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Windham – This year’s Brick by Brick Celebration Dinner and Fundraiser held at Windham High School helped the Brick by Brick Endowment Fund reach two milestones.  The first one was they have exceeded the $200,000 mark after only 11 years. The second milestone was the need to construct a fourth wall to hold all the engraved bricks that have been sold.

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Windham – Windham Brick by Brick Scholarship Program will hold their annual dinner on August 18, 2012.  The doors will open at 5 pm with folks having the opportunity to view the new fourth wall and share stories.   A fabulous chicken dinner, including homemade pies, will be served at 6pm by the Windham Congregational United Church of Christ with the program following dinner at 7pm. This year the honoree is Don Miller who has served the community as a volunteer firefighter for 54 years.

Windham Twp. – Windham Township Trustees met for their regular scheduled meeting last week with all trustees and fiscal officer present. Also in attendance, were township employee Mike Dye and Zoning inspector Joe Pinti.

The meeting was called to order by chairman Dann Timmons. Residents from Gotham Road were there to question what was being done about  the mobile homes on their road that are dilapidated and half-gutted. They also wanted something done about the high grass at another mobile home on the street. The residents even brought pictures of the problem areas. After hearing their complaints, the trustees and zoning inspector addressed the issue, stating that they have gone through the proper procedures and were at the point where the two mobile homes were supposed to be removed by the owners by June 1, 2012 or the trustees would have them removed and the cost assessed to the taxes. The trustees received a bid $5000 to have them removed prior to the owners gutting them. The contractor was contacted and issued a new bid of $2500 to remove each of them and said he could have them removed over the weekend. The trustees unanimously voted to have George Gibson remove the mobile homes and have the cost assessed to the owner’s taxes. The trustees will consider having a sheriff’s deputy to accompany the contractor.

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Caught up in the excitement of the Summer Olympics? Dream of owning a gold medal?  Bring your friends and have fun at Windham Library’s “Wet & Wild Olympics”, Monday, August 6 at 11:00 a.m.  Challenge yourself and others in a selection of outside games all guaranteed to get you wet!  If movies are more your speed, join us at Windham Library on Tuesday, August 14 at 12:30 p.m. for a free movie and craft.  We will enjoy a family friendly animated rendition of Dr. Seuss’s classic book about the threat of industrialization to nature.

Windham – Gano’s Auto Clinic recently opened its door for business in Windham, ready to service your auto, light trucks, ATV, riding lawnmower and motorcycles. Owner Rich Gano has 26 years of repair experience and previously worked for D&A Oil. Gano’s Auto Clinic is located between St. Michaels Catholic Church and Circle K, also known as  9710 C East Center Street in Windham. The clinic’s hours are Monday thru Friday 8am until 4 pm and Saturdays from 8am. until noon. The hours are flexible and they may increase over time. Appointments are preferred but walk-ins are accepted. He can be reached at 330 326-0003 for appointments and questions.

Windham - Windham Village Council met for their regularly scheduled meeting last week with all but one council member present.  The meeting was called to order by Mayor Rob Donham. Council approved the amended agenda, finance report, and minutes from previous two meetings, with one meeting being a special meeting. The fiscal officer announced he would be unavailable for the August meeting, after some discussion council voted to change the regular meeting date to Wednesday August 29, 2012 at 7pm in council chambers.

The Kelly Miller Circus Clowns Carlee and Charlie were in town earlier this week to promote the circus that arrives in Windham on July 30th. Pictured above (left to right) are Kaylee Nichols and Zoey St. John with the clowns.

The Kelly Miller Bros. Circus, founded during the Depression, is marking another milestone this year as it celebrates its 74th anniversary. Founded in 1938 by Obert Miller and his sons, Kelly and Dores, this traditional tented circus has seen the passing of the millennium and still offers the same great family entertainment it presented in its humble beginnings. While the show in 1938 was little more than the Miller family, some ponies and a couple of monkeys, they still moved through the country, as they  do today, in trucks and went through the same route each day of setting up and giving performances in a new town.
The all new 2012 season will feature elephants, horses, llamas, camels, clowns, and a host of international circus stars, but each morning the public gets an altogether different kind of show as the circus lot comes to life. Circus trucks pull onto the lot in the early morning hours, animals are unloaded, stakes are driven and elephants lift the giant Big Top into the air. Best of all, the public is welcomed to watch the entire spectacle free of charge.

In fact, after the first of the four massive poles that support the Big Top are set in place, the public is invited to step into the tent and see men and beasts complete their work. A knowledgeable circus veteran will be on hand to explain the action and answer questions about circus life.

CIRCUS IS A CITY ON WHEELS

Facts about the Kelly Miller Family:
Number of people on the road with Kelly Miller Circus- 72
Personnel in the home office & marketing department- 15
Total number of animals- 24
The cast on the road includes a cook, a school teacher, and even a mayor (Kelly Miller’s president, David Rawls, was once mayor of Hugo, Oklahoma)

Circus Equipment
Show-owned semi-trucks- 6
Other show-owned trucks and vehicles- 9
Staff and performers vehicles-18
Size of vinyl roof of the Big Top- 11,824 square feet
Area of the vinyl wall of the big top- 3,912 square feet

Weighty Issues:
The Kelly Miller Performing Elephants
Viola- 9,540 lbs • Libby-7,820 lbs • Nina- 6,520 lbs
Tent material (vinyl only, no poles or cables)- 7,297 lbs

This season the Kelly Miller Bros. Circus will travel nearly 10,000 miles and give performances over 200 cities and towns as it winds across North America from March through October. The all-new edition promises a more exciting and extravagant exhibition than ever. Everyone is invited to step back in time as the Kelly Miller Bros. Circus brings the history and tradition of the old fashioned circus to Windham on Monday, July 30, 2012 thanks to the sponsorship of the Windham Historical Society.

Performances will begin at 4:30 & 7:30 p.m. on Monday at the KT School Grounds- 9032 Maple Grove Rd, and the tent raising will begin at approximately 9:00 a.m.

Advanced tickets available at Windham G & F Mini Mart, Monica’s Café, Renaissance Family Center, Cortland Bank & Circle K, At Garrettsville: Skylane Bowling, Tickets bought in advance are $10.00 for Adults and $6.00 for Children. Tickets purchased on show day at the Circus Box Office are $15.00 for Adults and $7.00 for Children.

Windham Twp. – Windham Township Trustees met for their regularly scheduled meeting last Thursday with all trustees and fiscal officer in attendance.

The first item on the agenda was to open the floor to guest who would like to address the board. A resident asked if he could clean up veteran John Decker’s marker and place it where it belongs. The trustees had no problem with the resident doing that. 

Windham Library is pleased to announce Mariah Carter as the winner of our Guess the Number of Gumballs contest.  Mariah correctly guessed the exact number to win, congratulations Mariah!

For more information, call the Windham Library at 330-326-3145.  The library, located at 9005 Wilverne Drive, is open Monday and Friday, 10:00 am-4:00 pm; Tuesday and Thursday, 12:00 pm-6:30 pm; and closed on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. For additional information about library programs and services, please visit Portage County District Library online at www.portagelibrary.org.

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Windham -  This past weekend Windham WVFD held their Annual Firemen’s Carnival. The event is traditionally held each year on graduation weekend with proceeds going to the fire station for equipment and supplies. The event has been going strong for over 32 years and features live music, food, rides, games, and good old fashioned fun.

The event opened Thursday night and folks came out to enjoy the food, rides, and visiting with friends and neighbors they hadn’t seen all winter.  Moms with little ones headed for the rides, teens did what teens do, eat, ride and just hang out with their friends, while the older folks visited with friends and took in the music.

Friday the event seemed to be off to a great start but then the rain came. The skies cleared out just in time for “Rebel Country Band” to perform the evening show.

Saturday, the grand parade stepped off at noon. Folks dodged rain drops all day and well into the evening, but they still came out, donning rain gear and umbrellas. The featured entertainment for Saturday was “Generation Gap,” “Sound Check” and “Bringing Benatar,” All the bands rocked out the night.

Those who were not into the music scene could enter the Texas Hold’em Tournament held at the fire station or try their luck at the 50/50 raffle.

Sunday brought the sunshine, and folks ventured back out to ride rides and eat carnie food. In spite of the weather, the event was deemed a success because folks dodged the rain and came out anyway.

 

(l-r) Ohio Rep Kathleen Clyde, Lt. Col Ed Meade Garrison Commander of camp Ravenna, Windham Mayor Rob Donham second place finisher Ken Batcher and first place finisher Nick Chambers

Camp Ravenna – This past Saturday, Windham experienced a rare event, the opening of the north gates of Camp Ravenna AKA Ravenna Arsenal. The gates were opened for a few hours for the first 5K race through the facility to help fund the Windham Park Restoration Committee Project. Fifty- six folks came out to support the cause, with many of the participants coming from Ravenna, Mantua, Hudson and even as far away as Mogadore and Plymouth. 

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The WVFD Joint Fire Board met for their regular monthly meeting recently with four of the five members present along with the fiscal officer. The board approved the minutes from last month’s regular meeting and two special meetings. They also approved the bank reconciliation, expenditures, and paid the bills.

Windham – In days gone by, folks who were able to send their youngsters to a pre-school program were usually of the elite sector and pre-school was considered an option only for those who were financially blessed. Pre-schools, back in the day, were few and far between and had long waiting lists. Now all that has changed and pre-schools are everywhere and more parents are seeing the need for  and value of early childhood education [and finding the means to do so]. Not only are they finding the means, they are also discovering that there is a pre-school in their area and it is more affordable than ever.

Marty Hill Court was filled beyond capacity last Friday night as folks from around the region came out to see the Harlem Ambassadors take on the Hometown Heroes of Windham. The Hometown Heroes are a co-ed team comprised of former Windham High School (WHS) basketball stars. The oldest player was Jim Moore who graduated in the class of 1966. They were coached by Greg McDivitt and Donny Ridenbaugh and the game was refereed by Marty Hill and Danny Nutter.

The Ambassadors were coached by Lade Majic who assisted with announcing, and some on court antics including wrestling Ted St. John to the ground and getting a “pin” which resulted in a foul.. Ted was headed to the line but the fun didn’t end there. After some good jokes at St. Johns expense and some wardrobe adjustments he was finally allowed to shoot his free throws.

The half- time show included those in the stands as folks headed to the court to kick up their heels and dance a line dance with the Harlem Ambassadors. The second half of the game got under way with the Hometown Heroes in serious need of points.  They started off with a few shots but still failed to close the gap and at one point Sean Cline was wrestled to the ground by Lade Majic and the referees called  “FOUL!” which resulted in more antics at Cline’s expense. Between the family friendly jokes, slam dunks and extreme ball handling skills the crowd was wowed by the Ambassador’s talent.

The evening was a family-friendly event that brought out laughs, cheers and fun as the packed house enjoyed the game along with the antics from the Harlem Ambassadors.   In the end the Hometown Heroes were on the losing end but all in all it was a fun evening.
The event was a fundraiser for the Renaissance Family Center in Windham, with proceeds going directly to support the programs at the center.

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Windham – Spring has officially arrived and if you have been lying around all winter then it is time to get outside and get moving. Here is an event you will not want to miss and it will not only help you get moving it will help a local group generate funds to restore their park.

Windham – The spooky world of the paranormal is coming to the Windham Historical Society. At their monthly meeting on Monday, April 16, at 7 PM at the Brick Chapel, 9001 North Main Street, all interested listeners will hear how Windham once stood at the center of the world of psychic research.

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Windham – The Windham Historical Society heard presentations from their Scholarship winners, Caitlyn Isler (l.) and Julia Brookover (r.). Caitlyn presented a talk and artifacts from Richard Nixon’s visit to Windham in 1972, just before the news about Watergate broke in the national headlines. Julia gave a sociological  Powerpoint presentation about her family history, and how the Ravenna Arsenal facilitated people from other areas coming to the Windham area to meet and form families. The Historical Society scholarships are underwritten by the Stuart Higley Foundation, administered by descendants of one of Windham’s founding families.

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Words of comfort, thoughts of disbelief, and so many things we wish we had said. “Only the good die young” seems to be the phrase uttered on repeat. While no life seems long enough, just shy of 19 years is far too short. In his short time, our Ryan touched so many. Our community is at a loss. If you didn’t know Ryan, you had heard of him. His larger-than-life personality, his work ethic, and his business abilities all spoke volumes about his character. He was loved by many; the pride and joy of his family. To know Ryan was to love him. It was evident Friday evening the many lives he had touched, as the trucks rolled by, you could feel the love people had for him outweighing the disbelief of his sudden passing. He touched and influenced more people in his short life then some people would be able to in 100 years. To begin to understand why our Ryan was taken so soon is something our mortal minds will never grasp. As the shock begins to wear off and the reality that he is really gone sets in, let us hold dear the memories he left us with. Remember the beautiful blue-eyed boy who stole our hearts with his larger-than-life personality. Remember the mischievous young man who was always on the go. Remember the honest, hard-working boy who never let the possibility of failure stop him from trying. Remember the quick wit and humor that made him a joy to be around. Remember the kindness he possessed that transcended generations and made him who he was. Remember the slow smile and shine in his eyes that let you know he was up to something. Remember the cloud of black smoke that let you know he was near. Remember the love and loyalty he was capable of, that made being his friend an honor. Remember the excitement he had for life. Remember how he loved his family. Remember his thirst for knowledge. Remember the times we were blessed with by sharing his life. Remember the tears we shed at his passing. Remember how he made this community a better place. The loss of our Ryan runs deep, but we can keep his memory and values alive in our hearts, maybe try to see the world as Ryan did, it will make our world a better place, a world of endless possibilities, where everyone is counted a friend. That’s the world Ryan lived in and look at the impact he had on all of our lives. Rest in peace, sweet boy, it was an honor to have known you, and see what a wonderful young man you turned in to.

Windham Twp. – The Windham Township Trustees met for their regularly scheduled meeting with all three trustees present.

Chairman Dann Timmons called the meeting to order and started off with zoning. Zoning inspector Joe Pinti reported that he didn’t issue any permits for February but he did field several calls on sheds sizes and fences. Pinti also received complaints about property on Stanley Road.  Timmons reported that the zoning hearing held prior to the meeting resulted in the owners of 8550 Gotham and 8542 Gotham committing to removal of the mobiles on each property. The trustees passed two resolutions to reflect that the owners have agreed to have the mobile homes removed within 90 days. If the property owners fail to remove them within the time frame, the trustees will have the right to do it and add the expense onto the property taxes.
Timmons recognized two guests, Kristina Port and Mark Porter, who both are running on the Republican ticket for the Ohio State Representative for District 76. Both introduced themselves and presented their positions on the issues.

Road supervisor Brian Miller reported that the roads were in good shape and that he had received a call from the county engineer wanting to know if the township had any chip – n- seal projects for this year. Miller said he would check. A resident suggested that they do at least one road a year to keep from having them all needing work at the same time. The trustees will take the suggestion under advisement.

Timmons reminded the other trustees that the township was responsible for the Memorial Day Services this year and they need to get a speaker for the event.

Timmons also needed the other two trustees to represent the township at a mediating session on the Proto case coming up soon.  With there being no further business the meeting was adjourned. The trustees meet on the first Thursday of each month at 7 pm. at the town hall.

Windham – The Windham Historical Society continues its busy 2012 schedule on Monday, March 19, at 7 PM in the Brick Chapel on North Main Street in Windham.

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

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

Julia will be talking about the effects of the coming of the Ravenna Arsenal on her extended family, which was uprooted in 1939 when the federal government took the family farm. She has done extensive research and interviews to prepare a personal look at the sociological effects of that important time in Windham history.

Caitlyn will freeze a moment in time when she talks about “When Richard Nixon Came To Windham.” Very few people who settled here after 1972 know about the excitement of that day, one week before his re-election, and Caitlyn has compiled an entertaining look back in time – right down to how it threw the Taft cows off their milking schedule.

Both of the students are leaders at Windham High School. Caitlyn is an All-Conference athlete, playing volleyball, softball and basketball, and serving on Student Council and National Honor Society. She is heading to Ohio State University to major in exercise science.

Julia, who is  class valedictorian, has engaged in the Drama Club, choir, National Honor Society, and volunteers in numerous activities. She has been accepted into the Honors College of Toledo University, pursuing a degree in psychology.
The public is invited to this free presentation by two of Windham finest scholars.

The Society is always interested in obtaining, whether permanently or on loan, any object with relevance to Windham. Items of special interest include pictures, scrapbooks, ephemera, newspapers, advertising, tokens, school items, sports items, or family genealogy.
For more information on the Society, please call President Lynnea St. John at 330-326-6061, or email her at lynnya45@yahoo.com.

Windham – Windham Board of Education met for their regularly scheduled meeting with all board members, including Treasurer Dawn Altman and Superintendent Gregg Isler in attendance.
Board president Danny Burns called the meeting to order. After they presented the students of the month and Bomber Stars, Burns opened up the floor to guests who wanted to address the board.
Art Bowen inquired what was being done about placement of the McDivitt Banner. Board member Melissa Roubic answered him by stating that the administrative officers of the athletic council are working on establishing the criteria for what items get hung on the gym wall. She assured him they were addressing the issue. Roubic said that she, Jeff States, Mike Chaffee, Danny Burns, and Gregg Isler were the committee working on setting the criteria. Bowen said he thought they would have community members on the board too especially ones prior to 1975. The board said they would seek input from the community.  Gregg Isler stated that they will get the issue resolved soon. Bowen was the man behind the banner being designed for Greg McDivitt, Art paid to have the banner designed, made and was on hand to present it to McDivitt several weeks ago. When the banner was being planned he was led to believe it would be hung in the gym and assumed so until the day of the event when he was told it will not be in the gym. Right now as they work out the details of where the banner will be placed it remains rolled up in the principal’s office.
Windham Village Mayor Rob Donham was requesting to use part of the districts land near the elementary school to house the historical society’s annual circus and the firemen’s annual carnival rather than use the soccer fields. The mayor said it was a temporary measure and was hoping to develop a more permanent home for them in the future. Right now the mayor really wants to see the soccer fields where they are and move the carnival and circus somewhere else so they don’t tear up the fields. After some discussion the boards will consider the request.
In legislative news, Darryl McGuire reported that the House Bill 116 will give a clearer definition on what is considered bullying, House bill 191 will set the school year to be from Labor Day to Memorial Day, and state bill 284 Eliminates special elections in February and August. These bills are being considered at the state level they are not yet laws.
In the superintendent’s report, Greg Isler reported that they are in the final stages of getting the floor issues at Katherine Thomas Elementary resolved. Moisture tests are scheduled for April with replacement  likely to begin in June. Isler also met with Township Trustee Dann Timmons who said he will do whatever he can to help with the safety issue at the intersection of Wadsworth Road and State Route 303. They are both planning to meet with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) to try to get some help with the issue.
Treasurer Dawn Altman said they have received a cost  estimate on radios for the buses. The estimate is about $6,500. Altman also is in charge of the food service department and said there are changes coming that will include more fresh vegetables, fruit, and whole grains and less sodium and fat. The exact mandates have yet to be established but they will come with little funding and may create more waste.
In maintenance, Supervisor Craig Alderman reported that work on the floor at KT will be done over the summer, the skylights will be replaced, and the voids in the blocks will be filled. Alderman is also looking at alternate ideas to the sump pumps in the basement.
The BOE meets on the fourth Thursday of each month at 7 pm.

Garrettsville –  Two backyard rivals take their competition to a new level. Windham and Garfield schools last year decided to make change in the rivalry rather than contend against one another, they  decided come together for a joint cause. A year ago last fall, when Mike Chaffee took over as the principal of Windham Schools, he wanted to revive the rivalry  wiht Garrettsville that had somewhat died down over the years.  Chaffee wanted to turn what usually becomes a week of pranks and sometimes vandalism into a week of positive, healthy competition for a good cause. So “rivals for a cause” was born. Last year the schools held a food drive and sold T-shirts to raise monies for St. Jude’s Hospital. This year they are raising money by selling T-Shirts and the proceeds are being donated to Porter Lyons, a Garfield senior who underwent a heart transplant on New Years Eve. Between the two schools over 400 shirts were sold.
Rivalries are as old as dirt and many of them fade out. Although it appears that the rivalry between these two schools is still strong, it has become less intense and less vicious than in years past.  They still have pep rallies and  spirit week; the victories are sweet, but what once was is no longer the norm.
The more mature sector of the population from both districts tell of stories where each school had fears going to the  others territory. It was not uncommon in the early 70’s for the bus to travel through rocks, bottles etc. being tossed at them by kids who would lie in the ditches waiting for the visiting school to approach the town. Other pranks were common-place as well.
Residents tell of how Garfield’s victory bell that is now anchored on the football field was a target and stolen quite often during spirit week. Could that be why it is cemented down now?  Some said they will never forget the large W burned on Garfield football field a few years back, while Windham talks about the time Garfield kids marked their field with a big G. The pranks seemed to have gone by the wayside — as they should — and the rivalry has dwindled some but one thing remains the same,  a victory is sooo sweet and bragging rights reign for a long time. However, losing is still very bitter.
I asked many older residents that are still involved with school sports why they thought a rivalry which was strong, had lost some of its intensity. Some said laws have changed and schools now have zero tolerance policies which cause some to reconsider their actions. Many schools  now have cameras and more lighting outside which also plays a role in the reduction of the misdeeds. Some even said the two towns have intermarried which has changed the dynamics of the rivalry; social media have played a role in the change as well.
One thing that can be said is, although it may not be as vicious, the rivalry is still there and going strong and last Friday’s game at Garfield is proof of that. Long before the J.V. game reached the half-way mark, seating became difficult to find and by the time the varsity game started, the house was at capacity.
Everyone was ready for a good game; both sides were clad in the “Rivals for a Cause” black and teal T-shirts that both districts had sold as a fundraising project for the Lyons family. The student body from each school  cheered on their team and occasionally taunted each other by  “We can’t hear you” or “You can’t do that” followed by cheers of “Go Bombers” and “Go G-Men”. The game remained close for the most part, with  teams exchanging the lead several times.
Half-time brought out the best in both team’s fans as the entire gym gave a standing ovation as the Garfield’s Student Council and Windham Senior Jacob Vaughan presented a  $10,000 check to Porter Lyons. The monies presented were from various fundraising efforts and donations from the community. The funds from the T-shirt sale and spaghetti dinner that took place Friday night were not included in the total.  Porter addressed the fans and thanked them for their support. After the presentation and Porter’s address, the fans swarmed Porter chanting “Porter Porter” and “We love you Porter.”
The game resumed and remained tight.  About a third of the way through the third quarter the gym once again gave a standing ovation as Garfield Senior Cody Berg hit a milestone of his career by scoring his 1,000th point. After a brief recognition, the game resumed with a back and forth exchange of leads. It the end, the G-Men came up short (64-61) giving the Bombers a victory and the bragging rights for another year.

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Windham - Mia Berardinelli, is a 5th grade student at Windham Katherine Thomas Elementary School. With the help of her little sister Madison, (1st grader at KT), she recently collected gently used blue jeans for a program called Teens for Jeans

Windham - The Renaissance Family Center RFC held their one-day Annual Indoor Garage Sale last Saturday. Long before the scheduled 9am opening time, folks started lining up at the door ready to converge on the facility to find that special item at bargain prices. The doors opened at 9am and folks quickly started snagging the bargains. The facility became crowded quickly as treasure hunters rummaged through the aisles of goods.

The center had just about anything one could imagine, including furniture, appliances, lamps, linens, dishes, televisions, glassware, book cases and more. They even had breakfast and lunch items for sale in the cafeteria as well, all at bargain-basement prices.

After folks concluded their treasure hunting, they headed to the check-out lines to pay. They had two cashiers, one at each end of the building to help  get one through the lines faster. For those who purchased larger items, they had help from the wonderful volunteers who carried the items to vehicles and even helped load them if needed.

The sale lasted until 3 pm and the proceeds from the sale will go toward the center’s operating expenses and various programs.

By now, just about everyone in the community knows that early Christmas morning Garfield senior Porter Lyons was thrust into a fight for his life as he learned that his heart was failing and he would need a heart transplant. On New Year’s Eve Porter received a new heart and is now on the road to recovery.

Once again the community was there during the crisis. They offered up prayers, sent gift cards, letters of encouragement and even money to help ease the burden on the family, but they wanted to do more, after all they are our neighbors and friends. Both Windham and Garrettsville have joined forces to embrace the challenge to reach out and help one of their own by holding several fundraising events.   Right now there are several events going on that just about everyone can participate in to help out the family during their crisis. So let’s rally together and help ease this family’s burden by showing them that we too have the “Heart of the Lyons”.

Windham –  The weather didn’t stop the Second Annual Jeff Stanley Memorial Scholarship spaghetti dinner fund-raiser from being held on Friday the 13th before the basketball game with the Garfield G-Men. The dinner was a hit with both teams’ fans as they were spotted enjoying the never ending spaghetti before the big game. The all-you-can-eat spaghetti was served with a salad, bread sticks, dessert and beverage. By the evening’s conclusion, the scholarship committee and volunteers served over 200 dinners prior to the game. The dinner will be an annual event held prior to the home Windham – Garfield basketball game.

The proceeds from the dinner go toward the Jeff Stanley Memorial Scholarship awarded to a senior at the graduation ceremony who meets the criteria, with one of them being the best Bomber fan one can be.

Jeff Stanley a Windham graduate contributed greatly to Bomber athletics by coaching, managing, mentoring,  volunteering and even refereeing youth games. He was the Bombers biggest fan and embodied the true spirit of being a Bomber. In his memory the family has established a memorial scholarship that is funded through the dinner and is given to a senior who depicts the heart of a Bomber by either playing sports or being a great fan. Jeff lost his battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease in 2007.

The Stanley Family would like to thank all the volunteers who helped make the dinner a success, those who baked desserts for the event and especially thank Ben Ziska of Guys Pizza in Kent along with Maruf Awad from Sparkle Market and Carolyn Miller Cakes their continued support is what makes the event so successful.

Windham - When one thinks of Windham Basketball they immediately think of Marty Hill and the years of success the district has had in the sport. No one ever considers the girls’ team and now is the time one might want consider them too. The girls’ team has struggled as of late but the tide seems to be turning for the team this year and one of the reasons just might be the talents of two sisters, Caitlyn and Jessica Isler. The duo is becoming a force to be reckoned with in the county division of the Portage Trail Conference as they continue to show improvement each week and give opposing teams a run for their money. In addition to the pair heating up the court, the team’s coach is drawing some attention as well. Coach Gregg Isler is not only the coach, he is the duo’s dad and is also the superintendent of the school district. 

The W.V.F.D. Joint Fire District Board met for their regularly-scheduled meeting last week with all board members present. Chairman Dann Timmons announced that the township trustees re-appointed him to  the fire board to represent the township as their elected official. Timmons also announced he had heard from the mayor of the village that fire board member Scott Garrett had resigned. Scott was the village’s elected official representative. The village council has appointed Phil Snyder to the fill the vacated position on the board. Board member Linda Rininger requested the resignation letter which no on had seen. Rininger asked Mr. Snyder to abstain from voting until the fire board received official word from Mr. Garrett. Snyder agreed to abstain from voting.

First item of business was to appoint a chairman for the new year. The board chose Ron Kilgore as chairman with Dann Timmons as the vice chairman.  The clerk presented the expenditures, and bank reconciliation and the board moved to approve both. The temporary appropriation were established at $518,716 which the board approved.

In the chiefs report Fire chief Iwanyckyj reported that truck 2815 had a smoking cylinder, speed issues and other mechanical problems. The truck was taken to Sedensky’s Truck and Tractor Repair in Nelson Township. Mr. Sedensky was at the meeting to explain the issues it had and the cost to repair them. After some discussion, the board approved the repairs at an estimated cost of $4,800. Sedensky believes it can be repaired and back in service within two days from the start of the repair.

The chief announced that reserve firefighter John Hostetler had passed his test and he would like to promote John to regular fire fighter.  The board approved the measure.  Iwanyckyj also announced that a new medic has passed the test and they will soon have 4 paramedics on the roster. He also stated that in the last 7 months there was only one month where they had one EMS call with no responder and it was referred to neighboring EMS services. In other chief news, the suction units on the squads went down prior to the meeting, resulting in an emergency repair of $975. They were still in the running for a truck grant and they had the electric to the fuel tanks that they no longer use disconnected.

Mark Ellerhorst went over the new insurance policy with the board and explained their coverage. He also stated that although the premium was a little higher it was not a rate hike it was because of the purchase of the new ambulance last year. The board accepted the insurance policy.

The board adjourned to an executive session to discuss pay increase for EMS and officers in the department. After the board returned, they offered to increase the pay of on-call medic personnel and they will look at the budget and determine what they can do for the officers. The fireboard meets on the second Thursday of each month at 7pm at the fire station. The meetings are open to the public.

Windham Dirt Daubers, a 40 year old garden club, has decided to hang up their garden tools at the first of the year, citing declining membership as the primary reason. The club started May 10, 1971 after Susan Kauppila-Happel had envisioned forming a group of ladies to learn more about plants and flowers along with other related issues.   The members listed on the roster when they dissolved were Marilyn John, Diana Martin, Rita Light, Rita Greene, Debbie Davis, Angie Smithburger, Dawn Kahoun, Dona McGuire, and Lynnea St, John. Inactive members were Karen Hoskins, Pat Clayton and original member Pat Burns.

Over the years the group had been very busy in the community. They had planted flowering crab trees around the circle of the township Green, they landscaped the court yard at Katherine Thomas (K.T.) Elementary School, planted the garden in front of the community center, built, maintained and planted flowers at the welcome signs one sees as they enter the town. They also landscaped the school sign at the high school and held fundraisers for vinyl picnic tables for the high school and junior high.

More recently, the garden club has maintained and planted flowers at the gazebo, war monuments and post office along with the welcome signs.  The group not only planted the flowers, they watered them, weeded them and kept them looking great all season long. During the holiday season the group had always decorated the gazebo and served cookies for the community lighting ceremony, which they hope someone else will pick up where they left off.

Besides garden activities, the Dirt Daubers could be seen out supporting community causes as well. The group had worked with “Toys for Tots”, Salvation Army, the Athletic Boosters and had even purchased clothing for the children at K. T. Elementary Schools. They were committed to their community.

Along with working in their community, the group has had many guest speakers at their meetings speaking on a variety of topics that expanded their knowledge of gardening and other related topics. They even had a beekeeper come in to expand their knowledge of bees and how they relate to gardening. The club also had toured gardens over the years and most recently toured the Draime Estate Gardens in Howland which is owned by Kent State Horticulture. They were an active club that served their community diligently and will be sorely missed.

It was at the December township trustee meeting where Marilyn John, president of the club announced it was with great regret the garden club would disband on the first of January 2012. She cited declining membership and the age of current members was making it difficult to continue as the reasons behind the decision. John said she hoped the village and the township would continue to decorate for Christmas and has donated the decorations for the gazebo to the township.  The announcement at the meeting brought a statement from Chairman Dann Timmons, who said he was sorry to see them disband after being such an icon in the community for 40 years but he guessed it was a sign of the times, where as folks were just are not interested in garden clubs anymore.  Timmons,  along with the other two trustees, has vowed to see that the gazebo is decorated each year for the holidays.

The garden club will be sorely missed.

Windham Twp. – Windham township monthly meeting started off with its regular format and quickly turned ugly after the trustees voted to not renew 15 year veteran Road Supervisor Rich Gano’s contract. The board took care of the new year’s business of appointing chairman and vice chairmen, filling zoning board positions and appeals position along with approving temporary appropriations including choosing legal counsel. The board adjourned to executive session to discuss personnel matters and returned shortly there after.

Chairman Dann Timmons asked for a motion to renew Rich Gano’s contract as road supervisor and no motion came forth. He moved on and asked for a motion to renew Mike Dye’s contract, a motion was made and the vote was taken with a unanimous decision to renew his contract at the rate of $16/hour as a township employee. Again Timmons asked for a motion on Gano’s contract and again silence was the response. Timmons stated that they had to do something so finally Brian Miller made a motion to not renew Rich Gano’s contract and trustee Jesse Wirick seconded the motion. A voice vote was taken with the following results: Wirick, Yes; Miller, Yes; and Timmons, No. The motion carried with the trustees not renewing Gano’s contract. The residents in attendance were outraged and the meeting erupted with accusations of being unchristian, heartless and even having a vendetta against Gano, including accusing them of having some relative waiting in the wings to fill the slot.  Most of the accusations were directed at the two trustees who voted to not re-new the contract and at times even a few threats were hurled. Folks question who would be plowing the roads and if Dye was released to return to work yet (He had been on a medical leave)  and what would happen if we got hit with a big snow storm. Timmons responded by saying any of the trustees were capable of manning the plows and the roads would be done just as they had been done in the past. Residents wanted answers to why they chose not to renew his contract and trustees responded with, “We do not discuss personnel issues in an open meeting.”

It should be noted that Windham trustees traditionally offer 1 year contracts to employees and generally renew them at the beginning of each year.

In other employee issues the board voted to not renew Gano as the zoning inspector as well. A voice vote was taken with the following results Miller, Yes; Wirick, Yes;  Timmons, No.  Again the residents were outraged that the trustees would not re new his contract.

The trustees then voted to have Brian Miller serve as Road Supervisor, which again had the residents angry with their elected officials and accusing them of having an ulterior motive.

In other business, the trustees re-appointed Dann Timmons to represent them on the fire board. They are also working on finalizing road agreements with Braceville and Freedom. These two townships have roads that cross over into Windham Township and the trustees wanted some written agreement on which entity was maintaining and plowing which portion of the roads.  The trustee also appointed Lynnea St. John to the zoning board of appeals and Tom Perry to the zoning commission. They also agreed to use the prosecutor’s office as a first line of legal counsel and Mark Finemore for other legal issues.

The board then accepted the Master’s Builder bid of $3408 for replacing ceiling tiles in the upper meeting room and sheriff’s office housed at the town hall.  Lastly the board agreed to advertise for résumés for township worker and zoning inspector with résumés due by the next meeting which will be February 2, 2012 @ 7pm.

Windham – This year’s economy tried to be the Grinch that stole Christmas for some Windham boys and girls until the employees at Harbison Walker put a damper on the Grinch’s plans. When the employees at the local factory heard there were kids at Windham Katherine Thomas Elementary School who were unable to participate in the school’s Annual PTO-sponsored Santa Shop, they sprang into action. The Harbison-Walker employees knew it was time to “Play Santa” and quickly took up a collection of money and donated it to the school. The employees and management willingly dug deep into their pockets, raising $546 for the kids to use to purchase gifts for their family members.
Harbison-Walker’s Plant Manager Dave Apthorpe stated that this is what a small community does for its members. He also said that the plant employs numerous folks from the small community who just wanted to help out the kids, so they did. For many of the employees this has not been a good year. The company has periodically had layoffs due to the economy, affecting many local residents’ finances. But this didn’t matter. The employees anted up to help make things a little brighter for the kids.
On the receiving end of the gift, the school was overwhelmed with gratitude, as were the children as they were able to purchase gifts for their families. Principal Robert Kujala expressed his gratitude as well; stating that they were totally surprised and delighted by the generousity of the Harbison-Walker employees and the management staff at during a tough economic climate. He offered his appreciation for their commitment to the kids in the community.
The school kids expressed their gratitude by making thank you cards and cookies which they sent across town to the local facility.
Harbison-Walker is located within the village limits, employs about 95 hourly employees and 25 salaried employees at the Windham facility.

Windham –  Windham Board of Education (BOE) met for their regularly scheduled meeting with board members Darryl McGuire, Melissa Roubic, Danny Burns, Bill Hickman, with Treasurer Dawn Altman, and Superintendent Gregg Isler  also in attendance. Board member Terrie Altiere was excused to attend a family funeral.

Melissa Roubic gave the legislative report on what’s changing at the state level in education. Some of the new proposals at the state level are HB136 is designed to allow folks to have a choice in private schools or public schools with tax dollars going to private institutions if one chooses. She also mentioned a proposed idea from Senator Tom Sawyer who is trying to eliminate open enrollment in Ohio. This has yet to become a bill; right now it is just a proposal. Roubic also stated that it is unclear how the passage or failure of Issue Two will affect local schools budgets.

Superintendent Gregg Isler stated the they have temporarily suspended building use permits until they get a change to figure out a schedule. Due to the change in start and end times at Katherine Thomas (KT) Elementary the custodians are not always there in the evenings. The custodians are shifted to the other building when they are finished at KT.  He also reported that The district received letters of commendation from the Governor’s office for the high and junior high schools’ improvement to effective rating.

The special education report given by David Root, Root stated the district has 181 students receiving special services with 12 of the students attending Maplewood Career Center and 15 students in another district under the open enrollment program. The district has 25% of its students enrolled in special services while the state average is 14.6%.

The elementary school report: the new backboards are installed with break a-way hoops. The fall Entertainment Book fundraiser was a bust, but the school is considering a frozen food fundraiser for later this year.

The maintenance report was given by supervisor Craig Alderman.  The buses are holding up well and Alderman expects the Ohio Highway Patrol to do a spot inspection soon, which he doesn’t expect to have any problems. The buildings are having the usual problems which they are continuing to battle.

Treasurer Dawn Altman gave the five year financial forecast for the district; as long as things remain steady the district should remain solvent until 2014. Currently they have a three-year wage freeze, with employees contributions to insurance premiums to increase to 15% over the next few years..

In other BOE Business the board approved the following supplemental contracts: to Iris Heller as Junior High girl’s basketball coach, Roger Eakins as junior class advisor and prom advisor, Annette Black and Brenda Britt as Educational aides, and boy’s assistant basket ball coach William Pozsgal. Saturday school monitors were approved to receive a rate of $22.82/ hour. Those monitors are Stacey Best, Nancy Cline, Dougle Hankins, and Alysia Tinker.

Lastly, the board approved the two students under the open enrollment program.

The BOE meets regularly each month on the fourth Thursday at 7pm in room 121 at the high school. November’s meeting has been changed due to the Thanksgiving Holiday to Tuesday, November 22, 2011 at 7pm.

The last football game of the season has a tendency to be some what bittersweet for the seniors, especially those that are players, cheerleaders, and band members, but Friday’s game gave the senior band members an event to remember. The Garfield Band made history when they played their halftime show at Windham High School last Friday night at the last football game of the year.  The two bands, James A. Garfield (JAG) Band and the Windham High School (WHS) band put their love for music first and the rivalry second as the two bands performed a portion of the half-time show together.

The half-time show opened with JAG Band performing first, followed by WHS Band. Then, history was made when the JAG Band joined the WHS Band on the field and finished the half-time show with the two bands playing together.  It was a sight to behold, watching the back yard rivals put aside their differences and put their love of music first, not only performing together but having fun with each other while doing it.  The kids played and rocked out the show leaving the folks in the stands seeing history being made as the two bands entertained the crowd together last Friday night.

The show didn’t come together miraculously, but came with a lot of hard work. Both bands had diligently practiced the two pieces separately and came together one time to practice for about 45 minutes prior to Friday night’s game. Their efforts paid off as the two bands put on a fantastic show to close out the football season.

Folks on the sidelines were impressed as they watched each band cheer the other on as they performed separately, and when they played together. Both bands moved together and sounded like they had been playing together all season long. Some of the comments on the sidelines were “That was awesome,” — from the students to “A job well done,” — from the adults.  Everyone was amazed at the way they were able to come together and put on such a great half-time show. The performance left one wondering whether this was a new tradition in the making. Well, that remains to be seen, but let’s hope it continues. It was a joy to watch the bands come together and share their love for music with others.

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Windham – The Windham Historical Society is back in business after the stunning success of the Windham Bicentennial celebration in July, in which the Society was an active partner.
The next meeting is Monday, October 17 at the Brick Chapel on North Main Street, where year-long activities will be planned.
Tentative plans call for a Fall Festival and Chili Cookoff, an organization Christmas party, and sponsorship of several scholarships for Windham High School students.
The Society is also still selling Ralph Pfingsten’s marvelous book on the Ravenna Arsenal, which would make a great Christmas gift, with President Lynnea St John being the contact person. The book is $50, with a percentage of the sale cost going to the Historical Society.
At the September meeting, donated materials came from former Windham teachers Warner Taiclet, Judy Blewitt, and Lou Anne Kilgore.
The 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.
For more information on the Society or to purchase the Arsenal Book, please call President Lynnea St. John at 330-326-6061, or email her at lynnya45@yahoo.com.

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

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

Windham – Early August 30th many Windham village residents were roused out of their sleep by fire sirens as the W.V.F.D. Joint Fire Department responded to two calls within a mile of each other in the village at approximately an hour apart. The first call was received at 2:28 am for a house fire at 9930 Blanton Drive and an hour later they received a second call for a fire in a multi-housing unit at 9590 Green Meadow Drive.
The W.V.F.D. Fire Department had two trucks and eight men on the scene within eight minutes of receiving the call. They also responded to the second call and were assisted by Garrettsville, Hiram, Mantua, Streetsboro, Newton Falls, and Braceville Departments as they battled both the blazes. The fires were put out by 6:30 am, however Windham Fire Department remained on the scene until 11 am to watch for and put out hot spots. Both dwellings were a totally destroyed.

The house on Blanton Drive was unoccupied and no one was injured in the blaze. The multi-housing unit was partially occupied causing the residents to scramble to safety in the early hours of the morning. All the occupants were able to escape the blaze. The fire department treated one resident for smoke inhalation at the scene.

The two fires were suspicious from the beginning and were investigated by the Windham Police Department, with assistance from the Portage County Fire Investigation Unit and the State Fire Marshal’s Office. Following the investigation, the fires were ruled arson.
The police department promptly began an investigation by responding to tips they had received from the community, resulting in an arrest. On Thursday Mayor Rob Donham II and Windham Police Chief Gene H. Fixler announced that an arrest had been made and they are confident that they have the right person. Police have declined to give the name of the suspect as it is a minor. The seventeen year old is currently being held on aggravated arson charges at the Portage County Juvenile Detention Center.

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Windham – Windham Board of Education (BOE) met for their  regular monthly meeting a week earlier to accommodate a board member’s work schedule.
Legislative report was given by Melissa Roubic who reported that Ohio House Bill (HB) H.B. 202 will limit the retire /rehire benefits of school employees that will effect some of the school’s employees. She also reported that the state’s changing the minimum required  number of school days to hours will make it a challenge if the new proposal to have all school instruction days  take place between Labor Day and Memorial Day. This bill is being discussed but currently is not a law. In other legislative news, the state has appointed a new committee to examine the possibility of making the funding to districts correlate with student performance.
In the superintendent’s report, Gregg Isler reported that the ACT scores for the district were still improving. He also reported that the buildings were ready to go, the school has received enough backpacks for students in K-5th grade, including new enrollees, and the Brick by Brick Scholarship Fund after this year’s dinner stands at $187,000. The dinner raised approximately $3700.
Principal Michael Chaffee acknowledged staff members Roger Eakins, Barbara Balchick, Robert Kujala, Dougle Hankins and Alysia Tinker for attending the technology workshop in Columbus and their tireless work on obtaining technology grants for the district. He also reported that band and fall sports were up and running. This year Windham will not be fielding a junior varsity football team due to lack of participants.
Craig Alderman, transportation and maintenance supervisor, reported that the parking lot light timers were way off and he is currently looking for digital timers for them. The current timers are out-dated, difficult to set and easily get off schedule. He stated that the school buildings and buses are ready to go. The 2011-2012 bus stop schedules have been posted on fliers and have been distributed around town. Parents, please note the new start time for Katherine Thomas Elementary school is 9 am. Due to the time adjustment, students can expect the buses to arrive about 10 minutes later than last year. Also new in transportation, after studying the dangers of the intersection verses the liability of children walking across private property, the board agreed to allow the bus to turn onto Wadsworth Road to pick up students. In the past students had to walk across private property to be picked up on SR 303 because of the limited visibility at the intersection.  The BOE will be asking the trustees for assistance in getting the state to post new signage stating that there will be a bus turning at the intersection. The bus will only make right turns on and off the road.
In other board new the board adjusted the position of Robert Kujala. He was originally hired to be the Director of Special Services/ Preschool His responsibilities will be elementary principal along with director of special services. The district hired Dr. David Root as part-time Education Administrative Specialist Consultant for the school year. He will be working in the special services department.  The board announced they have added extra responsibilities for Stacey Best who will be paid a stipend to assist the districts principals.  An executive session was held; with there being no decisions rendered, the meeting was adjourned. The BOE meets on the fourth Thursday of each month at 7pm at the board office.

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Windham – Windham Library’s children’s garden participants were treated to an amazing exhibit at the August 8 meeting.  Fred Youngen, Pastor of the Windham Bible Church and Chairman of the Renaissance Family Center, shared his knowledge of honeybees. Youngen currently has eight active hives and brought a frame of live honeybees to show the children. He explained the activities and lifestyle of the honeybee.
For more information, call the Windham Library at 330-326-3145.  The library, located at 9005 Wilverne Drive, is open Monday and Friday, 10:00 am-4:00 pm; Tuesday and Thursday, 12:00 pm-6:30 pm; and closed on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. For additional information about library programs and services, please visit Portage County District Library online at www.portagelibrary.org.

Windham’s Bicentennial is now just chapters in the history books but before we close the book out lets take a walk through the pages where memories were made, shared and lived. Folks from all over the country flocked back to Windham this past weekend to celebrate the town’s bicentennial. Some traveled from as far away as California and Mexico to be a part of history. The four-day event was dubbed as the biggest celebration Windham has ever seen. I do believe it measured up to the title as the township Green was jam-packed Saturday night as folks anxiously waited for the fireworks.
The rain tried to put a damper on the event as the skies opened up over the village about 30 minutes prior to the opening ceremonies, but like the postman, neither rain, sleet or snow could stop the event which went on without a hitch.
The opening festivities gave everyone a chance to get reacquainted with the town’s history as well as old friends that hadn’t been seen in a longtime.  The unearthing of the time capsule that was buried in 1986 and the children’s parade were the highlight of the first day’s events. There can’t be a birthday party without cake and there was plenty of delicious cake made by local cake artist Carolyn Miller. When the cake was cut it gave the old timers a chance reminisced about days gone by and wonder what the future would hold while the younger sector was looking to creating their own history and memories as they wandered the grounds.
There were class reunions, tours of the school, car shows, music for everyone, contests, a quilt show, an antique show, along with the artwork of the late Huber King and more. The kids were busy creating memories of their own on the train, in the bounce houses or learning about the animals from Jungle Terry. I even caught a few youngsters checking out the army tank up close and personal. Hmmm, I wonder if there were any seeds of being a soldier planted this weekend. Who knows? Only time will tell.
The Grand Parade Saturday morning had folks out early lining the streets with their chairs as they searched for the perfect spot to watch the grand parade. The 100 unit parade took about an hour and a half to run and left no one disappointed with the event. Floats, fire trucks, jeeps, civic groups, bands, baton groups all marched down the street wishing Windham a Happy 200th Birthday!
Saturday evening was another evening for making memories. One could see folks gathered in various parts of the Green socializing or just hanging out and enjoying the music. Some were catching up with old friend who came into town for the festivities others were just kicking back and taking in the entire scene. Fireworks capped off the days events as “Vicious Cycle” rocked out the night.
Sunday morning started off with a community worship service followed by an ice cream eating contest, burying of a new time capsule, awards and recognitions along with closing ceremonies. It was a bittersweet time as the bicentennial came to a close.
The event will go down in history as the biggest party Windham has ever seen and a time which memories were made. Yes, it was a party to remember, they came, they ate, they danced, they reminisced and most of all they created and shared memories that will last a lifetime. Happy Birthday Windham! May the next 200 years be as great as the first ones!

Windham – Windham Board of Education (BOE) met for their regularly-scheduled meeting for August with one member missing.  The meeting was opened with the pledge and a moment of silence before moving forward with the agenda.
The first item on the agenda was a technology update from Brian Shanower who is the districts techie guru. According to Shanower, their system has been updated to improve speed, allow individual student log ins and an improved help-desk ticket system. The district has also received a technology grant for the high school  that will allow the district’s system to go wireless in all three buildings, he noted that everything will still be filtered through SPARCC so there are no worries about students accessing things they shouldn’t, like Facebook and My Space. The grant also allowed the district to purchase six new projectorless smart boards, new computers for the teachers and 10 new laptops for the library for study use. Shanower stated that all the obsolete and broken equipment was disposed of through a recycling company out of Youngstown. The district expects all the updates to be completed prior to the start of school.
In the Legislative report Melissa Roubic announced that union members from around the state were able to obtain enough signatures on the petition to have the repeal Ohio HB5 placed on the fall ballot. She also noted that Ohio has changed the school year from required days to hours allowing more flexibility for districts that are in areas where they could potentially use all their calamity days.
In the superintendent’s report Gregg Isler reported that the district received a notice from the Ohio Association of Public School Employees (OAPSE) for alleged unfair labor practices in this spring’s contract negotiations. Isler stated that a response to the allegations was sent. He also said the district has applied for a book grant that will provide 300 books for students. Other items in the superintendent’s report were that the application for title one funds is pending and the preschool grant was approved.
Transportation and Building Maintenance Supervisor Craig Alderman said the buses all passed the Ohio State Highway Patrol Inspections and the buildings were right on schedule to be ready for the first day of school. Bus routes will soon be re-evaluated and possibly some rerouted so they can continue to be fiscally responsible.
In other board news the board approved a five cent increase for lunches making high school lunches $2.55 and Elementary lunches $2.05 per meal. They also approved the calamity day alternative make-up plan, which is where the district can hold school online rather than cancel the day. Those who do not have access to a computer will receive study packets on the assignments.
Lastly, the board accepted a $200 donation made in memory of  former kindergarten teacher, Chloe Ann Small,  to help defray the cost of the kindergarten zoo trip.
The BOE meets regularly on the fourth Thursday of each month at 7pm. However, due to schedule conflicts, the August meeting will be held on Tuesday, August 16th at 7 pm.

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Windham – The First Church Of God located at 9016 N. Main St. in Windham will host vendors for the Bicentennial Celebration.
Amish homemade ice cream, Gyros, baked goods by the church,energy and water drinks as well as neck message and sports medicine education will be available.
The church will also be the official judging station for the Bicentennial Bake Sale Contest.
All entries must be dropped off at the church between 9:00am to Noon Saturday, July 30th.
Winner will be judged by the Bicentennial Committee starting at 1:00pm. Winners will be notified and prizes awarded.
All entries will be up for sale starting at 6:00pm Saturday. All proceeds benefit Windham Bicentennial Committee.
Gospel music will be presented at the church through out each day as well as an  open house during all hours of the Bicentennial. All are invited to tour our facility.
First Church Of God praise band with Pastor Bruce Wells plays on the main stage from 4:15-5:00pm  on July 29th. Down Home Gospel Quartet with radio DJ & Pastor  Bruce Wells, performs on the stage behind the brick Chapel N. Main St from 7:00-8:00pm
Call Pastor Bruce Wells @ 330 326 2293 for more information

Windham – Windham’s Congregational United Church of Christ (UCC) celebrated 200 years serving the community this past Sunday.  The celebration included the traditional morning worship, a catered dinner and a dedication service in the afternoon.
The church was established in Becket, MA, on May 20, 1811 prior to the residents heading west to establish a new community here in Windham. The group worshiped before they left Becket and worshiped shortly after they arrived July 27, 1811 marking the first service held in the new land.
The celebration started with a traditional worship service. The church was full to capacity with community members, former church members and family that came home to celebrate and commemorate the event. Former area resident and school teacher Ron Mercer played the accompaniment for the Singing Grannies; they provided the special music for the morning worship service as the church celebrated 200 years. Members, guests and friends took time to look over the history of the church before heading outside to take a commemorative photo on the church steps.
The service was followed by a dinner at the Brick Chapel catered by Monica Welton of Monica’s Café. About 120 folks jammed in the Brick Chapel to feast on chicken, ham, potatoes, veggies and luscious cupcakes.  Pioneer Windham resident “Isaac Streator” portrayed by Robert Malone of Grove City, Ohio stopped by to tell how the church was started and grew over the years. He told of how difficult it was to get to church during the muddy season and that at one time two services were held to accommodate those on each side of the “mud divide” that they had in the rainy season.  He also shared how folks would rally together to build the church, add pews and other items the church needed and  told  a brief history of the church’s early days, a history lesson everyone enjoyed.
Folks visited over dinner; some from out of town took time to catch up and check out the village they hadn’t been back to in a while.
Following the dinner, folks returned to the church for a consecration service.  Several former pastors of the congregation took part in the consecration service as well as a local minister from another church in the area. Pastor Patrick Malone current pastor of the Congregational UCC church read a letter delivered by representatives from the original church in Becket, Massachusetts written by their current Pastor Kevin Schmeil. Schmeil congratulated the church on their milestone and wished them well. Rev. Malone presented the Becket representatives, Eila Bell and Dean Williams, with a photo plaque and an ornament to take back to their church commemorating the event. Following the service the church bells tolled to indicate the church was consecrated and the festivities had come to a close.

Windham – Two-and-a-half years ago the Bicentennial Committee was formed looking to put on the biggest party Windham has ever seen.  Residents and nonresidents alike jumped on board to help make it a commemorative event. They set a budget of $40,000 and started the fundraising efforts. They held Parties on the Green, bake sales, tours of Camp Ravenna, a circus and various other fundraisers before they met and exceeded their goal.
The count down to the party is at less than a week away and the committee, along with government officials, has the village and township looking awesome and ready for the party to get started! The curbs are painted, fantastic-looking flower baskets hung, and the area was given a once over for trash pick-up this past weekend. The town looks better than ever and is ready for the big event, so let’s get this party started!
Opening ceremonies will begin Thursday July 28, 2011 at 5p.m. and will feature Michelle McDowell singing the National Anthem and the opening of the time capsule. The kids will not want to miss The Kids’ Parade with Ronald McDonald, sponsored by Garrettsville McDonalds. These youngsters will be “honored” and treated like royalty. The Kids’ Parade will also have a Kids’ Parade Marshal, chosen during the school year based upon a contest of “What the Bicentennial means to me” They will have live music, a balloon release and a ceremonial cake.
Friday the activities will start up again with tours of the high school, Huber King’s National/ International Carvings will be on display as well as antiques. For the kids there will be Cowboy Andy, Jungle Terry and a kids’ carpentry clinic by Lowes. One can expect to find a music genre that will fit their personal tastes and style, including Blues, ragtime gospel, rock and even Elvis. Friday Night’s headlining band is “Thunderstruck” they are an AC/DC tribute band will begin performing at 9 pm.
Saturday brings the 90-unit- and-growing grand parade, along with a quilt show, car show, dance contest and a dance exhibition by 8th Count Dance Studio. The evening closes out with a Lynyrd Skynyrd headlining tribute band, along with a fireworks and light display.
Come worship with us on the Green on Sunday and close out the party with an ice cream eating contest and the reburial of a new time capsule.
All weekend long one will have the opportunity to check out these on-going events: magical train, old Windham pictures, slide show and videos, Jungle Island petting zoo, bounce house, chainsaw carving, 1811 Militia and artillery living history, Civil War soldiers and so much more. So grab your lawn chairs, kids, and friends and come out and celebrate Windham’s Birthday. This is a party you will not want to miss.

Windham – This year’s summer reading club for kids at the Windham branch of the Portage County District Library is a hands-on garden club. The youth service Librarian Michele McGing wanted to teach children about raising their own food. McGing was able to enlist the help of student volunteers from Hiram College to help build the raised gardens. The Renaissance Family Center willingly donated the space for her project, along with some muscle. The garden, located in the “enclosed triangle” of the building, is protected from vandals and animals. The construction began on the six raised beds, with the soil being donated by Schwan’s landscaping. McGing and Pastor Fred Youngen wheeled load after load of dirt to the garden until planting time.   The garden club has youngsters as young as 6 years to the eldest of 13 years old learning how to grow their own food. The student planted green beans, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, onions, Swiss chard, yellow squash and zucchini. The kids planted the garden and now they maintain it by weeding and watering the crops each week. McGing stated that many of the kids had never eaten fresh garden-grown veggies, let alone grown them. So this is giving them an opportunity to learn how to raise their own food. The kids are learning to grow the produce without chemicals as well.The club meets each week where they weed, water, read books about gardening and work on a craft that has to do with gardening. Some of the crafts the kids have made are: labels for their garden, and bird feeders. The kids learned about composting, organic gardening, how to design and create a small container garden. They discussed plants that attract butterflies, xeriscaping, pressing and drying flowers and nutrition. Many of the activities are designed to reinforce what they have learned from books.  Upon the completion of the program, a nutritionist will help the kids examine recipes and learn how to create a healthy meal from their bounty. The students will cook the meal for their families at the end of the program.  The remaining produce will be divided up among the students to take home with the excess being donated to the local food bank.

Windham Twp. – Windham Township Trustees met for their regularly-scheduled July meeting at the town hall. The meeting was brought to order by chairman Dann Timmons who announced changes in the format of the meeting. Due to complaints from residents, the minutes will no longer be read aloud, however a limited number of printed copies will be available at the meetings. The trustees also will work from a printed agenda. The trustees approved the minutes as presented by the clerk. The chairman recognized guest Lynnea St. John from the Bicentennial committee who requested that the gazebo steps be repaired and the leaves around the base of the structure be cleaned  up before the Bicentennial celebration to be held later this month.  Timmons said they would pass on the information to the maintenance department.  Roads:  Trustee Wirick stated that he checked out all the township roads and they are all in good shape.  Cemetery news: The ground has dried out from the spring rains so the footers are finally poured for graves that needed them. The cemetery roads drainage problem has been resolved and they will begin the road work soon.Zoning news:  Timmons said he had communications with the zoning board on the changes to the code and asked them to come up with a top ten changes that are being made to the code and have them ready to be addressed at a public meeting to be held soon. Two of the areas in the zoning that are in question are side set backs and frontage issues. Questions were raised through an anonymous letter about vacant, bank-owned, neglected properties. After some discussion the board agreed to contact the banks about upkeep of such abandoned properties. A resident wanted to address the board about the progress they have or haven’t made with the drainage issue on Wolf Road. Timmons stated that because the village owned the right of  way, they would have to address the issue with the village.  Village Council woman Rininger was present and stated that she believed the village was addressing the issue and would get back with the resident.  The board then approved the proposed budget for the year. Discussions were held on the lighting project for the township Green. Mr. Timmons stated that the mayor of the village approved the specs along with the zoning permit, so the work will begin on the project. (The township Green is located within the village and must comply with the village’s ordinances.)   After a motion was passed to pay the bills, the meeting was adjourned. The trustees meet on the first Thursday of each month at 7 pm at the town hall.

Windham – The Windham Board of Education (BOE) voted at their latest meeting to withdraw from the Portage Trail Conference (PTC) effective in 2013-2014 school year. The district will enter the Northeast Athletic Conference (NAC) which is comprised of small schools like Lordstown, Bristol, Southington, and Maplewood. Superintendent Gregg Isler stated that “It was a bittersweet for me because I am a graduate of Windham schools and have deep ties to the PTC.” He also stated that “The league has been very good to Windham but we needed to do this for the kids.” The declining enrollment in the district and the rapid growth in the PTC played a role in their decision. Isler stated that  the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) increasing the number of volleyball games and basketball games played each season by two will ensure Windham will still be able to play rivals like Garfield. This was an important factor in the decision. When asked if he thought the rivalry with Garfield would die with the two schools not in the same conference he said he didn’t think it would change anything. The change will not go into effect until the 2013-2014 school year.
In other board news, the board approved a contract with the teachers’ union. Principal Chaffee stated that they have a good relationship with the union and was pleased that an agreement was reached. Superintendent Isler stated that earlier this year the district had 24 proposed layoffs to balance the districts budget. After retirements, elective class adjustments, and staff adjustments the board announced that they only had to R.I.F. (Reduction in Force) two employees. The BOE was able to re-instate music and band at 70% of what they had and choir at 50% of what they once had. They were also able to re-instate art for the junior and senior high schools.

The BOE accepted the resignation of Elementary Principal Joanne Brookover, and the retirements of Claudia Hoover, and Sharon Versch. One year contracts were awarded to Principal Mike Chaffee, and Technology Coordinator Brian Shanower both effective August 1, 2011. Other contracts issued were Diane Ewing as head cook, Robert Kujala as Director of Special Services/Assistant Principal, and Jeff McCune, Maintenance/mechanic.

The BOE meets on the fourth Thursday of each month at 7pm at the high school.