Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Rep. Adams Announces Funding for Educational Innovation in the 80th Ohio House District

State Representative Richard Adams (R-Troy) announced the Controlling Board’s approval yesterday of $2.1 million in funding to a consortium of Milton-Union Exempted School Village, Franklin Monroe Local School District and Piqua City School District for their Straight A Fund application.

Of the $2.1 million dollars allocated to these schools, $524,159.04 will go to the Milton-Union Exempted School Village, $293,239.04 will go to the Franklin Monroe Local School District, and $1,280,579.04 will go to the Piqua City School District. The school districts will be partnering with The Ohio State University Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy and Wright State University.

The funding will be used for Reading Expands All Children's Horizons (REACH), a kindergarten and first grade literacy initiative that will bolster reading achievement by engaging parents as their children's at home learning partners. Through one-on-one devices and educational media, REACH will extend learning beyond the school day into homes and communities for anytime/anywhere learning. Teacher guided, REACH's engaging, multimedia reading modules will motivate parents and excite children to practice reading through the REACH website and the free digital media library.

“A review of the project indicates a focus on a K-1 literacy initiative that will improve achievement levels and assist students to become better learners during the balance of their education experience,” said Representative Adams. “The project procedure and the results will be useful for other school districts to emulate. The State of Ohio, the three school districts and the two state universities working together in this endeavor represents an excellent investment by Ohio tax payers.”

The Controlling Board approved funding at the request of Ohio Department of Education on Monday, releasing a total of $144.7 million in grant funds, that were previously appropriated by the legislature as part of the Straight A Fund. The Straight A Fund was created through the 2013 state biennial budget to encourage efficiency and innovation in education.

Grumpy Reds fan: fire sale alert!

A mere 13 days ago, I said this: the Reds can't expect to keep winning with a combination of backups, rookies, utility players, chicken wire, and bubble gum. We need to make a trade for a big bat (or sign a player, like Alfonso Soriano!). At the time, the Reds were 51-44 and 1.5 games out of first place. In 10 games since the All-Star Break, the Reds have won only once. The Reds have scored 17 runs in those 10 games. Even the one game they won was a 1-0 victory. The Reds are now 52-53 and 6 games behind the Brewers (and in fourth place no less). Talk of a pennant race has turned into talk of a fire sale.

And so I will make two points:

1. All the "smart baseball people" will tell you it's foolish and short-sighted to trade away future prospects for the lure of a short-term pennant race. I agree with this point to a degree. The difference here is that the 2014 Reds have amazing starting pitching. It is difficult to assemble such a talented group. At some point you have to take your shot at the title. Why not take that shot now? Well, not now, but two weeks ago.

2. I suggested the Reds should (and they still could) pursue a free agent like Alfonso Soriano. Would Soriano have made a difference over the last 10 games? We will never know for certain, but I will stick with my point that the guy is just sitting out there waiting to be signed. He had a 30 HR, 100 RBI season last year - much of it while batting in a pitiful Cubs lineup. Even if he hadn't produced, his acquisition -- or any other player for that matter -- would have been a shot in the arm for the rest of the team.

Friends and Family Celebrate 95 years

Sterling House Clare Bridge, a Brookdale Senior Living assisted living community in Greenville, Ohio, played host to a birthday party for resident Kerlin Wilt. Kerlin celebrated his 95th birthday on July 19, 2014. Friends and family gathered to enjoy cake and a family tradition, homemade ice cream. Kerlin kicked off a balloon release of 95 balloons. Attached to each balloon was a note wishing Kerlin a happy birthday and an invitation to notify, Executive Director, Shelli Jackson of where it was found. Notifications came from as far as Piqua and Plain City, OH!

"A Reason to Celebrate" by Elizabeth Horner

The church across the street from my apartment is perpetually busy. One Sunday, as I was coming home from grocery shopping, there was a boat blocking off the road, as the driver towing it tried to weave his way into the church’s parking lot. Then about a month ago, they sponsored a fair that was so popular that a park on the other side of the highway had to be commandeered for their use. You can understand then why, upon seeing signs advertising a music festival that was held a few weeks after that, I quickly arranged to be out of my place early.

And yet, in spite of the complaining I give voice to, while sharing these anecdotes to my friends, the truth is, I’m very admiring of the way these people love coming together-- how much they seem to enjoy any excuse to celebrate.

I remember being like that; six years old, ice-cream dribbling down my chin. After all, who can be expected to exert the intense kind of concentration devouring an ice cream cone requires when, overhead, stars are blooming into Fourth of July fireworks? It was such a simple moment, and yet, it stands out to me, as bright as that finale did against the sky’s blackness. So do Thanksgivings, with my great-uncle Don, now deceased, telling us old war stories, while I tried to sneak a bright red bow onto his bald head. And the white-light-and-poinsettia decorated tree my mom and I used to put up for Christmas. I’d bet my words are drawing up memories of your own, and also some regrets-- the feeling that holidays haven’t been that way in a while.

Growing out of childhood, understanding that special occasions aren’t islands, completely untouched by the worries of yesterday and tomorrow, tend to tamper that unrestrained joy they once had. Knowledge that the decorations are going to be taken down in a few weeks can do a lot to convince us not to put them up in the first place.

We shouldn’t let it. Because while we can think of dozens of excuses to put things off, our lives are, without a doubt, a reason to celebrate.

And I will admit, sometimes that takes effort; it might involve pushing yourself to go out with your friends when you’re not sure you’re up to it, planning an activity for a weekend that doesn’t seem to be going somewhere, discarding the guilt of letting yourself have a cupcake every once in a while. But if we’re not willing to work ourselves into a celebratory mood, what are we working for?

This Fourth of July, I want everyone to have a plan set. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, it doesn’t have to be what I, or anyone else thinks is a good time, but make the day special. Try to think of those moments of pure elation you’ve felt throughout your life, and then merge yourself with that memory. Or if you, like Harry Potter summoning a Patronus, are having some trouble-- just imagine what it must have felt like on that first Glorious Fourth, when the specter of war would have been lifted off the heads of the American populace, and they let themselves feel drunk on their new freedom. It sounds cheesy, but it was real to them, and I don’t think you need to go through their hardship to have their joy.

I’ll leave you with one last thought: throughout the world’s history of conquering, the one thing that new rulers seldom touched was the area’s established holidays; they might alter them, but they didn’t take them away. And we should not let them be wrested from us now, just because we are not holding onto them strongly enough.

Monday, July 28, 2014

WTGR's Community Ties - Tour de Donut

Today's Community Ties from WTGR features Roger Bowersock from the Tour de Donut, a unique bicycling event hosted in Darke County that is gearing up for their 8th annual ride.

If you're unfamiliar, the event hosts several races ranging up to 62 miles and varying numbers of donut stops. They track the number of donuts you consume and take time off of your overall time for each donut you are able to eat.

The event takes place on Saturday, September 6th and you can learn more (and register for a race!) on the Tour's website and Facebook page.

A Young Buck - Photograph by Jennifer Burkett



Main Street Greenville is pleased to announce another great First Friday event planned for August 1st from 6-9 pm in downtown Greenville. This event is kindly sponsored by Bach to Rock.

Main Street Greenville invites everyone to grab a bite to eat downtown from 6-7 pm and the music performances will follow from 7-9 pm. The first Friday of August will bring over 10 live music performances to different locations in the historic downtown district. In addition to the music performances, many businesses will be open late!

“We had wonderful attendance for our live music events last year, we hope to have the same response this year. It makes for a very fun and relaxed evening. Bring the family, enjoy dinner, and stroll downtown for some great music. It is a lot of fun to see everyone enjoying themselves, shopping, and connecting with neighbors and friends,” said Amber Garrett, Executive Director of Main Street Greenville.

Various businesses will be hosting the artists including: Bread of Life Christian Bookstore, Young Forest Martial Arts, The A & B Coffee & Cake Co., The Candy Bouquet, Brenda’s Beanery, The Coffee Pot, Merle Norman, Sweet Annie’s Cabin, The First Heavy Metal Church of Christ, Janet’s Bakery, and The Bistro Off Broadway.

In addition to the music and many businesses staying open late: First Congregational Christian Church, located at 115 W. 5th St., will offer free ice cream and games. Greenville National Bank, located at 446 S. Broadway, will offer free hot dogs and hamburgers. Young Forest Martial Arts, located at 120 W. 3rd St., will offer free tea samples. Pamela’s Intimates, located at 534 S. Broadway, will offer a 15th anniversary sale. Artifacts Ink, located at 519 S. Broadway, will offer 70% off antiques and scrabooking supplies. Sadie Grace, located at 530 S. Broadway, will offer a sale on Lottie Dottie products. Readmore’s Hallmark, located at 524 S. Broadway, will offer a sale on Life is Good t-shirts and sports items.

‘First Friday’ events aim to bring people downtown during evening hours to enjoy activities, demonstrations, food and music in a beautiful historic setting. The monthly event is presented by Main Street Greenville – a non-profit organization committed to stimulating and supporting revitalization efforts, historic preservation and economic growth in historic Downtown Greenville. To learn more, visit www.DowntownGreenville.org or their facebook page at www.facebook.com/mainstreetgreenville. You can contact them at 937-548-4998 or agarrett@mainstreetgreenville.org.

August “Lunch on the Lawn”

Wind up the summer on a positive note by enjoying the August “Lunch on the Lawn.“ On Friday August 1st stop by the Greenville Public Library to relax and nourish yourself under the shade trees while you groove to the music. From 11:30 to 1:00 Romer’s Catering will serve lunch for $7 - or bring your own or just stop by for fun. The menu includes 1/4 BBQ chicken, fresh fruit cup, potato salad, and bottled water.

As always, $1.00 of every lunch sold will be donated to Main Street Greenville, with whom the Library partners for these events. In case of extreme heat or rain, the event will be moved to EUM’s Youth center at 111 Devor Street.

Entertainment will be provided by the popular Higgins-Madewell. Erin Higgins Cress and Jeff Madewell first met in 2006 when their former bands were winding down and they were each looking for a change. Both already had a good following and their first show together in December of that year went over very well. For a taste of their sound go to www.higginsmadewell.com.

Erin had been playing guitar since an early age and singing in high school while Jeff was traveling and playing in bands. Once on a visit home he was in a local restaurant where people told him about Erin. He called her to do a couple shows acoustically - kind of on the side for extra income. He’d been used to big venues and sounds systems. The rest is history!

From that first show came bookings 3-4 months in advance. They found they had the same work ethic and mutual respect. Today they play within about a 50 mile radius from their homes in West Milton though they occasionally go out of state. They have two CDs so far - Spiderbite and Sweet Medicine. Some of their songs are getting air time on WNKU, Northern Kentucky University’s radio station.

Erin’s been going to college the last few years and is married with two children. Jeff has a small recording studio and does productions like jingles, as well as teaches guitar. They enjoy songwriting and each present ideas they expand on.

They’d like to expand their listening area and admit ”Our fans jump started everything!”

Community Euchre & Bingo

A Community Euchre party is held every Monday at 2 p.m. and Community Bingo is held on the 1st & 3rd Wednesdays of each month at 10 a.m. Please join us at Sterling House, 1401 N. Broadway, Greenville for both events. Euchre games are free & 1 hour of Bingo is $0.25. All are welcome! Complimentary refreshments are served. For more information, contact Barb Bell at bbell3@brookdale.com

Jackson named Executive Director

GREENVILLE, Ohio – Sterling House Clare Bridge Greenville, a Brookdale Community, announces Shelli Jackson as New Executive Director.

Shelli is a resident of Tipp City. Shelli has been with Brookdale Senior Living for 4 years and was promoted to Greenville from Sterling House of Piqua.

Shelli states she is “excited to embrace the opportunity to serve the residents and their loved ones with compassion, respect, excellence and integrity.

Edison’s Academy for Community Leadership hosts speaker series

Beginning in August, Edison Community College’s Academy for Community Leadership (the Academy) will host a special mini series featuring three presentations that focus on various not–for–profit leadership principles. Each session will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Robinson Theater at the Piqua Campus.

“Edison’s Academy for Community Leadership is a unique entity of the Edison Foundation which has connected us to the surrounding not-for-profit community,” said Kim Horton, Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Executive Director of the Edison Foundation. “The expansion of our curriculum is a reflection of our desire to expand our outreach.”

To kick off the mini series, the first session, held on August 13, will feature a focused and thought provoking discussion on social entrepreneurship and its investment in charity. Participants will view a TED Talk, given by Dan Pallotta, a social activist who is best known for his implementation of and involvement in multi-day, long-distance, charitable event. The session will continue with an interactive, facilitated discussion about charitable impact in our region.

The second installment of the series, on September 17, will feature Nicolette Winner of Kids Read Now presenting on volunteer management. In addition to her commitment to numerous regional organizations, Ms. Winner is a frequent speaker on topics related to volunteer engagement and nonprofit community relations. She has worked closely with upwards of 500 nonprofit organizations in western Ohio, as well as presenting to audiences on local, state, and national levels. Winner has been the recipient of copious accolades including the Women in Business Networking’s Top 25 Women to Watch, Dayton Business Journal’s Forty under 40, and more.

The mini series will wrap up on October 8 with a presentation on ethics from Mr. David Bohardt, Executive Director of St Vincent De Paul. In 2013, Bohardt’s leadership contributed to providing shelter to more than 4,000 homeless men, women and children through St. Vincent de Paul’s transitional housing program. He has nearly 40 years of non–profit management experience and has been the recipient of numerous awards including Leader of the Year in the City of Dayton.

The mission of the Academy is to strengthen not–for–profit organizations by providing quality educational and training opportunities designed to develop more effective directors, leaders, board members, staff and volunteers of not-for-profit organizations. The Academy partners with area not-for-profits to host an annual workshop series.

The cost to attend the event is $15 per person, per session and includes lunch and any required materials. For more information or to register, visit www.edisonohio.edu/miniseries or contact Julie Slattery at jslattery@edisonohio.edu or 937-778-7805. Registrations are requested one week prior to each event.


Dr. Ludolph van der Hoeven with Clubhouse
22 TV host Joey Sabatino donating for
a report on the new blood center.
DAYTON, Ohio - Patients arriving at Dayton hospitals in the early 1960’s with traumatic injury or in need of major surgery faced desperate uncertainties practically unheard of in America today. Did the hospital have enough blood? Was it a compatible blood type? Could they get the blood needed in time?

A new era in patient care began Sept. 14, 1964 when Community Blood Center (CBC) opened the doors of the region’s first central blood bank. On Sept. 14, 2014 CBC will celebrate its golden anniversary with pride, honoring all who have contributed to a now 50-year legacy of saving lives.

CBC is marking the milestone with a public awareness campaign, celebrations that included the assembly of staff members to form “a human blood drop,” and special edition t-shirts featuring the 50th anniversary logo for employees and donors.

This anniversary year has been a time for CBC to look back and honor the vision of its co-founders Dr. Ludolph H. van der Hoeven of Good Samaritan Hospital and Dr. James W. Funkhouser of Miami Valley Hospital, who together with Dr. Ross H. Seasly of Kettering Hospital served as CBC’s original medical directors.

How did the founders know when they were ready? Dr. van der Hoeven is now 95 and has outlived his friend Dr. Funkhouser. But he remembers the decision with absolute clarity: “We said it. And we did it. We saw it through.”

They were members of the original study committee appointed by the Medical Society of Montgomery County with the goal of establishing a central blood bank to eventually serve Dayton’s five hospitals. At the time, hospitals typically operated their own blood banks. Supply could fluctuate wildly, and in extreme cases a patient’s family members might be asked to donate on the spot. Hospitals struggled to meet demand by trading blood units back and forth, using cumbersome communications and record keeping.

“The crowning jewel is that we got hospitals to work together,” recalled Dr. van der Hoeven. “Hospitals are competitive – they cannot agree. But in this instance we got them to work together, which was a major diplomatic achievement.”

On Sept. 14, 1964 Mrs. Barbara Bartley of Dayton made the historic first donation at CBC’s new home in the basement of the Fidelity Medical Building at the corner of Fifth and Main in downtown Dayton. She told the Dayton Daily News she learned the value of blood donations when friends and family were called on to donate 25 pints of blood for her husband’s open heart surgery a year earlier. He survived the surgery but died four months later. “It’s one way I can help someone else,” she said.

In just over a year CBC drew 11,000 units from 8,000 donors. Staff size grew from four original employees to 24, and the number of donors coming through the door each month soared from 37 the first month to 1,200 in October of 1965.

Those numbers are now dwarfed by CBC’s modern blood services standards. In 2013, CBC collected 68,713 red cell donations and saw apheresis donations grow to 8,552 for a total of more than 103,000 transfusions. CBC supplies blood products to 25 partner hospitals in a 15-county service area of western Ohio and eastern Indiana.

CBC’s original charter envisioned the eventual expansion into tissue banking. The Dayton Regional Tissue Bank was introduced in 1986 and later became Community Tissue Services. The Center for Tissue, Innovation and Research opened in Kettering in 2011, and in 2013 processed 269,520 bone and skin grafts for transplantation worldwide.

CBC/CTS now has 572 employees, with nearly half the staff working in tissue branches across the country.
While CBC/CTS pauses to celebrate the achievements of the last 50 years, it is also a time to focus on the exciting challenges to come.

“Clearly in the future we will continue to do things we do today,” said Dr. David Smith, CBC/CTS chief executive officer. “Provide blood products locally to hospitals and patients in our communities, and tissues to patients nationwide and internationally. We will also leverage our 100 plus years of combined blood and tissue expertise as we move into the future of new, human-derived transplantable products and services for patients and other customers.”

Learn more at www.GivingBlood.org

"Homesick" by Elizabeth Horner

A couple of weeks ago, I was craving fried chicken. My Spanish class was learning the words for different kinds of food, and while “pastel” and “papas fritas” sounded good, I felt a sudden, inexplicable temptation for “pollo”. Now, if I was back in Ohio, I knew the first thing I would do after school ended for the day would be to head over to Vint’s, and order a chicken dinner with a slice of strawberry pie, please. As it was, I took the PATH train out of 9th Street in New York City, went home, and had, I think, a burger.

Of course, I had been warned about homesickness before I left for college my freshman year, but I had mostly shrugged it off. I was thinking about missing my family, who I could still talk to over Skype often, or the luxury of space that comes with living in a house instead of a dorm-room. I didn’t realize that even my go-to snack items were going to be effected by my move.

My response has been to call up family members and friends for the recipes of my childhood; to send my dog treats via Amazon in the hope he’ll remember the person who taught him how to “sit”. I stare at my collection of books, many of which were transported from my library in Ohio, and their familiar pages smell and feel like home. But I know I will never truly have “home” back.

To me, “home” doesn’t mean “where your heart is”. After all, I love my new life and wouldn’t change it for the world. Instead, it refers to all of the things that are yours-- to the things you are so familiar with, that they are stamped on to you like a word that has been carried over from pressing too hard on another sheet of paper. When all I knew was Greenville, it was my only home-- but now, I can feel homesick for Ohio and London and New York and New Jersey all at once.

So, what do I do about it? Besides making copious plans to travel, I suppose I have also come to accept the change the way a toddler eventually accepts that it cannot crawl everyplace anymore. Being homesick means you have had a range of experiences, it means that you’ve grown from the person you once were and the life you once had. And if that still sounds like a cop-out, perhaps it is of some comfort that when you meet someone new and get the chance to introduce them to your favorite chicken restaurant or get to show them pictures of your dog-- you are making those things part of the too. By sharing your life, you also make it so you have easier access to it, through their understanding.

Last, but not least, I try to keep in mind that the concept of “home” will continue to expand for me. And even though it is sad to move farther and farther away from my past comfort zone, the process also takes me closer to a new one.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Playing this weekend at Wayne Cinema: Hercules

Having enduring his legendary twelve labors, Hercules, the Greek demigod, has his life as a sword-for-hire tested when the King of Thrace and his daughter seek his aid in defeating a tyrannical warlord.

No horses were harmed in the making of that trailer! Hercules is played by Dwayne Johnson (aka The Rock), who once won a college football national championship with the Miami Hurricanes. This movie is getting mixed reviews from critics and viewers alike (though the early IMDB score is a respectable 6.8). If you like action movies like 300 and Troy, then you'll probably love Hercules (if not, then maybe go out of town and check out Lucy, which looks fun). Hercules is a short 98 minutes and rated PG-13 for epic battle scenes, violence, suggestive comments, brief strong language, and partial nudity.
Also still playing this weekend at Wayne Cinema ... Disney's Planes: Fire and Rescue. Show times are here.

Guest Column from State Representative Jim Buchy

State Leaders Working to Ensure Local Control for our Schools
Recently I joined families in west central Ohio to participate in “We Will Not Conform,” hosted by Glenn Beck.  This program was hosted at movie theatres across the country where viewers served as audience participants in the program that focused on the pitfalls of Common Core. This experience opened my eyes even more to the risks associated with the Common Core and further solidified the need to stop the implementation of it in Ohio.
The goal of Common Core came with good intentions. Providing a set of standards that would result in all students covering classroom material in a similar order helps transient students remain on the same educational path as their peers. President Obama hi-jacked this program and tied it to federal dollars through Race to the Top, thus abandoning local control that is a staple of education in Ohio.  The ultimate goal of the Obama administration is to nationalize education.
Stopping the Common Core in Ohio starts at the local level where the grassroots need to work together to draw the support of their elected school board officials.  In west central Ohio the grassroots have been respectful in their goal and have garnered attention of the local school boards—but work must continue to protect local children from nationalized education.

Second Suspect Named in Auto Arsons, Thefts

Two suspects have been named and charges will be filed regarding the recent vehicle fires and thefts from vehicles which occurred on July 22,2014: Joshua C. Willis, 18 years of age, from Greenville, Ohio and Lowell 'Bill' Bowers, 34, also from Greenville.

Charges include multiple arsons, thefts, and felony theft and will be filed at the Darke County Prosecutor's Office next week.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Greenville Police Department at 937-548-4150 (option 2), or the Darke County Crime Stoppers tipline at 937-547-1661. All callers may remain anonymous.


The Darke County Agricultural Society will be presenting a Tapestry by renowned equine artist Ann Lufkin at the upcoming meet to the week’s leading driver. The Tapestry features Chip driving at Greenville where he dominated for so many years.

‘‘Chip was such a big part of our racing for so long, we just came to take his greatness for granted. It will be a fitting annual award’’, said Richard Delk, Speed Superintendent.

The winning connections of the Riegle Memorial will receive a Tapestry of the original painting by Ann Lufkin of Gene Riegle in the bike with Arts Place. The original painting now resides at its permanent home in Goshen, New York at the Harness Horse Hall of Fame.

Racing returns to Greenville, Ohio on Friday night, August 15 for the Great Darke County Fair’s annual week long race meet. Racing also takes place on Saturday, August 16, afternoon and night, and on Thursday, August 21 and Friday, August 22 in the afternoons and nights. Afternoon post times are 1 pm except for Friday August 22 it will be at noon. Evening post times at 7 pm.

Condition sheets can be found at www.generieglememorial.com.


When kids learn about foods they learn about
good nutrition, by getting kids involved in
making a meal they are excited to try new foods.
Now is the time to call! The Head Start classrooms in Greenville, Bradford, and Union City at Kids Learning Place in Darke County are now taking applications for 3 and 4 year old children for the 2014-2015 school year that starts in September. There are part-day preschool classrooms and home base visiting options available.

Head Start is a high-quality comprehensive preschool program that provides a kindergarten readiness education, health and social services, and nutritional programs. The no-cost program is for low-income families who meet eligibility requirements set by federal guidelines. The program may also provide services to children that are homeless, in foster homes, and children with special needs without income restrictions.

Kids Learning Place is committed to ensuring education excellence for all the children we serve. We strive for early childhood education excellence by including:
teachers with degrees in every classroom a safe and nurturing learning environment a research-based curriculum that focuses on the child’s strengths and interests involvement with Ohio’s “Step Up to Quality” program that recognizes learning and development programs that exceed licensing, health, and safety standards. Our centers are the only programs in Darke County recognized with either 3 or 4 star awards.

Call Today before it is too late! The application process is taking place in Darke County, secure your child’s spot in the program. For more information about Head Start and Kids Learning Place call our local toll free number 1-866-627-4557 and talk with a local person.

Check our Web site at www.kidslearningplace.org or “like” our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/kidslearningplace.



DAYTON & Darke County, Ohio – A new era in patient care began Sept. 14, 1964 when Community Blood Center (CBC) opened the doors of the region’s first central blood bank. CBC is celebrating its golden anniversary with the special edition “Celebrating 50 Years of Saving Lives” t-shirt. Donors are encouraged to schedule an appointment at www.DonorTime.com or contact CBC Darke County Account Representative Dana Puterbaugh at (937) 997-2199 or dputerbaugh@givingblood.org.

The 50th anniversary t-shirt features the “50 Years of Saving Lives” logo on a gold shield with a red and white stripe across a blue background. The special edition t-shirt is free to everyone who registers to donate Aug. 4 through Sept. 30 at any CBC Donor Center and most CBC mobile blood drives.

CBC is also marking its milestone year with a public awareness campaign, celebrations that included the assembly of staff members to form “a human blood drop,” and the special “Summer Cruze-In 2014 Blood Drive.”

The color of the grand prize Chevrolet Cruze is “champagne silver” as a toast to CBC’s 50th anniversary celebration. Everyone age 18 and older who registers to donate at any CBC Donor Center or CBC mobile blood drive May 30 through Sept. 30 will be automatically entered in the drawing to win the 2014 Chevy Cruze.

CBC has extended its traditional summer blood drive campaign to four months (May 30 through Sept. 30) and is also allowing eligible donors to enter the drawing a second time when they register for a second donation during the blood drive period. Official rules are available at www.givingblood.org.

Favorite Mike Hemmelgarn at Library

The last “Family Fun Day” of the summer is Wednesday July 30 at 11:00 a.m. at the Greenville Public Library. Crowd favorite Mike Hemmelgarn returns for a new and exciting performance. As always, this year's program features a custom blend of ventriloquist characters and a wild variety of comedy juggling with a splash of magic and balloons. Mike's unique brand of entertainment is loved by all ages.

The Summer Reading Program also wraps up with prize winners! In case of rain we'll meet at the First Congregational Christian Church Activity Building on Fifth Street. Many thanks to the Friends of the Library and the Steyer Family Trust for their generous sponsorship of “Family Fun Days.”

Survey: Custom Farm Work Rates Rising in Ohio

As farming continues to become more specialized and farm equipment more advanced the need for custom workers and custom farm work has grown.

The rates custom farm workers are paid in Ohio are rising, according to a new statewide survey of Ohio growers, farm workers and machinery operators completed by agricultural economists from Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

The 2014 Ohio Farm Custom Rate Survey found that the rates paid to farm workers and machinery operators for custom farm work have increased thanks in part to increased supply costs and the agriculture industry boom in recent years, according to Barry Ward, production business management leader for Ohio State University Extension. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the college.

The survey of Ohio farmers, farm managers, landowners and farm equipment operators is conducted every two years to learn about the hiring of farm workers and machinery operators by Ohio agricultural producers and what rates producers are paying these workers for their services. This contracted labor is referred to as “custom farm work” or “custom work.”

The survey is targeted to both those who hire custom farm work and those who perform the work, Ward said.

“There is a consistent trend in that custom rates have risen each year,” he said. “We find that this partly reflects inflation due to increases in the cost of equipment, gas, and other supplies.

“Additionally, the significant boom that we’ve seen over the past few years in the agricultural sector has put upward pressure on these rates as well.”

Some of the significant increases in custom farm work rates from 2012 to 2014 included:

  • Hay/straw harvest: 15.4 percent increases on average
  • Ground fertilizer application: 10.9 percent increases on average
  • Harvesting operations: 10.5 percent increases on average
  • Planting operations: 10.4 percent increases on average
  • Soil preparation and tillage operations: 9.9 percent increases on average

"Custom workers are often engaged due to a farm business owner's lack of proper equipment, lack of time, or lack of expertise for a particular operation," Ward said. “A ‘custom rate’ is the amount agreed upon by both parties to be paid by the custom work customer to the custom work provider.”

This year’s survey had 256 participants, up from 122 in 2012. The survey findings show a steady increase in custom farm work rates compared to previous years. The findings are used by OSU Extension professionals and farmers across the state to understand current market rates for farm services. The survey has proved useful over the years as custom farming providers and customers often negotiate an agreeable custom farming rate by using OSU Extension survey results, Ward said.

The survey is administered through Ohio State's Farm Management program, which is overseen by Ward. The program provides resources such as budgeting tools, decision tools, and data and statistics, for those working in agriculture across the state of Ohio and beyond.

To see the full survey results, see the PDF available at go.osu.edu/j6x.

For more information about OSU Extension, Darke County, visit the Darke County OSU Extension web site at www.darke.osu.edu, the OSU Extension Darke County Facebook page or contact Sam Custer, at 937.548.5215.
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