Saturday, November 30, 2013

MVCTC Student Receives Award Honoring Preble County Native, Jonathan Fultz

Pictured left to right –Kevin Bergman (MVCTC South Building Principal); John Leiter (MVCTC Electrical Trades instructor); Gary Heitkamp (father of award winner); Denise Heitkamp (mother of award winner); Jared Heitkamp (MVCTC Electrical Trades student and Jonathan Fultz Memorial Award winner); Helen Fultz (mother of the late Jonathan Fultz); Dan Fultz (brother of the late Jonathan Fultz); Robert Ewry (MVCTC Apprenticeship Coordinator), Greg Bauer (MVCTC Electrical Trades instructor).
Electrical Trades senior student, Jared Heitkamp (Versailles), was awarded the fifth annual Jonathan Fultz Memorial Scholarship. Miami Valley Career Technology Center (MVCTC) Jared is the son of Gary and Denise Heitkamp of Versailles.

This award honors the memory of Jonathan Fultz, a 1987 graduate from Preble Shawnee High School and Montgomery County Joint Vocational School (presently MVCTC) Electrical Trades program. Jonathan began his career as an apprentice electrician with the Wagner-Smith Company after high school and achieved the status of Project Manager before his death in July 2008. His mother, Mrs. Helen Fultz, and his brother, Mr. Dan Fultz, established this award in order to honor Jonathan’s memory and to assist an MVCTC Electrical Trades student with the total payment of lab fees.

The goal is to make this a perpetuating award, to be given to a student in the MVCTC Electrical Trades program who has met the following criteria of having a 2.5 GPA or higher, 95% attendance rate, and on track for graduation with no credit deficiencies and have passed all parts of the OGT. Anyone wishing to contribute to this award may send a check to MVCTC, Attn: Mrs. Debbie Gossett, Treasurer, 6800 Hoke Road, Clayton, Ohio 45315. Please make a note on the memo line indicating that the check is for the Jonathan Fultz Memorial Award.

MVCTC offers rigorous academic preparation and hands-on career technical training for high school junior and senior students in the Miami Valley. For more information about career technical programs offered at MVCTC, please visit or plan on visiting the Sophomore Open House scheduled for Thursday, December 5, 4:30-7 p.m. The Open House will give high school sophomores and their parents a chance to meet career technical instructors, visit the 40-plus career programs offered at MVCTC, learn more about MVCTC early college connections, and tour the campus. Please call 937-837-7781 for more information.

State of the Heart Hospice Patient Enjoys a Visit to the Farm

Pictured is Velma Heck in front of a green John Deere combine.
“If you don’t sit down and listen to someone and open your eyes and ears, you don’t know what is really on that patient’s mind,” explained State of the Heart Hospice nurse Christy Timmerman. Christy did listen to State of the Heart patient Velma Heck, 90, and arranged a special day for her visiting her favorite place: The country and a farm.

“One day she made a comment that she would sure like to drive a tractor one more time,” Timmerman said. Heck, who was born and raised in Darke County near Arcanum, had farmed for over 50 years. When she and her husband, Gerald, were married they decide that one of them had to have a “regular” job and the other could stay at home and farm. Velma decided to stay on the farm and for the years she farmed, she took her lunch with her and spent spring and fall days in the fields. Her husband, who is deceased, took a job at Hobart Manufacturing..

Heck has been a resident of the Brethren’s Retirement Community since 2002. Her room is filled with mementoes of her family and her days on the farm. A picture of her and Gerald’s farm is placed beside a picture of the farm Gerald was raised on. The two farms adjoined one another. A marble stand is under the photos, a high school graduation gift from her grandmother. There are miniature tractors on shelves lining the room.

Heartland of Greenville Serves as Donation Location for Toys for Tots

Heartland of Greenville is pleased to announce its participation in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program. Since its start in 1947, Toys for Tots has given nearly half a billion toys to more than 200 million children. According to the program’s website, “The primary goal of Toys for Tots is to deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens.”

The staff of Heartland of Greenville asks for your help in supporting Toys for Tots. Donations of new, unwrapped toys can be made in our lobby through Thursday, December 12, 2013. Additionally, Heartland of Greenville will hold its monthly Brunch & Learn on Wednesday, December 11 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. with a focus on the history of the Toys for Tots program. The public is welcome to attend.

Heartland of Greenville is located at 243 Marion Drive, Greenville, Ohio. If you have questions about participating in the Toys for Tots annual toy drive, please call us at 937-548-3141.

Fort GreeneVille Chapter DAR Donates to Versailles Area Historical Museum

Fort GreeneVille Chapter DAR recently visited the Versailles Area Historical Museum. Jim Kelch, Museum Publicist and Alice Huffman, DAR member and Versailles Museum Historian gave the members a tour of the museum. The chapter presented the museum with a donation.

Pictured: Alice Huffman, Jim Kelch, and DAR Regent Chris Nehring.

33rd Annual MVCTC FFA Charity Auction for Ronald McDonald House Scheduled

Clayton, Ohio – The 33rd Annual Miami Valley Career Technology Center (MVCTC) FFA Charity Auction for the Ronald McDonald House Charities is scheduled for Wednesday, December 11, from 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. at MVCTC. The auction, planned by the MVCTC FFA chapter, is made possible by the dedication and hard work of the FFA members, the MVCTC staff, retirees, and the wonderful alumni that return each year to support this great cause.

Retired MVCTC Ag Educator, Waid Lyons, started the event in 1980. The original auction was a hat auction, making $250. Over the last 32 years the MVCTC FFA has raised over $130,000. MVCTC is proud to be the only High School in the Dayton area to make the largest donation from a one-day event to Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Miami Valley Region.

The proceeds from the event go directly to the local Ronald McDonald House on Valley Street in Dayton, Ohio so that families of hospitalized children have a place to rest, sustain their strength and be better able to support the healing of their child. RMHC is a modern, 14-room house offering all of the comforts of home to our guest families. They are open 7-days-a-week, 24-hours-a-day, and 365 days a year.

For more information about MVCTC and the Agriculture Education programs offered for high school students, please visit

New Madison Library Celebrates the Holidays

The Friends of New Madison Public Library will host their annual Christmas Open House on Tuesday, December 3 from 9 AM to 7:30 PM. Old Man Winter will be entertaining us with stories during presentations at both 3:00 and 7:00. Please plan to attend at least one of these programs. As always the Friends will be sharing delicious refreshments throughout the day so drop by to resupply for the holidays.

Join us for our last Busy Bee Storytime of 2013 on December 9 at 6:30. At 7:00 we will surprise our children with a visit from Jolly Old St. Nick. Each child will have the opportunity to sit with Santa and receive a gift thanks to the generosity of the New Madison Kiwanis Club and in memory of Lindsay Brown. Please bring your children and grandchildren to share in the fun, but let’s keep our guest a secret until he arrives.

Make plans now to visit for one or both of these holiday celebrations at the New Madison Public Library located at 142 South Main Street in New Madison. The library will be closed on December 24, 25, 30, 31, and January 1. Call 996-1741 with questions.

Friday, November 29, 2013

...And Shopping Begins Now...

Here's what Walmart looked like last night around 8pm as the second set of Thanksgiving Day sales kicked off.

With "Black Friday" deals bleeding over into Thanksgiving Day, this year seems to have generated much more push back from the public regarding the sales getting to be too early and taking away a holiday from the retail workers. Judging by the parking lot and the amount of goods passing through the check outs, I'm guessing Walmart (and other retailers) will view last night's sales as a success. Is this what the new normal for Black Friday/Thursday looks like?

A Time To Be Thankful

by Samuel G. Custer, Extension Educator, Agriculture & Natural Resources
OSU Extension, Darke County

During this season of thanks, I extend to you my appreciation for your continued support of our educational and informational programs conducted throughout the year. Extension’s heartbeat is the involvement of the people in its programs. People such as you, who visit, contribute, ask, volunteer, or learn, provide a strong heartbeat in our community. Our goal is to service the entire community by providing research-based education that will improve people’s lives and respond to citizen’s needs. Ohio State University Extension works with many audiences on a variety of issues, including community and leadership, and providing youth activities.

Everyone in Darke County has been great to me during the past 15 months as I have transitioned in to this new position as your Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator. There has been much to learn and many have offered and aided in making my learning curve achievable.

We are blessed in Darke County to have the agriculture community that we do. When I put a call out asking for assistance with some research plots, the Tom Harrod, Kevin Schmitmeyer and Todd Schmitmeyer families volunteered to let us experiment in their fields. Ken-Feld Equipment donated the use of a tractor for almost a month as we completed five different treatments on Darke County fields to determine the value of swine manure as a side dress nutrient. We were very pleased with the overall results of the work and I want to especially thank Mike VanHorn and Jeff and Alan Wuebker for their weigh carts for measuring our yields. We will be sharing the results with you later this year.

More Important Than Fear

By: Elizabeth Horner

Standing on a street in New York is a scary thing. For someone who is used to the way sunlight pools on green grass, warms the bark of trees to a warmer shade of brown, turns the golden heads of dandelions from weeds into beautiful flowers--- it is weird to see the sky so white, a background screen for the metal and glass sky-scrapers of the city.

Not to mention, it is loud here. Cars move slowly, constantly having to inch their way around pedestrians, so there is not the whoosh sound of traffic. Instead, they make up for it by honking--- continuing the eager conversation they’ve been having with the construction drills who grind their teeth against the street.

And yet, in spite of New York’s alien look, sound, and energy, I can understand why people get entranced by it. There’s something special about coming into contact with the crowds, the smells of different cuisines, the musics of different passions, that makes one feel as if they have been fully born into the world. On one hand, a person realizes that the architectural giants casting shadows over them are signs of their own smallness. On the other hand, the idea for the building, the construction of it, all of the business that goes on inside it is the work of man. In this place of extremes, one can be, simultaneously, conqueror and conquered.

It’s something I am incredibly lucky to experience. And while a lot of events have contributed to my admission into New York University--- not the least of which has been an attention to my school work, and the support of my parents--- if it weren’t for overcoming one obstacle, my own fear, than I wouldn’t have this chance to study the Big Apple as the setting of my own life, not just that of thousands of books and movies.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Being Thankful in an American Red Cross Vest

Notes from a Philippine Volunteer

Darke County, November 27, 2013, 2013 - In a country far away, where few visit Americans visit during the Thanksgiving Holiday, one Darke Countians is not only spending Thanksgiving, but has been there for two weeks since Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines. Deployed two weeks ago, JW met with fellow telecommunications specialist, Glen, where they initially started work in Cebu City setting up the Operations Center. These two International Volunteers have trained together on numerous occasions; including Austria last summer, making working in these primitive conditions bearable, imagine working with a headquarters that is running on a generator and no running water. It’s important to remember that when the American Red Cross response to disasters overseas is different than how we typically respond in the United States. When responding overseas, we work closely with the affected Red Cross society and provide the level of staff support and assistance they request. One-hundred-ten disaster specialists from Red Cross societies across the globe are providing support to the Philippine Red Cross in logistics, disaster assessment, shelter, health, water and sanitation.

In a recent email to his wife, JW informed her that Glen is being deployed to Talclabon on Monday and that he would most likely be going to Bogo City also on Monday; there is a Relief (mass care) ERU from Japan there. In Cebu, volunteers stayed in a local hotel, they’ll be in sleeping bags when they relocate. We are each taking a VSAT to provide Internet via satellite there. They are moving to two of the major hit areas. “You can't walk down the street without young kids following you with their hands out. Hard to ignore them; very sad; Once a mother in rags with an infant baby in her arms was following us with her hand out; a very different life style than we are accustomed.”

As of now, thirteen American Red Cross disaster relief specialists have deployed to the Philippines. They include one mapping specialist, two people who will lead a team focused on providing emergency cash distributions; a shelter specialist, two assessment specialists, two telecom specialists and a five-person team supporting the global Red Cross Emergency Response Team distributing relief supplies. To learn more about the relief effort or how you can become part of the American Red Cross, visit

The Red Cross relies on the support of the American people to carry out its mission of service to the 2 million members of the U.S. Armed Forces, 24 million veterans and their families. During this holiday season, the public can also support all Red Cross services by making a financial donation at or by calling 1-800-REDCROSS. Individuals can also give the gift of life by making an appointment to give blood at or by calling 1-800-REDCROSS.

Celebrating Thanksgiving without Turkeys… Sort of

Guest Column from State Representative Jim Buchy

Many families will carve turkeys on their dinner tables, but when it comes to hunting wild turkey, certain parts of the state have to go without this time of year. In Ohio we have two wild turkey seasons. One in the spring and one in the fall. But for years, throughout most of western Ohio, there hasn’t been a fall turkey season. Just like any wild game the hunting season is based on the population of the game in that area. As conservationists continue to increase the population of wild turkeys in western Ohio, the likelihood of future fall turkey seasons in western Ohio will increase. Over the course of years many Ohioans have engaged in conservation efforts, and for their work they now enjoy better hunting seasons for game such as the white tailed deer, pheasants and wild turkey.

The bobcat, bear and wild boar are all game growing in numbers in Ohio thanks to the effort of conservation. In fact as the populations increase from their once dwindling numbers—new laws are needed in Ohio to deal with the Ohio residents living in the wild habitats. One such bill is House Bill 199, which will allow driver’s to harvest wild boars that are killed on the road. Currently, there is no process for tagging wild boars killed in car-wild boar accidents. It is hard to believe but there was a time not so long ago that a car-deer accident was not commonplace. For many residents in Ohio that is probably a fond memory—but Ohio’s sportsmen and conservationists certainly appreciate that risk that we have as country people.

In western Ohio, conservationists are making the right moves to increase the wild turkey population. While the statewide population has remained flat over the course of the last ten years in western Ohio, the numbers have grown. In Auglaize, Darke, Mercer and Shelby counties the population has grown from approximately 600 birds to just over 1,500 since 2003. Today in Auglaize County there are around 300 wild turkeys; while Darke County is home to about 450; Mercer County hosts a little over 150; and Shelby County leads the way with almost 650 wild turkeys based on an estimated population size. As the conservationists continue to reestablish a wild turkey population, we should work with them to ensure future Thanksgivings are accompanied by wild turkeys. Your efforts could make a difference in western Ohio having an open wild turkey season in the spring and fall.

It is never acceptable to engage in poaching. If you know of someone who is poaching wild animals please call 1-800 POACHER (762-2437) to alert the proper authorities.

This Thanksgiving I am thankful for the input I receive from constituents like you. Your feedback on this issue is important to guide the legislative process. Please answer a question about this issue and others in the news this month by completing an online survey at

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Grosch Newfoundlands Support Courage for Corynna

Jeannie and Gary Grosch sent in this adorable photo of their Newfoundland Dogs, Adam and Chase, showing their support for Corynna Strawser and yesterday's Mitochondrial Disease Awareness Day.

Passenger Air Lifted Following Single Car Rollover Accident in Northern Darke County

On Wednesday November 27, 2013 at approximately 3:20 PM Darke County Deputies along with Ansonia Rescue, Rossburg Fire, and CareFlight, responded to the area of Rossburg-Lightsville Road east of Riegle-Bell Road on a report of a one vehicle roll-over crash with injuries with a possible ejection.

Preliminary investigation revealed Amanda Wehrkamp 30, Rossburg, was driving a Red 2004 Chevy Monte Carlo eastbound on Rossburg-Lightsville Road with passenger Elizebeth Allen 13, Rossburg, and drove off the right side of the roadway and then over-corrected crossing the center line, and then drove off the right side of the roadway causing the vehicle to flip several times before coming to rest on its top. Both driver and passenger were able to free themselves from the wreckage. The driver was treated at the scene and refused further treatment, and the passenger was taken aboard CareFlight to Miami Valley Hospital for non-life threatening injuries. The passenger was not wearing a seat belt.

This accident remains under investigation by the Darke County Sheriff's Office.

Coppock-Hole Trust Sponsors DCCA Special Event

RIDERS IN THE SKY “Christmas The Cowboy Way”
Coppock-Hole Trust sponsors DCCA Holiday
Special Event Riders In The Sky “Christmas The Cowboy Way,”
Saturday, December 7 at 8 p.m. at St. Clair Memorial Hall .

Darke County Center for the Arts thanks the Coppock-Hole Trust for sponsoring the upcoming holiday special event Riders In The Sky “Christmas the Cowboy Way” and their long standing and generous support of the arts in Darke County. “DCCA is grateful for the continued generosity of the Coppock-Hole Trust, which provide opportunities for cultural enrichment in our community,” stated Andrea Jordan, DCCA Executive Director. The Coppock-Hole Trust has been a sponsor of DCCA programs for over 30 years as well as supporting the preservation of the Henry St. Clair Memorial Hall as an important cultural center.

"Christmas the Cowboy Way," Saturday, December 7, at St. Clair Memorial Hall, will feature Riders' unique "brand" of cowboy humor sprinkled with a dash of holiday spice, which includes original songs like "Riding Home on Christmas Eve," "Deck the Bunkhouse Walls," and "The Last Christmas Medley You Will Ever Need To Hear." You will also be invited to join Riders in singing traditional holiday classics; and all this yuletide charm is augmented with the classic western favorites Riders have been singing for 30 years. "Multi-Grammy Award winning Riders In The Sky's presentation of "Christmas the Cowboy Way" blends together a festive mix of western music classics, traditional Christmas music, and Riders' original yuletide carols in a holiday spectacular sure to delight all ages." shared Jordan.

This presentation is also supported by Second National Bank and the Arts Midwest Touring Fund; a program of Arts Midwest that is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional contributions from the Ohio Arts Council and General Mills 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 as well as funding from the Ketrow Foundation, Lydia E. Schaurer Memorial Trust Fund.

Tickets for the concert by Riders In the Sky cost $25, and can be reserved by contacting DCCA at 937-547-0908 or purchased at DCCA's office located within Greenville Public Library, as well as online at According to DCCA officials, good seats remain for this performance; however, they recommend acting quickly, as past Riders In The Sky performances have sold out prior to showtime.

Miami Valley Vending and Whirlpool Corporation Partner for United Way

Miami Valley Vending Service and Whirlpool Corporation teamed up to serve Jim’s Hot Dogs at the Greenville manufacturing facility to support the 28 non-profit programs of the Darke County United Way. Delicious Jim’s hot dogs were served on all shifts with 100% of sales being donated to the United Way from Miami Valley Vending Services. This fun event raised $1,688 thanks to Miami Valley Vending and their generous employees as well as Whirlpool Corporation. “United Way is extremely thankful to partner with Miami Valley Vending Services and Whirlpool Corporation, as these businesses make it a priority to help our community and serve our neighbors in need, whether it be with health, education or stability needs in Darke County,” said Lauren Henry, Executive Director at United Way. Whirlpool Corporation is the largest United Way campaign for the county making up a total of 1/3 of the county’s $360,000 campaign goal. On behalf of the Darke County United Way board of directors and staff, we would like to thank Miami Valley Vending Services and Whirlpool Corporation for their partnership to support United Way and strengthen our county serving over 24,000 residents last year including our youth, seniors, those in crisis and those seeking self-sufficiency. Miami Valley Vending Services also supports the United Way during the fall campaign with sponsorships for the Lead the Way Tractor Cruise and Experience a Giving Lunch.

Office hours change Mon., Dec 2 only

Community Action Partnership will open at Noon on Mon., Dec. 2, 2013. The office will be closed during the morning hours that day due to a DP&L pole change. This includes the Darke Co. Metropolitan Housing Authority and Community Transportation Services.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Greenville National Bank Supports "Courage for Corynna" and Mitochondrial Disease Awareness Day


The Fish Mitten Tree is once again waiting to be decorated with donated gloves and mittens; these donations will be distributed to the children enrolled in Darke County Head Start programs. In addition to the Mitten Tree located at Montage, 525 South Broadway, Greenville, a Mitten Tree also stands inside the Brethren Retirement Community, 750 Chestnut Street, Greenville and in the Ben Franklin store, 4 West George Street in Arcanum. Many churches and organizations also erect trees which collect gloves and mittens from their members; these donations are then passed on to Fish to be given to the little Head Start participants. The Mitten Tree has been an annual holiday project of the local Fish organization for over forty years.

“The Mitten Tree provides the opportunity for people of all ages and incomes to participate in the true spirit of the season,” said Marilyn Delk, the Fish volunteer who is coordinating the Mitten Tree project. “We sincerely hope that our generous neighbors will be able to once again this year spare the relatively small amount required to purchase a pair of mittens or gloves and bring joy and warmth to local children who may not receive many other gifts this Christmas,” Mrs. Delk concluded.

To best meet the needs of children directly served by Head Start programs throughout the county, donated gloves and mittens should fit boys and girls age 5 and under; however, donated items in larger sizes will be shared with Head Start families. So that the mittens and gloves can be distributed prior to Christmas, contributions should be made by December 16. For more information regarding the Mitten Tree, contact Mrs. Delk at 937-548-2482.

Fish is an ecumenical volunteer organization which responds to emergency food needs with a Choice Food Pantry currently open on Mondays from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., Wednesdays from 10 a.m. until 11 a.m., and on Fridays from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. No appointment is necessary to visit the Food Pantry; clients are eligible for help once every four weeks. The Fish phone number is 548-2000.

VHCC Thanksgiving Celebration

Agnes Pohlman is assisted by Pam Ordean, Director of Staff Development.
The staff and residents of Versailles Health Care Center take the time each year to share a meal. Staff brought in home-cooked food, served the residents, and ate together. The residents and staff all look forward each year to the food and sharing of the Thanksgiving Meal!

Cancer Association Support Group to hold Annual Christmas Carry-In

The cancer support group will meet on Thursday, December 5 at Wayne Health Care on the third floor in the Conference Room at 7 p.m.

Fried chicken from Eikenberry’s will be provided along with table service and drinks. Guests are invited to bring a side dish, a white elephant gift and if desired, be ready to share about your favorite Christmas toy or experience.

A white elephant gift will be something that you have that you don’t want or won’t use, a gag gift or very inexpensive gift ($1-$2.) It can be wrapped in any way, even newspaper will be fine.

The group will enjoy a meal together, listen to some Christmas music, play some games and just relax and enjoy the holiday season together.

If you have cancer or know someone who does, the association invites you to come and share a fun evening together.

The Cancer Association is a non-profit 501c3 organization and exists to provide benefits to Darke County residents battling cancer. The organization partners with United Way and accepts donations from many different sources, both personal and business. The Corporate Sponsors this year are: American Legion Post 140, Diane Evans Insurance, 5th 3rd Bank, FOE Ladies Auxiliary Greenville, Johnston Chiropractic Clinic, Osgood State Bank, Carlos and Patti Menendez, FOE 2347 Charity Fund Versailles, Family Health, Francis Furniture, Leis Realty, Second National Bank and First Assembly of God.

The association is most appreciative of all donations. There is always a need for volunteer drivers to drive our patients to appointments. If you can help in the way of driving or wish to make a donation, please contact Christine Lynn, Executive Director at 937-548-9960 or email at

Students Experience “We Are IT!” Event at Edison

Students engage in a crime scene investigation
session during Edison’s “We Are IT!” event.
More than 200 students in grades six to eleven from Miami, Darke and Shelby county schools were at Edison Community College on Friday, November 16, for the seventh annual “We Are IT!” event. The daylong program is designed to help boost interest of young women in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.

The event began with a keynote address from speaker Allison Mendenhall, a Certified Physician Assistant, of Troy Primary Care. Mendenall spoke to the ladies about valuing their independence and gaining meaningful lessons through life’s everyday situations. She touched on the fact that life doesn’t always go as planned and encouraged the group to be persistent in reaching for their dreams.

Each of the girls chose three breakout sessions from a total of thirteen different sessions offered. Topics of breakout sessions ranged from diagnostic laboratory medicine and physics to digital photo editing and video game design. During lunch students had the opportunity to network with professionals and discuss careers in information technology and engineering.

“Our goal is to have these young women explore different technology careers such as robotics and welding, working with Raspberry Pi boards to learn to build a minicomputer, building video games, digital cartooning, mixing their own music and forensic science,” said Patti Ross, Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs and coordinator of the event. “In doing this, we want to encourage these young women to consider all their options as they plan their academic futures.”

In addition to giving students a look at what they could do for a living somewhere down the road, some of the day’s sessions focused on things that are relevant in their daily lives. A session titled “Hot Technologies” gave the girls the chance to explore the latest and greatest technologies. They were taught how to solve problems, get information quickly and communicate in new ways using technology.

To wrap up the day, students were encouraged to participate in an essay contest. The theme of the essay asked students to describe how they best embodied the characteristics of the event’s mascot, “Mitse” (Math, Information Technology, Science, Engineering). A total of 76 students entered the essay contest with the first place winner receiving an iPad.

2013 Dairy Steer Tagging and Weigh-In

The Darke County Dairy Committee would like to invite you to the Fall Dairy Steer Weigh-In and Tagging held on November 30th at the Darke County Fairgrounds. This will take place from 9 AM to 11 AM in the Beef Barn. The cost is $5.00 for each head tagged. NEW THIS YEAR: The tagging and weighing will take place in the beef barn, NOT the scales at the end of the swine barn. You will be asked to unload cattle at the east side of the barn (dog barn) into a holding pin. Then you will retrieve your animals at the west end of the beef barn (show arena). We are asking that the exhibitor and/or family member be present throughout the entire process of tagging and weighing. The exhibitor/ family member will be asked to help with the process of tagging/weighing of their own animals. Please just follow the sign and ASK if you have any questions. This is an attempt to speed up the process and make it easier for livestock, families, and workers. This is the only time in which dairy steers will be tagged and weighed for the 2014 fair, so PLEASE be there. Also the committee does ask that you abide by the all rules stated in the 2013 fair book. Those include:

  1. Dairy Steers can not be crossed with beef breeds.
  2. All steers must be properly dehorned (no horn evident) and castrated before the time of tagging.

Thank you for your interest in the dairy livestock projects. If you have any questions please contact weigh-in chairman Alan Wuebker at 937-423-4061 or Jr. Fair Rep. Thomas Shaw at 937-621-9144.

“A Holiday of Hope”

The Cancer Association of Darke County will be taking orders for poinsettias for the upcoming holiday season. The poinsettias are from Star Greenhouses, Inc. and are always beautiful and very healthy plants. Proceeds will go to the association to provide benefits for cancer patients living in Darke County. Please help our local residents in their difficult battle!

The Cancer Association is local and independent and not affiliated with the American Cancer Society. It is a 501c3 non-profit organization that serves Darke County. If you would like to donate or have any questions, contact Christine Lynn, Executive Director at 548-9960.

Click here to download an order form.

Miami County Beefs Up Patrols for Holiday Weekend

The Miami County Sheriff’s Office will be deploying extra deputies working a combined 70 hours in overtime for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday weekend. The extra deputies have already commenced the traffic enforcement details which will run through Sunday December 1st. The added enforcement will be for the sole purpose of enforcing all of Ohio’s traffic statutes. Special emphasis will be placed on removing impaired drivers, seatbelt enforcement, speedeing violations, stop sign violations, and other crash causing infractions. The deputies will be deployed throughout the county at various time frames. There will be a zero tolerance for violators during these times with no warnings being issued in an attempt to limit crashes on Miami County roadways and ensure everyone has a safe Thanksgiving holiday. The Thanksgiving holiday weekend has traditionally seen a dramatic increase in crashes and crashes in which at least one driver has been drinking. We urge all motorists to have a designated driver if they choose to drink over the holidays.

The extra traffic enforcement is being made possible through a grant the Sheriff’s Office received this year from the Ohio Traffic Safety Office. The grant funds the overtime for the deputies and pays some fuel costs.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Today is Mitochondrial Disease Awareness Day in Darke County

Corynna Strawser, photo via Courage for Corynna
Rose (and Doc McStuffins) are thinking of Corynna
and her family today.
Last week the Darke County Commissioners proclaimed today, Monday, November 25th to be "Mitochondrial Disease Awareness Day" in honor of Corynna Strawser, a local teen who has been living with the effects of the disease.

The community has grown together around this strong, creative, and courageous young woman, and today that is being demonstrated in full force.

In partnership with Cavalier Clothing and Spirit Medical Transport, Corynna's support circle has made T Shirts available and have been selling them over the past few weeks for friends and supporters (many of them strangers to the Strawser family) to wear today to help raise awareness to this awful disease.

If you haven't purchased yours yet, Cavalier Clothing still has some available in their store on Broadway. Grab one, put it on, and snap a photo to post on the Courage for Corynna Facebook page. Group photos are also planned on the circle at 5:30pm to be framed and given to Corynna.

And again, keep the Strawser family in your thoughts and prayers as they continue down this very difficult path.

Darke County Parks’ Park P.A.L.S. Enjoy "Nature in the Fall"

The Darke County Parks’ Park P.A.L.S. students joined Naturalist, Laura Schwieterman, this past month for the program Nature in the Fall and had a blast!

We hit the trails early this morning and were busy searching for signs of Fall. We noticed the leaves changing colors and falling to the ground. The prairie plants all mostly have gone to seed and we located several seed pods from various trees in the woods. While walking along the creek we heard some falling water and stopped to check it out. The students experienced a breathtaking moment as they found a dam that our local beavers created to make their home. While looking at the dam we also noticed several beaver chews and beaver mud slide paths in the area. On our walk back we gathered various fall items such as different colors of leaves, sticks, and nuts. Park P.A.L.S enjoyed the story Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert and after the story we headed to the Live Classroom where all the students were busy creating their own leaf man. Turtles, owls, turkeys and several other animals were created.

If you missed today’s class and you are Kindergarten to second grade please feel free to join us for our upcoming programs on December 7th, January 11th and February 1st programs are 9:30AM until noon. Call the Nature Center at 937-548-0165 to register for the program.

Mercer County Sheriff Warns of Phone Solicitation Scam

Celina, OH - Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey warned residents today of a phone solicitation by scammers. The Sheriff’s Office received a call on Sunday from a concerned citizen who stated that someone had called them soliciting funds for the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office.

“The Mercer County Sheriff’s Office does not solicit funds from citizens,” stated Sheriff Grey, “the only solicitation that the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office endorses is the Buckeye State Sheriffs’ Association and that solicitation will come by US Mail.” Residents are encouraged to just hang up on callers requesting any kind of donation. Determine what charities you would like to give too, then mail your contribution directly to your preferred charity. There is never a reason to donate over the phone and many times when you do donate over the phone, even if it is a legitimate charity, a large percentage goes to pay the callers and contracts and never makes it way to the charity.

If you have questions about solicitations, please contact your local law enforcement agency or the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office.

Church Calendar Available

The Versailles Area Historical Society has calendars for sale at the Museum. The calendar features photos & history of area churches. It is an 18 month calendar for January 2014 thru June 2015 and all photos are in color.

Churches featured are St. Nicholas Catholic Church, Osgood; St. Paul Lutheran Church, Willowdell; St. Paul Lutheran Church near North Star; St. Louis Catholic Church, North Star; Christian Church, Brock and Christian Church, North Star; Holy Family Catholic Church, Frenchtown; St. Remy Catholic Church, Russia; St. Peter Lutheran Church, Webster; Webster Methodist Church.

St. Denis Catholic Church, Trinity Lutheran Church, Versailles Christian Church, First Southern Baptist Church, United Methodist Church and Living Waters Ministries all of Versailles.

This calendar is a wonderful keepsake. It will also make a terrific gift.

Stop by the Museum this Sunday and browse the exhibits. And don't forget to pick up a copy of our Church Calendar while they last.

We are located at the corner of Marker Road and S. West Street in Versailles. The Museum is open 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday and admission is free.

It's a Wellness Weekend at elementsLife Saturday November 30th & Sunday, December 1st

We kick off our events on Saturday with the elementsLife Annual Turkey Burn from 9-10am followed by the Grand Opening of our new Wellness Shop located in the lobby. Admission for the Turkey Burn is $10 or $5 with a canned good donation benefitting the Grace Resurrection Community Center Food Pantry.

The weekend continues on Sunday with the Canned Goods for Goodies Event from 2-4 pm. Grab your Family and Friends and join us for a fun-filled day of FREE product demos for you and your home. Admission for this event will again be a canned good donation benefitting the Grace Resurrection Community Center Food Pantry.

For more information about these events, please contact elementsLife at 937-417-3592 or visit our website at

Darke County Offices to Be Closed for Thanksgiving

The County Offices will be closed on Thursday & Friday, November 28 & 29, 2013, for the Thanksgiving Holiday.

BRC and Brethren Benefit Trust to Host Workshop

Click to enlarge
Brethren Retirement Community is partnering with Brethren Benefit Trust to provide the last of four FREE workshops at Brethren Retirement Community. The workshop will be held DECEMBER 3, 2013 @ 11:00 AM in the Brick Room.

BRC welcomes the community to join us for this informative topic - "Wolde you Bothe Eate Your Cake and Have Your Cake?" This presentation introduces the charitable gift annuity.

Brethren Benefit Trust provides employee-based financial services, including a pension plan, an insurance program, and a foundation. Brethren Benefit Trust serves more than 5,000 members.


EUM Christian Preschool is hosting a Holiday Scholastic Bookfair on Saturday, December 7 from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. The Scholastic Bookfair will be open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8:45 am – 3:15 pm, and Tuesday and Thursday from 8:45 am – 12:00 pm. Please join us to look at our selection of books. All profits benefit the preschool. For more information, contact Elaine Snyder at 548-3211 ext. 210.

The EUM Christian Preschool is a ministry of EUM Church. Jeff Harper is Senior Pastor at EUM Church and regular worship services are Saturday at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday at 8:15, 9:45, and 11:15 a.m. at our Worship Center located at 1451 Sater Street (corner of Sater and Sebring-Warner Road) in Greenville, OH. Kidmunity Children’s Ministry is available for kids age birth through grade six at the 6:30 pm, 9:45 and 11:15 am services. The Downtown Campus, 111 Devor Street, houses our offices and preschool. For more information, go to or call 548-3211.

State of the Heart Hospice Offers Help Through the Holidays and After

Holidays can be difficult for those who have lost a loved one, particularly for those facing the holiday season for the first time without that loved one. Grieving can begin before families gather for holiday festivities and can linger afterwards. State of the Heart Hospice is offering help to those grieving during the holidays.

“The sessions are for those adults who need some help getting through the holidays as well as for those who have lingering feelings of grief after the festivities are over,” stated Marlene Black, bereavement specialist for State of the Heart. The nonprofit agency is offering the support groups at each of the agency’s three offices.

In Greenville, State of the Heart will offer two grief support sessions; each is from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Greenville office, 1350 N. Broadway. The first session is Tuesday, December 10 and the second session is Tuesday, January 14. No registration is required to attend the sessions which are free and are open to anyone who needs help with grief, regardless of association with hospice care. There will be refreshments served for those attending and there will be time to discuss individual grief concerns

The State of the Heart bereavement team which includes social workers, bereavement specialists, music therapists and chaplains will conduct these helpful sessions, Black explained.

She said that the sessions prior to Christmas and New Years will provide helpful suggestions for those attending to cope with the holidays. “We will give them ideas about how they can remember and honor their loved one in a special way,” Black said. “We will give them a variety of tips to support healthy grieving through the holiday season.”

She added that State of the Heart bereavement staff realized that many have grief issues after the holidays are over and family and friends go about their daily routines. Dark, gloomy days of winter can add to the feelings of loss. “That is why we have added January sessions, to help those who need the post-holiday support,” she said.

With offices in Greenville, Coldwater and Portland, State of the Heart cares for patients and families in eastern Indiana and western Ohio who are confronting a life limiting illness. Bereavement support for both adults and children is an important part of the service provided by the agency. If you would like to speak with a member of the State of the Heart bereavement team about grief and loss issues, call 1-800-417-7535 and ask to speak to a member of the bereavement team. Visit the agency web site at

Versailles Bowlers Win Again

Versailles Boys Varsity Bowlers Now 2-0

Varsity Boys: kneeling: Kenny Nagel, Zach Marshal, Alex Groff, Ryan Watren Standing: Coach Davidson, Michael Davidson, Dustin Ruhe, Ben Ahrens, Coach Phlipot
The 2nd match of the season was held at Plamor Lanes against the St. Marys Roughriders. Last year the Roughriders defeated the Tigers in a close match by 3 pins. “St. Marys also has a tough team and most of you guys remember what happened last year. We need to bring our best and not let up today.” Said Coach Davidson

The first game started out with the Tigers having some issues converting some easy spares. However, they pulled it back together and finished strong posting a 916 to St. Marys 714. Michael Davidson and Ben Ahrens led the team the 1st game with a 217 and a 210 respectively. The second game the boys started out very strong and continued throughout the game rolling a fine 1,000 even to St. Marys 805. 3 Tiger bowlers hit the 200 mark with Michael Davidson at 215, Zach Marshal 211 and Ben Ahrens 208.

“It was obvious after the 1st game that St. Marys is not as strong this year as they have been in years past. However, I still wanted the boys to keep the hammer down as you just never know.” Said Davidson. The Tigers continued to roll the ball pretty well during the Baker Games. They rolled 167, 226, 217, 192 and 171.

The Tigers will compete this Saturday against Van Wert at Community Lanes in Minster. Please visit for in depth stats and the final conference standings.

Versailles Girls Varsity Bowlers Defeat Ansonia

Varsity Girls: kneeling: Megan Ward, Megan Monnin, Paige Holsapple, Tori Minnich
Standing: Coach Phlipot, Brooke Wehrkamp, Kelsey Berning, Hannah Niekamp, Coach Davidson
The 2nd week of the WOHSBC was held at Plamor Lanes in Coldwater with the two Tiger teams going up against each other. Versailles was coming off a pretty good 1st week, so they were ready to roll. In the first game the Lady Tigers of Versailles defeated the Lady Tigers of Ansonia 915 to 406. Unfortunately, Ansonia only had 4 bowlers, so this was not going to be much of a match. Versailles was led by Tori MInnich (209), Megan Monnin (198) and Megan Ward (188) in the first game.

Versailles struggled a little bit the second game rolling a 741 to Ansonia’s 433. “With Ansonia only having 4 bowlers, it makes it tough to stay focused. The girls missed way too many easy spares in the 2nd game. This is definitely something that we need to work on.” Stated Coach Phlipot.

During the Baker Games, Versailles pulled it back together and posted some good numbers except for the last game. They rolled a 190, 168, 212, 165 and a 123. The Tigers improved their record to 2-0 and will face Temple Christian at Community Lanes in Minster this coming Saturday.

The Tigers will compete this Saturday against the Ansonia Tigers at Plamor Lanes in Coldwater. Please visit for in depth stats and the final conference standings.

JV Boys:  Ben Hole, Kyle Cotner, Jacob Wenig, Brody Hyre, Michael HemmelgarnCoach Davidson, Coach Phlipot
JV Girls:   kneeling:   Ashley Bey, Bridgette Holsapple, Maggie Hedrick
Standing:  Coach Phlipot, Crystal Hartzell, Heather Bey, Angel Tomlinson, Coach Hedrick

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Hometown Holiday Horse Parade is Tonight!

If you somehow forgot, drop your plans and find something warm to wear to downtown Greenville for the Horse Parade and all the events going on throughout the evening. WHIO's Steve Baker was in town this morning and filed this report (click on the image to watch)...

Chairs were popping up along Broadway as early as 9am this morning as people were looking to reserve their spots...

Oh, and is now in Instagram. Follow us and tag us in your photos of things happening around the county and we may share them!

Parent and Preschooler Adventures

Hey Parents and Preschoolers! Looking for some hands-on learning about the natural world all around you? Join a Naturalist at Shawnee Prairie for a monthly, hour-long program designed to investigate nature through activities, games and exploring. There are programs for 2-3 year olds (held on Wednesdays) and a program for 4-5 year olds (held on Thursdays).

December’s topic is A Wish to Be a Christmas Tree. Owls are secretive and oh so intriguing. We will read the charming tale of an overgrown tree’s wish to go home with a family for Christmas. We will also talk about the different types of conifers and what makes them so special! December’s 2-3 year old dates are the 11th and the 18th and the 4-5 year old date will be the 12th. Each program runs from 10-11 am. Parents must attend along with their preschooler. Pre-registration is required and the cost is $2.00.

Also coming up in January we will learn about Chickadees and February’s topic is Maple Madness! Call the Nature center for more information at 937-548-0165. We hope to see you in March!

More Important Than Fear

By: Elizabeth Horner

Standing on a street in New York is a scary thing. For someone who is used to the way sunlight pools on green grass, warms the bark of trees to a warmer shade of brown, turns the golden heads of dandelions from weeds into beautiful flowers--- it is weird to see the sky so white, a background screen for the metal and glass sky-scrapers of the city.

Not to mention, it is loud here. Cars move slowly, constantly having to inch their way around pedestrians, so there is not the whoosh sound of traffic. Instead, they make up for it by honking--- continuing the eager conversation they've been having with the construction drills who grind their teeth against the street.

And yet, in spite of New York’s alien look, sound, and energy, I can understand why people get entranced by it. There’s something special about coming into contact with the crowds, the smells of different cuisines, the musics of different passions, that makes one feel as if they have been fully born into the world. On one hand, a person realizes that the architectural giants casting shadows over them are signs of their own smallness. On the other hand, the idea for the building, the construction of it, all of the business that goes on inside it is the work of man. In this place of extremes, one can be, simultaneously, conqueror and conquered.
It’s something I am incredibly lucky to experience. And while a lot of events have contributed to my admission into New York University--- not the least of which has been an attention to my school work, and the support of my parents--- if it weren’t for overcoming one obstacle, my own fear, than I wouldn't have this chance to study the Big Apple as the setting of my own life, not just that of thousands of books and movies.

Home Cooked Meal for Thanksgiving

All are invited for a Home Cooked Meal at Franklin- Monroe School Conference Room/ Old Cafeteria, 8591 Oakes Rd, Pitsburg, Ohio on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, November 28, 2013. The meal will be served from 12 noon to 1:30.

Plans are to serve 100 meals, and reservations must be requested at 937- 621-7331.

This dinner provides a meal to those who are unable to prepare a meal, needy families, or those families that do not have relatives with whom to share Thanksgiving dinner. The meal menu is: Turkey, Ham, Sweet Potatoes, Green Beans, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Dinner Rolls, Cranberry Salad, Pie, Drinks

This first year meal event is being prepared and served by caring hands from around the community, and we thank all who have come together to make it happen. The hope is to provide additional meals in the coming years to include shut-ins.

This free dinner is made possible by generous donations from many individuals, service organizations, churches and businesses. This is an opportunity to donate to a local charity and build community in our area. If your church, organization, family or church small group would like to assist with donations and serving, please call Dean’a Cook at 937- 21-7331 or email,

Volunteers and donations are welcome!

Monetary donation can be sent to:
Tipp City UMC
8 West Main St.
Tipp City OH 45371
Memo: Darke Co. Thanksgiving Dinner


Dan Hoelscher and Miriam Slonkosky
Dan Hoelscher, Certified Financial Planner and Certified Senior Advisor, spoke November 13, 2013, at Versailles Health Care Center during the Power Over Parkinson’s meeting. He shared his presentation, “Attention Retirees…Beware of Sharks” with the group. Mr. Hoelscher, founder of Seniormark, LLC, began his financial service career in 1997 because he wanted to help people. With offices in Sidney and Troy, Seniormark helps retirees transition from the workplace into retirement. Mr. Hoelscher will be sharing his presentation entitled “Attention Retirees…Beware of Sharks” with the group. He discussed five ways retirees can protect themselves during this year’s Medicare Annual Enrollment Period which runs from October 15 to December 7.

Mr. Hoelscher cautioned the group, “There are a lot of rules surrounding Medicare, so be careful when you do make any changes, some changes could get you disenrolled from a plan you didn’t intend to get disenrolled from. Don’t assume all agents know these rules.” He also said, “Agents cannot contact you uninvited, except by mail. Be care requesting free information by mail or on the internet. When you complete a form you have given an agent permission to contact you.”

Congratulations to Miriam Slonkosky of Fort Loramie. She was the winner of the door prize giveaway, good for a free entrĂ©e, compliments of Michael Anthony’s at the Inn.
Power Over Parkinson’s meets monthly on the 2nd Wednesday of each month at 4 pm to exercise, socialize and learn. It is a FREE event, open to people with Parkinson’s Disease and their families. The next Power Over Parkinson’s group will take place Wednesday, December 10 at 4 pm at The Rehab Clinic at Versailles Health Care Center. For December’s meeting, Versailles Health Care Center will be hosting an end-of-the-year Holiday Sharing Event. Invitees are asked to come and share their story of empowerment over Parkinson’s. Everyone is encouraged to bring a plate of a favorite holiday treat to share with the group. The group will also watch an inspiring NEW video featuring the Parkinson’s LSVT BIG & LOUD Program Successes for 2013!

For more information about Power Over Parkinson’s, please call Facility Rehab Director, Shannon Condon, at 937-526-0130.

Faith Baptist Church Holds 5k for Operation Christmas Child

A 5K run/1 mile fun walk was held in Palestine on Saturday, November 16. The event was sponsored by Faith Baptist Church in order to raise awareness and collect boxes for Operation Christmas Child. The participants of the run/walk brought shoe boxes stuffed with gifts to be distributed to children around the world through the ministry of Samaritan’s Purse International. There were 58 adults, teens and children who joined in this effort.

Prizes were awarded for the winners in the men’s and women’s categories. The men’s winners were: first place, Jeff McDaniel with a time of 19.13.3; second place, Logan Hundley; third place, Micah Stacy. The winners in the ladies categories were: first place, Maddie Stacy with a time of 25.01.1; second place, Megan Fletcher; third place, Natalie Oliver.

The 5K run/walk was organized by Brenda Hart, an avid runner, a member at Fatih Baptist Church in Greenville, and a teacher at Troy Christian Shool. There were a number of teachers and students from Troy Christian who participated in the event.

Faith Baptist Church is located at 740 Russ Road and is pastored by Rev. Bill Baker. The church offers a variety of ministries including AWANA Clubs for boys and girls, Word of Life Clubs for the teens, Adult Bible Fellowships, and the Sonshiners Ministry for senior adults. For more information about the ministries of Faith Baptist contact the church office at 937-548-1808 or go online to

Programs Available for Homeschoolers!

Do you homeschool your children? Are you looking for an educational experience to supplement and enhance the science curriculum you are learning about? The Darke County Park District offers a series of programs for students designed to meet current science standards. Each program is led by a professional Naturalist Educator and includes age appropriate activities, games and hikes. Programs are designed to be flexible and take advantage of the season, weather and moment.

Reservations are handled by the Naturalist staff by phone 937.548.0165 or email, The minimum group size is 10 students, so please feel free to collaborate with other homeschool families in your community. There is a fee of $3 per student. A visit to the trails of Darke County Parks builds awareness, an understanding of natural and cultural history and encourages a sense of wonder about the natural world. Visit our website at to view our complete list of programs.

American Bittern Release

On October 16th, the Nature Center at Shawnee Prairie received a call from a concerned Greenville citizen about a large bird that was injured in a flower bed. Naturalist staff members were able to capture the bird and were very surprised to find that it was an American Bittern. It was immediately evident that this bird was in the wrong habitat and that it was injured. The bird was transported to Brukner Nature Center’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Unit. The staff at Brukner Nature Center determined that the Bittern had a fractured wing. Fortunately, they were able to repair the fracture and prepare the bird to be released back into the wild.

The American Bittern returned to Darke County on November 14th and was successfully released at Chestnut Street Marsh. Senior Naturalist, Robb Clifford, stated, “The American Bittern is rare and endangered wetland heron. These wading birds are very elusive and difficult to see thanks to their fantastic camouflage and hiding abilities. Hearing one is special; seeing one is phenomenal. I’m very grateful for the citizens who called about this injured bird and didn’t turn a blind eye to a bird who was clearly in the wrong habitat and injured. Thankfully, this all turned out good and this Bittern is heading south for the winter.”

If you see an injured animal, feel free to contact the Darke County Parks’ Office at 937.548.0165. The staff is available to help direct you to the proper action (or non-action) required.

Greenville Career Tech Center's October Students of the Month

Thomas Shaw, Ryan Simons, and Keisha Wert
Greenville Career Tech Center, in order to honor outstanding accomplishments and leadership in Career Tech Education, is proud to announce the recognition of the October 2013 students of the month. Thomas Shaw, senior member of Agricultural Business, Ryan Simons, senior member of Engineering Tech Prep, and Keisha Wert, senior member of Medical Tech Prep, received a plaque to honor their selection, a gift certificate from Maid-Rite Sandwich Shoppe, and a preferred parking spot for a month by the Career Tech Center.

Thomas Shaw, senior representative of Agricultural Business taught by John Guttadore, is an extremely dedicated individual to all aspects of education. He is a member of Student Council, President of the Darke County Jr. Fair Board, and is a member of the local Breed Associations for the local dairy industry. Among other activities, Thomas participates in chairing the FFA Citrus Sales and holds a part time position working for the “Tiger” 97.5 radio station. Keisha Wert, senior member of Medical Tech Prep taught by Emily Powers, was elected by her classmates to become the Marketing Team Leader for the Med Tech Program. Keisha also took the initiative to ask her classmates to make cards and banners for an ill Career Tech student and delivered them to the student at Miami Valley Hospital. Keisha aspires to become a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in the future. Ryan Simons, senior representative of Engineering Tech Prep taught by Chris Sykes, is a member of National Technical Honor Society and National Honor Society. He has been very active in the program and goes the extra mile in participating in advisory meetings and is a positive example and leader in the Engineering Tech Prep Program.

Congratulations to Thomas, Keisha, and Ryan for being recognized as the October 2013 Career Tech Students of the Month. Special Thanks to Maid-Rite Sandwich Shoppe for providing gift certificates and their continued support of Career Tech Education.

Friday, November 22, 2013


Westminster Presbyterian Church, 325 West Ash Street, Piqua, Ohio, will present a concert on Sunday, November 24, at 7:00 p.m. in the church sanctuary. Two area musical ensembles will be featured: the Quintessential Winds Ensemble and the Full Sound Chamber Group. The concert is free and open to the community.

The Quintessential Winds offers a wide range of programs to satisfy diverse audiences from intimate poignancy to bold drama and bubbling humor. The woodwind quintet was established in 2011 featuring the local talents of Tami Tennison, flute; Phil Chilcote, oboe; Mike Houser, clarinet; Kaye Humerickhouse, bassoon; and Julie Swank, French horn. All are members of the Piqua and Sidney Civic Bands and have many years of experience playing together. They will be performing works by Mozart, Holst, Lovrien, Koepke, and Lamb.

The Full Sound Chamber Group is a group of classical musicians including Shalem Loritsch, violin; Chesed Loritsch, violin; Chayah Loritsch, viola; Racham Loritsch, cello; and Tsidqah Loritsch, double-bass and piano. The Loritsch brothers have been performing together for three years. Shalem is a violinist with the Central Ohio Symphony Orchestra in Delaware. Their performance will include works by Czerny, Hebden, Coates, and Lalo. The feature piece for the concert is the Piano Trio No. 1 by Edouard Lalo, a piece first heard by the Full Sound Chamber Group on WOSU’s “Classical 101 by Request.” Piqua organist David Broerman will join the group on two selections.

Children's Theatre Club presents Noel

The Children's Theatre Club and the Children's Theatre School of Dance will be presenting their final performance of the year, Noel; a Christmas collaboration of singing and dancing. The songs will be familiar to old and young, with a few surprises along the way. As to not give away too much information, the children have been working many months perfecting dance routines and choral arrangements. The Children's Theatre Club, which includes, Sara Rice, Hanna Rice, Haley Meade, Cecilee Diehl, Sophia Price, Josiah Hootman, Justin Arling, Boston Miller-Cline, Kyrsten Ross, Chloe Noble, Maddie Bennett, Taylor Bowers and Caitlin Bowers will delight you with their voices and are sure to get you in the holiday spirit. The Children's Theatre School of Dance students are Lilly Edwards, Callee Moore, Christina Crawford, Leah Curtis, Sophie Goins, Sara Rice, Hanna Rice, Taylor Bowers, Caitlin Bowers, Ava Good, Erin Stephens, Cecilee Diehl, Sophia Price, Claire Stebbins, Kara Blumenstock, Blossom Geist, Kennedy Schoen, Abigail Garrison, Isabelle Wead and Kyrsten Ross and will have your toes tapping at your table.

Noel will be performed at Oakland Church of the Brethern on Horatio Harris Creek Road outside Greenville. Performance dates are December 6th, 7th, and 8th. A delicious dinner will be served with the Christmas show and will begin at 6:30pm, doors open at 6:00pm. There will be a brief intermission with yummy cookies, hot chocolate and coffee. Donations will be accepted at the door for the Shawnee Prairie Nature Center. Tickets are presage only and are fifteen dollars each. For more information please call the Children's Theatre Club's new number at 937-459-8078. Please come join the Children's Theatre Club and the Children's Theatre School of Dance for Noel, where you are sure to have a beat in your feet and a song in your heart!!

Walkin’ in a Winter Wonderland!

Look no further than Darke County Parks for the perfect event to kick off the holiday season. Walkin’ in a Winter Wonderland is an annual favorite and FREE event for the whole family! Enjoy a peaceful evening stroll through our Winter Wonderland. There will be over 300 beautiful luminaries lighting your way along the wooded trail, allowing for a peaceful winter’s night in nature. Let the trail lead you to our Log House where the pioneer hosts will serve you some hot treats. The Nature Center will have crafts to make and cookies to decorate. Walkin’ in a Winter Wonderland will be held at Shawnee Prairie Preserve (4267 State Route 502 West) on Saturday, December 7th from 6-9pm. The Nature Center Gift Shop will be open during the event, offering a chance to view the displays and discover plenty of gifts and stocking stuffers. This event is FREE for the whole family, come out and enjoy! For more information on this and other programs offered by the Darke County Parks call the Nature Center at 937.548.0165 or visit our website at

What Can the Gettysburg Address Teach Us About Thanksgiving?

Guest Column from Representative Richard Adams

November 19th of this year marked the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s iconic “Gettysburg Address.” During the speech, Lincoln expressed not only a great love for his country, but also sent a clear message that a nation founded on liberty can only survive if its people are dedicated to maintaining it.

We all know how it starts: “Four score and seven years ago…” That is about the point where many of us trail off. But if you have ever read the Gettysburg Address, you can appreciate the speech for its simplicity and its brevity. It took only about three minutes to recite and contained only about 270 words.

In the spirit of President Lincoln, I will try to be brief. But the reason I mentioned the Gettysburg Address (besides for it turning 150 this year) is that I think it coincides with the spirit of Thanksgiving.

The first sentence, in its entirety, reads: “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”


“Art at the Mill” will feature the work of award-winning photographer Jim Witmer as well as the diverse clay creations of David Kirchner through the month of December. “Dave creates universally appealing contemporary clay sculptures that evoke the human form, and Jim captures poetic, evocative, enduring images that can excite the imagination or soothe the soul,” said Julie Clark, retail manager and gallery coordinator for Bear's Mill. The final show of this season at historic Bear's Mill, the exhibit opens Friday, November 29 with a reception offering hors d'oeuvres and drinks from 6 p.m. till 9 p.m. The artists will speak briefly about their creations, methods, and inspiration at 7 p.m.

Jim Witmer is a local photojournalist who is currently a staff photographer/videographer for the Dayton Daily News and WHIO-TV. He has been named Ohio Photographer of the Year five times, and won the Regional Photographer of the Year award encompassing Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, and Indiana three times. With subject matter ranging from studio still life to landscape, Witmer's work draws its strength from his unwavering focus on the nuanced simplicity of light and form. “I am always on the lookout for scenes, people or objects that I can interpret through photography,” Jim explained. “I know it may sound strange, but I often dream about photographing things in my sleep. I am comfortable with the thought that this is one of my callings in life,” he concluded.

Potter David Kirchner has been working exclusively in clay since 1984; he teaches numerous classes at Dayton-area art centers and the University of Dayton, and has run his own studio/gallery in downtown Dayton for the past nine years. He says that many of his creations come from ideas generated by the materials and processes he uses. “A glaze may need a bowl to show off the color; I think of what the finished work will be and what steps I need to get there,” Dave stated. His current work includes ceramic sculptures with simplified human/organic forms, some of which are straightforward while others are abstract.

The work of painter, potter, and printmaker Doug Fiely, Assistant Professor of Art at Defiance College, and blown glass artist Brent Cole, who has held the lead faculty position for Ball State University's glass program since 2010, will remain on view at Bear's Mill through November 24. “Art At the Mill” has received funding from the Ami McClurkin Community Fund, held by the HOPE Foundation of Darke County, and is also supported by Darke County Endowment for the Arts. Art exhibits may be viewed during regular Mill store hours, 11 a.m. till 5 p.m. daily. Historic Bear's Mill is owned and operated by Friends of Bear's Mill, a non-profit organization, and is located at 6450 Arcanum-Bear's Mill Road about 5 miles east of Greenville. For more information, contact Bear's Mill at 937-548-5112 or

Help Wanted at Comprehensive Health Network

Thursday, November 21, 2013

“The Museum Store at Garst Celebrates Small Business Saturday”

New items stocked in 2013.
Are you in need of a gift with local ties for that hard to buy for someone? What about an out of the ordinary CD for the music lover or a DVD for the history buff in your family? The Museum Store at Garst will be offering a 50% discount on any one item priced at $15.00 or more on Small Business Saturday, November 30th. The store offers a selection of CDs, DVDs, t-shirts, books, and other collectible items. We have great stocking stuffers too such as Dover’s little activity books, mood pencils, replica money, a variety of playing card decks, and historical maps. Over fifty new items have been added to the store’s inventory in 2013.

As always you do not need to tour the museum complex in order to shop at The Museum Store. Just enter at the rear doors of the museum to visit the store. The special discount will only apply to the one item. All other eligible discounts will apply to any other purchases made. The Museum Store’s hours are the same as for the complex, Tuesday-Saturday 10 am to 4 pm and Sunday 1 to 4 pm.

The Garst Museum is located at:
205 N. Broadway, Greenville, OH 45331

Family Health Services of Darke County Inc. Achieves Accreditation

Family Health, Inc. has achieved accreditation by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC). Accreditation distinguishes this primary care organization from many other outpatient facilities by providing the highest quality of care to its patients as determined by an independent, external process of evaluation.

Status as an accredited organization means Family Health, Inc. has met nationally recognized standards for the provision of quality health care set by AAAHC. More than 5,000 ambulatory health care organizations across the United States are accredited by AAAHC. Not all ambulatory health care organizations seek accreditation; not all that undergo the rigorous on-site survey process are granted accreditation.

“We believe our patients deserve the best,” stated Jean Young, Executive Director of Family Health, Inc. “When you see our certificate of accreditation, you will know that AAAHC, has closely examined our facility and procedures. It means we as an organization care enough about our patients to strive for the highest level of care possible.”

Ambulatory health care organizations seeking accreditation by AAAHC undergo an extensive self-assessment and on-site survey by AAAHC expert surveyors---physicians, dentists, nurses and administrators who are actively involved in ambulatory health care. The survey is consultative and educational, presenting best practices to help an organization improve its care and services.


WJYW-Joy FM (88.9 FM/94.5, 97.7 Richmond) will be holding their 3rd annual “Month of Joyful Giving” November 26th - December 19th. This year the station is partnering with Rock Solid Ministries to “Blanket Richmond". There are many people in the Richmond area who are in need of the warmth a new blanket can provide and the station has a goal of providing two hundred blankets to people in the Richmond area. "You don’t have to go to the inner city of New York to find people in need of a blanket,” stated Joy PM General Manager, Dan Franks. He added, "We’re planning to help people right here in our listening area.”

The station is also helping the Pregnancy Care Centers located in the listening area by collecting baby diapers. Franks shared, “We're looking to provide for some basic needs of babies in our listening area. It seems appropriate since gifts were brought to the baby Jesus on that first Christmas. Perhaps families can see this as an opportunity to be reminded of the true meaning of Christmas."

For those wishing to drop off new blankets or baby diapers, you may do so at the following locations November 26th through December 19th:

  • Bread of Life Christian Book Store-107 W. Main St., Greenville, OH 
  • Trinity Gifts and Books-4623 National Road East, Richmond, IN 
  • Banner Christian Assembly of God—1217 W Votaw St, Portland, IN 
  • Walmart Supercenter-950 E Greenville Pike, Winchester, IN
  • The Christian Bookstore-232 N Columbia St, Union City, IN

If you enjoy Christmas music tune in to Joy FM starting November 29th, they will be playing all Christmas music through December 25th.


The Darke County Civic Theater will be having auditions for two one-act plays to be performed in February 2014. The auditions will take place Sunday November 24th at Paws Bingo Hall, 848 Martin St., Greenville 6:00pm - 7:00pm. As you can see in the following story lines there is a variety of characters needed, from late teen and on up. If you have any questions, please contact Dane at 937-621-4916. Hope to see you there!

Speed Date

It's Valentine's Day and the pressure is on. Seventeen crazy characters search for love in a round-robin game of speed dating. Everyone's in on the action: a hopeless people-pleaser, a Frenchman, a guy hung up on his previous girlfriends, an art therapist, a clown, and more. They're desperate, chatty, needy, strange -- and the clock is ticking. Will they find love before time runs out?

Wanted: One Groom

Mr. and Mrs. Shand’s meeting through a classified ad brought marital bliss. So why not place a husband want ad for Kayla, their daughter? But the family carries strict requirements: respect for elders, a promising future and an appreciation for antiques. Excited over the prospect, Kayla invites her best friend over to discuss arrangements. The doorbell rings. A young gentleman, who just happens to be eligible, is answering an ad... for an antique statue! But he’s well-mannered, obviously likes antiques and is even studying law! Through a hilarious conversation laced with double meanings, the prospective buyer becomes the prospective groom!

Owls of Ohio Presentation at BRC

On November 18th, Brukner Nature Center presented “Owls of Ohio” to our Chestnut Village residents. Owls are among our most charismatic and fascinating birds, both to observe and hear, partly because of their nocturnal habits but also because of their unique appearance and reputation for being fierce predators.

Brukner Nature Center brought two “ambassadors” with them, an Eastern Screech Owl and a Barred Owl. The Eastern Screech Owl is well known for it’s call that sounds like ghosts in the woods. The Barred Owl is a much bigger owl, up to 20” tall with a wing span of 4 feet. Both of these “ambassadors” were brought to Brukner Nature Center, in Troy, for rehabilitation and now play a role in helping people appreciate Ohio’s wildlife.

Three House Bills Address Common Core

Guest Column from State Representative Jim Buchy

There are currently three bills before the Ohio House that address new educational standards, known as Common Core. In talking to and meeting with the residents of the 84th House District, I know this is a very important issue in our region.

I encourage you to continue contacting my office in Columbus and also sharing your thoughts with local school administrators. Ensuring a solid education for our children is one of the most important components of healthy families and strong communities. To provide what is best for the students in west central Ohio, it is important that decisions be made at the local level.

As I stated earlier, three bills have been introduced in the House that are relevant to the Common Core debate. The first is House Bill 181, which I am cosponsoring. HB 181 states that neither state law nor any regulation from the Ohio Department may require a public school from giving a student’s personally identifiable information to the federal government. That kind of information includes a student’s name, the names of parents or family members, or any list of personal characteristics that would make the student’s identity easily traceable.

Privacy has been a concern shared by many regarding this topic, and while this bill is a good start, I understand that work is being done to make it even stronger.

The second bill is House Bill 193, which would change Ohio’s graduation requirements to allow students to graduate by providing proof that they are college and career ready through alternatives such as the work keys assessment for a career tech path or a certain score on the ACT for a college path student. These changes will reduce the costs for schools when implementing the new PARCC assessments and it may in some cases allow students to avoid the PARCC which is a component of the common core.

The third bill affecting Common Core is House Bill 237, which was introduced by Rep. Andy Thompson of eastern Ohio. This bill would effectively repeal the Common Core standards in Ohio. This bill is a good way to start the discussion about what Common Core will do, but it became clear that some additional work needed to be done with it, which led to the introduction of a substitute bill.

This week each of these bills underwent hours of scrutiny in the committee process. I am pleased to report that many residents in western Ohio attended committee to have their voice heard on this issue.

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