Apr 23, 2014

Chicken BBQ

HOLLANSBURG – The Hollansburg Community Volunteer Fire Dept. invites the public to its annual chicken BBQ on May 3. Serving time begins at 11 a.m. and will end whenever they run out of chicken. Chicken dinners will be $7 w/sides and drink. Chicken halves will be $3.50 w/no sides. There will be a fireman’s boot drive to raise money for needed equipment. Come out and support your local fire department. The Hollansburg Fire Dept. is a 501c3 non-profit organization. For more information, call Tracy Brown 997-2209, email hollansburgfire@gmail.com.

They have been providing fire protection since 1894. Hollansburg was the first rural motorized volunteer fire department in the USA

Versailles Museum plans special events

VERSAILLES – The Versailles Museum is excited about its newest activity held the last Monday of each month at 1 p.m. These gatherings are designed for their “senior” friends who will enjoy various activities from picture identification, to Village Trivia, to the occasional guest speaker.

On April 28, they will reminisce about days in the military. As we approach another Memorial Day they are inviting Veterans to join them for a round table discussion led by Tom Mendenhall as they reflect on the life of the soldier and the family at home. Come and sit and share your story or listen to others.

The afternoon caps off with great desserts and coffee.

If you have ideas for programs they want to hear from you.

The museum’s Sunday Afternoons at the Museum will conclude on April 27 when they will travel with another Versailles author as they welcome Bill Schutte to share his book “The Mountain Slayer; A Journey on the Appalachian Trail.” This inspiring story will tell about Bill’s amazing journey. Joining Bill will be Al Hetrick and they will share their journey walking across England.

The season is free, but your generous donations as well as your memberships are most appreciated and keep the museum open. They will serve light refreshments following event.

Diabetes Care classes

GREENVILLE – Spring has finally made its way to Ohio. Individuals can be observed walking or riding their bikes. Spring is a time to spruce up our yards and plant gardens. This time of the year individuals can be seen taking care of the outside of their yard, but it is also a time to take care of yourself if you have diabetes.

Remember to test your blood glucose level. This will help guide your treatment plan by determining the effects of activity, food, and medication on glucose. It also helps to prevent hypoglycemia. Do not forget to take your medications as directed.

Uncontrolled blood glucose can affect your heart, kidneys, nerves, mouth, feet, and eyes. Take into account screenings which can help with diabetes control: home blood glucose testing, Hemoglobin A1c, blood pressure, lipid panel, dilated eye exam, kidney tests, foot exam, dental exam, and immunizations.

Also remember to include physical activity and exercise daily. You do not need to run a marathon to lower your blood glucose. You may consider walking for ten minutes three times a day. Take into account for every minute of activity/exercise, you will lower your blood glucose about 1 point.

Consider having a sick day plan. Drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration which can develop from nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and fever. Monitor your blood glucose every 4 hours. Contact your doctor if you have persistent high or low blood glucose, or if you have any questions.

Life can become busy and lead to stress. Learn ways to manage stress, since it can affect your blood glucose level. You can do deep breathing or muscle relaxation exercises when you are stressed. Exercising or talking to someone about your feelings can also help to lower your stress level.

To learn more about caring for yourself with diabetes consider attending one of the upcoming diabetes events at Wayne HealthCare. The free Diabetes Wellness Program will be held on May 13, 2 p.m. This free program will discuss “Hyperglycemia and Hypoglycemia”. The Diabetic Group Class series will be held on May 6, 12, 19, and 27, 6-8 p.m. The cost of the four day class is $40. The class will provide you with the knowledge to help make healthy lifestyle decisions regarding your management of diabetes. The classes are for individuals who are newly diagnosed with diabetes and individuals who have had diabetes for years. A Pre-Diabetes Class will be held on May 21, 9-11 a.m. The cost of the pre-diabetes class is $10. You will learn about lifestyle changes to reduce your risk for diabetes. To register of one of the upcoming programs, call 547-5750.

Summer reading at Bradford Library

BRADFORD – The Bradford Public Library has several events and activities for patrons and residents of the Bradford area.

Annual Plant Swap is scheduled for May 3, 10 a.m. Along with a large variety of free cuttings and different plants to choose from, a workshop session on “Perennials and Shade Gardening” will also be held at 10:30 a.m. Gardeners who are dividing plants this year and wish to bring in plants to give away, BPL will open at 9:30 a.m. They have some very exciting events planned for the adults this summer. Anyone from the surrounding area is welcome to attend the function anytime between 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Raffle Tickets are on sale now for a variety of items that will be raffled off at noon on the day of the plant swap. Raffle items will be ready to view April 21. Contact the library at 448-2612 for additional information.

The Summer Reading Program will kick off on May 10, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Parents can begin signing up their children any time May 10 or after at the public library. They will also be at the Bradford’s Summer Rec Opening Day from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. to make it easier for families to take advantage of this exciting program. The entire focus will be on “Fizz, Book….Read!”

In addition to reading being a priority for younger to more mature patrons, they will be having hands-on workshops on a variety of activities in the areas of textiles, jewelry making, glass etching, Lego building and activities related to science, technology, engineering and math (S.T.E.M.). Bradford Public Library received a Miami County Foundation Grant that will supply everyone including the tools and consumables to work on these projects. They will also be able to purchase a portable cabinet, which they call a MakerSpace to house these items and use them at any location within the library.

Students will also be going on a Field Trip especially planned for their age level. During the week of May 4-10, elementary children will be coming to the public library to hear about the Summer Reading highlights. A special session for Home-Schooling Parents and Children will be held May 13, 3 and 6 p.m. Contact any of our library staff and ask your questions, 448-2612. Keep your children busy this summer with meaningful activities.

New Paris book sale

NEW PARIS – The New Paris Branch of the PCDL will be holding a book sale during the village garage sale day on Saturday, May 10. Book sales are by donation only, and the sale will last from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Register now for Little Miss and Mr. Yesteryear

ARCANUM – The Arcanum Area Business Association (AABA) is seeking contestants for the 18th annual “Little Miss & Mr. Yesteryear Pageant” scheduled for May 17, 12:30 p.m., immediately after the Arcanum’s Old Fashioned Days Parade. The event will be held at the Veteran’s Memorial Park in downtown Arcanum.

Contestants must be 3-7 years of age as of the date of the pageant and will be judged by a panel of three judges on poise (30%), personality (40%), and costume (30%). Costumes should be of an “old fashioned” theme and will be judged based on creativity. Final registration will take place at 11:30 a.m. (at the conclusion of the parade) behind the stage. However, contestants must be pre-registered to participate (mail-in application). Each contestant will receive a special gift for participating in the event.

In addition, trophies will awarded to the first and second runners up. The Little Miss and Little Mr. will be awarded a crown, sash, and trophy. All participants are invited to participate in the Old Fashioned Days parade. Yes Deere Hair & Nail Boutique will provide the float for everyone to ride on. All participants that wish to ride should meet at the Arcanum School to load onto the float at 10:30 a.m., and they will be dropped off at the pageant stage after the parade. All parents should meet behind the stage in Veterans Park to register and prepare your child.

The pageant will start promptly at 12:30 p.m. The AABA will ask for your child to also participate in the Halloween parade in October, if they are chosen as the 2014 Little Miss or Little Mr. Yesteryear, and it will be up to the winners to provide that parade entry. Local newspapers may publish photos of the Little Miss & Mr. Yesteryear contestants.

Applications must be received by May 9, 6 p.m. and include the contestants name, age, parents’/guardians’ name, phone number, costume description, favorite food, favorite color, and what do you want to be when you grow up.

To register for the pageant, return the application below to: Yes Deere Hair & Nail Boutique, LLC, 7820 Alternate State Route 49Arcanum, Ohio 45304; open Tuesday through Saturday. For more information, call 692-6245 or 286-8330.

Serving Easter Brunch

GREENVILLE – The Double M Diner served a free Easter Brunch to persons in need. Approximately 230 area residents enjoyed the annual meal. Shellie Walker has owned the restaurant for two years, but continued the tradition that was started five years ago by the previous owner, Marcella Murphy. (Keith Foutz photo)

Apr 22, 2014

Demolition begins tomorrow at faigrounds

GREENVILLE - The Directors for the Great Darke County Fair are pleased to announce the fire investigation team and all outside, interested parties attended a joint evidence exam session on April 14, 10 a.m., regarding the Dec. 27, 2013 fire loss. As a result of that session, the Fairboard has regained possession of the area, allowing the Fairboard and Insurance Company approved demolition contractor to begin the cleanup project on April 23. Three weeks have been allotted for the cleanup, but it is possible it can be completed in two. The Fairboard continues to work with Bruns General Contracting, Inc. regarding the final details of the new building design and construction.

The Fairboard submitted the winning replacement bid to the Darke County Commissioners. The Darke County Commissioners have also submitted the bid to the structure insurance carrier for evaluation for like/kind/quality. After getting the final response from Insurance carrier, the Fairboard will move forward with the Beef and Dairy Barn Project in a careful, cautious and expedient manner with the goal in mind of having the structure up by the 2014 Fair.

Demolition is expected to begin April 23 at 7 a.m.

Fire destroys abandoned mobile homes

DARKE COUNTY - Flames engulfed an abandoned mobile home when fire crews arrived on the scene of the fire on Brooks Road on April 21.

Firefighters quickly went into defensive mode as the fire reached the neighboring trailer home, just west of Young Road near Union City, Ohio.

Both abandoned structures were just feet away from each other. One was heavily damaged while the second burnt to the ground.

The cause of the fire is undetermined at this time.
Clinton Randall photo and story

Family wakes to house fire

UNION CITY, IN - A Union City family woke up to a fire in their home early Saturday morning (April 19).

The male homeowner heard a 'crackling' sound in the rear of the 2-story residence approximately 4 a.m. on Walnut Street. He and his wife got the kids and pets outside while fire crews responded to the scene.

The homeowner told friends he thinks a pet cat may have knocked over a lamp in the back room of the first floor which may have been the cause of the fire.

No injuries were reported and an exact damage estimate is unknown at this time.

Photo submitted by Josh Merssersmith

Greenville Athletic Boosters Scholarship

GREENVILLE – Seniors at Greenville High School have the opportunity to apply for one of five $500 scholarships to be offered. The deadline for submission is May 16. The successful applicants will be a graduating senior at Greenville High School with a 2.5 or greater cumulative grade point average after seven semesters. The student must have at least one varsity letter during the eligibility period in any sport. (This includes athletic participants, cheerleaders, trainers, and managers.)

The individual must not be a recipient of a “full ride” academic or athletic scholarship and must be pursuing a post-secondary education. Recipient must be pursuing a post-secondary education. Other details apply; applications are available in Greenville High School office or printable from the Athletic Booster page at www.greenville.k12.oh.us.

Please complete and return to the guidance office by May 16.

The mission of the Greenville Athletic Boosters Organization is to support and encourage academic and athletic excellence in all Greenville Student Athletes and Athletic Teams.

Premier and Wayne offer expanded Telestroke Network

GREENVILLE – In cooperation with Wayne HealthCare, Premier Health is expanding its Telestroke Network into Greenville to quickly diagnose patients who are exhibiting signs of a stroke. With the implementation of the Telestroke Network, a stroke patient arriving at the Wayne HealthCare emergency center can be examined via a computer linked to one of six on-call stroke specialists practicing at Premier Health any time of the day or night. The telemedicine system is already in place at all Premier Health emergency departments. The Premier Health hospitals were the first in the Dayton area to introduce telemedicine to treat stroke patients.

“As a rural healthcare facility, it is imperative that we provide immediate treatment after a stroke occurs to maximize rehabilitation and recovery for patients,” said Kim Freeman, vice president of patient services at Wayne HealthCare.

Dawn Sweet, director of critical care services at Wayne HealthCare has been influential with leading this process at Wayne HealthCare. In addition, Sweet said, “The virtual exam through the Telestroke Network will help expedite the process of being assessed by an expert neurologist who can order appropriate treatment from their location within a Premier Health facility. Our nurses and clinical staff have completed in-depth training and skills assessment for stroke certification programs, based on the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale standards and are excited about the opportunity to add this service for our patients and community.”

The Premier Health Telestroke Network uses a rolling cart outfitted with a computer, video monitor, camera and audio system to connect the on-call stroke specialist with the patient. When a stroke patient arrives at the emergency department, the system is wheeled to the patient’s bedside. A staff member from the emergency center contacts the remote on-call stroke specialist from one of the Premier hospitals. The specialist logs onto a computer and then can have two-way audio and video communication with, the emergency physician, the nurse, patient and family members. The specialist can “see” the patient, ask questions and view CT scans - all in real-time - to help assess the patient’s condition and help the emergency physician determine if the patient is a candidate for acute stroke therapy.

This technology dramatically increases the number of patients who can receive clot dissolving medication. This medicine is only effective within the first few hours after the stroke onset. Rapid administration can minimize the damage to the brain.

Dr. Jacob Kitchener, a Premier Health neurointerventional specialist who will be one of the physicians on-call for the telemedicine program, says the benefit this technology brings to patients is tremendous. “Telemedicine enables physicians specifically trained in acute stroke care to be electronically transported to the patient’s bedside instantly, he says. He adds, “Such timely interactions with the family, emergency physician and most importantly, the patient, allow for a thorough and rapid patient evaluation. We are thrilled to bring this technology to the patients of Wayne HealthCare.”

In addition to Dr. Kitchener, the on-call team includes Ahmed Fathy, MD, Bradley Jacobs, MD, Bryan Ludwig, MD, Kiran Poudel, MD, and Robb Snider, MD.

Physicians believe that telemedicine will result in faster delivery of care which can improve patient outcomes. The possibilities for telemedicine are endless and Premier Hospitals could use the program in other areas such as cardiology in the future.

Nature Day is April 26

GREENVILLE – What better time to celebrate nature than Earth Day weekend? This year the have so much packed into Nature Day and extended the time! Nature Day will be on April 26, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., at Shawnee Prairie Preserve, 4267 State Route 502 West, Greenville.

The Park will be a flurry of free activities, LIVE animals and information from beginning to end. Stations will be scattered throughout the trails surrounding the Nature Center encouraging admiration of all things Nature. Children will have the opportunity to have their “passport” stamped at each station for a prize. A snake, turtle, hawk and owl will be walking the trails and Brukner Nature Center will join the fun by adding an opossum, bat and a flying squirrel to the mix.

Entertainer extraordinaire, Chris Rowlands, will be joining them for a free concert at noon. Chris is a Naturalist Teacher for Aullwood Audubon Center, bringing music and life-size puppets to the stage for the benefit of children and adults alike!

The Native Plant Sale is BACK! Select plants will be available for sale during Nature Day. The Friends of the Park will also be serving a low cost, hotdog lunch from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

For more information, visit www.darkecountyparks.org or call 548-0165.

Genealogical Society tour

GREENVILLE – The Darke County Genealogical Society, Inc. is having a tour at 1 p.m., at the Historical Society of Versailles, on May 14. For more information, call 548-8295. This meeting is open to anyone interested. Anyone who wants can eat ahead of the tour at the Sweet Shop in Versailles.

Kiwanis gives to Special Olympics

GREENVILLE – Kiwanis of Greenville has again donated to support the 37th year of Darke County Special Olympics. This organization provides athletic opportunities for students and adults with varying types of disabilities from Darke County. Kiwanis has supported the program since its inception. The 2013 program served 310 athletes from Greenville City Schools, Darke County Schools and Wayne Industries competing at the local, area, and state levels in basketball, cheerleading, bowling, softball, equestrian, swimming and track & field. Shown in the photo are Kiwanians Roy Haines, President Christina Chalmers, Steve Litchfield and Max Shoemaker.

Canner gauge testing time

GREENVILLE – Are you planning to do some canning this year to take advantage of your garden produce? That means it's time to get your home canning equipment in working order. OSU Extension, Darke County, will check dial type pressure canner gauges beginning on May 1 and continue through Sept. 30.

There is a $5 charge for each gauge tested. You will need to bring your dial gauge into their office and they will test it, or call you to pick it up after it has been tested. In addition, you will receive the most recent materials available on home food preservation.

Please bring your canner lid with the gauge attached to be tested. They will also check the gasket on your canner to make sure that, too, is in working order.

OSU Extension, Darke County, is located at 603 Wagner Avenue, Greenville, on the north side of Edison State College. If you have any questions, call 548-5215.

Before your produce is ready to preserve, be certain that you check the jars you plan to use. Inspect them for cracks. Run your finger around the rim of each jar to inspect for chips, nicks and bumps in the glass. Any irregularities can cause seals to fail, so discard jars that don't meet the standard for canning, or use them for decorative or other purposes.

Also, mayonnaise jars, or similar commercial food jars, are considered "one-trip" jars. These jars are not thick enough to withstand the repeated use in home canning. So make sure your jar supply is ready for the task, as well as the rest of your canning equipment.

Remember, pressure canning is the only safe method of canning low acid vegetables, meats, poultry and seafood. The 240 degree temperature required to preserve these foods safely can only be reached in a pressure canner.

Canning is not the place for creativity. Use only scientifically tested recipes, instructions and recommendations for home preserving foods. Home food preservation is easy and safe, but only if you follow safe guidelines for each particular food you are canning. Freezing is a safe method to preserve any food, so when in doubt, freeze it.

Apr 21, 2014

Easter fire hits family home

DARKE COUNTY – A two alarm structure fire completely destroyed a garage and heavily damaged a family home Easter Sunday.

Fire crews from Darke and Preble County responded to the scene at 957 U.S. 127, just south of Otterbein-Ithaca Road, around noon to find a fully engulfed detached garage fire. The flames spread to the two-story home before firefighters could extinguish the blaze.

No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is undetermined at this time.
By Clinton Randall, staff writer/webmaster

Darke SWCD Scholarship Deadline Approaching

GREENVILLE – The board of supervisors for the Darke Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) is pleased to offer two $500 scholarships for graduating seniors pursuing a degree in an agricultural or natural resources related field. Applications may be obtained at your high school guidance office or at the Darke SWCD office, located at 1117 South Towne Court, Greenville. The deadline to complete an application is April 25; all necessary materials must be received in the Darke SWCD office by 4 p.m.

In order to be eligible, the applicant must be a Darke County resident and be graduating from one of the county’s public or private high schools; have a minimum 2.5 grade point average; be entering their freshman year as a full-time student in the Fall 2013 at a 2- or 4-year accredited college, technical school or university; and be pursuing a degree in either an agriculture or natural resources related field.

The scholarship award is for $500 and will be processed through the University or College scholarship office and will be available to the students in January 2015 after proof of the students continuing enrollment at the school has been obtained.

The deciding committee reserves the right to refuse the application due to any component, including; incompleteness, essay and recommendation letter content, course type selected and/or previous scholarship earnings.

The intent of this scholarship is to help our best and brightest pursue a higher education in the field of agriculture or natural resources. For more information, call 548-1715, Ext. 3 or email jared.coppess@oh.nacdnet.net.

Masons’ dinner helps Special Olympics

GETTYBURG – The Gettysburg Masons will be holding its annual spaghetti dinner on May 3, 4:30-7 p.m., to support the Special Olympics. The cost of the meal is $7 for adults and $3.50 for children 12 and under. Included in the meal are a salad, pie and drinks. The dinner will be held in the lodge dining room behind the Gettysburg Post Office.

An Open House for the Lodge will be conducted at this event.

Last year, the Gettysburg Masons contributed over $500 to this worthy cause. This will be the 31st year Ohio Masons have supported the Special Olympics with the last 10 contributing over $100,000 each year. Over $2 million has been contributed through 2012. The Special Olympics Ohio Summer Games will be held in June 2014 at the athletic facilities of The Ohio State University. It costs over $100 per athlete to compete in the games. In addition to financial support, Ohio Masons volunteer help during the contests, and participate in the Parade of Athletes during opening ceremonies. More than 21,000 children and adults with disabilities benefit from this cause. General information is available at www.freemasons.com. For local information, contact the lodge secretary, 548-7225.

Registration taken for FS4JK Ag Safety Day

GREENVILLE – Darke County youth ages 7-13 are invited to attend the 10th annual Progressive Ag Safety Day on June 10, at the Darke County Fairgrounds. The Safety Day is sponsored by the Darke County Chapter of Farm Safety for Just Kids.

Sessions for the day include ATV Safety, Grain Safety, PTO/Equipment Safety, Animal Safety, Drug Safety, Healthy Lifestyles, and Farm Rescue. Many door prizes will be presented and all kids will take home a goody bag filled with resources and safety items. Kids must be registered to attend. Registrations are being taken now and will close when 100 kids are registered.

Contact Rhonda Kress at rhondajkress@gmail.com or call 417-7412. Other questions may be directed to Janet Rhoades, coordinator, at rhoadesj@g-wireless.net or 448-2740.

Darke Co. LWV will not hold spring forum

GREENVILLE – With the May 6 Primary elections fast approaching, the League of Women Voters of Darke County urges residents to get out to vote for their favorite candidates.

This spring, LWV will not hold its usual Candidates Night due to local offices being unopposed. Each citizen should become informed about the candidates for local government and those running for state offices. However, several ballot issues are up for voter consideration.

In the village of Versailles, Issue # 8 proposes a Municipal Income Tax- Combination of 1/2% Levy on Income. This is for Street Reconstruction and Major Repair Purposes, consisting of Storm Drainage Improvements, Sanitary Sewer Improvements, Waterline Improvements and Street Reconstruction for five years, commencing Jan. 1, 2015.

In the village of Wayne Lakes, Issue # 9 Proposed Tax Levy is a renewal of 7 mills for current expenses for 5 years, commencing in 2014, first due in the calendar year of 2015.

Greenville City School District, Issue #3 is a proposed Tax Levy that is a renewal for 2 mills for the purpose of remodeling, renovating, and otherwise improving school buildings. Furnishing and equipping school buildings and equipping and otherwise improving school sites. This renewal is for 5 years; commencing in 2014, first due in calendar year 2015.

There are a few overlapping issues with nearby counties. More information about those issues and candidates for office this primary is posted on http://www.electionsonthe.net/oh/darke/

Concert series in Ft. Recovery

FORT RECOVERY – The Fort Recovery Friends of the Arts will be hosting its Summer Concert Series beginning June 8. The concerts will be held at Hein Amphitheatre in Van Trees Park.

This year’s schedule includes Flight Risk, June 8; Chelsea House Orchestra, June 15; Megahits, June 29; Savannah Jack, July 13; Dwight Lenox & The Lenox Avenue Express, July 20; Linda Lee, July 27; FR Talent Night and Contest, Aug. 3; The Geeze Cats, Aug. 10; and Shelby County Line, Aug. 17.

Find Ft. Recovery Friends of the Arts on Facebook or check out all the acts on Facebook, YouTube and the web.

Driver of the Year

GREENVILLE – A luncheon was held in honor of Greenville resident and Rumpke truck driver Jim Hawes on April 11. Jim is a National Waste & Recycling Association Driver of the Year, and has achieved 12 years of safe driving. Local businesses and Rumpke managers wrote letters to recommend Jim for the National award.

YMCA supporters honored at meeting

GREENVILLE – The YMCA of Darke County held its annual meeting on April 1, where it celebrated the organization's ongoing progress and generous contributions of its patrons.

During the Tuesday meeting, Darke County YMCA CEO Sam Casalano honored a select handful of individuals, known as the Champions of Hope, who were integral in the everyday operations of the organization.

“They really went out of their way to make things happen. Without them it would've been almost impossible to accomplish what we have," said Casalano. "They make our dreams a reality.”

The 2014 Champions of Hope included Angie and Matt Arnold, Ann and Mitch Eiting, Wes and Patty Jetter, Rosalie Schultz and Eunice Steinbrecher.

Casalano also announced the 2014 Volunteers of the Year, Tammy Abell and Kevin Cordonnier.

"Kevin, thank you for serving the youth of our community and giving countless hours to our swim team program," he said. "It is an honor to recognize you as one of our volunteers of the year."

"And from now on, Tammy, your nickname will be 'The Mailwoman,' because you always deliver," said Casalano.

Also during the meeting, the YMCA introduced its new YMCA Board President, Shawn Daugherty, who will be taking over for former president, Jerry McClannan.

"Now I understand why God created Kevin, Jerry, Shawn and Tammy - why God created every volunteer in this room. Each of you exemplifies service at its finest," said Casalano. "Despite the increasing needs in our community and world, you continue to give sacrificially and seek to meet the needs of others, especially right here at the Y. Thank you for being you!"

Sam Casalano recognizes Tammy Abell with the 2014 Volunteer of the Year Award.

The Darke County YMCA held its annual meeting on April 1 where they honored this year's YMCA Champions of Hope, which included Angie and Matt Arnold, Ann and Mitch Eiting, Wes and Patty Jetter, Rosalie Schultz and Eunice Steinbrecher.

Learning about eyes

ELDORADO – The Preble County District Library is partnering with the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery and Prevent Blindness Ohio to provide a fun, engaging program to teach children about the human eye, its parts, health, and safety. The program will travel to all seven of the PCDL branches through the month of May.

The ‘Wise About Eyes’ program is geared toward children age 5-12. The children participate in every aspect of the program that ends with a hands-on learning station.

The program will be presented at 5:30 p.m. at the following branches, New Paris Branch, May 13; West Manchester Branch, May 21; and Eldorado Branch, May 22.

Apr 20, 2014

Your daily source for news from your weekly newspaper

GREENVILLE - For over 45 years, The Early Bird has delivered great feature stories, news and advertisements to the homes of Darke County residents. Over the past couple of years, the company has renewed its commitment to the community and has increased its coverage of local news and events.

On April 26, the newspaper will unveil its newest opportunity for readers to stay informed. The company’s website, www.bluebagmedia.com, has received a makeover through the addition of Clinton Randall, webmaster. The new site will feature more late breaking news, community news, and feature stories from The Early Bird staff. Plus, the website will have exclusive content not found on the print pages of The Early Bird. Blue Bag Media will be updated daily and when news breaks. This will be your daily source for news from your hometown weekly newspaper.

Readers can still rely on The Early Bird coming to your home every weekend, but the website will give the newspaper an opportunity to disseminate important information quickly.

Rhonda Dorsten, marketing director, is also excited about the new site and different offerings available to advertisers. She said, “This will provide an excellent opportunity for area businesses to reach a new demographic through digital media.” There is still time for advertisers to part of the unveiling. For more information, contact Dorsten at 548-3330.

In addition to the new website, readers will also be able to take The Early Bird and Blue Bag Media with them wherever they go. A new easy to use mobile site will also be unveiled on April 26. There is also good news for persons wanting to read the newspaper online or share it with family and friends, The Early Bird will offer an eact replica in a digital version to compliment the newsprint version. The digital version will be easily accessible from the Blue Bag Media website. All aspects of the digital media offered by The Early Bird and Blue Bag Media is available without a subscription and without a fee.

The Early Bird will have a special section next weekend to show readers the features and how to navigate the new website.

To celebrate the unveiling of the new Blue Bag Media, The Early Bird will be hosting an on-line contest. Be sure to check out the new site on April 26 to find out how you can win a new Samsung Galaxy Tab 3.

Fracking waste continues to be a concern for local residents

GREENVILLE – Nearly 200 concerned citizens attended the second town hall meeting offered by the Western Ohio Fracking Awareness Coalition (WOFAC) on April 15. The group invited three speakers to present information on the Toxic Truth.

Susan Spille, Rita McCans and Jan Teaford presented information on WOFAC and how it started. The core members of the group were involved with the successful effort to prevent CO2 Sequestration at the ethanol plant. The fight to prevent injection wells for fracking waste seemed like the next step needed to keep Darke County’s aquifer and streams uncontaminated.

Members of WOFAC are hoping Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Director Jim Zehringer is being truthful when he said there was little chance of an injection well being opened in Darke County. Thus far, there have been zero applications for a permit to open an injection well in the county. However, members want the public to be prepared and informed of what to expect if a well is opened. Donna Carver, interim executive director for Buckeye Forest Council, showed pictures of injection wells that are leaking and an earthen pit where waste is stored. Zehringer, who did not attend the meeting, previously stated Ohio banned earthen pits as an acceptable form of disposing of fracking waste in 1985. ODNR is responsible for the regulations regarding fracking and injection wells.

Dr. Yuri Gorby, an expert in microbiology, believes the 95,000 square miles being fracked in the Marcellus and Utica Shale will never be cleaned up. He pointed to the unknown chemicals being used at a high pressure to fracture the shale in order to get to the gas and the radioactive material that comes to the surface after it’s fractured as extremely toxic. One of the known methods being used its crystalline silica sand. This is used to hold open the fracture. “If you are working and living around the area where this is being used you’re probably already dead,” he said.

Joe Curry, a professional, registered water well driller in Michigan, is concerned with the amount of water being used in the fracking process. He pointed out that on average the normal consumption of water for everyday use is 939 billion gallons year. He believes fracking is destroying 812 billion gallons of water a year. He noted the figures the gas and oil companies have given of 5.8 million gallons per fracturing event is false. “It may be true in shallower areas,” he said.

Carver has been to several injection well sites and has reported becoming sick. She claims the lack of a metallothionein protein in her body to fight off the heavy metals causes her to become extremely ill when she is around one of these sites. Her autistic son has the same affliction and was exposed to the heavy metals while visiting his grandmother while brine was being spread alongside the road. It took him six months to recover.

WOFAC is actively supporting Ohio House Bill 148 and Ohio Senate Bill 178 that would ban the disposal of gas and oil waste into Class II injection wells; the use of gas and oil waste on roads and other surfaces regardless if it has been treated in a public water system or treatment process; the practice of Enhanced Recovery which is stimulating a producing well by injection gas and oil waste into the producing well; and prohibits converting a well to use for any other purpose than its original purpose.

ODNR recently announced new, stronger permit conditions for drilling near faults or areas of past seismic activity. The new policies are in response to recent seismic events in Poland Township (Mahoning County) that show a probable connection to hydraulic fracturing near a previously unknown microfault. New permits issued by ODNR for horizontal drilling within three miles of a known fault or area of seismic activity greater than a 2.0 magnitude would require companies to install sensitive seismic monitors. If those monitors detect a seismic event in excess of 1.0 magnitude, activities would pause while the cause is investigated. If the investigation reveals a probable connection to the hydraulic fracturing process, all well completion operations will be suspended. ODNR will develop new criteria and permit conditions for new applications in light of this change in policy. The department will also review previously issued permits that have not been drilled.

According to the ODNR, more than 800 wells have been drilled in Ohio’s Utica and Marcellus shale play, including as many as 16,000 hydraulic fracturing stages from those wells. Regarding the seismic events in Poland Township, Mahoning County, ODNR geologists believe the sand and water injected into the well during the hydraulic fracturing process may have increased pressure on an unknown microfault in the area. Further hydraulic fracturing at the site is suspended but the company will be permitted to recover resources from five of the previously drilled wells located on the pad. This is also expected to have the beneficial effect of reducing underground pressure and decreasing the likelihood of another seismic event.

A map of underground seismic faults and past seismic events is available at oilandgas.ohiodnr.gov.

Dr. Yuri Gorby presented information to nearly 200 residents at WOFAC’s Toxic Truth town hall meeting. (Ryan Berry photo)

National Day of Prayer is May 1

GREENVILLE – On May 1 the 63rd annual National Day of Prayer will take place and millions of Americans will gather at more than 42,000 locations from coast to coast in order to pray. One of those locations will be in front of the Greenville City Building, 100 Public Square. The local National Day of Prayer Observance, sponsored by the Greater Greenville Ministerial Association (GGMA) in cooperation with the Greenville Mayor’s Office, will begin at noon and conclude around 12:45 p.m. The GGMA invites everyone to attend this special program.

In addition to Greenville Mayor Mike Bowers, there will be numerous community leaders taking part by offering prayer. Joseph Helfrich will be leading in music and various others will be participating in special ways. The National Day of Prayer Task Force has chosen “One Voice, United in Prayer” as this year’s theme based on Romans 15:6 “So that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Shirley Dobson, chairman of the NDP Task Force, states, “Since 1952, when congress established an annual day of prayer, millions of Americans have gathered each year…to intercede for our nation. Today, we face extremely difficult times and daunting challenges, from economic turmoil to the threat of terrorism to moral confusion and decline. It behooves us, then, to once again honor the precedent established by presidents and leaders throughout our history – that of proclaiming reliance on an Almighty God and calling citizens to come before Him on behalf of our nation.”

More information about the National Day of Prayer is available at NationalDayofPrayer.org. Pastors John Monroe, 692-5228 and Jim Morehouse, 547-1557, may be contacted for additional information about the local observance.

Joining Mayor Michael Bowers for the proclamation signing were local ministers, Jim Morehouse, Doug Klinsing and Dale Boeger. (Ryan Berry photo)

Mayor proclaims Grange Month

GREENVILLE – Greenville Mayor Michael Bowers joined with other elected officials from across the country in recognizing April as Grange Month. The National Grange organization was formed in 1867 as a way to bring members of the agricultural community together. Six years later, the first Grange organization in Darke County formed. After 141 years, Stelvideo Grange continues today. While some Grange organizations have come and gone, there are still a few that are active in the county. In addition to Stelvideo are Wayne Grange and the junior granges for Stelvideo and Wayne, all operating under their individual charter.

National Grange President Ed Luttrell said, “During Grange Month, we want all of the communities we are a part of to know that the Grange is a living organization that has a lot to offer it.” Harvey Hinshaw of the Stelvideo Grange agreed pointing out the Ohio organization is very active in pursuing legislative issues relating to agriculture and family. One of the main issues being discussed and investigated by the Grange is fracking and how it affects agriculture.

While the Grange is a nonpartisan organization, it does offer members an opportunity to voice their political concerns and teaches them how to strengthen their community through legislative action.

In addition to national and state issues, the Grange encourages its members to serve their neighborhoods through community service projects that make a difference in the lives of everyone. This past year, the Stelvideo Grange completed several successful events, including The Dictionary Project, Words for Thirds, donated items to FISH and visited with residents at the Brethren Retirement Community.

For more information on Grange, visit www.NationalGrange.org or www.ohiostategrange.org.

Watching Mayor Mike Bowers sign the proclamation are local Grange members Ron Blumenstock, Dean Burk, Harvey Hinshaw, Lynne Hinshaw, Holly Clopp and Joey (youngest Grange member in the county) and Susan Gunckle.

Box City event provides fun, sobering moments



GREENVILLE – “Activate Rim 2” then “Engage sunjib” then “All right… shake cell phones and start over.” Science project? No. Preparation for the night’s activity? Nope. A cell phone game as four GHS Key Club members relax for a few minutes before beginning their annual overnight Box City event.

Fifteen students, including three from Piqua High School, formed two tribes (one each, boys and girls), built cities made from cardboard, challenged each other with traditional “hobo games” and spent a night as a homeless person… sleeping outside with only a cardboard box for shelter. They also spent a sobering hour with Cathy Campbell, development director at St. Vincent de Paul in Dayton.

“They come to us with nothing but the clothes on their backs,” Campbell said. “We assign them to a case worker to look at their history… why they are homeless.” They could have alcohol or drug problems, or mental health issues. She added they could stay as long as they wished but had to have a plan to address those issues and get out of the shelter.

St. Vincent de Paul shelters 180 to 250 men, and as many as 150 women and 50-90 children, every night. She noted some women are pregnant when they come to the shelter. They go to Miami Valley Hospital (next door to their facility), have the baby, then come back the next day.

“That’s very painful to see,” Campbell said, “but it is what it is.”

The program also provides transitional housing for families, Safe Haven for the severely disabled, a food bank and meals. “Our food pantry is open every other Wednesday serving 450 households, or about 2,500 individuals.” She added they also serve about 1,000 meals a day.

“Hunger is a terrible thing,” she said. “Especially with a child.” She noted the program has seen a 23 percent increase in families coming to the shelter, typically due to job loss. “It takes a while to go through the foreclosure process, stay with family or friends… when all else has been exhausted, they come to us.”

Campbell told the students she “loved what you are doing… this gets you to understand what they deal with.” She noted the difficulty the girls were having getting the ‘city’ started due to the wind gusts.

To prepare for the event, Key Club students gathered boxes ranging from flat screen TV to refrigerator sizes from local businesses. They also brought in food and clothing to donate to a homeless shelter. This year the donations went to St. Vincent de Paul. They used the donations to “buy” the boxes… 1-5 cans equals a medium box, 10 equals a large box and so on.

Following Campbell’s presentation the students had dinner (pizza, chips, fruit and cookies) then finished building their ‘cities’ and creating tribe flags and slogans. The tribes were judged on their creativity. Games were played until midnight, followed by a movie (or sleep). Wake-up and breakfast was followed by awards for the top tribe starting at 7 a.m. The final activity was clean-up.

GHS Key Club President Sarah Herzog reported the event went well; also the girls ended up taking the top prize at the last minute. They had a “super elaborate box city with a tunnel system… it was really cool.”

Sarah Herzog sent this photo from the GHS Key Club annual Box City event to the Early Bird. It was titled “Peter the Mummy, Pharaoh of Egypt.”
The girls’ tribe faced challenges getting their ‘city’ started due to the wind. They prevailed, however, with a “super elaborate box city.”
GHS Key Club President Sarah Herzog is kidnapped by two members of the boys’ tribe. She was only released when they were told she’s “the keeper of the food.”

Darke County roads get a spring cleaning


DARKE COUNTY – “One thing I always hear is the kids say ‘we will NEVER throw trash out the window.’ This is a good learning experience for them,” said Krista Fourman, director of the Darke County Solid Waste Management District.

Kids of all ages were among the 1,224 volunteers who worked the weekend of April 12 and 13 in the district’s annual Trash Bash. According to Fourman they covered 635 miles and retrieved 7.07 tons of trash and 1.48 tons of recycling for a total 8.55 tons. Their efforts included all county roads and some township roads.

Mike Stump, Solid Waste committee member and Trash Bash volunteer, said it was a real good day. He added, however, “It’s a shame we have to do this… I’m just appreciative we have a very strong county that will do it.” Stump praised Krista and Melissa (Missy) Werling, the district’s administrative assistant, for doing a great job; also the volunteers for giving their time. “Trash Bash is a great thing,” he said. “I hope it keeps going.”

A number of students did Trash Bash as one of the fundraising projects for their 8th grade trip to Washington D.C. Becky Thomas, Ansonia Parents Alliance, called the weekend successful with 175 to 200 people on the roads covering approximately 150 miles. Each student had to bring his or her own group of volunteers. “Our 4th through 7th grade students take the money and put it into their school accounts for the D.C. trip,” she said. The district pays $50 for a cleanup of two miles.

Patty Bunger, 4-H Advisor and Trash Bash volunteer, said they “had a blast.” The weather was nice… “Best we’ve ever had. It was a little muddy but that was okay. It was the best ever!” She said their group will use the money for outings and the fair booth.

Nicki Bowser, Arcanum Butler Middle School Student Council (grades 5-8), did Gettysburg-Pitsburg Road to S.R. 49, a little over two miles for each of four groups. She was one of many who noted not all drivers were as courteous as they could have been. “Some were courteous, but some zoomed right by. Fortunately we had a wide ditch we were working from. I told the kids to stay away from the road.”

Bunger noted some were even appreciative. As they were driving by, they “slowed down and thanked us,” she said.

Fourman was not happy about reports on Darke County drivers. “There were still quite a few motorists driving way too fast,” she said. “We just want our volunteers to be safe.”

Other hazards? Syringes and snakes!

“A lot of snakes,” Fourman said, and according to Darke County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Chris Clark, there were nine calls on syringes. Fortunately no meth lab items were found. The department met with the volunteers prior to the event to warn them about these items. They noted meth lab materials had been found as recently as three weeks earlier. Fourman said the deputies gave the volunteers a lot of last minute tips and things to look for.

Tracy Briner and husband Scotty were the lone workers on Horatio Harris Creek Road. Tracy was pulling trash out of the mud in the ditch alongside the highway. The couple were two of 1,124 volunteers for Trash Bash 2014.
Scotty Briner was wrapping up his side of the road. He said he and Tracy were representing the Positive Attitude group.

Fries outlines construction schedule, renewal levy


GREENVILLE – “I want to emphasize… no new taxes.”

Greenville City Schools Superintendent Doug Fries explained the district’s May 6 renewal levy, plus gave an update on construction work, to Kiwanis of Greenville members and guests April 9.

“This levy was first supported by district voters in 1989 and has continued success every five years since then,” he said. He repeated ‘no new taxes.’ He told the group the levy will generate about $500,000 annual income and by law can only be used for capital improvement projects.

Some of those needs over the next five years include putting 21st Century technology in the schools to meet current curriculum standards, additional computers for the upcoming on-line assessments, continued safety upgrades, high school site work and more. Fries noted the district still has to maintain South, East, the junior high and Woodland schools while construction moves forward on the new K-8 facility on North Ohio.

Renovation on the high school will begin this summer and will continue through the 2014-15 school year. Classes will be shifted as necessary to allow for it. Work is expected to be finished by end of summer 2015. According to Fries, the approximately $9 million project will include a new roof, replacement of windows, installation of heating and air, administrative offices, security doors, cafeteria, kitchen, teacher workrooms, public restrooms and upgraded technology capabilities.

For K-8, site work will begin in June. Dirt work will start in August. It will be ongoing work for two years with expected completion for the 2016-17 school year.

Fries acknowledged he was grateful for the community’s support on the new facility, noting a May renewal levy is probably not the best timing… “We have no choice,” he said. “The levy has to be renewed to handle the new technology needs and maintain the facilities we still have to use.”

He emphasized once again the levy simply continues the taxes already being paid; it does not generate new taxes. Fries also noted a capital improvement fund means general education funds can be used for education, not to handle capital improvement needs.

Greenville City Schools Superintendent Doug Fries talks to Kiwanians about the renewal levy and the construction timelines for the high school and new K-8 building.

Hi-T.E.C. celebrates 20 years, enters world of racing


ARCANUM – Hi-T.E.C. Automotive celebrated its 20th year of service to Darke County with a unique announcement… entry into the world of racing. The April 12 announcement included becoming a NAPA AutoCare Center.

According to owner Tom Besecker, the relationship with NAPA doesn’t change anything… “We still do a little bit of everything,” he said. Most of his products and services revolved around NAPA and AC Delco services. But that wasn’t the main announcement Hi-T.E.C. was promoting. Besecker and co-owners wife Traci, and Alex Ashbaugh were close-mouthed about what would be occurring at exactly 12 noon.

Besecker disappeared a couple minutes before noon and, almost on the hour, Hi-T.E.C. brought out the Team Show car… shortly after, what sounded like a race car could be heard behind the building. A few seconds later, No. 36 – Adam Schaeff’s Eldora Stock Racecar – appeared. Hi-T.E.C. Automotive had gone into the stock racecar business.

Shaeff said he’s been racing 25 years and looked forward to being in the next Eldora Speedway event April 19. He noted Eldora tops out at about 110 m.p.h. with average speeds running about 95 m.p.h. Despite having his share of accidents, he said the excitement never goes away. “You definitely get ‘in the zone’,” he said.

It had been a long project with Shaeff, the Beseckers, Ashbaugh and artists Joe and Laura Wintrow working on it all winter. The Wintrows started on the wrap-around “about six designs ago,” Joe said, grinning. Adding Tom had a lot to do with the final product, he said “I thought I had it with the first design. Nope! I was way off.”

Hi-T.E.C. Automotive, 7234 Alternate State Route 49 East, Arcanum, will be holding its 20th year Business Anniversary Open House on June 27 and 28 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Schaeff’s No. 36 will be on display.

Besecker said he’s enjoyed the past 20 years serving his customers. “For the most part, it’s been great,” he added. “There are always challenges… it’s what keeps me going.” The best part? “It’s the relationships with people. Without that you won’t have a business.”

Some of Hi-T.E.C.’s customers were on hand for the unveiling. One, Mike Pollard of Seam-Less Asphalt, was offering rides with his off-road 4-wheeler. Another, Justin Anderson, said when he brings something in he knows it will get done.

“It’s all about trust,” he said. “I trust them.”

Left to right, Tom Besecker, Traci Besecker and Alex Ashbaugh announce Hi-T.E.C.’s becoming a NAPA AutoCare Center. (Bob Robinson photo)
Hi-T.E.C. Automotive goes into the racing business with Adam Schaeff’s No. 36 Eldora Stock Racecar. (Bob Robinson photo)

Apr 19, 2014

Ginter pleads to reduced charge after girlfriend admits to lying

GREENVILLE - Shaun M. Ginter, 30, of Greenville escaped a felony conviction after his former girlfriend admitted to lying in a statement saying he was not allowed in the home. The state offered to reduce a first degree felony count of Aggravated Burglary, in which Ginter was indicted on after he was charged by the Greenville Police Department for entering a home and allegedly assaulting a male victim in February with a metal object.

Magan Nims, 27, of Greenville, who was Ginter's ex-girlfriend at the time, signed a statement accusing Ginter of entering the residence without permission to commit the assault. She later admitted to giving a false statement and has since been indicted on Perjury, a felony of the third degree. She faces up to 36 months if convicted as charged.

Ginter entered a guilty plea Thursday in the Darke County Common Pleas Court to the reduced charge of Assault, a first degree misdemeanor. Judge Jonathan P. Hein sentenced Ginter to 60 days in jail, but suspended 50 of the days. He was ordered to serve a remaining six days since he has four days credit from the time of the arrest. Ginter will be placed on probation for two years and serve 40 hours of community service. He was also ordered to pay an undetermined amount of restitution to the victim in the case for all medical bills related to the assault.

Greenville defense attorney Randall E. Breaden represented Ginter in the case.

ASD support group to meet

GREENVILLE - Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in the Darke, a newly formed support group for parents and loved ones of those who are, or are suspected to be, part of the ASD community, will meet April 23 at the Greenville Public Library, in the third floor community room at 6 p.m.

Because the group is newly formed, they hope to receive input from those who attend as to what format the meetings might take, what topics would be helpful for others, and activities parents/caregivers would like to see for their ASD child(ren).

For more information, call Heather Meade, 417-9274 or email asdinthedarke@gmail.com. Join the Facebook group by visiting www.Facebook.com/groups/asdindarke. View their blog at asdinthedarke.blogspot.com/.

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