Thursday, July 31, 2014

WTGR's Community Ties - Main Street Greenville (with Musical Guest Higgins-Madewell)

Yesterday's Community Ties on WTGR  featured Main Street Greenville's Executive Director Amber Garrett sharing information about her organization's activities, including tomorrow's music filled day of events. Amber brought along musical duo Higgins-Madewell, who will be performing live at Friday's Lunch on the Lawn event at the Greenville Public Library (you can find a snippet of their music about midway through the show).

In addition to the Lunch on the Lawn, tomorrow will also see the First Friday event for August, with a host of live music acts to be found up and down Broadway throughout the evening.

Give the show a listen and learn more about Main Street Greenville on their Facebook page.


Date: August 7 – 10, 2014
Facebook: US127 Yard Sale - Ohio

GREENVILLE, OH - The US 127 Corridor Sale started in 1987 and ran for 18 years from Covington, Kentucky to Gasden, Alabama. In 2006, several counties in Ohio including Darke County jumped on board and this year, the 27th anniversary of the “World’s Longest Yard Sale,” at least one community in each of the counties along US127 are joining in the fun from the Michigan border to the Ohio River. The dates for this year’s event are Thursday, August 7 through Sunday, August 10.

The concept of a continual yard sale is simple, pull people off the interstates and back into the heart of our land, rural scenic America. There are hundreds of attractions along the route which provide enjoyment for the entire family. Whether it’s rolling hills, beautiful scenery, river boats, covered bridges, toe-tapping music, arts & crafts, farms, fishing, boating, hiking, bits of Civil War and Indian history, racing or baseball… there are many opportunities to enjoy the beauty and culture of the land along the 127 sale route.

Once established, the end result is lots of fun for vendors and shoppers alike. We have all heard the saying, “one man’s junk is another man's treasure.” This old adage holds true as these events bring people together from all across the country to barter and haggle over things that may have been stored in garages or attics for years.

For the eighth year in a row, Darke County will be a hot spot for vendors and treasure seekers. Thousands of people participate in the sale each year as vendors. A front lawn may be turned into a showcase as items are displayed. Off road parking is essential, and many of the homes have this space. Visitors should honor requests of "No Parking" or "No Trespassing" posted by families not participating in the sale--cars can leave deep tire ruts on a soft lawn.

Darke Rural Electric Trust Awards Funding to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Shelby & Darke Counties

Group of High School Big Buddies and Elementary Little Buddies
working on a project around nutrition together at the Versailles “Big Buddies” program.
Darke Rural Electric Trust has recently donated to Big Brothers Bigs Sisters of Shelby and Darke County. This funding will be used to aid in the continuation and expansion of the High School Mentoring program “Big Buddies” that pairs high school sophomore, juniors and seniors with elementary aged students with meetings taking place twice a month.

The High School Mentoring program known as “Big Buddies” is a nine month commitment where volunteer high school sophomores, juniors and seniors mentor elementary age children two times a month at an agency designation. This year the agency has expanded the program to 3 designated sites within Darke County that include Versailles, Ansonia, and Woodland Heights Elementary schools. “We are very fortunate to have the support of the Darke Rural Electric Trust. Big Brothers Big Sisters is excited to expand our after school programs back into the Ansonia schools for the upcoming school year and this is all thanks in part to the support we received from wonderful donations such as this.” reports Executive Director, Jennifer Bruns.

During the 2013/14 academic year Big Brothers Big Sisters was able to serve over 160 children under the age of 18 in Darke County by providing them with a positive role model.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Shelby & Darke County is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to develop and mature quality relationships between children and volunteers. The relationship is meant to guide each child towards becoming a confident, competent, and caring individual. If anyone is interested in becoming a volunteer, you may call the office at (937)547-9622 or go to the website at

Pets of the week

We have Tucker at the Darke County Animal Shelter. He is a 3 month old Lab/Boxer mix. He is black and white with short hair. He is current on his shots and is a little sweetheart. He loves to play. We also have his brother Gunner. They will both make super friends and companions. He is looking for a good home and family.

We have Gunner at the Darke County Animal Shelter. He is a 3 month old Lab/Boxer mix. He is brown and white with short hair. He is current on his shots and is a playful little guy. He will grow to around 60 pounds. We also have his brother Tucker. They will both make wonderful friends and companions. They are looking for a good homes and a new family.

We have Patches at the Darke County Animal Shelter. He is a 5 month old Bearded Collie mix. He is white and black with long hair. He is current on his shots, is house broken, and has been altered. He is great with kids, loves to swim and is housebroken. He will make a super friend and companion. He is looking for a good home and family.

We also have a couple of hound mixes; a couple of older Jack Russell Terriers, a beagle mix a shepherd/collie mix a couple Lab/Boxer puppies and numerous other dogs . We also have cats and kittens for adoption.

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

Coming soon will be new Shade Umbrellas for the dog park. Erisman Excavation will be installing them with concrete being provided by Pepcon Concrete. They will be a wonderful addition to the Park.

Keep your eyes open for the new addition; you won’t be able to miss them.

ALL DOGS OVER 3 MONTHS OF AGE MUST HAVE A LICENSE. For more information you can contact the Animal Shelter at 937-547-1645. To see the dogs we have, go to our web site at


Instead of a traditional job fair where employers set up booths and jobseekers circulate among the booths, jobseekers eagerly wait at their tables with a stack of their resumes while employers walk amongst the displays and determine who they want to speak with as a good candidate to bring into their company. Since it has become more important than ever to stand out in today’s job search, a "reverse" job fair helps job seekers market their skills, attitude and abilities to find employment. OhioMeansJobs Darke County is co-sponsoring a Reverse Job Fair on August 26th from 10:00am to 2:00pm at Ft. Piqua Plaza, Piqua, OH.

In order for the job seeker to be prepared for such an event, there will be a required “Boot Camp” a week prior to the Reverse Job Fair. These mandatory sessions prepare the job seeker with mock interviews, top notch resumes, marketing ideas and preparation for their less than 60 second elevator speech. Haircuts and clothing have been graciously donated by area businesses and will be available for those who need help with these items.

“The employers love the concept as this assists with the pre-screening and speeds up the hiring process” said Sherry Mueller with the OhioMeansJobs Darke County Workforce Development. “The employers get more of an idea of job skills and know these individuals are more assertive”. The job seekers benefit tremendously as well, not only by the preparation of the boot camp, but also knowing they are getting to meet with the company representatives in person. With today’s technology of internet applications and the hiring managers taking on more tasks, it is almost unheard of to stop into a business and be able to speak with these overtasked individuals. The Reverse Job Fair gives the job seeker that one on one time to promote their skills and shake hands with these decision makers.

After the event, the job seeker is contacted weekly to determine their progress in securing employment. According to statistics from previous Reverse Job Fairs in Ohio, the following results have been determined:

  • 1 Week after the Reverse Job Fair: 5.66% have returned to work
  • 2 Weeks after the RJF: 20.75%
  • 3 Weeks after the RJF: 26.42%
  • 4 Weeks after the RJF: 30.19% have returned to work!

A typical job fair results in a 1.2% placement rate per a 2013 Source of Hire report.

The OhioMeanjsJobs Center of Darke County is honored to be able to participate in this regional event and encourages our local businesses and job seekers the opportunity as well. Pre-registration is mandatory, please e-mail us at

“Made in USA” Label Crackdown: One More Reason To Offer Traceability For All American Clothing Co.

You want to support made in USA items, so you spend money during those shopping trips on items that feature the ‘made in USA’ label. It feels great. You know that if all Americans spent just $66 on USA made items it would generate over 200,000 new jobs. You believe that you are making a difference by doing your part!

But then one day you learn that you have been deceived by manufacturers who are printing false ‘made in USA’ labels on their product.

How would you feel if this happened to you?

A recent CBS report announced that the United States government is now finding that companies are now making false claims and they are cracking down on them. Specifically with certifiers that issue "Made in USA" seals. One is even allowing partners to use the seal without checking that their products were in fact made in USA.

As the made in USA discussion gains momentum, it is important to know if the product you are purchasing is in fact 100% made in the USA. Manufacturers, certifiers, and consumers must all take proper actions to ensure they have a trustworthy shopping experience.

As a manufacturer, this is exactly why All American Clothing Co. offers traceability technology. Each made in USA jean comes with a 'Certificate of Authenticity' that includes a traceability number. Enter the number on our website and we will show you the USA workers who were involved in making your jean. We will even show you the farmers and mill that produced the cotton! From farm to closet, traceability supports over 12,000 American workers in our supply chain as it showcases how your jeans are made. Traceability offers an added proof that our product is as American as apple pie.

The American garment industry has lost -85% of it`s labor force since the early 1990s. In addition, just 2% of the clothing purchased in the United States in fact American made. The All American Clothing Co. hopes that traceability technology can also help change the course of the American garment industry as the company continues to grow and support American workers.

About All American Clothing Co.

All American Clothing Co. is a genuine success story of a growing company in today’s economy. The company’s employees believe in “USA made matters” as they strive to foster loyalty among customers. The employees are experts in product quality and World Class service. To find out more about the passion and success of All American Clothing Co. please read Our Story.


Greenville Federal’s Susan Barker showed the banks continuing support of the year long Darke Co. Special Olympics programs at the 36th annual Track and Field Event in May. Shown with Susan, left to right are: Kyarra Eichelberger from Greenville Intermediate/East, Lucy Petitjean from Versailles Elementary and Madisen Taylor from Tri-Village Elementary.

Todd Westfall Live at Schlechty's Sport Bar & Grill

Todd Westfall of Arcanum will be performing LIVE at Schlechty's Sports Bar & Grill located at 124 W. Washington St., New Madison.

Please join us for a great evening Saturday, August 2 at 9:00 p.m.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Construction begins at Reid Hospital satellite

The initial framing has begun at the future site of the Reid Hospital satellite on Meeker Road in Greenville. For more on the Reid Hospital project, see the prior DJ story: Reid Hospital Planning Multi-Million Dollar Satellite Facility in Greenville.

Guest Column from State Representative Jim Buchy

Focusing Efforts on Working Together
to Curb the Drug Problem
The drug problem facing our community in western Ohio and across the state is an issue that requires persistent attention and steadfast resolve. I have been very tuned into this issue and will keep working to address it.
Last summer, a study committee traveled across the state to learn more about the drug problem facing us. As a result, the committee was able to discuss several policy initiatives that would help those addicted to drugs in Ohio.  The information gathered in those committee meetings resulted in a number of bills that primarily focused on access to high quality recovery care.
This summer, my colleagues and I are planning to travel the state to further study law enforcement’s role in curbing this problem.  Law enforcement needs the ability to identify users and peddlers in order to provide them with the help they need—sometimes traditional methods such as incarceration only make the problem worse.  Listening to the experts on the ground will help identify ways that Ohio can improve the ability of law enforcement to work on this issue.
In order to solve the growing drug problem, we must have a comprehensive plan for treatment and enforcement. To accomplish this, the barriers between law enforcement jurisdictions must be broken down so that they can work more effectively to crack down on drug rings.
Unfortunately, it seems Ohio’s law enforcement officers often have their hands tied when encountering drug problems. A major focus of the committee work will be determining barriers in law enforcement communication and developing a strategic plan for all jurisdictions to work together.  The committee will travel Ohio, gathering input from experts and citizens alike from each region in the state.   
At the conclusion of the process, the committee will prepare a comprehensive report to help guide policy initiatives in the legislature over the next year. The increasing drug problem in the state is something we should all be concerned about. There is a lot of work yet to do, but I will continue to address this issue with the help of the local law enforcement community and the mental health and addiction services folks.  The fight against drugs in our state is a battle that must be steadfast in its effort and resolve.
Please give me your opinion on this topic and others in the news this month by completing an online survey at

Sharknado 2 lands tonight on the SyFy Channel

A freak weather system turns its deadly fury on New York City, unleashing a Sharknado on the population and its most cherished, iconic sites - and only Fin and April can save the Big Apple.

Holy Shark! Sharknado 2: The Second One premieres tonight on the SyFy Channel at 9pm. If you didn't see the original Sharknado, you don't know what you're missing!
The sequel boasts a cast comprised mostly of formerly popular but now obscure actors, including: Ian Ziering (Beverly Hills 90210), Tara Reid (The Big Lebowski, American Pie series), Vivica Fox (both of the Kill Bill movies), and Kari Wuhrer (a bunch of b-movies and the old MTV show Remote Control). Watch also for a parade of cameos from Mark McGrath, Billy Ray Cyrus, Andy Dick, Perez Hilton, Judd Hirsch, Robert Klein, Matt Lauer, Al Roker, Kelly Osbourne, and The Fabulous Biz Markie.
If you can't watch tonight, Sharknado 2 will repeat on the SyFy Channel Saturday at 7pm - and on cable forever.

Over $200k Worth of Marijuana Located in Annual Darke County Marijuana Eradication

On July 29, 2014, the Darke County Sheriff's Office, along with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI), conducted its annual Marijuana Eradication. More than 200 Marijuana plants were located, with an estimated street value of over $200,000.

At this time, no criminal charges are being pursued stemming from the recovered marijuana plants.


The closing night program will feature two fan giveaways.

The Darke County Agricultural Society is proud to announce they will be honoring Darke County native Chelsey Keiser, as they race the all-female driver’s race closing night in her honor. Chelsey is a 2010 Versailles graduate and daughter of Mike and Debbie Keiser of North Star, Ohio. Chelsey is a jockey, currently hanging her tack at Suffolk Downs in Boston where she is in the top ten in Jockey Standings.

Chelsey will be on hand for the winners circle presentation and she is no stranger to the winners circle. In 2014 thus far her mounts have taken her there 36 times with earning in excess $700,000. In 2013, her first year, she found pay dirt 64 times. Her earnings in 2013 were over 1.4 million. Her biggest win to date was on Tooth N Claw in the Maryland Million Starter Handicap.

The Snack Shop in New Madison will sponsor a giveaway to the first 500 fans who purchase a racing program an autographed win photo of Chelsey. According to Brian Jones, owner of the Snack Shop, “it’s a total pleasure to help honor this young lady. She is the best kept secret in horse racing in Darke County. She is very successful in a male dominated sport. She rides very aggressive, yet displays a wonderful ability to get a horse to relax, then fire for home. Hopefully we can show some young folks to dream big like Chelsey”.

Closing night will also feature a Gene Riegle Memorial Open Pace commemorative mug to the first 1,000 fans who purchase a race program. The giveaway begins at 6 pm in the grandstand.

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

Condition sheets can be found at


L to R: Dana Spurlock and Kristy Earick
Versailles Health Care Center, owned and operated by Covenant Care, has received the 2013 Covenant Care Clinical Indicator of Achievement Award and the 2013 Covenant Care Operational Excellence Award.

To qualify for the Covenant Care Clinical Indicator Achievement Award, a facility must meet several clinical standards of excellence. Those standards include: exceeding all clinical indicators – chemical restraints, physical restraints, weight loss, and in-house acquired pressure ulcers.

Likewise, to qualify for the Covenant Care Operational Excellence Award, a facility must meet the following standards: exceeding clinical standards, positive Federal and State Survey outcomes, low turnover and positive employee relations, and exceeding administrative commitments.

Versailles Health Care Center met all of the above criteria and was presented with both awards at the Covenant Care Annual Awards Banquet held in Las Vegas. Accepting the awards for Versailles Health Care Center was Kristy Earick, Executive Director, and Dana Spurlock, Director of Nursing. By winning these prestigious company awards, Versailles Health Care Center continues to demonstrate Covenant Care’s commitment to quality care for its residents and staff.

Covenant Care operates 57 skilled and residential care facilities in seven states, including California, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Nevada, and Ohio. Covenant Care offers 24-hour care ranging from short-term therapy and rehabilitation to quality long-term nursing care.

WTGR's Community Ties - Greenville Wavaires

The Greenville Wavaires Director Chelsea Whirledge, along with members Alex Davis and Ashley Grote were on WTGR's Tuesday Edition of Community Ties. They discuss some history of the group, as well as the upcoming year of concerts, which includes a performance trip to Disney World.

League of Women Voters of Darke County is having its annual membership meeting

LWV members  Loretta Etzell, Shirla Neff, Jan Boyer, Mary Bankson, Holly Finnarn and Mitzi Marshall meet in the Greenville Public Library Reference Room to make plans for the August 7th Annual Membership Meeting.  Besides being an informational meeting about the League of Women Voters, the evening will also feature GPL Genealogy Specialist, Carolyn Fisher, giving insights into genealogy research.
The League of Women Voters of Darke County is having its annual membership meeting on August 7 at 7 pm, at the home of Shirla Neff, 291 Hickory Drive, Greenville.

The League of Women Voters is a non-partisan political organization which encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government policy issues. They study issues to inform themselves and the public. On October 20, they will hold a Candidates Night so their fellow citizens can meet those who are running for election in November.

The August 7th meeting is a chance for interested persons to meet the members and find out more about the League. As an added bonus, Carolyn Fisher ,Greenville Public Library genealogy specialist, will share insights and information about tracing ancestry. She will also tell of various experiences she has had working with folks from all over the U.S. who come to Greenville trying to find information about some ancestor.

Anyone interested in the League’s role in community education and the many aspects of genealogy research is welcome to attend the meeting. For more information, call 937.548.5378.

Cancer Association of Darke County Support Group will not meet in August

The monthly cancer support group will not be meeting in August. The group will begin to meet quarterly with the next meeting scheduled in October. Please watch the newspapers for the next meeting.

If you have questions, please call the office at 937-548-9960.

Also, if you would like to volunteer your time at fundraisers or be a volunteer driver for the association, please call (548-9960) or email ( Christine and let her know.

The organization partners with United Way and is not affiliated with the American Cancer Society nor Relay for Life.

The 2014 corporate sponsors of the association at this time are Wayne Builders, St. Henry Tile Co., Berne Ready Mix, American legion Post 140, Second National Bank, Women of the Moose 102, Leis Realty, Shrader’s Inc., Williamson Insurance, LLC, Greenville Moose Lodge 329, American Legion Auxiliary Post 140, Johnston Chiropractic Clinic, Greenville Memorial Auxiliary, Fraternal Order of Eagles~ Ladies Aux. 2177, Diane Evans, Insurance and Kiwanis Club of New Madison.

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


First Presbyterian Church would like to invite you and yours to the Annual Church Picnic/Carry-in on Sunday, August 3, 2014 at North Park, behind Kroger. This year we will also have a Spike Ball Tournament during the picnic. Spike Ball is the newest high-energy sport to hit the scene and we are ready to play!

USA Spikeball explains the game like this: “Spikeball is a team sport played by two teams of two players. Opposing teams line up across from each other with the Spikeball net in the center. The ball is put in play with a service—a hit by the server from behind the service boundary into the net to an opposing player. Once the ball is served players can move anywhere they want. The object of the game is to hit the ball into the net so that the opposing team cannot return it. A team is allowed up to three touches to return the ball. The rally continues until the ball is not returned properly.” The winning team will be awarded their own Spike Ball Set!

Bring a covered dish, your lawn chair, and table service and be prepared for an afternoon of fun in the sun (and the shade) and lots of fellowship. First Presbyterian is providing hot dogs and buns, lemonade and water. Please remember to bring a bowl of ice for any carry-in items that need to be kept chilled. Activities available will include a Spike Ball Tournament, Corn Hole Games, Playground, Basketball court, Soccer Field and a Track. Restrooms and running water are nearby and there is a Shelter House with picnic tables available. Other items you may want to bring along could include blankets to sit on the grass, card tables, extra chairs for seating, a deck of cards, a basketball/football or baseball and a friend or two! Sorry, pop-ups, tents and easy-ups are not permitted.

Also, while you enjoy the picnic, there will be an opportunity to register for the Apple© iPad giveaway on Sunday, September 7.

RSVP by calling First Presbyterian Church at (937)548-3188 Monday through Friday, 9 AM – 4 PM on or before Friday, August 1.

Pets of the week

We have Peggie-Sue at the Darke County Animal Shelter. She is an 11 month old black lab. She is black with short hair. She is a friendly girl and a typical lab. She loves to play and run around. She will make a sweet companion and is ready for a new home.

We have Emma at the Darke County Animal Shelter. She is a 10 month old beagle mix. She is brown and white with short hair. She is a nice girl and will make a great friend and companion. She has one blue eye. She is current on her shots and ready for a new home. She will make a sweet friend.

We also have a couple of hound mixes; a couple of Terriers, a shepherd/collie mix and numerous other dogs. We also have cats and kittens for adoption.

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

ALL DOGS OVER 3 MONTHS OF AGE MUST HAVE A LICENSE. For more information you can contact the Animal Shelter at 937-547-1645. To see the dogs we have, go to our web site at

Help Wanted at BRC

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

Grumpy Reds fan: fire sale alert!

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

And so I will make two points:

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

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

Friends and Family Celebrate 95 years

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

"A Reason to Celebrate" by Elizabeth Horner

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, July 28, 2014

WTGR's Community Ties - Tour de Donut

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

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

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

A Young Buck - Photograph by Jennifer Burkett



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

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

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

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

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

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

August “Lunch on the Lawn”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Community Euchre & Bingo

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

Jackson named Executive Director

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

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

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

Edison’s Academy for Community Leadership hosts speaker series

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Learn more at

"Homesick" by Elizabeth Horner

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, July 25, 2014

Playing this weekend at Wayne Cinema: Hercules

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

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

Guest Column from State Representative Jim Buchy

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

Second Suspect Named in Auto Arsons, Thefts

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Condition sheets can be found at


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

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

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

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

Check our Web site at or “like” our Facebook page at



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

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

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

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

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

Favorite Mike Hemmelgarn at Library

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

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

Survey: Custom Farm Work Rates Rising in Ohio

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To see the full survey results, see the PDF available at

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

Thursday, July 24, 2014

MetLife blimp spotted in southern Darke County

Some of you in southern Darke County might have spotted the MetLife "Snoopy 1" blimp late Thursday afternoon. The blimp was headed east (and maybe a little north) - to parts unknown - since the MetLife blimp schedule is not quite up-to-date. Any guesses?

WTGR's Community Ties - Mayor Mike Bowers

Mike Bowers, Mayor of the City of Greenville, was the guest on this morning's Community ties on WTGR. He and Alex Mikos discuss the multitude of festivals going on in the area this weekend and in the near future, starting with this morning's sidewalk sales, as well as the Annie Oakley Festival and the Gathering at Garst.

Mayor Bowers also discusses the recent string of arsons, which recently seems to have peaked when 7 cars were set on fire on Tuesday morning. He talks about neighborhood watches and other activities that residents can do to help deter crime and unwanted behavior. The Mayor also touches on recent economic development projects, running down several companies who are expanding and building in our area.

Darke County Civic Theatre to Present Melodrama at the Annie Oakley Festival

The Darke County Civic Theatre is proud to present their annual summer melodrama at the Annie Oakley Festival, as it has been for many years. This year the festival moves out to York Woods at 1629 Reed Rd. at the corner of US Rt. 127 and Reed Rd. The melodrama will be held in the largest tent, and the organization is very excited about the move and to be performing in a tent once again. This year’s melodrama, titled “Haunted Hijinks or The Ghastly Ghost of Dead Man’s Gulch” is being put on by local actors who are very excited to be putting on this locally written melodrama.

The play takes place in present day Dead Man’s Gulch, an old west town that’s been bought by the villainous Mel Evolant (Sandy Hartley). Mel and her accomplices, Claire Voyant (Karen Hamilton) and Manny Fest (Matt Cline) hatch a plot to find the treasure of the old west outlaw Willie the Kid (Lacey Snyder). To accomplish this Mel needs a ring owned by a history teacher named Archie Ology (Jackson Aukerman), who brings a few students and the school librarian Dustee Tome (Danielle Sink) along for the ride. The plan only becomes more complex when more guests show up, including an explosion happy movie producer, old west obsessed fanatics, and a bickering married couple on their way to the honeymoon. Very soon the whole Inn is full of crazy characters and spooky sounds as all kinds of haunted hijinks break loose.

The rest of this fun and talented cast include the three students: Jennifer Gibson as Velma Blake, Drew Burns as Ray Spangler, and Mike Hamilton as Casper Spectral. Dan Cline plays the crazed groundskeeper Hannibal Poe, while Simon Hoying and Did Howell bring to life Hector Plasm and Levy Tation, the argumentative couple. Trevor DeSchepper and Connie DeSchepper play Michael Day and Cam Eras, the loud mouth movie producer and his camera woman, while Mark Howell plays the bumbling Sheriff Smith N. Wesson. Rounding out this fun filled cast is Abby Kindley, playing Perry Normal, and Lacey Snyder also playing Abby Normal, the old west fanatics.

This play was written by Arcanum resident and DCCT member Jackson Aukerman. This is Jackson’s third melodrama with the group in as many years, and previously to that was a four year member of the Arcanum High School Drama Club. He has enjoyed being a member of the group, and has a lot of fun every year spending the summer with the group working on the play. Jackson is very excited and honored to have his play being produced by the group, and is very happy to have such a great cast putting on the show. He hopes to see many members of the community there to hopefully have a few good laughs and enjoy the show.

The first show is July 24th at 7:30 pm, with following shows on the 25th at 7:30 pm, July 26th at 3 and 7:30 pm, and July 27th at 1 pm. The melodrama is free to watch with a paid admission to the festival. For more information you can contact the director Dane Leeper at (937) 621-4916, or go to For information on the Annie Oakley festival visit The Civic Theater is very excited to bring the community this fun filled melodrama and hopes to see many people there.

Folks Wait Patiently for The Legendary Sidewalk Sale at KitchenAid

Today has been a busy day downtown, and it started bright and early...

Hospice Women’s Giving Circle Helps with Grants to Program Needs

Pictured, back row, left to right Ted Bauer, Executive Director, State of the Heart Hospice, Millie Stammen, Mary Ann Koesters, Ryan Gathard, Fund Development Director, State of the Heart, Linda Newbauer, Joy Marchal, and Toni Heggie. Front row, left to right, Kay Girbert, Eunice Steinbrecher.
The State of the Heart Hospice Women’s Giving Circle, a group of women who are ongoing financial supporters of the local nonprofit agency, recently met and granted two program needs for State of the Heart. The Women’s Giving Circle was established earlier this year with goal of granting program needs which cannot be met otherwise.

The Giving Circle granted $1,100 for grief support books to be given to those attending State of the Heart’s Growing Through Grief sessions, and granted $1,900 to purchase new software for publication design work for the agency. The software currently being used by State of the Heart is seven years old and is no longer completely compatible with various printing vendors and publication companies.

Each year, State of the Heart conducts Growing Through Grief sessions at the agency’s offices in Greenville, Portland and Coldwater. In each case, participants in the past have been expected to purchase grief support books when they leave the class. The grant will provide 100 books which will be given free to those attending the group sessions. Bereavement support is an important service provided by State of the Heart.

State of the Heart has a communications specialist who creates all of the brochures and educational materials needed by the agency for the public. The new software will bring the agency in line with current design software needs, enabling quicker turnaround time and better quality products.

“This was the first meeting of the Women’s Giving Circle,” stated Ryan Gathard, Fund Development Director for State of the Heart. “It was gratifying to have several applications from our various departments submitted. The members of the Giving Circle carefully weighed the needs of each request and other possible funding options in making their decision,” he added.

An incentive to becoming a member of the Women’s Giving Circle, he explained, is that the members of the Giving Circle make the decisions about how they want the funds used in meeting program needs. The group will meet annually to decide on grant distribution.

“We are seeking new members of for the Giving Circle,” Gathard said. “The Giving Circle offers a unique opportunity to make a contribution to our agency, then the members can say how they want those funds used to carry out the mission of State of the Heart.” For information about the Giving Circle contact him at 1-800-713-7535 or email him at

Group Lifestyle Balance Information Session Planned

The Group Lifestyle Balance Program is a ten month program to assist with weight loss and to lower your risk of disease. Participants will work towards achieving the following goals: 1) Increase physical activity to a minimum of 150 minutes a week and 2) Weight loss goal of minimum of 7% body weight. As a result of making healthy lifestyle changes many individuals do lose weight, as well as reduce their risk for diabetes and heart disease.

The program is designed to help individuals reach and maintain a healthy balance by learning to make lifestyle changes through eating, physical activity, and behavioral changes. The program teaches individuals facts about healthy eating and being active. Participants will learn what makes it hard to eat healthy, and be active. The instructors will help by providing support and knowledge for individuals to succeed.

The 23 class sessions will be provided weekly for 12 weeks, then twice a month for three months and finally once a month. This schedule will help individuals make lifestyle changes with the support, accountability, and feedback provided during the classes.

The program will begin on August 26, 2014. Each session will be held on Tuesdays from 4pm to 5pm at Wayne HealthCare. The cost of the program is $250 ($11 per session). A payment system is available. This fee covers: 23 educational sessions, class materials, pedometer, food and exercise trackers, Calorie King Book, and Thera band.

If you are interested in learning more about the Group Lifestyle Balance Program consider attending an information session on July 29, 2014 at 4pm in the 3rd Floor Conference Room at Wayne HealthCare. Please call 937-547-5750 for more information or if you are unable to attend the meeting.

Mid Growing Season Observations

On Monday, July 21, I had the opportunity to pull corn leaves from one of our side dress manure plots to determine the nutrient level reaching the developing ear.

I would first like to share this was the first time that I have spent a considerable amount of time in a corn field in the middle of July since I was a kid when the replacement heifers got out of the pasture and moved into the corn field.

I share with you that while making my way thru the 60 acre corn field, with corn easily ten foot tall and planted in three different directions I experienced three things: 1. Anxiousness: could I find our treatments and could I find my way out; 2. Heavy pollination: I was plastered by the yellow corn pollen as I moved thru the corn; 3. Great looking corn: almost every stalk in the manure side dressed corn had shot two good ears.

Gary Schnitkey, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics University of Illinois, reported last week that the U.S. Department of Agriculture released a revised World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report on July 11, 2014. In this report, the 2014 Market Year Average (MYA) price for corn is projected to fall between $3.65 per bushel and $4.35 per bushel. Revenues and farmer returns are estimated for prices in this range given an average and high yield. Crop insurance and commodity title payments are included in estimates. Given this price range, there is about a $100 per acre range in which per acre returns can fall. Farmer returns likely are negative for cash rented farmland, given that costs are near average. Farmer returns for share rented farmland likely will be low.

Although the corn field I was in on Monday looked like it would have tremendous yields I would share that I have seen more fields in the county that I believe will be closer to average in yields. This being a result of the “roller coaster” emergence and the water damage that many of the corn fields experienced.

Darke County soybean fields are beginning to look better as we get a few more dry days and heat. The “wet feet” the soybeans had in June made it difficult for them to get going. August rains will be critical for pod fill and yield potential.

Last year we had ideal rainfall in June. Then for much of the county it turned dry in July and August. Below you will find a graph showing rainfall from April 15 to July 22 for 2013 and 2014 for several locations in the county.

Finally, how do the grain prices compare; as you can expect, they are significantly lower than last year. USDA Price Received Charts indicate that corn is down from last year from $6.79 to $4.37 and soybeans from $15.30 to $14.10. And looking into December futures corn is trading at $3.72 and November soybeans are trading at $10.71.

Taking a contrasting look, lean hog prices are up from $89 to $125 and live cattle are also up from $127 to $154 in the past year.

So what does all this mean? Farmers paying cash rent will find it difficult to show a return to land costs in their budgets. Livestock farmers raising their own feeders will show profits in 2014.

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

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