Monday, August 31, 2009

Commissioners approve expenditures for environmental assessments

At its regular meeting today, the Darke County Commission Board approved the expenditure of $2,300 for environmental assessments to be completed on five county-owned buildings west of the courthouse. $500 of the funds will be for asbestos abatement specifications, while $1,800 will be for a Phase I environmental site assessment. Environmental Assessment Services, Inc. will do the work.

The five buildings in question include the Albrecht building (West Fourth), the former Visitation House (Sycamore Street), the former DARE House (Sycamore Street), and some utility buildings. Business & Safety Coordinator John Cook said the assesments were being done in contemplation of razing the buildings. The buildings would not all be demolished at once, but the cost of the assessments would be the same for one building or five, so it was prudent to do all the assessments now.

No timetable was discussed regarding the demolition of the buildings.

Clarification: there was no discussion of a new courts building at the commission meeting. At this point, the demolition of the buildings may or may not be related to the courts building project.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Game of the week: Versailles 33, Oakwood 14

Whatever happened to 3 yards and a cloud of dust? The Versailles Tigers opened the 2009 football season with a no-huddle spread offense that had Oakwood tied in knots all night. Versailles didn't hand off to a running back the entire game - and instead continued the passing game even through driving rain storms. The Versailles Tigers are for real this year. Next up for Versailles ... away at Graham. Next up for Darke Journal: ??? [Bonus: has a bunch of pictures of the game here.]

Memorial Fund & Life Connection team up

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GREENVILLE - The Zachary Garbig Memorial Fund, an account within the HOPE Foundation, is pleased to announce a new opportunity within Darke County for organ and tissue donor registry. In conjunction with Life Connection of Ohio and Edison Community College, students and the public may sign-up anytime day or evening to register to be an organ donor by stopping in at the Darke County branch of Edison Community College.

The Zachary Garbig Memorial Fund was started in 1999 by his parents, Phil and Karen Garbig, in honor of their son who received a liver/small bowel transplant as a fifth grader at Arcanum Schools. Although he lost his battle seven months later, his experience gave much needed knowledge to the medical professionals for future transplant recipients. The Garbig family believes we can make the best of an unfortunate situation by donating our organs and tissue and blessing someone else with health, hope and the promise of life. Gifts made to the account by friends and families on his behalf are designated to be used to further the quest of the family to increase organ and tissue donation awareness. The fund has paid for many billboards and other outreach methods throughout the years and they wanted to do something different this year. Thanks to the wonderful cooperation of Janice Michael from Edison Community College they were able to do so.

Anyone interested in learning more about organ donation or who want to signup can do so at the local school branch. They will be directed to the special computer on-site that is designated for this great cause through the website of Life Connection of Ohio. Life Connection is an independent, non-profit organ procurement organization and serves as the designated agency for northwest and west central Ohio. LCO provides services to 52 hospitals and donation education to the 2.2 million residents within a 23 county service area. It is important for people to realize that in the United States, over 95,000 people are on the national organ waiting list and over 2,500 of those are Ohioans. Sadly, eighteen people die each day due to a lack of available organs. For more information about Life Connection of Ohio, visit

If you would like to make a donation to the Zachary Garbig Memorial Fund to further additional activities promoting organ donation awareness, feel free to send your check payable to HOPE/Garbig Fund, c/o HOPE Foundation, P.O. Box 438, Greenville, OH 45331 or contact Patty Lavy at 548-HOPE.

[re-printed from the August 30 edition of The Early Bird]

Friday, August 28, 2009

Football Friday - open thread

Our game of the week: Versailles 33, Oakwood 14 ... Versailles showcased the no-huddle spread offense and built a quick 21-0 lead they never gave up. This game was soggy, but that didn't stop Versailles passing game. Video & a photo link above.

Vandalia 14, Greenville 3 ... Reader comment: Neither team could hold on to the wet ball in a 14-3 win for Vandalia / over Greenville. (WKEF22 raw)

Ansonia 52, Ft. Recovery 48 (WKEF22 raw)

West Liberty-Salem 41, Arcanum 7

Bradford 64, Yellow Springs 14 (photos here)

Mississinawa 20, Jefferson 6

Check back Saturday for video highlights of the Versailles game ...

Dave Yost to visit Darke County

The Darke County Republican Women’s Club is pleased to announce that David Yost will be the speaker at the Monday, September 14 meeting. Mr. Yost is a candidate for Ohio Attorney General in the 2010 Elections.

The meeting will be held at the Brethren Home Community Center. The public is invited and will be very welcome to attend Mr. Yost’s speech, which should begin at 7:00 p.m. Reservations for the speech alone are not necessary. However, those also attending the dinner at 6:30 p.m. will require reservations. Please call Wavelene Denniston at 547-6477 by September 10.

Dave Yost is the prosecuting attorney for Delaware County, Ohio, bordering Columbus to the north. Dave has gained a reputation for aggressively representing the people in criminal court or in civil matters. With the support of his family and the backing of numerous Republican Party leaders, Dave Yost is now a candidate in the race for Ohio Attorney General in 2010.

Dave is running for Attorney General because he believes it is time to return a real prosecutor with a proven track record in the courtroom to Ohio’s top law enforcement office. He is also convinced that his conservative beliefs and tough-on-crime approach best suit the needs of our state at this critical juncture.

Dave Yost has over two decades of public service. Since 2003 he has served the people of Delaware County as their Prosecuting Attorney. Prior to that, he served Ohio’s fastest growing county as County Auditor, the county’s Chief Fiscal Officer. Yost has also been a statewide leader in protecting our children against convicted sex-offenders, filing the first eviction action against a convicted sex offender living within 1,000 feet of a school. He defended portions of Megan’s Law against claims of unconstitutionality in both federal and state courts. He has also testified before the Ohio General Assembly on criminal justice issues and tax policy.

Yost has a bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University and a law degree from Capital University Law School. He has also been an adjunct faculty member at Columbus State Community College. He is a musician and composer. He and his wife Darlene live in Delaware.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

State Senator Fred Strahorn has been a frequent visitor to Darke County

Fred Strahorn was appointed Senator of Ohio's 5th Senate District in March of this year. The district includes central Montgomery County, all of Miami County, and several rural townships in southeast Darke County - incuding the Village of Arcanum. Darke County represents a miniscule percentage of the overall population of the 5th Senate District, and consequently prior Senators have rarely visited.

So far, Fred Strahorn has bucked that trend. He attended a Garst Museum fundraiser a few months back. He joined a meeting of legislators and The Anderson's during the height of the co2 controversy. And Strahorn was spotted again the other day at the Darke County Fair (and may well have come here on other occasions).

Giving credit where it is due, Strahorn has made a real effort to visit this part of his district.

Bonus question: can anybody name Strahorn's predecessor?

Versailles FareFest - August 29th

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Versailles FareFest! First-ever, "new Generation" food and wine festival in Versailles, Ohio, Saturday, August 29 from 2:00 to 5:00 pm. There will be over 100 wines, 20 beers, 10 restaurants sampling their wares.

Food vendors from across the region will be on-hand. They are Coldwater Café (Tipp City), Caroline’s (Troy), The Main Street Bistro (Lima), Café Veranda (Jackson Center), Coco’s (Dayton), Rue Domaine (Centerville), Ghyslain’s (Union City / Richmond / Indy), The Montage Cafe (Greenville), The Bistro off Broadway (Greenville), Bake House Bread Company (Troy), Michael Anthony’s at The Inn (Versailles), Davis Meat Co. (Sidney).

Presale tickets are $35. At the door, tickets are $40. Ticket includes wine glass, unlimited wine, beer & food. Entertainment provided by Higgins-Madewell. Call (937) 526-3020 or email to order your tickets today.

Elements Yoga Studio Announces Autumn Session I Class Schedule

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Emily Jasenski, Nationally Certified Yoga Instructor and Co-Owner of Elements Yoga announces the Autumn Session I class schedule starting August 31st thru October 10th. Whether you are an experienced Yogi or new to the Yoga environment, Elements provides a class style to fit your current needs.

Monday- Ashtanga Primary Series (intermediate to advanced): 6:00-7:30pm
Tuesday- Hatha (intermediate): 6:00-7:00pm
Wednesday-Beginners Hatha (beginners): 6:00-7:00pm
Thursday- Slow Flow Vinyasa (all levels): 6:00-7:15pm
Saturday- Junior Yoga/ Art Class (ages 6 to 10) 10:00-11:00am

For more information regarding these classes or other services, please call Emily at 937-417-3208 or email at Elements Studio is open Monday-Wednesday-Friday from 9:30am-1:00pm for walk in inquiries.

Save the dates for two upcoming BRC events

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Technical problems

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It will be fixed in a minute.

Update: fixed. Sorry about that.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

God bless Ralph Herman Burkholder (October 7, 1934 - August 23, 2009)

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Ralph Herman Burkholder, age 74 of Greenville, Ohio passed away Sunday August 23, 2009 at his home. He was born October 7, 1934 in Henry County, Archbold, Ohio, son of Harold and Alvera (Lindau) Burkholder. He was preceded in death by his parents and infant son Roger in June of 1959.

He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Elizabeth (Mills); Brothers Glen (Rose) and Harley (Donna); Sister Norma Roth (Veryl); daughter Kathy Jo Burkholder (Bruce Epps); son Robert (Vicki); granddaughter Addy; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Ralph graduated from Archbold High School in 1952 and from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine on June 13, l958. He was active in Veterinary Medicine for over 50 years. He served in the Air Force as Base Veterinarian at Minot AFB, North Dakota, and was in private veterinary practices in Glasgow, Kentucky and Wauseon, Holmesville, and Shreve, Ohio. He spent the last 30 years of his career working for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services of the United States Department of Agriculture. Ralph was an Honor Roll Member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and a Life Member of the Ohio Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA). He was active in his profession and community having served on numerous boards, including District Representative to the OVMA Board of Trustees, the Greenville Public Library and the Darke County Soil and Water Conservation District. He was a long time member of St. John’s Lutheran Church of Greenville.

The family will receive friends on Friday from 4:00 P.M. till 7:00 P.M. at the Zechar Bailey Funeral Home 1499 N. Broadway Greenville, Ohio. Private burial services will be held at the Oak Grove Cemetery, Ft. Jefferson on Saturday morning August 29, 2009 followed by a public Celebration of Life Service at St. John’s Lutheran Church 7418 St. Rt. 121-N. Greenville, Ohio at 11:30 A.M. with Dr. Veryl Roth and Pastor Hal Robarge officiating. Lunch will follow the service at the church.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Greenville Public Library, State of the Heart Hospice, Wernle Children’s Home Richmond, Indiana and the St. John’s Lutheran Church Building Fund.

Ohio Department of Education releases 2008-2009 district reports

There is a lot of information to go through here. We will hit the high points and provide links for anyone who wishes to delve further. The five basic rankings are, in order from good to bad: Excellent, Effective, Continuous Improvement, Academic Watch, and Academic Emergency. In true government fashion, there are subsets for each ranking, but we won't get into that.

Versailles Exempted Village - Excellent with distinction (the very top ranking). 103.8 performance index. All 30 state indicators met. Adequate yearly progress met. Blah, blah, blah. They're getting it done in Versailles. Congratulations!

Franklin-Monroe Local - Excellent, with a 100.4 performance index. 27 of 30 state indicators met, and adequate yearly progress met. The elementary school also received an individual Excellent ranking.

Arcanum-Butler Local - Effective, with a performance index of 97.0. 25 of 30 state indicators met, although adequate yearly progress was not met due to lower scores from the middle school.

Ansonia Local School District - Excellent, with a performance index of 96.6. 27 of 30 state indicators met, and adequate yearly progress met.

Tri-Village Local - Effective, with a 94.4 performance index. 21 0f 30 state indicators met. Adequate yearly progress also met. The high school was individually ranked Excellent.

Mississinawa Valley Local - Effective, with a 91.8 performance index. 20 out of 30 state indicators met. Adequate yearly progress was not met, with the high school (Continous Improvement) scoring much lower than the elementary.

Greenville City School District - Effective, with a performance index of 91.2, 16 out of 30 state indicators met, and adequate yearly progress: not met ... By building: the Greenville Intermediate School achieved an Excellent ranking, while the Junior High ranked Continuous Improvement with a relatively poor 86.0 performance index.

Bradford Exempted Village - Continuous Improvement, with a performance index of 89.2. 18 of 30 state indicators met. Adequate yearly progress not met. The elementary school dragged down Bradford's overall ranking with an indivual rank of Continuous Improvement.

Fiske Fries are the poll winner for favorite fair food

Somewhat surprisingly, Fiske blew away a crowded field for best fair food with its french fries served in a styrofoam cup (and sometimes topped with vinegar). Fiske is the winner hands-down, with more votes than the second, third, and fourth places combined. Have you not tried the walking burrito?

Smithsonian Magazine’s 5th Annual Museum Day

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Greenville, Ohio - On Saturday, September 26, 2009, Garst Museum &a The Annie Oakley Center will participate in the fifth annual Museum Day, presented by Smithsonian magazine. A celebration of culture, learning and the dissemination of knowledge, Smithsonian’s Museum Day reflects the spirit of the magazine, and emulates the free-admission policy of the Smithsonian Institution’s Washington, DC-based properties. Doors will be open free of charge to Smithsonian magazine readers and visitors at museums and cultural institutions nationwide.

Last year, upwards of 200,000 people attended Museum Day, with all 50 states plus Puerto Rico represented by over 900 participating museums, including 84 Smithsonian affiliate museums. This year, the magazine expects to attract over 1,000 museums.

“We think it is important to participate in Museum Day in order to be part of a nationwide observance of American heritage and culture,” said Garst Museum’s executive director, Penny Perry.

Garst Museum & The Annie Oakley Center is a seven building complex with about 33,000 sq ft of exhibit space. Darke County natives Annie Oakley, Lowell Thomas, and Zachary Lansdowne are featured exhibits. The Crossroads of Destiny galleries trace Darke County’s origins from prehistoric times to the signing of the Treaty of Greene Ville in 1795. Antique furnishings, Currier & Ives prints, the old village shops, antique farm equipment & household appliances, and the Iddings sprint race car are but a few of the many exhibits to see in the museum complex.

Visit to download your Museum Day Admission Card. Attendees must present the Museum Day Admission Card to gain free entry to participating institutions. Each card provides museum access for two people, and one admission card is permitted per household. Listings and links to participating museums’ can also be found at

About Smithsonian Media

Founded in 1970 with the launch of Smithsonian magazine, Smithsonian media—comprising Smithsonian magazine, Air & Space, goSmithsonian, Smithsonian Publishing Digital Network, Smithsonian Books and advertising for Smithsonian Channel—allows the intellectually curious to indulge and engage their passions for history, the arts, science, the natural world, culture and travel. Smithsonian Media’s flagship publication, Smithsonian magazine, has a circulation of more than two million. This multimedia network is also affiliated with the world’s most visited museum and research complexes at the Smithsonian Institution. For more information, visit,, and

Point / Counterpoint

These two comments were left below on the article "New Middle School for Greenville?"

From Bob Voigt:

Has anyone ever taken the time to notice how Versailles has put the horse ahead of the cart.; 1 - They enticed the county to build the airport in their area. Corporations have airplanes.; 2 - They worked very aggressively on showing their pride as you drive through the town with new curbs, sidewalks and tree planting on ALL the main streets from corp. limit to corp. limit.; 3 - They have not enticed a bunch of government housing projects to be built that add to the financial burden of your community.; 4 - They have developed only upscale housing which adds to both the property tax receipts and the income tax receipts.; 5 - They have made a very attractive park to be enjoyed by the people, not for the pleasure of wild animals. People can take their children there and not have to worry about them getting in the goose crap.; 6 - After this has all been in place and the community knows where they stand financially, they then work on their schools; A lot of people complained because every other school district in the county was building and they weren't, but their leaders knew how to put a plan togeather and make it work. We could all learn a lot by paying attention to Mr. Gump and Mr. Doseck.

From Anonymous:
I agree with Mr. Voigt but want to clarify that Versailles did not do all those things and then build the school by choice. The school board has been trying to pass a building levy since 1997. Each time a different plan (new high school, new K-8, etc) was presented to the voters and finally the K-12 passed.

I do give credit to Village Administrator Gump, the last 3 Mayors, many town council members, the Versailles Chamber of Commerce, other civic groups, very philanthropic corporations, generous private donors, and the citizens for the state of the community.

However it would be unfair credit to former Superintendent Doseck and lack credit to Superintendents Taylor and Fair to say they succeeded or failed to pass a levy. The various school options came from the Board of Education. Their first 3 levies failed and there were accusations of not listening to community input. The levy that did pass was also their plan. The real credit goes to the citizens who held out and voted down inadequate plans and then passed a comprehensive plan that addressed all existing needs and positioned the district for the future.

At the Greenville Farmers Market - Wednesday

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Miller Flowers will be at the market starting this week with their colorful, fall inspiring mums.

Also at the Farmers Market ...

E.A.T. Food for Life Farm: Your local, grass-fed, Certified-organic family farm. Check out the weekly CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) packages. Grass-fed chicken, beef, lamb, pork and buffalo. Grains such as rolled oats, spelt berries, crackers and flours. Try a sample of one of the varieties of hard cheese. For further information

Francis Byers: Long time market favorite, arrive early to get the best selection of yellow squash, zucchini, red potatoes, okra, beets, broccoli, cabbage, green beans, cucumbers, cantolope and more!

Prayer Preserves: Tabitha and family pray over every batch of jelly and preserves they create. Taste a sample of peach, red raspberry, strawberry, blackberry, red raspberry wine or hot pepper jam.

Communal Table: Handmade Rugs fresh off the loom will be available and if any other items are dropped off for sale.

Wednesday, 2pm to 6pm, next to the Darke County Courthouse.

"Back to School" Prayer Rally

You are invited to join students, parents, teachers and community members in a "Back to School" prayer rally at South School on Sunday, August 30 at 12:30 p.m. at the flag pole. Children are encouraged to bring their back packs to have them prayed over. People of all faiths are invited to participate.

PWH/Midmark event - October 21st

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Save the Date! Wednesday, October 21st!!
A Networking & Educational Event! Business & Social Etiquette

Sharpen your business and social skills! Our presenter will offer suggestions on how to stand out from the crowd, and develop qualities of leadership and self confidence.

  • Business Etiquette
  • How to Dress For Success
  • Social Etiquette

Our Presenter is Pam Gibellino. Earlier in her career, Pam Gibellino was in Human Resource Management for a Fortune 500 Company. She is now Coordinator of Career Services with Edison Community College. As an adjunct faculty member, she has taught classes in: Business Writing, Effective Communication, and First Year Experience. Pam is a certified Zenger Miller communications trainer and conducts communications workshops for area businesses. She has a business degree from Robert Morris University and a graduate degree from the University of Dayton in education, with a specialization in school counseling.

For more information on this event, email Cindy Eifert at:

Monday, August 24, 2009

Breaking news: midair glider collision near Arcanum leaves one person dead

As reported by WHIO. .......... Update: the deceased is Terry Price, 56. Brittny McGraw now has video coverage.

A reader (D.D.) emailed and indicated seeing the paraglider and ultralight at the Darke County Fair this evening. Here is his note and photo ... "Enclosed is a picture of the Paraglider as it flew over the grandstand at the fairgrounds tonight. this picture was taken at 8:11 PM, the ultralight didn't get as close as the paraglider did but they both respected the helicopters airspace pretty well. This was taken into the sun and hasn't been retouched."

Sign up for organ donation and get a free t-shirt

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The Life Connection Booth is behind the Domestic Arts building - and north of the grandstands - at the Great Darke County Fair. If you sign up to be an organ donor, you get a free t-shirt ... "a free t-shirt for saving lives."

 Cathi Arends added this comment:

We knew Darke County folks were generous and giving, however, the first four days of the Great Darke County Fair gave proof! As of Monday, over 75 caring and selfless individuals stopped the Life Connection of Ohio booth to register as an organ and tissue donor. This could save over 500 lives in our community! Stop by this week and join the Ohio Donor Registry as an organ and tissue donor and recieve a YOU HAVE THE POWER t-shirt, or visit Our community supports organ and tissue donation!

Darke County Young Republicans Kick-Off Event

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When: Tuesday, September 8th from 7:30-10pm; Where: The home of John and Alice Keller, 5912 Lake Ave. Greenville
(Lake Ave. is located off of St. Rt. 571, just across from the Greenville Industrial park.)

There will be music and refreshments. Guest speakers will include: Aaron Mclear, a Greenville High School graduate who now works as Press Secretary for Arnold Schwarzenegger, State Representative Jim Zehringer and Josh Mandel, a former U.S. Marine from Lyndhurst, OH who is currently serving as State Representative in District 17 and is running for State Treasurer. In addition, there will be a Dessert Raffle to benefit the DCYR’s.

The Darke County Young Republicans is a group designed for individuals age 40 and under who wish to support the Republican Party and their candidates. Our club focuses on becoming involved in our community, offering support to the party- particularly supporting people under 40 who wish to run for office, as well as networking with like-minded people and having a good time doing it!

Limited space available. Please reserve you spot as soon as possible - RSVP and direct any additional questions to DCYR Secretary: Micki Earwood at (937) 408-7540 or

MVCTC Welcomes Students for 2009-2010 School Year

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Clayton, Ohio -- The Miami Valley Career Technology Center (MVCTC) began their 38th year of classes on Wednesday, August 19, 2009. Over 1,900 junior and senior students enrolled for the 2009-2010 school year were greeted by MVCTC Superintendent Dr. John Boggess, staff, and MVCTC Student Ambassadors as they entered the buildings.

MVCTC is located in Clayton, Ohio and partners with 27 area high schools, to offer over 50 career technical programs for high school juniors and seniors, and lifelong learning opportunities for adult students.

This year MVCTC is excited to continue the tradition of ensuring students are college and career ready, by expanding early college connections with Clark State Community College, Miami University Middletown, The Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute, Sinclair Community College, and Wright State University. MVCTC students now have even more options to earn college credit while still in high school, making a college degree even more affordable and attainable.

For more information about how MVCTC is preparing the skilled workforce of tomorrow, please visit or plan on attending MVCTC Tour Tuesdays for a guided tour of the campus. Tours will start on September 8 and will be each Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. leaving from the main lobby of the West Building. Tours will last approximately 60 minutes.

[Photo: MVCTC Superintendent, Dr. John Boggess, greets Arcanum students Ashley Davis, Audrey Rademachir, and Kelly Arndts. All three students are juniors in Allied Health Tech Prep programs at MVCTC.]

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sunday at the Great Darke County Fair

If you couldn't make it to the Great Darke County Fair on Sunday, you missed a bunch of livestock shows - and the 80's band Styx. Lucky for you, we have them both in one video.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

New poll: your favorite fair food

See the poll to the left. This article is being included mostly because of the griping kind-hearted comments about various foods not listed. If you want include your favorite fair food (not on the list), then leave a comment!

Ed Huffman announces run for commissioner

GREENVILLE - Ed Huffman, long time Realtor and Auctioneer, has begun his political campaign for Darke County Commissioner. He will be running in the May primary on the Republican Ballot. Huffman feels his many years in business can help Darke County and it's citizens through these tough economic times. He has knowledge and experience dealing with an ever-changing economy, having been through tough and good times.

Huffman is a life long resident of Darke County and a 1977 graduate of Versailles High School. After graduation he was employed in sales, parts and service for many years at the former Elson Ford. He later became the director of Parts & Service at Greenville Ford where he increased profit and customer satisfaction.

Looking for new adventures, Huffman left the Ford dealership to enter the world of Auction and Real Estate and is a two time President of the Darke County Association of Realtors. He feels his most coveted award is his selection as the 1999 Realtor of the Year, which was based on community service and service to the local association. Huffman has served on several Ohio Association of

Realtor committees including legislative and long range steering. In 1998, he served on the Darke County Health Board's septic fact finding committee. He also worked with the City of Greenville bn a committee for a sign ordinance. Huffman has been involved with many organizations throughout the county, such as 4H advisor, Darke County Jr. Fair Livestock sale committee, fundraising for the Light Foundation, Wild Turkey Federation, Youth for Christ, and Big Brothers/ Big Sisters to name a few. He feels his prior experience working with community organizations, city, village, township and county officials make him the man for the job.

Huffman and his wife Diane are Greenville City residents and members of EUM church. They have a daughter, Mindy (Jason) Stebbins, and two granddaughters.

[re-printed from the August 23rd edition of The Early Bird]

Friday, August 21, 2009

National Weather Service officially declares tornado in Darke County

Wednesday's storms weren't just turbulent - we had an actual tornado here in Darke County. As of Friday evening, the National Weather Service officially declared an EFO tornado (65 mph to 85 mph) two miles west of Greenville on State Route 502. The photo below was taken by weather spotter Brian Phillips at approximately 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. You can actually see two small rotations reaching the ground in the lower-left portion of the photo. According to the NWS:
A big thanks to Brian Phillips for the info and photo.

Even more weather photos

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These particular photos of a funnel cloud were taken by a Darke County Sheriff deputy in the area of State Route 571 and Daly Road. [thanks to B.R.]

Garden Clubs preparing for flower shows at the fair

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The Darke County Association of Garden Clubs have been preparing for their two flower shows which will be taking place during the Great Darke County Fair. Dates for the shows are August 22nd. and 26th. The show will be open to view by all fair goers after judging at 3 p.m. on show days and anytime there after when the coliseum is open. There are only a few arrangements on display on the first Friday and on Tuesday afternoon.

Not only garden club members are permitted to enter the horticulture show, but anyone living in Darke County may enter plant specimens. The show regulations and classes are available at the fair office. Be advised, you must have a fair ticket in your name to be able to enter.

As a result of last years judging by accredited Ohio Association of Garden Clubs Judges, the garden clubs received a score of 99% out of a possible!00%, placing them again in first place in the state for fair flower shows. These gals and guys have achieved this honor for many years.

The theme of this years shows is, “Explore the U.S.A.”. Many landmarks and locations in the nation will be depicted thru floral designs with titles such as, Golden Gate , New York Skyline, Mardi Gras, Cape Cod , Space Needle, Empire State Building , which is a floor design 4 ft. and more in height. Others are, Mississippi River , Florida Keys, Las Vegas and Savannah . To name a few.

There are many hours of work involved in planning, cleaning, staging, painting, and papering tables to ready the area for this first rate show. Even more hours are invested with growing the beautiful flowers exhibitors enter to be judged. Then you have the creative loveliness of the floral designs that can boggle the mind.

We have amazing gardeners in Darke County and the designers are some of the best in the state.

See you at the fair!

Robbery at Clark Oil in Greenville

On Tuesday, August 18, 2009 at approximately 8:46. p.m., the Greenville Police Department responded to Clark Oil, 1205 Sweitzer Street on the report of a robbery. The complainant advised that the suspect entered the store with a paper bag covering his right hand and a glove on the left hand, and demanded all the money in the cash register. He then fled on foot.

The suspect is described as a white male, approximately 5'10" to 6'1" tall, medium build, very tanned, with short dark hair, and he was wearing dark sunglasses, a white Hard Rock Cafe shirt and black shorts.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Eric N. Roberts of the Greenville Police Department at 937-548-4150.

[Greenville Police Department Press Release; Prepared By: Detective Eric N. Roberts, Approved By: Chief Dennis L. Butts]

UPDATE: surveillance stills have been released by the G.P.D. Take a hard look at this criminal - and if you recognize him, give Eric Roberts a call (number above) ...

Ohio unemployment reaches 11.2% - highest in 26 years

Ohio's unemployment rate was 11.2 percent in July, up slightly from 11.1 percent in June, according to data released this morning by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. Ohio's nonfarm wage and salary employment increased 9,800 over the month, from 5,113,100 in June to 5,122,900 in July.

"Ohio's labor market remained relatively unchanged in July," ODJFS Director Douglas Lumpkin said. "Job gains in service-providing industries were partially offset by job losses in goods-producing sectors."

The number of workers unemployed in Ohio in July was 664,000, up from 663,000 in June. The number of unemployed has increased by 265,000 in the past 12 months from 399,000. The July unemployment rate for Ohio was up from 6.7 percent in July 2008.

The U.S. unemployment rate for July was 9.4 percent, about unchanged from 9.5 percent in June.

[The full press release may be viewed here.]

Football Friday - next Friday

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One week from now, we will have our first football Friday. DarkeJournal will be covering the Versailles-Oakwood game. As a reminder, we will have an "open thread" on Friday night so that people can comment with their game updates. Also, if anybody out there will be attending a game (any Darke County game), and is willing to write/email/text some info, please send an email right away to:

Thursday, August 20, 2009

New middle school for Greenville?

[Bumped back to the top due to intense interest and discussion]

The Greenville School Board voted 5-0 tonight to apply for funds from the Ohio School Facilities Commission for the construction of a middle school, grades 5-8, which would be built on the school's bare ground on Ohio Street.

Greenvile has qualified for special funds through an exceptional needs exemption, made possible in part by the recent structural difficulties at the junior high.

Under the current proposal, the state would supply approximately 40% of the funds necessary for the construction, with the community picking up the remaining 60%. The total construction cost is projected at $21.86 million.

The Board proposes to raise funds by putting a bond issue on the ballot in February 2010. The bond would be 3.72 mils, more or less, which would be less than the millage of the recent emergency levy.

The Board has further hired the firm of Garmann-Miller of Minster, Ohio, as the architect, and preliminary drawings are expected as early as September. Garmann-Miller has previously worked on new school construction projects for Parkway, Wapakoneta, and Elida, among others.

The construction of the middle school would likely take South Elementary and the Junior High out of commission for the school district. The current vision is to build the middle school - and then if the community will exists later, an elementary building (K-4) could also be built on the Ohio Street property. There is no current discussion to move the high school, but rather a remodel of the high school and tech building much further down the line.

Antique tractors lost in barn fire

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According to WHIO, a considerable loss was sustained in a barn fire in the Versailles/Bradford area. The barn, located at 9668 Seibt Road, was loaded with antique tractors. According to the Darke County Auditor, the property is owned by Clifford Helman. A man named Clifford Helman, of Bradford, is also one of the "Fortunate 15" City of Piqua workers to share in a $200+ million lottery jackpot. We haven't confirmed if it is the same person.

Follow-up - the Battelle press release

1 comment:
[Received just today]

For Immediate Release
Aug. 19, 2009

Columbus, Ohio—Battelle announced today that due to business considerations, Greenville, Ohio is no longer being considered for a carbon sequestration project. Greenville had been named as a possible site for this demonstration as part of the Midwest Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (MRCSP) Phase III program.

Contact Public Relations T.R. Massey, media relations specialist, at (614) 424-5544 or, or Katy Delaney at (410) 306-8638 or for more information.

Darke County Sheriff press release

August 20th, 2009

The Darke County Sheriffs Office and Sheriff Toby Spencer are pleased to announce the redesign and update of the Darke County Sheriff’s Office website. The website can be found at

“I’m very excited with all of the changes that have taken place on our website. The website is easy to navigate and should provide the citizens with plenty of resourceful information,” Sheriff Toby Spencer stated.

The jail roster and sexual offender registry are linked on the website. Information concerning Press Releases and Winter Snow Emergencies will also be posted and updated as warranted. One new feature that has been implemented is an archiving of Winter Snow Emergencies so that businesses and employees can have immediate access to search when Snow Emergencies were issued and lifted.

The website was redesigned by 911 Coordinator/Administrator Brandon Redmond. If you have any questions or information requests regarding the new website, please contact Redmond at 937-547-3911.

Brandon Redmond
9-1-1 Coordinator/Administrator
Darke County Sheriff's Office

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Battelle pulls the plug on co2 sequestration

Battelle has announced that Greenville is no longer under consideration as a site for co2 sequestration. More info as it develops.

We believe that next to all the people that worked to stop the sequestration, we should be thankful to the Andersons. We believe they may have made the tough decision to call this thing off. Greenville has a great future because the citizens have taken it out of the hands of the politicians. Our forefathers - framers of the Constitution would smile if they could see the people of this little underrated town overcoming a mandate by the federal government in Washington. This event in time could eclipse the signing of the Treaty of Greenville in historical importance. At no time in recent history has such a victory for a small town been so important to America’s future. ~ Charles E. Reier MD, Rebecca A. Reier

While many may question the power of the people in statewide and national issues, Darke County has proven that locally, people can still have an impact on what happens to them. This was a non-partisan fight, and we won! Congratulations to all those who fought so hard for us. ~ Bob Robinson

This is great news for not only Darke County but also for the State of Ohio. It also proves that when citizens unite as one they can do anything. ~ Jim Zehringer

Now, as I write this, the fight is reportedly over, at least in Darke County. It has shown what can be accomplished by citizens unified behind a noble pursuit; that do not allow themselves to become fragmented by partisanship and personalities. ~ Jim Surber (*this is an unauthorized quote from a person we're pretty sure is the actual Jim Surber)

Supercell in Darke County

This email and photo were received from Darke Journal reader TH ...

"My son and I chased the storms this afternoon, We went west to Lynn and caught a wall cloud that dissipated and reformed several times, it also had a great greenish color at times. We followed it back into Ohio and caught another one just NW of Greenville (below), it was a huge rotating wall cloud with a lowered rear base, it did everything except produce a funnel, the pics are of that supercell. The set up was high humidity and then a frontal boundary that provided the lift, then we got winds from the west and south west at different levels that provided the spin."

Another storm photo

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This one from Darke Journal reader b.m.p. Thank you!

Crazy weather Wednesday in Darke County

Darke County had a 1-2 punch of weather with two storm cells that both pretty much followed the same northeast path ... north of Greenville, and through Ansonia and Versailles. The one sunny photo is from southern Darke County, while the two more ominous photos are from the Versailles area.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Greenville BPW "Party on the Patio" - September 11

At the Winery at Versailles. Friday, September 11, 2009, 7:00 - 10:00 PM. Entertainment: Band of Brothers 70's - 80's Music. Hors d'oeuvres, door prizes, cash bar. Tickets are $15.00. Call Leigh at 547-2553, Deb Niekamp at 337-1575 or Susan Fowble at 548-1414 by September 4, 2009.

High School Football on Joy FM (88.9 FM)

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WJYW - JOY FM (88.9 FM) is once again airing High School Football games. Here is a list of the games scheduled for airing on Joy-FM. Pre Game starts at 7:15 PM with kick off at 7:30 PM.

  • Friday – 8/28/09 Vandalia @ Greenville
  • Friday – 9/4/09 Miami East @ Arcanum
  • Friday – 9/11/09 Ansonia @ National Trail
  • Friday – 9/18/09 West Carrollton @ Greenville
  • Friday – 9/25/09 Arcanum @ Ansonia
  • Friday – 10/2/09 Arcanum @ Bradford
  • Saturday – 10/3/09 Greenville @ Dunbar
  • Friday – 10/9/09 Mississinawa Valley @ Arcanum
  • Friday – 10/16/09 Greenville @ Jay County
  • Friday – 10/23/09 Covington @ Arcanum
  • Friday 10/30/09 New Richmond @ Greenville

Downtown signs added

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Downtown wayfinding signage was installed this morning (thanks to Carl Benzman and the Greenville Street Dept. for installing). This signage was made possible by a grant from Heritage Ohio and matching funds from the following partnerships: Garst Museum, Darke County Visitors Bureau, City of Greenville, Greenville Public Library, Darke County Center for the Arts, Darke County Park District, & Main Street Greenville.

Four signs have to be installed yet around the circle. Once the new light poles are erected we will finish installation. Trailblazer signs leading people to downtown will be installed this week yet.

"I wish I knew" by Jana Kolling

I’ve been watching the carbon sequestration issue unfold for months, and as it appears to be headed for a showdown perhaps it’s time to say what’s really going on. Few people are backing up the conversation far enough to explain the “why”, but instead are focusing on the “when, where and how.” To their credit, maybe it is counterproductive at this point to ask why, but until people understand what brought us here, nothing can be learned.

I attended the Lighthouse Christian Center meeting and was not only impressed by the huge turnout but by the level of informed professionalism of the organizers. And while I support their cause, I was appalled and offended by the condescending viewpoints of the environmentalists we were forced to listen to. Being lectured by the guy from Indiana about how much energy I waste and the female speaker describing American businesses as if they were intentionally raping and pillaging our country is not what I expected. Those two were not interested in Darke County’s problem, but rather came to advance a liberal agenda with the usual big-business pile-on straight from the far-left play book. Had I known these radicals were going to be there, I would have found something more productive to do with my evening.

The irony of this is that those very groups that helped cause this are now the same groups running around trying to stop it. The “why” in the carbon sequestration discussion is the presumption that greenhouse gases are contributing to global warming. Liberals have been predicting their end-of-life-as-we-know-it message for roughly two decades now. Under the guise of “saving the planet,” they contend that carbon dioxide is heating the earth, and that man is the cause. They argue this as scientific fact, and largely blame corporate America for creating it. Once again, McDonald’s, Exxon and Wal-Mart are conspiring Armageddon and must be stopped.

Interestingly enough, just ten years prior many of these same alarmists were predicting an ice age, and you guessed it, man was causing that too. In 1971 Dr. Rasool of NASA told us that the fine dust we put into the air by burning fossil fuels would drop the average temperature by six degrees. In 1974, Time magazine said, “Telltale signs of global cooling are everywhere-from the unexpected persistence and thickness of pack ice in the waters around Iceland to the southward migration of a warmth-loving creature like the armadillo from the Midwest.” Then in 1975, Newsweek concluded that, “The central fact is that after three quarters of a century of extraordinarily mild conditions, the earth’s climate seems to be cooling down.” The article revealed a drop of half a degree in the average ground temperatures in the northern hemisphere between 1945 and 1968. Of course, there was no ice age, the media got it wrong, and a new message of catastrophic proportions was needed.

So in 1988, Newsweek, being a reliable source of information, announced that all scientists agreed about global warming. Al Gore, speaking at a Baptist convention, said, “The signal is on the mountain. The trumpet has blown. The ice is melting. The land is parched. The seas are rising. Why do we not judge what is right.” There’s big money to be made with this global warming stuff, and once again the elite media is more than willing to advance such a noble cause. Incidentally, when Gore left office he was worth between $1 and $2 million. By the end of 2007, his net worth was over $100 million; he had a multi-million dollar home in Nashville, a family home in Virginia, and a multi-million dollar condo in San Francisco. The utility bill for the 221,000 KW hours his Nashville home alone used in 2006 was $30,000. How’s that for an Inconvenient Truth?

Also ironic is how liberals, who have consistently accused conservatives of rejecting science, are doing just that. In 2008, Dr. Arthur Robinson of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine announced that over 31,000 scientists had signed a petition rejecting the theory of human-caused global warming. So much for the consensus argument. And Phil Chapman of NASA wrote that the Hadley Climate Research Unit in Britain, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, Christy group at the University of Alabama and Remote Sensing Systems in California reported a .7C temperature decrease in 2007. Additionally, the EPA recently repressed a study by Alan Carlin, a 35-year research analyst at the agency, that didn’t support the man-made theory of choice. They justified keeping it secret because Carlin was not a scientist. Carlin has a BS in physics, but they’d rather believe Al Gore.

Undeterred by science that disproves their theory, liberals use fear to advance their doomsday, anti-capitalism agenda. Dr. John Brignell, University of Southampton in Britain, composed a list of possible disasters we face from global warming. Among the hundreds listed were:

Acne, African conflict, anxiety treatment, Atlantic less salty, Atlantic more salty, beer shortage, birds confused, cannibalism, circumcision in decline, early marriages, earth slowing down, earth spinning faster, earth exploding, earth wobbling, earth upside down, fish sex change, ice sheet shrinkage, ice sheet growth, global cooling, earthquakes, floods, landslides, Loch Ness monster dead, NFL threatened, thunderstorms, sour grapes, smaller brains, tornados, witchcraft executions, world war, and world in flames.

These nuts have covered their bases. No matter what goes wrong, it is caused by global warming, which is man’s fault. But the fact is that temperatures have increased 1.2 degrees over the past 130 years, and liberals and moderates alike are using that to set policy. At its best global warming is still open for debate, and at its worst global warming is a lie.

But what’s scarier is that liberals not only have the media carrying their water but academia as well. Public schools are teaching kindergartners that we are killing polar bears and about to drown California, all the while churning out graduates who are reading at a fourth grade proficiency level. My own Alma Mater wove the message of “America is Evil” into its entire curriculum. Included in required materials was Erin Brachovich, social and economic justice, Palestinian peace keepers, and missionaries who had us define the meaning of progress, while hailing those in Africa who are perfectly happy to have nothing. It was not until my partner, a retired Ohio State Patrolman, spoke up in protest to their obvious slant that many of us realized what we were being fed. I would encourage anyone about to send their child off to college to thoroughly research whether the school is indoctrinating or educating its students.

Liberals regularly describe religious people as “unenlightened and unsophisticated.” But what we are witnessing is nothing less than a cult-like worship of Mother Earth. To them, man has no more right to her resources than a firefly. A fetus is of no more significance than a tree, and your aging grandmother is on par with an earthworm. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, all forms of life are equal. This ideology is what prompted the animal-rights movement, aimed at bankrupting farmers, and the Cap and Trade bill, aimed at bankrupting companies. These people reject the notion of spirituality, morality, or a living soul. Humans are subservient to the planet, and their destructive consumption must be stopped.

Darke Countians are finally feeling the result of a liberal agenda aimed at reeling in Corporate America and the perception that our country uses a disproportionate amount of available resources. By blaming man and his unyielding greed for more stuff, liberals have shamed us into feeling bad about everything from using toilet paper to flushing the toilet. And this might work, were it not for the hypocrisy of those delivering the message. Being told to drive little cars by people living in huge houses with boats, jets and big-screen TVs is like being scolded by a drug addict for taking an aspirin.

And so, we have local leaders in an awkward position. Some from the very party that promotes global warming must now represent their county’s distaste with having CO2 pumped into their chunk of Mother Earth. Nobody here can make sense of drilling this crap 3500 feet below the surface because it makes no sense. CO2 is a natural part of the atmosphere, and that’s where it belongs. This speaks directly to the point of why in bureaucrats Washington should not make decisions that do not affect them. They’re too far away, and they don’t understand real people’s lives. Politicians are subsidizing this project and you can bet some are getting rich from it, as is always the case when government takes over more and more. And to be sure, if carbon sequestration were being proposed underneath Nancy Pelosi’s multi-million dollar mansion in San Francisco or her nearby vineyard worth over $5 million, we wouldn’t even be discussing it. So why do so many people still think that our elected officials care about our well-being and can provide for us everything we need? I wish I knew.

[re-printed with permission of the author]

Elements...Living Consciously to host Cultural Event - August 22

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Nationally reknowned Kirtan artists "Michael Cohen & Friends" will be visiting Elements...Living Consciously to perform a Kirtan on Saturday August 22nd starting at 7:00pm (doors open at 6:00pm).

This cultural event will highlight a Kirtan style experience of participatory call and response chanting mixed with Michael Cohen's own style of accompanyment influenced by American Jazz, Funk, Soul, Rythym & Blues as well as Rock.

This is a fun event filled with singing and movement geared toward the entire family. So please feel free to bring your children. You are also welcome to bring yoga mats, pillows or blankets etc. (Kirtan seating is traditionally on the floor...chairs will also be available).

Tickets are $10 per person (call Emily at 937.417.3208 or email

To learn more about Michael Cohen and Kirtan visit: or

Monday, August 17, 2009

Open thread: a question for parents

School will be starting very soon. Are you happy to get your kids out of the house? Or sad to see them have to go back? Or a combination of both? Comments ...

From the Citizens Against CO2 Sequestration ...

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THANK YOU - BTO Self-Serve Yogurt

Citizens Against CO2 Sequestration would like to thank BTO Self Serve Yogurt for hosting a fundraiser for the Citizens Against CO2 Sequestration on Wednesday evening, August 12, after their "Faith into Action" rally in the high school stadium. Not only did BTO Self Serve Yogurt donate $100 to the cause, they stayed open late to accommodate the ABC Australia film crew who made a special trip to Greenville to interview members of the grassroots movement. The Australian film crew had intended to be at the Faith into Action rally but missed a connecting flight and did not arrive until 11 pm. Thank you BTO Yogurt for going the extra mile. Donations to CACO2S are used for educational literature and printed materials for community outreach and advocacy.


The Citizens Against CO2 Sequestration would also like to thank the anonymous donor, who paid for a one-fourth page colored ad in The Early Bird to promote their Faith Into Action rally. The ad was a pleasant surprise, which the group very much appreciated.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Shocker: Tiger gets Yang-ed in the PGA Championship

1 comment:
WOW! If you don't follow golf, read this story anyway.

Probably the hardest assignment in all of sports is to be in the final Sunday pairing with Tiger Woods. Many, many great golfers have folded in this same situation ... including Padraig Harrington just last week. So not many gave Y.E. Yang much of a chance today when he was paired with Woods in the final group of the year's final major tournament. All the media attenton was focused on former major winners Els, Harrington, Glover, and others.

When asked about his chances before the final round, Yang said [paraphrasing] ... Tiger has won 70 tournaments and I've won 1, so my chances are probably 70-to-1. The contrast between the two could not be more stark. While Tiger Woods was hitting golf balls at age two, Yang did not even take up the game until age 19. Tiger was a pro golfer at age 21, while Yang served in the Korean military at 21. Tiger has had coaches since he was a boy, while Yang first had his own coach a year-and-a-half ago. And ever their appearance was different, with Yang ridiculously wearing all white with just a red chicken on the back of his shirt (seriously).

Yet Yang played Tiger hole for hole - and in the end hit more big shots, including an eagle chip on 14, and a clinching approach shot on the 18th to put Woods away. Some people say golf is boring, but you never know when you might see an amazing individual performance - like today - when the most unlikely of characters became the Tiger-slayer.

If you want one more reason to root for Yang, he just moved his family to the United States (Texas).

A typical humid summer day in good Ol' Darke Co.

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Too hot to do much of anything ... so you might as well check out ABC22 News at 6pm and 11pm (and FOX45 at 10pm).

Streets closed

The following was emailed by a regular DarkeJournal reader on Sunday at 12:24 p.m.:

Good afternoon ... FYI for the site perhaps: Broadway is shut down from the traffic circle to Martin Street, (as well as Martin to Gray and Washington to Devor), as Broadway has been ground down being prepared to be repaved. Also, Wagner Avenue traffic between Main Street and Russ Road is down to one lane in each direction as city crews are doing roadwork through there as well (what exactly, I'm not sure ... the closed lanes had been sprayed down and had the lovely smell of asphault).
FYI ... as a reminder, the idea behind this site is to transmit information fast. We are passing along unverified info here. Accept it for what it's worth (and check our Visitor Agreement for the full policy).

UPDATE: Something definitely happened on Broadway, which is now has a trail of stinky fresh asphalt, but as of 3:30 p.m. Broadway is open again.

Profits can be sweet when an ethanol plant can convert to corn syrup production!

Has anyone noticed the price of sugar lately? In the last four months it has increased by over 50% to a world price of 22 cents a pound! Restricted US white sugar price has had a similar increase to 55 cents a pound. As a result you already and will continue to see more increases in food prices across the board. For over a decade state-of-the-art ethanol plants have been designed to quickly convert from the production of ethanol for cars to corn syrup for beverages and food products. If the TAME plant had been so designed, they could be making a sweet profit by switching production to corn syrup. Had we been the Anderson advisors we would have encouraged this choice. Instead they turned to the temporary Carbon Capture and Sequestration boondoggle recommended by Battelle whose lead spokesperson is Senior Vice President of Corporate Relations Anthony Hebron, previously employed by The Limited/Victoria’s Secret according to the Columbus Dispatch and the Washington Post.

Charles E. Reier MD
Rebecca A. Reier

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Baker will serve as 2009 Fair Parade Marshall

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GREENVILLE - Dennis Baker has been selected as the 2009 Great Darke County Fair Parade Marshall.

Baker was a 4-H member in Darke County for eight years and exhibited market hogs. He graduated from Bradford High School and The Ohio State University, earning a degree in Agriculture Education. As the 4-H Extension Agent in Darke County from 1971-1979, Baker organized the first Junior Fairboard, the first Junior Fair King Contest and initiated computer use at Junior Fair Livestock Sales. Serving as the Agriculture Extension Agent in Darke County from 1979-2002, Baker continued working closely with Junior Fair Livestock Sales, assisted in organizing producer organizations for beef, sheep, dairy and tobacco farmers and assisted with organization of the Darke County Farmland Preservation Board.

Baker has been very active in the community. He served as a member of the Bradford Board of Education for 16 years, was a member of the Darke Count/ MRDD Board, organized the Darke County Visitors Bureau and served on the board for eight years, and has also been past president of the Darke County Chamber of Commerce.

He continues to be involved in numerous activities in Darke County, including treasurer of the Darke County Community Improvement Corporation, chairman of Adams Township Zoning Board, treasurer of Bradford Community Improvement Corporation, member of Chamber Ambassadors, member of the Darke County Farmland Preservation Board and Land Trust with the Bradford Church of the Brethren.

Baker is married to Cathy and they have three daughters, Michelle Hedges, Deanna Harmon, and Angie Sloan. Dennis and Cathy are proud of their fur granddaughters, Kirsten, Marah, Paige, Skylar, and their grandson Treyton.

This will be the first year Baker will be able to watch the parade from the grandstand side of the track, as he has been announcing the annual Parade of Champions event since 1971. He is very thankful to be honored and appreciates the opportunity to be part of the Great Darke County Fair.

* [Reprinted from the August 16th edition of The Early Bird. Check out The Early Bird this week for an extensive preview of the Darke County Fair.]

Big changes at 600 South Broadway

American Title Resources, Inc. recently moved into the building at 600 South Broadway in Greenville, the corner of Broadway and Fifth (in the building formerly occupied by Treaty Travel). A full exterior makeover is underway, with the building being painted a trendy sage color - which does not entirely come through in the photographs. The most striking feature, though, is the detail work, which likely resemebles the building's original look in 1887.

So ... what's everybody doing this weekend?

And if you know of anything newsworthy going on, leave a comment.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Classy tribute by ABC22/FOX45 News

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Long-time news anchor Jim Baldridge is retiring this month after 37 years at WHIO-TV. A commercial ran tonight during the Bengals game - on Channel 22 - congratulating Baldridge on his career and contribution to the community. The ad was from ABC22/FOX45 News, and represents that kind of respect among competitors you don't see much anymore. Keep your eyes open for the commercial.

Ansonia Church of God Community Worship - August 23rd

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Each year, the Ansonia Church of God holds a community worship on the first Sunday of the Darke County Fair. This is always a casual and fun, yet beautiful service. This year's service will be August 23rd, 10:00 a.m. at the gazebo.

Capt. Michael Scott Speicher returns home

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Aug. 13, 2009) Members of a Navy honor guard carry the remains of Capt. Michael Scott Speicher to All Saints Chapel at Naval Air Station Jacksonville in Jacksonville, Fla. Speicher was killed when his F/A-18 Hornet was shot down over Anbar province, Iraq on the first day of offensive operations during Desert Storm on Jan. 17, 1991 (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Leah Stiles/Released)

State of the State: Ohio's economy is not strong

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The Darke County Chamber of Commerce today held its 2009 State of the State Legislative Luncheon. State Senator Keith Faber was in attendance - along with State Representatives Jim Zehringer (77th dist.) and Richard Adams (79th dist.). The general topics discussed were the state budget, economic development, education and school funding, agriculture/HSUS, and carbon dioxide sequestration.

Zehringer began the presentation touching on a variety of topics. Of particular note, Zehringer reinforced his opposition to the co2 sequestration proposal as it stands currently. Zehringer had kind words for The Andersons and said he was confident that The Andersons would stand by their word not to do anything unhealthy or unsafe for the community.

Adams spoke mostly about education, and expressed doubt as to the soundness of the governor's plan to partially fund education through slot machines (later clarified to be "individual lottery terminals," or something like that).

Faber concluded the program with an insider's look at the recent state budget negotiations. Faber noted that the new budget accounted for an 18% decrease in state revenue, but yet did not raise taxes on Ohioans. Faber noted that some painful cuts were made. Faber had an optimistic message about the steps needed to turn Ohio's economy around, including the elimination of the state estate tax and overhaul of the tax system. Nevertheless, Faber concluded "the state of the economy is not good. It's not strong."

Construction begins on new school in Arcanum

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Here are the first signs of construction on the new school in Arcanum. [Thanks to j.c. for the pictures]

Darke County Photo Club launches website

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Check out the website here.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Darke County Home Director put on Paid Adminsitrative Leave fired

Update: The Darke County Commissioners terminated County Home Director Victoria DeVoss at Wednesday's commission meeting. DeVoss was previously put on adminsitrative leave during a state audit. The audit in question has not been completed, and therefore is not yet public record. [the story below first appeared on 7/30]

By resolution yesterday, the Darke County Commissioners put Darke County Home director Victoria DeVoss on paid administrative leave pending the completion of an audit by the State Auditor's Office. We contacted the Auditor's Office, and a representative said their office could make no comment until the audit was complete. The representative also said he would forward a copy of the audit when complete.

It's hard to say what it all means at this point. Obviously, it would be reckless to engage in speculation at this point. We'll wait for the documents.

Elements Yoga Studio has moved to a First Floor Location

Once located on the third floor in Downtown Greenville (above Sweet Annie’s Cabin), Element’s Yoga Studio is now expanding to 620 South Broadway. Nationally Registered Yoga Instructor, Emily Jasenski is now taking pre-registration for the Elements Fall I Session running from August 31- October 10. See schedule below...

Monday - Ashtanga Primary Series (intermediate to advanced): 6:00-7:30pm; Tuesday - Hatha (intermediate): 6:00-7:00pm; Wednesday - Beginners Hatha (beginners): 6:00-7:00pm; Thursday - Slow Flow Vinyasa (all levels): 6:00-7:15pm; Saturday - Junior Yoga/ Art Class (ages 6 to 10) 10:00-11:00am

In addition to Yoga Classes, Elements offers Private Session and Holistic Lifestyle Management Programs customized to fit the needs of each client. Please feel free to stop by our new location (open Monday-Wednesday & Friday 9:30am-1:00pm) to see our facility and hear more details about our services. You can also register by phone call 937.417.3208) or email (

Update on the Greenville traffic circle

As of 11:00 a.m. Thursday, the circle remained closed off for a block in each direction. Steer clear for now - although the repaving looks close to being completed.

UPDATE: reader Shadow reports the following ... "As of 2:15, the circle is open and traffic lights and nearby traffic lights operational again."

Storch Braund To Help Honor Guard with New Vehicle Purchase

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Storch Braund Funeral Home has been grateful to our veterans for years. Now they are getting a chance to do something about it. The Greenville Veterans Honor Guard, with members from Ansonia and New Madison, is in need of a new vehicle to get to and from the services that they participate in. “When one of our veterans passes away, the Honor Guard is called in to pay tribute to their fellow soldier. It is a touching service including a 21 gun salute and the playing of taps. I am grateful to the Honor Guard for the service they provide to the families we serve” indicates Eric Fee, owner of Storch Braund Funeral.

Therefore, in partnership with the Greenville Veterans Honor Guard, Storch Braund Funeral Home is offering a way to help get their much needed new vehicle. Any veteran (or spouse of a veteran) funeral service entrusted to Storch Braund, a 5% donation will be made back to the Honor Guard for their vehicle fund. Furthermore, any veteran/spouse pre-arrangement or pre-arrangement transfer from another funeral home will also allow for a 5% donation made at the time of service. “Storch Braund has been giving to the Honor Guard for years. This opportunity is another great way for us to show our appreciation and support a great cause at the same time” declares Fee.

The Greenville Veterans Honor Guard would like to purchase their new vehicle at the beginning of 2010; therefore, this opportunity will last until December 31, 2009 to support in conjunction with that goal. “Both in ministry and business I have seen lots of Honor Guards pay tribute to their fallen comrades, but I have to say the Greenville Veterans Honor Guard is one of the best I’ve ever seen” states Fee.

Storch Braund and the Honor Guard service all of Darke County. “We have established some great partnership with local churches and chapels all over our county to meet the needs of our families” indicates Fee. “We’ll serve you where you are at.” For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call Storch Braund Funeral Home at 996-1051. For questions concerning the new vehicle or to make a donation, please contact Ken Preston at the American Legion Post 140 at 548-7077.

Fee Starts ‘Feed Your Neighbor’ Food Program

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Whoever said one person can’t make a difference. Untrue, because one little girl is doing just that. Grace Fee is a nine year old little girl that is a fourth grader at Franklin Monroe Elementary and attends EUM Church in Greenville. She asked for a garden back in the spring for her birthday. “I learned in Science class the value of our earth and natural habitats and in Math class we grew a mock garden and then sold our produce at the end of the year” says Grace Fee. “It got me excited about the possibilities for my own garden.”

With help from her parents and grandpa, Fee has successfully tilled, planted, weeded, watered and harvested produce from her garden. “It turned out a lot better than I thought it would for the first year. All of my plants are huge and so are the vegetables from it. I must have really good soil” indicates Fee.

Because of the abundance from her garden, Grace and her family were giving vegetables and herbs away to friends and trading with other neighbors. Grace’s mother, Kristin Fee remembers “One afternoon Grace came to me and said that the people we were giving food to and trading with could afford to buy produce at the grocery, but there are people out there that don’t get the opportunity to eat fresh fruits and vegetables.” EUM Church serves children lunch through a Summer Food Program on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays. “We help prepare and serve the meals on Wednesday, so Grace knows there is need in our community” states Kristin.

Grace decided from that moment on the abundance from her garden would go to local food pantries so that people in need could enjoy fresh produce they might not otherwise get. The Feed Your Neighbor food program was born just like that. Grace wants to encourage others in the community to join with her in feeding our neighbors. Anyone wishing to donate their ‘abundance’ produce can drop it off at two locations, Storch Braund Funeral Home, 215 East Washington, New Madison or at her home 4857 South State Route 49, Greenville. “We will have bins placed outside at both locations on Monday and Thursdays and deliver the produce to the food pantries the next day” shares Grace.

The Feed Your Neighbor food program will be partnering with Hope In The Darke Food Pantry and FISH. They will be accepting produce as long as the gardens are providing them. Fee also stated that food pantries are unusually low this time of year because of the economic situation facing Darke County and will be accepting all other donations in addition to fresh produce.

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