Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Darke County Recognized for SNAP Benefits Savings

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The Ohio Council on Welfare Fraud recently held their annual conference in Newark, Ohio. During the conference Darke County was recognized as the 2nd Most Improved County in the State for SNAP Food Assistance fraud savings. The Director’s Award for Excellence in Claims Management award was based on the Percent of Increase in Number of Intentional Program Violations.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has said that food assistance fraud totals $750 million each year. In the past 11 months, $429,568 has been saved by catching intentional program violators, according to the Darke County Sheriff’s Office. The operation, manned by Detective Kuzmicki of the Darke County Sheriff’s Office, with help from state and federal agencies, including the Ohio Investigative Unit and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, netted 33 violators leading to 26 arrests between May, 2014 and April, 2015.

Fraud Control Specialists noted Darke County’s efforts in combating public assistance fraud are greatly appreciated. Statewide, the number of claims established and collections have increased over the past two years. This increase results in higher incentive funds for the Darke County agency.
The Darke County operation also uncovered drug addicts trading their SNAP cards for illegal narcotics. Some individuals receiving benefits offered to sell their benefits for 50 cents on the dollar. Detective Kuzmicki says this type of fraud can happen anywhere, from homes to street corners, and even at the grocery store.

Among the 26 arrests was a woman cited after attempting to sell her food assistance card directly to Detective Kuzmicki inside a local grocery store. Detective Kuzmicki stated “the lady walked right up to me and said, I have a card with $200 on it and will sell you it for $100". After being notified that she tried to sell her food assistance card to a law enforcement official the woman advised she had a drug problem and needed money to purchase illegal narcotics.

SNAP benefits can only be used to buy foods to eat, such as:

  • breads and cereal
  • fruits and vegetables
  • meats, fish and poultry
  • dairy products
  • seeds and plants to produce food

SNAP benefits cannot be used to buy:

  • Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes or tobacco
  • Any nonfood items, such as pet foods, soaps, paper products, diapers, and household supplies
  • Vitamins and medicines

Of the 33 violators, 4 have received a lifetime ban from the benefits program as a result of their convictions. Seven of the individuals have been given an administrative waiver, which means they have been suspended from the benefits systems for a year. Others have been sentenced or are facing fifth-degree felony charges.

Sheriff Toby L. Spencer takes a strong stand against the use of illegal trafficking of food assistance benefits in our community. Citizens are encouraged to contact the Darke County Sheriff’s Office at (937) 548-2020 with information regarding any criminal activity. Citizen may also contact the Darke County Job and Family Services Fraud Hotline at (937) 548-4132 (ext.257). Information can be left anonymously.

OSU vs. Penn State Tickets Donated to Annie’s Star Spangled Gala

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Jim Buchy Donates OSU Football Tickets
The Garst Museum and the National Annie Oakley Center wants to publicly thank Ohio State Representative, Jim Buchy for his donation of OSU vs. Penn State football tickets to Annie’s Star Spangled Gala. The tickets are for October 17, 2015 and include parking passes. The tickets will be part of the live auction. You can view the many auction and raffle prizes at this link. https://www.flickr.com/photos/garstmuseum/

Annie’s Star Spangled Gala will be held on Saturday, June 13, 2015. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. at the Garst Museum. This is a fundraiser for the Garst Museum and The National Annie Oakley Center. Come and join in on this great evening of live and silent auctions, lots of fun raffles, door prizes, and light hors d’oeuvres. Event tickets are $15.00 per person in advance or $20.00 at the door and can be purchased by calling the Garst Museum. Reserve tables are available for groups of six or more.

One of the raffles is Annie’s Star Spangled Raffle. Prizes include:

  • $1,000 cash
  • Accommodations for a weekend Gatlinburg get-a-way donated by Tom & Cindy Scott/Tom Scott Seed Service
  • The new Apple Watch Sport

Tickets for this raffle are available for $5.00 per chance by calling the Museum at

937-548-5250 or by contacting a board member. Need not be present to win. All funds raised at this event will benefit the Garst Museum in Greenville, Ohio.

The Garst Museum is located at:
205 N. Broadway, Greenville, OH 45331
937-548-5250

2015 Miss Chick Pageant Now Opem to Applicants

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Versailles Poultry Days, Inc. is pleased to announce that we are now accepting applications for the 2015 Miss Chick Pageant. The contest, sponsored by Second National Bank and Versailles Poultry Days, Inc., will take place June 12 & 13, 2015 beginning with personal interviews at noon on Friday the 12th and the onstage interview beginning at 2 PM on Saturday the 13th in the old VHS High School Gymnasium located at 459 S. Center Street.

After 63 years of celebrating vibrant, dynamic young women as part of the Poultry Days Festival, the Miss Chick pageant has earned its place as a rich community tradition. Members of the Miss Chick court promote the festival throughout their reign acting as ambassadors to the Ultimate Frisbee community that participates in the tournament held in conjunction with the festival and at several other local festivals. The court also participates in philanthropic events that raise funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the Wounded Warrior Project.

In addition to the honor of representing Poultry Days during their reign, the chosen Miss Chick will receive flowers, a plaque, a crown and $400.00 for herself; First Runner-up will receive flowers, a plaque, and $200.00 for herself; and Second Runner-up will receive flowers, a plaque, and $150.00 for herself.

This contest is open to all high school organizations (including athletic teams, clubs, band and musical), 4-H clubs, and businesses in Darke County and contiguous counties (Miami, Mercer, Montgomery, Shelby, Auglaize, Preble, Jay, Randolph and Wayne). A list of potential sponsors and contacts is available from the pageant chairpersons if contestants should require help in securing sponsorship. Contestants must be females 16 years of age by the day of the contest, and no older than 19 years of age (Limited to graduating high school seniors of the class of 2015). Early applicants will receive a discounted entry fee of $5 payable by the sponsor or contestant. The early application deadline for entries will be May 16, 2015. After this date contestants will be subject to a $10 entrance fee. Final deadline for entries is May 30, 2015. Anyone interested becoming involved as a sponsor or contestant should contact Amanda or Madelyn via misschick.vpd@gmail.com.

Contestants will be judged on the following basis:

  1. Appearance- 25%
  2. Clothing -25%
  3. Poise, ability to speak, platform presence -25%
  4. Personal Interview-25%

For more information and the application, please visit www.versaillespoultrydays.com
or like our Facebook page, Miss Chick - Versailles Poultry Days

Edison and Greenville High School renew articulation agreements

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Pictured are (Left) Jon McGreevey, Director of Business Services and Career Technology, Greenville City Schools and (Right) Chad Beanblossom, Executive Director of the Darke County Center, Edison Community College.
Officials from Edison Community College and Greenville High School recently renewed four early college credit articulation agreements. According to these updated agreements, students in engineering, information technology, financial services, and supply chain management can earn college credit for their work through Greenville High School’s Career-Tech Education program.

Greenville teachers and Edison instructors work together to raise the level of high school students’ work to meet college standards and to award college credit to students who meet these standards. Greenville High School’s Career-Tech Education program, along with the new state-wide College Credit Plus program for academic subjects, provide excellent opportunities for high school students to get a jump-start on their college career.

“These articulation agreements provide a huge opportunity to the students of Greenville Career-Tech Education Center,” said Chad Beanblossom, Executive Director of the Darke County Center. “Credit earned through these articulations and College Credit Plus can amount to thousands of dollars in savings for students and their parents.”

Replacing the Post-Secondary Educational Opportunity Program (PSEOP) in fall semester of 2015, College Credit Plus offers a unique opportunity for students to enhance and further their educational and career objectives while still in high school. Students can earn college and high school credit concurrently, accelerating their college careers at no cost at Edison Community College. Credits are easily transferable to public and private universities nationwide.

Edison’s Darke County Center is located at 601 Wagner Avenue in Greenville and offers a wide variety of courses along with quality student services. For more information, call 937-548-5546. The Darke County Center is open Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

“Edison’s Darke County Center is currently working on program options that can be completed entirely in Darke County, many of which align seamlessly with programs offered through Greenville Career-Tech Education Center,” added Beanblossom.

Greenville High School’s Career-Tech Education program provides students with 21st Century skills to further their education and/or enter the workforce. Students of the program learn through project-based and hands-on learning, have the opportunity to earn college credits and scholarships, and are provided job shadowing and other on-the-job experiences to prepare them for a successful future.

THE DARKE COUNTY REPUBLICAN WOMEN’S CLUB REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING

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THE DARKE COUNTY REPUBLICAN WOMEN’S CLUB REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING WILL BE AT THE CHESTNUT VILLAGE CENTER ON MONDAY, MAY 11TH at 6:30 P.M.

GUEST SPEAKER WILL BE COUNTY COMMISSIONER, MIKE STEGALL. ALSO, WE WILL BE HONORING A VERY SPECIAL MEMBER: DONNA HARTER

DINNER RESERVATIONS WILL NEED TO BE MADE WITH Wavelene at 547-6477 or e-mail to wdenniston@woh.rr.com BY NOON ON MAY 7TH.

Canner Gauge Testing Time

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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, 2015, and continue through September 30, 2015.

There is a $5.00 charge for each gauge tested. You will need to bring your dial gauge into our office and we 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. We 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, please call 937-548-5215.

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.

2015 Darke County Junior High Honor Band

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The annual performance of the Darke County Junior High Band was successfully held this year on February 26 and February 27 at Memorial Hall in Greenville. Selected students from Ansonia, Arcanum, Bradford, Franklin Monroe, Greenville, Mississinawa Valley, and Versailles combined to form the ninety piece concert band. The group was conducted and assisted by each school’s band director.

Students met for the first time on Friday morning where they settled in on stage and began to rehearse the five selections they would perform the next day. After a day of rehearsal, students were dismissed to reconvene the next morning. Saturday morning the band put the final touches on their selections throughout the morning, enjoyed some fellowship and a pizza lunch. After lunch, students made their way back to the stage for a final talk through and tune up. The purpose of this annual event is to provide an opportunity for our junior high players to put the skills learned in the class room to work producing a quality product in the matter of hours versus weeks.

The performance went very well and was received with enthusiasm from a receptive audience. The concert included the following musical selections: “Fanfare for Freedom” by Michael Story, “Aztec Celebration” by David Shaffer, “Spinning Wheel” arranged by Michael Sweeney, “Circle the Wagons” by Jack Wilds, and “Grenade” arranged by Michael Story. This event is a testament to the level of concentration, focus, and enthusiasm seventh and eighth grade students can bring to an activity that is important to them and their families.

Greenville Junior High Students who participated: Katie Baughman, Cassey Bolyard, Andrew Bonfiglio, Madelyn Breig, Aaron Buchy, Levi Cain, Anna Chavez, Caleb Coppess, Ashton Crowell, Nikkole Denlinger, Macy Denlinger, Lauren Dull, Macee Dunfee, Max Erwin, Nate Feurer, Dennis Forte, Josh Galloway, Sophie Gettinger, C.J. Grider, Destiny Grillot, Gloria Harrison, Makayla Hess, Taylor Hines, Katie Jay, Shelby Johns, Matthew Karns, Madison Klosterman, Ian Laux, Casey Malott, Anna Manges, Grant Minnich, Shawna Osborne, Kelsie Ruble, Kiana Satterwhite, Taylor Schmidt, Wesley Shaffer, Dawson Shirley, Lily Stiefel, Danny Suter, Jordyn Warren. Greenville JH Bands are under the direction of Mr. Brian McKibben.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Friends of the Animal Shelter say “Thank You”

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GREENVILLE - As part of the Darke County Wellness Challenge, formerly known as Wayne Healthcare Challenge, the Darke County Friends of the Shelter had their second 5K race on April 11 to benefit the Scentral Park dog park. It was again a HUGE success for everyone and a great event!

There was a large number of participants for this first of a kind event and many runners came with their canine friends.

The organization wants to thank everyone who helped to make their second 5K a big success and contributed in the form of a sponsorship or donations.

The sponsors were: Edgetown Veterinary Clinic and Laser Center, Pooch Parlor, Zeke & Minnie Litchfield, Dr. Barry Family Dentistry, Greenville Federal, Double M Diner, Jeff Hole and Max, Second National Bank, Kline Timber, Majestic Pet Cremation Services, Hartzell Veterinary Service, Arcanum Veterinary Service, Greenville National Bank, Buddy and Turbo Dean, Dr. Tom Brown, Schultz Motors and Matt and Angie Arnold.

Many local businesses donated food, water, coupons and more. The donors were: Jim Gable Insurance, YMCA, WalMart, Kroger, Brenda’s Beanery, Eileen Litchfield, Taco Bell, KFC, Arcanum
Veterinary Service, Boston Stoker, Marco’s Pizza, John and Heidi Aukerman.

Soon you'll find pics from this event on the organization's website: www.darkecountyfriendsoftheshelter.com

Again: a BIG Thank You to all supporters!

Edison participates in Poem In Your Pocket Day

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Bill Brower
Edison Community College is pleased to announce it will be participating in the national Poem in Your Pocket Day on Thursday, April 30 at 12 p.m. in rooms 504-505 of the Emerson Center at the Piqua campus. Community members and Edison students and employees are invited to read poetry they have written or favorite poems written by others.

Poem in Your Pocket Day was established in 2002 and encourages individuals around the country to participate by selecting a poem, carrying it with them, and sharing it with others throughout the day.

Princeton University Emeritus Professor Bill Brower of Piqua will make his third visit to the college and will begin the program by commenting on the role that poetry has played in his life and quoting a few of his favorite poems.

Yellow Springs poet and Edison communication faculty member Debra Williamson will follow with an original poem. Jenna Hooks, a former Edison student and now a Presidential Scholar at Urbana University, will also read a poem she wrote while at Edison.

The program will then be open to anyone who would like to read or listen. Additional poems will be available to share at the event. Admission is free and registration is not required. For more information, contact Vivian Blevins at vblevins@edisonohio.edu.

Pork Loin Dinner for Missions to be Hosted by The Gordon United Methodist Women

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The Gordon United Methodist Women will be having their annual Pork Loin Dinner for Missions on Saturday, May 9th, 5:00pm. The meal will consist of Pork Loin, cheesy potatoes, green beans, a choice of salads, desserts and drinks. The cost is $8.00 for adults, $4.00 children under 12. Following the meal, entertainment will be provided by "Wing & a Prayer", a group from the Castine area who specializes in many types of music. Taylor Bowers of Pitsburg will present the closing song. The church is located at 311 East St., Gordon, OH.

Reservations are requested by contacting Janet Rhoades, 937-423-1302, or Karen Reser, 937-689-2423 by Monday, May 4.

BRETHREN RETIREMENT COMMUNITY PLANS WALK AT LUNCH THIS WEDNSDAY

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Our Wellness Committee will have a food station outside by the pond and is offering a walking taco and a bottle of water for just $2 from 10 am - 1:30 pm so you can walk around the pond and eat during your lunch break.

EVERYONE is welcome to join us. If you are not a resident or an employee, and you would like to have a walking taco during your walk, please call and order by Tuesday so we have an ample supply. 547-7628.

Weather forecast looks perfect - 64, sunny, 0% of rain. If you are not familiar with our campus, our large pond is located behind our main building right next to our large parking lot behind our building.

National Walk@Lunch Day® is designed to complement—not compete with—your busy lifestyle. Created to improve personal health and decrease the costs of healthcare for employers and employees, National Walk@Lunch Day is the start of your new daily walking routine, helping you to improve your health step by step.

2015 GHS Alumni Open House

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Time Line Band to perform at Monte Carlo fundraiser

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Cancer Association of Darke County will hold the event on Friday, May 8 at the VFW on Ohio Street in Greenville.

The time is 6 pm – 9:30 pm

The cost is ONLY $10 and there will be food, door prizes, raffles, games, etc.

4 Dragon Tickets and VIP Parking Ticket will be given out.

This will certainly be an evening of fun you won’t want to miss!

The proceeds will go to Cancer Association of Darke County and will be used to help Darke County cancer patients in their fight against a very difficult illness. Call Christine at 548-9960 for any questions.

Mark your calendar now! You won’t want to miss this exciting time!

Thank you for all your support and a big thank you to our Corporate Sponsors of 2015 (so far): Johnston Chiropractic Clinic, North Star Hardware and Implement, Farmers State Bank ~ New Madison, Williamson Insurance, Brothers Publishing (Early Bird), Family Health, Ansonia Lumber Company, Brethren Retirement Community, William Hole, Jr., Judge Julie Monnin ~ Darke County Municipal Court, American Legion Post 140, Osgood State Bank, Second National Bank, Diane Evans, State Farm Agency, GTI, VFW Post 7262.

Physical Fitness

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May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. Being more physically active can provide many benefits including: lower blood pressure, decrease heart disease risks, improve energy and mood, help with digestion, improve blood sugar control, control weight, strengthen muscles and bones, lower stress, and help you sleep better. Physical activity can include walking, stretching, yoga, housework, gardening, dancing, swimming, biking, chair exercise, and so much more.

Doing a physical activity once is not too hard. The hard part is making changes in your daily life so that you start moving more and keep moving as part of a daily routine. Try different exercises to find something that you enjoy. You can also obtain a pedometer to determine the number of steps that you are taking each day. The goal is 10,000 steps a day. Start out with your current steps and add to it.

Remember to check with your doctor before starting an exercise program. Then chart your progress by keeping a workout log. Record the activity that you completed each day. You can also record your weight, blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol. In a few months go back and determine how much progress you made with your activity and health indicators.

You can try scheduling your workouts in a planner. Schedule which days you will exercise each week. You may decide to walk on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday this week. If you miss a day, reschedule exercise as you would any other appointment.

Exercise can be very social, so having a commitment to meet a friend or family member at a certain place and time will make us more committed to exercise. Ask a friend or family member to help you exercise or have someone exercise with you. Having someone to provide support and encouragement will help you to stay motivated and on track with your exercise.

As a diabetic, exercise can help to improve your blood sugar. If you are interested in learning more about diabetes care, consider the educational opportunities offered by Wayne HealthCare in May. A Free Diabetes Wellness Program “Stress Management” will be discussed on May 12, 2015 at 2pm. Learn how stress can impact blood sugar, and techniques to help with stress management.

Comprehensive Diabetes Classes will be offered on May 4, 11, 18 and 26, 2015 from 1pm to 3pm. The classes will cover a wide range of topics to help you manage your diabetes. The cost to attend is $10 per class or $40 per monthly series. A Prediabetes Class will be offered on March 20, 2015 from 10am to 12am for a cost of $10. Pre-registration is required for these programs.

You can also meet individually with the Certified Diabetes Educator if you prefer. To register for or learn more about a program please call 937-547-5750.

Montessori students volunteer at the Parks!

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Spring is a wonderful time to complete service projects within the community. With the grass starting to turn green, some of the trees and bushes are starting to bud, it makes everyone want to be outdoors to enjoy the beautiful weather. DeColores Montessori 7th graders reach out to the community to help with a service project at least once a month. On April 1st the students came to the Darke County Park District to volunteer for the day. 7 students and 2 energetic teachers met with Laura Schwieterman, Darke County Parks Volunteer Coordinator at Shawnee Prairie. After a brief introduction and safety training we hit the trails with loppers in hand to remove Bush Honeysuckle. Bush Honeysuckle is an invasive shrub. It’s one of the first to leaf out and will hold its leaves longer than most deciduous plants and trees. Bush Honeysuckle is so invasive it takes over an area and chokes out all the native species that once grew.

The students enjoyed working together to cut down this invasive plant. As time rolled by they were trying to see who could pull the largest honeysuckle bush and how many they could cut down with their loppers. As we continued to work down the sides of the trail and our wrap up time approached quickly we enjoyed our walk back to the Nature Center. It was amazing to see how much honeysuckle we were able to remove in just an hour and a half. Many hands make light work!

The Park District would like to thank the DeColores Montessori 7th graders and their teachers for all of their hard work and dedication to the Park District. If you would like to volunteer with the Parks please call Laura at the Nature Center at 937-548-0165.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Superintendent Update from Doug Fries, Superintendent of Greenville City Schools

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Spring 2015

Due to six calamity days used this year, there will be one student makeup day on June 1st, 2015.

With the close of the 2014-15 school year just a month away, it is time to congratulate another group of outstanding seniors who formally will become graduates on May 30, 2015. Two hundred and sixteen graduates are scheduled to receive their diploma representing the Greenville School's Class of 2015. The class has had many academic and extra-curricular accomplishments while at Greenville and we commend each and every graduate. We wish all graduates much success and happiness in their future endeavors.

With the close of another school year, our district attention turns to the preparation for next year. Instructionally we continue to focus on teaching twenty first century learning skills to all of our students. We also continue to center our curriculum on national and state required learning standards and ongoing preparation for online assessments including the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), American Institute for Research (AIR), and End of Course Exams.

At the high school next year we will be initiating the new required College Credit Plus courses through both Edison State and Sinclair Community College. CCP replaces Ohio's Post-Secondary Enrollment Option Program (PSEOP) and all alternate dual enrollment programs. Governor Kasich signed N.B. 487 into law on June 16, 2014 to put the CCP program in operation for the 2015-16 school year. Our district is working hard to finalize our plans to put this program into place.

Across the district, other curriculum plans for next year include the purchase of grades five through eight textbooks and supplemental material in the discipline of mathematics. We continue to incorporate a five year cycle to upgrade our curriculum material by content area. At the career tech building we are looking to increase instructors in our med tech and engineering manufacturing program. At the Junior High we are also increasing career tech courses with Information Technology in 7th grade and Business Foundations Information Technology in 8th grade.

At the elementary level we are moving forward with our one to one initiative with technology at Woodland Primary School. We are planning to implement one grade level next year at Woodland with each student having an individual technology device to use for instruction and supporting twenty first century learning.

Kindergarten screening for the 2015-16 school year will be taking place on Wednesday, April 29th, Thursday, April 30th and Friday, May 1st. The screening will take place at EUM Church (new church) 1451 Sater Street. We look forward to working with another new kindergarten class next school year. Please feel free to contact Memorial Hall if you have not registered a kindergarten student and need to schedule to have them screened.

Summer school will again be offered at Greenville High School and East Elementary. The high school offers makeup courses through the virtual academy along with a blended health and physical education class. There is also Ohio Graduation Test (OGT) tutoring available to students who still need to pass a part of the test. At East, summer reading intervention is available for students who are behind in reading. Feel free to contact the buildings or district office if you need registration information. Due to construction at the High School, summer school for that building will be held at the Junior High.

Next year at the high school lunch will be closed to 9th and 10th graders. We will have a newly remodeled cafeteria and kitchen that will be able to accommodate more students and the district will be implementing this change. Likewise, at the end of the day there will be no early dismissal for juniors and seniors. The Ohio Department of Education has eliminated funding for students leaving early at the end of the day unless it is for a credit work related program. Thus, this procedure will also be implemented.

Our renovation project at the high school is in Phase 8. Presently, renovation is taking place in classrooms near the media center. During the month of May the media center and two adjacent rooms will be under construction. With the beginning of summer, June 2nd through September 1st, much work will take place at the high school. The entire science wing will be under renovation along with the kitchen, cafeteria and restrooms outside the cafeteria. New lockers will be installed in hallways along with painting throughout the hallways. HVAC work will take place in the childcare, agriculture, virtual academy, and career tech buildings. The front entrances of the building and at the cafeteria will get new cement steps and landings with new doors at the main entrance. Most of the building activities in the summer will be eliminated. Summer school will be at the junior high. Open gym and band participation will only be accessed from the outside entrance next to the present high school baseball field, with inspector's permission. Any public access to the building will be from the back entrance across from the high school main office, again with inspector's permission. All parking should be in the back lot. There will be restrictions all over the building except in the gym and band room as approved and in the high school office during regular work hours on a limited basis. Feel free to contact the high school or central office by phone if you need questions answered or a meeting coordinated. We must honor the construction schedule and limit access to the building to complete all the renovations necessary this summer. The high school project still continues to track under budget with $50,000 contingency funds available, as we approach the final phase. I commend the high school students and staff for working through the renovation project this past year.

At the new K-8 construction site activity is picking up and will continue now for eighteen months. Presently foundations are being poured with appropriate rebar installed. Below grade footers are also being installed by the masons with walls to begin soon. The electrician is following the foundations installing sleeves. The plumbers are also installing sleeves and underground sanitary. Geothermal work has included installation of piping from outside of the roadways around the building into the building location and also surveying for their well field. Geothermal wells will begin being drilled in late June or July. Coordination meetings are being held between our plumbing/HVAC, electrician, fire protection and geothermal wells contractors. This coordination is done by use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) which is a 3D view of the building design.

Our K-8 building is being built under a construction manager at risk type project. Our designed building has a guaranteed maximum price from our CM at Risk, Shook Touchstone, which has been approved and under contract. The project design is on budget and is tracking with close to 2.5 percent construction contingency available. The only parts of the building left to be bid are the late packages for technology and loose furnishings as well as demolition and abatement of our present buildings. Money has been budgeted and set aside for these packages as well. The project is still projected to be complete November 15, 2016.

A listing of our established major contractors thus far in the project includes:

  • Early site work — Bruns Construction
  • General Trades — K&T
  • Concrete foundations — Bruns Construction Concrete
  • Planks & Erection — Mild South Prestress
  • Masonry — Hagerman
  • Doors, Frames, Hardware—Tanner
  • Roofing — Kerkan
  • Metal Studs & Drywall - Valley
  • Food Service — C&T Design
  • Aluminum Windows/Storefronts — Greenville Glass
  • Fire Protection —TP Mechanical
  • Joint Sealants - McBride
  • Plumbing/HVAC — Slagle Mechanical
  • Geothermal Wells — Geothermal Systems
  • Electrical/Cabling — Chapel
  • Electrical Underground Service — Chapel
  • Elevator — Thyssen Krupp
  • Structural Steel Material — American Steel Concrete
  • Slabs - Precision Steel Erections — Smith Erectors
  • Tile & Sheet Flooring — T&D
  • Wood Flooring — Cincinnati Flooring Terrazzo — F&M
  • Resinous Flooring — T&D
  • Painting & Coatings - McBride
  • Theatre & Stage Equipment — Farnham

Again, Shook Touchstone is our Construction Manager At Risk for the project and is overseeing and managing many parts of the general trades in the project.

I am sure the community, like the school district, is looking forward to the progression of the school construction project. We sincerely thank the community for your support of this project.

In addition to these two construction projects, the district is also soon going to be participating in two $500,000 legislative grant programs. One is to enhance an advanced manufacturing/engineering lab at the high school to improve our career tech space and the other is to remodel and make improvements to Memorial Hall. These are exciting times for the improvements and upgrades to our overall school facilities which will enhance our educational delivery process.

We have scheduled an auction to take place at the high school on the evening of May 28th. Much dated equipment from the High School, Kitchen area and around the district that is no longer of use will be auctioned. More information about this auction will be advertised.

I am pleased to indicate the Board of Education and Greenville Education Association completed a new master agreement settlement for another three years, July 1, 2015 —June 30, 2018. This was a very collaborative process between the two parties with a fair settlement for all involved. I commend the GEA for this positive collaboration to the negotiation process.

The close of the 2014-15 school year will mark the retirement of some of our employees. Staff members retiring at the end of the year include Rich Cline, Krista Subler, Tracy Tryon and Will Raby at the High School, Rebecca Muhlenkamp at the Junior High, Mary Petry at South and Susan Maitlen at East. Ruth Barnum also retired from the High School midyear. We wish all our retiring employees the very best in their future endeavors. Please join me in thanking each of these retiring employees for their dedication to Greenville Schools and our students.

We wish all of our students the best of luck with the end of the year testing season and final exams. The Superintendent's Office is open all summer. As always, feel free to contact me by phone at 937-548-3185 or email at dfries@greenville.k12.oh.us with any questions you have about our district.
To all of our students, parents, staff and community members, have an enjoyable end to the school year and a wonderful summer break. We look forward to working with everyone during the end of the year and again next fall. Greenville Schools is a great place for students to learn and teachers to teach.

GHS - Career Tech Center News by Jon McGreevey

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Greenville High School Career-Technical Center is focused on preparing students for college, further skills training, or the workforce. Greenville Career Tech programs provide students with an opportunity to gain and improve skills in communication, problem solving, citizenship, and leadership skills in a professional environment. Small class sizes allow teachers to get to know students and help them plan for their future career. GCTC programs allow students to get connected with business and industry leaders through field trips, job shadowing, and early job placement. Greenville CTC students have the opportunity to network, grow and enrich the skills they learn in the classroom and lab by participating in program-related clubs and organizations. A majority of GCTC programs will provide students with a chance to earn college credits while still in high school, and to earn money for college through the Tech Prep Scholarship. Many of our career-tech students benefit from project based learning, where students design, research, and build a career-focused project as well as academic integration, where traditional academic classes such as English, math, and science are focused on the student’s career tech program.

Next year, Greenville Career Tech Center will be introducing a new state of the art Manufacturing lab. This lab will prepare students and adults in areas like robotics, electrical, fluid power, automation, and CNC. This opportunity was made possible through an OFCC grant. Greenville CTC partnered with Wright State University to obtain the $500, 000 dollar grant from the state of Ohio and worked closely with Marc Saluk and Dr. Lisa Wendel of the Darke County Economic Development Office.

Career Tech will also be expanding to the Junior High next year, where students will be able to take classes as 7th graders in Information Technology and as 8th Graders in Business Foundations. Information technology will focus on internet safety, safety using social medial, keyboarding skills, and Microsoft skills. Business Foundations will focus on an introduction to marketing, finance, and business administrative services. They will acquire knowledge of business processes, economics, employability skills, leadership, communications and personal financial literacy.

Greenville students can take advantage of high-quality and innovative career-technical programming in their own back yard. The Greenville Career-Technical Center is focused on being a workforce and economic development source for the Greater Greenville community.

To view highlights of the Greenville CTC programs and students, please visit http://greenvillectc.blogspot.com/

Historical Society presents Lowell Thomas and His Global Connections

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Arcanum Wayne Trail Historical Society announces May 7th at 7:00 p.m. as their next membership meeting and inviting the public to their presentation of Linda Newbauer representing Garst Museum with Lowell Thomas and His Global Connections. Mrs.Newbauer wears many hats being an Arcanum High School graduate, local Arcanum Community resident, retired Darke Co. banker, Hospice volunteer, volunteer coordinator for Garst as well docent and gallery volunteer and expert presenter on Darke County native Lowell Thomas.

Lowell Thomas also wore many hats as well. He is remembered as the broadcaster of the CBS evening news on the radio as well as many other networks, he authored many books, world traveler and was often pictured riding an elephant, explorer as well being remembered as a war correspondent, an important job in relating the conditions to the public in a difficult time for all in this country.

After a being widowed from a long and happy marriage, he returned to his native roots of Darke County. In January of 1977 he married Arcanum area resident, Marianna Munn. They return to Pawling, New York to make their home and enjoyed the remainder of his life.

Linda Newbauer does an outstanding job bringing this Darke County icon to life with her deep research, stories and pictures. This is a program not to be missed. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Other exciting happenings are going on at the historical society. Consider a membership and being part of it. Summer events will be the opening on May 2nd of the self-guided southern Driving Tour, the farmers’ market, Euchre parties, and the return of the popular Coffee and Conversations.

The Winery at Versailles supports Big Brothers Big Sisters of Shelby & Darke Counties

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Big Brothers Big Sisters, Executive Director Jennifer Bruns receiving a check from the fundraiser event from The Versailles Winery staff Carlena Pool.
The Versailles Winery located on State Route 47 in Versailles hosted their annual fund-raising for charity event called the Adult Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 11 from 6:00-8:00 pm with proceeds from the tickets sales and live auction items benefiting Big Brothers Big Sisters of Shelby and Darke County and non-perishable canned food donations to Grace Resurrection food pantries.

The Versailles Winery has been a “Big” supporter of Big Brothers Big Sisters in the past by donating gift items for their fundraiser events. “We are very excited and honored that they chose the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Shelby & Darke County as the charity for this event. The event was well organized and loads of fun” reports Big Brothers Big Sisters Executive Director, Jennifer Bruns. There were many wonderful business that gave generously for the event that include: RBK Enterprise LLC from Wapakoneta, Leslie Jones, Designfully Yours Debbie, Hannah’s Garden Center, Hittle’s Pontiac, Splash N Dash, Herron’s Herb Shoppe, Merle Norman, Maria Heitkamp, Theresa Nelson, BG’s, Tully’s Gastro Pub, Stillwater Golf Course, Kitchen Aide Experience, McBo’s, Hothead Burrito, Napa of Versailles, Jessica Francis, The Bread Of Life Store, Kaup Pharmacy, Kristi Kirnich, Lowes, Second National Bank, Greenville AutoZone, Rightway Foods, Wicked Pony Designs, Natures Reflections, Dave Knapp Ford, The Inn at Versailles, Winner’s Meats, and The Winery at Versailles.

Locally, the two county agency served 498 children in Shelby and Darke County through its community-based and High School mentoring programs in 2014. At this time the agency has 13 children on a waiting list in need of a volunteer mentor. The wonderful donation from this fund raising event will not only bring dollars to the local agency, but awareness of the need for volunteers as well as the services the programs offer “at risk” youth in our community.

Big Brothers Big Sisters holds after-school programs at seven elementary schools in Shelby & Darke County, in which high school “Buddies” are matched with elementary students. Thanks to generous donations like that from The Versailles Winery matches in the two county area continue to grow and continue to enrich children.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Shelby & Darke County, a United Way supported agency, is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help children reach their full potential, which we do matching children with volunteers to develop and nurture quality relationships. The relationship is meant to guide each child towards becoming a confident, competent, and caring individual. Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer may call the office at 937 -492-7611, 937-547-9622 or log on to the agency website at www.bigbrobigsis-shelbydarke.org

Composting Workshop at Shawnee Prairie Preserve

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Dan and Michelle Young, owners of Fresh Aire Farms in Union City, OH will be hosting a free composting workshop at Shawnee Prairie Preserve.
Darke County Parks is hosting a composting workshop on Thursday, May 7 at 6:30pm. We are thrilled to welcome the Young family from Fresh Aire Farms.

At their facility west of Greenville, Fresh Aire Farms composts over 1,000 yards each year. Once you learn how easy it is to compost, you’ll never think of purchasing soil again. Dan and Michelle Young will teach participants how to compost in your backyard and give expert advice and pointers on how to start. Pre-registration is required for this FREE workshop. Please call the Nature Center at 937.548.0165 to register today!

Borderline, Union City Country Club and Baker’s Motorcycle Shop to Hold fundraiser for Cancer Association of Darke County

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Borderline, Union City Country Club and Baker’s Motorcycle Shop to hold their 3rd year fundraiser for Cancer Association of Darke County.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR FOR May 16.

There will be a Poker Run, 3 Man Golf Scramble, BBQ Chicken Dinners, Benefit Auction, 50/50 drawing, benefit auction, door prizes and live music.

Don’t miss this one!

This event will be held at Union City Country Club, 787 Wasson Road, Union City, Ohio!

For more information call Bud at 417-3026 or 968-6518.

More to come later. Watch the papers and your online news.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Nature Day Update

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Darke County Parks is announcing that Nature Day is still ON for tomorrow! However after watching the forecast intently the last day or so, we have decided to move the stations indoors.

The nature exploration stations start at 10am-Noon. A hot dog lunch for donation begins at 11am and a free concert at Noon with Naturalist Musician Chris Rowlands. The stations re-open at 1 and close at 3. Bring the family, dress for the weather as some travel is required to reach the stations in the Log House.

For more information, please contact the Nature Center at 548.0165 or info@darkecountyparks.org.

Community Input Needed for Feasability Study Regarding Potential Downtown MicroBrewery Concept

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There is a group discussing the possibility to open a MicroBrewery and “pub” in the downtown Greenville area. Details are still very exploratory and no commitments have been made or locations secured.

The idea, at the moment (though it may change), is for a themed concept that pulls on the historical context of the Greenville/Darke County area. It would have a very “local” atmosphere, but be based upon an established recipe already established in several states in the Western US.

As part of our discovery process, it is important that we conduct a “feasibility” study to determine local input and demand. We invite you to participate in the following online survey to offer your opinion on this idea.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/V8V7HL5

Greenville Double Homicide to Be Featured Tonight on TNT's "Cold Justice"

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A Darke County cold case is getting a national spotlight tonight.

TNT's "Cold Justice" is airing a look at the 1997 murders of Kimberly Stephan and Dennis Young. They were both shot to death and the killer was never brought to justice.

Click here to view a flyer from Darke County Crime Stoppers with more detail. A $10,000 reward is still available. A teaser for tonight's episode is below. You can watch it tonight (Friday) at 8:00pm on TNT.

This week we follow Kelly and Yolanda to Greenville, Ohio where they investigate a double homicide. Tune in Friday at 8/7c for an ALL NEW #ColdJustice.

Posted by Cold Justice on Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Final Bow's Spring Curtain Call Performance

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Final Bow: Center for Children's Performing Arts is finishing up their second performance for the 2014-2015 season, under the direction of Becky Hootman and Hillary Holzapfel. Final Bow invites you to Be Our Guest as we fly on a magic carpet and discover the wonderful world of Final Bow. Saturday, May 23rd at 1:30pm please join us at Memorial Hall. This show will keep your young ones entertained and you old ones feeling young, as you sing along to some old and new favorite songs. Pre sale tickets are $7 until April 30th and after April 30th, $9. So come Step in Time with us as we fly through Neverland and follow the leader around The 100 Acre Woods. Call 937-459-8078 for tickets or questions.

Final Bow is a nonprofit organization that believes the performing arts enrich the lives of children. Final Bow strives for enrichment by boosting confidence, providing a creative outlet and by offering unique and educational opportunities to students. If you are interested in making a donation to Final Bow or want more information about their upcoming season please call 937-459-8078 or email finalbowkids@gmail.com. You can also keep up with Final Bow on their Facebook page or their website http://finalbowkids.weebly.com/. Final Bow: Center for Children's Performing Arts is located at 315 Central Ave. in Greenville and offers dance, choir and theatre.

Trio Arrested for Multiple Burglaries in the Bradford and Gettysburg Areas

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Ferguson, Schmidt, and Sargent
The Miami County Sheriff’s Office with the assistance of the Darke County Sheriff’s Office has arrested Gabe P. Ferguson, twenty-one years of age of Bradford, Alex M. Schmidt, twenty-one years of age from Piqua, and Shane A. Sargent, nineteen years of age from Gettysburg, for multiple charges of burglary and breaking and entering.

The offenses involve several residential burglaries in the Village of Bradford and in the area of Gettysburg within the last two weeks. The matter has been turned over to the Darke County Prosecutor for charges relating to the conduct.

Detectives are still working to identify some of the recovered stolen property and additional charges may be forthcoming. It is believed that some of the unidentified property was stolen from vehicles in the Bradford area in which the victim(s) did not report the theft. We will be posting photos of the unidentified property on our Facebook page later today and will be made available to the media upon request.

Greenville Driver Turns into Path of Semi at 127 & Kruckeberg

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On April 23, 2015 at approximately 4:59 pm Darke County Deputies along with Greenville Township Fire, Greenville Township Rescue and Darke County EMA responded to an accident involving a semi and car at the intersection of US 127 and Kruckeberg Rd.

Preliminary investigation revealed Tommie Morrison, age 62, of Greenville turned his 1999 Toyota Camry west onto Kruckeberg Rd. from US 127. Mr. Morrison failed to yield to a southbound 2013 Volvo Semi truck driven by Kraig Peters, age 52, of Bradford. Mr. Morrison failed to yield the right of way to the southbound semi.

Both drivers were treated and released from the scene of the accident. Mr. Morrison was issued a citation for failing to yield while making the left turn.

Indiana Driver Rolls Vehicle on Weavers Station Road

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On April 23, 2015 at approximately 3:25 p.m. Darke County Deputies along with Tri Village Rescue, Liberty Township Fire and Lifeline were dispatched to Weavers Station Rd. south of US Rt. 36 for a one vehicle injury accident.

Preliminary investigation revealed a 1997 Volkswagen Jetta driven by Audley McKenzie, 50, Lynn, Indiana was traveling north on Weavers Station Rd. Audley lost control in a curve overturning the vehicle in the roadway and coming to rest on the east side of Weavers Station Rd.

Audley was transported to Wayne Healthcare by Tri Village Rescue. Audley was treated and released.

GREENVILLE YOUTH TEAM TENNIS REGISTRATION NOW OPEN FOR KIDS 5-15 YEARS OLD

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Online registration is available. Additional volunteers and coaches are welcome.


Indianapolis, Ind. – This summer kids will again have a blast playing Midwest Youth Team Tennis, which returns to Greenville for the 6th year. 10 and Under Tennis, using the QuickStart Tennis play format, features kid-sized equipment, court dimensions, and scoring. Kids develop tennis skills right away, and have a ball playing and competing in a fun, team environment. The 6 week Greenville “Quickstart” program for children 10 and under will be held on Sunday evenings starting June 14 through July 26. Depending on the number of registrants, children in Kindergarten through 2nd grade will play from 6:00 - 7:00 pm, and children in 3rd through 6th grade will play from 7:00 - 8:00 pm. If all registrants can be accommodated in the earlier time slot, the two groups will be combined. For students 11-15 years old, the 6 week “Futures” program will be held on Tuesday nights, June 16 - July 21 from 6:30 -8:00 pm, with Dennis Kiser (Greenville High School Boys' Tennis Coach) running the program. The cost of the program is $65 and registration closes Friday, May 22. Registration is done online at www.midwestteamtennis.com. Parents can also visit this site to learn more about the philosophy of Quickstart Tennis. Volunteers and coaches are always welcome.

For more information about signing up to play, volunteer, or coach, please contact Bud Schroeder at Schroeder Tennis Center, (937) 669-5552 or email at mvctatennis@gmail.com. You may also contact Suzie Brown at suzanne1119@gmail.com / 937-459-9219 (text) / 937-547-9904.

While the program is geared to beginners, all are welcome to participate. For students who did not participate in the past, the participant package includes the following: new tennis racquet and ball, team t-shirt, sling bag and a one year USTA Junior membership. For players returning to the program who have not outgrown last year’s racquet, the option of a duffel bag, ball cap or visor will be offered.

COME AND ENJOY THE NEWLY RESURFACED TENNIS COURTS!

Darke County Civic Theater to Hold Auditions

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The Darke County Civic Theater will be holding auditions for a melodrama to be presented during the annual Annie Oakley Festival in July. If you ever thought of acting, then come and audition for “The Dangerous Diamonds.” The cast of characters in this play, range from a teenager and up. The Civic Theater is in need of new members and would like to see some new faces at the auditions. There will be no preparation needed, as they will conduct a cold reading from the script. The only thing needed to audition is a good attitude and a willingness to have fun.

The auditions will be held at the Boy’s and Girl’s Club on Broadway in Greenville from 6-8 p.m. on April 26. If you are interested in trying out, you may show up anytime during the above time frame. If you would like more information on the audition, contact Dane Leeper at 423-5183. Please leave a voicemail and your call will be returned as soon as possible. You can also check out www.darkecountycivictheater.org for updates and future productions information.

Greenville Athletic Booster’s Reverse Raffle - A Huge Success

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Greenville Athletic Booster President Barry Hounshell presenting a $5,000 check to Second National Bank, represented by Joy Greer,the winner of the March Madness Reverse Raffle.  Also shown are some of the committee membeers and event sponsors of the event. Sam Suter (committee), Scott Frens (committee), Stephanie Baumgardner (committee), Susan Shields (event sponsor Doug Shields Investment), Randy Swisher (committee), Lisa Martin (event sponsor Greenville National Bank) and Phillip Pierri (event sponsor Zechar-Bailey).
The Greenville Athletic Booster’s First Annual March Madness Reverse Raffle was held on Saturday, March 28th. The event was a huge success, and the Committee would like to thank all those who participated. A big thank you goes to Second National Bank. Their ticket was the $5,000 winner, and they generously donated their winnings back to the Athletic Boosters. It is our student-athletes who are the biggest winners.

Many businesses and individuals helped make this evening a success. We would like to acknowledge and thank our sponsors for the evening. Final Four Sponsors: Jon Coomer Investment Management, Doug Shields Financial Planning Services, Financial Providence Group and Aesthetic Finishers. Elite 8 Sponsors: Greenville National Bank, Zechar-Bailey Funeral Home, and Second National Bank. Sweet 16 Sponsors: Brumbaugh Construction, Dr. Tom Brown of Family Health Services, Lisa Francis/Leis Realty , Helen’s Flowers, Littman-Thomas Agency, Maid-Rite, Jim Gable Insurance Agency, Hittle Buick GMC Inc., Greenville Snap Fitness, Sanco Products, Wayne Builders Supply, MAC Athletics, Brethren Retirement Community and.

Our food sponsors for the event were Winner’s Meat, the Fairlawn, JT’s Brew & Grill, and J’s Country Store. Other businesses that donated items for the evening were The Flower Patch, Sanco Products, and Aramark. Don Lockhart provided music and fun activities throughout the evening. Silent auction items donated by Kroger, Snap Fitness, McDonalds, Hot Head Burrito, Montage, Besecker Cleaners, Kitchen Aid Experience, Greenville Federal, Dustin Leis-Leis Realty, Jeff Jenkinson, HER Realty (Sue & Regan Bowman), Turtle Creek Golf Course, Fullenkamp’s Frenchtown Trailer Sales & Supply, The Inn at Versailles, Ramco Electric Motors, Pepcon Concrete, Light Foundation, Blue Bow Boutique, Stillwater Valley Golf Course, 5678 Dance Studio, Country Bridal and Tux, Pamela’s Intimate Apparel, The Flower Patch, Hansbarger Home Solutions, and Ernst Sports. We thank you all!

Last but not least, the Greenville Athletic Boosters would like to thank the coaches, parents and community for participating in our first annual Reverse Raffle. We look forward to seeing everyone at next year’s March Madness Reverse Raffle. Your continued support of our student-athletes is greatly appreciated! GO WAVE!!

Thank A Vet 5k Run / Walk

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2015 marks the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War. Over 3 million service men and women left their loved ones to answer the call to duty and bravely serve in a country far away from home.

The Fort GreeneVille Daughters of the American Revolution are hosting a 5k run/walk to not only Welcome Home those Veterans who saw our Nation through one of the most challenging times we have ever seen, but to thank all Veterans who have proudly served in our Armed Forces. They must never be forgotten.

Please come out and join us at 9 am on Saturday, May 30th, 2015 at the Darke County Fairgrounds in Greenville to Thank a Vet.

To register online visit www.alliancerunning.com. Mail in registrations can be printed from that site.

This run/walk event is sponsored by VFW Post 7262, Post 7262 Men’s Auxiliary and Post 7262 Boosters.

If you have any questions, contact Chris Nehring at (937)771-3824 or email at thankavet5k@yahoo.com

Proceeds will benefit Wounded Warrior Project.

Please pass this information on to family and friends. Walk or Run, it all goes to a good cause!!!!

Click here to download a flyer/registration form.

Tons of Trilliums at Routzong Preserve

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A sea of Large-flowered Trilliums is what
visitors can expect to find at Routzong Preserve.
Darke County Parks’ Wildflower Walk Series continues on Wednesday, April 29 at Routzong Preserve.

Join a park naturalist at 6pm for this leisurely enjoyable stroll through the woodland in search of blooming wildflowers. Typically, Routzong Preserve, located on Routzong Rd. west of Greenville, is a magic carpet filled with lovely blooms.

We’ll take a closer look at spring ephemerals including Dutchman’s Breeches, Wild Violets, Trout Lilies, Wild Phlox and the showy Large-flowered Trillium.

For more information on this or any other park program please contact the Nature Center at 937.548.0165 or email at info@darkecountyparks.org.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

2015 Poultry Days Parade Marshals Annoumced

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2015 Honorary Parade Marshals Bob and Kathy Frey
Bob and Kathy (York) Frey are pleased to be selected as Parade Marshals for the 2015 Poultry Days Parade. The parade will begin at 11:00 am on Saturday, June 13, as part of the three-day festival to be held June 12-14.

Bob has recently retired as Chief of the Versailles Fire Department, a position he held for 18 years. He served the Village of Versailles as a firefighter for a total of 35 years. He and his fellow firefighters have annually been called upon to set up the Poultry Days Parade, and Bob has enjoyed the role of judging parade entries several times.

Bob grew up in Osgood and graduated from Marion Local High School. He worked at Francis Manufacturing in Russia from 1973-1977, then began his career at Clopay Corporation (now known as Clopay Building Products). He has held a variety of factory, sales and managerial positions over the past 38 years, currently serving as project manager at the Troy office.

He has been involved in various organizations, including Versailles Rotary Club and Versailles Board of Zoning Appeals Citizens Volunteer Board. Bob is a longtime member of the St. Denis Knights of Columbus and currently serves on the Heritage Park Board. He received the distinction of being named 2015 Citizen of the Year by the Versailles Chamber of Commerce. His hobbies include woodworking, fishing and gardening. In past years, he coached Versailles youth baseball, softball and basketball teams and continues to support Tigers’ sports.

After graduating from Russia High School, Kathy worked in Versailles as a secretary for Subler Transfer, Inc. prior to starting a family. She provided in-home child care for many years, and subsequently worked part time at local businesses. She has been employed at the offices of Hanes Law Group in Versailles and Greenville since 2005. Kathy taught CCD classes at St. Denis, and was a 20-year member of Serendipity Moms. She has been affiliated with the Fort GreeneVille Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution since 1990. She has enjoyed belonging to the same card club for nearly 40 years. Kathy’s hobbies include decorating and learning about the history of Versailles and the surrounding area.

Bob and Kathy met through mutual friends. They are parents of Rob, Jessica (Heitman), Allison (Gonya) and Emily and both love spending time with the family, which now includes four grandchildren. They will be celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary on June 21. The Freys feel very fortunate that their children have reaped the benefits of growing up in such a fine community as Versailles.

The Freys wish to extend a warm welcome to all who come to celebrate Poultry Days this year! The 64th annual festival theme is “Take Me Out To The Poultry Days Festival”. Please visit the website www.versaillespoultrydays.com for event details and schedules.

Two Miami County Teens Turn Themselves in After Video of Burglary Shared on Social Media

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Two suspects have turned themselves in regarding the burglary in Miami County we shared video of yesterday...

Messler
The Miami County Sheriff’s Office has identified the two burglars whose images were captured in a home surveillance video released to the media on April 21, 2015. A home in the 2500 block of west Monroe Concord Road was burglarized on April 20, 2015 and the burglary was recorded on a surveillance camera.

Colin T. Messler and Kasey W. Hennesy, both eighteen years of age from the City of Troy, have been identified as the two individuals in the surveillance footage. Criminal charges of burglary will be pursued with the Miami County Prosecutor’s Office. The stolen property from the crime has been recovered.

Tips and cooperation from the community led to their positive identification. The Troy Police Department School Resource Officer program was also instrumental in resolving the case.

Edison Community College Announces New President

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Larson to head leading community college in Piqua

Dr. Doreen Larson is welcomed to Edison Community College by Darryl Mehaffie, Chairman of the Board of Trustees.
Piqua, Ohio, April 22, 2015 – The board of trustees at Edison Community College has announced Doreen M. Larson, Ph.D. as the new President of the institution. Larson will lead the two-year college which prepares students for transferring to four-year colleges or universities as well as preparing students for immediate employment.

Larson will join Edison Community College from Pierpont Community and Technical College in Fairmont, West Virginia, where she has served as the President since 2010. Larson has previously held administrative positions at Holyoke Community College in Holyoke, Massachusetts, and Lakeland Community College in Kirtland, Ohio. She began her career in higher education as an Assistant Professor of Education at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio.

Edison Community College is seated in Piqua, Ohio, and serves the tri-county area of Darke County, Miami County, and Shelby County. Darryl Mehaffie, Chairman of the Board of Trustees shared, “Dr. Doreen Larson is what we hoped for when we opened our national search for the college’s next president. Her depth of experience as a community college administrator and her background in Ohio fits well with Edison Community College’s culture at an important time in its history.”

The search committee was chaired by former Chairman of the Board of Trustees Jim Thompson, who stated, “Dr. Larson is a renowned teacher who demonstrates a profound commitment to the mission of community colleges to serve their students and their communities. She understands the deep link between Edison Community College and the communities in Darke County, Miami County, and Shelby County. The broad experience that Dr. Larson brings will ensure that Edison Community College continues to advance while retaining its connection to the community.”

Dr. Larson earned her Ph.D. in Special Education-Adult Transitional Services from Kent State University and received her M.A. in Education from John Carroll University. Before attending graduate school she earned a B.A. in Education from Cleveland State University. Larson and her husband, Len, will be returning to her home state of Ohio after spending ten years in Massachusetts and West Virginia.

“Edison Community College has a solid foundation as one of the premier community colleges in the state of Ohio. Dr. Larson is a servant leader who will provide the leadership we need to maintain our strong record of student success,” said Tom Milligan, Vice Chairman of the Edison Community College Board of Trustees.

Now in its fifth decade of service, Edison Community College is committed to providing higher education and advanced training opportunities for the people of the greater Miami Valley. Edison is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is recognized with the highest order attainable by the Ohio Board of Regents. With campuses in Piqua and Greenville, Edison provides a Personal Experience and Rewarding Education. Visit us online at www.edisonohio.edu.

We All Play a Role in Agricultural Pollution Abatement

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by Janell Weiss and Jared Coppess

Water quality has long been a concern, and recent events in Lake Erie, Grand Lake St. Mary’s, Buckeye Lake and the Gulf of Mexico have brought that concern to the front of people’s minds. Earlier this month, the Governor signed Senate Bill 1 (SB1) which aims to mitigate harmful algal blooms in the Western Lake Erie Basin. Amid new legislation and increased interest in and scrutiny of agriculture, the Darke Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) will release a series of monthly articles on agricultural topics. Be on the lookout for future columns from Darke SWCD staff on SB1, manure application setbacks, manure storage and stockpiling, cover crops and other related topics. All articles will be released to local media and available online at www.darkeswcd.com.

Darke SWCD staff would like to engage the county in a conversation on environmental stewardship. This series of articles will provide farmers with information to help them protect water quality. Additionally non-farming community members can learn what farmers are doing and can do to protect water quality in our lakes, rivers and streams. This month’s article focuses on the role we all play in agricultural pollution abatement.

Darke SWCD staff encourages and welcomes the public to participate in the Ohio agricultural pollution abatement program. This program depends upon public participation. Darke SWCD has the authority and responsibility to investigate and seek the resolution of all complaints regarding agricultural or silvicultural pollution in the county. Please contact the Darke SWCD at 937-548-1752 if you see a manure spill, are concerned about an imminent manure spill, or have questions about the pollution abatement program.

When submitting a complaint, you may choose to provide your name or submit the complaint anonymously. Complaints may be submitted orally, over the phone, in person, or in writing. Darke SWCD staff will ask you to describe your concern, to provide location information, and to detail what waters of the state are impacted and any other information that may aid the investigation. If you choose to disclose your name and contact information, staff will ask what follow-up you would like to receive.

Darke SWCD investigates every agricultural pollution complaint received. During an investigation, Darke SWCD staff will attempt to determine if waters of the state are being degraded by manure or other agricultural wastes. If waters of the state are impacted, Darke SWCD staff will contact and coordinate with other government agencies that regulate pollution of surface water. The goal of Darke SWCD is to seek a voluntary, cooperative solution with the responsible party. Darke SWCD will recommend and work with producers to establish corrective actions, both temporary and permanent.

When a pollution complaint relates to a manure field application or stockpile, staff will review what agricultural best management practices (BMPs) were followed. These BMPs relate to field conditions and weather forecasts at the time of a manure application and manure application rates and setbacks. Agricultural producers, especially livestock producers, need to be familiar with the recommended BMPs. Please contact Darke SWCD if you need information on BMPs for handling manure.

The participation of the public in this program is crucial to its success. If you see a concern, contact Darke SWCD so staff can investigate the issue. Remember the choice of anonymity is available and will be honored, but it is your responsibility to request anonymity. Darke SWCD is committed to protecting the waters of the state, and part of that commitment is public outreach and education. Throughout this year, Darke SWCD will be releasing a series of timely articles related to agricultural and manure management BMPs.

One final thing to think about, if you see something that causes concern, please participate in the agricultural pollution abatement program by calling Darke SWCD at 937-548-1752 and giving the appropriate details. Let’s all commit to protecting and improving Ohio’s water quality.

Lydia E. Schaurer Memorial Trust Sponsors TOLEDO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA “A Night at the Oscars” and DCCA Arts Programs For Children

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Darke County Center for the Arts recognizes the Lydia E. Schaurer Memorial Trust for their support of the arts in Darke County. DCCA thanks the Lydia E. Schaurer Memorial Trust for their contribution to the 2014-2015 season and forwarding DCCA’s mission to encourage cultural enrichment in the community.

The Lydia E. Schaurer Memorial Trust“ is a sponsor for “A Night at the Oscars” performance by Toledo Symphony Orchestra, at Henry St. Clair Memorial Hall, Saturday, April 25 as the final show in DCCA’s 2014-2015 Artists Series. The Lydia E. Schaurer Memorial Trust also supports DCCA’s Family Theatre Series and Arts in Education programs, which benefit Darke County youth and their families. According to DCCA Executive Director Andrea Jordan, “The Lydia E. Schaurer Memorial Trust’s support of children’s programming makes it possible for us to present wonderful, creativity enhancing Family Theatre Series programs at an affordable ticket price, and enables all Darke County public school students to experience a professional artistic program each year.” Jordan continued, “We are absolutely thrilled to see the children in our community receive the benefit of their generosity and ensuring the opportunity to learn and grow through the arts.”

Toledo Symphony Orchestra will fill the stage at St. Clair Memorial Hall to perform “A Night At the Oscars,” a performance of Academy Award-winning music. Formed in 1943 as The Friends of Music, the Toledo Symphony now in its seventy-first season, reaches an audience of more than 260,000 annually, and has built a strong national reputation for its artistic excellence and community programming. Tickets for the Saturday, April 25, 8:00 PM concert are $30/$15 students.

DCCA’s Family Theatre Series presents three shows each season to inspire the imaginations of the young and young at heart, encouraging the expression of creativity. The series attracts a wide-ranging audience that includes many preschool children enjoying their first theater experience, as well as senior citizens who enjoy the shows’ strong depiction of traditional values. The 2014-2015 series included three performances; Theatreworks USA presented Skippy Jon Jones, Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Schoolhouse Rock Live!

DCCA’s Arts In Education program annually takes professional performing artists to all grades of all Greenville City and Darke County schools. Programs for 2014-2015 included Mime, Mask & Storytelling with DOUG BERKEY performing for students in grades K through 3; Creole for Kids with Zydeco Artist, TERRANCE SIMIEN performing for students in grades 4-6; Words & Actions for Literacy with POETRY ALIVE! who performed for High School students; Canada’s internationally-acclaimed invented instrument, power percussion company SCRAP ARTS MUSIC performed for Jr. High students at St. Clair Memorial Hall.

Greenville Federal, Jim and Enid Goubeaux and Ami McClurkin are also sponsors of the Toledo Symphony Orchestra performance. The performance is also sponsored by the Ketrow Foundation. Additionally, the Ohio Arts Council helped fund this program with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. DCCA also receives operating support from the Harry D. and Esther Stephens Memorial.

For more information on Darke County Center for the Arts contact the DCCA office at (937) 547-0908 or visit our website CenterForArts.net.

New Madison Tri-Village Alumni Banquet

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The New Madison Tri-Village Alumni Committee wishes to invite all New Madison and Tri-Village graduates for an evening of reminiscing and renewing old friendships at the annual alumni banquet to be held at Tri-Village High School May 16, 2015.

This year’s honored classes are: 75 year Class of 1940, 50 year Class of 1965 and the 25 year Class of 1990. Special recognition will be given to the graduating Class of 2015.

The meal will be catered by Tri-Village graduates Tanya and Chris Clark of Delight Catering.

Registration begins at 4:00 with appetizers offered from 4:30 to 5:30 and the main meal will be served at 6:00.

Invitations are mailed only to the honored classes with a mass mailing every five years. If you are not in an honored class please contact Monyca Schlechty at 937-548-0725 to place a reservation.

Deadline is May 4, 2015.

State of the Heart Hospice & Darke County Nursing Education Council Offers Complimentary Continuing Education Program

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State of the Heart Hospice and the Darke County Nursing Education Council are celebrating National Nurse’s week by co-sponsoring “Protect Yourself: Volatile Situations and the Ohio Nursing Law,” a continuing education program on Thursday, May 7th.

This two hour complimentary program will offer 2 CE (one is the required category A-law) to nurses for attending the program. Lisa Klenke, MBA, RN, NEA-BC and Mickey Ferguson RN, MSN-CNP, EMT-P will be presenting that evening.

Registration and a meal start at 4:30 p.m. at the Wayne HealthCare third floor conference room. The meal is sponsored by Wayne Healthcare. Indiana Wesleyan University and Wright State University will be on site for nurses interesting in furthering their education. There are a few open registrations available. Reserve your spot by contacting Kelley Hall, Education Coordinator for State of the Heart, at 316-0007 no later than April 28th.

MVCTC Electives, Business, and Information Technology Students of the Month March 2015

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MVCTC Electives, Business and Information Technology Department Students of the Month for March 2015, Brittany Howell (Milton-Union), Sean Wilt (Vandalia-Butler), and Emily Weaver (Franklin Monroe).
Englewood, Ohio - The Miami Valley Career Technology Center (MVCTC), in order to honor outstanding accomplishments and leadership in Career Tech Education, is proud to announce the March 2015 Career Tech Students of the Month honorees from the Electives, Business, and Information Technology Department.

Brittany Howell, member of the Medical Office program taught by Mr. Rusty Sink, Sean Wilt, member of the Game Programming and Web Applications program taught by Mrs. Melissa Goodall, and Emily Weaver, member of the Business Academy taught by Mr. Ken Kessler, received a plaque to honor their selection and a gift certificate from Wendy’s Restaurant.

Brittany Howell, Milton-Union High School, was recognized by her instructor for her hard work, doing things the right way, and great attendance. Mr. Sink stated, “Brittany is one of those students you can rely on in your business. She does what it takes to get the job done the right way.”

Sean Wilt, Vandalia Butler High School, was recognized by his instructor for doing an outstanding job in working with an MVCTC client to create a web page as well as volunteering to assist on another project. Mrs. Melissa Goodall stated, “Sean has worked hard to prepare for Business Professionals of America, assisted during Sophomore Career Days, presented at the Ohio School Boards Association, and volunteered on several occasions.”

Emily Weaver, Franklin Monroe High School, is a senior student in the Business Academy and was recognized by her instructor for maintaining both a 4.0 GPA as well as perfect attendance. In addition, Emily was recognized for earning over 50 semester hours from Sinclair Community College and securing an internship at Greenville National Bank. Mr. Kessler stated, “Emily works very hard and is a goal oriented student with high expectations for herself and others around her.”

Congratulations to Brittany, Sean and Emily for being recognized as the Electives, Business, and Information Technology Students of the Month at MVCTC. Special Thanks to Wendy’s Restaurant on 7200 Hoke Road, Clayton, Ohio for their efforts in sponsoring outstanding student accomplishments at Miami Valley Career Technology Center.

For over 40-years, MVCTC has been providing career technical education for 27 partner school districts encompassing five counties in Southwest Ohio. MVCTC is dedicated to providing in-demand workforce training for youth, adults, and organizations in the Miami Valley.

For more information about MVCTC, visit www.mvctc.com.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

WHIO: Trash Bash Cleans Up County Roadways

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Check our our good friend Steve Baker's report for WHIO on this past weekend's Trash Bash, which saw volunteers canvas county roads to pick up trash and debris.

WHIO: Fugitive leads cops on 2-state, high-speed pursuit

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A man who was on a work release program from jail in Indiana led police on a high speed pursuit yesterday.

According to WHIO, Michael Penka, 34, was stopped by a Union City Police Officer and then sped off, leading officers on a pursuit that lasted longer than 25 miles and reach speeds exceeding 100 mph.

Apparently, this isn't the first time he has ran, as the article continues:
Police checked Penka’s background and discovered he has several felony convictions including fleeing from police in 2002 and 2011. 
The background check also revealed that Penka was on work release in Randolph County, Ind., and should have been in jail at the time of Tuesday’s incident, McHenry said.
Penka eventually led officers to a house in Hollansburg, where he ran inside before eventually giving himself up.

He was then taken into custody and booked in the Darke County Jail.

Click here to read the full article from WHIO.com

"The Way it Was" by Abraham Lincoln

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Editor's Note: I'm excited to have past DJ contributor Abraham Lincoln sending stories again. Check this one out, and click here to read some past entries...

When I lived in Gordon, Ohio, a long time ago I would get bored sitting around doing nothing and wondered what it would be like to see the rest of the world -- especially "out west" where I always wanted to be a cowboy. I dreamed a lot and did things just because I thought I could do it.

Sometimes I either dream or fall into a kind of stupor and seem to exist in a different time. I am able to see and hear whatever is around me. I also remember sitting up against an old oak tree at the speedway south of Greenville and remembered when I walked in and stood at the guard rail and imagined racing cars roaring around the dirt track. And I saw, as plain as day, one car hit the guard rail where I was standing, flew over me and landed on parked cars some 20 feet below where I stood. The south end of the old grandstand seemed to moan when it happened as if it knew the driver was going to either die or be seriously injured.

I was hunting once and walked down this long lane that went down a steep hill and over a small creek and up the hill on the other side. Down there in the middle at the lowest place I could hear what sounded like a million bees swarming in the dark woods on my left. I looked but it was so dense that I couldn't see a thing but something made the hair on the back of my neck curl up and I couldn't get out of there fast enough. I had a shotgun with me but whatever it was made me more afraid than my shotgun bothered it. I kept looking back and ended up walking way around that spot when I went back to get in my car. I never even saw a rabbit. I never heard of Sasquatch back then but maybe that's what it was.

I was sitting on a Greyhound bus on my way from Tucson, Arizona to Palm Springs, California where all the movie stars go to get away from Hollywood. I was told to go there if I ever had time by a lady from Massachusetts--a school teacher who took her summer vacations in Palm Springs. She said she made more money in tips than she made teaching for a whole year back home in Massachusetts and she was just a waitress at the Hotel Desert Air Parkway in Palm Springs. So when I had enough money saved, I bought a bus ticket and rode the bus from Tucson to Palm Springs and along the way, in several places, one could see the original stage coach road off to the side of the highway. In Palm Springs her and her giant glass water jugs in her bedroom filled with half dollars, quarters, rolled up bills and lots of loose change. She said they were too heavy to move and she wasn't worried about somebody walking out with a jug of her tips.

In those days I had no reason to live in the real world when I could live among the Stars in Palm Spring and taste the same cup of coffee they drank. I could eat a hotdog just like they were eating. I could set on the stone slab around the flowers right beside a star reading his mail from his post office box. I often wondered what it would be like to be a movie star and here I was living the same kind of life in their world on next to nothing and less than a dollar in my pocket.
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