Thursday, May 24, 2018

Ansonia FFA Gives Back to the Community

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Left: Ansonia FFA President, Ethan Fischer (left) with Alex Randolph from the Dayton Ronald McDonald House. (right).
Middle: Ansonia FFA president, Ethan Fischer (left) with April Billenstein from the APA.
Right: Ansonia FFA President, Ethan Fischer with Ericka Kramer from the Ansonia Youth League.
Each year the Ansonia FFA has a unique opportunity to give back to the community through our Silent Auction. The 2018 FFA Silent Auction took place this past March in conjunction with the FFA Banquet. In the weeks leading up to the auction, Ansonia FFA members worked to secure donations from area businesses and organizations to auction off. Many wonderful items were donated in order to raise money for local charities and organizations. Parents and community members who attended our banquet silently bid on the donated items. We are always grateful to the community for supporting this event in such a great way. Because of their generosity we were able to raise $2,320.00. The companies that made this possible are: Abel’s Barber Shop, Ace Hardware, Advanced Auto Parts, Ansonia Auto Parts, Ansonia Lumber, Auto Zone, Back to Rock, Bruns Animal Clinic, Burkettsville Garage, Campbell Electric, The Coffee Pot, Cope’s Distributing, Country Auto Sales, Crop Production Services, Cut Throat Tattoo, Dave Knapp Ford Lincoln, Darke County Ag, Davis Camper Sales, Drees Dairy Barn, Dickman Supply, Eldora Speedway, Elite Truck & Auto Repair, Ernst Sporting Goods, Floral Reflections, Frenchtown Trailer Sales, Gilbert Station, Greenville National Band, Grilliot Alignment, Harry Birts Store, Hartzell Veterinary Service, Harvestland Co-Op, Heartland Vet Care, Herb Pantry, Homestretch Sportswear, House of Flowers, Hull Brothers, Hunt Butcher Shop, J&M Tire, J&M Manufacturing, John’s IGA, JT’s Brew & Grill, K&L Tractor Sales, Keller Grain and Feed, Kevin Flory Landscaping, Kim Campbell LMT, King’s Poultry, Klingshirn & Son’s Trucking, Knick Show Pigs, Koenig, McBo;s Lones, Napa Auto Parts, Nature’s Reflections, North Star Hardware and Implement, North Star Plumbing, Ohio Crankshaft, Rapid Fired Pizza, Rowland Trucking & Equipment, Seed Consultants, Spencer Landscaping, The Anderson’s, The Butcher Block, The Inn of Versailles, The Whistle Stop, The Winery at Versailles, The Wooden Spoon, Treaty Supply, Wayne Builder Supply, Werling and Sons, Wieland Jewelers, Worch Lumber, Worch Memorial Library, and the YMCA of Versailles.

The local organizations who benefited from the proceeds are chosen by the Ansonia FFA members. This year the members choose the Ansonia Youth League, the APA - Ansonia Parents Alliance, and the Ronald McDonald House of Dayton. A portion of the proceeds also comes back to the Ansonia FFA Chapter for program needs. Each organization received a check in the amount of $580.00 for them to put toward their organizational needs.

Ansonia Rural Safety Education Initiative

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Leticia Millikin and Hannah Hartzell giving a safety presentation to a 2nd grade class.
Rylie Marker and Kierra Reichert playing
a recycling game with a 3rd grade class.
Ansonia FFA - On May 17th the Ansonia FFA led an initiative to increase awareness of rural dangers and reduce farm-related accidents for our 2nd and 3rd grade elementary students. This is the 8th year that our students have brought safety resources to our area children.

Smart choices for Life is a 112 page handbook written for children who live and often work on or near a farm. Produced by Community Safety Net whose mission is “Protecting Kids for LIFE”, this family resource contains practical information on everything from electricity to safety around animals, and educates children on many aspects of farm safety. This resource is available through the generous support of our local businesses and organizations.

The National Committee for Childhood Agricultural Injury Prevention estimates that more than 100 children die and another 100,000 are seriously injured annually in North American farm accidents. Of those injured, 50% do not actually live on a farm -- a statistic that underscores the need to provide rural safety education for all children living in rural areas.

In order to prepare for this day the agriculture education students prepared presentations on topics ranging from animal safety, safety signs, farm equipment safety, and others. At the end of each presentation the ag students interacted with the elementary students through questions and games and gave out goodie bags to accompany the Rural Safety books.

There is always a lot of positive feedback from the elementary teachers regarding this activity and it also teaches the high school students how to organize and execute an activity that involves others.

Ansonia 3rd grade class learning safety hand signals.

Ladybug Garden Club Decorates Memorial Hall for Orchestra Performance

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Members of the Ladybug Garden Club added some extra touches to the lobby of the St. Clair Memorial Hall for the concert of the Toledo Symphony Orchestra. Guest artist was Connor Bogart, who performed Broadway hits from Jersey Boys, Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables and more. Decorating was Sherry Ward, Becky Collins, and chairman Shirley Linder. Not shown Barbara Skinner and Irma Heiser.

Second National Bank supports Empowering with donation, supplies

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Bob Robinson, Empowering Darke County Youth Program Coordinator, Vickie Wessling, Second National Bank Administrative Assistant & Marketing Manager, left, and Antonia Baker, Second National Bank Assistant Trust Officer, right, pose with Empowering students as the 2017-18 After School Program draws to a close. In the back is Jim Kildow, two-year Edison State student-tutor who will be graduating this year. 
GREENVILLE – Second National Bank donated a check for the second year in a row, plus added much needed supplies, including paper, notebooks and black dry-erase markers for Empowering Darke County Youth’s Summer Tutoring and 2018-19 After School Programs.

“The kids were excited, especially about the notebooks and markers,” Bob Robinson, Program Coordinator, said. “They were constantly using up markers… seems there were never enough to meet the needs of all students. These should get us through the summer and into next year’s After School Program.”

Second National Bank executives, Vickie Wessling, Administrative Assistant and Marketing Manager, and Antonia Baker, Assistant Trust Officer, were impressed with the Empowering kids, all Greenville Schools Elementary and Middle School students. They noted the excitement and demeanor of the youngsters.

“I want to thank you for all that you are doing for these kids,” said Wessling later. “They were so well behaved and I loved seeing all those smiles. Good job!”

Second National Bank is active in its support of the community, with recent donations to Arcanum’s Wall of Honor, Main Street Greenville, Gathering at Garst and more, Robinson noted. “We are pleased and proud they have chosen to support our kids as well,” he added.

According to Robinson, Empowering Darke County Youth has wrapped up its second year of service by providing over 7,300 contact sessions with more than 250 students, grades K through 8. Students who consistently take advantage of the program experience strong growth in the academic areas of language arts and math, some of it dramatic, he added.

Empowering is currently taking applications for its Summer Tutoring Program. Applications are available at the Greenville Library and Edison State Darke County Campus. Go to Facebook or email for more information.

The Empowering Mission: Empowering Darke County Youth is a United Way Partner Agency providing After School and Summer Tutoring programs to assist students in the areas of language arts and math with the goal of Strong Students for a Strong Community.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

"The Kroger Lady" is Retiring

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Submitted by BA Dowell reader...

On May 25, 1979, a young 19 year old lady started working at our Greenville Kroger. She was just another unknown Kroger employee face amongst many others in the store we all shopped in each week (give or take). I don’t know how over the past 39 years Denise Koontz (now Koontz Dowell) has become “The Kroger Lady,” but somewhere over the years it seems that is where everyone in and around Darke County knows her from. She cannot go anywhere in Greenville (and sometimes other places in the county) without hearing someone say “Oh, aren’t you the Kroger lady,” or “Where do I know you from?” “Yes, that’s it, you are The Kroger Lady."

She started like most of the young kids at Kroger working in other departments, doing stocking, bagging, pushing carts in from the parking lot, working with produce, and eventually making her way up to the front end as a cashier where most everyone now has come to recognize her. While she is not someone working in one of the Public Safety functions of our Community, she is still one of our Home Town Hero’s for serving our Community for the past 39 years of customer service all in our Greenville Kroger Stores (both the old one and the current one).

On this Friday, May 25, 2018, Denise (The Kroger Lady) will be ringing up her last orders at our Greenville Kroger. When she clocks out at the end of her shift on Friday, she will hang up her black vest for the final time and retire 39 years to the day from when she started at Kroger.

Thank you, Denise, for your 39 years of service to the community and enjoy your retirement.

If you are in Kroger on this Friday, May 25, 2018, (between 7 am and 3 pm) please take a minute to tell Denise thank you for her service to our community and congratulations on her retirement.

On a side note, she is not going anywhere. Denise and her husband Bruce are still going to be living in Darke County, shopping at Kroger and you will still be able to see the newly “Retired Kroger Lady” around town from time to time taking it easy and enjoying not having to work.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

"The Media and Mass Shootings" - A Guest Post from Barbara Martin

Editor's Note: The following was originally published in December of 2012 in the wake of the shooting in Newtown, Massachusetts. It was written by the late Barbara Martin and seems to be just as relevant this week as it was two and a half five and a half years ago, so I'm republishing it today...

I can remember watching sports on television in years past, and every so often an overzealous (and maybe intoxicated) fan would run onto the field. The crowd would cheer, and the network cameras would follow the fan around until he inevitably got clobbered by security officers. Admittedly it was fun to watch. Who would turn away, right?

As time went by, there were more and more fans running onto ballfields. Eventually the networks realized they were feeding the problem. The fans were seeking attention, and the networks were obliging them by televising their one moment of glory. These days, the networks turn the cameras away when a fan runs onto the ballfield. And not surprisingly, there are far fewer crazy fans running onto fields these days.

We have had a series of mass shootings in our country beginning with Columbine in 1999, and continuing with Virginia Tech in 2007. But we have now had three new attacks in just under two years (Tucson, Aurora, and now Newtown). The trend is not good. And what common factors can we see in all of these events? These attacks were all premeditated and well-planned. And all of them occurred in the age of around-the-clock cable news coverage.

Clearly, there were mental health issues involved in all of these cases. I am no psychologist, but it seems pretty clear that these mass killers want a grand spectacle, some sort of sick notoriety from their acts. They want to be famous, and it turns out the American media is happy to oblige them. As with the fans running onto sports fields, the American media are providing a platform for mentally ill killers to sensationalize their crimes.

The media’s coverage of the Newtown massacre was an absolute circus. In the first hours after the shooting, major media outlets got many of the basic facts wrong. It was reported that the killer had a child in the school. It was reported that the killer’s mother worked at the school. It was reported that there was a second shooter. The media reported at one point that the killer was 24-year-old Ryan Lanza and posted his photo on television and the internet. All of this reporting was wrong. Horribly wrong.

Greenville Police Department Joins Click It or Ticket To Crack Down on Seat Belt Use – Especially at Night

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Greenville, OH – The Greenville Police Department will join local and national law enforcement officers and highway safety advocates all across the country for the 2018 national Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement mobilization, May 21-June 3, 2018.

During the mobilization, officers will be cracking down on motorists who fail to wear their seat belts – both day and night.

We’re all excited about the potential for automated vehicles to help prevent crashes and save lives. They promise a far safer future on our roads. But what about safer driving today? There are loads of new safety features that help make crashes avoidable and more survivable. But there’s one technology in today’s cars and trucks that is central to safe driving: the seat belt.

You might not think of seat belts as a safety technology, but they’re the foundation of safer driving. In 2015 alone, seat belts saved 13,941 lives. However, 2,804 additional lives could have been saved if everyone had buckled up. That’s why NHTSA remains committed to convincing every American to always buckle up.

Thanks to a combination of the enforcement of seat belt laws and public awareness campaigns, seat belt use reached a record high of 90 percent in 2016, up from about 83 percent a decade ago. That’s progress—but it also means that every day, millions of people needlessly put their lives at risk because they don’t buckle up.

Our annual Click It or Ticket national mobilization is one of our best tools for increasing awareness and belt use. This year, it starts on May 21st with advertising that explains the importance of wearing seat belts and the dangers of not buckling up. If you don’t heed the warnings and obey the law, they will be backed up by law enforcement, who will be making a special effort to hand out tickets for failing to buckle up between May 21st and June 3rd.

Seat belts are the single most effective safety technology in the history of the automobile. A NHTSA study of lives saved by vehicle technologies found that, between 1960 and 2012, seat belts saved more lives—329,715, to be exact—than all other vehicle technologies combined, including air bags, energy-absorbing steering assemblies, and electronic stability control. Of course, seat belts have been available much longer than many of the other safety features the study reviewed. But they remain your first line of defense in a crash and your first step toward safer driving.

Law enforcement will be cracking down on Click It or Ticket violators around the clock. Local motorists should be prepared to buckle up. If law enforcement finds you on the road unbuckled anytime or anywhere, you can expect to get a ticket — not a warning. No excuses and no exceptions,” said Chief Strick.

While this year’s Click It or Ticket enforcement mobilization runs through June 3rd officers and troopers will continue their zero tolerance policy year-round when motorists are stopped for other violations and are found to not be wearing their safety belt.

More than 900 law enforcement partners around Ohio, including the Ohio State Highway Patrol, will be aggressively enforcing the law during the mobilization, which runs May 21st – June 3rd, 2018.
“It’s simple - safety belts save lives and reduce injury in crashes,” said John Born, Director, Ohio Department of Public Safety. “It is the easiest thing you can do to protect yourself, your family and your friends.”

Remember this May 21st to June 3rd: It’s Click It or Ticket. Buckle up and encourage your loved ones to do the same. You’ll save the cost of a ticket and may even save a life.

Pitsburg Church of the Brethren to Host Harmony Quartet

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The Pitsburg Church of the Brethren will be hosting Darke County’s own, Harmony Quartet on Sunday, June 3, 2018, at 6 PM.

Harmony has been singing together since 1997. They came together singing songs of the Statler Brothers and Oak Ridge Boys - both secular and gospel. They were introduced to Southern Gospel through the Gaither concerts and immediately began including some of them in their repertoire. The songs they sing reflect a love of God and tell stories from the Bible. The group’s members are: Bill Drew, singing tenor, Terry Longfellow, singing bass, Mike Royer singing baritone and second tenor, and Bruce Shank, singing lead. The public is cordially invited to this event. Refreshments will be served in the Fellowship Hall following the performance. The church is located on the west edge of Pitsburg, Ohio, at 8376 Pitsburg-Laura Road.

Darke County Animal Shelter No Longer Providing Spay/Neuter Certificates with Adoption

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GREENVILLE - The Darke County Animal Shelter wants to inform everyone that due to the fact that their running pet Grant is expiring, they are no longer giving the $30 certificates with adoptions for spaying/neutering.

The Shelter hours are 8am till 4:30pm Monday-Friday and 9:00 till noon on Saturday. The Shelter is located at 5066 County Home Road in Greenville, and the phone number is 547-1645.

2018 license can be purchased at the Auditor's Office or at the Darke County Animal Shelter. 2018 license go on sale December 1, 2017 through January 31, 2018. You can also get your license online at ALL DOGS OVER THE AGE OF 3 MONTHS, MUST HAVE A

Please contact the shelter by phone or in person for any additional information.

Bridges to College Supports Area Students Prepare for Higher Education

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Several years ago, area business leaders and educators came together to address an issue: how to increase the number of Darke County students who go to college. After researching college access programs throughout the state and receiving a start-up grant from the Ohio College Access Network, the Darke County College Access Program was started in 2006. Over time, it began offering advising, educational programming and scholarships. In 2010, the Darke County College Access Program board changed the organization’s name to Bridges to College (B2C) to better reflect its mission.

The journey from high school to college can be tough – especially if a student is the first in his or her family to go to college. Bridges to College makes it easier by providing free educational materials and programming, advising, and needs-based scholarships to high school students. To date, the organization has served hundreds of students and parents through its educational and advising programs. In addition, B2C has awarded over $100,000 in scholarships to students since 2007.

This school year, Bridges to College arranged for Greenville High School sophomores and juniors to visit the University of Cincinnati, Wright State University, Ball State University and Miami University. Students learned about careers and majors, admissions and financial aid as part of the GHS College Club. The club is a collaborative effort between Bridges to College and GHS guidance counselors.

Recently B2C began offering ACT Prep Sessions to prepare students to take the ACT, a standardized test used for college admissions in the United States. The cost of these sessions is subsidized by B2C, with students only paying a fee of $20 per session. ACT Prep Sessions are a great way to become familiar the ACT test and process.

This summer’s ACT Prep Sessions schedule is as follows:

  • Reading Session ONLY : Tuesday, 6/5, GHS Room 226
  • English Session ONLY : Wednesday, 6/6, GHS Room 226
  • Math Session ONLY : Thursday, 6/7, GHS Room 226
  • Science Session ONLY: Friday, 6/8, GHS Room 186

Bridges to College believes that educated citizens are the basis of a prosperous local economy and are the foundation of the future high quality of life in Darke County. Currently, B2C provides services to Ansonia, Franklin Monroe and Greenville High School students and their parents. In the coming years, Bridges to College wants to increase its impact in Darke County by serving more students in its member schools and expanding to other high schools in the county.

Does this sound like an organization you would like to support? The 9th annual Karlh McCallister Memorial Golf Outing to benefit B2C will take place Saturday, June 16, 2018 at Turtle Creek Golf Course in Greenville. Sign up to play, sponsor or both!

For more information about Bridges to College or the Golf Outing, check out their website at

Delores Beisner retires from Cancer Association of Darke County

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Front Row left to right : Christine Lynn, Executive Director, Delores Beisner, Becky Saylor
2nd Row left to right: Barbara Fee, Susan Fowble, Sherry Marten, Secretary
3rd row left to right: Trudy Eastland, Treasurer, Sharon Kerns, Carolyn Fletcher, Kay Curry, President.
Back Row: Duane Edwards, Vice President

After serving 22 years on the Board of Directors, Delores recently retired.

She states “It is an honor have served the organization for this many years.”

The organization would like to thank Delores for her hard work and her care and concern for local cancer patients. “Delores has always served the community very passionately in this manner and we wish her and her husband the very best in the future,” states Christine Lynn, Exec. Dir.

The Cancer Association has been serving the community since 1995 and provides reimbursement for mileage, medication and medical supplies as well as nutritional supplements.

The organization is supported with donations, memorials, grants, fundraisers and Corporate Sponsors..

The association partners with United Way and is not affiliated with the American Cancer Society. They currently enlisting for 2018 Corporate Sponsorship and so far the following businesses have enlisted: Mercer Savings Bank, Greenville, First Assembly of God, Versailles Savings and Loan, Brothers Publishing and Early Bird, Law Office of Rudnick and Hosek, Zechar Bailey Funeral Home, Greenville National Bank and Second National Bank.

If you have questions, feel free to call the office and speak with Christine, Director, at
937-548-9960 or email

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