring.

The two survivors of the process, Chandler Bee and Ethan Milko–a seventh grader and an eighth grader, held up through all that and the finale words–surmountable and   herringbone–to take finalist honors and head for the county bee which will take place at Maplewood Career Center on February 1st at 6:30 p.m.  Congratulations to all participants and good luck to our champs as they head to The Big Enchilada.

Portage County – Snow days are every school kid’s fantasy come true… until it’s time to make up for lost instructional time. Most area school districts have already exhausted their allowable cancellation days due to two major snow storms in early December. Now districts are on borrowed time as actual winter weather kicks into typical gear, with drifting snow, ice, below-zero wind chills and slick roadways posing hazards for the next three or four months.
Due to a change in state law intended to increase instructional time for students, the number of calamity days for public schools has been reduced in 2010-2011 from five to three. Many administrators and students are hopeful that Ohio Governor-Elect John Kasich will repeal this new law set in motion by outgoing Governor Ted Strickland.
But until then, schools’ first line of defense against inclement weather will likely be two-hour delays rather than cancellations. Late-start days still count as instructional days to the Ohio Board of Education, so the hope is that they will buy districts the time needed to brighten and clear roadways, mitigating the risk of potential accidents.
“Typically, we see three to five weather cancellation days per year,” says James A. Garfield Schools Superintendent Charles Klamer. Considering that three school days were already cancelled by mid-December, it’s likely that the district will double that number before the spring thaw arrives.
Safety for students and bus drivers is a superintendent’s top priority, even with pressure mounting to keep school doors open as scheduled rather than extend the school year with added make-up days. “We drive district roads in the early morning hours, consult with our transportation and maintenance supervisor, other neighboring school districts, road crews and weather forecasts before making any decisions,” says Klamer. “It’s not easy making a decision in the dark. The worst thing to happen is to have a school bus accident on our hands.”
With that in mind, both Garfield and Crestwood school districts will implement two-hour delays when possible, if weather forecasts and local road departments indicate that roads can be adequately cleared in time, and weather conditions are likely to improve throughout the remainder of the day.
Currently, the JAG school year has set June 8, 2011 as the last student day (graduation is June 5). With every school day cancelled hereafter, the school year is another day longer. If 10 cancellation days accumulate, Klamer’s understanding is that the state requires other measures for making up lost instructional time, such as extended school days or Saturday school.
The JAG School Board will finalize its calamity day procedures for the remainder of the school year by December 27, and will post it for parents on the district website: www.garfield.sparcc.org. As always, notification of delays and cancellations will be made available on major radio stations, Fox 8 News and Channel 5 TV weather alerts.
When Crestwood called a snow cancellation on December 14, it became the district’s fourth calamity day this school year, exceeding the state allowance of three. Consequently, Crestwood will be extending the school year an extra day through June 8, 2011… until further notice.
According to Crestwood Superintendent Joe Iacano, Crestwood tries to alert parents of delays or closures by 5:45 -6:15 a.m. that morning. Periodically, forecasts are definitive enough that school can be called off in time for the nightly news the prior evening. The announcement of a closing or two-hour delay will be broadcast on Cleveland television and radio stations and via Crestwood’s Alert Now telephone system. Those who have not signed up for the Alert Now system should contact their child’s principal for details. Parents should avoid calling schools or stations since incoming calls tie up phones and delay notification.
If a Crestwood parent believes it is safer to keep their child home all day due to localized conditions, even after schools re-open, they should send a written excuse the next day and students will be excused and allowed to make up any missed work for credit. (See www.crestwood.sparcc.org for full details.)
Crestwood is the only Portage County district to have surpassed the three-day limit so far. In addition to JAG, five other Portage districts — Rootstown, Ravenna, Aurora, Streetsboro, and Windham — have depleted their three-day allowance. Remaining Portage school districts — Waterloo, Field, Kent, Mogadore and Southeast — have used two snow days and have one bonus day remaining.
…And winter has only just begun.

Garrettsville – James A. Garfield Schools will be sponsoring the Mobile Dentist again this year.  They will arrive at the Elementary, Intermediate, Middle, and High Schools on January 26.  We have invited the Smile Programs to bring their on-site preventative dental care services to our schools because we know how important good oral health is to a child’s overall health.  The program can provide services to families who need financial assistance, accepts insurance and/or can subsidize fees for persons who can partially cover the cost of an exam and services.
The dentist will arrive at the Elementary, Intermediate, Middle, and High Schools on January 26.  A mini clinic will be set up in the buildings and the dentist and team will provide preventative services for students who return the registration forms that were sent home.  If you would like to register, you may also contact your child’s school.

Meadville, Pa. – Tight end Rob Carlisle capped a marvelous senior campaign with one of the most prestigious honors in collegiate sports. On Wednesday, Carlisle was named ESPN First Team Academic All-America in recognition for his rare combination of outstanding academic achievement and athletic ability.

Carlisle, who holds a 3.95 cumulative grade point average, majors in Biochemistry with a minor in Economics. In addition to his outstanding credentials in the classroom, he is a three-year starter for the Blue and Gold having appeared in 29 consecutive games. Carlisle was easily one of the league’s biggest break-out stars this season and closed the year as the top tight end in the North Coast Athletic Conference. He garnered First Team All-Conference accolades after finishing the slate with 41 catches and 461 yards, both tops in the circuit at his position. His presence as a blocker and a receiver enabled Allegheny to finish third in the NCAC in total offense while ranking second in red-zone scoring and third in rushing.

Carlisle becomes the 30th student-athlete in the history of Allegheny College to elicit Academic All-America honors, and his selection is the fifth for the Gators’ storied grid program. The last Allegheny student-athlete to cop a First Team Academic All-America selection was swimmer Jennifer Erdos in 1998. Kevin Baird is the only other football player to claim the coveted postseason award following the 1981 season.

The ESPN Academic All-America program covers all NCAA divisions and selections are made by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). To be eligible, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.30 on a scale of 4.00, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings at his/her current institution and be nominated by his/her sports information director. Since the program’s inception in 1952, CoSIDA has bestowed Academic All-America honors on more than 15,000 student-athletes in Divisions I, II, III and NAIA, covering all NCAA championship sports.

Berea -  Samantha M. Martin of Garrettsville was inducted into the Dayton C. Miller Honor Society at Baldwin-Wallace College during a ceremony on Friday, Nov. 12, 2010.

Martin is a junior.

Dayton C. Miller recognizes academic excellence and inductees are selected for consistently maintaining superior academic work. Only four percent of the undergraduate student body achieves membership.

Findlay – Alyssa Cain, a junior pharmacy major, recently performed in The University of Findlay’s student piano recital.  Cain performed “Autumn Breeze” by John Bastien.

Cain, a 2008 graduate of James A. Garfield High School, is the daughter of Garrettsville’s Lynette and Charlie Cain.

The University of Findlay is a comprehensive university with a hands-on approach to learning located in Findlay, Ohio, approximately 45 miles south of Toledo. With a total enrollment of approximately 3,900 full-time and part-time students, The University of Findlay is noted for its innovative, career-oriented programs in nearly 60 majors and nine graduate and professional degrees.

Garrettsville - The James A. Garfield Elementary School music teacher Mr. Ken Fox and the third graders kicked off a celebration for the winter season on Wednesday, December 1st. As the first snow of the season fell softly outside, the children presented their audience with a wonderful mixture of music, poetry, chants and musical instruments.

Garrettsville – Garrettsville-Hiram Rotarians, having received a taste of   the Power of the Pen at their meeting on November 17, affirmed their support for the program, directed at the Garfield Middle   School by Mrs. Jackie Lovelace.  This support took the form of a $600 contribution toward the facilitation of  the district tournament to be held at Garfield in the spring.  The club also briefly considered the possibilities in reaching out to middle school-age students with information about the goals and activities of Rotary at all levels.

Other items on the agenda included: (1) possible follow-up on the Renaissance 490 presentation by Rev. Fred Youngen, acknowledging the helpful community activities involved and the resources required to carry them out, (2) including the center as a future program, (3) recruiting new members, (4) planning for the Santa Delivery Project–truck needed, sign-ups at Business Works and McCumbers-Brady Realty, tradition since the ‘60’s,  (5) beginning plans for Family Week coming up in February–sponsorships and donations will be solicited after the first of the year, contact any Rotarian, (6) ideas for new programs, (7) assembly at the Jackson Estates on December 13 at 6:30… CHRISTMAS  PARTEEE !

Of the 611 school districts in the state of Ohio James A. Garfield schools are beginning to set themselves apart from most. The dedication and professionalism of teachers, staff and administrators in the district have earned continued academic distinction. Furthermore, wise economic decisions have made the district the best value in Portage County and the third best value in the state when it comes to providing an excellent education to our kids.

The district earned its first state Excellent rating for the 2007/08 year and again in 2008/09; the only other district in Portage County to achieve this was Aurora City Schools. Last year, 2009/10, the James A. Garfield Schools were rated Excellent with Distinction, earning a perfect 26 out of 26 indicators, AYP (average yearly progress), Value Added and the Performance Index (101). The high school has been identified as Excellent for the last seven (7) consecutive years, and last year the elementary school also earned an Excellent with Distinction ‘perfect’ rating, making history as the first Garfield School building with this distinction.

Last week the state reported 74% of our third graders passed the Ohio Reading Achievement Assessment given in October. With that high achievement, we anticipate them scoring in the 90% range on the spring test.

These continued results are achieved by our hard-working and dedicated teachers. They inspire our students to work hard and excel! This Excellent with Distinction rating was achieved with us having the third lowest per pupil expenditure of the 81 districts earning this rating out of 611 school districts. Garfield has spent the least per pupil in Portage County the last ten years. Last year the per pupil amount was $7,697, which is 27% less than the state average of $10,512. It is obvious that both the adults and students are appreciative and work every day to keep the costs down while working to continue to improve the good education for the students. It is heartwarming to feel the warmth and respect that is shared by residents, faculty, staff, administration and kids. Respect, hard work and dedication produces awesome results from everyone working together!

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Burton-Have you ever thought about continuing your education but thought you were too old or that it was too expensive?  To tell the truth, you probably have come up with lots of excuses not to do it.  The truth is there is a place just for you that offers the opportunity to go back to school, get financial aid assistance, choose from several convenient class times and gets you all the guidance you need to take the steps necessary to get started on your degree or to just learn something new.

The Kent State University, Geauga Campus, is located at 14111 Claridon-Troy Road in Burton and is north of the Geauga County Fairgrounds.  They offer many Associate and Bachelor Degree Programs.  The Geauga Campus offers day, evening and weekend classes to fit your schedule.  For those students interested, on-line classes are also available.  You can take classes in the spring, summer and fall which allows you to get that degree faster.

They also offer a complete Financial Aid office to help you wade through all the financial options available to you.  There are many options for helping you get back to school such as student loans, grants, scholarships and benefits for veterans. You may even qualify for one of several payment plans available to students.

The thought of going back to school can be very intimidating for some, especially if you have been out of school for a few years.  The great thing about the Geauga Campus is it is smaller than the main campus and, therefore, not as overwhelming and the cost is about 40% less than attending in Kent.  Finding your classes is much easier and the number of fellow students is much smaller.  The Geauga Campus serves about 900 students and offers an 18:1 student to teacher ratio, so you will not be just a number.  When you are just starting back, smaller classes are much less intimidating and can help get you back into the academic swing of things.

The Geauga Campus offers a virtual Bookstore where you can buy all the supplies you need for your class on-line and they will be delivered right to your home.  In the case of the Geauga Campus, smaller is better.

There may be any number of reasons holding you back from fulfilling your dream of furthering your education.  Just let me say that I went back to school and got my Associate’s Degree at the age of 45 and am hoping to finish my Bachelor’s Degree next year at the age of 48.  It was scary to start and I was extremely intimidated but it was the best decision I ever made.  The fear passes and quickly turns into excitement.  It is hard work, and you have to create a new schedule that allows for classes as well as homework time, but it is amazing how easy it is to find the time for something you want to do.  Even if you do not pursue a degree, just taking classes and learning new things makes life so much more interesting.

The Geauga Campus was founded in 1964 so they have been doing this for a while.  You can trust that you will get the services and guidance you need.  If this is a dream you have had, you CAN realize it.  If you have thought you might want to go back to school, the time is now.  You can still enroll for classes in January.  Check out the campus website at www.geauga.kent.edu/ or call 440-834-4187 to schedule a campus visit.  It really is never too late; why not take the first step today.

Pictured above is the James A. Garfield Band Booster Two Grand Dinner Winner Cathy Lukasko of Brookfield, Ohio.

Garrettsville – The First Annual TWO GRAND DINNER reverse raffle and silent auction was held at the Sugar Bush Golf Club on Saturday, November 13, 2010.  A packed house enjoyed appetizers courtesy of Glenna and Quentin Spaur, dinner courtesy of Guido’s of Ravenna and amazing desserts made by Sherry Jones and Pat Stoneman.  Ticket sales were limited to 300 and each number was drawn randomly from a bingo machine.  Every 10th  number drawn received a prize.  The grand prize winner was Cathy Lukasko of Brookfield, Ohio, aunt of one of the band members.

Throughout the evening, guests participated in a HEADS or TAILS 50/50 raffle (winner, Casey Everett), a weekend getaway in a Pirates’ Treasure Chest (winner, Mary Koval), 50/50 raffle (winner, Jeff Pesecky) and The LOTTERY TREE raffle (winner, Betty Mishler).  Multiple winners took home prizes and Strawberry Daiquiri LolliPops from the LOLLIPOP TREE.

Guests also bid on and won 36 different items in our silent auction ranging from a 3-person Lake Erie Fishing Charter, to Fossil handbags and everything in between.  A huge thank you goes to all who donated, purchased tickets and worked tirelessly to hold this event!

The Garfield Band Boosters sponsored the dinner to raise funds for new uniforms for the marching band and to benefit the band programs, grades 5-12.  The current uniforms worn by the MARCHING PRIDE are 27 + years old and are in dire need of replacement.

Organizers of the event are excited for next year and will have tickets available for purchase in October 2011!   Go Band!!!

Taking the approach that it certainly does take a whole village to raise a healthy child, the state of Ohio now mandates that schools are somewhat responsible for keeping children from becoming obese.

Governor Ted Strickland signed Senate Bill 210 — the Healthy Choices for Healthy Children bill — on June 10, 2010. The law mandates that school districts implement specific activities to inhibit obesity, such as measuring each student’s Body Mass Index, offering healthier meals in lunchroom cafeterias, and providing more opportunities for physical activity.
Childhood obesity is considered one of the most profound public health issues confronting Ohio and the nation today, according to Healthy Choices for Healthy Children, a coalition of organizations dedicated to preventing and decreasing childhood obesity in Ohio. The coalition advocates for public policy in Ohio that supports research-based solutions to the childhood obesity epidemic, such as this new law.

“The ABC’s of ending childhood obesity are accountability, bipartisanship, and comprehensive solutions,” says Nationwide Children’s Hospital CEO Steve Allen, M.D, a coalition leader and promoter of the legislation. “Accountability means holding everyone that interacts with our children accountable to higher standards, from parents to schools to businesses. Bipartisanship means lawmakers from across the political spectrum taking responsibility for our children’s health. And, comprehensive solutions mean making change at all the places our children interact with food and exercise. This legislation accomplishes all three, in a way that will help our children avoid becoming the first generation in Ohio history to live shorter lives than their parents.”

The law is designed to improve the nutritional value of foods offered during the regular and extended school day, and to raise the bar for physical education. The bill also provides for Body Mass Index (BMI) screenings upon school entry and in the 3rd, 5th and 9th grades, and a pilot program for daily physical activity during the school day.

An amended version of the bill includes opt-out waivers for a requirement of 30 minutes of physical activity and BMI screenings for school districts demonstrating financial hardship. The Ohio House of Representatives passed an amended version of the Senate bill, creating a pilot program for districts to provide 30 minutes of daily physical activity in grades K-12. Districts participating in the pilot will be recognized on their district report card.

Key provisions of the bill include offering more nutritional choices for the a la carte menu and vending machines, providing free breakfast to all students eligible for free and reduced-price lunches when funds are appropriated, creating a statewide council with teacher representatives to address childhood obesity, creating a school district waiver for the body mass index (BMI) measurement requirement, and incorporating the importance of healthy eating habits and physical activity into the health curriculum. Implementation will begin during the 2011-12 school year, starting with BMI measurements taken for students.

This is nothing new for local students at Garrettsville’s James A. Garfield School District, says Superintendent Charles Klamer. “For the past five years, freshmen and sophomores have had their BMI measured and we research ways to lower it. In 2008/09 we partnered in a wellness grant with the Portage County Health Department and Kent State for BMI testing in grades 3 and 6.”

Additionally, Sue Rossi, grade 5-8 physical education teacher, was awarded a Kohl’s Fitness Grant last year, and again this year. This includes a partnership with Akron Children’s Hospital for 7th and 8th graders. Along with BMI testing, Rossi incorporates instruction on how to control BMI with physical activity and sensible eating habits.
“I believe Garfield Schools have been proactive with academics but also with solid physical education activities,” says Klamer. “Teaching proper exercise and nutritional information are important.”

In terms of providing healthy eating options, the superintendent says, “Our cafeteria has offered fresh vegetables and fruit
every day with lunch for over 25 years. Our secondary schools only offer limited sweet items. The Garfield Schools will be ahead or on target to implement the activities specified by this new law.”

Considering that 70 percent of the cost in health care is related to chronic disease, and obesity is a major cause of chronic disease, this law is expected to help to reduce the disease burden on taxpayers by helping children learn to lead healthy, active lifestyles early in life. It is hoped to improve students’ future quality of life and also help to take billions of dollars in unnecessary costs out of Ohio’s health care system.

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The Garfield G-Men fell just short in their bid for first post season win in school history dropping a 22-7 decision to the Chagrin Falls Tigers.

While two big plays were all the G-Men defense would allow, it was the missed opportunities that doomed Garfield in the end. Garfield’s first offensive play went for 12 yards and a first down. Unfortunately, the G-Men would not get another first down until the first play of the second quarter.

Freshman Zach Hoffmann’s field goal attempt was blocked, allowing Chagrin Falls to take over on downs. The ensuing drive spearheaded by a Tiger running back bursting through the line for one of Chagrin Falls’ big plays. The 45-yards set up the Tiger’s first score, the failed two-point conversion left a 6-0 score after the first quarter.

The second frame was more offense but not much to show for as the Tigers tallied another touchdown for a 12-0 halftime lead.

The first play of the second half saw the Tigers pitch left and run 63 yards for the score,  making a 19-0 deficit. The Tiger would then hold Garfield on the next drive on a fourth and goal at the one-yard line. A Chagrin Falls time-consuming drive led to a field goal, putting the game out of reach, 22-7.

The talented Garfield team had not been shut out all season and that did not change last week as junior Bobby Bright punched it in from 1 yard out and Hoffmann’s kick made it 22-7.

The snowy surface and slick ball made playing rough at times and grounded the G-Men air attack. Garfield was averaging 178 yards passing and 200 yards rushing was held to just 227 yards of total offense, mostly due to the weather.

This talented senior group leaves some big shoes to fill.

Newton Falls – Newton Falls Exempted Village School District has released the Calamity and Weather Delay Information for the 2010-2011 school year.

New rules on calamity days are as follows: The State of Ohio has mandated new changes on school closings. Beginning this school year, 2010-2011, each school district is limited to three (3) school closing days due to weather or a calamity. Any additional days must be added to the school calendar. Beginning in the 2011-2012 school years, districts will have no weather or calamity days, therefore are required to make up every day missed. Any required make-up day(s) will be added to the end of the school year calendar.

Newton Falls School District may at times use a two (2) hour delay in starting school. Parents will be notified by our electronic telephone messenger system as well as through the local media. School bus runs and building openings will be delayed two (2) hours. Parents are encouraged to plan for such emergency situations in advance. Student dismissal times will remain the same times.

Hiram – The Eastern European Ensemble, Turli Tava, will perform at Hiram College on Thursday, November 18 from 12:00-1:00 p.m.  The location is Frohring Music Hall, 11746 Dean Street.  The free concert is part of the College’s convocation series.
Turli Tava plays energetic and creative music strongly rooted in Macedonian and Bulgarian dance traditions.  It takes its name from a spicy gumbo of the Balkan regions, a mix of flavors that reflects the cultural blend of Turli Tava’s repertoire.  The musicians in the group have been playing for Eastern European communities in North America and Europe for decades.
Leader of the group is Walt “Vlado” Mahovlich (clarinet/saxophone/gajda), an accomplished multi-instrumentalist from the Cleveland Balkan community.  Walt  also leads the well known folk group Harmonia.   Other members are Sasho Dukovski (accordion/keyboard/vocals) and virtuoso percussionist Rumen “Sali” Shopov.
The public is cordially invited.  For further information call Dr. Tina Dreisbach, Hiram College Music Department, 330-569-5303 or email dreisbachts@hiram.edu.

Hiram – The Eastern European Ensemble, Turli Tava, will perform at Hiram College on Thursday, November 18 from 12:00-1:00 p.m.  The location is Frohring Music Hall, 11746 Dean Street.  The free concert is part of the College’s convocation series.Turli Tava plays energetic and creative music strongly rooted in Macedonian and Bulgarian dance traditions.  It takes its name from a spicy gumbo of the Balkan regions, a mix of flavors that reflects the cultural blend of Turli Tava’s repertoire.  The musicians in the group have been playing for Eastern European communities in North America and Europe for decades.Leader of the group is Walt “Vlado” Mahovlich (clarinet/saxophone/gajda), an accomplished multi-instrumentalist from the Cleveland Balkan community.  Walt  also leads the well known folk group Harmonia.   Other members are Sasho Dukovski (accordion/keyboard/vocals) and virtuoso percussionist Rumen “Sali” Shopov. The public is cordially invited.  For further information call Dr. Tina Dreisbach, Hiram College Music Department, 330-569-5303 or email dreisbachts@hiram.edu.

The old cliché, “on any given day” never rang truer than last week. The 1-8 Newton Falls Tigers traveled to Orwell last week to take on the 8-1 Grand Valley Mustangs. The score was what everyone expected, the winner was not. The Tigers roared into Grand Valley’s stadium and walked away with a 38-13 victory, their first since opening day. The loss turned back the Mustangs playoff hopes, missing the playoff by .2 computer points, the closest the Mustangs have been to the playoffs since 2001 when they missed he playoffs by one computer point.

The Tigers dominated the game from start to finish, with a suffocating defense and a potent offense. They allowed the Mustangs to gain just 27 yards on the ground and 150 through the air. Meanwhile, the Tigers Anthony Kline raced for 164 yards on 13 carries while teammate Matt Brazin passed for 125 yards. The victory is a great stepping-stone moving into next year.

After three straight losing seasons the Crestwood Red Devils seem to have things turning in the right direction. First-year head coach Chris Kosiorek is a big reason for that direction.

Trailing 20-3 after the first quarter the Red Devils did not fade into the cold Friday air, instead they became more inspired and outscored the Southeast Pirates 32-14 for a 35-34 victory. The Red Devils finished the contest with 187 rushing yards and 204 passing. The defense made the stops when they needed to and allowed just 79 passing yards. Southeast also missed two extra-points and failed on a two-point conversion. The Devils’ 5-5 record is the best since 2006, which was also the last season they had a winning record in conference play.

After losing four straight games to Berkshire and coming off their first losing season since 2005, the Cardinal Huskies were out to prove themselves worthy last Friday night, beating their archrival Berkshire 26-13. The victory is the program’s first win over the Badgers since that 2005 season. With the loss the Badgers fall to 1-9, completing back to back losing seasons for the first time since 2001-2002.

The Garfield G-Men proved to be the bigger and better team last Friday when they beat Windham 49-7. Windham answered Garfield’s opening touchdown drive with a touchdown on the Bombers opening drive. The fading “W” burned into the Garfield playing surface was no distraction as the G-Men ran all over it to the tune of 436 yards of total offense,  291 rushing and 145 in the air. The opening drive was all of Windham’s offense as they amassed 148 total yards.

Week 11 for the G-Men will be played at Chagrin Falls as they take on the 9-1 Tigers.

This marks the Tigers eighth playoff appearance and third straight. They are 8-7 in their 15 games played in the post season but are a very beatable team this season.

This is a 7:30 kickoff with $9 gate price or $7 presale at the school. Call 330-527-0039 for availability.

2010 GMS Lady G-Men Cross Country Team

Pictured above are (left to right) Bottom Row: Emily Prigodich , Isabella Scarl , Molly Mathews , Julia Roubic , Amanda Bartlett , Mariah Coulter , Hannah Trent Top Row: Kaylee Martin, Lizzie Gerez, Danielle Keffer, Jessica Moore, Coach Jessica Crookham, Hayliegh Hannigan, Shiann Penna, Megan Ryser, Lindsey Jones , Maddie Lininger, Brittany Alloway.

Garrettsville – The James A. Garfield girl’s Middle School cross country team made school history by winning the PTC Championship meet on October 16, 2010.  Scoring for the team were Mariah Coulter, 2nd in the county with a time of 13:16 followed closely by her teammates Shian Penna 13:51, Molly Matthews 13:58,  Amanda Bartlett 14:19,  Haylie Hannigan 14:49,  Lindsey Jones 14:51,  and Kaylee Martin 15:09.  Congratulations to all of them for a fantastic season of hard work and dedication.

Two years ago Windham football season started with the usual elements, players, coaches, cheerleaders and fans but  one important element was missing on the field. The band.

Two years ago Windham football season started with the usual elements, players, coaches, cheerleaders and fans but one important element was missing on the field. The band.

Windham – Two years ago Windham football season started with the usual elements, players, coaches, cheerleaders and fans but   one important element was missing on the field. The band. The band helps lead cheers and adds to the spirit of the game, but they were absent on that opening day two years ago. They were absent all season except for a brief appearance of a seven-member pep band for homecoming that year. Well, that was then and this is now. This season the band has 26 members, including majorettes and a flag line, and now performs at all football games, home and away. Although they may be small in numbers as far as marching bands go, they are mighty in sound. When I first heard them a few weeks ago I thought they were bigger than 26. They had a rich sound that made one think they were larger than they really are.

What was the change? Everyone says the band director played a big role in the growth and rejuvenation of the marching band. In 2008 Becky Kresen came aboard as the band director bringing with her a fresh vision for the school’s instrumental music department. When Kresen came to the district, she told the board it would take maybe five years to rebuild the band program and probably three years before they would be able to put a marching band on the football field. Well here we are two years into the rebuilding program and she already has developed a quality marching band and so much more.

In the elementary school she started recorders for the fourth graders and then added xylophones for the third graders. She also has plans to add boom whackers to the program for 2nd graders. Kresen explained that when the kids are exposed to musical instruments prior to taking up instrumental instruction  they have less difficulty with the instrument because they already have the concept of reading music under their belts and all they have to do is learn the mechanics of the instrument.

Kresen has impressed the Board of Education so much that they approved the purchase of new uniforms last year. The school board and the music boosters jointly purchased 30 or so uniforms with the plans to have 60 uniforms purchased by the end of three years. When all the uniforms needed are purchased, they will continue to buy a few each year to replace the older ones as they wear out. The uniforms they purchased were $432 each with a reversible/removable breastplate. The band uses the breastplate for marching band and removes it for concert band.

The band that started off as a seven member pep band two years ago has grown beyond just marching at football games. This year they have marched at the Ravenna Balloon- a-Fair, their homecoming parade, Memorial Day Parade, and performed at two band showcase nights at Mogadore and LaBrae Schools. Along with the marching performances, this year they have plans to enter their first solo’s ensemble contest. As they continue to grow and develop, expect to see more of them at area competitions.

1942 Windham Bombers Basketball Team

The 1941-42 Windham Bombers team of coach David Thomas won the Portage County Championship that season, recording the best record since the Garrettsville team of 1932 which made it to the state tournament. They are just one of the legendary teams which sports historian George Belden will discuss on November 15 at the Windham Historical Society.

Windham - The history of the legendary Windham High School basketball program will be relived on Monday, November 15, as sports historian George Belden speaks to the Windham Historical Society, at a meeting co-sponsored by the Windham Bicentennial Committee.

This talk is being presented to the public at Katherine Thomas Elementary School, 9032 Maple Grove Road in Windham, with the doors opening at 6:30 for meet and greet and the talk commencing at 7:00 PM.

The title of the presentation is “Basketball Before Marty Hill.” Hill is the current Bomber coach who has taken Windham to statewide fame with his squads which seem to dominate the local small-school hardwood scene.

This will be the first in a series of talks about the great basketball legends of Windham High School.

Belden has spent much of the last year interviewing the greats of Windham’s basketball past, and has spent months in the newspaper archives at Kent State University reading every article ever written about the teams he will present.

His research reveals the origin of Windham basketball in unassuming fashion in the late 1920’s, then jumps to the early 1940’s Bombers of David Thomas, which ruled northeast Ohio in both basketball and six-man football. His 1940 squad featured three boys who were first team All-Americans in football and were just as talented on the basketball floor.

The second coach he will honor is Clayton West, whose early 1950’s teams blitzed through the PCL. His 1951-52 Bombers were undefeated through their first 25 games, the longest winning streak in Ohio that season.

The final coach in this first installment of basketball speeches will be Dick Schlup, whose late 1950’s teams were forced to play an independent schedule against much bigger schools. Schlup’s squads lost only six regular season games in three years.

Many of the boys who played for those three coaches will be returning for the talk, and anyone who remembers their heroics or wants to relive great times in Bomber sports history will not want to miss Belden’s talk.

The Windham Historical Society meets the third Monday of every month to review and discuss new acquisitions and research on this small town on the cusp of its Bicentennial, which will fill Windham with activity in July of 2011. The Society is heavily involved in all the Bicentennial preparations, and is selling a multitude of 200th Anniversary items at the talk.

The Historical Society is always interested in obtaining, whether permanently or on loan, any object with relevance to Windham. Items of special interest include films, pictures, scrapbooks, ephemera, newspapers, advertising, tokens, school items, sports items, or family genealogy.

The society has extensive facilities for copying paper items.

The Society is continuing to sell Ralph Pfingsten’s lavish new book, “The History of the Ravenna Arsenal,” newly published and containing over 900 pictures. The Society and Bicentennial Committee receive a stipend for every copy sold. These books make wonderful Christmas gifts, especially for that  person who has everything. They are available for purchase at the upcoming meeting, by contacting President Lynnea St John at 330-326-6061, or emailing her at lynnya45@yahoo.com.