Nov 30, 2013

Mitten Tree helps kids keep hands warm this winter

GREENVILLE – The Fish Mitten Tree is once again waiting to be decorated with donated gloves and mittens; these donations will be distributed to the children enrolled in Darke County Heat Start programs. In addition to the Mitten Tree located at Montage, 525 S. Broadway, Greenville, a Mitten Tree also stands inside the Brethren Retirement Community, 750 Chestnut St., Greenville and in the Ben Franklin, 4 W. George St., Arcanum. Many churches and organizations also erect trees which collect gloves and mittens from their members; these donations are then passed on to Fish to be given to the Head Start participants. The Mitten Tree has been an annual holiday project of the Fish organization for over 40 years. The program was started by Maxine Katzenbarger and Alice Wagner at the Yarn Dome.

“The Mitten Tree provides the opportunity for people of all ages and incomes to participate in the true spirit of the season,” said Marilyn Delk, Fish volunteer coordinating the Mitten Tree project. “We sincerely hope that our generous neighbors will be able to once again this year spare the relatively small amount required to purchase a pair of mittens or gloves and bring joy and warmth to local children who may not receive many other gifts this Christmas,” Mrs. Delk concluded.

To best meet the needs of children directly served by Head Start programs throughout the county, donated gloves and mittens should fit boys and girls age five and under; however, donated items in larger sizes will be shared with Head Start families. Donations should be made by Dec. 16 in order to distribute prior to Christmas. For more information regarding the Mitten Tree, contact Mrs. Delk, 548-2482.

Fish is an ecumenical volunteer organization that responds to emergency food needs with a Choice Food Pantry, open Mondays from 1-2 p.m., Wednesday from 10-11 a.m. and Fridays, 4-5 p.m. No appointment is necessary to visit the Food Pantry; clients are eligible for help once every four weeks. The Fish phone number is 548-2000.

Cheyenne, Charlie and Zorianna, students at the Greenville Head Start program help Commissioners Diane Delaplane, Mike Stegall and Mike Rhoades, and Kristy Cutarelli and Marilyn Delk, representing Fish, decorate the Mitten Tree at Montage.

33rd Annual MVCTC FFA Charity Auction for Ronald McDonald House scheduled

CLAYTON - The 33rd Annual Miami Valley Career Technology Center FFA Charity Auction for the Ronald McDonald House Charities is scheduled for Dec. 11, from 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. at MVCTC. The auction, planned by the MVCTC FFA chapter, is made possible by the dedication and hard work of the FFA members, the MVCTC staff, retirees, and the wonderful alumni that return each year to support the great cause.

Retired MVCTC Ag Educator, Waid Lyons, started the event in 1980. The original auction was a hat auction, making $250. Over the last 32 years the MVCTC FFA has raised over $130,000. MVCTC is proud to be the only High School in the Dayton area to make the largest donation from a one-day event to Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Miami Valley Region.

The proceeds from the event go directly to the local Ronald McDonald House on Valley Street in Dayton so that families of hospitalized children have a place to rest, sustain their strength and be better able to support the healing of their child. RMHC is a modern, 14-room house offering all of the comforts of home to the guest families. They are open seven days a week, 24 hours a day, and 365 days a year.

For more information about MVCTC and the Agriculture Education programs offered for high school students, please visit

Bradford Public Library coming events

BRADFORD - The Annual Christmas Cookie Exchange at Bradford Public Library will take place on Dec. 7 at 11:30 a.m. This is a fun event for bakers of all ages! Each person is to bring 3-4 dozen cookies to exchange with others. Each person will take home a very tasty variety of different holiday cookies that will be perfect for family gatherings. Let’s all get in the spirit of giving to others and share your favorite cookie recipe. Please bring a copy of your cookie recipe. The library will copy it for all participants. In addition, there will be a raffle of items, featuring a beautiful Christmas quilted wall hanging made by Sue Vickroy. You do not have to be a part of the cookie exchange to purchase raffle tickets. They are fifty cents or five for two dollars. For additional information contact the library at 448-2612.

An E-Reader Party is scheduled for Jan. 4, 2014 beginning at 10:30 a.m. If you already have an e-reader, are receiving one for Christmas or are just interested in this new electronic means of reading books, then this workshop is for you. We will personally assist you with whatever E-Reader you have. This event is also for patrons who have Smart phones. Please bring with you the e-reader and a USB cord. After an initial overview of free E-Books, the group will be divided by what type of device you may have. Light refreshments will be served! For additional information, please call 448-2612. Bradford Library staff members will be on hand to help you in any way they can.

Arcanum Wayne Trail Historical Society opens

ARCANUM - Just a reminder to all researchers and visitors, the Arcanum Wayne Trail Historical Society will be open December 7 from 9:00 a.m. until noon as part of the "Open First Saturday's" winter hours. The society is located at 123 W. George Street and was built for Louis Deitrich and served as The Beck Hotel as well as other businesses and establishments.

Please come in to research, look around, or drop off donations of reference materials for the library. For a more up to date materials list please visit or call for appointments to research at 692-6462.

Coppock-Hole Trust Sponsors DCCA special event

DARKE COUNTY - Darke County Center for the Arts thanks the Coppock-Hole Trust for sponsoring the upcoming holiday special event Riders In The Sky “Christmas the Cowboy Way” and their long standing and generous support of the arts in Darke County. “DCCA is grateful for the continued generosity of the Coppock-Hole Trust, which provide opportunities for cultural enrichment in our community,” stated Andrea Jordan, DCCA Executive Director. The Coppock-Hole Trust has been a sponsor of DCCA programs for over 30 years as well as supporting the preservation of the Henry St. Clair Memorial Hall as an important cultural center.

"Christmas the Cowboy Way, "December 7, at St. Clair Memorial Hall, will feature Riders' unique "brand" of cowboy humor sprinkled with a dash of holiday spice, which includes original songs like "Riding Home on Christmas Eve," "Deck the Bunkhouse Walls," and "The Last Christmas Medley You Will Ever Need To Hear." You will also be invited to join Riders in singing traditional holiday classics; and all this yuletide charm is augmented with the classic western favorites Riders have been singing for 30 years. "Multi-Grammy Award winning Riders In The Sky's presentation of "Christmas the Cowboy Way" blends together a festive mix of western music classics, traditional Christmas music, and Riders' original yuletide carols in a holiday spectacular sure to delight all ages." shared Jordan.

This presentation is also supported by Second National Bank and the Arts Midwest Touring Fund; a program of Arts Midwest that is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional contributions from the Ohio Arts Council and General Mills Foundation. Additionally, the Ohio Arts Council helped fund this program with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. DCCA also receives operating support from the Harry D. and Esther Stephens Memorial as well as funding from the Ketrow Foundation, Lydia E. Schaurer Memorial Trust Fund.

Tickets for the concert by Riders In the Sky cost $25, and can be reserved by contacting DCCA at 547-0908 or purchased at DCCA's office located within Greenville Public Library, as well as online at According to DCCA officials, good seats remain for this performance; however, they recommend acting quickly, as past Riders In The Sky performances have sold out prior to showtime.

Poinsettia orders for Cancer Assoc.

GREENVILLE - The Cancer Association of Darke County will be taking orders for poinsettias for the upcoming holiday season. The poinsettias are from Star Greenhouses, Inc. and are always beautiful and very healthy plants. Proceeds will go to the association to provide benefits for cancer patients living in Darke County. Please help our local residents in their difficult battle!

The Cancer Association is local and independent and not affiliated with the American Cancer Society. It is a 501c3 non-profit organization that serves Darke County. If you would like to donate or have any questions, contact Christine Lynn, Executive Director at 548-9960.

Nov 29, 2013

Greenville Police Beat

Suspect runs from police, but denies wrong doing

On Nov. 22 police responded to the 400 block of Washington Street regarding a suspect yelling and beating on the windows of a Ritter Plumbing van with a traffic cone. He was breaking the windows. Police observed the suspect running away and falling in the area of Wayne and Walker. He got up and continued running. Police told him to stop, which he didn’t. The suspect ran to an alley near Harrison but was blocked by fencing. With police continuing to tell him to stop, he attempted to climb the fence but couldn’t. Police took him into custody and discovered a baggie of what appeared to be marijuana in his pocket. The suspected denied any wrong doing and denied running away from police. He refused to give his name but reportedly told another officer it was Justin Shilt. He denied doing damage to the van. He advised the arresting officer he was just a passenger in a car and shouldn’t have been stopped, repeating he didn’t run from police. He said he was at a friend’s house the whole night. Statements were taken from witnesses. Shilt was arrested on charges of criminal damaging, drug abuse and obstructing justice, all misdemeanor citations, and transported to Darke County Jail.

On Nov. 19 police were dispatched to Greenville Transmission and Engine Repair regarding a criminal mischief complaint. Brittany Lipps stated approximately six to eight weeks ago her vehicle started running badly and continued to get worse. The shop discovered sugar had been dumped in the gas tank. Lipps stated she had no idea who might have done it.


On Nov. 20, police were dispatched to 636 Washington Ave. regarding a physical domestic. Clayton and Amanda Hans were arguing over a child losing a lens for Amanda’s glasses. Clayton had a large red knot above his left eye. Amanda had two small scratches on the right side of her face. Amanda said Clayton lost his temper and struck her; she kicked him to get him to stop. Clayton said Amanda started kicking him and he defended himself by raising his arm which came into contact with her face. Clayton called police. Amanda was found to be primary aggressor, arrested for domestic violence and transported to Darke County Jail. Clayton was also charged with Domestic Violence. Both were misdemeanor violations. Three children were placed with grandparents.


On Nov. 23 police were dispatched to Michael’s Resource Center regarding a fight. One resident reportedly was making obscene gestures toward another. That individual, in turn, shoved the other and punched him in the face. The other person then punched the first one. Police obtained written statements; juvenile probation arrived on the scene and requested police take one of the juveniles to the police station. He made arrangements for the juvenile to be transported to West Central.

On Nov. 24 police responded to Michael’s Home regarding four juveniles who had left the home without permission. An employee stated the four individuals left the home on foot with bags of clothing. They had been told due to getting into trouble they wouldn’t be able to go home for Thanksgiving with their families. Three of the juveniles were found and had to be pursued to be taken into custody. They were transported to West Central by juvenile probation. The fourth individual was still being sought at the time of the report.

On Nov. 20 police responded to an assault by a student on another one at Greenville High School that was caught on video. The suspect jumped the student from behind, punching the student and leaving the victim on the floor. The student said it was due to an argument the two had been having for nearly two weeks. The suspect was cited for assault and will likely be suspended from school. The suspect’s mother had to be contacted by the Darke County Sheriff as the listed phone number was out of service.


On Nov. 20 police responded to the Greenville Police Department to speak with Justin Shilt regarding a theft complaint. Shilt said someone had rifled through his vehicle and taken a number of items, including work papers in a backpack. He said the vehicle had been locked but there were no signs of forced entry. No damage. No suspects at this time.


The Greenville Police Beat is prepared from public records available at the Greenville Police Department. Every effort is made to balance the public’s right to know with the rights of the individuals involved. Readers are encouraged to contact Greenville Police if they have information or concerns regarding these or any other incidents they see. The Early Bird notes all suspects are innocent until proven guilty and welcomes comments and concerns regarding this community service.

Community Unity needs help

Community Unity, a local benevolence organization, is in need of financial help. The ministry had to be closed the week prior to Thanksgiving due to lack of funds and while their office is presently open, they are in need of donations in order to continue meeting with clients.

Community Unity helps the needy in Darke County with utilities, rent, medical needs and emergency transportation. While they are a separate organization from the Grace Resurrection Community Center, they are located in the GRCC building located at 433 East Water Street in Greenville.

Community Unity gladly accepts donations from individuals, churches, organizations and businesses whether that be a one-time gift or financial assistance sent on a regular basis (monthly, quarterly, etc.). Any help sent would be greatly appreciated and it may be mailed to P.O. Box 1064, Greenville, Ohio 45331. The organization is always glad to make a group presentation about their work for churches and organizations. Any questions may be directed to Jim Morehouse at 937-547-1557.

New Madison Library celebrates the holidays

NEW MADISON – The Friends of New Madison Public Library will host its annual Christmas Open House on Dec. 3, 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Old Man Winter will be entertaining them with stories during presentations at 3 and 7 p.m. Please plan to attend at least one of these programs. As always the Friends will be sharing delicious refreshments throughout the day.

Join them for their last Busy Bee Storytime of 2013 on Dec. 9 at 6:30 p.m. At 7 p.m., they will surprise the children with a visit from Jolly Old St. Nick. Each child will have the opportunity to sit with Santa and receive a gift thanks to the generosity of the New Madison Kiwanis Club and in memory of Lindsay Brown. Please bring your children and grandchildren to share in the fun, but keep the guest a secret until he arrives.

Make plans now to visit for one or both of these holiday celebrations at the New Madison Public Library, 142 South Main St., New Madison. The library will be closed on Dec. 24, 25, 30, 31, and Jan. 1. Call 996-1741 with questions.

CBC December blood drives

DARKE COUNTY – December is a busy month with many joyous occasions. Donating blood offers a great opportunity for you to bring joy to others. Community Blood Center gives donors many options to donate blood in Darke County. Share your holiday spirit and give the gift of life at an upcoming blood drive.

Donors are encouraged to schedule an appointment online at, or call 1-800-388-GIVE (4483). Locally donors can also contact Dana Puterbaugh, Darke County Account Representative at 937-997-2199 or

Dec. 3 – Greenville Technology, Inc., 12:30–3:30 p.m., employees only

Dec. 4 – Greenville Technology, Inc., 7:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m., employees only

Dec. 6 – Mississinawa Valley High School, 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., students and faculty only

Dec. 6 – Arcanum High School, 8 a.m.–11 a.m., students and faculty only

Dec. 10 – Teddy Bears & Friends for Wayne HealthCare Blood Drive, Greenville Church of the Brethren, 421 Central Ave., Greenville, 12:30–6:30 p.m., sponsored by Darke County Area Lions Clubs, Arcanum, Gettysburg, Greenville, and Pitsburg, open to the community, appointments encouraged

Dec. 12 – Midmark Corporation, 7–11 a.m., employees only

Dec. 14 – Tri-Village Rescue, 320 North Main, New Madison, 8–11 a.m., sponsored by Tri-Village Rescue, open to the community, appointments encouraged

Dec. 18 – Darke County Courthouse, 7:30–11:30 a.m., employees only

Dec. 18 – Ansonia High School, High School Gym, 8 a.m.–noon, students, faculty, and community with appointments

Dec. 19 – Greenville High School, 8 a.m.–noon, sponsored by Varsity G Club, students and faculty only

Dec. 19 – Bradford High School, 750 Railroad Ave., Bradford, 2:30–6:30 p.m., sponsored by: Bradford High School NHS, open to the community, appointments encouraged

Dec. 26 – Saint Paul Lutheran Church, Greenville-St. Mary’s Road, 2:30–6:30 p.m., open to the community, appointments encouraged

Dec. 30 – Kroger Store, 200 Lease Ave., Greenville, 9 a.m.–noon, open to the community, appointments encouraged

Visit the all new

Visit the Darke Co. Parks Gift Shop

GREENVILLE – This holiday season get gifts for everyone on your list all while supporting a great cause when you shop the Gift Shop at the Shawnee Prairie Preserve Nature Center. The Gift Shop, managed by the Friends of the Darke County Parks, is overflowing with great gift ideas! New this year are gift baskets, wrapped and completely ready for you to give as a gift!

The gift shop will be running a holiday sale, Dec. 1-24, with savings on everything. Save additional money on all items on Dec. 7 during the Luminary Hike.

The gift shop in the Nature Center is open Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and is located at 4267 State Route 502 Greenville. For more information, please contact the Nature Center at 548-0165 or

Grab your camera and visit the parks

GREENVILLE – Calling all amateur photographers! The Darke County Park District is hosting a 2014 Photo Contest. Get outside and capture the beauty of YOUR Darke County Parks! Winning photos submitted to the Park District Photo Contest will be used to create a 2015 calendar. There are 12 months in a year and 12 Darke County Parks; they would like to feature a different park each month, highlighting each season. With the winter season approaching, grab your cameras and capture those stunning snow and ice shots. Scenery images are preferred, but photos of people using the Parks are welcomed. The upcoming Luminary Hike on Dec. 7 will provide a wonderful opportunity to showcase the winter season.

Photos must be from 2010-2014 and submitted digitally by emailing them to All submitted photos become the property of the Darke County Parks. Three photographs per month, per photographer will be accepted from Dec. 1, 2013 to Nov. 1, 2014. For more information and a complete set of rules, visit or call the Nature Center at 548-0165.

Hospice helps patient enjoy visit to the farm

GREENVILLE – “If you don’t sit down and listen to someone and open your eyes and ears, you don’t know what is really on that patient’s mind,” explained State of the Heart Hospice nurse Christy Timmerman. Christy did listen to State of the Heart patient Velma Heck, 90, and arranged a special day for her visiting her favorite place: The country and a farm.

“One day she made a comment that she would sure like to drive a tractor one more time,” Timmerman said. Heck, who was born and raised in Darke County near Arcanum, had farmed for over 50 years. When she and her husband, Gerald, were married they decide that one of them had to have a “regular” job and the other could stay at home and farm. Velma decided to stay on the farm and for the years she farmed, she took her lunch with her and spent spring and fall days in the fields. Her husband, who is deceased, took a job at Hobart Manufacturing.

Heck has been a resident of the Brethren’s Retirement Community since 2002. Her room is filled with mementoes of her family and her days on the farm. A picture of her and Gerald’s farm is placed beside a picture of the farm Gerald was raised on. The two farms adjoined one another. A marble stand is under the photos, a high school graduation gift from her grandmother. There are miniature tractors on shelves lining the room.

“When Velma mentioned driving a tractor, I asked her what color tractor she preferred,” said Timmerman. “She crinkled her eyebrows and looked at me and said, ‘why green, of course’,” Timmerman said. “Then she chuckled.” Timmerman, who lives on a farm, began to plan a day on the farm for Heck. A day was arranged for Heck to visit a family farm in Darke County.

So, on a sunny October Friday, Heck’s daughter-in-law, Donna drove Heck to the Stump farm. Timmerman had taken the day off from her duties as a nurse for hospice. “When she saw the combine she said, ‘oh my, that is bigger than I remember. The tires are bigger than I am’. She grinned ear to ear,” said Timmerman. She did get to see her favorite color on John Deere equipment.

Not only was it meaningful for Heck, it also meant a lot to Timmerman to help make a special day for one of her patients. “I was so thankful we did it as it was so worth the effort,” Timmerman said. “It was one of those priceless moments to see the look on her face and the joy it brought her. That is what care is all about.”

Heck spent a couple of hours at the farm, looking at some of the older tractors. She was a little intimidated by the size of the tractors and changed her mind about climbing aboard one of them. Timmerman commented that Heck keeps track of the seasons of the year by knowing what the crops are doing, from planting to harvesting.

For over 50 years, she taught Sunday school at the Potsdam Church of the Brethren in addition to cooking and baking for various church functions. Her angel food cake was her specialty and is remembered by many.

Daughter-in-law Donna Heck said, “She really enjoyed going to the farm and looking at the tractors. She loves to take drives through the country and seeing the crops and fields. It was really nice of Christy to plan the day.”

Asked if she missed farm life, Heck said, “It was hard work but I enjoyed every minute of it. I sure do miss farming and would go right back to it if I were younger.”

Reflecting on helping create a special moment for a patient, Timmerman said, “One of the things God does is bring people and things together. We had a connection. In this case, I listened to Velma and since I lived on a farm, I knew how meaningful a visit to the farm would be for her.”

Velma Heck is pictured in front of a green John Deere combine.

Nov 28, 2013

Greenville Library accepting food

GREENVILLE – Join with FISH and the Greenville Public Library during “Food for Fines” Dec. 2-16. Patrons can receive $1 in current Library fines waived in exchange for donating one food item. These items must be canned or nonperishable: peanut butter; canned chicken or tuna; canned vegetables, fruit, or soups; cereal, pasta, rice; boxed side dishes or mac & cheese; granola bars or snacks; and spaghetti sauce.

Bring your donated items to the Circulation Desk in boxes or plastic bags – and don't forget your Library card! “Food for Fines” does not include library fees for lost or damaged materials. Glass containers, open packages, or expired food cannot be accepted.

Kristy Cutarelli visited the Library to explain the need for food in Darke County. FISH has been active since the early 1970's and continues to see an increase in households they serve.

New households are up nine percent with over age 65 up six percent since last year. The number stands at 2,386 even before the holidays.

In 2009, FISH partnered with EUM Church to open the FISH Choice Pantry at 400 Markwith St., Greenville. Even though FISH still makes home deliveries, the number became impossible to do – thus the pantry opened. Being able to come to the pantry gives people ownership and a chance to make their own choices.

The pantry is open three times a week with different hours: Monday, 1-2 p.m.; Wednesday, 10-11 a.m.; and Friday, 4-5 p.m. In addition to nonperishable foods from donations, the pantry also carries fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, and baked goods as part of the “Feeding America” program. Kristy explained that nothing is ever wasted and everything is given out.

Kristy has stories of people who were donors to FISH falling on hard times and needing its services – and of those who once used the service but are now doing well and donate in return. “The community is so generous,” Kristy stated. “I can't believe what people in this county do for their friends and neighbors.” FISH and the Pantry are run by volunteers.

Kristy Cutarelli, FISH Choice Food Pantry, is shown with Librarians Deb Cameron and Stephanie St. Myer who remind everyone you are welcome to drop off food donations even if you have no library fines.

Santa in Ansonia

ANSONIA – The Ansonia Community Celebration's annual Breakfast with Santa will be Dec. 7, 9-11 a.m. Santa will arrive at 9:30 a.m. The breakfast will be held at the Ansonia American Legion. Breakfast will consist of pancakes, eggs, sausage, juice or coffee and is free of charge, but donations are greatly appreciated. They will have entertainment by Linda Leeper and everyone is welcome.

Bear’s Mill hosts candlelight walk and open house

GREENVILLE – The Friends of Bear’s Mill invite the community to share in an evening filled with the sights and sounds of the holidays at their annual Candlelight Walk & Open House at historic Bear’s Mill on Dec. 7, 6-10 p.m. This event is free to the public. Donations are greatly appreciated.

“Bundle up the family and come take a stroll along the millrace that is lit up by the warm glow of luminaries,” said Merri Niekamp, Outreach Manager for The Friends of Bear’s Mill non-profit organization. “Awaiting you is a country bonfire in the woods with straw bales for resting while you roast your hot dogs and marshmallows and sip hot cocoa. The Mill and the Greenville Creek provide a natural backdrop for a winter bonfire and a fun, family holiday event. Inside the Mill, enjoy a cup of gourmet coffee while you listen to Ted Yoder playing holiday classics on the hammered dulcimer,” she concluded.

In addition to the stoneground flours and meals, the Mill Store offers kitchen and gourmet goods as well as Boston Stoker coffees, Bakehouse Breads and homemade holiday candies and treats. Home décor, giftware and women’s accessories are also available for sale. “Enjoy a walk and visit to the bonfire and then come inside to shop the Mill Store and Gallery,” stated Julie Clark, Retail & Gallery Manager. “Gifts from Bear’s Mill offer you the opportunity to give something special from your hometown. Our coffee, pancake and popcorn gift boxes are ready prepared or we can assist you in putting together a gift box or basket for that special person or family on your list. We offer gift wrapping and shipping services too,” Clark explained.

The gallery at Bear’s Mill will feature the December artists and final ‘Art at the Mill’ exhibit for 2013. On display will be the photography by local photojournalist Jim Witmer and clay sculpture by David Kirchner. A new selection of handmade pottery by the Bear’s Mill potters and friends will be on display and available for gift-giving as well. Indiana native, Ted Yoder will be playing holiday favorites on the hammered dulcimer in the Mill Store & Gallery throughout the course of the evening.

“This time of year reminds us to be thankful that this piece of history is here for our community to enjoy,” said Friends of Bear’s Mill president Ray Lepore. “When a visitor gives a donation or makes a purchase, they are helping to keep the Mill open. Tax-deductible donations and profit from sales in the Mill Store & Gallery are vital to the non-profit organization,” concluded Lepore.

Bear’s Mill is located at 6450 Arcanum-Bear’s Mill Road, about 5 miles east of Greenville. For more information, contact Bear’s Mill at 548-5112 or visit

Library accepts Food for Fines

EATON – From Dec. 1-31, the Preble County District Library will offer Food for Fines, a program that will not only help Preble County Food Banks keep their shelves well-stocked during the holidays, but will also help library patrons who owe fines.

Patrons owing fines can bring in non-perishable food items, personal care items, or cleaning supplies (no personal or single serve size, please), to any PCDL Branch and their fines will be waived based on the amount of donation made. Items donated will be worth$1 in fines waived. The more donated, the more fines will be removed. Items less than three months from the expiration date will not be accepted.

Food for Fines is a wonderful way for library patrons to help those in need during the holidays and get something back in return.

Donations will go to the following area food banks: First Southern Baptist Church Food Pantry in Camden (Camden Branch), Preble County Food Bank (Eaton Branch), Monroe Township Food Bank at Ware’s Chapel (Eldorado and West Manchester branches), West Alexandria Food Bank (West Alexandria Branch), St. Paul UMC (New Paris Branch), and the United Methodist Church (West Elkton Branch).

Please note that donation dollar amounts will not be applied toward lost/damaged items or collection fees.

Retirees plan gathering

GREENVILLE – Corning Retirees and Alumni will hold its annual Christmas gathering at the Brick Room of the Brethren Retirement Community on Dec. 5, 7:30 p.m. They extend an invitation to former employees of Corning and other members of the community who would like to meet Wanda Dickmann and Sharon Jones, aka “Gestures From the Heart” as they bring an evening of music and fun to those in attendance.

“Gestures From the Heart” was formed by Sharon and Wanda in 2012 as a way to share their gifts of music and signing with those in nursing and rehabilitation centers as well as other clubs and organizations. They have traveled and performed at several venues throughout the tri state area.

Food and toys will be collected during the evening and anyone coming to the program is invited to participate in these projects as they share their many blessings with those less fortunate.

Nov 27, 2013

CareFlight Called to Crash Scene Near Rossburg

ROSSBURG - On Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013 at approximately 3:20 p.m., Darke County Deputies along with Ansonia Rescue, Rossburg Fire, and CareFlight, responded to the area of Rossburg-Lightsville Road east of Riegle-Bell Road on a report of a one vehicle roll-over crash with injuries with a possible ejection.

Preliminary investigation revealed Amanda Wehrkamp 30, Rossburg, was driving a Red 2004 Chevy Monte Carlo eastbound on Rossburg-Lightsville Road with passenger Elizebeth Allen 13, Rossburg, and drove off the right side of the roadway and then over-corrected crossing the center line, and then drove off the right side of the roadway causing the vehicle to flip several times before coming to rest on its top. Both driver and passenger were able to free themselves from the wreckage. The driver was treated at the scene and refused further treatment, and the passenger was taken aboard CareFlight to Miami Valley Hospital for non-life threatening injuries. The passenger was not wearing a seat belt.

This accident remains under investigation by the Darke County Sheriff's Office.

Toys for Tots gives information on program

GREENVILLE – Darke County Marine Corps Toys for Tots Program has begun its annual collections for toys from the ages of newborn up to 14 years of age (up to 17 if they receive enough donations).

As the holiday season begins to draw near, you can be sure the local U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Coordinator Winnie Rader is gearing up for this year’s Toys for Tots campaign. Since 1947, Marines and volunteers have been making Christmas wishes come true for the less fortunate children.

The local Toys for Tots team works hard to make the program a success, but they could never do this without the help of concerned citizens and business leaders. Together, they put a smile on the faces of over 2,250 children in Darke County in 2012 and believe they can meet the needs of more children in 2013.

They are in need of baby items, dolls, Barbies, games, trucks, cars, puzzles, books, items for older kids, bath sets, brush sets, perfume and cologne sets, wallets, basketballs, footballs, etc.

All of the donations collected in Darke County stay in Darke County.

Drop sites include: Greenville – Dave Knapp Ford, Big Lots, Tiger Radio Station, Ron Garrett Chevrolet, YMCA, Hillbilly Mall, Superior Auto, Mercer Savings bank, Walmart, Medicine & More, all Dollar General Stores, Greenville Police Department, Ace Hardware, Zechar Bailey Funeral Homes, all Farmers State banks, Greenville Township Fire & Rescue, Darke County Sheriff’s Office, Dr. Gordon’s office, Family Dentistry, Greenville Public Library, Red Cross, Kmart, Cash Land, Snap Fitness, Chicken Kitchen 2, Superior Auto, Bob Evans, Hot Head, ATT store, Wittlers Black Belt Academy, Bread of Life Christian Book Store; Arcanum – Ben Franklin, Sutton’s Super Value, Millers, Arcanum Hardware; Versailles – Dollar General, YMCA and many other places; Castine – Castine Church of God; and New Madison – Farmers State Bank and Dollar General.

Monetary donations can be made in Greenville at Back in Time Café, Dave Knapp, Hot Rods & Harleys, Western Ohio Chiropractic, Cash Land, Ace Hardware, Marathon (Russ Road), CJ Market, The Coffee Pot, Cheap Tobacco, Readmore’s Hallmark, ATT store; New Madison – Mini Mart; Arcanum – Arcanum Hardware Miller’s Tavern, Picnic Pizza, Sutton’s Super Value, Ben Franklin.

Monetary donations can also be dropped off or mailed to Darke County Toys for Tots c/o Dave Knapp, 500 Wagner Ave., Greenville, Ohio 45331.

For more information, visit or contact Winnie Rader, 733-0885.

Registering children for the program will be held at 124 W. 4th St., Greenville, on Dec. 2, 4 and 6, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Dec. 3 and 5, 4-7 p.m. Persons registering children will need to bring a picture ID for the adult applying, proof of address (current utility bill, rental agreement), birth certificates for all children in the household (they will not accept crib cards, shot records or report cards), Medicaid, CareSoure, Molina or Amerigroup if received, and the last 30 days of household income. There are no exceptions to the requirements.

This program is for families who have not signed up at any other place for Christmas help. Registrations after Dec. 7 will be put on a waiting list and done as donations become available.

Correction to Small Business Saturday at museum

Correction: The Museum store is offering discounts on any one item priced at $15 or more on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 30.

GREENVILLE – Are you in need of a gift with local ties for that hard to buy for someone? What about an out of the ordinary CD for the music lover or a DVD for the history buff in your family? The Museum Store at Garst, 205 N. Broadway, Greenville, will be offering discounts on any one item priced at $15 or more on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 30.

The store offers a selection of CDs, DVDs, t-shirts, books, and other collectible items. We have great stocking stuffers too such as Dover’s little activity books, mood pencils, replica money, a variety of playing card decks, and historical maps. Over 50 new items have been added to the store’s inventory in 2013.

As always you do not need to tour the museum complex in order to shop at The Museum Store. Enter at the rear doors of the museum to visit the store. The special discount will only apply to the one item. All other eligible discounts will apply to any other purchases made. The Museum Store’s hours are the same as for the complex, Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday 1 to 4 p.m.

For more information, call 548-5250, email or visit

New items stocked in 2013.

Heartland collects for Toys for Tots

GREENVILLE – Heartland of Greenville, 243 Marion Drive, Greenville, is pleased to announce its participation in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program. Since its start in 1947, Toys for Tots has given nearly half a billion toys to more than 200 million children. According to the program’s website, “The primary goal of Toys for Tots is to deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens.”

The staff of Heartland of Greenville asks for your help in supporting Toys for Tots. Donations of new, unwrapped toys can be made in their lobby through Dec. 12. Additionally, Heartland of Greenville will hold its monthly Brunch & Learn on Dec. 11, 10-11 a.m. with a focus on the history of the Toys for Tots program. The public is welcome to attend.

If you have questions about participating in the Toys for Tots annual toy drive, please call them 548-3141.

Beechwood helps local families

ARCANUM – Beechwood Golf Course has been collecting cans throughout the golf season. The cans are taken to the recycling center at the end of the season and money will be used to help local families during the holidays with toys, clothing, hats, gloves, educational items, gift certificates, etc.

Over the past couple of years they wanted to increase their giving so the Beechwood golfing family has donated to the Christmas Fund. Funds were raised with a raffle for a Season Golf Pass. This year’s winner is Larry Brown, of Greenville.

With the money generated from the cans, family donations, and the season pass raffle they are going to be able to help more families in the area again this year. They are excited to say that over the past several years we have been able to provide assistance to multiple families at Christmas made donations to Toys for Tots, and supported local food pantries. It is the season of giving – and we are overjoyed at the chance to continue to give back to our community and those who live in it!

During Beechwood Golf Course’s Holiday Open House on Dec. 7, visitors are invited to bring non-perishable food items or unwrapped toys to be donated to the families. Donors will have their name entered to win a 2014 season pass.

For more information, visit or find them on Facebook.

Annual Turkey Trot raises funds for State of the Heart

ST HENRY - The seventh annual Cooper Farms annual Turkey Trot 5K Run was held November 2nd and raised $2,500 for State of the Heart Hospice. Over the last seven years, the annual run has raised $18,000 for State of the Heart. “When we started the 5 K run, we did it with the intentions of focusing on wellness, not only within our company, but the community at large,” stated Susie Fortkamp, a Cooper employee, who organizes the annual race. “We thought doing it for State of the Heart was a great idea and a good charity to direct the funds to.” She said the event will continue again next year.

Pictured at the check presentation, left to right, Theresa Puthoff, Ryan Gathard, Fund Development Director for State of the Heart, and Deb Faller.

Artwork adds to comfort for State of the Heart Care Center

GREENVILLE - A new “homey” touch has been added to the State of the Heart Hospice Care Center with the addition of artwork throughout the care center which is located on the fourth floor of Wayne HealthCare in Greenville. The artwork was a capital campaign gift to State of the Heart Hospice by Cindy McCallister in memory of her husband Karlh who passed away under the care of State of the Heart in 2009.

“Early on in the development of the Care Center, I knew I wanted to do something for the Care Center,” explained McCallister. “It has the homelike atmosphere, and I wanted to add artwork to carry out the serene, comforting feeling that you get in the Care Center.” She was a floral designer for several years, she said and she “loves to decorate.”

She selected artwork for the common areas of the Care Center and placed a piece of artwork in each of the five private patient rooms. She also added beautiful clocks to the patient rooms. “All of the pieces are nature scenes that have a calming, peaceful feel,” she said. Just outside the entryway to the Care Center, she placed some greenery and a trickling water fountain which gives a welcoming, pleasant entrance into the care center.

McCallister, who is a State of the Heart board member and has been on the board for several years at different times, said she and her husband Karlh became supporters of State of the Heart Hospice in the early 2000’s. “The Care Center is a great asset to our community,” she said. “We have needed it for a long time.”

Ryan Gathard, Fund Development Director for State of the Heart, said “The gift from Cindy in memory of Karlh will be enjoyed by patients and families who will be in the care center over the coming years. It will bring comfort to many.”

Gathard added that the campaign to fund a variety of items in the Care Center is still underway. There are several “naming opportunities.” The price range for naming opportunities is $7,700 (nurse call system), to $1,150 for room curtains. Other naming options include blanket warmer, $4,000; patient room, $5,200, patient supplies, $2,500 and patient room televisions, $1,930.

For more information about any of the naming opportunities, contact Gathard at or call him at (800) 417-7535. The State of the Heart Care Center is available for patients throughout the nonprofit agency’s area of care. State of the Heart cares for patients and families in eastern Indiana and western Ohio who are confronting a life limiting illness. For more information visit the agency web site at

Pictured with one of the pieces of artwork, are left, Ryan Gathard and Heather Wogomon, Director of Inpatient and Palliative Care for hospice, and right, Cindy McCallister.

Checking Little Eyes

GREENVILLE - Members of the Ohio Lions District 13-E have been working over the last two months checking eye sight of all our preschoolers at Kids Learning Place Education and Child Care Centers in Champaign, Logan, Darke, Miami, Shelby and Auglaize counties.

Over 500 children in the above counties in both the child care and Head Start program visited the screening rooms where the members of the Ohio Lions were set up with their testing equipment. Most children pass the test, but this year was especially important for the 81 children that were referred to an eye doctor for future tests after the screenings. Gary Brown, one of the members from Troy said, “we find about 1 in 5 children may need referred further and these groups fell in that overall demographic. The preschool screenings are key to finding eyesight problems early.”

In the test for binocular vision the kids wore “magic glasses” to find the smiley face on the cards and then they were tested for visual acuity with a screening machine where they watched the green light. There were kids wiggling in their seats and sometimes didn’t want to do a test, but the Lions members knew their stuff and got all the kids tested.

During the visit to the Kids Learning Place in Greenville, Bob Medley and Garry Brown from Troy along with Dick Helman from Greenville did the screenings. Thanks to these members and all the Ohio Lions members that help to keep our children healthy.

Council on Rural Services provides education, support, and volunteer services through Kids Learning Place™, Head Start, Early Head Start, and Gateway Youth, ACES and RSVP/HandsOn West Central Ohio program in Darke County.

Garry Brown, Ohio Lions member is testing one of the children using the “magic glasses”.

Nov 26, 2013

Family Health Services achieves accreditation

GREENVILLE – Family Health, Inc. has achieved accreditation by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC). Accreditation distinguishes this primary care organization from many other outpatient facilities by providing the highest quality of care to its patients as determined by an independent, external process of evaluation.

Status as an accredited organization means Family Health, Inc. has met nationally recognized standards for the provision of quality health care set by AAAHC. More than 5,000 ambulatory health care organizations across the United States are accredited by AAAHC. Not all ambulatory health care organizations seek accreditation; not all that undergo the rigorous on-site survey process are granted accreditation.

“We believe our patients deserve the best,” stated Jean Young, Executive Director of Family Health, Inc. “When you see our certificate of accreditation, you will know that AAAHC, has closely examined our facility and procedures. It means we as an organization care enough about our patients to strive for the highest level of care possible.”

Ambulatory health care organizations seeking accreditation by AAAHC undergo an extensive self-assessment and on-site survey by AAAHC expert surveyors---physicians, dentists, nurses and administrators who are actively involved in ambulatory health care. The survey is consultative and educational, presenting best practices to help an organization improve its care and services.

“Going through the process challenged us to find better ways to serve our patients, and it is a constant reminder that our responsibility is to strive to continuously improve the quality of care we provide,” said Young.

Family Health has had an enormous impact on people in Darke County. Founded in 1973, to provide health care to the migrant farm worker and then Darke County residents who couldn’t afford a physician Family Health has grown into comprehensive fully integrated health care model. They employ 167 staff and six contracted employees. Our health care providers consist of 16 physicians, eight licensed clinicians, three pharmacists, three dentists, three dental hygienist, and eight behavioral health clinical counselors. Family Health is located in Greenville, Arcanum, and Versailles; main phone number is 548-9680.

Greenville resident makes donation

GREENVILLE - Resident Bonnie Ross recently made an unusual donation to State of the Heart Hospice. She visited the agency’s Greenville office, 1350 N. Broadway, and presented the agency with a collection of Ty Beanie Babies and bears. The gift was made in memory of her daughter Mendy Jo Trissel who died in 2008 at the age of 33. “Maybe this will prompt someone else to make a donation like this,” she explained as she presented the bears to Ryan Gathard, Director of Fund Development for State of the Heart. The Beanie babies and bears are considered collector’s items and have value. “State of the Heart can use these for whatever purpose they want,” Ross explained. It is possible the items can be sold to collectors and the funds directed to needs of the nonprofit agency which cares for patients and families confronting a life limiting illness. There is a story behind each of the many collectibles donated, Ross said. The Ty Beanie babies and bears, all wearing colorful outfits, were collected by Ross, her mother, and her daughter Mendy. “This gift is special to us since it is given in memory of someone who was definitely special to the person making the donation,” stated Gathard. “I know it means a lot to Bonnie and it means a lot to us that she wanted to contribute to our agency.” Several weeks ago, a collection of Boyd Bears was donated to the agency. For more information about the services provided by State of the Heart, visit the agency web site at Ross and Gathard are pictured with the collection.

Bonnie Ross presents the bears to Ryan Gathard, Director of Fund Development for State of the Heart.

Programs available for homeschoolers!

GREENVILLE - Do you homeschool your children? Are you looking for an educational experience to supplement and enhance the science curriculum you are learning about? The Darke County Park District offers a series of programs for students designed to meet current science standards. Each program is led by a professional Naturalist Educator and includes age appropriate activities, games and hikes. Programs are designed to be flexible and take advantage of the season, weather and moment.

Reservations are handled by the Naturalist staff by phone 548-0165 or email, The minimum group size is 10 students, so please feel free to collaborate with other homeschool families in your community. There is a fee of $3 per student. A visit to the trails of Darke County Parks builds awareness, an understanding of natural and cultural history and encourages a sense of wonder about the natural world. Visit our website at to view our complete list of programs.

VFW donates flags for new Woodland classrooms

GREENVILLE - The Greenville VFW Post 7262 has donated four flags to Woodland Elementary School for the classrooms added this year to help ease overcrowding. Woodland, which has grades Kindergarten through second, has 26 homerooms. Students say the Pledge of Allegiance during morning announcements to start each school day.

Many of the flags in the rooms have been donated by the VFW in the past. Assistant Principal Lisa Maher said they appreciate the donations and the VFW deserves a “shout-out for their generosity.”

Students give the pledge of allegiance in Mrs. Ford’s class with the new flag donated by Greenville VFW Post 7262.

Amber Garrett promotes MainStreet Greenville

GREENVILLE - Amber Garrett from MainStreet Greenville spoke on Nov. 13 about the non-profit's mission and programs. The organization is one of 22 in Ohio and has been in existence since 1997. Not only do they sponsor many events throughout the year, such as the Farmers Market and First Fridays, but they also promote the look of the downtown and reach out to new businesses. The board and volunteers are unpaid with Amber's being the only paid position. One big annual event is the recent Holiday Horse Parade which takes place Nov. 23. It's in its 10th year and brings as many as 8,000 spectators.

Kiwanis is a local community service organization that meets for lunch every Wednesday at Chestnut Community Center at the Brethren Retirement Community. Interesting speakers on a variety of topics, from other community service organizations to local government officials, are presented to the group each week.

Left, Kiwanis President Christina Chalmers, MainStreet Greenville Executive Director Amber Garrett.

Nov 25, 2013

Setser sentenced to prison; two others brought to trial


GREENVILLE – Allyson N. Setser was sentenced to 18 months in prison Nov. 25 for probation violation by Darke County Common Pleas Judge Jonathan Hein. She will be eligible to be moved into the MonDay Program on judicial release if she is accepted.

Hein told Setser she needs to have some time in prison, then asked if she had a child. “Yes, sir.” How old? “Sixteen months.”

“You’re a danger to your child. Do you understand that?” “Yes, sir.” “I don’t want you to get hurt but I hope you have a miserable experience,” Hein continued. “You have to understand you can change if you’re motivated. Do you like your life right now?” “No, sir.” “You are the only one in this room who can do anything about it.”

Hein asked Setser where she gets her heroin. She responded Dayton.

“You can’t do that anymore, can you?” “No, sir.”

Setser was in court on two sets of charges. She had been arrested in June 2012 and charged with three drug-related felony offenses. She pleaded guilty to Illegal Assembly or Possession of Chemicals for the Manufacture of Drugs. She was sentenced to 90 days in jail then placed under “intensive supervision.” Setser was arrested on Oct. 28 this year while still on probation and charged with Felony 3 Trafficking in Drugs and Misdemeanor 1 Endangering Children.

Adult Probation Officer John Tabler noted at some point Setser needs to understand her behavior has to change. He indicated numerous violations of her probation prior to being arrested in October. On the probation violation, Setser will have to spend a minimum of 30 days in prison. After that, her attorney can request judicial release to the MonDay Program.

In the plea agreement for the trafficking and endangering children charges, both the state (Asst. Prosecutor Deborah Quigley) and the defendant, represented by Nicole Pohlman, recommended evaluation by the MonDay Program and that she successfully complete it. If the defendant violates community control or is not accepted in MonDay, or is terminated from the program, the state will recommend a 30 month prison term.

“If prison doesn’t work, it’s on you,” Hein told Setser. “If MonDay doesn’t work, it’s back to prison. And it’s on you.”

Hein agreed with the recommendation except he said 18 months rather than 30 if she returns to prison. The charge carries a mandatory $5,000 fine.

In the first of two earlier hearings, Hein entered a Not Guilty plea for Janae N. Hatfield on the charge of Possession of Heroin, a Fifth Degree Felony. Hatfield signed an affidavit of indigency after which Hein assigned David Rohrer to represent her.

Quigley said the state would not be opposed to pre-trial supervision and release on her own recognizance. The defendant however was not sure where she would be able to stay, noting possibly her father or grandparents.

“Going back to your former residence is not in my comfort zone,” Hein said. “I will hold off (making a decision) until I get a definitive address.”

The second hearing was for Probable Cause on two Felony Three counts – Complicity to Burglary and Complicity to Theft – for Katrina M. Cheadle. Hein advised the defendant the two counts could result in four years in prison and a $12,500 fine.

Her attorney Pohlman asked for house arrest; Quigley wanted bond to continue as before. Hein order bond at $20,000 and set the next hearing for Dec. 9.

Facing the judge on Nov. 25 were (left to right) Janae N. Hatfield, Allyson N. Setser and Katrina M. Cheadle.

Arcanum Holiday Parade

The time listed in the advertisement for the Arcanum Holiday Parade is incorrect. The parade will begin at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 30 and travel through the streets of Arcanum to welcome the holiday season.

American Bittern release

GREENVILLE - On Oct. 16, the Nature Center at Shawnee Prairie received a call from a concerned Greenville citizen about a large bird that was injured in a flower bed. Naturalist staff members were able to capture the bird and were very surprised to find that it was an American Bittern. It was immediately evident that this bird was in the wrong habitat and that it was injured. The bird was transported to Brukner Nature Center’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Unit. The staff at Brukner Nature Center determined that the Bittern had a fractured wing. Fortunately, they were able to repair the fracture and prepare the bird to be released back into the wild.

The American Bittern returned to Darke County on Nov. 14 and was successfully released at Chestnut Street Marsh. Senior Naturalist, Robb Clifford, stated, “The American Bittern is rare and endangered wetland heron. These wading birds are very elusive and difficult to see thanks to their fantastic camouflage and hiding abilities. Hearing one is special; seeing one is phenomenal. I’m very grateful for the citizens who called about this injured bird and didn’t turn a blind eye to a bird who was clearly in the wrong habitat and injured. Thankfully, this all turned out good and this Bittern is heading south for the winter.”

If you see an injured animal, feel free to contact the Darke County Parks’ Office at 937.548.0165. The staff is available to help direct you to the proper action (or non-action) required.

Love for Lauren Benefit guitar raffle

VERSAILLES - Many thanks go out to everyone who has helped 28-year-old wife, mother and missionary Lauren Harman in her fight against cancer. But the fight is not yet over, and the family continues to need your help, prayers and support.

Lauren was diagnosed in June of 2010 with CTCL – Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma, a non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma of the white blood cells. CTCL is generally considered a slow growing cancer which according to conventional treatment is incurable. Lauren was diagnosed with Folliculotropic CTCL, an aggressive form of the disease that generally bears a bad prognosis. For the last 7 years Lauren has battled disabling symptoms: severe whole-body itching, raised skin patchiness and discoloration, burning, insomnia, irritability, and loss of hair. She’s in so much constant pain that even the things we normally consider comforting, such as a hug, taking a shower, or laying down to sleep, she finds excruciating. There are days where she is incapacitated by the disease and its accompanying complications. To this point, after numerous attempts at treatment, nothing has proven to bring any long-term relief.

As the family continues to fight the disease and believe for a miracle, Dogwood Guitars, Prior Family Outreach Ministries of Kansas City and Living Waters Ministries of Versailles have teamed up in their battle against medical expenses. Dogwood Guitars ( has graciously donated a new, mint condition 2007 Taylor T5 Hollowbody electric guitar (estimated retail value in excess of $1500) as first prize in the latest ‘Love for Lauren’ raffle. An anonymous donor has provided a Yamaha electric guitar, with an estimated retail value of $300-$500, as the second place prize. Both amazing guitars come with their own hard-shell case.

Local National Christian Recording artist Tommy Renfro says of the Taylor T5, “The Taylor T5 is the Swiss Army knife of guitars. It blends the mellow tones of Taylor acoustics with the ability to transform into a face-melting electric. It’s the perfect blend for a guitarist to use for full length dynamic shows. It’s the guitar I pick up in the store and drool over.”

If you, or someone you know is interested in an amazing new guitar, don’t miss this opportunity to win one, and help out a wonderful family in their difficult season of need at the same time. Both guitars have been donated, so every dollar raised goes to the ‘Love for Lauren’ benefit fund to help the Harman’s with Lauren’s medical expenses.

Each ticket is just $15 and there are a limited number being made available, thereby increasing your chances to win. The drawing is scheduled for January 1st, 2014 after the ‘OneThing’ conference in Kansas City ( You need not be present to win.

Tickets are available locally through LWM Community Church by contacting 526-4567 or (419) 582-3061. If you don’t reach us, leave a message and we will return your call.

You can also purchase tickets online by going to and making a $16 donation per ticket (extra dollar for go-fund-me fees). List your name and phone number in the "Comment" section and we will enter you in the drawing. You may post as Anonymous (private) and no one will see your information but us.

Local senior community celebrates Festival of Trees

GREENVILLE – From Dec. 6 until Dec. 8 Sterling House Greenville, a Brookdale Senior Living assisted living community, and Clare Bridge Greenville, Brookdale’s Alzheimer’s and dementia care community, will be celebrating its 4th Annual Festival of Trees.

The public is welcome to experience the twinkling lights and beautiful decorations of the holiday season at Sterling House Greenville. The festival will include custom decorated trees and wreaths by local businesses and organizations. There will also be a silent auction that will benefit the Cancer Association of Darke County.

The Festival of Trees will be on Dec. 6, 3 to 8 p.m., Dec. 7, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Dec. 8, Noon to 2 p.m.

Along with the Festival of Trees, Sterling House Greenville will be hosting a WINTER GALA on Dec. 6 from 6 to 8 p.m. Santa will be at the Winter Gala. The community invites guests to enjoy festive appetizers, entertainment and tours of the community.

Photos and clay on display at Bear’s Mill

GREENVILLE - “Art at the Mill” will feature the work of award-winning photographer Jim Witmer as well as the diverse clay creations of David Kirchner through the month of December.

“Dave creates universally appealing contemporary clay sculptures that evoke the human form, and Jim captures poetic, evocative, enduring images that can excite the imagination or soothe the soul,” said Julie Clark, retail manager and gallery coordinator for Bear's Mill. The final show of this season at historic Bear's Mill, the exhibit opens Nov. 29 with a reception offering hors d'oeuvres and drinks from 6 p.m. till 9 p.m. The artists will speak briefly about their creations, methods, and inspiration at 7 p.m.

Jim Witmer is a local photojournalist who is currently a staff photographer/videographer for the Dayton Daily News and WHIO-TV. He has been named Ohio Photographer of the Year five times, and won the Regional Photographer of the Year award encompassing Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, and Indiana three times. With subject matter ranging from studio still life to landscape, Witmer's work draws its strength from his unwavering focus on the nuanced simplicity of light and form. “I am always on the lookout for scenes, people or objects that I can interpret through photography,” Jim explained. “I know it may sound strange, but I often dream about photographing things in my sleep. I am comfortable with the thought that this is one of my callings in life,” he concluded.

Potter David Kirchner has been working exclusively in clay since 1984; he teaches numerous classes at Dayton-area art centers and the University of Dayton, and has run his own studio/gallery in downtown Dayton for the past nine years. He says that many of his creations come from ideas generated by the materials and processes he uses. “A glaze may need a bowl to show off the color; I think of what the finished work will be and what steps I need to get there,” Dave stated. His current work includes ceramic sculptures with simplified human/organic forms, some of which are straightforward while others are abstract.

The work of painter, potter, and printmaker Doug Fiely, Assistant Professor of Art at Defiance College, and blown glass artist Brent Cole, who has held the lead faculty position for Ball State University's glass program since 2010, will remain on view at Bear's Mill through Nov. 24. “Art At the Mill” has received funding from the Ami McClurkin Community Fund, held by the HOPE Foundation of Darke County, and is also supported by Darke County Endowment for the Arts. Art exhibits may be viewed during regular Mill store hours, 11 a.m. till 5 p.m. daily. Historic Bear's Mill is owned and operated by Friends of Bear's Mill, a non-profit organization, and is located at 6450 Arcanum-Bear's Mill Road about five miles east of Greenville. For more information, contact Bear's Mill at 548-5112 or

Parent and preschooler adventures

GREENVILLE - Hey Parents and Preschoolers! Looking for some hands-on learning about the natural world all around you? Join a Naturalist at Shawnee Prairie for a monthly, hour-long program designed to investigate nature through activities, games and exploring. There are programs for 2-3 year olds (held on Wednesdays) and a program for 4-5 year olds (held on Thursdays). December’s topic is A Wish to Be a Christmas Tree. Owls are secretive and oh so intriguing. We will read the charming tale of an overgrown tree’s wish to go home with a family for Christmas. We will also talk about the different types of conifers and what makes them so special! December’s 2-3 year old dates are the Dec. 11 and 18 and the 4-5 year old date will be Dec. 12. Each program runs from 10-11 am. Parents must attend along with their preschooler. Pre-registration is required and the cost is $2.00. Also coming up in January we will learn about Chickadees and February’s topic is Maple Madness! Call the Nature center for more information at 548-0165. We hope to see you in March!

Nov 24, 2013

Corynna gets proclamation designating awareness day

GREENVILLE – Her room had an Indian pattern theme. Behind her was a pink dress on a manikin. Next to it was a Christmas tree. Corynna’s mom, Kristy Strawser said they were moving Christmas up this year… two days after Thanksgiving.

“I always wanted to go to India,” said Corynna, acknowledging the Indian theme in her room. “I really wanted to incorporate those patterns.”

The pink dress?

“I’m a make-up artist,” she said. “We were going to a photo shoot. I was going to wear the dress… but I couldn’t do it. I got sick.”

She was broken-hearted, Kristy said. They gave her the dress. Corynna said she can still fit into it.

“People ask me how we got Corynna’s name,” Kristy said at one point, adding that sometimes she does ‘fun Corynna facts’ on Facebook… “It was the only name my husband and I could agree on. Even members of our own family didn’t know that.”

Such is the life, dreams and challenges of one Darke County teenager and her family. Corynna had a half dozen blue rubber bracelets on one arm, each saying “Courage For Corynna.” Kristy removed them and handed them to the visitors.

A Proclamation from the Darke County Commissioners was presented to Corynna at 1 p.m. Nov. 20. All three commissioners, Mike Stegall, Diane Delaplane and Mike Rhoades were on hand. When the visitors first started arriving, Corynna was using her oxygen mask and not yet comfortable in removing it. Several minutes later, when comments started about her hair, she removed the mask to show it off. She appeared more comfortable.

“I had lavender hair on the ends,” she said in her quiet voice. “You know?” she added, “I want all my hair lavender.” She talked about the number of times she had to dye it to get the color she wanted.

It worked. It was perfect for 16-year-old Corynna Strawser.

Corynna suffers from mitochondrial disease and is seeking to raise awareness of a disease no one knows about and for which there is no cure.

According to the commissioners’ proclamation, the disease strips the body of energy, depriving vital organ systems of the energy needed to survive.

Since getting the disease, Corynna has been actively trying to get the community to become aware; she has attracted the attention of thousands in and outside of Darke County.

“She can’t get out to talk about this,” Kristy said. “The community has been wonderful… they are doing it for her.”

“Courage for Corynna” T-shirts are available at Cavalier Clothing. Proceed go to research for mitochondrial disease.

“Many members of the community have already resolved to join together on Nov. 25 to show their support for the Strawser family and all others suffering from mitochondrial disease…

“Therefore be it resolved that the County of Darke hereby proclaims, declares and resolves that November 25, 2013, be designated as Mitochondrial Disease Awareness Day, and all residents of Darke County are invited to participate in showing their support, in helping find a cure for this disease.”

The signed and framed proclamation was presented to Corynna by the Darke County Commissioners.

Left to right, standing behind Corynna, mom Kristy Strawser, and Commissioners Mike Stegall, Diane Delaplane and Mike Rhoades.
Commissioner Mike Stegall presents the Darke County Commissioners Proclamation designating Nov. 25 as Mitochondrial Disease to Corynna Strawser.

Road Hoggs and BBBS plan annual toy collection

GREENVILLE – For the past 30 years the Road Hogg Motorcycle Club has been helping collect toys for the local distribution. The club will once again be helping Big Brothers Big Sisters with the Toys for Tikes program again this year. All of the toys collected for Toys for Tikes stay in Darke County. This is Big Brothers Big Sisters of Shelby and Darke Counties (BBBS) second year to administer the program.

With a few days remaining until the deadline to register Jennifer Bruns, executive director of BBBS, reported 30 children had already been signed up. This exceeds the number of children served by the program last year. The deadline to register is Nov. 25.

The Road Hoggs and BBBS Toys for Tikes toy drive will take place on Dec. 1, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., on the Circle in downtown Greenville. Club members will collect toys, gift cards, and cash donations. New and gently used toys will be accepted. The cash donations will be used to purchase food for families in need. The club will be on the Circle rain or shine.

John Vanata, of the Road Hoggs, said the club nearly stopped doing the toy drive when a national toy collection program came to town. When they learned BBBS was taking over the local collection they were happy to continue the tradition they began in the 1980s. He admits the people were a little worried about dropping off donations with the club the first few years, but as the years progressed they came to expect the bikers to be on the Circle the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

Persons interested in applying for toys for their children should call 547-9622. The number of selected families will be determined by the amount of toys collected. Selected families will be notified Dec. 3 with a scheduled pick up date on Dec. 8 from 2:30-4:30 p.m. at the old Mercer Savings Bank on Broadway in Greenville.

While there are not other collection dates or sites, persons can contact BBBS to make other arrangements. Call the number listed above for more information.

George Kenworthy, Road Hoggs; Jennifer Bruns, BBBS; John Vanata and Mary Vanata, Road Hoggs, join Mayor Mike Bowers for a proclamation recognizing the annual toy collection on the Circle on Dec. 1. (Ryan Berry photo)

Recovery needs painful consequences

GREENVILLE – “The process of recovery is cumulative… it needs enough consequences causing enough pain to finally outweigh the perceived benefit of drugs or alcohol.”

Cynthia Cook, Associate Director of Darke County Recovery Services and the Darke County Mental Health Center, said she probably sees as many as half of those with a drug or alcohol addiction come through Recovery more than once.

“It’s frustrating,” she said. A six-month program doesn’t always work. People re-offend. They have to suffer the consequences…

“It’s a sickness. An illness,” she added. “It’s not a moral issue.”

Ninety percent of the center’s clients are court-ordered. How many walk through the door feeling they don’t belong there?

“Almost all of them,” Cook said. “I’m here and I’m mad because the judge made me be here…” They’re scared, defensive, not sure what’s going to happen, can’t imagine not “using,” don’t know how they’re going to be treated…

“We are not an extension of the court. We’re here to help them. We help them feel comfortable and respected.”

They usually see the benefit at the “Exit” interview, most often after six months. They know they’ve completed the judge’s orders; they feel they can talk more freely about their treatment and efforts. It’s positive but not necessarily long-lasting.

“It” will always be there… they can’t forget where they came from…

“They have to understand this is a lifetime process,” she said. “They have to be aware of the dangers of addiction… Once you are sober,” she added, “you still can’t be complacent.”

Cook talked about the triggers… “Triggers are everywhere,” she noted. “Drive past a drive-through, a bar, or maybe a dealer’s house, a song… it could even be a paycheck.”

They are different for everyone. Part of the treatment is to find the trigger and find ways around it…

“Take a different route to work. A different route home. Give your check to your wife. You have to change your behavior to get past the triggers. Come up with a new plan.”

Cook noted the support clients have: the 407 Club on So. Broadway, the 24-hour Crisis Hotline (800-351-7347), support people in AA and NA. The Recovery Center is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Cook acknowledged she’s in administration now but is reminded daily of past clients… the good and the bad.

She talked of the addict who said he wanted to come back into the program on Thursday. He was in the paper on Tuesday… dead of a drug overdose. She talked of the big, burly person who cussed her out and stormed out of the office when she told him he had an alcohol problem. She saw him years later at an annual AA dinner. He thanked her.

“You were the one who had the guts to tell me I had a drinking problem,” he said.

The Recovery Center has a multi-level approach.

The first level is someone on his or her first offense. They haven’t crossed the line to addiction. The Center works to help them understand the dangers, educate them. It takes place once a week for eight weeks.

The second level is standard outpatient… they’ve passed the line of abuse and are going into addiction. The sessions are weekly for 26 weeks.

The third level is what Cook refers to as the “Passage Program.” It meets three times a week, three hours each session. Clients must be involved in the 12-step programs of either AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) or NA (Narcotics Anonymous).

The Recovery Center has about 200 clients, where the Mental Health Center has about 2,500. Complete mental health services are offered, including psychiatry, outpatient, community psychiatric support treatment.

“Some are court ordered but most are self-referred,” she said. She estimated maybe 10 to 20 percent of the clients are “dual diagnosed”… they have both recovery and mental health issues.

There is one memory Cook said will always be with her. She was at the local supermarket. There was a man with his wife and child… “Cindy?” he asked. He turned to his wife…

“Honey,” he said, “that’s the lady I told you about in Recovery.”

She paused as she remembered… “That’s the lady I told you about,” she repeated.

School children will be able to stay warm this winter

GREENVILLE – The Darke County Sheriff’s Office and Spirit Transport handed out 35 of the 400 coats they will be giving out this year to the Greenville Head Start program. The four and five year old children were fitted with brand new coats, hats and gloves by deputies, dispatchers and the staff of Spirit Transport.

Since starting the program 13 years ago, the Sheriff’s Office has handed out over 2,000 coats to area school children. The donations are made possible through the efforts of the department and businesses and individuals that give to the program. Donations for this program are accepted year round.

Persons wishing to assist the Sheriff’s Department can call 548-3399 and direct your call to dispatch to receive additional information. Monetary donations can be sent to Darke County Children’s Winter Wear, c/o Darke County Sheriff’s Office, 5185 County Home Road, Greenville, Ohio 45331.

Helping the children with the coats this year were Chief Deputy Mark Whittaker, Deputy Rick Genovesi, Deputy Rachael Kuzmicki, Dispatchers Chris Lennon and Kim Knick, and Todd Marburger and Justin Palmer from Spirit Transport. Spirit Transport has been assisting with the program for at least six years.

Deputy Rachael Kuzmicki, Chief Deputy Mark Whittaker and Dispatcher Kim Knick help children at the Greenville Head Start try on new coats. (Ryan Berry photo)

Youthful ‘Super Heroes’ save the Greenville Library

GREENVILLE – “Attention Super Heroes… a villain has been spotted moving around in the library. He’s trying to take over the movie room and has a bomb. Please apprehend him, disarm the bomb and take him to jail.”

Twenty “Super Hero” youngsters, ranging in age from about five to nine, ran out of the kids’ activity area to search for the villain upstairs. In less than a minute, one “Hero” was walking with a “bomb” in his hands, while a half dozen others were escorting Reuben “Lex Luther” Kennett in handcuffs downstairs to the jail.

“Is the bomb disarmed,” asked the librarian on the intercom?”

“Yes!” they yelled.

Luther was kept locked up until he promised not to do anything bad again.

The event was cooked up by Kennett and Julie Frona, Library staff members, and held Nov. 16 as one of the opportunities to get area young people involved in their local library.

On four occasions the Super Heroes were challenged to capture a different villain attempting to do harm to the library… in addition to Kennett and Frona, culprits were played by Devon Persons and Lauren Cline. They were doing bad things. Persons was taking movies without checking them out. Cline was caught hacking the computers. Frona was stealing books…

“Books are bad,” she kept saying. “No! Books are good,” the kids answered as they escorted her in handcuffs to the jail below.

Library Assistant Director Susi Halley was in the wrong place at the wrong time. She had been tied up by Lex Luther before he went deep into the library to plant his “bomb.” It took the kids about 10 seconds to free her… then they went after the villain.

“These guys (Kennett and Frona) can get really creative when they want to,” Halley said. “They spent a lot of time putting this together.”

The Greenville Library Super Heroes event started out with “strong man” contests… each child threw a boulder as far as possible.

“Wow! One hundred fifty centimeters,” Frona said. Some managed to exceed 600 ‘centimeters’, nearly the length of the room.

As the paper mache boulder started falling apart, she exclaimed “You’re breaking the boulder… you’re so strong!”

A huge Bar-Bell was handed around for the heroes to show off their strength… it eventually started coming apart as well.

“How far can you jump?” Frona asked. “That’s a Super Hero thing, too.” Some kids jumped; others jumped a little... a bunch of times.

There was a lot of laughter, and not only from the kids.

Parents were grinning and one of the villains, Persons, couldn’t stop laughing. He was dressed as “Two-Face.” Was he having fun?

“Yes!!” He laughed again. “I’m glad they invited me. I can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday.” His costume? A half-hour for makeup and two suits from Goodwill ripped in half then the separate pieces sewn together.

One dad said it was great seeing kids interact like that.

“And it’s one time you don’t have to tell them to be quiet in the library,” he added, grinning.

The children were given an opportunity to test their X-Ray vision by reaching into a box, feeling the items and guessing what they were. Finally, Frona announced all the criminals have been caught.

“It’s time for snacks and a movie!”

One youngster, Kaden Harrison, was eating his snacks in the third floor movie room. He’d shed his “Iron Man” outfit and settled in with mom and dad to watch the movie. Did he have fun?

He stuffed a bite of green Jello in his mouth and shook his head. Then he grinned.

Super Hero Ironman Kaden Harrison shows off his tremendous strength by holding and balancing the heavy bar-bell.

Devon “Two Face” Persons, left, and Reuben “Lex Luther” Kennett try to convince Greenville Library’s Super Heroes they aren’t really bad. They just wanted to have fun.

Villain Book Hater Julie Frona challenges the Super Heroes to throw the boulder as far as they could. They did such a good job the boulder started to fall apart.

Mill shows appreciation to members and volunteers

GREENVILLE – Bears Mill held An Evening of Appreciation on Nov. 15 to share information on the recent acquisition by Friends of the Bear’s Mill and encourage membership. The special evening included savings on merchandise, wine and food and an opportunity to mingle with the Bears Mill staff and trustees.

In October, the Friends announced they had purchased the Mill and surrounding property from Terry and Julie Clark through a grant from the Clean Ohio Fund and Darke County Soil and Water District.

The Clarks were recognized for their dedication to the Mill for more than 35 years. The Clarks were able to maintain the historical structure and surrounding acreage while creating a popular tourist destination. Bear’s Mill was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975 and the couple purchased the Mill in 1978.

In 1999, the Friends of Bears Mill was formed to help manage the Mill. In 2000, the Clarks began leasing the Mill and property to the Friends.

According to Thomas Menke, board member, the acquisition of the property and Mill by the Friends was not an easy task. The Clean Ohio Funds grant was a competitive grant, which meant they had to beat out several other organizations seeking the same grant. Since he had never written a grant application before, Menke was calling many of the organizations seeking the same grant for advice.

By acquiring the property, the Friends are now in a position to seek additional grants that weren’t previously available when they were leasing the property. Dr. Carlos Menendez, board member, pointed out the wish list is extensive and expensive. The Friends of Bear’s Mill hope to eventually establish, build or fix the well system, public restroom facility, outdoor event stage, expanded parking, hydroelectric structures, nature trails and enhancements, property and grounds improvements, dam repairs, Mill fire repression system and storage barn.

Menendez pointed out the finances for the Mill rely on sales and contributors. He encouraged persons who are friends with the Mill to ask friends, neighbors and co-workers to become Friends of the Mill. Single memberships are available for a $25 donation. Carol Ball, a Friend of Bear’s Mill, suggested giving memberships as Christmas gifts.

For more information on Bear’s Mill or to become a friend or volunteer, call 548-5112 or email

Terry Clark discusses some of his early experiences at Bears Mill. Also shown are Friends of the Mill trustees Carlos Menendez and Gordon Smith. (Ryan Berry photo)

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