8th grade students learning about the K-9 Unit during career day. Courtesy Miss Blankenship

The Friends of the Library (Garrettsville Branch, Portage County District Library) met recently in the library’s meeting room (Where else?).  Tentative results of the week-long book sale were adjudged quite satisfactory and other prospective fund-raising ideas were discussed.  The Friends help provide materials for various programs offered by the branch, especially for children and crafters, and some books too, of course.  There will be a Fall Basket Raffle coming in October; enter by reading books!  New members are always welcome and the help that many members provide  at the Book Sale is worth a lot.  Join up.  Come and bring your ideas and input on library activities.


Eighth grade students at the James A. Garfield Middle School got a look at their futures…maybe…on Friday,  May 13.  Yup, Friday the 13th, but it was all good.

It was Career Day, offering a glimpse of the nuts-and-bolts of quite a selection of occupations—from an interest survey conducted by Ms. Jessica Blankenship, school counselor.  Local presenters told of their experiences in air traffic control, auto care and sales, culinary activities, cosmetology, counseling, dental care, education, electricity, engineering, finance, fire services & science, health coaching, journalism,  K-9 police work (Jack, Garrettsville’s canine officer, was there, with his partner, Ptl. Whan), medicine, musical/DJ opportunities, Navy careers, nursing, personal/patient care (Hattie Larlham was featured), photography, veterinary care, welding.  Student got a quick look into possibilities and requirements from community members, people they could see on the street and ask questions of, parents, neighbors, experts, a full range of sources of information.  Many thanks to the presenters –Nancy Reedy (Maplewood) Cosmetology, Rachelle King (Business Owner) Cosmetology, Michael Steinberg (Business Owner) Photography, Cassandra Sheppard (Children’s Advantage) Counseling, Ptl. Keith Whan & Jack (Garrettsville Police Dept) K-9 Unit, MM1 Adam Miller (US Navy) Navy, Britt Palmer (Maplewood) Welding, Christopher Perme (Business Owener) Financial Planning, Mr. Remark (Maplewood) Culinary Arts, Megan Blankenship (Stow Kent Animal Hospital) Vet Assistant, Suzanne Paroff (Stow Kent Animal Hopsital) Veterinarian, Tim Splinter (Mercury Machine) Mechanical Engineer, Bob Heidt (Maplewood) Electric, Mrs. Andel (Maplewood) Dental, Cierra Lawson (Zone Entertainment) DJ/Entertainer, Julie Lowe (Hattie Larlham), Bethany Maresh (JAG Schools) Education, Duane Kinney (Cleveland Tower) AIR Traffic Control, Laurie Norton (The Weills) Nursing, Ben Coll (The Weekly Villager) Journalism, Chief Friess (Garrettsville Fire Dept) Fire, Jessica Bittence (Garrettsville Family Medical) Doctor, Angela Shafer- Health Coach and Sheri Johnson (Charles Auto Family) Secretary/ Receptionist — who were there to give a more intimate, well-rounded look at some of the interests expressed by the students, which will be helpful in making  choices about education and training for the future.  It’s seldom easy, so every little bit helps.


Local author, Theresa Saltsman Reed, was featured at the Village Bookstore on Saturday, May 14, signing her latest book, But For Lightning Bugs (also her first book, A Reason  to Be).  Friends and well-wishers stopped in to offer congratulations and to purchase copies to be signed.  They are still in stock.  Stop in to browse; the Village Bookstore is always supportive of local efforts and happy to attempt to obtain your requests to satisfy special interests.  Congratulations to both author and bookseller for an excellent  affair.


Last Friday, May 13, was also a busy day for a number of James A. Garfield High School students, specifically, the ones on the girls’ and boys’ track teams.  Friday was all about finals in the PTC (Portage Trail Conference), the prelims having been contested on Wednesday to set up the medalist competitions.  The G-Men acquitted themselves just fine, thank you very much(Friday the thirteenth or no), boys taking first—by two and one half points (Now there’s a nail-biter; JB will need the mani part of a mani/pedi)—and the girls took third, with a grand finish in the 3200m relay.  But wait, that’s not the story.

Friday was also the Prom.  Dilemma!  One does not often see young ladies at the track in make-up and heels, fancy dresses and hair-do’s, but there they were…and winning too (A shout-out to Johanna Stefanek    who matched her own PR in the 800 and did a leg on the 3200m relay…with great hair.  Ditto for Lauren Jones who took two throwing events).  They all looked good and they did well.

The guys were a match in their distractions.  One young man was brushing off his tux in the parking lot; another was shining his shoes.  A bunch of the contestants stopped in at Hiram College and other venues to have pictures taken.  Focus! Focus!  Dress up.  Dress down.  Run fast.  Jump high/long.  Throw hard.  Dress up again.  Whew!

Congratulations to everybody.